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Congratulations to our November Coder and Designers of the Month!


Algorithm: nevidomy

nevidomy, November 2008 Algorithm Coder of the Month

What brought you to TopCoder?
I like challenges, algorithms, and programming; TopCoder gives me all that.

How does it feel to be the Coder of the Month?
It's awesome! I feel this month I worked better than other ones.

What is your favorite hobby besides TopCoder?
I like music and passing time having fun with my friends.

What is one thing that you have learned at TopCoder that has helped you in other areas of your life?
Never stop, even if only 1 second remains.


Component Design: argolite

argolite, November 2008 Design Coder of the Month

Photo is of argolite on vacation in Spain.

What brought you to TopCoder?
Boy that was a while back, in the spring of 2002. AleaActaEst told me about the site in 2001, and by April of 2002 I started to participate in the algorithm competitions, mostly for the fun of it. But when the design competitions began in late 2002, I jumped on them with both feet. Although the profile info does not reflect it anymore, I participated in 20+ competitions in those first few months.

How does it feel to be the Coder of the Month?
Feels good. The list includes a lot of very distinguished designers.

What is your favorite hobby besides TopCoder?
Well, I once remarked that designing during a DR is "fulltime, overtime, and sleeptime," and that holds more true now that we are in a recession and the prizes have come down. But when I have some spare times, then hiking is something I like to do a lot, even if it means just going for a long walk along the many trails and parks in Toronto. I used to do a bit of writing, and I'm hoping to be able to do that again soon. Otherwise, my limited free time these days is spent playing Halo 3 or Civilization 4, reading, or watching Battlestar Galactica reruns; eagerly anticipating the start of season 4.5 in January.

What is one thing that you have learned at TopCoder that has helped you in other areas of your life?
How much capacity for pain I have.
But really, I have found that I can indeed be my own boss. Being a fulltime designer (and these days, thanks to TopCoder opening more venues, an architect, a conceptualization and specification gatherer) means I have to manage my own time, and the major question I always had is "can I make it on my own?" or do I need to work in some company, be an employee, and just come in for my 8 hours. The question is not as easy as it sounds. Sure, being able to sleep when I want for however long I want is nice, and surely being successful is much more lucrative, but it means being constantly motivated, even when times get tough. There are no really days off for being tired or sick. There is really no one telling me what to do, so I have to do that myself. Although I'm happy to say that I have been very successful in that, the reality is that it is a constant issue.


Component Development: akinwale

akinwale, November 2008 Developer Coder of the Month, image 1  akinwale, November 2008 Developer Coder of the Month, image 2  

Photos are of akinwale in his home office and on his street.

What brought you to TopCoder?
I found out about TopCoder through a forum post by d000hg on gamedev.net which is a site that I frequently visit.

How does it feel to be the Coder of the Month?
It feels fantastic! I wasn't even expecting that I would be coder of the month. I'm pleasantly surprised.

What is your favorite hobby besides TopCoder?
I mostly enjoy playing football (soccer), and computer and video games during my free time.

What is one thing that you have learned at TopCoder that has helped you in other areas of your life?
Test-driven development! It's almost like a necessary evil. Generally, I don't enjoy writing unit tests, but there are cases where the unit tests have helped in finding bugs that would have taken ages to find if the tests were not written in the first place.


Studio Design: Veonax

Veonax, November 2008 Developer Coder of the Month, image 1  Veonax, November 2008 Developer Coder of the Month, image 2  

Photos are of Veonax and the New Main Building at Beihang University where he is currently living and pursuing his Computer Science degree. The building right next door on the right was part of the Beijing Olympic Games!

What brought you to Studio?
Challenge. I like web design & development, but before I got into Studio, I hadnít had enough experience working for clients. To a large extent, I'm not a professional; I'm just a sophomore in the college. When I'm looking at the pages in Studio, I think it is really a place for me to practice what I have learned. AOL, eBay, TopCoder, SalesForce etc, the clients I'm working for give me a challenge to be the best.

How does it feel to be the Designer of the Month?
I feel happy indeed. But more important, it gives me more confidence. You'll feel really good when you win the first place at each contest. Maybe I'm very lucky, I won a lot, and failed a little. But one thing depressed me: I got the second place at the rank list of the month, so unfortunately I missed the opportunity to attend the TopCoder Open 2009. That is one thing Iím worked so hard for in November. It will be exceedingly appreciated if Studio give me the chance ^_^

What is your favorite hobby besides Studio?
Web application development, piano playing, tennis and table-tennis, writing, and now I am leading a struggling team developing for our astonishing game. ^_^

What is one thing that you have learned at Studio that has helped you in other areas of your life?
Be confident, though the amount of candidates in each challenge is not a big number. But when you participate in it, you must believe yourself that you are the ONE. Additionally, I find a good life-formula: "do a little more, receive a lot".