November 22, 2020 TCO20 Design Finals Day 1 & 2 Recap

I’ve been watching the TCO finals since I joined Topcoder back in 2008 when I was a college student. TCO finals, somehow, are always able to give me mixed emotions – jealousy, curiosity, motivation, and other awesome emotions that I cannot always describe. From the cool TCO goodies, the talented finalists, the admins, to the location, the free trip, the prizes, and of course, the competitions. When November comes, I am not looking forward to the cold November rain, I am waiting for the TCO finals, baby! I’m proudly saying that I am one of the biggest TCO fans, and I know many of you are too.

TCO20 Official Goodies –  be jealous, be very very jealous!

It was my dream to be able to attend and participate in the TCO event. Fast forward to twelve years later and here I am. I have been lucky enough to attend five TCO finals onsite (TCO13 Washington, TCO15 Yogyakarta,  TCO17 Buffalo, TCO18 Dallas, and TCO19 Houston) and also got selected again as a trip winner for TCO20 finals in Seattle. 

However, with the COVID situation that is currently happening, it looked like my dream to attend my sixth TCO final was not going to happen. Everything seemed to fall apart. Lots of big technology events got canceled, and I was worried knowing there was a possibility that the TCO20 final might get canceled too. After waiting for a few months, the news finally arrived – the TCO20 final would still be happening, but it was to be virtual #yeayyy #confused #whatisgoingon

Virtual? How is that possible? How can you move an event of this scale to virtual? Will it have the same experience as the onsite event? Is it going to be fun? Lots of questions appeared but they’re all answered now. The virtual event that is happening so far is running really SUPERBLY and AWESOMELY! Big thanks to the Community Team that worked very, very hard in the background to provide a great TCO experience to all finalists and members! This event is open to all Topcoder members.  This means even if you are not one of the finalists you can still join and enjoy the Event!

So, what can you do in this virtual TCO Final? Apparently, a lot! One of my favorite things to do is watch the Design Track final. I love watching how the finalists craft their design from scratch, seeing their ideas come alive visually, and seeing the finalists’ design thinking process to find solutions to tackle the design problems provided to them live.

This year, the design final competitions still used the bracket method similar to TCO final 2019, where one design finalist will face another design finalist to ‘battle’ with each other. The bracket format was designed in a genius way, where every design finalist will have a chance to keep moving forward to the next round, as long they don’t lose twice. If they lose two times, they will be eliminated from the bracket tournament. You can see this awesome bracket from the following link:

Instead of using the old competition format where the design finalist must battle with all other finalists to reach the top of the leaderboard, the bracket format lets the design finalists focus on one opponent only. It is more convenient and fair, and a lot more interesting to watch! Kudos to Darak and Adroc who prepared this awesome format. 

This year, the TCO20 Design final has three judges; Topcoder Design admins Adam Morehead, Trevor Gerring, and Lynn Duggan. If you are a Topcoder member especially in the design track, you might be familiar with these guys. All of them have tons of experience in UI/UX design, and many of you have probably already encountered them in one of the design challenges at Topcoder.

The TCO20 Design final runs for three days from the 19th to 21st of November. I’ve watched the first two days so far. The design problems were awesome, the designers really professional, and the design quality top-notch considering the limited time given to them. 

On day one (19th November 2020 08.00 AM to 11.00 AM EDT), all design finalists competed with each other in three rounds, they got their position from the seed challenge results that were held a few days ago. Please see below for the summary of TCO20 Design Final DAY 1:


Round 1 – Writer Wand (08.00 – 08.30 AM EDT)

Create one single screen for a mobile application to capture writers’ ideas, anywhere, anytime!

  • Ariefk vs L.O.I
  • Iqbalhood vs starck181995
  • Rajeshrathod vs kharm

Round 2 – The Modern Gardener (09.00 – 09.30 AM EDT)

Create one design screen for a mobile application that is able to identify and give insights about plants for a user that wants to be a gardener

  • iamtong vs Ariefk 
  • iaminfinite vs yoki
  • Ravijune vs starck181995
  • Rajeshrathod vs tototpc 

Round 3 – Restaurant Order Manager (10.00 – 10.30 AM EDT)

Create one design screen for a tablet device that offers a solution for restaurant employees to manage the customer’s order digitally when they arrive at the restaurant.

  • Tototpc vs L.O.I
  • yoki vs iqbalhood
  • Ariefk vs kharm

On day two (20th November 2020 08.00 AM to 11.00 AM EDT), design finalists iqbalhood and Ariefk got eliminated because they lost twice. Other design finalists that lost on day one were added to the lower bracket while the winners of day one were added to the upper bracket. Both winners and losers from day one compete in round four on day two and the losers of the upper bracket will face the winners of the lower bracket in round five. Please see below for details of the day two design final activity:


Round 4 – Five Habits

Create a responsive application (focused on a mobile device) that allows an employee to feel a personal engagement with their company through habit building, conversations, connections, group cheering, skills, and personal milestones.

  • iamtong vs iaminfinite
  • Starck181995 vs rajeshrathod
  • Ravijune vs tototpc
  • Yoki vs kharm

Round 5 – Auto Touch

Create a design screen for a mobile application that provides an engaging real-time dashboard to give drivers the latest information about their car. 

  • Iaminfinite vs tototpc
  • Starck181995 vs yoki

If you were not able to watch the design finals on day one or two, don’t worry, you can always watch the recorded live stream on the Topcoder youtube channel. We’ve got Pereviki, Nick Castillo, Adroc, iqbalhood, and Rajeshrathod discussing the design final activity for day one, and all design judges (Adam, Lynn, Trevor), Pereviki, Yoki, Ravijune discussing the day two design activity, please check the recording from the following links below:

DAY 1 recording:

DAY 2 recording:

I am really curious and excited to see who will become the TCO Design champion this year. Will a new star arise or the legends come back? Let’s find out together tomorrow on day three!


Guest Blogger


Sign up for the Topcoder Monthly Customer Newsletter

Thank you

Your information has been successfully received

You will be redirected in 10 seconds