Yes, I was there at our first-ever Topcoder Open Regional Event in Russia!!!
TCO15 Russia Regionals took place in the beautiful city of Saint-Petersburg, Russia at ITMO University, on May 31, 2015. The main attractions at the event were TCO Algorithm Round 2A and a $5,000 Hackathon. TCO Algorithm 2A attendees were the local members who had successfully qualified the online round 1A or 1B or 1C. Algorithm rounds have always been full of excitement and fun but this time it was even more as many got a chance to compete with other members at one single location. There was also a spectator round being organized to attract the local members to compete with qualified ones, the winner [gblk] was awarded $250 for being the best amongst the spectators.
We had many teams registered for the hackathon, which had already started virtually on May 29, to develop an app on the theme provided. The theme for the hackathon was about Office Environment. The teams received a link to a virtual API wheel. Every team got three spins, and they eventually had to use two out of those three API’s they got. They had to submit a small video presentation and their Git links for the project.
The attendees’ first stop was the registration desk, where we had badges for everyone in different colors (according to the members ratings). T-shirts for the attendees were made available and within a few moments we could find the attendees wearing TCO T-shirts everywhere. The excitement had just begun. After registration, the attendees moved to the catering area where they had breakfast. A photo booth was also set up where people could do pictures and take home or share online.
Board games were introduced and brought more excitement to the event. By now everybody had involved himself either in some discussions or games.
After the lunch the technical algorithmic fun chats and games got converted into serious competitive mood when TCO Algorithm Round 2 was about to start. Everybody moved to his or her systems at 3:00 PM. In parallel, 1st round judging for the hackathon had already begun.
The Algorithm round concluded successfully and we could find everybody discussing the problems. Everybody then moved to the presentation room where Hackathon finalists presented their apps for final judging. The two finalists teams were ‘Where are my racoons?’ and ‘CTD Elite’. Both the teams made very good and innovative apps and thus it became quite difficult for the judges to decide the winner.
Eventually after a lot of deliberation the winner came out to be “Where are my racoons?” ($2500) and “CTD Elite” was awarded with the 2nd Prize ($1500). Also [gblk] the spectator round winner was awarded ($250). Unfortunately we could not announce the Algorithm round 2 advancers at that time, due to some technical glitch at the backend.
At the end of the day, winners were crowned, food had been eaten, and fun had been had by all in attendance. This first regional event was a great way to kick-off the evolution of the Topcoder Open and we are really looking forward to the rest of the events coming soon.
Thank you to all those who attended the event and helped us bring TCO to Russia!