Posts in Uncategorized

Sesame Street’s Apple TV+ collaboration will teach kids to code

March 27, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Sesame Street’s Apple TV+ collaboration will teach kids to code”

The alphabet just isn’t cutting it anymore.

Sesame Street, known for its puppet-filled preschool lessons, revealed Monday that it’s rolling out a new collaboration with Apple TV+. Yet just as Apple’s new service cuts cable for streaming, the Sesame-produced Helpsters will swap the ABC’s for CSS, TechCrunch explains.

Sesame Workshop was just one of the many big entertainment industry names joining forces with Apple’s streaming service in the past year. Apple revealed a lot more about the service and its stars at a Cupertino, California event on Monday, where Big Bird appeared to introduce Sesame’s newest Muppet star. Cody, a fuzzy, yellow, and undefinable creature, will lead the Helpsters — a team of puppets determined to help kids code.

Cody, who, as TechCrunch aptly puts it, “has learned to speak in PR soundbites,” said that “coding fosters collaboration, critical thinking skills and is an essential language that every child can learn.” It’s not likely that kids are going to sit down and start writing C++ after an episode, but rather will learn broader concepts that eventually help them follow the patterns all coding languages rely on.

Beyond unveiling Cody and seemingly — and disappointingly — hinting that Big Bird won’t be on the show, the Monday Apple event didn’t reveal much about Helpsters. Cody did, however, make sure to let us know Helpsters will be chock full of “fun music” and “cool dance moves.” Kathryn Krawczyk

 

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Study: The Need For Programmers and Coders Will Increase 55% In The Next 10 Years

March 13, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Study: The Need For Programmers and Coders Will Increase 55% In The Next 10 Years”

In the computer-fueled, innovation-driven, artificially intelligent world we live and work in, you would think computer programmers had it made.

Just last week, “60 Minutes” aired a segment on the gender gap in the tech industry and talked about ways that technology companies are trying to get more girls to learn to code. Breaking the glass ceiling in the technology industry is important — for both women and girls and the industry itself. But in the future world of work, coding is not an end goal; it’s a jumping-off point.

Programming, at its most basic, is a solitary act. Programmers are given objective goals, often not knowing how their piece integrates with others, and often working in environments that are far less collaborative than Hollywood would have us believe. Of course, there are exceptions.

But in a future that may be as little as 10 to 20 years away, those exceptions will need to become the norm. And those coders will need much more expansive skills and operational principles to succeed.

Binary Code

Yes, you can learn the most sought-after programming languages today — ranging from C (with variations C-sharp, Objective-C) to Ruby and SQL. But if you are a geek, you know that the languages computers in the near future speak may bear little or no semblance to their ancestral counterparts.

Self-healing software has been a “thing” for two decades or more. While progress has been made, particularly in areas like network failure and cybersecurity, the full monty has remained the province of science fiction. That may be changing. Artificial intelligence is creating systems with an unimagined future. In this future, we won’t need the army of coders currently required to search millions of lines of code looking for errors. AI-driven software will likely repair itself, identify attacks, and create defenses — similar to the neural networks in the human brain.

While systems do that on their own, what we will need are next-generation, technology-literate thinkers, leaders, and ethicists.

That doesn’t mean we don’t need programming; in fact, we’ll need a lot more. We’ll need everyone to learn programming in the same way children learn the vagaries of their native language. Without that, we can’t communicate. But programming will need to become a bedrock skill, and those who see it as all they need may be left behind.

In a study of skill shifts that could occur by 2030, the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that 1 in 3 workers will need to adapt their skills to a changing world of work in just the next decade. The need for programmers and coders will rise, the study projects, by 55 percent. But the “soft skills” coders do not focus on – cognitive skills, creativity, critical analysis, problem-solving, and a culture of continuous learning – will become significantly more important.

AI systems, networks, and computers will take over more of the mundane tasks that occupy programmers, coders, and systems analysts daily. Where does that leave us? In McKinsey’s view, “The hardest activities to automate with currently available technologies are those that involve managing and developing people (9 percent automation potential) or that apply expertise to decision making, planning, or creative work (18 percent).”

Technology will take over the tasks, but someone still has to set the goals. For a vast number of coders and technologists, understanding how their applications or systems are used is not a big priority. In my tech career, I can count on a few extremities the number of technologists I’ve worked with who ever thought about spending time in other departments of their business, seeing what employees do, seeing what the business makes.

