In honor of Mother’s Day being celebrated today in the U.S., I thought it would be nice to meet some Topcoder moms. Being a Topcoder member, just for fun or for your livelihood, requires support from your family. Having to be awake at unusual times to participate in challenges, relying on winning challenges to provide for your family, or even using Topcoder as a method of learning to further your career or goals can be exhausting and hard work. With any hobby or career, having a supportive family helps. I was sure that if I asked a few members about their moms, I would hear some amazing stores — and they didn’t disappoint.
A large part of motherhood is nurturing your children and cheering them on in their interests and hobbies. I strive to do this on a daily basis for my children. That is why one story in particular really touched me. I heard from Topcoder member Mariia, Nickolas, from Ukraine about her mom. She told me that her mom and her grandmother are both software developers; she is a third-generation female programmer. She went on to tell me:
My mother has always encouraged me to study hard and learn new things. She taught me to read when I was 3, so that by the time I started school I was reading for fun, not for duty. She’s helped me study English since I was 5, so by the time I was in high school I could read books in English for fun (which is not the case for most students in Ukraine), and when I joined Topcoder my writing was still awkward, but at least I could figure out what problem statements asked for. And she never insisted that I do household chores at the expense of studies or programming, which is why I’m in my 12th year of doing competitive programming but still can’t cook!
One of our Topcoder developers, billsedison, told me about his mom. She is currently a retired accountant living in the small city of Jingdezhen, China. Though he lives and works in a different city, he tells me he loves sharing his Topcoder accomplishments with her. He told me:
I work and live in a different city, so we can only meet each other twice a year. But when I win a challenge, I like to share my happiness with her on the phone and she is always listening, even though she doesn’t understand the technical details. And she always reminds me to have a rest. Outside of Topcoder, I work full time as a game developer, so I usually work on Topcoder at night or on the weekends, so there is little time to rest. In her eyes, my leisure time and health is more important than a good career and money. Once I’m back to my hometown, she always prepares lots of delicious food for me. Her cares supports me a lot, especially when I feel tired.
I also loved this story he shared about her:
Three years ago, my mom began to learn to play the piano and dance when she retired. She said those were her dreams but she didn’t have the chance to learn them before. She is very diligent and now she has become skillful. Her characteristics of insisting on dreams and diligence have had a very positive impact on my Topcoder career. So I have learned a lot of new skills and won good prizes at Topcoder. Thanks mom and the Topcoder Community!
When I saw this image of Chekspir and his mom, I loved it! He shared some wonderful things about his mother with me:
My mom is Elizabeth Clarke, a beautiful woman with one of the biggest hearts I know. She is a doctor, a surgeon specializing in children, and she has a small office where she attends, for free, for folks with low resources and people who cannot pay for medical consulting.
Not only does his mom sound amazing for the work she does in the medical field, but she was also able to provide very sound and supportive advice for Chekspir when he was debating a career change due to Topcoder. He says:
When I told her that I was going to quit my job to be a full-time member at Topcoder, she supported me. She said, “You have all the skills to do everything that you propose in life. If you think that is the correct thing to do, just do it.”
Sharon28, one of our female developers out of India, shared some great advice she got from her mom, who is a public school teacher in Hyderabad:
My mom always told me to respect everyone and never look down on anyone.
When it comes to Topcoder, her mom is always supportive of her career. She tells me:
She supports me when I want to learn coding by encouraging me and taking care of other household chores by herself.
Happy Mother’s Day to our incredible members and their incredible moms!