TCO Onsite Finals: Memories From A First-Timer!
The two passions in my life are – programming & sports.
Unsurprisingly, there’s a strong competitive element to both of these. Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to attend some (and speak at a few) of the biggest technology conferences in the world including Apple’s WWDC, Dreamforce, Droidcon and several others. As for being an avid sports fan, I’ve had the privilege of watching the Major League Baseball, the French Open tennis tournament, a Formula 1 Grand Prix and several other competitive sports live in person.
But, one of my most favorite memory of recent times is from an event which combines the two – competitiveness & programming — the TCO finals!
I was pleasantly surprised to win a trip to the TCO13 finals but missed making the trip due to personal reasons. To say that I felt gutted would be an understatement, especially as all my fellow competitors there had an absolute blast.
The best developers, designers and problem solvers from all over the world competing & interacting under one roof – too good an opportunity to miss, especially when it’s an all expense paid trip. None the less, even though I did miss the event, it set a firm goal for me for the year to come – work harder & win a trip for next year!
Nearly a year later, karma came calling again with an invitation for the TCO14 finals and of course, you don’t make the mistake twice. I gleefully accepted – excited and nervous at the same time.
Super API Cloud Mashathon
I had participated in the TCO13 offsite hackathon and managed to win the 2nd prize so it was a good chance to go one step further with the onsite edition titled the Super API Cloud Mashathon
I worked with lots of coffee and pretty much no sleep till the hackathon deadline to submit my entry ‘ForceBook’ – a iOS app integrating Facebook and Salesforce. My submission eventually won a consolation prize for ‘Best use of Multiple API’ and it was a satisfying result for me – as I believe the better submissions won the bigger prizes.
Marathon Match Finale
However, the mashathon wasn’t what excited me the most as a first-time TCO finals attendee. It was an amazing feeling to see the adrenaline rush among participants as they competed on various tracks live and the whole arena was full of unmatched energy levels – that I’ve not seen at any other conference. I’ve been a big fan of Marathon Matches over the years and it was a special feeling to see this test of skill, endurance and execution live with the best in the business involved in a fierce battle.
It was fascinating to see best designers from the community create such unique and fascinating designs in a short span of time in the Studio finals. And the best part, you can sit back and watch them work through their craft, one step at a time – a great way of imbibing the ‘see and learn’ philosophy.
It’s not very often that you would get a chance to have folks like Petr, Pshyo, tourist and several other world renowned problem solvers under one roof. The best part is – that everyone in the community is very approachable and I’ve fond memories of interacting with each one of them. Algorithm finals are packed with action and undoubtedly attracted the most star power in the TCO14 finals.
There’s a wild card round which is one last chance for folks to get into the finals and the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ in the crowd are impossible to miss when the results show up are a unique experience in itself.
To say that TCO14 finals will forever be etched in my memory, would be an understatement. This video sums aptly sums up the TCO14 final experience that I experienced and I’ve no doubt that TCO16 finals will step up the game further!
See you there!