February 21, 2020 The Topcoder Community: Thriving in the Passion Economy

The passion economy gives skilled workers new socio-economic and lifestyle freedoms. However, this era of on-demand work also brings new challenges. Topcoder community members are at the forefront of the new gig economy, and their perspectives exemplify the REAL future of work.

At TCO19, our community panel on The Passion Economy featured four leading Topcoder community figures. The group included Viktoria Pere (pereviki), Thomas Kranitsas (thomaskranitsas), Dr. Sergey Pogodin (birdofpreyru), and Scott Wu (scott_wu). During their conversation, the panelists discussed how they successfully navigate the gig economy, and how Topcoder helps them follow their passions.

The panel was moderated by Steve Rader, the deputy director of the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Steve is a great partner to Topcoder, whose leadership and vision have helped pave the way for open innovation.

Read on for some of the key takeaways from Viktoria, Thomas, Sergey, and Scott about how others can follow their lead and realize their dreams through the gig economy, and how the Topcoder platform is a model of the passion economy. Prefer to watch the panel in its entirety? Watch here! 

Embrace the spirit of community along with competition.

Even though platforms like Topcoder are built on competition, the panelists all emphasized the value of embracing the community aspect. Each participant has fond feelings toward their Topcoder family. They also feel that their work is strengthened by working alongside a community of passionate peers.

Find people who share your passion.

A platform like Topcoder can help you find people who share your passion, which can keep you motivated. The beauty of Topcoder is that it connects people from around the world. It’s never been easier to find like-minded community members who understand what you care about, no matter where you live.

Never stop learning.

No matter how talented you are, you need to keep up with the fast pace of technology and succeed in the gig economy. One panelist estimates that he spends up to 60 percent of his time learning about new developments and best practices.

Understand the risks of the gig economy.

While all four panelists have been able to earn a living in the gig economy, they all emphasized that this kind of work does come with more risk than traditional employment. However, they all shared that by managing their time wisely, are able to succeed in the gig economy.

Find balance in your work and your life.

No matter how much you love your work, make sure to take breaks and explore other passions in your life, too. The panelists noted that when you’re doing work that you’re passionate about, it’s easy to throw yourself into that work at the expense of other interests. They stressed the importance of balance.

Don’t fear failure (and learn from the top performers).

The panelists pointed out that working on a platform like Topcoder means encountering a fair amount of failure, especially when just starting out. As a beginner, you’re not going to win every competition. They agreed, however, that one key element of their success was learning from more experienced community members. They did so by viewing the winning designs or examining public code.

Learn more about the Topcoder community and how community members thrive in the passion economy at topcoder.com.

VP, Marketing

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