May 22, 2019 Topcoder Nation: Three Idiots Travel Asia – Pilot

Rise and shine folks ☀️- It’s been a while since the last time this humble server had the chance to share some words with his fearless readers. I’m here today to tell you a story, a story that shows the way I see Topcoder and how we can take advantage of it.

June 2009, Las Vegas. I’m sharing dinner with Tricia_Tjia, sweetpea and abedavera during TCO09. Suddenly, they toss me out a fruit I had never seen in my life, it had this hairy shell which triggered my skeptic defense mechanism, but after opening it there was this sweet juicy delicious flesh that can melt in your mouth with of pleasure. This is rambutan, they said, it’s native of Indonesia and you’re welcomed to come to visit anytime you want. That’s the moment I said: I have to visit Indonesia one day.

November 2014, San Francisco. I met James [quesks] for the first time, this WordPress genius I admire for his capacity to put together TCO sites as if he was simply putting his underwear on a sunny morning. While filming a video for the community during TCO14, he talked to me about this glorious place called blue lagoon in his country (Philippines). After googling it, I was amazed by the pictures; he too welcomed me to visit his country any time I wanted. That’s the moment I said: I have to visit the Philippines one day.

October 2017, Buffalo. After finishing the awards ceremony at the TCO17, we had to get to the closing event. But there’s one necessity bigger than us as a species, we can not control its effects: hunger for Indian food! This forced a group of outlaws to run out of the event to get this heavenly Indian food. I have to be a snitch here and call names: Harshit, spanhawk, Ravijune and me were involved in this runaway operation which I don’t regret, as it was the start of the loving relationship I now have with butter chicken (which I had tonight before writing this). Once we were eating they told me I could get that same food in India everyday for less than $3 – are you kidding me? A full delicious meal? That’s the moment I said: I have to visit India one day.

Rambutan, Blue Lagoon, Indian escapade

If I’m lucky and you haven’t stopped reading this long boring article, I bet you can easily guess from the short narrative above which words I repeated the most: TCO, right? Topcoder friendships, right? No doubt, this is where I’m going, to my concept of Topcoder Nation. For a quick and basic start, a nation is an imagined order that unifies people, allowing them to collaborate effectively in large scale. Transitioning this concept to Topcoder, John Lennon would call me a dreamer but I helplessly see Topcoder as a borderless nation, a place that allows people to create meaningful connections, a place that unifies lives. You can take a flight from any country to another yet you would still be within the nonexistent borders of Topcoder Nation, anywhere on this planet – as long as you have internet – you can access the nation’s human and material assets. One of the most luxurious benefits of working remotely: geographic independence.


That one day has arrived, those banal reasons to explore one of the most exotic continents (for westerners) have finally been aligned with the stars. I must say besides my own curiosity for exploring the world, TCO has influenced this particular trip on a major scale. If it weren’t for the friendships I’ve had the chance to build through these fantastic life-changing events (see how it changed Chekspir’s life), I might not be writing this post today.

Ladies and gentlemen, this idiot is coming to Asia with two other lovely idiots. Venezuela, India and Hungary, three people of different nationalities, from three different continents, set up this once in a lifetime trip full of adventure and encounters. And the worst part: we’ll be sharing our fun moments with you!

What do you mean, Luis? You’ll be sharing vacation pictures of you guys while we work our rear parts off? That doesn’t sound fair and I agree. What’s the buzz about this trip then? I can summarize it in three words with the permission of my travel partners: travel, Topcoder community and work. For a start, it’s travel not tourism/vacation (maybe a little bit). We will be traveling backpack mode with limited resources, wandering, exploring and certainly getting lost, with the spicy ingredient of working. No Topcoder challenge, or community, will be left behind since we plan to meet members wherever we visit. If we add the rural and mountain areas with limited access to Internet, you can imagine how fun this will be. So why not document this fantastic opportunity if it has tc-inspiration written all over its face? And personally, taking advantage of one of the most precious benefits of working remotely: going and living wherever the ef word you want.


By the way, the three idiots title is not meant to offend ourselves, it’s borrowed from one of the most inspiring films I’ve ever seen, 3 Idiots. If you read Viki’s anniversary article you should know already who the idiots are, she threw a sneak peek at the end of her post.

Are you kidding me Viki?


Hot, sexy, handsome and talented Indian designer. Everybody knows him, everybody loves him. He has been a TCO finalist more times than I have won challenges, CAB member (former MVP program) and enthusiastic traveler. Remote work has become a pillar in his life after working on Topcoder projects for the last 5 years. He will be our guide and Guru in India.


She needs no introduction. A community member with an outstanding career, one year ago she took a skyrocketing ride to all the corners of Topcoder, and in her first year she made it to the TCO finals, a MVP member watching our interests and a TaaS crew member, among other things. She is a Danubian-born from Hungary where it seems that winter lasts forever, coming to a place where it seems summer lasts forever. How will she cope with that? There is only one way to know – promotion alert – reading our episodes 🙂


Your humble server. There are so many things to say about me, such as …

What a long list, I almost run internet servers out of storage, wow. Let’s just say a silly fun writer who will try to entertain you while we struggle, so cool!


  • Ravi getting lost.
  • Luis missing flights.
  • Viki taking pictures of Ravi and Luis while sleeping.
  • Sharing tips to survive remote work and travel.
  • The most important: meeting Topcoder members along the way in our path, yay!

That’s all folks. See you next time for another episode of this series. Peace out!


Guest Blogger


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