Choosing Your First Competition: What’s Right for You?

Your First Steps to Competing

You’ve learned how to navigate around Topcoder and now you’re ready to compete. Great! But how do you find a challenge or match that is right for you? Let’s look at this step-by-step:

Step 1:

Choose a track of competition

Topcoder is divided into four primary tracks of competition: Design, Development, Data Science and Competitive Programming (“Topcoder Arena”). Within those tracks, you’ll find Challenges and Matches.


Step 2:

CHALLENGES (Design, Development & Data Science): Find a challenge based on your skills and interests

Take a look at the Challenge listings within your chosen Track. Each challenge has an icon that tells you the type of challenge you’ll find within. Interested in web design or UI Prototype? You can sort by challenge type. And in the case of Development challenges, you can narrow your options down even more by sorting based on technology or skill.


Once you’ve filtered your technologies and other options, you can save your filter or even bookmark the URL for quick use next time you’re looking for challenges.


Data Science challenges and Marathon Matches are also found in the Challenge Listings. Data Science challenges are published at the time of registration, while Marathon Matches are scheduled on the calendar.

MATCHES (Competitive Programming): Find an upcoming SRM

If you’re interested in competitive programming algorithm matches, you can login to the Arena and view the Match Schedule to find the next upcoming Single Round Match (SRM). These are held twice each month. Need to practice before the match or get used to the Arena? Visit the Competitive Programming page to get yourself ready to compete!


Step 3:

Find a deadline that works for you

Challenges have a couple of deadlines you’ll need to review before choosing whether or not to compete. Important deadlines may include the Registration deadline, Checkpoint deadline and Submit By deadline. Pick something that works within your schedule.


Step 4:

Read the challenge description

Each challenge has it’s own Challenge Page where you’ll find the full description and scope of the challenge, along with important information such as eligibility, prizes available, judging criteria, expected deliverables to submit and more. Be sure you understand the details of the challenge — and if you ever have any questions, just ask in the dedicated challenge forum! Unlike challenges, competitive programming matches only show the problems you need to solve when the match starts, which is part of what makes it so exciting!

By following these steps, you can narrow down your options and find something that is just right for you. Now, learn more about how to compete in each track!

Competing in Design Challenges Competing in Development Challenges Competing in Data Science Challenges & Marathon Matches Competing in Algorithm Matches (SRMs)