FAQs


WHAT KIND OF WORK CAN BE COMPLETED ON TOPCODER?

Topcoder can do the entire Software Development Life-cycle (SDLC). However, most often, we work on elements of your project with your team. Our community skills are really strong in visual design, code development, data science, and QA. From simple tasks to high level data science algorithms, it’s available within Topcoder’s global crowd.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TOPCODER AND OTHER FREELANCE TALENT PLATFORMS?

Topcoder is for the enterprise. We’ve helped Fortune 100 companies, global enterprises and public entities start and scale crowdsourcing programs for over 20 years.

Unlike other sites where you’re required to choose a freelancer from their network and work one-on-one with that person, Topcoder offers 2 ways to engage talent:

1. FREELANCERS ON-DEMAND (TAAS)
Use TaaS to request specific talent for a set period of time. For example – I need 3 AngularJS developers for the next 4 months. We’ll bring you tremendous candidates based on their verified skills.

This “verified skills” thing is important and makes us different. These individuals are proven, and verified skills means that they have done enterprise-level work in that exact skill set for Topcoder customers before, so you know you’re getting high-caliber talent.

 

2. ENTERPRISE CROWDSOURCING
If you want to execute on parts of technology projects or whole projects where you’ll need a wide range of technology skills throughout the work, then our Enterprise Crowdsourcing model will work well for you. When you engage this way, much of the work is done via crowdsourcing challenges—essentially small competitions—that we host and execute on our platform for you. You benefit from multiple people competing to deliver the best solution to your problem.

 

And of course, you can use both TaaS, our freelancer model, at the same time you are using our crowdsourcing model. We have customers who use TaaS as a better way to add capacity or specialized skills to their team who also run competition-based projects on our platform.

This is how Topcoder is truly different and why it can be so impactful for you. You get the most flexibility so you can decide how to engage the right talent at the right time. To learn more about how Topcoder’s on-demand talent platform can serve your unique business and role, go here.

HOW DO YOU PROTECT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY?

Security is built into the Topcoder Platform. Tools and features protect your data, obfuscate identity, scan for viruses, safeguard sensitive information, and ensure compliance. We earn your trust through security and smart technology in 3 ways:

1. Our People (Freelancer Talent & Crowd Experts)
We know more about our talent, their verified skills, digital identity, and work history than you likely know about any other people from 3rd parties, and maybe even your own employees

2. Our Process
20+ years of delivering for Global 1000 organizations and Public Sector customers, securely

3. Our Platform
Data protection, IP infringement, malware scanning, source code reviews, and more comprise the technology that makes security a core component of the Topcoder platform

To learn more about security at Topcoder, go here.

WHY DO PEOPLE COMPETE IF THEY AREN’T GUARANTEED TO GET PAID?

People join Topcoder to improve their skills, demonstrate their expertise, and earn money—all while helping real-world organizations solve real business problems. Beyond just getting paid, members benefit from Topcoder’s vibrant, supportive community.

This short documentary follows five inspiring individuals who have chosen the gig economy as their path to success. They share the benefits, the challenges, and the lifelong friends they’ve made while participating in on-demand work in the Topcoder community.

IS TOPCODER FAIR TO FREELANCERS?

Being fair and equitable to our freelance community is core to who we are. Topcoder takes pride in being “a community with a company.”

“If our community is happy, our customers are happy. The reverse is not true.”
— Mike Morris, Topcoder CEO

There are 3 ways we ensure fairness to talent:

1. Self-selection – talent is always in control. Members can self-select into, and out of, work. This goes for both enterprise crowdsourcing (competing in challenges), as well as TaaS (gig-based work for a customer for a set amount of time).

2. Transparency – talent knows what they can earn upfront. They know the prize money they can win in a challenge, and how much they can earn doing gig-based work for customers. With challenges, members can also see exactly who they’re going up against. While challenges are competitive, Topcoder does not pit members against each other to compete on price.

3. Opportunity – Beyond money, Topcoder offers freelancers the chance to work with big brands on projects that have real value.

 

“I have worked for companies like Macy’s, IBM, Google, and on projects for NASA. Being in Santiago, Chile is not a restriction for me to work for any of these companies.”
Alex Chekspir, Topcoder Member, UX Design Competitor, & Copilot

HOW IS TALENT VETTED?

TaaS talent is vetted through real-world work they have accomplished on Topcoder’s platform. These individuals have demonstrated their technical capabilities through strong performance in competitive environments.

Since 2001, Topcoder has created enterprise software using a competition-based delivery model. In that time, the Topcoder platform has accumulated millions of data points that track Topcoder community members and their demonstrated achievements across hundreds of technologies and skills.

Using this data, Topcoder is able to bring you candidates based on enterprise quality work completed and delivered by each team member.

WHERE IS THE TALENT LOCATED?

The Topcoder community has over 1.5 million members across 190+ countries. All Topcoder members work remotely and deliver output virtually.

DO YOU EVER PLACE TALENT PHYSICALLY?

No. All talent is virtual. This enables us to access and find talent for you faster, and to onboard them more quickly. With a virtual workforce, you get to 3x productivity faster than with physical placements.

CAN I HIRE A WHOLE TEAM OF PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT SKILLS?

Yes. Individuals are assembled based on how their skill sets map to your needs. Your team is truly on-demand in nature – you can scale up or down the size or skills on a monthly basis.

HOW QUICKLY CAN PEOPLE START WORK?

In order to accelerate your access to talent, Topcoder has built pre-established talent pools. These pools contain a number of Topcoder members who have demonstrated skill in the technology, have undergone identity verification, agreed to an NDA, and opted into the TaaS working model.

Access to resources in a pre-established talent pool can be granted within 72 hours of the need being identified. Talent pools are available for a number of popular technologies including Java and React.

Custom talent teams can be assembled for specific technical needs. Creating custom teams takes about 2-3 weeks.

WHO MANAGES THE TALENT?

With TaaS, you manage the talent directly, using your standard tools, communication methods, and processes. If you want to bring them into your Teams, Slack, or Git environment, go right ahead. They are your direct resources and they’re really good and efficient at what they do. Plus, these are folks who are very used to working on remote teams and collaborating across time zones.

WHAT ABOUT SECURITY?

Since you’re managing the work directly, it’s exactly the same as working with any other 3rd party for talent. You could credentialize people individually, they can sign your NDA or our NDA. Whatever your code review processes are, fire away. The guarantee is that you’re paying a flat, transparent weekly rate for really high-caliber talent. Topcoder’s fulfillment rate is very high and as a proof point, the overwhelming majority of TaaS customers extend or increase their usage of TaaS for their organization. If the talent wasn’t good, and trustworthy, this would not be the case.

WHAT IF I’M NOT HAPPY WITH THE TALENT?

We don’t expect you’ll have any issues, but if you do, we have an easy escalation process right from within the TaaS app. Any issues you report will be passed to your customer success manager immediately.

CAN I KEEP WORKING WITH TALENT I REALLY LIKE?

Yes. You can easily extend TaaS agreements when you find talent you want to continue working with. Request extensions right from within the TaaS app.

HOW MUCH DOES TAAS COST?

With TaaS from Topcoder, you receive fair, flat, and transparent weekly pricing. You can add candidates to your team on a full-time OR fractional-time basis. Rates vary depending on skill.

HOW DO I GET STARTED WITH TAAS?

To get started with TaaS, create a Topcoder account if you don’t have one. Then go here.

To learn more about contracting verified talent through TaaS, check out this quick demo:

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? CONTACT US