The idea of developing software as components, just like hardware is a good idea. TopCoders takes it a step further and develops components using the competition model – this ensures that the reach for talent is global and the software output is of superior quality. The company also does not have to manage its most important human resources – the programmers who write the code. There are several drawbacks to this approach in general. IP rights could become a big issue, inspite of the legal considerations put into writing, by the company. Since its coders are spread out worldwide, it may not be possible to enforce laws in every country and region. Also, in the competition model, winner takes most of the money – leaving the rest of the participants with little more than a practice ground, where they learn to do better coding. Most of the coders are from developing countries after the prize moeny was reduced – this geographical distance, cultural differences may add to complex working relationships betwen TopCoders and the coders. The company would also need specialized resources to understand its client requirements and break it apart into modules.
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