Top 10 lessons learned - 06.26.07 7:00 PM EDT
It is hard to top jmzero
's and Petr
and really who cares what admins really think anyway (well, besides us admins of course).
Anyway, to steal a leaf from Petr
's style (yes, I realize the metaphors are mixed - it is to provide some added enjoyment to non-native English speakers), thought that I'd also start my blog with a bit of reminiscing. I've been a TopCoder member since August 2002, but never made it to an on-site event until November 2006 at the TCCC
in San Diego. And let's face it, I did not get there as a member, but took the somewhat more convoluted, if easier, path as a TopCoder employee. But get there finally, I did (channeling Yoda), and here are the top 10 things that I learned from that experience:
- Get to the UBS booth early - their free (and tasty) chocolates disappear like magic.
- Practice pronouncing "Petr's" name many times in advance before you try to say it live on a webcast.
- If you are only 5 ft 2 inches and are made to stand between TheFaxman and Olexiy during a live webcast, ensure you have a clause in your Rider contract that provides you with a box to stand on while doing the interview (the same rule applies to interviewing misof).
- Visit the NSA booth. Everything on display is super-fun and geek-worthy. And if that is not enough, they have to kill you once you know too much.
- The white couches at the AOL booth are the most comfortable seating you can get in the competition arena.
- mathijs looks waaaay too relaxed to be human during algorithm competitions. I am not that relaxed taking a bubble bath.
- John Dethridge, Ken Vogel and Jeremy Schaap are much better than me at technical commentary and belting out snappy stats. But undoubtedly I win when it comes to snazzy hair ornaments! (I'm competitive by nature, even though a girl.)
- T-shirts with your TopCoder handle embroidered on it is the coolest article of clothing ever.
- antimatter is the member who is most obviously recognizable from his picture on the TopCoder website.
- jmpld40 rocks.
Bonus: If you are told to put your arms around the people that you are interviewing on a webcast, there is always the chance that one of them will hug back!
I'm sure that the TCO07 will be equally enlightening, so keep reading this space - unless of course you have something better to do like read Petr
's and jmzero
's contributions - I know that I will be. Stay tuned!