A couple of months back, Topcoder – the world’s largest crowdsourcing community of developers, designers and algorithmists announced their first ever batch of MVPs (aka Most Valuable Professionals) and I’m thrilled and honoured to have been included in the list.
I started off on Topcoder more than six years back and I believe it’s a good time to reflect on this incredible journey of passion, learning and growing together with the community.
The Topcoder community chose a total of 11 MVPs for the inaugural batch including members across multiple tracks – design, development and algorithms. The nominations process was driven by the community and people were asked to nominate members based on the following characteristics
Of course, I can’t be thankful enough for those who nominated me by considering me worthy of this title.
What does it mean?
So, what does being a Topcoder MVP mean? Is it just another fancy title? What do Topcoder MVPs exactly do?
Topcoder has redefined the paradigm of crowdsourcing in the last few years and the community has been at the forefront of this revolution. Although the Topcoder staff and leadership have played key roles in establishing Topcoder as a disruptive force in the crowdsourcing segment, it wouldn’t have been possible without the community which has delivered time and again to varying demands of clients across multiple technologies and segments.
The MVPs act as representatives of the community at large – relaying and acting on community’s concerns, helping improve Topcoder as a platform for community, for customers, for staff and brainstorming on how to step up our collective game to the next level.
Of course, I’ve some prior experience with the expectations associated with this role as I was nominated to the 2015 Topcoder Community Advisory board as well.
It is NOT Cheerleading!
While Topcoder MVPs do serve as brand ambassadors for this amazing crowdsourcing community, it isn’t endless cheerleading – at least for me. It’s about helping take and enforce decisions for everyone’s benefit, promoting what we’re doing well and improving upon the areas where we can do better.
It is NOT Blind Criticism Either!
No platform is perfect. And for a community platform such as Topcoder to be successful, it’s important that all stakeholders – including Topcoder staff, community and clients work together to identify the gaps & pain points and fix them in a mutually amicable way.
For a platform of this scale, it’s easy to find flaws and criticise individuals or staff for things that don’t work as well as they should. While I believe criticism should be welcome, it should be done constructively. I strongly believe in the philosophy – Don’t just look for problems, look for solutions!
Be patient, give it some time and we’ll do it together!
It is a Responsibility
I strongly believe that such a honorary title is a responsibility which should be carried out with utmost sincerity. Unknowingly or otherwise, Topcoder MVPs do act as the public face of this diverse crowdsourcing community and I hope all of us (including yours truly) put our best put forward.
I’ve received a lot of encouragement and support from the Topcoder community and staff over the years and I’m hoping I continue to give back in every possible way in the near and long term future!
Thank you once again for this honour and this opportunity and I promise to do my bit!