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A How To: Code Challenges at Topcoder

By guestblogger In Help Articles

Posted September 25th, 2017

A How To: Code Challenges at Topcoder

In a Code challenge, members are required to create a fully functional application from scratch or improve an existing application by adding new features and fixing bugs.

There are many challenges for many of the most popular languages / technologies (like C++, Java, Python, JavaScript and more) being launched for you to register and start competing.

The best way to get started (at least that was what helped me) with Code challenges is:

  1. Choose the one language you feel the most comfortable with.
  2. Focus on learning the latest best practices for that language.
  3. Register on challenges that require that specific language and see how well you can perform.
  4. Read the review responses carefully and try to understand why you lost some points and how you can prevent this in future challenges.
  5. If you get a “passing score” you can download the winning submission(s). This will help you understand how top-competitors work and how they write their code.
  6. Last but not least, never give up! Is absolutely normal for a beginner to lose his/her first challenge. If you lose a challenge, make sure to learn from your mistakes and improve your skills from the reviewer’s feedback because that is what will make you a better programmer.

Keys to success:

  • Read every challenge carefully and understand submission requirements.
  • Ask as soon as possible questions in the challenge forum.
  • Understand how winners are chosen / how submissions are scored.
  • Register and submit within the deadlines.

Check out some of our past Code Challenges:

This article is part of the 5 Weeks to Learn Topcoder educational series. Want to learn more? Check out the entire series and all the helpful content here.


I’m a student majoring in software engineering at the University of Applied Sciences of Thessaly, Greece. At the same time, I’m a full-time reviewer, competitor & CAB (Community Advisory Board) member at Topcoder.