August 11, 2020 TCO20 Caribbean and South Central America Event Recap

Hola amigos! ( I still have a Spanish hangover! 😀 )

A few weeks back we officially entered our sixth year of TCO Regional Events with TCO20 Caribbean and South-Central America Regionals. This was our first virtual regional event and guess what?  We have five more to come.

We wish we could have had this event onsite and met everyone, however with the world facing this pandemic we had no other option but to host the event virtually.

The event had everything members could ever want to keep them stuck to their screens for six hours – from competitions to sponsors to games to those nail-biting leaderboard experiences. We are coming to your region, so make sure you keep an eye on your inboxes for invites.

When Jessie came up with the amazing idea for Regional Events, we were focused on starting with the regions which had the bulk of our active members. This is how the first TCO Regional Event was held at ITMO in St. Petersburg back in 2015. 

Five years later we decided to go out and make regional events inclusive for everyone. Thanks for showing your love and attending the events every year, it’s because of you we were able to make the regionals accessible to all. 

At the Carribean and South American regional event the atmosphere inside the team’s camp was intense. This was our first time hosting a virtual event and we had a lot of worries: would members interact and be engaged? Would they network? How would we keep them active? (And much more.) 

It was decided that we would host the event on a platform called Hopin, which helped us to lead a successful event. Harshit, aka hmehta, put so much effort into planning the event in the last months – from finding sponsors to planning competitions, inviting members, coordinating staff and making sure that this event would be fun and engaging. 

The event began at 10:00 am local time and was opened up by no one else than hmehta. His passion for the members could be seen in his intro speech, after which Jessie and Adam took the virtual stage. 

Jessie talked about the Topcoder lifestyle and the freedom that members have. During Adam’s speech he pulled some impressive stats out of his pocket, such as the addition of 25,000+ new South American members to the platform in 2020 and the fact that Topcoder launched challenges in the value of $6,416,620. He also talked about exciting upgrades and a partnership with Adobe Document Cloud to host a new series of challenges related to COVID. You can learn more about this here.

Then, Alejandro Isacovich of IT Crowd, the event sponsor, spoke in Spanish about the company. It is important to mention that the founders of IT Crowd Argentina were Topcoder competitors a long time ago and now they are full time employees sponsoring the regional events. Once part of a community, always part of the community. If you are located in South America and interested in their opportunities let us know

With the introductions over, Jessie ran a quick scavenger hunt. The winner would be the person who could put all the items together in a photo fastest. The winner was: 


We then moved into presenting and launching competitions.

adroc and mahestro were the competition managers of the design challenge which involved designing an application for mobile in only two hours. The problem for the challenge was how to go from source to destination while being aware of which areas are affected by the Covid virus and what measurements are being taken. 

Many amazing designers who attended the Topcoder South America Design Workshop were present and did a great job. It was amazing to see how they performed.

The winner was chekspir, who won $200, followed by diegochanampa who won $50 and martirefi who also won $50.

Chekspir – 1st place

The algo competition turned out to be the most interesting one, this year we decided to hold a bracket tournament for the top 16 members from the qualifying round. For the next two hours we had most of the members stuck to the Algorithm Booth, listening to the commentary. 

The sport-like feeling was amazing and members turned up with their expert comments and predictions. Round by round the suspense of waiting to see who submitted and passed grew and it was interesting to hear expert comments from elsantodel90. Having veterans like ffao wleite and vexorian on the chat talking about the competition and problems was a great experience for all the members.

It was a nail-biter until the end when the experienced MauricioC won the tournament and took the trophy home.

In addition to competition, we also had fun games that were hosted by Topcoder admins and volunteers. Members were pitted against each other and some admins to beat and win Topcoder goodies. 

A big thanks to everyone who attended. We’re looking forward to members everywhere at our upcoming regional event!

In the end, it was a great day of fun, networking and exciting nail-biting finishes! Until next year! Ciao!

Harshit Mehta

Sr. Community Evangelist


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