February seems like a long time ago, as we’re almost in August. On Valentine’s Day, per tradition, we shared our 2018 State of the Community. There have been many fantastic updates and big wins for the community these last few months so I thought it would be fitting to share a mid-year review.
The new community website
First off, let’s start with the website. Our community site has been improved and updated many times — and now we’re very proud of what we have for you. The new dashboard has top news and live broadcasts so you won’t miss anything. We have also added CMS capabilities to the platform so we can deliver more relevant and timely content to you overall.
Each competition track has a new landing page with quick links, easy-to-find content, and an all-new look and feel. Coming soon will be “how to” pages for each track with even more guidance for newbies and veteran members alike. Check out the new Development, Design, Competitive Programming, and Data Science pages.
We are continuing to renew focus on Topcoder member profiles (e.g., badges, skills, ratings, etc.). We have a beta release of the member profiles out and will be doing a public release in August. This includes an updated UX as well as support for extended traits on profiles so you can tell us more about your skills and we can provide better experiences that cater to you.
Thanks for your patience as we’ve updated and improved our site for you. As always, your feedback is welcome and our forums are the best place to chat.
The stuff you can’t see, but it’s there…
We’ve been rebuilding a lot of the backend of the platform to have proper APIs and events to enable faster development, more stability, external integrations, etc. All the things that you’d expect in a great platform.
Our expanded product dev team has been standardizing our devops and continuous integration processes, as well as QA processes to improve our product delivery process.
More focus on Connect
There have been some consistent incremental improvements around collaboration features, project intake flows, and stability with Connect. Apart from that, the most impactful release introduced project planning and tracking capabilities. This starts to enable better experiences for the customers as well as helps us as a platform align to product and solutions that we’re delivering for customers. More will be coming in this area.
Have you subscribed to our weekly newsletters? Those are all new as well. Beautiful look and feel, interesting content, and a great way to synergize with the entire community. Be sure to go here to update your email preferences to make sure you get them.
Our official TCO Hall of Fame
Last year at TCO, one of our favorite community team members — Harshit Mehta, of course — had an awesome idea: a Hall of Fame for TCO on the website! Guess what, we’ve made his (and hopefully your) dream come true and are very excited to launch our official TCO Hall of Fame! TCO history from the beginning of Topcoder time. We’ll even be adding our TCCCs and TCHS events in next. Check it out here.
An all-new Arena
One of the big-ticket items we’ve wanted to work on this year is an all-new Arena. It’s coming but with a twist! Instead of Topcoder working on the arena we are going to fund the community to manage and build out the new version of the arena. We are going to be launching a CRFP (first draft) (Community Request for Proposal). The goal will be to have the community not only do the dev, but help drive requirements. We are looking forward to getting the community involved.
TCO19 — coming soon!
TCO19 is kicking off next week on August 1. We will have many things similar to TCO18, but we’ll also have some changes. A few of the big changes to give you a heads-up on include the addition of the QA Track as a main track of TCO and the removal of UI Prototype. UI Prototype members can still win a trip, but we are doing away with the onsite competition.
All six tracks of competition will start on August 1 for the first time ever. We’re excited to bring more thrills as part of our amazing tournament.
Call for Topcoder Community evangelists
The community team has also been under construction these last few months. We are striving to work together to bring you new programs, opportunities, and more. We will be expanding the team to include more evangelists to keep our community engaged. And most of the evangelists we want to bring on we want to come from the community. If you’re interested, email our Community Team Lead, Jessie, for more info.
We look forward to bringing you more, exciting updates as the year goes on. Can’t wait to see some of you a the TCO Finals in Dallas!