Hello, I am writing to introduce TopCoder software competitions, http://www.topcoder.com. I found your email address from a list of Linux User Groups in the US. If you believe that the following will be helpful to your members, I ask that you pass this along. Feel free to use this email as is or with any personal touch you'd like. TopCoder is a high profile set of programming competitions that culminate in an international competition once a year: The TopCoder Invitational. We seek to provide value to programmers of all skill levels through the use of head to head competition. TopCoder competitions offer the following benefits to programmers: * Fair and objective assessment of programming skill. * Ability to learn from highly skilled (professional and college) programmers. * Ability to obtain a rating demonstrating skill level. * International recognition for highly skilled developers. * Exposure to employers and major software/hardware manufacturers. * Win a share of a $10,000 purse twice a week. * Ability to win up to $100,000 USD once a year. * No cost or obligation to the member. How it works: * TopCoder holds online competitions twice per week. * Developers have the choice to compete in Java or C++. * Programmers compete in a three-phase competition consisting of: -Phase I - Coding solutions to three problems of varying difficulty. -Phase II - Challenging other programmers code through the use of 'challenges' to their code. -Phase III - System test performed by TopCoder's servers for accuracy. * Programmers are separated into virtual rooms of 10 per room, giving each developer a 3 in 10 chance of winning. * Seeding and Divisions are utilized so programmers only compete against members of a similar skill level. * Cash prizes are awarded based on the placement in each room, with the top performing developers winning a larger share of the prize pool. TopCoder currently has fourteen thousand members, representing all of the top schools and many of the top companies in the U.S. Roughly 600 of these members compete in each match. Our membership represents over 90 different countries. This is a great way for coders to assess their skills against some of the best programmers in the world. It is also a great way to learn as all of the problems and solutions are available online. Again, I invite you to send this email to your members should you think it would benefit them. Please do not hesitate to email me at jbielski@topcoder.com with any questions. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Jill Bielski Membership Relations TopCoder www.topcoder.com P.S. You can also earn some extra cash by referring others to TopCoder. Please check out www.topcoder.com/referral for details! Jill Bielski TopCoder Member Relations www.topcoder.com 203-422-0414