I’ve been a dedicated Topcoder member since 2008 and attending the TCO finals is one of my dreams that has been fulfilled twice so far (and it will be three times this year – TCO18 – this time with my wife, so it’s perfect!).
I’ve been lucky enough to be able to attend TCO finals in 2013 and 2017, located in Washington and Buffalo, and now I will attend TCO final again (TCO18) in Dallas, Texas. Each TCO final has a different taste and every event has always been a great and wonderful experience!
To be honest, both of my trips did not happen because I became a TCO finalist, but because of something else. In this article, I will share my memories about my first TCO trip, hope you like it, let’s check it out.
My First TCO Trip – 6 Years of Waiting!
I always wanted to attend the TCO final but had never been lucky enough to get there. Back then, only several tracks in Topcoder were eligible for TCO final and UI Prototype track (this is the competition track where I compete the most in Topcoder) was not eligible for that. If I recall, UI prototype track started to be eligible for TCO finals in 2015.
It seemed impossible for me to be able to attend the TCO final. But in 2013, in the middle of the night, where at that moment the universe seemed not aligned with my way (lots of bad things happened at that time, just resigned from my regular job, etc), an email from Jessie landed in my inbox telling me that there is an opportunity to become a TCO13 staff member in Washington. I quickly grabbed the opportunity and then the rest is great memories I will never forget!
After I successfully applied for the staff member position, I decided to join an Indonesian group to make the trip easier since this was my first experience flying to USA, and there are a lot of Indonesian members that regularly get a trip to TCO final from UI Design track (abedavera, thinkcreeper, fairy_ley, and yoki). With their help and guidance, I smoothly got my 5 years US visa permission and was able to enjoy several cities on my short trip (Dubai, New York City, and Washington) before attending the TCO13 main event.
But the greatest experience had not yet happened, because the best thing was the TCO13 final itself. The ambience, the atmosphere, the place, the people, the surprises, were all way beyond my expectation.
Snacks everywhere, tons of goodies that you can grab, great music, lots of famous Topcoder members and admins like petr, misof, mystic_tc, rsial2, jmpld40, volodymyr, veredox, adroc, psyho, that you can see and talk with, might make you lose a little bit of self control.
Being surrounded by the best of the best, getting a little bit jealous and feeling pressure on myself, made me want to open the book again and learn to be at the same level as those guys.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I also won an iPad mini in this event. It’s a random selection process and somehow, my number (you need to register and take a number earlier) came out. Even though the iPad got hijacked by my little sister after I got back to Indonesia, it was still really a great and lovely experience, lucky me!
Overall, TCO13 final was really a great event and maybe one of the best IT events in the world at that time. If you missed it, that’s just too bad, but another TCO will come next year, with new memories to be filled, new experiences – you don’t want to miss it. Grab your chance now and earn your way to the TCO final!
I still have one more TCO trip experience for you, but that’s for another time, let’s let this sink in and let’s fight for TCO19 ticket!