Toptal Blog

The Toptal Blog is the top hub for developers, designers, finance experts, executives, and entrepreneurs, featuring key technology updates, tutorials, freelancer resources, and management insights.
Alberto Mihelcic Bazzana
Advanced Financial Modeling Best Practices: Hacks for Intelligent, Error-Free Modeling

From abstract spreadsheets to real-world application, financial models have become an inextricable part of business life and an indispensable part of every company’s toolkit. But irrespective of its ubiquitousness as a productivity and decision-making tool, many out there still have a love-hate relationship with it.

Finance expert Alberto Bazzana authors a comprehensive “how-to guide”, for both the novices and experts among us, detailing Wall Street’s best practices for intelligent, effective, and error-free financial modeling.

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Ben Jones
Creating Server-side Rendered Vue.js Apps Using Nuxt.js

When using a JavaScript framework, your browser doesn’t receive a complete page to display. Instead it gets a bunch of pieces and instructions of how to put them all together. It takes a substantial amount of time to put all this information together before your browser actually has something to display.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Front-end Engineer Ben Jones introduces us to Nuxt.js, a server-side rendering library for Vue.js, inspired by the popular Next.js for React.js.

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Shanglun Wang
Build a Text Classification Program: An NLP Tutorial

Deep learning has proven its power across many domains, from beating humans at complex board games to synthesizing music. It has also been used extensively in natural language processing.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Shanglun (Sean) Wang shows how easy it is to build a text classification program using different techniques and how well they perform against each other.

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Amin Shah Gilani
Rails Service Objects: A Comprehensive Guide

Rails ships with everything you need to prototype your application quickly, but when your codebase starts growing, you’ll run into scenarios where the conventional Fat Model, Skinny Controller mantra breaks. When your business logic can’t fit in either a model or a controller, that’s when service objects come in and let us separate every business action into its own Ruby object.

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Melissa Lin
Private Equity Succession Planning Do’s and Don’ts

While growing investor enthusiasm has contributed to a historic $3 trillion of fundraising over the last five years, the PE industry faces increasing competition amongst firms, record-high multiples and other factors making it difficult to generate attractive returns. One aspect for consideration is succession planning, especially since CEO turnover at portfolio companies occurs at a rate of 73% and can increase hold times and decrease returns.

This article defines succession planning, and examines the best practices and mistakes to avoid in succession planning for PE portfolio companies. It also explores succession planning within private equity firms themselves, something PE firms have been uncharacteristically proactive about confronting recently.

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Vidur G. Gupta
Family Office Investment Guide: An Alternative to Venture Capital

The origins of family office investing date back, colorfully, to at least 15th century Florence, when the Medicis auspiciously gave the likes of Michelangelo and Da Vinci their start. Fast forward to present day, family offices have quietly continued to rival household VC names in the capital structures of the world’s largest tech companies (Uber, Facebook, and WeWork, for example).

Finance Expert Vidur Gupta presents a captivating introductory piece on the secretive but potent world of family office investing.

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Sergei Peshkov
4 Go Language Criticisms

Go is quickly becoming one of the most popular languages: It currently ranks 19 in the TIOBE programming community index, and powers popular software like Kubernetes, Docker, and Heroku CLI. However, for all its simplicity, Go may still be missing some things.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Go Developer Sergei Peshkov shares his concerns about why Go is still far from perfect and how we can make it better.

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Amaury Martiny
One-click Login with Blockchain: A MetaMask Tutorial

Online users are becoming increasingly resistant to traditional email/password registration processes. One-click social logins via Facebook, Google, or GitHub are better, but they come with data privacy trade-offs.

This article introduces a one-click, cryptographically-secure login flow using MetaMask, with all data stored on the app’s own back-end.

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Michael Karchevsky
Machine Learning Video Analysis: Identifying Fish

Machine learning, combined with some standard image processing techniques, can result in powerful video analysis tools.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Michael Karchevsky walks through a solution for a machine learning competition that identifies the species and lengths of any fish present in a given video segment.

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Marko Mišura
The Comprehensive Guide to JavaScript Design Patterns

As a good JavaScript developer, you strive to write clean, healthy, and maintainable code. While you solve interesting and unique challenges, you’ve likely found that you’re often writing code that looks similar to the code for an entirely different problem you’ve handled before. You may not know it, but you’ve used a design pattern.

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Erik Frederick
The Financial Implications of Technical Debt

Technical debt, which relates to suboptimal technology infrastructure in an organization, can actually be a huge financial burden on a business. However, like traditional financial debt, there are steps and processes that can be taken to manage and mitigate the risk. In this article, we elaborate on how CFOs can tackle their technical debt burden.

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