What Do We Look for in AI?

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When we think of artificial intelligence at its peak, we usually think of one of two things: humans and robots coexisting happily together in society, or robots killing or enslaving humans. These are both very human things to want to do, and we have a storied history of doing both. These thoughts, or perhaps expectations, are informed by us, and the society we live in. As we develop artificial intelligence, we become robot parents, and we teach to our programmed children what we know.

Introduction to Mobile Cloud Platforms

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If you are building a mobile application of any sophistication, you are likely to need some services to support your app. You’ll need a way to distribute your app for testing prior to submitting to the app store(s), as well as analytics, error logging, crash reporting, and possibly user and data management services. Of course, you could write these services yourself and provision servers to host these services, but why do that when you don’t have to?

Mobile App Development: Native vs Hybrid

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Your company needs a mobile app and you want to save money (of course). You want the app live last week, and you’d really like to avoid hiring Android and iOS devs on top of your existing web team.

In light of these considerations, going the hybrid route looks like a pretty good option. Hybrid mobile apps promise to be cheaper and faster to develop, and they’re built with tried and true technologies like Javascript, HTML, and CSS. The hybrid sales pitch can be summarized as “one codebase for multiple platforms”. Hybrid platforms include React Native, PhoneGap, Ionic, Titanium, and others.

Computed Properties vs Functions – Why Does It Matter?

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Cookies

What’s your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe? I bet you could ask that question to 5 different people and get 5 totally different recipes… brown sugar vs white sugar, cake flour vs all purpose, dark chocolate vs milk chocolate. All of these recipes result in a chocolate chip cookie but the process by which we get there is a matter of personal preference.  If you were to ask multiple developers to solve a problem, it’s doubtful that any two developers write identical code.  It’s not that any one solution is necessarily better than the others… the resulting code is likely just a matter of personal preference.

Introduction to Blockchain

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The term blockchain has been floating around both the tech and finance communities a lot in recent years. But what is blockchain?

Blockchain is a digital ledger of all transactions across a peer to peer network. Each user in the network will have a full copy of the whole blockchain, which includes data of all transactions. Let’s say a user wants to pay another user. He would encrypt the transaction and broadcast it to the network. The transaction gets put into a new block. The ledger is maintained by miners, who work to approve the transaction and validate it using cryptographic techniques. Then the block is added to the blockchain.

Learning from Project Retrospectives

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Overview

Grio has adapted the Agile methodology to our consulting business; and one of our most valued “ceremonies” is the retrospective. We keep these meetings open to all, and the notes from these meetings are in a shared folder for everyone at Grio to read.

Despite having access, I found them “gathering dust” so to speak, and decided to dig through the entire folder to track Grio’s ability to implement the changes proposed and avoid the pitfalls of previous projects. We’re genuinely asking ourselves, “Are we serious about learning from mistakes?”

I’ve explored the overall process of my research here, and have presented the findings in depth to our entire team. There’s some good news, and some work to do; but we’re happy to see that our efforts have created tangible benefits to our team, our clients, and our bottom line.

We’re asking ourselves:

“Are we serious about learning from mistakes?”

 

A Glimpse into Quantum Computing

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The term “Quantum Computing” is surfacing popular science and media outlets more and more. So what are Quantum Computers? What does quantum mean? How are companies tackling quantum computing research? This post will introduce quantum computing, quantum mechanical phenomena and the status of the quantum computing industry today.

Women in Computer Programming History

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There has recently been much discussion about getting more women into computer programming roles – the case of the Google manifesto shows that what many us think of as outdated gender stereotypes about programmers are still alive and well in some circles.  However, it wasn’t always the case that computer programming was considered a ‘male’ field.  Early computer programming was dominated by women, and it was women who were seen as uniquely capable of being computer programmers.  Among early computer pioneers were many women who made important contributions to computer science and programming and invented many of the concepts & models we continue to use today.

What Is a Design System and When to Create One

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Throughout my continuing journey as a designer I have started to notice several companies are creating what they call design systems. Some people also like to refer to them as design languages, visual languages, or human interface guidelines. Google has Material Design, Apple has created their Human Interface Guidelines, last year Salesforce put together their Lightning Design System, and Airbnb has recently put together a visual design language for their design team. I became curious as what a design system is and why these companies have started to create and document them. Below I’ve broken down my research into a few sections: what is a design system, what are the benefits, and when it is and isn’t beneficial to create one.

The Elements of Style

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A spate of applications have popped/cropped up in recent years with slogans like “Make Anything Art.”  They purport to transfer the style of one image and render the content of another image in that style.  In the sets of images below, the small inset image is the source of the “style” which is transferred to the larger image.  It’s an impressive trick, although I don’t know that it accurately represents what we mean by ‘style’.