Category Archives: Technology

Bridge Brief: The Latest Tech News

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: May 1, 2018

tech news

Here at Bridge we like staying up-to-date on the latest tech news. Seriously, it seems that every day there’s another article about a startup or device looking to change our lives. So, from full-body VR suits to smartwatches that project data, here are some of our favorite articles from the past few weeks.

Walmart filed a number of patents seeking to change the way we shop. One of which introduces a “smart” shopping cart that can communicate with your mobile device. Another involves the use of drones to assist customers shopping in-store. Still others suggest the use of sensors to assist with inventory. Could this shift toward smart technology be their way of competing with Amazon?

In this new age of environmentally-friendly vehicles, it’s no surprise that car brands are finding ways to produce more of them. For example, Ford and Indian automaker Mahindra Group have joined forces to develop a new electric vehicle. As a matter of fact, this alliance helps both companies; Ford gets a helping hand with penetrating China’s market and Mahindra stretches its wings into the electric vehicle space.

The craze over smartwatches is calming, but one company wants to re-excite the masses. At the Mobile World Congress 2018, Haier unveiled its Asu Smartwatch. The standout feature? A tiny projector on its side which displays onto your skin. It can show a number you’re typing, how many steps you’ve taken, the time, and even a stopwatch. However, the biggest criticism questions its practicality. What are your thoughts?

SanDisk’s newest microSD card boasts speeds 50% faster than previous ones. In fact, the 400GB microSD card reaches read speeds up to 160MB/s and write speeds up to 90MB/s. Thanks to Mashable, here’s an idea of just how much this tiny card can store:

About…

  • 400,000 e-books (at an average size of 1MB per e-book)
  • 200,000 photos (12-megapixel iPhone 7 photos at an average size of 2MB)
  • 100,000 iTunes songs (at an average size of 4MB for an average 4-minute tune)
  • 88 Full HD movies from iTunes (at an average of 4.5GB per movie)
  • 16 Blu-Rays (at an average size of 25GB)

One company is taking virtual reality gaming to the next level. The Teslasuit aims to add a sense of touch to gaming. How? The suit uses an electro-tactile haptic feedback system to stimulate your nerves. Meaning, you’ll be able to sense in-game objects, such as walls, and feel the weight of items. Even more impressive, the Teslasuit is helping treat patients with long-term disabilities. Turns out, there’s more to virtual reality than just gaming.

Feeling fancy? Takieso Graft Design, a design studio in New York City, brings finesse to your desk with this wool mousepad. Better yet, the sleek leather at the top doubles as a wireless charger for your smartphone. It plugs directly into a laptop or desktop computer, and if you’re on the move, simply roll it up and you’re ready to go.

What tech news has you excited? Let us know on LinkedIn or Twitter!

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The Most Interesting Software Development Accounts to Follow

This Post was written by Darcy Uustal
Date posted: April 9, 2018

Collaboration and sharing knowledge is a staple of the programming community. Software developers share open source projects and contribute to forums as a way to better themselves and others in their field. Since this is the mindset of many programmers, Twitter is the perfect medium to engage with other technical professionals. If you’re looking for insights from other developers, check out my list of who to follow on Twitter:

Paul Buchheit @paultoo As the creator and lead developer of Gmail,  it’s pretty easy to understand why Paul made the list. Follow him for lighthearted tweets and informative retweets.  He also coined Google’s former motto, “Don’t be evil.”

 

Federico Cargnelutti @fedecarg Federico is a Senior Software Engineer at BBC who blogs about software architecture and PHP. Follow him for tech news, tutorials, and other helpful links.

 

Vanessa Hurst @DBNessFounder of Girl Develop It, Vanessa is a strong advocate for inspiring and empowering people to “use computing to improve the human experience.” Follow her for informative retweets from women in the computer science field.

 

Reto Meier @retomeierReto is the author of Professional Android Application Development and a Developer Advocate at Google. He also makes frequent appearances on Google Developers YouTube series, Build Out. Follow him for tweets on all things Android.

 

John Resig @jeresig John is an expert in JavaScript programming and the creator of the jQuery library. He works full-time as a Frontend Architect at the Khan Academy. Follow him for JavaScript tips.

 

Jennifer Dewalt @JenniferDewaltJennifer made her claim to fame by making one website a day for 180 as a way to teach herself to code. Since then she’s founded multiple startups, one of which is Zube. Follow her for technology news and inspirational retweets, like this one:

 

David Heinemeier Hansson @dhhThis Danish programmer is the creator of Ruby on Rails as well as the founder and CTO of Basecamp. He’s also a racing enthusiast and even won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, one of the oldest active sports car race. Follow him for business and Ruby on Rails tips.

 

Jeff Atwood @codinghorror – Jeff is one of the co-founders of StackOverflow and Discourse.org. His blog, Coding Horror, covers software development topics and his experiences with them. Follow him for an entertaining human side of software development.

