When Metal Toad announced the theme of the winter Hackathon would be Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), those of us who have focused our careers on building websites faced a conundrum: how can we learn the principles of AR/VR in just two days without getting sidetracked by the need to learn mobile app development—with its own languages and IDEs and troubleshooting gotchas—at the same time?
January 19, 2019
Going into the latest hackathon, I knew there were several options for building a virtual reality (VR) app for Android devices. Google currently has two platforms for VR available: Cardboard and Daydream, not to be confused with the screensaver mode on Android phones. Cardboard is Google’s original foray into the VR headset realm, released June 25, 2014. With it, you could put your phone into a cardboard headset to view 360 degree video and some VR content. Interactivity outside of head…
January 18, 2019
Metal Toad’s winter 2018 hackathon was all about Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR and AR). At its most basic, AR is taking a camera and adding extra information to it, like PokemonGo or AR Stickers on the Pixel Camera. The idea
January 15, 2019
One of my favorite parts of working at Metal Toad is the spirit of generosity here. Everyone is always eager to help others—whether responding to a fellow Toad’s question in our Slack #help channel, offering clients an idea for optimizing their business, or volunteering in the community. I’ve spent most of my career in the nonprofit sector, so seeing all the Toads really live our core value of helping others makes me feel right at home.
January 15, 2019
Imposter syndrome is kind of the worst. You know it when you ‘see’ it, or in this case, feel it. It’s that voice in your head that speaks in a very convincing, relentless way, telling you that you don’t know what you’re doing. It tricks you and leads you astray, convincing you that, despite reality, you are not nearly as capable at your job/life/whatever as you think you are. In fact, it can swiftly lead you to believe you’re actually horrible at it! Further still, it’s only a matter of time…
January 3, 2019
A few years ago, I had the good fortune to travel to London to visit some friends. But before I talk about my trip, there is something you must know about me.
December 28, 2018
What is siloing? In order to better discuss how engineers and teams become siloed, as well as the positive and negative effects it can have on a team, I should define what I mean when I refer to a siloed engineer and a siloed team. The best definition I have seen for siloing is the distinct separation between engineers and teams from the rest of the company. While siloing can take many forms, this particular definition includes having minimal interaction with other members of a team and…
October 29, 2018
Software, like all things in life, decays, mutates, and grows old. Much like the barnacles that sprout across the belly of a ship, the slow creep of destructive rust on a tractor, the corrosion of metals in kinetic machinery, or the gradual degradation of your cells' ability to repair themselves — software gets old. In the world of software, we call this technical debt.
October 8, 2018
Prior to coming to Metal Toad, I worked as a .NET engineer at an Internet of Things (IoT) startup. My job was to stabilize and expand an existing cloud-based infrastructure that served as a central hub for IoT communications. This hub allowed a variety of entities to connect to the cloud for key operations: IoT devices reported status and checked for incoming commands mobile devices checked on device status and issued commands
October 2, 2018
Do you ever wish you had a certain tool, but you don’t have the budget for it, or it doesn’t even exist? I’m here to tell you: you can build it! And as I discovered, the build can give you more than that tool you want—it can also be a great way to strengthen your skills, add value for your teammates, and even have a bit of fun. The problem
September 28, 2018