Introduction to Mobile Cloud Platforms


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


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?



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.

A Brief History of Jet Engines


The Wright brothers could not have imagined that their visionary insight would help man fly faster than sound just a few decades later. Aeronautics made great strides in the early 19th century, and the war time efforts during World War I and World War II pushed aircraft design and manufacturing to new heights.

A Glimpse into Quantum Computing


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


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


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.

Improving Supply Chain Management with Software


By definition, Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the oversight of materials, information, and finances as they move in a process from supplier to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer. Supply chain management involves coordinating and integrating these flows both within and among companies.* SCM is becoming evermore important for small businesses as larger companies they compete with invest more in transportation, logistics, and inventory.

The Elements of Style


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’.

Moneyball for Brands: How Communications Agencies Are Using Data Science


New model of the media landscape

Before I came to Grio to do software development, I worked as an analyst at a digital marketing agency. Communications agencies are experiencing an industrial renaissance thanks to the rise of social media and the proliferation of data around consumer online behavior. Every Facebook like, every Instagram post, and every click of a link is an opportunity to measure a brand’s influence.

In the past, agencies were separated by activity, such as public relations, advertising, or branding, but these days the responsibilities are much more blurred. Clients are demanding increasingly complex marketing campaigns across multiple platforms. As a result, all firms are being asked to do more work outside of their comfort zone. Basically, clients are looking for a one stop shop for all of their marketing needs. Companies are more than happy to try to be that full service agency.

In this post I’d like to share a quick overview of the changes that communications agencies are encountering, and how they are adapting by incorporating data science into their service offerings.