In the Topcoder Community Town Hall today, it was announced that (if I heard and understood correctly) Topcoder Open (TCO) 2023 will be the last TCO and it will be a virtual event.
WIth the recent Google Coding Competitions shutdown announcement, it is an end of an era indeed :'(
so sad... does usual SRM's remain?
It was not mentioned in the town hall (or maybe I missed it), so I would assume it would remain.
Do you have a link ?
No, it was announced verbally in a Zoom community town hall. I expect the recording should be available in their Youtube channel soon, and the formal text announcement with more details should be available somewhere eventually as well.
wtf It's just so crazy to hear about TCO's discontinuance after we just lost GCJ
Are there any more sources for this message?
Update: ok so they posted an announcement here, it's shocking and declares the end of the old era...
They have posted the video from the Town Hall and FAQ
So, they will do it online right ? Cope
The relevant part in the video starts at 39:03
SecondThread, Hacker Cup cancelled when?
Come on, let me get at least a single t-shirt
Meta is going to have their second layoff wave. Brace yourself.
I don't and don't want to believe that the competitive programming is such a thing.
I'm sorry if this is comment is too emotional, but consider. The first football league was in 1888, and now it is one of the most prosperous content all over the world. The first big match of tennis was in 1877, and now many of you can list up a bunch of star tennis players. You may think that it's because they are sports. Now consider chess, even though the rule is complicated, some of you must be enjoying it. There was a time that AI surpassed human's ability, but it is still on fire.
How about competitive programming? Since it is known as a mind sport, it should have many things in common as above. From when ICPC started in 1970 (53 years ago!), this mind sport expanded so much over time. Now, a surprising 10,000+ players in a "normal" CF round. I think that it prospered because CP made a success in finding a way for players to enjoy like a sport.
Many people are saying that today is a beginning of fall of CP, as two of three "big matches" (GCJ, TCO, MHC) announce their end. But even with these sad announcements, I don't think that the way of enjoying CP itself has got deleted. I still believe that a new era is awaiting for us.
i believe you
The problem is that CP is not a sport for spectators. I enjoy solving problems a lot, but watching others solve them — not so much. I can still remember how on Twitch the finals of TCO some years back got under 100 viewers, while some Bulgarian streamer talking in Bulgarian and streaming the very exciting game Euro Truck simulator got over 1500 viewers ...
It would be great if Codeforces or Atcoder hosted a contest to replace these ones
I don't know how well known this is, but AtCoder hosted a "World Tour Finals" in 2019 and are planning to do one again this year. Details are here. Eight people qualify each year based on their performances in Grand Contests.
Keep in mind that TCO has failed to create an OS-app or webapp for competitions which would be relevant to the '10s, much less the '20s, despite repeated promises. Considering how the community died out years ago, I'm only surprised this didn't happen sooner! In addition, all corporate in-house competitions have been on the decline, not just GCJ and TCO.
It's still a pity to see competitions disappear — I enjoyed solving a decent portion of topcoder problems throughout the times. The best we can do is take up the mantle.
Correct me if I'm wrong — but TCO is not only Algorithm and Marathon (which should have died years ago), but also other tracks, and they killed TCO for them too.
TCO had a total of 6 tracks in 2022. There were some changes for 2023 (data science and marathon got split apart, first to finish got removed), making it 6 tracks again. While I've never looked that much into it, it felt like those work-related tracks had less competition: development only had 7 finalists despite being planned for 12.
Now even Jessie left topcoder a week ago (briefly mentioned in the townhall meeting) and deleted her twitter account. It's sad to see it go down. In their news letter they wrote:
I have a hard time to believe it.
Wow, Jessie left?!
I was equally surprised/shocked yesterday. Skip to 42:30 (not that you'd get much info there) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt5ijnQMrXE
I never followed Jessie on twitter, but it looks like she's still there.
I'd imagine that she has to be really pissed off considering there's no "Goodbye" message from her. Either abruptly fired or rage quit the job.
Oh, thanks for correction. I guess she renamed then, used to be jmpld40.
I don't know her remotely as well as you do, but that silent leave feels out of character for her. I wish you all the best in case you somehow stumble over this comment, Jessie.
I have no idea about the other tracks' previous or future status, so I was only talking about Algo track. The most I can say is that since Topcoder business model relied on other companies bringing their real problems to solve, with competitions only acting as a promotion, I'd expect a similar level of technical neglect.
All the private companies can stop organizing CP, but we'll still have our IOI & ICPC.
It's only for pupils and students, respectively. I believe that community of professionals interested in CP is large enough to be taken out of brackets.
