What is the most interesting challenge you competed on at Topcoder and why?
Jessie Design Month Challenge 02. The challenge was to create a mobile application which gives TCO19 finalists all the TCO related information in one place (i.e., events happening, where they are, what they should do, etc.) The interesting/challenging part was to understand, design and test within 48 hours. The content available to us was huge but the screen space was small. I was able to complete the challenge in 40 hours and even test it among my circle to optimize it better.
What is your most memorable Topcoder challenge and why?
Jessie Design Month Challenge 03 - Topcoder Educational Platform. The challenge was tough and the deadline was short. But after competing rigorously for the past month, I was confident with my process and design methodology. When I completed the challenge 18 hours before the deadline, it made me realize that these regular challenges streamlined my design thinking and decision making and made me a better designer in just 1 month.
About Ankit Passi
Born and raised in New Delhi, India. Completed my Bachelors in Computer Science. Did freelancing during college days, now I am a Visual and Interaction Designer, working for my organization for the past year. Learned about Topcoder in 2017 and won the first Hackathon conducted by Topcoder: HumbleFool Charity Hackathon.
What do you do when not working?
I love to design: create something and solve the problem using process and help others achieve the same. When I am not designing, I love to do 3D Modelling, and game designing in Unreal Engine 4 and basic Sketches. I am also a footballer (left winger), PC gamer, sometimes Photographer and recently started writing on Medium.
Where do you work? Tell us about your space(s).
I work in an organization: TEKsystems Global Services. A nice big desk with a window view and all my comic and anime figurines right by my side and a huge monitor. Music in the background and my design notebook and pen with me all the time.
If you could give your past self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Never compromise your health, prioritize it above everything. And talk to people as much as you can and give assistance to anyone who needs it, even if you don't like them. And compete on Topcoder as much as you can!
What kind of music do you listen to while working on your solutions?
Mostly I listen to game soundtracks, primarily the Witcher soundtrack, but it also depends on my mood at the time. If I am not listening to Witcher, then the DOOM soundtrack or a playlist consisting of 80s metal bands.
What is the dream project you want to build, design, or solve for?
I have always wanted to work on VR or AR projects with a team who is as passionate as I am and who loves to work on design on these next-gen platforms.
What's the best tip or piece of advice you can share with other members at Topcoder?
I am still a beginner at Topcoder. There's so much for me to learn from talented people on this platform. I want tips and advice from them! I want to talk to them and learn how they work on design projects and what mindset they carry when working on these challenges with strict time limits.
What does Topcoder mean to you?
Topcoder is more than a platform; it's a living community that provides us with opportunities, challenges, talks, and everything in between that enables us to go the extra mile and create something better.
How does it feel to be a first time TCO Finalist?
It's a dream come true. Not in a million years did I think I would get a chance to come to this event. When I found out about Topcoder, I saw that there's an exclusive event named the TCO just for extraordinary people from all across the globe from all domains. I never thought I would get a chance to go!
What are you most looking forward to at your first-ever TCO Finals?
Meeting the extraordinary designers, developers and everyone in between who are the actual faces of Topcoder. And competing side by side with them.
Did you strive to make it TCO this year and if so, why does it matter to you?
I didn't compete in Design Month challenges with any intention of reaching TCO because I knew that TCO is for exemplary and veteran designers. Not for new designers like me. But seeing that I reached that level in such a short span is just extraordinary.
What's the one question and answer you wished we would have asked you, but didn't?
Keep calm. Try everything. If something interests you, try to work on it. You'll fail but try to learn from your mistakes. Ask for feedback on your work whenever you get a chance. Prioritize your goals and work. Give your everything and commit to it. Talk to people and understand their challenges and assist them, if they need it. And keep exploring stuff; there's literally so much available.