I'm very happy that I've become a productive member of this community. For my opinion, Topcoder is a best place to earn money and improve skills simultaneously. I will never be out of work here.
As for my progress at Topcoder, I'm on the second place in Period 2 of TCO15 in Development Track. The most interesting career statistics are:
– $300 Prize for “UNI – F2F Print” contest which took only 58 minutes of work – this win has the highest «$ per time» value to date;
– the longest period on one job – 6 year 3 months at rtlservice.com in a role of Java Engineer;
– the top scientific publication – the article in Signal Processing Journal (Elsevier).
I love traveling in Europe – one or two trips in a year.
A few years ago my hobby was snowboarding, but after I have realized that I have more injuries than progress I reduced this activity. Now I prefer to ski – we have snow November till March.
But the most interesting type of short rest is reading. My favorite authors are Dostoevsky and Chekhov. Also I like to read psychology literature.
For new Topcoder members I can advise to do the best of what they can do. A developer must fix all the things that he thinks are not good, even if they are not mentioned in the requirements. Double check for all pieces of code. And of course a competitor must know the rules of the corresponding contest type.
I was a Java Developer and Engineer at one small company and after years the company has changed the platform for its applications. We had a desktop application with J2EE backend and they were replaced with web application with node.js application as a backend. It was time either to become a full-time web developer or to move on and find something better. And I decided to learn iOS platform and try to develop mobile applications for myself. After two months of watching screencasts and implementing sample apps I have received a regular email from Topcoder about new Swift challenges. I tried to compete and to learn the details of iOS platform in parallel and finally the amount of prizes make it possible to leave my job and to become a full-time Topcoder. It was the end of October 2014. The start as a coder at Topcoder was so rapid that I have become the second in Developer Track in Period 2. I regret that I did not start to compete at Topcoder earlier when I just signed up to the community.