July 10, 2020 Getting to Know the Topcoder Admins – Meet Glenn aka crazyk

Tell me a little bit about your background and how your Topcoder story began.
I grew up in Southern California, USA and graduated from the United States Military Academy, West Point in 2007.  After that, I was an Army Infantry Officer for eight years and served overseas in a few different combat deployments.  I eventually wanted to transition out of the military and decided to go to get my MBA at the University of Michigan before heading into the job market.  A few years later I discovered Topcoder and haven’t looked back since.

What’s your role at Topcoder and what do you like the most about it?
I work on the Operations team with Tony Jefts.  I love working on this small team as we get to work with community, internal stakeholders, and sometimes clients.  The work is often tough and time consuming, but it helps me practice my eye for creating more efficiency and building stronger processes.

What’s the most challenging thing you have to do in your job?
One of the most challenging things I have done with Topcoder is create a decent competition model and process for executing regression testing (Test for Success QA challenges). It was one of my first accomplishments with Topcoder and it tested my ability to understand a field I had no experience with, create a process around it and evaluate a new tool to use at the same time.

How do you manage to stay calm when managing the copilots and how do you handle any negative energy at the end of the day?
Good question – for most things, I work hard enough to ensure that I did everything I could do to resolve a situation.  So, whatever negative energy comes, I end the day with a clear conscience, as I know I did what I could during that day.

Tell us why Gig Work is important and why members should sign up.
It’s important. It is an additional method for people in our community and people interested in our community to work with us. The more interest we get from clients and members, regardless of the type of work it is, the more work that comes into the community.  Some opportunities are shorter than others, some are longer.
For our long time competitors without corporate experience, it is a good way to learn skills that you won’t get from Topcoder (team oriented work around SCRUM and Agile Concepts, etc.).

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you during your time at Topcoder?
It’s a small thing, but something that comes to mind was the first time I saw Tonyj in person. I always saw the top part of his body on video chats and for some reason, I thought he was the same height as me.  When I saw him at my first TCO, I took a step back and realized he was pretty tall, or at least taller than I thought he was.  We had a quick laugh.

What are your interests besides Topcoder? 
Typically, I’m into fitness (cycling, weight lifting), but I’ve been in a sort of recovery from some injuries in the last year or so. I like to go for walks and hikes with my fiance and hang out with friends (when there is no COVID).

How does a work day look for you? I know you live in San Francisco so maybe interacting with people from so many time zones is a challenge.
It varies, but I wake up anywhere between 6-8 AM, depending on meeting schedules.  Meetings typically pack my morning till about 1 PM, then I can get to actually doing work.  I typically take a lunch break and an evening break to spend time with my fiance.  And I usually spend another hour or two at night catching up with folks in Australia, India, etc.


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