The Central Hub of Toad Knowledge

A close-up of a phone using the AR treasure hunt app, showing the text "You Won!"

Web-based AR: Hunting for Treasure with A-Frame

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?
By Kalina Wilson, Software Engineer
January 19, 2019
Screenshot of the app

Hackathon Team Whack-A-Toad: An Exploration of Daydream Using the Android SDK

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…
By James Simshaw, Senior Software Engineer
January 18, 2019
A large computer monitor showing code, above a laptop where hands are typing code

Team Knock-Knock Answers the “Who’s There?” Question With AR

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
By Nathan Wilkerson, Cloud Operations Manager
January 15, 2019
Our Giving Toad sourronded with donations for our winter charity drive

The Giving Toad: Living Our Values During the Holidays

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.
By Lauren Shey, HR Generalist
January 15, 2019

Imposter Syndrome is Like Bad Janet

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…
By Cat Janowitz, Jr Software Engineer
January 3, 2019
Old postcard of the Tower of London

Winter Hackathon 2018: Hacking History

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.
By Morgan Senkal, Software Architect
December 28, 2018
silos

Silos in Tech

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…
By James Simshaw, Senior Software Engineer
October 29, 2018
A frog turning a wrench with the the title displaying.

When to Refactor: A Case for Quality

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. 
By Matt Thogerson, Product Manager
October 8, 2018

Three Lessons Learned from Working in IoT

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
By Kalina Wilson, Software Engineer
October 2, 2018
Development Tool

Missing a Development Tool? Make Your Own!

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
By Robin Law, Senior Engineer
September 28, 2018

Ready for transformation?