Hackathons and More: Behind the Scenes of Appirio’s Talented Crowd

June 18, 2015 Jiordan Castle


Since 2001, the Topcoder Open (TCO) has brought many of the world’s best developers and designers immense success, both professionally and socially. Winners enjoy perks like recognition from our global community of 800,000+ technical experts, career opportunities with top tech companies, and of course, financial gain.

Here we’ll pull back the curtain of Appirio’s crowdsourcing community, unpack member successes, and then dive into the inner workings of TCO15 — with a look forward at this year’s TCO finals in the U.S.

How Topcoder is shaping the future of work

There’s ample opportunity for people who want to work when they want, how they want nowadays. Particularly with the help of communities like Topcoder, technology-based innovation and passion lend themselves to the new world of crowdsourcing. The 2 trends changing the future of work are hyperconnectivity through cloud, mobile, social, and other technology-based interactions and people today choosing non-traditional paths to make a living (or extra income) from their skills. Crowdsourcing already plays a major role in both.

Because Topcoder is made up of members from various continents, it’s easier than ever to share and experience radically different skills in development, design, and data science or algorithms. For customers who crowdsource work through Topcoder, that means innovation, creativity, and solution diversity. Talented designers, developers, and data scientists typically join Topcoder to improve skills, make money, and/or network with other technical experts.

A community founded by inclusion and diversity

Topcoder has cultivated an inclusive community that celebrates diversity in the form of gender, skill, and region. The Topcoder community celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) with a daily blog series featuring female members. The members discussed gender rights and equality in tech while giving a voice to the challenges and triumphs of Topcoder’s top-performing female members.

And last April, Topcoder relaunched “Members of the Month” (MOM), in which a few members (one designer, one developer, and one data scientist) are highlighted for an outstanding month of competition resulting in an exceptionally high rating increase for the month, a large amount of winnings, or an impressive winning streak. Not only do spotlighted members discuss their work, favorite projects, and recent challenges, but they also talk about life where they live — from Sukabumi to Tokyo and beyond.

The Topcoder community provides an opportunity to earn recognition for unique skills, in addition to financial reward. As May MOM ArteVisual (a Topcoder designer) explains of her experience with Topcoder: “I knew about Topcoder from a group of friends that have been part of the community for a long time. I decided to try, and the experience was extraordinary. I really like the dynamics of the community and the diversity of projects and clients and clients for whom I have the opportunity to design.”

A new twist on the Topcoder Open

Over the course of the year, members work on various challenges and can earn points for a chance to win a trip to TCO. For more than a decade, TCO has sent winning talent from around the world to a single location to compete for the ultimate victory. But in 2015, the game has changed: TCO is going to where the talent is. With regional events in St. Petersburg, San Francisco, Tokyo, Jaipur, and Indonesia, prizes — be they fame, riches, or simply to test technical chops — have become more attainable than ever.

As a Topcoder member, registration for the regional events are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. All that’s needed to compete in the $5,000 hackathon and algorithm round 2 (including parallel rounds) are a laptop and the ability to code. Plus, members will enjoy a bounty of food and drinks, games, networking opportunities, TCO15 t-shirts, and much more.

Each regional event helps celebrate our global community and move top-performing members into the finals in the U.S. this fall. From there, the sky’s the limit.

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