December 22, 2020 Topcoder Best of 2020

We all know what kind of year it’s been. We’ll skip the 2020 platitudes and simply say—a lot happened, and a lot got done. As we close out the year, we’re proud to share Topcoder’s top posts and pieces of content from 2020. Focused on the Future of Work and how people are using on demand talent, these are great examples of boldness and resilience. Thanks for sharing this journey with us. 


“On-demand talent” is more than an amorphous crowd producing outputs for you. It’s made up of the individuals in Topcoder’s global community—they’re at the heart of the work we do. 

The Passion Economy: How the Future Works – a Documentary
In our first ever documentary, follow five inspiring individuals from across the globe who have chosen the gig economy as their path to success. 

One Year of Talent As a Service – TaaS Turns 1
Reflecting back on 1 year of Talent as a Service—why the moment was right when we debuted it in November 2019, and why it’s beyond right now. 

Opportunity for All: The New Topcoder Purpose Video is Here
Beyond work from home, we’ve entered a new era of work from anywhere, with everyone. This is opportunity for all.


Tales of incredible projects in AI, AR/VR, geospatial mapping, industrial IoT precision medicine, telemedicine, and digital solutions to help businesses and organizations thrive in a post-COVID world.

Using On-demand Talent for EdgeX IoT Exploration 
EdgeX Foundry and the LF Edge Community leveraged on-demand talent to help them ideate, design, and innovate for the edge.

The Making of Ognomy – Revolutionizing Sleep Wellness Through Telemedicine 
Ognomy allows patients around the world to access critical medical care for sleep issues such as sleep apnea, without the need for a nearby physical sleep center. This is the story of how Ognomy went from dream to app MVP in under 4 months.

Ognomy has now been downloaded well over 5,000 times by patients and doctors and continues to have tremendous success!

Teaching Machines Through Our Stories: Women In History Ideation Challenge 
IVOW AI aims to bring cultural and historic awareness into the world of AI, and partnered with Topcoder on a Women in History Dataset ideation challenge. Whether it’s through data sets or new algorithms we create, we can teach machines who we are through our stories.

Adobe Covid Series – Helping Industries Thrive in a Post-COVID World 
Adobe Document Cloud is used by organizations of all sizes, and the Adobe COVID challenge series is focused on delivering useful, Adobe-based tools and solutions that can help SMBs, Non-Profits, Government Agencies, and the Educational community get back to work in a post-COVID environment.

7 (and counting) Data Science Geospatial challenges – The SpaceNet Story
Each SpaceNet challenge focuses on a different aspect of applying machine learning to solve difficult geospatial computer vision problems. This infographic shows how each challenge has gotten more complex. It’s a fantastic example of an incremental data science series that results in more useful algorithms over time.

Exploring New and Edge Technologies Through Crowd with Wipro’s Michael Vollmer
We like this conversation because it’s about a different use case—on-demand talent for rapid R&D. Michael Vollmer, GM of Interactive Experience at Wipro, calls out the benefits of multiple skillsets and unbiased opinions in the crowd, and how you can use that to get an impartial assessment of a platform technology you’re unfamiliar with.

Using AI to Help Detect Cancer and Improve Outcomes: The Stanford Pancreatic Cancer Challenge
By harnessing the power of AI and the existing model for the diagnosis of malignant pancreatic tumors, Stanford and Topcoder hope this project will develop an algorithm to improve patient care and extend access to life-saving interventions.

Announcing the Winners of 2020 Topcoder Innovation Awards
THESE are the people and companies who are taking risks and doing big things using Topcoder’s platform: the 2020 Topcoder Innovation Awards Winners. 


We’ve put out a lot of thought leadership this year, from Ebooks to podcast conversations to presentations at virtual events. We also received coverage from analyst firms and publications. These are the highlights. 

The 7 Talent Trends Driving the Future of Work 
We identify and explore seven key trends employers will need to account for if they plan to remain competitive and relevant in the 21st century. 

