Toptal Blog

The Toptal Blog is the top hub for business, design, and technology talent, executives, and entrepreneurs, featuring key technology updates, tutorials, freelancer resources, and management insights.
Melissa Lin
Online Dating Industry: The Business of Love

It might be hard to imagine or remember, but there was once a time when going on a date with a stranger you met online was a strange concept—frowned upon, even. Today, however, millennials have led the charge on transforming the dating industry and making online dating universally accepted. In fact, a 2018 Statista survey revealed that 12% of 18-29-year-olds admit to being in a relationship with a partner they met online. And, consider that there are now over 1,500 dating apps or websites in existence.

Though matchmaking is one of the oldest industries in existence, online matchmaking is now having a moment of its own. This article explores the business of dating: the market size of dating apps in the U.S., the industry’s biggest players, and how these products actually make money (if they even do!).

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Cameron Chapman
The Role of Color in UX

A well-thought-out color palette can elevate a design from “good” to “great” while a mediocre palette can detract from a user’s experience and even interfere with their ability to use a site or app.

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Marcos Henrique da Silva
Creating a Secure REST API in Node.js

As patterns go, REST APIs are so useful and ubiquitous that every web developer, regardless of language or platform, should know how to build one.

In this article, Toptal Freelance JavaScript Developer Marcos Henrique da Silva shows how to create a simple and secure REST API for user management on Node.js.

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Viktor Bojović
Developing a Bioinformatics Database for Disulfide Bonds Research

The Protein Data Bank (PDB) bioinformatics database is the world’s largest repository of experimentally-determined structures of proteins, nucleic acids, and complex assemblies. All data is gathered using experimental methods such as X-ray, spectroscopy, crystallography, NMR, etc. This article explains how to extract, filter, and clean data from the PDB to make it suitable for further analysis.

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Francesco Castellano
The Impending Commercial Robot Revolution

The field of robotics has seen incredible strides forward in recent years. As a result of improvements in computer vision, dexterity and also overall economics, use of robots has increased in a variety of different fields. However, most of the growth in robotics so far has happened in industrial applications, and thus hidden from the view of the general public. But is this about to change?

In this article, Toptal Finance Expert Francesco Castellano focuses on the commercial robotics market. Thanks to recent breakthroughs in the fields of AI, mechatronics, sensors, and batteries, service and commercial robots are likely to see tremendous growth and adoption, likely heralding a new robotics revolution that could transform our daily lives in countless ways.

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Guillaume Ferry
Python Machine Learning Prediction with a Flask REST API

Employing Python to make machine learning predictions can be a daunting task, especially if your goal is to create a real-time solution. However, Tensorflow and Scikit-Learn can significantly speed up implementation.

In this article, Toptal Python Developer Guillaume Ferry outlines a simple architecture that should help you progress from a basic proof of concept to a minimal viable product without much hassle.

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Anthony Lucidi
Exploring the Business Benefits of SharePoint

Many businesses use SharePoint but use it poorly. Restructuring and re-education are the keys to getting the most out of SharePoint. In this article, Toptal Freelance SharePoint Developer Anthony Lucidi explores how features like metadata tags, SharePoint workflows, and PowerApps can make a world of difference.

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Ted Bartlett
Making Your Software Work For You: an ERP Implementation Tutorial

In the life of almost any growing enterprise, there comes a point in time when the existing systems and processes become insufficient. Early-stage businesses tend to grow up with basic and low-cost software systems as well as a heavy reliance upon a few key administrative employees. Eventually, however, the software can’t keep up with the business, and the trusted employees become overtaxed.

For most enterprises at this key inflection point, implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which integrates all areas of the business, can help to overcome this issue. It’s a hugely consequential decision for the business and must be approached with an uninterrupted focus on risk management. While ERP may not be sexy, it is of utmost importance for growing businesses and should not be ignored. This article provides enterprise leaders with the benefits and risks of ERP, as well as a detailed step-by-step implementation guide.

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Ryan Downie
LTV and CAC: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?

LTV:CAC analysis is one of the most important exercises startup founders must go through to evaluate their business’ prospects and raise external funding. It is, however, frequently misunderstood and misinterpreted.

In this article, Toptal Finance Expert Ryan Downie runs through a practical tutorial of how to perform LTV:CAC analysis correctly, and how it should be adapted and interpreted depending on the business model or sector in question.

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