I’m not trying to insult geeks and coders. That’s just the way we’ve rolled for decades. But it won’t be what the future will demand.

Girls should code. Programming should be something we teach in K-12 right alongside algebra, biology, and English. But like those subjects, programming is just a foundational building block of a 21st-century education.

How big is the skills gap?

McKinsey’s survey of 3,031 business leaders in Europe, the U.K., and the U.S. identified areas that would have a significant skills mismatch over the next three years, related to automation and AI adaptation.

Companies that have already adopted some AI and automation say 30 percent of current staff in data analytics, IT, mobile, and web design don’t have the skills that will be needed in the next three years.

Companies that have not moved toward AI see higher rates of skills issues in sales and marketing, production operations, customer service, and supply chain management, among others.

Source: “Skill shift: Automation and the future of the workforce,” McKinsey and Co.


How will organizations resolve the skills gap?

Retraining is favored more by European companies; new hires are preferred in the U.S.

U.S.

Exclusively by hiring                 5 percent

Mainly by hiring                      30 percent

Mix of hiring and retraining      35 percent

Mainly by retraining                 27 percent

Only by retraining                     4 percent

 

Europe and U.K.

Exclusively by hiring                 0

Mainly by hiring                        7 percent

Mix of hiring and retraining       49 percent

Mainly by retraining                  45 percent

Only by retraining                      0

Source: “Skill shift: Automation and the future of the workforce,” McKinsey and Co.

 

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App Developers Are in High Demand in 2019

February 5, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “App Developers Are in High Demand in 2019”

According to the most recent data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of tech jobs available to pros spiked last month.

Examining the government’s jobs data, CompTIA notes the “IT sector” is the largest segment for IT occupations in the United States, supplying “approximately” 44 percent of tech positions. It also notes the remaining 56 percent is comprised of sales, marketing, finance, research and development roles, and other miscellaneous positions that require someone tech-savvy.

January 2019 was a solid month for tech job growth – at least for tech pros. The top five jobs (by title) combined to add 150,100 to the market, up 11,800 versus December 2018. As the chart below illustrates, “Software Developers, Applications” is far and away the most in-demand position for tech pros; in January 2019, nearly 80,000 developer roles were available, up a massive 10,300 versus December 2018.

Meanwhile, Support Specialist job openings dipped to the tune of 2,100 jobs, while the other top jobs (Systems Engineers, Systems Analysts, and Project Manager) all gained incrementally.

CompTIA states “IT and software services” contributed over 2.1 million jobs to the labor force in January 2019, up 7,000 month-over-month. “Data processing, hosting, and related services” added another 334,100, while the catch-all “other info services” contributed 320,500 jobs. All categories showed positive gains.

Via this BLS tech-jobs info, CompTIA shows things are looking positive. Since March 2017, the number of tech job postings has grown by 50,000 overall. While there are definitely peaks and valleys on a month-by-month basis, the overall gains are significant.

But we’ll express a touch of caution here. CompTIA admits monthly data has a “higher volatility,” and that some data points are not always available immediately. We should point out that many contracts operate on a calendar year, and it’s likely (if not definite) a healthy portion of the listed jobs were simply companies posting contract openings with the intent of retaining the person already doing the work – which means the job posting was not actually an available position to begin with.

Happily, the tech jobs growth trend is expected to continue well into the next decade, so our caution is not a cause for panic.

Source: CompTIA

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Social Trends To Follow When Building a New Social Media App

February 2, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Social Trends To Follow When Building a New Social Media App”

For any entrepreneur looking to build a new social app, you should do two things. First, drop us a note if you need help. Second, you should  pay attention to the mistakes Twitter and Facebook have made in order to present an alternative experience, one of social inclusion and trust.

Some points to consider are:

Open Communication

Lately, social media has been criticized for being a bastion for unsavory voices while stifling voices that deserve to be heard. A year ago, Rose McGowan’s, biting criticism of Weinstein’s contemporaries seemingly led to the banning of her account, leading Jessica Chastain and others to question Twitter’s priorities. Twitter quickly providing an explanation as to why they’d blocked McGowan’s account: she’d violated their Term of Service.

Though Twitter’s explanation is certainly valid, it raises an important question. Why  is sexual harassment and other forms of harassment that are prevalent on the app not as strictly policed as McGowan’s release of private information? These questions aren’t directly addressed by Twitter. Of course, it must be pointed out that Twitter is a ;large company with many users to police. Still, communicating that fact to users without sounding patronizing is important for establishing trust.

