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The High Cost of Technical Debt: A Case Study

Technical Debt: we all have it. Yet, this phenomenon remains poorly understood by product managers. Unlike financial debt, the costs are often hidden and difficult to measure. But the most dangerous aspect is that "Technical Debt items are contagious, causing other parts of the system to be contaminated with the same problem, which may lead to nonlinear growth of interest." [1] Here's a case study of one such event; unmanaged tech debt caused interest costs to spiral catastrophically out of…
By Dylan Tack, Principal Engineer
November 14, 2017
Nosql gif

Say no to NoSQL AKA NewSQL is the future!

With the rise of Big Data™ and IoT we saw a large wave of NoSQL™ proponents. Everyone began to jump on the bandwagon and hype trains to use these technologies to service their persistence layers. It became a mantra and it seemed like the end of nigh for relational (SQL) databases. Some companies were steadfast in only using NoSQL™ stores, claiming this was all that was needed for their data and would not hear another word of ever using a traditional "SQL" database. Unsurprisingly, SQL is not…
By Joshua De Leon, Data & Analytics Architect
November 13, 2017
Django logo

Django 2.0 - Is your project ready?

Django 2.0 is in beta now. It's expected to be released in December 2017. The question remains, is the rest of the world going to be ready? Let's take a look at the history of Django versions and see why this might not be as tough of an upgrade as you might expect.
By Keith Dechant, Software Architect
November 6, 2017
lambda

Servers...yay or nay?

...On Serverless Infrastructure The what
By Alex Banks, Senior Developer
November 3, 2017
Railroad Junction Photo

Sum Algebraic Data Types in Haskell and Swift

"Grove Park Traincare Depot and sidings" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by train_photos Engineers at Metal Toad participate in a variety of continuing education such as the Hackathon, dedicated time for professional development, and various interest groups for a variety of topics like machine learning and iOS/Android development. Haskell I recently joined the interest group on functional programming in Haskell. We start with an introduction to Algebraic Data Types.
By Phil Tseng, Software Engineer
November 2, 2017
Screen capture of a phone depicting the widget.

Momento Mori

In April of 2017 I put a widget on my phone that reminds me that I’m going to die. This is how it improved my life.  A long time ago I learned about the concept of Momento Mori. It’s a simple phrase that is held up by the trussing of history and hardened by philosophy. It means: “Remember that you must die." 
By Matt Thogerson, Product Manager
October 31, 2017
Finger pushing the publish button

Push the publish button already

The most important measure of progress in building blogging expertise is not word count, it’s how many timers you hit the publish button. Every post is either a rock or a gem dropped into the water; the rocks will sink and be forgotten but the gems will be scooped up and shared.  Drop enough rocks in the water and you are more likely to create a gem.  So push the publish button already.
By Joaquin Lippincott, CEO
October 31, 2017

Proxying MS SQL connections using PuTTY

Connecting to a Microsoft SQL Server database isn't too hard, most of the time. But, what if the database is in your office, and you want to access it remotely, but you don't have a VPN? There is another way to connect, using PuTTY and port forwarding. All you need is a server in the office which accepts SSH connections and can connect to the SQL Server. This will serve as a gateway or makeshift proxy server. With the proper port forwarding setup, you can connect to your database from anywhere.
By Keith Dechant, Software Architect
October 28, 2017
building blueprints

The Art of Sprinting: It’s Not Just for Software Development

As a sequel to the article I wrote last month about the process and technology improvements I helped design/build firm Design Platform make earlier this year, I wanted to highlight another change that they implemented that transformed their workflow efficiency: Two week sprints.
By Hayli Hay, Director of Client Services
October 24, 2017

Leveraging Structs and Generics in the Networking Layer with Swift 4 (An update to objc.io Swift Talk)

Swift Talk #1 and #8 introduces an approach (hereinafter alternative approach) to using structs and generics to build a networking layer in Foundation. The original code was written in Swift 2.2. Here, I will make an update for Swift 4, incorporating the use of newly available JSON parsing features. I will also show how it could be extended to fetch images.
By Phil Tseng, Software Engineer
October 23, 2017

Ready for transformation?