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UI Design Finalist

tototpc

INTERVIEW

What does Topcoder mean to you?

I'm new to Topcoder; for me it gives creative freedom to people, moves them to think more critically, and improve more in skills in field we've chosen.


What is your greatest career accomplishment to date?

Being able to quit my corporate job and going solo with individual design projects as well as earning studio cup badge top 5.


What are you hobbies besides Topcoder?

I play a lot of MOBA Games (DotA & LOL) but I'm now into Cities: Skylines.

I also like running, cooking, doing free designs/assets, Digital Painting/Sketching, reading anything or Stephen King Novels, talking to stuff toys (it's a thing), watching game streams, an watching documentaries or CNN.

Lately I'm practicing Neo-classical Metal vocals, but mostly I sleep all day if possible.


What is your best tip for a new Topcoder member just starting out?

“Reference, research, and understand. The internet is a big place that can inspire you, get in to that zone that you are one with the contest/client, if you can't, experiment, throw every good idea you have into your submissions.

Make every project awesome and free of flaws. If you think you need more practice then do it, practice, sounds cliche but it works!

If it's too much pressure, take a break, the idea will come soon. We can't win if we don't submit anything so finish that contest. Never stop, take breaks but don't stop, finish it.

Also declare your submission and avoid copying. The most important thing is to read careful! Take notes if you have to. “


Tell us your Topcoder story.

PS this is quite long.

I heard it long time ago (2009 I think) when i was just starting to learn design using Photoshop, from djtal15 but that time kristofferrouge graduated so I didn't get to see how to compete first hand or how it works, and I don't even know Photoshop basic and never heard about illustrator.

I think it was 2010 when kristofferrouge gave a talk about his design work that included Topcoder. I was there listening and knew him and gave a regards from djtal15 (they are best of buddies and classmates btw), Was inspired by that talk greatly.

djtal15 actually mentored me along the way, also I nag him all the time to teach me all his design skills/technique, he started competing on design contest on other networks and I also pitch in, includes Tee design, Branding designs, vectors, print, you name it we try to compete on it, I never won that much those days (Actually 0 wins) and I still never signed up to Topcoder, but i got the basics of PS and Ai then.

I graduated BS Information System 2011 system then, slack off half a year and got into the world of corporate marketing half a year, selling tee's I designed and stuffs that I never though I would sell.

by 2012 i stopped marketing stuffs and got back in full-time design and planed to start my master degree, started to work in a online firm for off-shore clients, that move refines my abilities, 1 and half year I've work on multiple corporate design things, 8-12 hours a day, client was so strict, for it was his name on the line and I'm just the one making the design for him. I remember making 3 logos with 5 versions each, then he will insert couple of print fliers or single landing pages or vectors.

I enjoyed it but he can't pay more to keep us 2 designers (we were 2 in the team the other one I don't know) he choose to keep the other designer. That day made me realize it's a real competition even in work.

I never stop designing for that firm, then my girlfriend sent me an article about how designers earn online, i forgot where it is but it took me to e-marketplace where authors can sell there designs.

I took the challenge and ju
Early 2014
the outsourcing firm stopped operating and the founders started out in a different business venture, i was advice by my mother to take a job as a computer technician in a government institution/school here in my hometown (but i still do marketplace design and freelancing), after 2 weeks before my contract enst kept on designing there. Funny thing was the review process and packaging of files was quite similar to Topcoder.
ded I left, didn't like it. People who work in 3rd world government would know the feeling 😀 and told my mother give me 1 year and i will make it up to you just don't nag me about working in the government again.

So I continue to do freelance work and keep on building up my marketplace/design portfolio.

Late 2014
I contacted djtal15 and told him that my account got hacked in a online payment mode, online account was 0 and my card that is connected to it was all gone, that was my enrollment money!, That was when I asked him if the Topcoder thingy was still a thing for I saw kristofferrouge winning on his posts on Facebook, also djtal was winning stuff on other design networks, that with his encouragement I tried to register, I was still shocked, “”He said Don't worry or uncle Bob would be sad”” (Bob Marley reference)

I tried to sign-up, my handler was wrong It's was supposed to be totopc not tototpc, a typo error in my side. After a day i competed, I think it was the “”TCO15 Icon set challenge””

When I won 2nd place man I was so damn happy that djtal15 chat box was filled with gibberish chat. Man that feeling, from then on I never hold back and kept on designing in Topcoder.

Special mention to Jeng my girlfriend help me in design feedback, and inspiring me to push through.

Also my other friends that works on corporate companies help me with how things work like, conveyor belt systems, accounting systems those weird challenges that you don't get plenty of know-how how it works.

My parents and brother in keeping up with my short temper problems when designing.

My mother for trusting me in my decision.

kristofferrouge for being an inspiration.

djtal15, this guy, my mentor who put up with my bickering and nagging. Keeping me in my toes every time.

My body for putting up with me in long hours of designing :).

God for bringing me to this earth, help me get through those struggles and challenges.

Other people and you all in Topcoder. Great community!