Securing private data

Facebook’s most recent scandal involved a data breach that exposed  millions of Facebook accounts. Despite Facebook’s team of talented engineers, even they succumbed to the crippling effects of what’s known as feature creep. Whenever you add another service to your platform, you’re risking the introduction of unforseen bugs. From a hacker’s perspective, you just created another vector for them to prod and poke at. If they find any vulnerabilities, they’ll attack it. That was the case in September’s data breach when hackers exploited Facebook’s buggy birthday video tool.

Not letting advertising go too far

Why can unrestrained advertising potentially be a bad thing? Well, anti-semitic advertisers were able to target a segment of the population because Facebook’s marketing algorithm automatically converted a user’s interest into categories that advertisers would then be able to select. Facebook immediately made corrections once they were contacted by ProPublica. Though freedom of speech is a tenant of our democracy, a social media company has to take into account that they are curating a social experience that is meant to be inclusive rather than divisive.  

In The End…

For all of social media’s flaws, there is a great deal of good that it accomplishes. #BlackLivesMatter and  #MeToo are just two hashtag campaigns that have given rise to new voices. The same way algorithms force-feed us a narrow view of the world, these same algorithms grant marginalized people a place to safely express themselves. I think the idea, as CEO Jack Dorsey realizes, is to stifle those voices whose only goal is to attack these marginalized people.

The new safety policies that Twitter is finally cooking up might stem the tide of hate bearing down on the shores of social media and usher in a new age of social understanding. Most likely the hate will continue to roll on even after the updates, but, as long as these voices are not ignored and are fought against, progress will win out. If social media and the internet as a whole mark our new virtual realities, then it’s about time we address the bad actors who seek to create cracks in our virtual community.

Mark Zuckerberg seemed to recognize both the unifying and divisive nature of social media when he apologized for the ways in which his work has been “used to divide people rather than bring them together.”

In order to truly create a new social experience one needs to sit down and think about ways they can bridge the divide.

Sources

https://www.avclub.com/mark-zuckerberg-apologizes-for-facebook-making-life-wor-1819042663

https://www.wired.com/story/facebooks-hate-speech-policies-censor-marginalized-users/

https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/356120-twitter-to-tighten-rules-on-digital-harassment-and-abuse

https://www.avclub.com/facebook-shuts-down-anti-semitic-advertising-categories-1812408437

https://www.propublica.org/article/facebook-enabled-advertisers-to-reach-jew-haters

https://business.twitter.com/en/help/overview/what-are-promoted-tweets.html

http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/02/technology/culture/facebook-diversity-report-2017/index.html

https://www.cnet.com/news/twitter-curbing-online-hate-and-abuse/

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Programming Languages You Need To Know To Build A Website

January 7, 2019 Posted by Programming, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Programming Languages You Need To Know To Build A Website”

When you want to get somewhere but you don’t have any idea how to get there, you’re probably going to use a GPS or some other pathfinder. The same should apply to building a website for the first time. However, instead of telling you how to get there, many blog posts tell you what you need to get there. They’d list the technologies you need to know to build a website but they won’t show you the path. 

The purpose of this post is to show you the tools you need to build a website and how these tools will contribute to building your first website.

Let’s start off with the basics, shall we?

Text editor

Get a text editor and love it, because you’re going to be staring at it while gnashing your teeth at every new problem that arises. You can save a lot of trouble by becoming familiar with your editor’s quirks.

Sublime and Atom are the best GUI options, in my opinion. Having used Sublime, I can tell you that the customization options are seemingly endless. Give it a go.

Command line

No, hackers are not the only people who use command lines. Don’t run away from it. This black screen will become your closest virtual friend in due time.

Go through this painless tutorial here

If you don’t need any hand holding, check out this cheat sheet

Front End and Back End

Once you grasp the tools, it’s important to know that the field of programming is vast. If you only want to create your own blog, then you should focus on front end development. You can think of front end development as the store front of a website. Almost everything that a user of your website can see and interact with is the front end of development. The primary languages used here are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. We’ll break down how you’ll go about learning these languages later, but, in a nutshell, HTML is like the scaffolding of a building, CSS is like a building’s exterior and interior design, and JavaScript is the wiring of the building. What you get by implementing these languages is a website that is structured, stylized, and functional.

On the other hand, if you want users to log in to your website and if you want to track their activities, you will need a back end. Building a back end requires knowledge of scripting languages like PHP, Python, and Ruby. You also need a database like MYSQL and  Postgresql to store a user’s data. Adding these features to a website makes it dynamic.

