November 4, 2019 TCO19 at a Glance

How the Topcoder Open Began:

The first ever Topcoder tournament – officially called the Topcoder Invitational 2001 – was held in Mashantucket, CT, US, June 5-7, 2001. At that time Algorithm was the only track, programmers from only two countries competed, and there was one champion.

The Topcoder Open 2019 has finalists and trip winners from 31 countries. It’s going to be held in Houston, TX, USA between November 13-16, 2019. This year there are six tracks in the onsite finals: Algorithm, Marathon Match, Development, First2Finish, QA and UI Design. Along with these there are all expenses paid trips for Copilot tournament, Sponsored MM tournament, Problem writers and for winning members of the Topcoder Open Regionals.

Topcoder Development Championship: 

Every year Topcoder runs plenty of online development challenges. Winners of these challenges get TCO points along with a cash prize. The top members from around the world earning the most TCO points win an all expenses paid trip to the USA to complete the in the onsite development finals.

This year there are two development tracks for the finals: Development track and First to Finish (F2F) track. Ten of the best programmers (jiangliwu, thothling, wenbin, banerjeesourish, Dheeraj2202, paolog, MiG-29, NightWolf, nghi85 and seriyvolk83) are going to compete in the development track finals and eleven programmers (wenbin, ahmed.seddiq, dhruvit_r, gurmeetb, ketzjs09, rahulranjanmca, veshu, NightWolf, moulyg, neonray and phoenix103 ) will be in a neck-to-neck fight in the F2F onsite finals. 

Topcoder UI Design Championship:

The design onliste finals will have four rounds. In these four rounds, eleven designers will be showing their best skills to claim the championship trophy. PereViki, L.O.I, Ravijune, starck181995, djackmania, eriantoongko, iaminfinite, universo, yoki, iamtong & Khanhlinh are the topcoder designers who made it to the onsite finals.

Topcoder QA Championship:

Quality Assurance (QA) track has been introduced for the first time in Topcoder Open Event. The eight finalists competing in the QA championship round are: antjohns, kiranmaroj, SATKAN, v.t, mishacucicea, codejam, moulyg & julia_vladi.

Topcoder Algorithm Championship:

This track offers three ways to qualify for the finals: One can either participate in the regular SRMs or can compete in the TCO rounds and qualify from round 4 or can choose to participate in the TCO regional rounds and qualify from the Wildcard round. The complete details are listed here. The sixteen finalists qualifying from these three ways are: tourist, ACRush, xudyh, Egor, lyrically, maroon_kuri, rng_58, snuke, uwi, mnbvmar, _aid, Petr, Um_nik, Deretin, ecnerwala & scott_wu.

Topcoder Marathon Matches Championship: 

These are the longest running data science matches on Topcoder. Most of the marathon matches have more than a month long submission phase. In these matches, the programmers show their skills to solve some of the real world problems. The twelve finalists of this track are: tourist, wleite, sullyper, nika, atsT5515, gasin, iehn, tanzaku, tomerun, mugurelionut, Milanin & Daiver19.

In all six tracks, the champions are going to win a prize of $10,000 each, while each first runner up is going to get a cash prize of $1,500, and second runner up will get a cash prize of $500.

Copilot Tournament: 

All the online Development, Design, Data Science, F2F and QA challenges throughout the year are run by Topcoder Copilots. For running every successful challenge they received TCO points along with cash prizes. The top copilots earning the most TCO points won an all expense paid trip to witness the onsite finals in Houston, TX, USA. This year the following copilots won the trips: gondzo, shangjingbo, thomaskranitsas, walrus71, cyberjag, hi4sandy, talesforce, fajar.mln, DaraK, birdofpreyru & mahestro.

All the championship rounds will be broadcast live from 13th November 2019 to 16th November 2019. The complete schedule is posted here.

Advice From the Finalists:

We asked our finalists what’s the best tip or piece of advice you can share with other members of Topcoder?

Here are some of the best responses we got.

sdgun: Work hard, not only to win, but also to do the best you can do for the project and the community.

mahestro: Enjoy the experience, appreciate the new little things you learn from each experience. Whether it’s a loss or a win, there’s always something good to learn.

rekcahd: You should start with fast, simple solutions. Sometimes such solutions work better than more complicated ones, and if not you’ll have a good starting point.

birdofpreyru:  Be strategic in your choice of challenges and projects. Look for a good balance of average wins with reasonable effort and a steady gain of experience that will be useful in the future. Become reasonably experienced in a wide variety of things, rather than deeply experienced in one thing.

MiG-29: Never give up, keep calm, and enjoy the prizes.

ahmed.seddiq:  Believe in your ability to succeed. Then it is just a matter of time. Do not fear trying.

thomaskranitsas:  Stay focused. Don’t let failures distract you from your goal.

Dheeraj2202: Be persistent and do not give up. There have been challenges that I worked on for two to three weeks and received no prize for. But you learn, move on, and persevere.

moulyg: Be dedicated to your work.

NightWolf: Pay attention to detail and code quality. And, keep learning!

hi4sandy: It’s the famous quote by Charles Darwin: “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change“.

There are some challenges that leave their mark for a long time. It could be because you worked on a project that was interesting to you by the nature of the industry or the problem posed, or because of the way it was handled by the copilot, or maybe because of winning first placement on it. To find out more, we asked the members about memorable challenges:

What was your most memorable Topcoder challenge during the TCO19 qualification and why?

jiangliwu: Most of them are difficult and the requirements are relatively unfamiliar, so completing a challenge is quite fulfilling.

jhruvit_r: This has to be the Hercules Zeta series of challenges that started about nine months ago. The copilots were great, the tasks were challenging, the pay was awesome, and I was learning something new everyday.

banerjeesourish: Child’s Asthma detection from breathing sounds was the most memorable challenge. The problem statement was something where I could really save some children’s lives. Also technically, this was the first time I learned about audio signal processing techniques. My failure to submit into this challenge was a great learning lesson for me.

thothling: Decline Curve Analysis Enhancements Code Challenge, because it was my first $4,000 challenge.

ketzjs09: Probably the last two challenges right before the Stage 4 deadline for TCO17. Because of those challenges, I managed to qualify for the finals. Realizing that I qualified was a memorable feeling.

seriyvolk83: Vehicle Routing Problem. It was the first Data Science challenge for me, and I took second place.

paolog: The most memorable challenge was the “Actian Avalanche Application Ideation Challenge”, no doubt. Since I was the only winner, I received 9000 points and that put me in the right direction towards getting to TCO.

In the end I would like to thank everyone who competed or even tried to compete in the online rounds, members and copilots who ran the development, design, data science, SRM, marathon match and QA challenges, admins who were working in the background managing it all, and the Topcoder committee members who planned and organized these Topcoder Open Regional events. Because of all your efforts the Topcoder Open keeps on growing every year, inspiring and giving opportunities to programmers and designers around the globe.


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