Valentine’s Day is the time of the year when people show feelings of love and affection. With this in mind, I couldn’t help but think about Topcoder, which has become an important part of my life. If 10 years ago, someone would have told me now that I will compete remotely against people all around the world and they will turn out to be great friends, I wouldn’t have believed a thing! Nevertheless, life has a way of surprising us all the time.
In the beginning, Topcoder was about learning as much as possible from fellow designers and receiving feedback from admins. This quickly changed with the arrival of my first TCO, when I got the chance to put a face to the handle and see how cool and kind everyone was. The excitement of the finals, the friendly admins and members, the tech environment with the big name sponsors, all very well organized by Jessie, put everything in a new perspective.
Years have passed and Topcoder has helped me become better at design, at managing multiple projects and tight deadlines same time, at getting up every time you lose (that’s your chance to become better!), at adapting fast to new trends and programs, at pushing me to be my best. But most important is the community – these talented and humble members, have become awesome friends that I look forward to meet every year at TCO. It’s about those moments at night when you’re working on a challenge and a member from the other side of the world wakes up and you just have a fun conversation that makes an hour seem like 10 minutes. Or that time you get lost in Washington DC with your Topcoder friends and even though you’re freezing nobody gets angry about it because of the many jokes on the way. It’s about having quality time with people you care about, sometimes joking, sometimes helping, other times learning about and respecting their different cultures. That’s why I love TC so much!
Other members have expressed their love for Topcoder as well:
Why do I love TC? It’s always a place where I can challenge myself. A place I can improve from my mistakes. A place I can release my ideas. I found new friends at TC, something that I didn’t expect at first as this was a competitive space. This bond made competing more casual, relaxing, and fun. You know what happens when you have fun, you always go back to it. That’s why I love TC.
The thing I love the most about TCO is the nice feeling of being in the same room with all those smart people you heard about or worked with through the year. As a member working full time on topcoder, this job would not be the same without those 3-4 days at the end of the year when you gather with your remote “team mates”. And it also makes you feel special because you know only the best get to attend it. TCO is for me the best motivator during challenges.
Topcoder for me has become an important part of my life. And one of the things I like most is friendship. I have shared some great moments with Topcoder friends such as traveling, trying some new foods, learning some words in their languages, even some dummy discussions and fights!. So everyday when I walk around my city I would like for all my Topcoder friends to be here. It is really hard not to think about my Topcoder friends when I see a nice place in my city, or when I try a great food. I just always think,I would like them to be here. Definitely my love for Topcoder and its community shines everyday.
One of the main reasons I love being part of TC is the community welcoming spirit, which leads to many other perks such as work connections, learning technical skills by sharing, and meaningful friendships. A big part of my happy memories in life come from spending quality time with my TC friends from around the world; those moments when you ridiculously laugh for any stupid reason until you run out of tears. It feels like my online family (sometimes onsite thanks to TCOs), but it’s the family I chose to be part of, not by nature but choice.
I think I’m in love with TC. Since I’ve known her, the first thing I like to do is check if there any updates from TC (newsletter, forum updates, slack channel) instead of my shower. Every time I see people shorten the link into t.co/something, my heart tells me to click it with a voice, “It must be a love letter from her!” Even though frequently it is not, I still click it. Love is blind, and it is true.
TC has been part of my life for the past 6 years and wow where’s the time gone! When you love or live with someone for some years you will make a bond. It’s more than money. The community, members, staff, all mixed together and make this chemistry called “Love”. Every year we all meet together at TCO and it’s not all about a journey to America, but greatest thing is I can meet with my family. Family? Yes, and we gain new family members each year. Without love, you can’t make or build a family.
Topcoder gathers their members from all over the world. By knowing new members you make friendships, from friendship mixed with love & respect, you’re gonna get a family. I’m very grateful I joined Topcoder as it has became part of my life. I love Topcoder and Topcoder loves me back with all the amazing things they share with me.
Everyday I hoped that I can make it to TCO, to meet my family, share the stories, the memories and the love.
Topcoder is the best thing that has ever happened in my life. I joined Topcoder during December 2014 to learn Interaction design and the community has given me an immense knowledge and most importantly some of the amazing life time friends. Getting qualified for TCO15 and TCO16 under UI Design Track, I got a chance to meet amazing people with incredible skills in design, who are more than a family now. Topcoder sure has made my world light up! Much love!