Now, Let’s Learn Languages

Before we get into languages, let’s talk a little bit about files. Every web project requires an organization of files. The more complex your website is, the more organized you have to be.

It’s a good idea to learn how to organize files before you start coding. It’ll make your life easier. This website breaks down how to organize a basic website.

Essentially, the file structure of a very basic front end project  looks like this:

In the main folder, you have your project name–in this case, awesomewebsite. Within that folder, you have your style sheet folder(CSS), your scripts(JS), and anything else you may need.

HTML

HTML helps form the skeleton of the website. Most website consist of a navigation bar, main content area, and a footer.

<!Doctype html>
<html>
<head>
 <title>MY Website</title>
</head>
<body>
 <!-- Navigation section-->
 <header>
   <p>Home Page</p>
 </header>
 <!--Main Content -->
 <section>
 </section>
 <!-- Sidebar --> 
 <aside>     
 </aside>
  <!--Bottom -->
  <footer>
  </footer>
</body>
</html>

CSS

Now you have to make these elements look presentable. This isn’t as hard as it seems. Remember that every HTML element is a potential box. Look at your favorite websites. The most common shape is a quadrilateral, or a four sided figure. All of these quads are positioned nicely using a grid system. Colors and shadows and thingamabobs are then added to create a unique user experience. This is CSS in a nutshell.

If you want to do cool things, like applying shadows, just ask Google.

Tip: to see your styling effects, you have to link your style sheet in the <head></head> tag of your HTML file. The link would look like this:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="css/filename.css">

“Filename” is whatever name you decide to give your CSS file. If your stylesheet isn’t in a folder, then you don’t have to include the relative folder path.

JavaScript

You only need to learn the essentials of JavaScript. Javascriptissexy.com is one of the best sites to learn about every nook and cranny of this language. 

If you’re still nervous about grasping this language, you can go really slow by learning JavaScript from the ground level at Codecademy.

When you click a button, an event occurs. The specific library we use to create events is called jQuery.

  • Learn jQuery from scratch here

Tip: to see your JavaScript events, you can link your script in the <head></head> tag of your HTML file. The link would look like this:

<script src="myscripts.js"></script>

Wrapping Up The Front End

This is all you need to learn if you want to create a static website like a portfolio or a personal site. You can skip all of the server stuff. To host your site, you can use free hosting. One I’ve found to be user-friendly is Github Pages.

But, if you want to make the next Facebook, you need to learn the back end.

Server-side Languages

Nodejs(server-side environment for JavaScript), Ruby, Python, PHP are the four primary server-side languages used to create dynamic websites. Anything that needs to be updated on a website requires the server. A log in attempt immediately triggers an exchange of information between the client and server.

I’m not going to dive into every single language. You have to pick one. Nodejs is hot right now, so if you feel comfortable with JavaScript, go for it. Ruby is easy to use and has superb documentation. Python has similar syntax, but less support than Ruby. PHP is widely used and relatively easy to learn.

After you pick your language, you need a database. Server frameworks use databases to save, fetch, update, and delete data. Keep that in mind as you read this guide.

MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and MySQL are some of the database management systems that get thrown around every so often.

Once you’ve picked your server-side language and database, try learning:

 

1) A Server Framework

Frameworks make it easier to build web applications from scratch. Every language has its own particular framework. Mozilla breaks them down here

2) The MVC File Structure

If you pick a framework, this is the way you should think about web programming from now on. Of course there are other structures, but this a good one to start out with for your first project.

  • Model: Object Oriented Programming (OOP) in insert language

I know, I know. Wax on, wax off, right? How does OOP help? Well, in the back end, every form of data is an object. For example, every user on Medium is a user object.

In Ruby, using the Rails framework(this is a crude example), a user will look like this:



class User < ApplicationRecord

 #Lot of relationships goin’ on in here. More on that later.

End

 

The controller is used to render HTML pages depending on the route. Within the route method, you can manipulate data from the database which would then be showed in the view.

I’ll pseudo code an example. Note that frameworks will abstract HTTP routing in their own way:

GET /users

let users = User.findAll

render the index.html.faketemplate

Everything you learned about HTML applies, but now you can inject your server language in your HTML files to create dynamic content. If you have 10 users in your database, you can loop through all of the users we stored to the users variable in the controller and render them.


