February 10, 2015 Community Advisory Board (CAB) Session #4 Recap

Hello again, community! Our most recent CAB meeting happened on Wednesday, January 21st. We had an hour and a half scheduled for the meeting, which we tried to use wisely for discussing upcoming features and changes, current concerns, and ideas for improvements.. the most recent concerns of community and keeping track on the ongoing ideas.


Topcoder staff jwlms, mnorouzi, and mess joined CAB members Ghostar, nickolas, iamtong, and talesforce.


A few new changes were brought to our attention.

1. Staff Changes
There have been some staff changes. This includes our well known and respected VolodymyrK who is leaving on the development side. Topcoder recognizes this departure may cause confusion, which is why the support team is going to be more active in the forums. The best way to get your support questions answered is to email support@topcoder.com.

2. New Member Profiles
A demo was given of the new member profiles with additional Coderbits information added. They’re still in a very raw state with good ideas to evaluate.

3. Forum Cleanup
jwlms reports that the forums will be tidied up and old forums will be archived.

4. Personas
Topcoder has been surveying members and creating internal tools called “personas” to help create changes and new features based on the member’s motivations, goals and expectations.


1. Development Issues
Reappeals and reviewer quality were a big topic for us this meeting. Ghostar brought up several issues regarding the way reappeals work and how it is a very opaque process, especially for new members, who may not even know the option exists.

Additionally, we need to increase reviewer quality on the development side and what we can do to increase reviewer quality and consistency. mess acknowledged these issues and has many ideas on how to improve the process.

4. Design Community Update
There are many new members and new winners in the design track, which is great. However, there was a delay in Studio Cup and DR payments due to unfinished contests, so Topcoder will be watching that closely.

5. Data Science Improvements
There is a noticeable lack of editorials and tutorials on the data science side, and speed at which the SRM editorials are created and published. Topcoder has gotten a few more editorial writers involved and will be publishing these quicker.

6. SRM Participation
CAB reports a drop in participation for SRMs. There was discussion of how Topcoder is going to handle publishing upcoming SRM dates, and ensuring that the notification emails are being sent properly.


There are actions being taken from the topics of the past sessions. Here’s a brief summary of what’s going on right now.

  • Onboarding changes and what is happening there both in the community and internally at Appirio to get new members involved and engaged.
  • Payments processes continue to be improved, with faster responses in the forums to questions. Payment policies and expectations for TCO payments will be clearly set for the next tournament.


We’ve put together a detailed breakdown of the whole meeting here in the CAB forum. From now on we’ll provide these insightful notes for you to have very detailed information about what’s being discussed during these sessions.


As usual, we’ll be pleased to hear any ideas/thoughts you have about improving the community in any aspect. Free to read and write in the CAB dedicated forum. It’s for you!


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