June 1, 2017 TCO17 Development Onsite Finals – A Level Playing Field!

The excitement around the TCO17 finals continues to build with each passing day. There cannot be a more scenic location that the BNMC, Buffalo campus at Niagara Falls to host any geek event. While there are still plenty of spots available via several channels for development track – Stage 3 is wrapping up this week and the intense battle for Stage 4 qualification will begin soon!
And then there’re the Newbie tournament – a golden opportunity to stamp your authority all the way to the TCO17 finals. Of course, there are several top competitors – who’ve already made it through to the onsite finals.

The Big Guns!

Earlier this month, Topcoder upped the ante for TCO17 onsite finals by picking three (instead of two) finalists for each stage. Here are the finalists who’ve qualified for the development track so far.

It’s already a star-studded line-up with the likes of Sky_ who won the onsite development finals at TCO16, vvvpig – the winner of onsite development finals for F2F track at TCO16 and several finalists from last year including NightWolf, birdofpreyru and spanhawk who are in contention again this year.
The onsite finals lineup for the F2F track for TCO17 is equally impressive

The Onsite Challenge!

Of course, it’s not a trivial task to pick the onsite finals challenge do to the following reasons.

  • There are several competitors across diverse technologies & frameworks – client and server side
  • The duration of the onsite challenge is much smaller as compared to conventional code and assembly challenges
  • There are multiple rounds
  • The review cycle is much shorter

Therefore, a lot of factors come into play if you’re a development track winner competing in the onsite finals.

A Level Playing Field!

To make the TCO17 development finals a more level playing field, the onsite challenge will be along the following lines.

  • A REST interface spec (Swagger/ other format) shall be provided to implement certain web services
  • List of permissible technologies to implement the REST web services will be provided. As an example, server-side Swift will be allowed.
  • Most importantly, the submissions will be scored via system tests, an approach followed for other tracks such as Algorithm & Marathon Matches – automated test cases will be run to eliminate manual error. There will still be a manual review to reconcile and cross-verify the submission scores

So, if you’re a TCO17 development finalist, start brushing up your REST API skills! Some of my favorite resources on this topic are
HTTP API Design – Gitbook
RESTful Web APIs for a Changing World – O’Reilly
Five Essential Tools for Building REST APIs Pluralsight Course
The TCO17 development onsite finals promises to be a cracking contest – more details coming soon!


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