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Top coder

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Slides used during a case facilitation in one of my class.

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Top coder

  1. 1. TopCoder Developing software through crowdsourcing
  2. 2. How TopCoder came about?Jack Hughes Tallan Inc. (Business Data Services) Sold for $920M
  3. 3. Lessons learnt from Tallan? Not happy with the operations of Tallan Expensive and time consuming recruitment process Evolving technologies results in high employee turnover rate More can be done to save clients time and money Crowdsourcing was the solution!
  4. 4. TopCoder v1.0 Consulting Business Model Host competitions with monetary rewards from sponsors Build community strength Gain popularity Winner gets a job with the sponsor HR firm • Looking to hire Client • Held Competitions TopCoder • Winner got hired Crowd
  5. 5. TopCoder v2.0 Competition Based Model Crowd sourcing Software Development Tasks of Software Development Process Task Conceptual ization Specificatio n Architec ture Component Production Application Assembly Certific ation Deploy ment v.2.0 PM PM PM COM PM PM PM • Looking for software application Client • Held Competitions TopCoder • Winner got rewarded Crowd
  6. 6. TopCoder v2.1 Competition Based Model Dissatisfied with $20 mln in revenue Platform Managers costs too high Tasks of Software Development Process • Looking for software application Client • Held Competitions TopCoder • Winner got rewarded Crowd Task Conceptual ization Specificatio n Architec ture Component Production Application Assembly Certific ation Deploy ment v.2.0 PM PM PM COM PM PM PM v2.1 PM & COM PM & COM COM COM COM PM PM & COM
  7. 7. Did it work? 2007 2008 2009 Total Revenue (million) $18.31 $18.75 $8.44 Cost of Platform Managers (million) $4.89 $4.59 $1.88 Cost of PM vs TR (%) 26.7% 24.5% 22.3% Decrease in contest from 2008 to 2009 Switched from hourly based consultation to monthly fee
  8. 8. Types of Competition Algorithm Competition Attract new members Retain existing members Software Development Competition Provide clients with specific solutions Expand TopCoder’s catalog
  9. 9. Algorithm Competitions Timed competitions Available in Java, C#, C++ & VB.Net Single Round Match consists: Coding Phase Challenging Phase System Testing Phase
  10. 10. Algorithm Competitions Coding Phase Lasts 75 mins Contestants presented with the same 3 questions Points awarded for successfully compiled solutions Total time elapsed Challenging Phase Lasts 15 mins Challenge the functionality of other competitors’ code Successful challenge: Defendant – loss of original submission points Challenger – 50 point reward Unsuccessful challenge: Challenger – reduction of 25 points
  11. 11. Algorithm Competitions System Testing Phase Applied to all submitted code (not successfully challenged) Flawed code submission will lose all points Automated tester applies a set of inputs if submission’s output does not match expected output, submission is considered flawed All successful challenges will be added to the set of inputs for the System Testing Phase
  12. 12. Example of an Algorithm Competition
  13. 13. Example of Algorithm Competition 011100011 Encrypt by adding to each digit to the sum of the adjacent digits [0+1], [0+1+1], [1+1+1] etc. 123210122
  14. 14. How does it attract & retain the TopCoder Community Think about your lab practices/tests Challenging Prove your worth Self improvement
  15. 15. Community TopCoder Community Activeness & Earning Distribution Latent Pool Normal Active Pool 82.5% 17.5% 95% 5%
  16. 16. Motivating the Community Money is the most attractive thing TopCoder ratings
  17. 17. How to motivate the latent pool? Monetary Award $50 for successful compilation of code by latent pool (for 5 rounds) 1.5 times prize money if they are the winner Prospective Jobs

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