A widely known contest site for programmers, designers, and data scientists.

Topcoder is a platform that administers competitions in programming, design, and data science. There are many different kinds of contests, including software development, algorithms, testing, bug races, and more. The competitions are usually for high-profile clients, such as Fortune 500 companies that are looking to rapidly test concepts. Winners and finalists earn cash prizes,

Earnings vary dramatically, depending on types of contests and how far you get, but work is bountiful and the pay can be quite high.

Recommended For

This is not a site for beginners. To win you have to have a good concept which is usually the result of deep experience in the field.

We recommend Topcoder as one tool for getting clients among many, as it isn’t generally recommended to rely entirely on a competition based site for income, even though the prizes are significant. Some recommend using this platform for serious honing of your professional skills.

How To Use It

There’s a registration process (free) that takes 1 – 2 weeks. After that pick competitions to participate in and submit your work. Some projects award prizes at a checkpoint halfway through the process. If you win (often 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes), you earn the cash awarded for the project. Topcoder holds earnings for 30-days, so it’s not ideal for fast-earning.

When starting out, it’s best to go for a lower paying/lower commitment project to start with. Then, based on the experience shoot higher.

  • You have all the info upfront and choose projects that fit your skill set.
  • You can put as much or little effort into the project as you like.
  • They award checkpoint prizes, so you know whose in the running to win about halfway through.
  • Less competition than many crowdsourcing sites.
  • No guaranteed wins.
  • They hold payment for 30 days.
Things To Know
  • Read the Instructions carefully. They have requirements for submissions and if you do not submit properly, it will not be counted.
  • It’s highly recommend you have a high level of English so you will be able to understand the logic associated with the projects.
  • Many people have had good luck with this site.
  • Often (almost always, it seems) these are US companies and it seems that a lot of the submissions are coming from over seas, so you might have a leg up if you are familiar with the US business scene.

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Have you worked with Topcoder? Rate it below!

1 review

  1. Quality Crowdsourced Projects; Less Competition

    Overall, had good luck with TopCoder. It’s a high-end crowdsourcing site with less competition that other design/development crowdsourcing site. Due to the elite nature of the work, it’s a great opportunity to win big money when you have some time. Since there are no guaranties, this site is for rockstars only… If you’ve got the skills, its a good resource to earn from crowdsourced projects.

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