#this is just pseudo code
index.html.faketemplate
{loop through users.each do}
 <div class= ‘user-card’>
   <p>{user.name}</p>
   <p>{user.summary}</p>
 </div>
{end}

There are many templates to choose from. Mustache is a popular one. Check it out.

3) How to integrate the database

If you look up at the template pseudo example, you’ll see that each user object has accessible attributes. These attributes are defined using what’s called a schema. Essentially, a schema is a fancy word for a table of organized data.

If you’ve been using a framework, then you’ll see now that the hard work of learning a framework’s nuances payoff here. When I pseudo coded User.findAll, “findAll” was an abstracted method. The SQL equivalent would be SELECT * FROM users. Yeah, I’d stick with the abstraction.

Schemas are blueprints for SQL tables. Note that frameworks will use syntax from your chosen server-side language for table creation. Under the hood, SQL is driving everything.

Once you create a table with the aid of a framework, this table is mapped to an object. The object corresponds to the Model you create. In my case, its the User model. This is what Object Relational Mapping is all about(ORM). The relational aspect describes the relationship between objects.

Let me clarify that non definition with an example: a user can author many posts, but a post can only be authored by one user — a one-to-many relationship. This is just one of many relations that objects can have with one another.

For more examples of relations visit this link

Note: Non relational databases like MongoDB do not follow the relational paradigm per se, but if you read MongoDB’s documentation, there are ways around this restriction.

Let’s Put All Of This Together

Before you begin, wireframe your project. You should know what your site will look like and how it will function.

Once you have a wireframe, organize your schema. Both wireframe and schema will serve as a blue print for the front and back ends of your app.

  1. Initialize your MVC framework.
  2. Start the development server that comes with your framework.
  3. Code models based on your tables.
  4. Write HTML in view files.
  5. Now its time to create database tables based on the schema.
  6. In the controller file, use REST to create routes. Query the database if you need data and render the view pages.
  7. Once your website is running and the routes are configured, start applying CSS.
  8. Finally, go wild with JQuery.

One, Two, Three Lift Off!

Deploy your website to Heroku so that the world can see your hard work. 

 

 

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Top 8 Trends That Will Change the Shape of Mobile App Development in 2019

December 3, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Top 8 Trends That Will Change the Shape of Mobile App Development in 2019”

Mobile app development service is as competitive as ever.  The app development process is advancing more than ever for businesses these days. All thanks to technological advancements, today, the enterprise-grade apps can readily address challenges and complexities of the modern business.

Here are the top 8 trends that will change the shape of mobile app development in 2019.

  • Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT is a buzzword in the corporate sector. From retail to real estate and farming to fitness, various industry sectors want to embrace this futuristic technology. IoT-enabled apps can act as a bridge between smartphones and connected devices, and more such apps are ready to become an integral part of a business ecosystem. It is because entrepreneurs and customers both want to jump on the IoT app bandwagon. As more enterprises will embrace the IoT concept, mobile app development companies would remain busy making IoT apps.

There is no exaggeration in mentioning the IoT will drive the future of mobile app development in the coming years.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Both Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will exert a huge impact on mobile application development in coming days. Data collection and analysis is possible with ML algorithms and enterprises can provide individualized and personalized experience to the app users. Here we can see the mobile-oriented aspect of AI. AI chatbots and other ML tools can be added to the mobile app to bring automation and convenience.

From bringing automation to improving customer services to reducing human errors, AI is ready to play a significant role in the development of next-gen enterprise mobile apps. AI will also play a major part of mobile app development services in the near future.

  • More Interaction

Well, you may not consider it as a technology trend, but it is fair to mention that as people become more tech-savvy, various technology trends are going to combine for providing the highly interactive user experience. Let’s take an example of an on-demand mobile application. This app involves technologies like AI, IoT, and Blockchain, and wearable for serving various objectives.

Also, as mobile app development companies come across diverse user requirements, they come up with innovative mobile app solutions that include more than one emerging technologies. Ever-changing business needs also promote interaction with tech trends.

  • Security Trends

Mobile apps have remained ‘soft target’ for hackers and cybercriminals. Therefore, enterprises tend to focus more on the app and data security these days. When it comes to B2C business where the app users share their personal and financial details like credit card number for initiating a transaction. There, technologies like AI and ML lend a helping hand in detecting any suspicious or fraud activities. Integration of these technologies in the mobile app can enhance the security.

What’s more, app security techniques like facial recognition and encryption are also integrated to save valuable data from hackers. Innovative technology trends will ensure app security in the year 2019 and beyond.

