February 14, 2020 2020 State of the Community Message from CEO Mike Morris

2020 welcomes Topcoder into its 3rd decade of changing how the world works. Global organizations of any size, across every industry, have never been more ready to simplify the way they access and execute with digital talent — and Topcoder continues to be in a position to meet their innovation needs. New community, event, development and platform advancements launching this year will make the Topcoder experience even more extraordinary. 

With that, as per tradition, it’s time for our 2020 State of the Community.

Before we get into our great year in 2019, we really want to hear from you.

Your Feedback is Valuable

To help get started on improving member communications and shape innovative projects, we’d appreciate your participation in this brief survey. Fifty cash prizes will be rewarded at random in thanks. Also, we’re hoping to speak directly with as many members as possible, to hear feedback and ideas, live. 

Wins for 2019

  • Topcoder VSCode IDE Extension
    • We’ve released a VSCode IDE Extension that brings Topcoder to where you work best. The IDE extension lets you find, register, submit and view your scores right inside the IDE.
  • New Event Driven Marathon Match system
    • Brand new Docker-based review system lets members BYOD (Bring Your Own Dependencies) and write solutions to marathon problems in any language they choose.
  • New Off-platform Scoring & Review capabilities
    • Topcoder’s new event-driven architecture allows us to release a new webhook service. This service allows us to send outbound events from the platform, in real-time, and has already been used in a variety of specialized challenges using black-box scoring systems. 
  • V5 Suite of APIs
    • As we continue to upgrade our platform internals, we’ve released (and continue to release) suites of new APIs built on our v5 standard. These include new Groups, Projects, Submissions, Challenges, and other APIs.
  • Launched TaaS (Talent as a Service)
    • TaaS launched in November to provide customers an additional way to connect with our talented Community and also provide our Community with another way to work with our customers.
  • QaaS (Quality as a Service)
    • The success of the QA Track set the stage for further growth in 2020. We have an expanding QA community that is quickly and efficiently fulfilling client requirements.  Get ready to take on more!
  • Enhancing Core Connect Capabilities
    • Connect is a Topcoder application where clients and their delivery teams can collaborate on a projects. 2019 saw enhancements to several core capabilities, including project team management, discussion threads, file and link sharing, and profile management.
  • Updated Site and Navigation
    • We released a new navigation on our Community platform with Topcoder’s new branding. The navigation offers visitors a more consistent, better experience between the Community and Business/Marketing sides of our platform. 
  • Verified Skills
    • This icon appears next to skills on member profiles to indicate that it is a skill earned through completing tasks, or winning competitions. This credentialing offers a great way for members to publicly show their earned skills and gives Topcoder a higher level of accuracy and precision to match Community members with customer work.  
  • Fun, Educational Challenges
    • Last year we ran 122 fun challenges, representing 16 different technologies with more than 23,000 participants. 
    • One of our biggest accomplishments of 2019 for the community was THRIVE. We dedicated a lot of time and resources, including many of you, to gather all of our amazing content at Topcoder. It is all in THRIVE for you to peruse and learn. In 2020, we’ll push the boundaries of THRIVE by incorporating our educational articles into challenge detail pages, so the spirit of continuous learning is always there.

The Future of Topcoder Open

The 2020 Topcoder Open has a new home! Starting this year, TCO will be live at Uprisor.

What is Uprisor?

Uprisor is a unique future of work event crafted to demonstrate our undisputed leadership in the Passion Economy (on-demand talent) space. The event will provide a forum for thought leadership, partnerships and education for customers, industry leaders and the talent (all of you). At Uprisor, existing customers and Community members will expand their knowledge, trust, and desire to do more work with Topcoder. 

Why is Uprisor important?

TCO is like no other programming and design tournament in the world. By having a home at Uprisor, TCO will be at the forefront of our industry’s biggest event. As the crown jewel of Uprisor, TCO will set the standard for all other platform competitions that may want to host their finals at Uprisor.

Why is Uprisor different?

  • Its focus. Uprisor will center on the use of on-demand talent for the enterprise by highlighting the amazing talent and the work they produce. .
  • There’s tangible education. At Uprisor, customers, prospects, and talent will have opportunities to earn certifications focused on the use of on-demand platforms.
  • It’s real-time. Uprisor will host live competitions and workshops, including the TCO and initiatives on other platforms, and be the ceremony site for Topcoder’s popular Innovation Awards.

