We say: Topcoder is a problem-solving machine.
You say: Ok, but what’s actually happening? 

This article explains the two unique ways that great work gets done at Topcoder. Our customers use one or a combination of the following engagement models to supercharge their teams’ productivity. Read on to learn the differences between Talent On-Demand and Challenges.


Simply put, with Talent on Demand, you’re able to request specific talent via Topcoder’s platform. For example – I need 3 AngularJS developers for the next 4 months – and then we bring you tremendous candidates based on their verified skills

With Topcoder, the individuals are proven, and verified skills means that they have done high-caliber work in that exact skill set for Topcoder customers before, so you know you’re getting high-caliber talent. Our data-driven matching framework is what makes it possible—we know exactly who’s in our network and what they’re great at doing, so connecting customers with talent is at the core of what we do. In addition, Talent on Demand pricing is incredibly efficient. Because we have people all over the world solving virtually every kind of problem, we always know the right price for top-level talent across our capabilities.  

With Talent on Demand from Topcoder,  you can:

  • Interview candidates
  • Receive flat and transparent weekly pricing
  • Use our NDA or have candidates sign your own 
  • Add candidates to your team on a full-time OR fractional-time basis
  • Easily extend agreements when you find talent you want to continue working with 

In terms of how work gets done, there is one important thing to note about Talent on Demand, which is that you manage the talent directly. If you want to bring them into your Teams, Slack, or Git environment, go right ahead. They are your direct resources and they’re really good and efficient at what they do. Plus, these are folks who are very used to working on remote teams and collaborating across time zones.  

To learn more or to make a Talent Request visit


If you’re running a project of any size on Topcoder, much of the work is done via crowdsourcing challenges – essentially small competitions – that we host and execute on our platform for you. The challenge model is integral to Topcoder. Over twenty years ago, we turned coding into a sport. Just like other sports, competitive coding encourages people to constantly give their best effort and strive to improve their game. Since developing the challenge model we have been developing it continuously. As customers demanded it, we added data science, design, and QA to the model. As problems become more complex and as the pace of technological change accelerates, it becomes more likely that the best people to solve a problem are outside your company. Challenges set you free to reach those people no matter what capabilities you need. 

To learn more or Book a Demo, visit

  1. You’re not in charge of directly managing the talent. Instead, you’ll be provided with a platform architect, a role we call your Copilot. 
  2. With Talent on Demand you’re paying for the time of a Topcoder community member and you’re managing their workload directly. With Challenges, you’re paying for outcomes.
  3. Paying for outcomes starts with breaking down requirements from the project level to the activity level. We call this atomization. By decomposing a project into smaller components, crowdsourcing reduces the “lift” that any one individual is being asked to do. It also allows us to execute multiple concurrent work streams to increase speed to market and limit the amount of information any individuals in the crowd require. We like to say that parallel development leads to unparalleled results.
  4. A traditional project is going to involve many skills, and you won’t find all these skills in one unicorn developer. By breaking work down and hosting it as small competitions on our platform, you get top talent, with the right skills, working on specific aspects of your projects, right when you need them.
  5. Since the work is completed through open competitions, that means you get the benefit of the strongest outputs from several contributors along the entire Software Development Life-Cycle. Because these challenges are outcome-based, you only pay for the outputs that meet your requirements.
  6. Don’t worry—you don’t have to become some crowdsourcing expert to use Challenges. You’ll have the support you want to get the outcomes you’re after.
  7. Work where you’re already working – many customers use our Open APIs and platform extensions, allowing their internal teams to run work on our platform directly from their GIT or Azure DevOps environments.

If you want to execute on parts of technology projects, or whole projects where you’ll need a wide range of technology skills throughout the work, then Challenges will work really well for you. And of course, you can use both Talent on Demand and Challenges at the same time to get great work done. We find that Talent on Demand is the natural extension of challenges. Customers like the solutions they get, so they want to work with the people who come up with them. We make that easy— whether customers want to work with individuals or teams. 

The costs of moving slowly are real: wasted time, lost talent, and missed opportunities. We enable our customers to flexibly increase their capabilities, without increasing their overhead. That means that they can explore new ideas, experiment with new products, and start new initiatives, without the risk and expense of growing their organization. For 25 years we’ve served enterprises and growth companies and what was a radical idea in 2001 is now simply seen as a smarter way to access talent, so you can get more technology work done. 

To learn more about how Topcoder’s on-demand talent platform can help you get ahead, click here.

This post was originally published in May 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Annika Nagy


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