August 23, 2016 My Journey with Topcoder: A Guest Post by Nikhil03
Thank you to Nikhil Dikshit, Nikhil03, for the following guest blog post.
In this age of rampant tech growth, the IT industry has grown by leaps and bounds. Every person and his dog wants to take the maximum advantage of the internet and the glorious opportunities that it presents us with. And because there are no barriers to entry into this ‘idea centric’ environment, the ability to code and develop remains inevitable.
Being quite acquainted to this fact, I started cluelessly around two years ago, midtime – when I was in the first year of my Bachelors. Beginning with simple HTML/CSS, after a few months I got a hang of several diversified languages. Then the Fun Challenge series by Nick Castillo (Topcoder Community Manager) introduced me into the APIs. (And they are really fun! :D)
Well, being a puny developer, I registered for the 2015 Topcoder Open Hackathon. The event date came and we were given 48 hours to code. I observed that the room had a pool of experienced coders and programmers. There I met Mr. Harshit Mehta (Topcoder’s Senior Developer Technology Evangelist), one of the best guys I’ve ever met. TCO15 also gave me a chance to meet the people of Silicon Valley. I can still recall my conversation with Mr. Gaurav Kheterpal and Mr. Tom Scott. I also got a chance to meet Ms. Maryam Norouzi.
Well, actually I took part in the contest just to test my mettle, but to my utter surprise I won. Yes. I won TCO15. This win really goaded me on to the path of development because this was the first time when something which I enjoyed doing, was getting me recognition and I was ecstatic.
Time went by and I kept brushing up my skills because plain ideas with little know-how to actually implement it, gave me a sense of handicap which I had to overcome. Topcoder helped me to reach the position, where I can turn ideas into projects with a creative, professional and innovative approach. The promethean challenges and problem scenarios etc all kept me hooked to Topcoder and helped me enhance my knowledge and profile.
Come July 2016, I then took part in TCO16. The event was a better than before, so were the participants. I got a chance to meet Mr. Nick Castillo, whom I wished to meet since a long time. Nick – Topcoder’s Community Manager, I adore you. I also met Adroc (Mr. Adam Morehead). We had a great session about web design.
Well, as the event was a level up, so was I. Being confident about my coding skills, I began developing for the 4-5 hours challenge. I crafted a Corporate Dashboard and by God’s grace won the First Position yet again. (TCO16 was also mine! :P)
So, it’s two times in a row now, and winning the same title for the consecutive two years, it gives me an immense amount of motivation for the future endeavours.
Looking back at the great journey with Topcoder over the last two years, I am extremely satisfied and thankful to Topcoder for helping me and many other coders and developers to bring out their potential not only on the development front, but also on the algorithmic, planning and presentation skills. I want to thank all the people who’ve been supporting me throughout. Mr. Harshit Mehta is now mentor-turned-friend. I owe my wins to my parents, Niharika and many other people.
Well, I am very excited about TCO17. And yes, Topcoder is love!
Community Team Lead