Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many community members are there worldwide?
  • How does Topcoder make sure that projects for financial institutions are well secured by the community?
  • Once the engagement starts can Topcoder provide the details about the community participating on challenges?
  • What is a challenge?
  • How do I submit projects?
  • What are the roles within a challenge?
  • How does Topcoder address the quality and security of developed code?

How many community members are there worldwide?Fill 95

Topcoder is home to the world’s largest network of designers, developers, and data scientists.

Founded in 2001, the Topcoder Crowd today includes more than 1.2 million members around the world. Our community grows by more than 10,000 members per month through referrals and word of mouth, and members range from students to professionals to individuals who earn a living through Topcoder.

tc stats 2018

How many community members are there worldwide?Fill 95

Topcoder is home to the world’s largest network of designers, developers, and data scientists.

Founded in 2001, the Topcoder Crowd today includes more than 1.2 million members around the world. Our community grows by more than 10,000 members per month through referrals and word of mouth, and members range from students to professionals to individuals who earn a living through Topcoder.

tc stats 2018

How does Topcoder make sure that projects for financial institutions are well secured by the community?Fill 95

There are many ways in which Topcoder ensures confidentiality:

  • Project and client code names are used for challenges that are posted to the crowdsourcing platform where clients wish to remain anonymous.

  • Atomization means that crowdsourcing competitors can create a “bolt” without needing to know what the “machine” does.

  • There are many examples where crowdsourcing challenges have contributed to a client’s most sensitive strategic programmes running over multiple years. Even in design projects 90% of the work (UX, wireframes etc.) can be done whilst removing logos and recognisable branding.

  • Once the project reaches scale, Topcoder will use its most trusted and vetted members for the programme. All members are then required to sign a bespoke NDA to provide a further level of protection.

  • Topcoder and/or the customer can also limit the crowd participation from specific countries and/or force an NDA to be signed. It is however important to remember that restricting challenges in this way will limit the number of people who will accept the challenge thus reducing the talent pool of the crowd.

Strategies used to protect data:

  • Identity masking: The customer remains anonymous

  • Data Obfuscation: Topcoder scrubs PII and applies hashes/noise to pricing, exact GPS locations, etc. to hide the precise values.

  • Private Challenges: Topcoder can run private challenges, which only a hand-selected group of contestants will see. Contestants are required to sign non-disclosures and can also be asked to sign data use agreements, etc.

  • Facsimile Challenges: Topcoder can run challenges where the problem statement must be solved, using fake data. Once the best solvers are identified, they are contracted privately to work on the task.

  • Metaphors: On occasion, customers require Topcoder to hide the problem domain itself (e.g. an oil and gas problem becomes focused on agriculture instead)

Masking Logic steps include:

  • Step 1: Identify which data needs to be masked

  • Step 2: Masking logic is discussed with the business

  • Step 3: Integration Specialist uses the masking logic to mask the data

Masking Logic uses following methods:

  • Numbers are randomised by using hash values, sequence, or other randomised numbers

  • Content and names are changed to differ their identification

cs flow

Listen to what our attorneys say about customer assurances & protections (3 min. video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mlo2KJVMwAQ

How does Topcoder make sure that projects for financial institutions are well secured by the community?Fill 95

There are many ways in which Topcoder ensures confidentiality:

  • Project and client code names are used for challenges that are posted to the crowdsourcing platform where clients wish to remain anonymous.

  • Atomization means that crowdsourcing competitors can create a “bolt” without needing to know what the “machine” does.

  • There are many examples where crowdsourcing challenges have contributed to a client’s most sensitive strategic programmes running over multiple years. Even in design projects 90% of the work (UX, wireframes etc.) can be done whilst removing logos and recognisable branding.

  • Once the project reaches scale, Topcoder will use its most trusted and vetted members for the programme. All members are then required to sign a bespoke NDA to provide a further level of protection.

  • Topcoder and/or the customer can also limit the crowd participation from specific countries and/or force an NDA to be signed. It is however important to remember that restricting challenges in this way will limit the number of people who will accept the challenge thus reducing the talent pool of the crowd.

Strategies used to protect data:

  • Identity masking: The customer remains anonymous

  • Data Obfuscation: Topcoder scrubs PII and applies hashes/noise to pricing, exact GPS locations, etc. to hide the precise values.

  • Private Challenges: Topcoder can run private challenges, which only a hand-selected group of contestants will see. Contestants are required to sign non-disclosures and can also be asked to sign data use agreements, etc.

  • Facsimile Challenges: Topcoder can run challenges where the problem statement must be solved, using fake data. Once the best solvers are identified, they are contracted privately to work on the task.

  • Metaphors: On occasion, customers require Topcoder to hide the problem domain itself (e.g. an oil and gas problem becomes focused on agriculture instead)

Masking Logic steps include:

  • Step 1: Identify which data needs to be masked

  • Step 2: Masking logic is discussed with the business

  • Step 3: Integration Specialist uses the masking logic to mask the data

Masking Logic uses following methods:

  • Numbers are randomised by using hash values, sequence, or other randomised numbers

  • Content and names are changed to differ their identification

cs flow

Listen to what our attorneys say about customer assurances & protections (3 min. video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mlo2KJVMwAQ

Once the engagement starts can Topcoder provide the details about the community participating on challenges?Fill 95

Because of Privacy regulations, we are not allowed to share details of our Topcoder members.

