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December 28, 2018 Plans for 2019: Members & Staff Share Resolutions

This year is coming to an end. Just last month we had our main event – TCO18 and Christmas and the New Year holiday are already here. Time flies so fast and now at the end of the year it is time to start thinking about 2019 and make our resolutions.

Where does this tradition come from?

It was in 45 BC, when Julius Caesar declared January 1 the first day of the year to honor Janus, the god of new beginnings. On December 31, the Romans imagined Janus looking backward to the old year and forward to the new year, so for the Romans, this became a time to forgive their enemies from the past and make resolutions to become better in the year ahead. And this is how the New Year’s resolution was born!

Resolutions are usually long time goals to improve something about ourselves, like quit smoking, learn new things, eat more healthy, advance in our profession, travel more, etc.

Why do we need goals? Because they give life a purpose and that motivates us to take action and get where we want to be. Besides that, neuroscientists discovered that being actively engaged in the pursuit of a goal activates the brain’s pleasure centers, independent of the outcome.  Seems like we find more enjoyment getting to the target, rather than achieving it.

The problem with the goals is that many people fail to achieve them as they get distracted or forget about them or just give up because of various excuses. One way to make sure you achieve the resolution you propose is to use make your resolution SMART, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. That means instead of saying “I want to get more rest” better use “I want to get at least 7 hours of sleep 5 days per week”. This way, your resolutions are measurable and more specific, so easier to track. Of course, we might not always know the details at the beginning of the year, but even splitting the big goal into smaller, well-defined ones will help.

The Topcoder community is amazing and very competitive, from designers to developers, marathon matchers and algorithmers, problem writers, copilots or admins. As the Musketeers say “One for all and all for one!” – it’s by the power of the community that Topcoder is great and at the same time the Topcoder leadership are looking to improve things for everyone.

Let’s see the resolutions of a couple of topcoders. Wishing everyone the strength to fulfill them!

billsedison

2018 was a great year for me, I was lucky to be surrounded by brilliant people – amazing Topcoder members, great colleagues from my work, warm family. I got great achievements in 2018 – I attended TCO again, honorably turned my role to a copilot, reviewer, MVP and Development Evangelist. For my work, the game we developed got 100 million players.

To keep the upcoming 2019 great, I propose to
– help to improve education on Topcoder, including fun challenges, revamping and new mechanisms to get more people engaged.
– keep working hard as a copilot, leading more projects to success.
– attend TCO 19, hopefully, I can be a finalist again. ☺
– keep learning new technologies, enhancing my skills of algorithm, system design, and performance optimization.
– develop the next great game.
– keep having a happy life with my family.

jmpld40

I loved leading the community team in 2018 and bringing fun programs and events to the community. In 2019, my main goal is to reach new members. Folks who haven’t drank the Topcoder kool-aid yet. Maybe they registered a year ago or five years ago but never did anything about it other than that. This is the year I want our community to really engage with us – be it to learn something new, submit to their first challenge or join the “family” in some way or shape. We have something to offer everyone and my goal is to share that.

My other goal is to learn more about our community. We have the capability to drive new things to you based on your individual preferences and skills. It’s important we start collecting more information from our members as part of their new profiles. This is all private information but allows us to reach out to you as specific challenges or programs relate directly to you. We can customize things for you that directly fit your skills, products, and goals.

Finally, on a personal note, I need to always remember that our community is a huge group of individuals and in no way does one member represent the entire community. In fact, it’s something we all need to keep in mind as we head into 2019.

Overall I’m excited about Topcoder in 2019 and can’t wait to be a part of your year in some way!

iaminfinite

My resolutions for 2019 are:
1. Be a TCO19 UI Design Finalist.
2. Get 1st placement on TCO19 UI Design Qualification Leaderboard.
3. Bring my wife and son to the United States attending TCO19 Onsite Finals event.
4. Be a TCO19 UI Design Champion.
5. Be a Topcoder UI Design Copilot.
6. Get at least seven hours of sleep a night.
7. Achieve Work-Life balance.
8. Keep calm, be generous and stay healthy.
9. Type the resolutions for 2020 with gratefulness, love, and happiness.

