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Copilot Trip Winner
Sandeep Yadav's profile
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Sandeep Yadav

About Sandeep Yadav
I work as a specialist in hp Inc.

What is the most interesting project you copiloted at Topcoder and why?
The first project I copiloted was the most interesting, “Investlab Portal”. Since this was my first project, I didn’t have any idea how things were going to be. I didn’t know how to write specification to convey the project requirements to Topcoder competitors, how to assign challenge timelines to get an adequate number of submissions, or how the challenge review was going to be. I was traveling those days and I didn’t have continuous effecient internet, so that was also an issue. However, everything went well. I used my past experiences as a competitor to step into the shoes of the current competitors, to create challenge specifications that entail plenty of challenges on this project. The entire project lasted for about three/four months. We were able to complete and deliver all the project requirements. Thanks to all the amazing Topcoder members who participated in these challenges and made it possible. Apart from these, I’m copiloting another project and the requirements are even more difficult to understand and create. Most of the technologies are also very new. I’m glad that I have been able to convey the requirements to Topcoder members and that they successfully completed the most difficult project requirements.

What is your most memorable Topcoder challenge and why?
It was a private challenge that I did over a year ago when I a full-time Topcoder competitor. The goal was to code several Newsletter Templates. Some of these we see in the Topcoder weekly newsletter. I feel that creating a template is more difficult than a webpage because a limited number of CSS properties work. We can’t use JavaScript at all, and we have to make the newsletter appear consistent on more than 10 to 15 email clients. So, I created the first version in two or three days to look perfect on a web browser. Then, when the copilot tested it on plenty of email clients it was completely broken on some of the older email clients. In the end, it took around a month to create all the templates. I am glad that the copilot continued testing most of the email clients and informing me of the smallest issues that most people would have just ignored. Because of all this, we have an amazing newsletter today.

Is Topcoder your full time job and if so, why does it work for you?
I was a full time Topcoder competitor for around 7 amazing years until December 2018. Now I work for hp Inc. By competing at Topcoder I learned fast. That’s the only way to win the competitions, earn a lot more money than a regular company offers, and prevent yourself from getting rusty. All my experiences with Topcoder help me do my current job faster and in a more efficient way. The projects that I work on these days are huge however, I know how to get everything done faster and efficiently.

What do you do when not working?
I’m usually traveling to meet new people and see places around. This year I traveled to Nepal, Japan, and a few nearby cities here in India. More destinations coming!

Where do you work? Tell us about your space(s).
I can work from anywhere as long as my laptops are with me. They are like my office that allows me to work while traveling. Apart from this, I work from my home office.

If you could give your past self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Maybe I should have started going on extended TCO trips with Topcoder finalists/friends since 2014.

What kind of music do you listen to while working on your solutions?
I listen to soft music and all type songs while working.

What is the dream project you want to build, design, or solve for?
This keeps on changing from time to time. These days when I have time, I work on my timkeeper app (iOS & Android download links can be found here). I’m planing to start working on an Apple Watch version of this.

What’s the best tip or piece of advice you can share with other members at Topcoder?
It’s the famous quote by Charles Darwin: “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”.

What does Topcoder mean to you?
Life changing.

What are you most excited about for this year’s TCO Finals?
Meeting the finalists, watching them compete, meeting Jessie and the other admins, and going on the extended TCO trip with finalists/friends.

Do you strive to be at TCO every year and if so, why does it matter to you?
I do. I get to travel to new places every year, meet the best programmers and designers from around the world, meet friends again, and sometimes those friends stay with you forever (as if I’m back in College again).

What was your secret to getting a ticket for the TCO finals more than once?
There’s not secret. Just do what you love and then you don’t have to work a single day.