Tech and Education Today

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Looking into a classroom today, things might not look much different than they did 10+ years ago. But if you take a closer look, amongst the books and desks, there are computers, smart boards, and iPads. Technology has always had an influence on education, and in the digital age of today, modern tech companies and education institutions are working together to build effective learning tools.

Building Android Apps with MVVM and Data Binding

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Great Design Pattern for Great Work

Most app development cannot avoid being composed of three parts: database/model, UI and the business logic associated with them.  There are already many design patterns that allow for more structured communications between model and UI; for example, MVP and MVC.

Prototyping with Interface Builder

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With the acquisition of Next in 1997, a new tool was initiated into the Apple family. Originally known as an enhancement of OpenStep, called NextStep, it caught the attention of the developer community under the name of Interface Builder, as part of the XCode suite. Now about to celebrate its 20th birthday, Interface Builder represents the most powerful IDE to design user interfaces in a development suite. It doesn’t matter if you are writing an app for iOS, Cocoa, tvOS or watchOS; when carefully used, it will save you hundreds of lines of code. For this and other innumerable reasons, many developers, like myself, love this tool.

Keeping an Eye on Code Knowledge

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In growing companies, as software systems become complex and extensively engineered, maintenance can be a challenging problem. Moreover, when high profile bugs arise and/or a lack of system availability arises, it can have disruptive consequences on a business. Hence there is little room for mistakes in these crucial systems.

Late Subscribing and Polling APIs with RxAndroid

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Howdy, lazy bum! Enjoying the ReactiveX magic? Want to take a look at polling?

I’ll be walking you through a solution I put together for one of our up and coming apps! It works rather well, I learned a lot, and so far no complaints…although there are no users yet either!

Feeling quite charitable, I’m going to let you in on some useful bits and pieces as we build up to polling: threading, late subscribing, replay, manual re-triggering and error handling (a must for preserving replays).

Prototyping with P5

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When I wanted to create a proof of a concept project for one of the game ideas I had, I found many tools and gaming frameworks. However, most of them had a steep learning curve which required a significant time investment before the game could be played. Then I discovered P5, a Javascript library inspired by the Processing language, which made it very easy to get started.

SQL & NOSQL: A Brief History

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The Relational Model & SQL

The relational model was proposed in a paper published in 1970 by Edgar Codd, a computer scientist working at IBM. In previous years, some storage systems had already emerged, but the relational model was first proposed with a strong theoretical basis.

Bundler Bulkheads for Rails on Docker

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As part of my exploration of a minimum set of devops tools, I’ve been learning how to stack containers full of Rails apps onto the Docker. There are plenty of examples of how to get started with Rails and Postgres on Docker, even one from the whale’s mouth, as it were. Working from this example, it was pretty clear to me that one of Docker’s major strengths is that it makes it really, really easy to get something running with a minimum of fuss; it took all of about a half day to learn enough Docker to hoist anchor, and even tweak a few things to my liking. One thing kept nagging me about the Docker example, though, and that was a warning from bundler when running docker-compose.

Intro to Software Methodologies

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Software Engineering is about more than just writing code. It is a complex process that has a lot of moving parts. Requirements gathering, planning, testing, deployment and source control management are just a few of the pieces to the software engineering puzzle. So how do we manage all this complexity? Software methodologies come to the rescue.

Twelve-Factor Apps and Containers

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In the past we would often treat a server as a machine which has a variety of roles. A single server may be responsible for serving web content, email, processing background jobs, and even hosting a database system. Your application is really only one of the many things that runs on that machine.