Topcoder is closely attached to my journey in competitive programming.
I became a member just as I was learning the basic CS stuff, and I still compete 10 years later.
Nowadays I really like the marathon matches and the machine learning competitions.
Continuous learning 🙂
I enjoy kitesurfing, reading, and spending time with my girlfriend.
Just don't give up !
Especially in Marathon matches; it happens that the first 30 things which you try don't work out. The important thing is to try out the 31st.
Inevitably, you will have disappointments (I had a ton), but the important thing is to learn from them and persevere. And obviously, the best way is to learn from the guys who placed in the top.
I'm a Topcoder member since 2004. I managed to become red in the algorithm track and qualify for the Google Code Jam final in 2006 (which was held through Topcoder), and since then Topcoder always had a warm place in my heart.
The first time I seriously competed in the marathon TCO was in 2014. The first 2 qualification rounds were brutal for me – I didn't place in the top 30. I really thought I wasn't cut out for this 🙂
In 2015 I decided to give it another go and really found the PathDefense problem enjoyable.
I was first in the provisional standing (briefly) after 3 days and I thought I had a shot at qualifying. Unfortunately, over the next week I tried over 20 ideas which didn't work out, and my TCO final dream started to slip away.
Sunday, with less than 24 hours remaining I was 12th in the provisional standing. I was close to giving up and just going to sleep but I decided to give it one more shot. I spent the whole night listening to Eminem beats for energy and finally managed to get 2 big improvements, which are the reason you are reading this right now.
The lesson: don't give up 🙂