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.
Melissa Lin
Everything You Need to Know about the CVS-Aetna Merger

Candy, cosmetics… and medical care? In a vertical merger valued at a whopping $69 billion, your favorite stop-in, CVS, plans to buy Aetna. If it goes through, it will be the largest deal of 2017 and the largest healthcare deal to date.

Amidst all the buzz surrounding the merger, this article elucidates the motivations behind it, including operational cost-cutting, expanded services as a competitive advantage, and threats from both Amazon and UnitedHealth. This piece also explores potential market effects.

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Francisco Reynolds
Fastlane: iOS Automation on Cruise Control

Working on an iOS application can be tedious, especially when you are wasting countless hours doing the most boring tasks: taking screenshots, signing code, and jumping through similar hoops to get your app to the users’ devices.

In this article, Toptal Freelance iOS Developer Francisco Reynolds walks you through the ultimate release automation tool for your iOS app and shows how it can save you from all of the tedious tasks.

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Vivek Khatri
Magento 2: Revision or Revolution?

Magento 2 was initially greeted with skepticism, but the maturity of the next generation of Magento development has brought on an explosion of new users. In this article, Toptal Freelance Magento Developer Vivek Khatri explains why it’s the top choice for eCommerce sites, new and old.

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Orinola Gbadebo-Smith
An Investor’s Guide to Palm Oil

To the novice investor or otherwise uninitiated, the ubiquity of palm oil as a global commodity cannot be overstated. It is a super crop with EBITDA margins > 50%, is the world’s most consumed edible oil, and is one of the most versatile raw material/substrate bases known to industry.

This article explores the sparsely understood world of palm, including its cultivation, harvest, and application processes; its financial and investment profile; and ultimately the trends governing its future.

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Vuk Djapic
Getting Started with the Elm Programming Language

Elm is a purely functional, strongly typed, reactive, and event-driven web client language. It takes a step back from the norms and really changes the way you reason about and program web application front-ends.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Vuk Djapic takes you through the exotic concepts of Elm and its pros and cons in real world use.

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Matt Dixon
Soul Hypercyle and the Wave of New Fitness Boutiques

The fitness industry is large, growing steadily and rapidly evolving. Since the 1980s, health club locations and memberships have more than tripled to 36,000 and 57 million, respectively. Yet, over the past decade, 35% of its customer base has shifted away from incumbent brands.

This article analyzes some of the shifts in the fitness industry that are illustrative of broader economic issues and highlights interesting implications for other consumer-facing businesses.

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Dino Causevic
Getting Started with TensorFlow: A Machine Learning Tutorial

TensorFlow is more than just a machine intelligence framework. It is packed with features and tools that make developing and debugging machine learning systems easier than ever.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Dino Causevic gives us an overview of TensorFlow and some auxiliary libraries to debug, visualize, and tweak the models created with it.

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Michael Yarmo
Meal Kit Industry Blues: How Can Blue Apron Lift Its Malaise?

In the past five years, Blue Apron has brought meal kits to the masses and commands a 40% market share in the USA. Yet all is not rosy; its financial losses have continually accelerated and it has ceded 17% of its market share in the past year.

Amazon buying Whole Foods on the eve of its 2017 IPO could have just been bad luck, or prescient signs of what’s to come for Blue Apron. This article looks at ways that the business can get its house in order and win back the Millennial kitchen.

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Oliver Holloway
From Solving Equations to Deep Learning: A TensorFlow Python Tutorial

TensorFlow makes implementing deep learning on a production scale a breeze. However, understanding its core mechanisms and how dataflow graphs work is an essential step in leveraging the tool’s power.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Oliver Holloway demonstrates how TensorFlow works by first solving a general numerical problem and then a deep learning problem.

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Alonso Ayala Ortega
Test-driven React.js Development: React.js Unit Testing with Enzyme and Jest

Any piece of code that has no tests is said to be legacy code according to Michael Feathers. Therefore, one of the best ways to avoid creating legacy code is using test-driven development (TDD).

While there are many tools available to create unit tests in JavaScript and, in this post, we will use Jest and Enzyme to create a React.js component with basic functionality using TDD.

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