January 28, 2020 Thirty-Six Nights, Eighty-Two Articles

Hello Topcoder members. Most of you do not know me as I normally keep a low profile behind the scenes. I work for our TCO Queen, Jessie, and the community team as a blog post editor. I recently finished editing the final article from the December Big Give – Thrive Twist challenge and I just want to say: HOT DAMN!  

Now that I have read all of these amazing nuggets of information I had to let you all know how incredibly impressed I am. It almost goes without saying that the body of knowledge that has been generated is extremely valuable. Almost. But I will say it – what has been created here is really special and unique. The entire community should be proud.

I edit the articles that come to me for grammar and readability only – not technical information. I want to make that clear because I am definitely an outsider when it comes to what Topcoder members do. However, after reading your blog posts and Thrive article submissions I have earned enough knowledge to have a semi-coherent conversation about machine learning, data analysis, or design applications. Thank you for making me sound smarter than I am. 

Since I began editing for Topcoder, I have been continually impressed with the blog writers, especially those for whom English is not a first language. As an American that came through the public school system I cannot speak or read a second language. Writing (and reading) technically competent, poignant articles in a secondary language is a testament to the collective genius of Topcoder members. I tip my hat to you. 

Due to the December Big Give challenge I edited eighty-two articles in thirty-six nights. My eyes burned, my mind boggled (data science articles, I’m looking at you), I laughed, and almost cried. I was exhausted for multiple reasons which I will outline here in a bulleted list of whiny excuses: 

  • I have a full time job (apart from Topcoder). 
  • I have two children and a husband that travels for work during the week. 
  • It was Christmas,
  • Then it was new years, 
  • Then it was school vacation. 
  • The kids would. Just. Not. Be. Quiet.
  • My full time office was hacked by ransomware so I couldn’t edit there for the past 2 weeks (more than once during that time I wished for a Topcoder member to materialize and fix it for us)
  • I’m old and can’t figure out Slack*

*I somehow screwed up my notification settings on Slack and consequently was not even aware of the Thrive challenge until December 16 when Jessie texted me about it. That was halfway through the competition! In the next three days alone I edited twenty-one Thrive submissions. If we still lived in an analog world, this would have involved me sitting at my desk, coffee and red pen in hand, surrounded by towering stacks of papers, hair sticking out at strange angles and glasses askew. Similar to this:

My interest in learning more about design has been piqued by the sheer volume and passion behind the articles for design track. I looked at thirty-four articles in this category, a whopping fourteen of which were authored by hasanozie. Mahestro penned an impressive ten articles as well (shout out to Luis, whose article 10 Articles in 10 Days Challenge inspired me to write this piece.)  The development track had twenty-five articles for me to edit while the data science had twenty-one. The next most prolific writers were whoami.kdm and Anurag Sharma who submitted five articles each to both those categories. The numbers make it clear: the Topcoder community is THRIVING (sorry guys, I had to). 

So, thank you to all the Topcoder members who contributed to this challenge and those that write blog posts. I enjoy reading all your words. Keep ‘em coming!


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