Community Perspective: Imagine Accessing Outstanding Design Talent On-Demand

Creating income from short-term tasks – they call it the “Gig Economy” and Millennials and Gen Z’rs are growing up in this time. We often think of “Gig Workers” as those folks who deliver takeout at unusual hours or shuttle us around town via Uber.

The “sharing economy” as we like to call it is has made our lives easier and more convenient. However, if that’s all you know about Gig Workers, you’re in the dark. You might be shocked to learn that Gig Workers are also transforming how large companies all over the globe are doing business.

Topcoder Champion and longtime member of the community, iamtong is an amazing designer who loves challenging his skills and working on new tasks. iamtong participated in a hackathon that was hosted for the US Navy by Booz Allen Hamilton, an information technology consulting firm based out of Virginia. With Topcoder’s global platform, iamtong participated in this hackathon even though he lives in Thailand! This is part of the value of the Gig Economy for workers!

Understanding the Challenge

The challenge Booz Allen Hamilton created was far from simple. Here’s what the guidelines were:

Focus: Swarm’ UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) capabilities

Participants Needed to Work on and Verify:

  • Wireless Authentication
  • Robot Operating System (ROS) Security
  • Algorithms for Cooperative Search

The work above took place as part of the on-site hackathon. Topcoder hosted a design competition intended to visualize an application or a solution that could visually represent the technology. In total, 23 designers took part in this challenge, one of them being iamtong. His reason for participating was the unique opportunity to be involved in a significant project and make a difference in the world.

There were three persons whom both aspects of the outcome must serve:

  1. Commander
  2. Marine
  3. Swarm Engineer

Each participant in the Booz Allen Hamilton group took up their end of the challenge and worked on their part of the hackathon. At the same time, 23 Topcoder designers worked on their part and each approached their task in their own way. iamtong took this approach:

Research Phase of Challenge

iamtong already understood that drones are challenging. Working with drones requires using a mobile device, having a handle on the control phase, and understanding the use of cameras. A good designer must also know how to assign specific rules for each user type.

His research began online which is typical of most gig workers. He began by searching for information. He wanted to understand the challenges of controlling drones, how drones use cameras, and determine the best way to assign user rules.

Making Sense of it All

Armed with this information, iamtong was ready to get started on the design phase and did he ever. The results, after only 72 hours of research, design and development, testing, and presentation were ready in 72 hours. What an amazing accomplishment! He not only completed the “gig” but he finished on top of 23 other worthy competitors.

You can learn more from this video:

We all appreciate the person delivering our groceries and driving us from point A to point B, but gig workers are doing so much more! Thanks to the gig economy as well as access to on-demand talent like iamtong, gig workers are taking on the enterprise challenges across the world. Gig workers are participating in competitions just like this one and helping companies of all sizes create, build, and launch new digital applications.