Tech Sourcing Deep Dive: Sourcing via CodePen

The world wide web is a fantastic place of endless resources that you as a sourcer can use. Github, StackOverflow, Hacker News, AngelList are popular places to find people, and we often read about them in blogs. But what about CodePen?


CodePen is a social development environment. It allows developers to write code in the browser, and see the results as they build it. They primarily focus on front-end languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. In recruitment language: it’s a platform where you can find Front-end Designers and Developers.

Let’s start with the basics:

When you open CodePen the very first thing you will notice is how visual it is. You’ll be shown the site’s most popular Pens (explained here), but can also filter on Picked, Popular and Recent.

If you look at user profiles, you will see their Pens, Projects, and Collections.

You can also sort what they’ve showcased and on their most popular projects.

Additionally, in the top right corner, you’ll see links to accounts that they’ve added to their profile (LinkedIn, Twitter, Website) and some have even added a Hire Me button. Yup, when you click on that, you will be able to send them a message via CodePen. How cool and easy is that?

On the top left corner, you will also see a user’s Followers and Followings, and you have the option to follow them yourself.

Here is where it gets interesting: Developers (or replace that with any other profession in tech) are like a wolf pack. The chances are high that they will follow and receive followers who are interested in their same field.

After looking at a profile, you might also want to check out a project itself. Clicking on a pen will open a page that shows the pen and the code used to create it.

Searching CodePen

CodePens search function is not created to serve the Sourcer’s need. It’s horrible and doesn’t give you the results that you want.  

Searching for “Netherlands” (I am looking for people who have that location in their profile), will give me this:

And nope, searching for things like Javascript and HTML won’t get you more relevant results:

So, if nothing works why are you showing me this?

Because I do think CodePen is a great platform to find people, it just takes a bit more creativity, and it probably takes a bit more digging. On the other hand, when you find someone that you think is great, you will have their work to refer to which is great to use in your outreaches.

Other ways to search for developers on CodePen:


Just play around with the search string (add or remove the hire me or change the inurl parameter) to see what gets you the most results.

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Search on Twitter:

Guess what, people love sharing what they created. And what better place to do this than Twitter:

  • A simple search for on Twitter will also give you some nice results.
  • Next, to that, there are some awesome CodePen related hashtags that you might want to follow, like #CodePenChallenge

Or what about accounts (and their followers) that share popular projects:

Communities in your neighborhood:

Search on Facebook for the followers in their community:

Try using Shane McCusker’s fantastic Chrome Extension to get yourself a list of 22.000+ likers of that page.

Since Facebook changed the way their search works, go to the CodePen page on Facebook and click on the link for people who like the page:

Find people who participate in the CodePen Challenges:

Even if you are not looking to hire front-end devs or designers, these challenges are so worth checking out.

There are so many different ways to source via platforms like CodePen, and I’d love to hear more about how other sourcers use platforms like this to find talent. 

I’m what you might call a self-taught sourcer. I started my career in recruitment in 2015 when I joined an agency. Actively approaching was new to them and also pretty new to me. So I started reading every blog I could find and by trial and error I can say I got fairly good at it. I also discovered there was a great network of smart sourcers out there sharing tips, good reads and tools. Throughout the years I developed my own sourcing style and I keep trying out new and different ways to find good people and most importantly engage with them. After the agency, I joined Blendle and I’m currently working at Poki, scaling their tech team.