Where and when is Uprisor?

Uprisor will take place in November in Seattle, Washington, which means we’re heading to the Emerald City for TCO20 Finals! Seattle is a great spot for us with the support we receive from our local customers and partners: , T-Mobile, Microsoft and  AWS.

We are thrilled to bring TCO to Uprisor and continue paving the way for the event’s evolution.

What’s Coming up for Community in 2020

  • Notifications
    • We are working on bringing our members a platform notification feature. Members will be alerted about relevant challenges, available repos to join, and/or surveys to complete for cool Topcoder swag and other benefits. Members will be able to configure notifications to their specifications. 
  • Recommending Related Challenges and THRIVE Articles
    • This new Challenge Details feature will recommend open challenges and THRIVE articles with similar tech stacks, which will help members seamlessly find, learn, and develop skills.
  • New Challenge Details Page
    • We will be redoing our Challenge Details page to optimize our members’ experience! The enhanced feature will improve the way the challenge details and specifications are organized, including relevant challenge assets, identifying copilots/project managers, etc. 
  • New Dashboard
    • One of our biggest projects this year will be a revitalized dashboard. When you log into Topcoder, we want your dashboard to be the most informative page for YOU. The dashboard will include a newsfeed feature, monitor your progress toward different milestones, inform you of upcoming events and challenges, etc. 
  • New Community Site Look and Feel
    • Over the next few months, the Topcoder website will transform into a new and improved place to visit. We look forward to transitioning the site to better reflect the updated Topcoder brand.
  • Additional Security and Proof of Identity to Improve Trust
    • Topcoder will expand the trust and security between our members and customers by advancing the way we validate identity and who is doing the work. We’re planning on bringing trust and verification through an Identity blockchain to Know Our Members
  • Automated Testing Challenges 
    • We’ll implement a new review processor for automated testing of solutions. 
  • Member Communications
    • We’re going to be discussing best practices for all things communications with members. From challenge discussions, live chatting, general information, and more; with feedback from the community and with many internal discussions with the team, we hope to improve the way communications work for everyone.
  • Competition Arena
    • With a solid plan in place and a team to get it done, we anticipate a revamp to our Competition Arena. Look forward to some visual updates we’ll be sharing in the near term. We’ll rely on the Community to provide feedback and suggestions.
  • Learning Challenge Series 
    • We will begin running a challenge series to teach a particular language tool or technology. Learning formats may include challenges, blogs and/or hands-on videos. In March, Topcoder will offer, “The Basics of Flutter Language.” 
  • Data Science
    • With the new platform, Topcoder now supports docker for all submissions.  This allows us to break free of compiler and tester machine limitations and even allows us to run challenges in client’s environments.  We will continue to innovate the member experience around this new interface.  
  • Beacon Marathon Matches
    • We recently launched a new kind of Marathon Match called Beacon Marathon Matches.  These matches bring our community into the process of creating and deciding what matches we should launch much earlier !  You are awarded prize money for providing feedback on challenges we may launch!  Our first one is live now through February 23, 2020.

Innovation at Topcoder

We are investing in a new team at Topcoder that focuses on how the Topcoder Platform stays ahead of the curve, and we would appreciate your help, feedback and ideas. As always, these projects will be tackled by our Community to build the POCs. Projects being considered include:

  • More ways to enhance and drive SRM style competitions, and empower our members to be more involved
  • TopCoin Crypto Payments for everyone intend to ease international payments, lower costs, and provide liquidity.
  • TC X-Games to promote innovations and new business models to be developed on top of our APIs.  Who better to come up with these ideas than you?   

Health and Wealth of our Community

Last year we started an internal initiative around health and wealth benefits to our Community.  We continue to research this area and work with outside firms to see what is possible. We at Topcoder are very passionate about this and feel that it is the job of platforms like ours to come up with solutions.  

Talk with our Teams Live

On March 4, 2020 at 9:00 UTC -5, I will be joining the Product Development and Community teams to run a Community Town Hall. This will be a chance for you to join us live, ask questions, and hear about the amazing stuff we have in store for you for 2020. Stay tuned for more details about this live chat and hope we’ll see you there.

Thank you again for being part of our community and look forward to all 2020 brings us. We hope you’ll join us at one of our regional TCO events or even the finals at Uprisor.

Mike Morris



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