April 1, 2021 From the Talent’s Perspective – Inside Topcoder Designer & PM Chekspir’s Experience
This episode of Uprisor looks at the Future of Work from the talent’s perspective. Alexander Chekspir is one of Topcoder’s most prolific contributors and design competition co-pilots. Based in Chile and known by his handle Chekspir on the platform, he’s worked with companies such as Macy’s and IBM, and on projects for NASA.
In this special crossover episode, he talks with Barry and Eleanor Matthews, open talent experts and founders of Re-source, about the risks, opportunity, camaraderie, and lifestyle of working as a gig freelancer. He shares how Topcoder has shaped his life and what it means to work from anywhere, with everyone.
Like many, Alex’s entry into the freelance world was a bit serendipitous. He was wrapping up his university studies and beginning work as a front-end developer when his boss approached him with an opportunity to compete in a web design challenge hosted by Topcoder. Since his initial success in that first competition, Chekspir has dabbled in a range of other challenges, from design to idea generation and everything in between, as well as helping to coordinate and manage competitions as a UI/UX design challenge co-pilot.
More than anything, Alex enjoys the energy and creativity that transpire in response to coordinating and competing in live user experience (LUX) challenges — 24-48 hour events in which designers must create an entire application to meet the client’s specifications. Although Alex currently sits second place for the most LUX challenge wins in the Topcoder community, he acknowledges that members can’t just measure their success in terms of their win percentage or associated monetary gain.
“We earn the experience and the wisdom about the technology while we are competing. So there is always a win-win situation.” – Alexander Chekspir
Whether you’re talking physical location or hours of operation, Alex believes that one of the most significant benefits of working in the gig economy is the ability to do so anytime and from anywhere. Although he lives in Chile, Alex has had the opportunity to design applications for major companies from across the globe and representing a variety of industries through his work with Topcoder.
“[Freelancing] provides more freedom to do what we love and enjoy life better than regular office work.” – Alexander Chekspir