  • New Domains

Do you know that technology trends can meet new frontiers in the year 2019? For example, entrepreneurs or startups associated with culture, cooking, and art-related sectors will also come up with dedicated mobile apps.

Apart from technocrats, the mobile app development companies will also focus on these rising business domains in the near future. It is interesting to see how technological advancements will address the needs of such unique business concepts and how related mobile apps will work.

It is certain that in the coming time, no industry sector will afford to stay away from technological advancements and mobile apps.

  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

Both VR and AR have risen beyond Pokemon Go to provide an immersive experience to consumers, stakeholders, and clients globally. As these technologies are not restricted to games and interactive apps, we can expect that various industry sectors will embrace these technologies soon. AR is expected to become more popular than VR. As Statista has predicted, globally, AR revenue is expected to grow to 90 billion USD in 2020, which over three times higher than the same for VR.

With an aim to offer more pleasant and interactive user experience, the mobile app development domain will rely more on both VR and AR in the year 2019 and beyond.

  • Wearables will be Mainstreamed

Wearable devices are steadily gaining ground across the world. It will give rise to wearable app development. We have not unleashed the full potential of wearable technology, but in the coming years, we will have its benefits. A Business Intelligence report has predicted that the wearable market will increase up to 35 percent by 2019.

It will also open the doors of new scopes in the technology domain as wearable app developers will leverage the benefits of advancements for developing interactive and innovative wearable app solutions.

Both iPhone and Android device makers have come up with wearable devices, and they will continue this trend in the future as well. As a result, the mobile app developers will keep on making wearable apps that can either work individually or in sync with smartphones.

  • Blockchain will Prevail

Well, Blockchain technology has evolved significantly in a couple of years. With enhanced security and improved automation, blockchain can be a preferred choice for the BFSI sector.

The Blockchain app development process can integrate AI for a higher level of safety and AR for an immersive experience in the future.

We can certainly expect that this technology will bring bigger and better advancements from the year 2019 onward as its use will increase in the mobile app development process.

Emerging technologies are expanding with the advent of new advancements and they have brought radical changes in the mobile app development process. Be it an iPhone app development or an Android app development solution, these tech trends are going to impact on app development in 2019 and afterward.

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Why Whiteboarding Needs A Makeover

July 13, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Why Whiteboarding Needs A Makeover”

Everywhere you look, the pen and the paper is being replaced by the stylus and the touch screen. In the early 2000s, the first few smart-boards rolled out into classrooms, abrogating chalks and markers and erasers and grime-stained boards. Now fast forward to the iPad and surface pro era. Touch interfaces have now found homes on monitors.

So the big question is, why do tech companies still pull out the good ol’ dry erase board during technical interviews? Do the technical interviewers inwardly cackle with glee when they see their candidates’ eyes widen at all the battle scars on their boards? Most likely not. Is the white-boarding phenomenon a time-worn tradition that needs to be kicked into the 21st century? Yes.

The problem with the dreaded whiteboard is that it is completely antithetical to a programmer’s normal work environment.Gone are the hotkeys. Gone is that nice editor that makes code reading a somewhat pleasing experience. In place of all the convenience a computer provides is a marker and your insecurities. Of course, with constant practice, white-boarding may just become a mild annoyance rather than a massive migraine. But if tech companies continue to demand white boarding and recruits continue to despise it, there has to be a happy medium.

That’s where the smart-board comes in, whether it’s a touch monitor or the interactive whiteboards found in many high schools. There are many white-boarding software out there. Microsoft recently just released one of their own. The technical interviewer simply needs to have the software up and running before the interview begins. Why does this bridge the divide?

1) Inclusivity:: The interactive whiteboard caters to different styles. Some people may be visual learners and may find it hard to read their own code. A lit, pure white background will make it easier for the candidate to read his or her own code.

2) Flexibility: Would it hurt to have documentation available? A programmer who is willing to refactor his code by looking up some useful methods is someone you’d want to have on the team. In one go, you can check the knows how to read docs and actually refactors code boxes.

3) Interactivity: There is no question that we’ve been spoiled by touch technology. When you’re left with a pen and a board with no fluid dimensions, you’d feel like you just time traveled. Now you actually have to worry about make sure you can contain your code. With a smart-board, all the candidate needs to do is scroll to create more blank space.

Smart-boards won’t solve all of the pain points experienced by developers, but they at least alleviate the anxiety some candidates face when approaching “The Whiteboard”.

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