When people sign up on Topcoder, we take their privacy very seriously. That’s especially important for the demographic we’re dealing with in general.

On occasions, we can run surveys if there are specific things you’d like to know about why people are competing. We do that for Harvard Business School for example, who study prize incentives and share their data with us. Sometimes we will do that for our customers in government, when required for the contract, however our members are required to give their consent before hand.

But in both cases it’s a service we include only for our subscription customers.

Once the engagement starts can Topcoder provide the details about the community participating on challenges?Fill 95

Because of Privacy regulations, we are not allowed to share details of our Topcoder members.

When people sign up on Topcoder, we take their privacy very seriously. That’s especially important for the demographic we’re dealing with in general.

On occasions, we can run surveys if there are specific things you’d like to know about why people are competing. We do that for Harvard Business School for example, who study prize incentives and share their data with us. Sometimes we will do that for our customers in government, when required for the contract, however our members are required to give their consent before hand.

But in both cases it’s a service we include only for our subscription customers.

What is a challenge?Fill 95

Watch these videos (about 6 minutes total) to learn more about the overall concept of challenges and crowdsourcing at Topcoder.

What is a challenge?Fill 95

Watch these videos (about 6 minutes total) to learn more about the overall concept of challenges and crowdsourcing at Topcoder.

How do I submit projects?Fill 95

process-image

How do I submit a Project?

Thanks for your interest in crowdsourcing at Zurich! Your engagement is a valuable part of our journey. This is just the beginning!
Requestors will be your point of contact for starting projects. Contact information will provided for Requestors as they become available. To get started with a project today, please reach out to esz.crowdsourcing@zurich.com with a brief description of your need (skills, catalog item, project description, etc.).
Not finding what you need? Reach out to esz.crowdsourcing@zurich.com.

How do I submit projects?Fill 95

process-image

How do I submit a Project?

Thanks for your interest in crowdsourcing at Zurich! Your engagement is a valuable part of our journey. This is just the beginning!
Requestors will be your point of contact for starting projects. Contact information will provided for Requestors as they become available. To get started with a project today, please reach out to esz.crowdsourcing@zurich.com with a brief description of your need (skills, catalog item, project description, etc.).
Not finding what you need? Reach out to esz.crowdsourcing@zurich.com.

What are the roles within a challenge?Fill 95

Roles 597px width

What are the roles within a challenge?Fill 95

Roles 597px width

How does Topcoder address the quality and security of developed code?Fill 95

Our security approach includes ~25 static and dynamic scans that can be incorporated in the delivery process. These scans exist through the full project lifecycle, with some key examples as follows:

1. Specification review

Starting off on the right foot, we validate and review work specifcations are clear & comprehensively capture the requirements for quality code outputs.

2. Scorecard review

Code submissions undergo independent assessment against an objective Scorecard. Your Copilot suggests a standard Scorecard for each project, which is customizable to project/code requirements.

3. Screening

Your Copilot performs first-pass review of all code submissions to ensure the basics (e.g. Does the submission contain the required components?)

4. Formal Review

At least two experienced & independent reviewers (in addition to your Copilot) perform in-depth reviews of submitted code. Reviews include subjective & objective criteria such as coding practices (e.g. hard coding magic strings) or structure (e.g. abstraction).


The team will support you in putting in place the right controls for your specific use case. The graphic below details some of the tools used to ensure code quality & security.


** Here is a blog written by Mike Morris (Topcoder CEO) explaining how Topcoder can be more secure than traditional sourcing models: https://www.topcoder.com/blog/security-crowdsourcing-vs-traditional-software-dev/

How does Topcoder address the quality and security of developed code?Fill 95

Our security approach includes ~25 static and dynamic scans that can be incorporated in the delivery process. These scans exist through the full project lifecycle, with some key examples as follows:

1. Specification review

Starting off on the right foot, we validate and review work specifcations are clear & comprehensively capture the requirements for quality code outputs.

2. Scorecard review

Code submissions undergo independent assessment against an objective Scorecard. Your Copilot suggests a standard Scorecard for each project, which is customizable to project/code requirements.

3. Screening

Your Copilot performs first-pass review of all code submissions to ensure the basics (e.g. Does the submission contain the required components?)

4. Formal Review

At least two experienced & independent reviewers (in addition to your Copilot) perform in-depth reviews of submitted code. Reviews include subjective & objective criteria such as coding practices (e.g. hard coding magic strings) or structure (e.g. abstraction).


The team will support you in putting in place the right controls for your specific use case. The graphic below details some of the tools used to ensure code quality & security.


** Here is a blog written by Mike Morris (Topcoder CEO) explaining how Topcoder can be more secure than traditional sourcing models: https://www.topcoder.com/blog/security-crowdsourcing-vs-traditional-software-dev/