Blog Post by Nikita Jain
As I was sipping my early morning coffee at the venue, I was thinking about the full night we spent staying up to complete the setup. It suddenly dawned and all preparations were finished. We had been working on the preparations since last month- burning midnight oil, chasing suppliers, and endless discussions. We had our ample share of fun during the month, but today was judgement day. The weather was cooler, as we had some rains. A pleasant breeze was greeting the registrants. Participants started pouring in.
The walk to the convention hall from the main gate, was long, but interesting.
The participants were greeted by a red GPS signs at the main gate. The walk to the convention hall was lined by milestones, each depicting a landmark in the history of Topcoder.
Just few steps prior to registration desk, a giant chess board had been carved, to give the hall a geeky look. There were various playing cards underlying the significance of the event.
I could see a long queue at the registration desk. There was excitement in the air.
Yes, it had started. The full long day of technology, hackathon, sessions, knowledge, and entertainment.
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As you could see the convention centre of Hotel Clarks Amer, it was fast filling and about 200+ people were already in at 9:30 am, and it was then kick off time with the recap video of TCO15 and Jessie’s welcome on screen. Next came, Nick Castillo, the Topcoder Community Manager and talked about the Development Track. The talk started with basics like how can someone start submitting on a challenge, to help the newbies sitting in the crowd, followed by the success story of thkang91. Two onsite dev challenges were launched, and members were seen starting to register and get their submissions ready.
Here comes Adam Morehead…
As all members started working on design challenges, there was a silence in the hall. It began with roar when Adam Morehead came on stage for his talk on a world of screens and experiences. Adam talked about design challenges and then LUX (Live user experience) and RUX (Rapid user experience) challenges. After that he launched RapidUX Design Challenge, after which designers were seen searching a corner table and started working on it. His talk was followed by an interesting member journey by ravijune, which was very inspiring for all those who are new to Topcoder.
The Mid Day…
Soon it was lunch time – One of the important aspect of having the event in India is food. Everyone loves Indian food and having the event in one of the best convention centers in Jaipur was the key to having awesome food. Indian food always gets some yawning but we had the perfect event planned to forget the yawning and had contestants putting their head in their laptop and fingers on the keypad.
The Second Half…
Next was the Topcoder Collegiate Contest (TCC) finals, (in which 15 college students came from all over the country from different colleges came to compete onsite after competing on round one), along with onsite SRM was about to begin. People were seen finding the most comfortable positions for them. Some were seen sitting on the carpet near to stage, some chose chairs and tables, some came near fun stalls and sat with us. The rest of the group was working on the onsite design challenge. There was a crazy silence where you hear a pin drop. After the contest was finished, everyone was relaxed and started capturing themselves with various design elements installed.
The afternoon Tea…
In India 4pm knocks with a warm cup of tea/coffee and having another talk session was adding more excitement. ‘hi4sandy’ was getting ready to speak on his member experience. He shared his super successful member journey which encouraged everyone to take part in upcoming challenges.
The Fun part…
As always, there should be a fun part for our events. We had different booths with fun activities. The one that gathered the most attention was a board game ‘bounce balls’. Along with this, people were playing other games and winning Topcoder goodies.
With now towards the evening and sun settling down, it was also the time of results. The results ceremony started with the enthralling dance performance by Sachin Tailor. Then came the results announcement.
The results were followed by the closing reception. Closing always provides two things, the happiness of the successful event and the sadness of the event being finished. As the people started walking out we could see the smiles, the expressions on faces showing calmness and positivity which added more happiness to all of us on the managing team and we had the feeling of achievement. With this there was also a the feeling of silence gradually increasing in the venue which was marking the end of the event.
As we all gathered together, thanked each other and had a very top of the world feeling. There was also a sense about what is coming next. What all may change. These events always get different people together and share ideas which is the best way of learning. A big thank you to the amazing team of volunteers who helped us in making this event look beautiful.
The place was so silent suddenly, as we all started moving towards our respective cars to go back home, we all stood together looked back just to say loudly “It’s the beginning.”