Nickolas

My one resolution for 2019 is to enjoy life more.

I’m not a fan of making career-related resolutions – I’m proud of completing three projects in 2018 (in case you’re curious, they are Quantum Katas, Microsoft Q# Coding Contest and hosting a workshop at Grace Hopper Celebration), and exactly zero of them have been envisioned by January 1st, 2018.

Relaxing and just enjoying life, however, is something I should really do more of. There are so many cool ideas to try, new things to learn (and yes, problems to write), that somehow taking a week off to do nothing is getting harder and harder. But I’ll try! Probably ☺

TonyJ

My resolutions for TCO19 are:

1. Put more emphasis on the community experience. In 2018, we spent a lot of time as a product team focusing on adding and improving experiences for customers to use the platform. The goal of that is to get more work into the community by growing our customer base and adoption rate. One of my main resolutions for 2019 is to put more emphasis on the community experience both from a site/tool perspective as well as overall communication and interaction. Here are a couple specific things we have on the list so far.
a. Navigation and dashboard design planning has been started with a focus on a holistic community experience. We also will put more emphasis on user testing and metrics. This item is actually pretty big and includes a rethink of how we’ve presented content, challenges, SRMs, fun work, learning, profiles, etc.
b. Review processes need a serious cleanup. 2019 will see the re-formalization of our end to end review processes to make sure the community experience for review is improved, while at the same time increasing our quality levels and efficiency of qualifying deliverables that come out of the platform.
c. Copilots will see new opportunities to become experts in offerings that we’re beginning to focus on. New copilots will see opportunities to enter the world of copiloting.

2. Site Performance and Stability
We’ve been putting some building blocks into place to get us into a better position to retire some older systems/services that are hindering platform performance and stability. In 2019, we plan to climb to the top of that hill and build momentum as we swap put out older services in favor of new and more scalable services and APIs.

PereViki

If you ask a woman about this most of us would have a fixed item on the list ☺ This is true for me as well. Since I am a Topcoder member, I completely lost my routine.
– I’d like to start running again and try not to work at night so much (I’ll probably fail ☺).
– I’d like to allocate some time for learning as well.
– I will do my best to qualify for TCO19 for a number of reasons.

wleite

My resolutions for 2019 are:
1. Spend less time on the computer.
2. Become TCO Marathon champion 😉
3. No more tequila!

mahestro

If I could describe this year in a single word for me that would be: self-discovery. One of the best years in my entire life, I’d dare to say, at least the last eight months. One of the things I’m most proud of is how I can appreciate little details in life in a more meaningful way, with purpose. In other words, I decided it was time for me to have a slow dance with life. As for Topcoder, anyone who knows me is aware of how important this community is to me; in that sense, I’m undoubtedly grateful for having the opportunity to see my friends again during TCO18 as well as meeting new interesting people. It’s amazing how friendly smarter people than me can be.

I’m not sure what to expect from next year but I am sure about what I’d like to do 🙂 First time ever I’ve written resolutions! I normally write short-term goals. Embracing new opportunities to experiment – this time resolutions – I think I’m going with the following:

• Visit Asia for first time in my life while at the same time attending the magnificent double-I TCO regionals A.K.A. India & Indonesia.
• Learn a new language in my new mysterious destination for 2019.
• Read 50 books.
• Compete in 6 Topcoder challenges next year.

hi4sandy

2018 was one of my best years ever. I made new friends, wrote blogs & newsletter, won TC challenges, attended TCO, extended TCO trip to explore new destinations together with TC friends & joined HP Inc.

My plan is to make 2019 even more amazing. Some of my new year resolutions are:
– Do new things for the Topcoder community that make everyone happier. Work together with other Topcoder members who want to achieve the same. For now, it’s just a plan, let’s wait and watch.
– Do new work-related experiments including VR to build new apps & websites for all type devices.
– Explore new destinations with Topcoder members, friends & family.
– Make 2019 better than the best year ever 🙂

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!


DaraK

Guest Blogger


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