Google Scouts Out Competitive Programmer From India, Offers Him 20 Times His Current Salary to Work for Them

April 4, 2019 Updated: April 8, 2019

Twenty-one-year-old student Abdullah Khan recently graduated from a private engineering school and was preparing to accept a job making 600,000 Indian Rupees a year (US$8,767)—about half of the country’s average salary.

He had failed to pass the IIT-JEE, known as the Joint Entrance Exam for the India Institute of Technology, when he finished his schooling in Dubai. The IIT-JEE is widely considered one of the toughest entrance exams in the world, and Khan admitted that his scores hadn’t even been high enough to get him shortlisted for a chance at the prestigious schooling program.

So while he was able to get through his university studies at the Shree LR Tiwari Engineering College and got his kicks entering coding competitions online for fun, he didn’t expect to make it far in the hyper-competitive technological industry in his home country.

Shree L. R. Tiwari College of Engineering expresses immense pleasure to congratulate Khan Abdullah Mohammed Aslam for…

Posted by Shree L. R Tiwari College of Engineering on Monday, March 25, 2019

Posted by Shree L. R Tiwari College of Engineering on Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What he didn’t know, though, was that international mega-tech company Google had been watching his performance in those coding competitions. And after noticing how well he was placing, they shocked him with an approach for a job—making 20 times what he was originally going to!

India Times reported that Khan took an online test from Google to kill time one day, never expecting that he’d then get a phone call offering him a gig in the company’s London office.

Yet, sure enough, the company’s offer was serious; they were looking for job candidates that fit a certain profile worldwide, and had been so impressed in his coding competitions that they wanted to see if he could fit the bill.

Google London Office (©Shutterstock | Bubble_Tea Stock)
Google Headquarters (©Shutterstock | Benny Marty)

“I used to participate as it was fun. I did not even know that firms check the programmers’ profiles on such sites,” he said, speaking to GQ India.

“I showed the email to my friend who knew someone who had received such an email in the past. I am looking forward to joining their team. It will be an amazing learning experience for me.” GQ added that Khan will be joining Google’s reliability engineering team.

Khan’s original salary was far from eye-popping by American standards, averaging out to just $8,706 in U.S. currency (which is more than enough to live in India, but certainly isn’t among their highest wage earners). The offer from Google, though, 1.2 crore Indian Rupees (12 million), roughly translates to around $174,000 in U.S. dollars after accounting for his base salary, offer bonus, and stock options.

*Shree L. R. Tiwari College of Engineering* expresses immense pleasure to congratulate our student *Khan Abdullah…

Posted by Shree L. R Tiwari College of Engineering on Thursday, March 28, 2019

The incredible offer is far from the first of its kind. Dozens of the world’s technology giants use online coding competitions as a way of recruiting the world’s smartest computer minds without having to sift through inflated resumés. And government entities have started using coding conferences as ways of finding new technology recruits outside of the typical hiring fairs.

For Khan, though, this offer is miles above anything he could have dreamed of—and while it moves him halfway across the world, it’s the kind of gig that computer-savvy college students dream of. It goes to show that if you know your stuff, sometimes the best opportunities will find a way of seeking you out no matter where you are.