Topcoder – Leveraging a Crowdsourcing Model to Mitigate the Engineering Talent Challenge
Topcoder’s IDC Vendor profile validates the benefits of using the gig economy to access scalable world-class IT and engineering talent. We have a strong point of view here, and it’s nice to see that analysts are recognizing this as a winning philosophy.

Accelerate the Journey to 5G: Telecom & On Demand Talent
Telecom is a hyper-competitive industry that’s always on the brink of innovation. This Ebook reveals how Telcos are using Topcoder to provide a strong workforce advantage, and to design, test, build, and scale projects.

Developing an All in Talent Strategy to Maximize Enterprise Resilience with Paul Hlivko 
Paul blends the roles of people and technology as CTO and CXO at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and shares how a holistic approach to talent strategy can set the groundwork for buy-in and scale with on-demand talent.

Post-COVID Talent Trends and Why Acting Like Big Brother Is a Bad Idea 
Dave Messinger, CTO of Topcoder, takes to his soapbox (pulpit?) to speak on Gartner’s predictions for “9 Future of Work Trends post COVID-19.” We agree with most of what Gartner puts forth, but one doesn’t sit right, and Dave explains why.

5 Questions You Must Answer When Looking to Adopt Enterprise Crowdsourcing
This Ebook tackles the 5 critical crowd adoption questions we hear most often. Trust us, somebody at your organization is going to ask them. Understand why they matter and get our tips on how to answer. 

Forbes: Enterprise Operating Models Changing Third Party Service Models
“Work-from-home changes the realities of the technical skills shortage. Before WFH, companies struggled to hire the necessary talent and increasingly needed to use third-party service providers or build their own captives or Global Business Service (GBS) units in India, the Philippines or Eastern Europe. But the WFH model gives companies access to new labor pools in other locations within their country and similar time zones other than where the business has offices.”

3 Steps Your Company Must Take to Become Resilient
How enterprises deal with the changes brought on by 2020 will set them apart. Topcoder’s CEO Michael Morris outlines three major steps that companies must take in order to become truly resilient and adopt an on-demand talent strategy for the next normal.


Paul Hlivko, CTO and CXO of Wellmark Blue and Cross Blue Shield, on how enterprise crowdsourcing has affected him:

“This is really transformative for our teams. We have teams of one or smaller that are crowd powered. We get access to more diversity for talent and problem solving. We get to leverage the intellectual capital of more people. We get the right person to do the right work. We get increased resiliency. During a pandemic, we get a lot faster speed to market, and when we’re innovating, rather than just one idea from one team member or partner, we can get lots of optionality. At the end of the day, the talent demand curve is a better match.” 

“When the crowd is woven in, and it’s given to the teams as something they could use to amplify and increase pace, increase speed, and increase experimentation—that’s really powerful.”
—Paul Hlivko, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

“We think of this as the best way to scout the best ideas and the best talent, and then go leverage that to do great things at NASA and the government.”
—Steve Rader, NASA, Deputy Director COECI

“Resources are available immediately, community members on Topcoder can handle any type of task and/or programming language. That translates to an accelerated go-to-market strategy and an overall short time to market.”
Bernhard Mueller, Security Researcher, ConsenSys

“Topcoder for me is adding instant bandwidth and capacity to my team without spending weeks and weeks.” 
—Bhanu Mullapudi, Sr. Manager IoT Platforms, T-Mobile

“The depth, breadth and quality of the responses we’ve received have been really impactful. Both corporations and research institutions have used the code that we’ve open sourced from these challenges… for us that’s a huge sign of success.”
—Ryan Lewis, Senior Vice President,In-Q-Tel Cosmiq Works

“Crowdsourcing brings speed, it brings agility, it brings value, but by the way, it’s fun. The inspiration I get is just amazing from these guys.”
—Michael Vollmer, GM Wipro Interactive

We’re looking forward to the new year. See you in 2021.


Sign up for the Topcoder Monthly Customer Newsletter

Thank you

Your information has been successfully received

You will be redirected in 10 seconds