August 6, 2020 Gig Work Interview with Ahmed Seddiq

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, what is your area of expertise, what is your background?
I am from Egypt, living in Alexandria city on the Mediterranean. I love software engineering and had a chance to practice this as a backend developer for more than a decade using mainly the Java ecosystem. 

Why did you want to join a gig through Topcoder and tell us about that gig you did or are currently working on.
When this program was announced late last year, I was very excited to try it out as the next step in my engagement with Topcoder. It took around five months to see some opportunities that matched my skills and experience. I am working on my first gig now and having positive feedback after about two months working as a backend microservices engineer.

What was the process like from applying for the gig to getting it? Did your Topcoder experience help you land the gig or did the company have to interview you as well?
I applied to several opportunities but due to geographic restrictions, some did not work. For my current gig, I received a welcome email from Glenn (crazyk) notifying me that I was shortlisted for this opportunity and a call/interview was required by the client. My Topcoder experience derived many parts of the interview, which was just a discussion to make sure I have the required skills and the minimum communication skills.

Did your Topcoder experience in competitions help you in your new gig and make handling it easier? (For example, some members say speed of execution inherited from Topcoder is a thing their employers value.)
The delivery mindset of Topcoder challenges helped me a lot, also the ability to identify expected integration problems was very helpful. 

How was the communication with the other team members from the customer? Did you integrate well?
Team communication is more like a normal job, we had a little ice-breaking period, but I was quickly integrated.

How is working on Gig Work versus Topcoder? Which one do you enjoy the most?
It is hard to say whether working on Gig Work is more or less fun than normal Topcoder challenges. Both are unique. While I enjoy the diversity of technologies and domains in Topcoder challenges, I also enjoy the depth, larger scale and ownership in the Gig Work.

What is the thing you liked the most about this Gig Work? What is the thing you liked the least?
For this specific gig, I like the business domain the most. It is related to public safety and I feel good when I know my work may help save someone’s life (even indirectly).

And what I liked the least is the lack of input information sometimes and the long time it takes to get client response.

Was your earning rate better than competing ?
Yes, recently there were little Java challenges running in Topcoder and I had to tackle new stacks away from my comfort, and this took time to reach reasonably good pay.

Did you learn any additional technologies / tools compared to what you knew?
Yes, definitely, especially in the software deployment and scalability area.   

Would you recommend Topcoder Gig Work to other members or freelancers?
Yes, I can say if you are a freelancer, you need to try this new way to work.


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