I think given how big the communities are, we could try to create some sort of an organization which would provide funding for such contests. It doesn't have to be something too big from the start, but having something to use as a stepping stone to popularize competitive programming worldwide would be a good start.
Plus, a lot of us are involved in organizing contests and Olympiads too so getting sponsors shouldn't be an impossible challenge.
We currently have a few competitions which award the top contestants, but in my opinion the outcome would be way better if the forces would be joined together for such a goal.
Sure, just expect to be in the red financially. Example:
Age of Empires 2 will have an onsite event in a month or so. There have been some before (this is a 4th edition of one), the game is thriving with Micro$oft funding, tens of thousands viewership, and there are sponsors. Obviously, community funding is also there and plays a part.
Yet, bad news recently came in that prizepool for the event got reduced from $100k to $50k because there isn't enough sponsorship money! The guy organising it is paying anything not covered by other sources out of his own pocket (he's one of the most popular aoe2 streamers), and he doesn't have the kind of money needed to cover everything, it'd need to be over $50k.
Things get a lot easier financially if there's no onsite events, but that also means less prestige and motivation. The point is that you have certain expectations based on how other things got funded and then reality punches you in the gut.
You're right, and that's why I suggested we can work on something to begin the idea, for example Codeforces got $125k when people donated for the 10 year badge, which is a lot of money used for the natural expenses, such as keeping the servers up, paying problem setters and paying the employees.
Even though there is an economic downturn going on, I'm sure there would be a lot of interested firms in donating even sums such as $1k or even $500, plus a lot of individual donors. It doesn't take a lot of donations to at least make up for what was lost as a consequence of losing GCJ and TCO.
Furthermore, I don't think the goal is really to turn out a profit from it at first, plus there are some obstacles as always.
Also, if competitive programming turns out to be more and more popular (that might require some format changes IMO), the income streams would also grow.
125K$ is nothing if you want to organize international onsite finals anywhere in the world (travel costs, venue costs, labor costs).
The reason why sponsors are able to dish out huge piles of money is that the cost of finding a new employee in IT for big companies is estimated to be in range of 50K$+ (in California at least). GCJ was probably more about building brand than directly hiring competitors.
And if you don't care about onsites then losing GCJ / TCO doesn't mean much. You still have codeforces / atcoder.
Once again, valid points, that's why my idea (check the new blog ) is at first based on some starting ground and then later if things get big enough, we can think at expanding the idea.
Having frequently enough awarded contests in a more official way (something like what global rounds used to be) would be a good starting point for a bigger onsite contest or camp.
Note that I wasn't talking about not turning out a profit, but about turning out a significant loss. Anyone who wants to seriously commit to organising stuff will get hit by lack of time to earn money for basic lifestyle, much more so if there's also the need to provide for a family (really puts Mike's effort into perspective), even with a lot of details offloaded to other volunteers. Running costs like CF has are on top of that, any kind of prizes are on top of that, and an onsite event is on top of that even if any individual costs like travel are offloaded on individuals.
This blog is straight out talking about the opposite happening from the funding standpoint, so I'd work under the assumption that income streams from big companies will slowly decrease. It's always better to be pleasantly surprised than the other way around.
I'm giving a battle speech here: know that you're hyped now, but once it really starts, you'll wish to quit. At that point, you need a motivation beyond "I want to do this", because you won't want to do it — you need to believe "I must do this, if I don't then everything behind me will come tumbling down", you need to reject the alternative as worse generally even if more convenient to you at the moment. Be ready for what you'll face.
I agree with the fact that such an effort would be equivalent to having a full time job, and funding should include paying the people involved as if it's a full time job.
Now if I were in a position to do that without losing a lot of my income, I'd do this.
Maybe if we end up convincing a rich donor to fund it all or most of it like chess found those people, things would be much easier in the long run.
In general, most contests are being run by a few people and this will probably have to change if competitive programming will want to stay alive
Does anyone know when online round 1A is? This link https://tco23.topcoder.com/competition-rules says it's tomorrow but the arena / calendar don't show anything and there was no email.
Becky posted this in the official Topcoder discord
Hi all, I’ve gotten some questions on the algo qualification rounds, dates are posted in the rules. We are CHANGING those as we work through planning our final TCO, so please disregard those dates. New dates will be shared soon
Ah didn't know there's a discord, do you have an invite link? This one https://discord.gg/topcoder looks expired
Hmm that link should be correct, per this page. I just sent you another invite link via private message, try using that.
Could you please send that to me as well? The aforementioned one is expired indeed.
Looks like Ioana reached them out :)
They scammed me 3 t-shirts :(.
Any news on the first rounds?