 

Jesse Stay @JesseJesse is regularly featured on Techcrunch, Mashable, Venturebeat, Readwrite, AdWeek, Forbes, USA Today, and The New York Times. He used to work as a software developer for Facebook and now spends his time speaking, writing, and reviewing tech. Follow him for technology news and events.

 

Paul Irish @paul_irish Paul works on web performance as a Frontend Developer at Google. He’s passionate about making the web tools better for developers. Follow him for updates on web and app development.

 

Who is on your feed? Let us know who you love following and why!

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Advice from the Experts: Three Skills for Software Developers

This Post was written by Darcy Uustal
Date posted: March 20, 2018

https://pixabay.com/en/cog-wheels-gear-wheel-machine-2125169/

Today, there are countless skills and specializations for technical professions. Because of this, it’s important to be aware of what you should know. Every profession has those core skills that are must-knows in order to be successful. In fact, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the business. Without a doubt, it’s just as important for seasoned software developers to stay current as it is for those just starting out.

After scouring the Internet for blogs from fellow software developers, I’ve outlined three concepts that all software developers need to know, and know well:

Cloud Computing
Software developers have turned to cloud computing services for a number of reasons. Mainly, because it has changed the way we execute large-scale web applications. To illustrate, there are many positives to the elasticity and scalability of testing environments that cloud computing services provide. Many services offer the option to generate synthetic test data, and more of the environment build is automated. Additionally, you no longer need change requests. An internal system limits you to the hardware you have. By contrast, cloud computing speeds up projects and you pay on demand, meaning, you pay as you go so you’re only purchasing what you’re actually using.

There are multiple facets of cloud computing, all of which any software developer should understand inside and out. For more specific explanations on these types of cloud computing, check out this article from InfoWorld:

  1. SaaS – software as a service
  2. IaaS – infrastructure as a service
  3. PaaS – platform as a service
  4. FaaS – functions as a service
  5. Private cloud
  6. Hybrid cloud
  7. Public APIs – application programming interfaces
  8. iPaaS – integration platform as a service
  9. IDaaS – identity as a service
  10. Collaboration platforms
  11. Vertical clouds

Least Privilege
Next up, security. In regards to security, developers should understand that users only need access to do their job and nothing more. The Simple Programmer outlines this concept, well, simply:

For instance, is your application connecting to a database using an account that has superuser access, such as dbo in SQL Server? This can open you up to exploitation. If your application has a SQL injection vulnerability and it is exploited, the attacker could drop tables and do all sorts of nasty stuff to your application’s database or hop to another application’s tables.

A more secure approach would be to create an ID just for your application (often referred to as a service account) and only grant the permission to that ID absolutely needed by your application to do its work. If your application’s ID has only read-and-write access, then your tables won’t be destroyed (or worse yet, another application’s tables) if the worst happens.

Scripting
A script consists of a series of commands within a file that doesn’t require any compiling in order to execute. Python, Perl, JavaScript, or PHP are some of the languages which support scripts. Scripting is helpful with automating the compiling of code and in testing. Software developer, Ryan Chadwick, concisely explains a Bash script on his website, Ryan’s Tutorials:

A Bash script is a plain text file which contains a series of commands. These commands are a mixture of commands we would normally type ourselves on the command line (such as ls or cp for example) and commands we could type on the command line but generally wouldn’t (you’ll discover these over the next few pages). An important point to remember though is:

Anything you can run normally on the command line can be put into a script and it will do exactly the same thing. Similarly, anything you can put into a script can also be run normally on the command line and it will do exactly the same thing.

What else would you add to our list? Let us know on LinkedIn and Twitter!

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A Closer Look: Why You Should Learn Kotlin

This Post was written by Stephen Sprague
Date posted: February 19, 2018

Whether you’re a new software developer or you’re a veteran looking to expand your skill set, it’s always a good idea to research programming languages. While there are plenty of languages available, the most common Android language is Java. However, Kotlin is starting to catch up, and many developers are taking notice. So, which language should you stick with: Java or Kotlin?

Well, both.

First, Kotlin is completely interoperable with Java. Since Google announced Kotlin as an official language for Android development, the open source, statically typed language has gained momentum. It runs on the JVM and you can easily start using Kotlin on an existing Java project. Many convoluted tasks in Java become simplified and shortened in Kotlin. In many instances Kotlin allows you to add just one word or phrase that replaces at least twenty lines of Java code. The Kotlin website does a great job of outlining key differences between the two languages. As a preview:

  • Null references are backed into its type system (no more NPE!)
  • Kotlin arrays are invariant
  • Kotlin has proper function types, compared to Java’s SAM-conversions.

Second, Java is more traditional. As this article from TechBeacon points out, Java doesn’t have support for method references, streams, or lambdas. It’s also less concise, meaning it takes longer to write and more time to read, which in turn makes it more error prone.

For total beginners…
If you’re completely new to programming, it’s a good idea to start with Java. Most Android code is still written in Java and more learning resources exist. However, once you have a basic understanding of Java, start to integrate Kotlin, and other languages, in your practices as well.

So, will you be challenging yourself to learn a new language? Share your thoughts with us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

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