Cybernetics: A cyborg-free introduction

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It has been observed that the acceleration of Moore’s Law has left tech culture with a tendency to discount the past, which leads to issues when building for the long-term. If everything we do is going to be circular filed in a few years anyhow, why bother? I think we’re starting to see some of the limits of ahistorical strategies, especially because building for internet scale means that systems can affect higher-order aspects of society and culture in unexpected ways. This is why I want to talk a little bit about cybernetics.

ForwardJS SF 2018 Recap

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ForwardJS was the first developer conference that I ever attended, and it was a pleasure to be able to attend again this year. Forward has been releasing batches of the recorded talks on YouTube, so I thought that I would share a few of my favorite talks from this year’s conference, along with the video and slides when available.

Lean Software Development

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“But you are planning for failure!”

The planner on my project team was aghast. I had asked for components to cover a 3% predicted waste rate for a multi-year program making assemblies destined for orbit. As the manufacturing engineer for the program I knew from previous experience that 3% was an average, and not unreasonable, estimate of possible loss. This blog post attempts to answer whether her reaction was justified, but in the context of software development. Was she right to criticize my analysis of previous wastage of these components?

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Mobile App?

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A mobile app is a great way to bring new ideas to life, add value for your customers, or boost awareness of your business—but only if you can build a quality mobile experience without breaking the bank. And nailing down the cost of an app in advance isn’t exactly easy. App development costs can range from trivial to extreme, depending on a host of factors such as what your app does, how users will interact with it, and how you plan to staff the project.

The Rise and Future of Coding Bootcamps

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If you work in the tech industry, coding bootcamps are something you have probably heard of, possibly attended, or know someone that graduated from one. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, the industry of coding bootcamps is fairly new, with the first ones starting around 2011-2012. In the short time they have been around, these alternative education programs have gained significant popularity, making their presence known in the tech world.

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.