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.

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Introduction to Apache Spark with Examples and Use Cases

by Radek Ostrowski

In this post, Toptal engineer Radek Ostrowski introduces Apache Spark -- fast, easy-to-use, and flexible big data processing. Billed as offering "lightning fast cluster computing", the Spark technology stack incorporates a comprehensive set of capabilities, including SparkSQL, Spark Streaming, MLlib (for machine learning), and GraphX. Spark may very well be the "child prodigy of big data", rapidly gaining a dominant position in the complex world of big data processing.

8 minute readContinue Reading
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JSON Web Token Tutorial: An Example in Laravel and AngularJS

by Tino Tkalec

Authentication is one of the most important parts of any web application. For decades, cookies and server-based authentication was the easiest solution. However, handling authentication in modern Mobile and Single Page Applications can be tricky and demand a better approach. One of the best known solutions to authentication problems for APIs is the JSON Web Token (JWT).

16 minute readContinue Reading
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Introduction to OpenGL: A 3D Text Rendering Tutorial

by Timofey Lonchakov

Over time, the race between DirectX and OpenGL has caused these technologies to become more accessible to developers, along with better documentation and an easier process of getting started with them. This tutorial article shows you how to build a 3D modeling application that generates and renders 3D texts from user inputs.

9 minute readContinue Reading
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Meet Volt, A Promising Ruby Framework For Dynamic Applications

by Amaury Andres Peniche Gonzalez

In an attempt to make web applications a lot more dynamic, front-end Javascript frameworks like Angular.js, Backbone.js and Ember.js have gained a lot of popularity. However, these frameworks often require a back-end application to be useful, so they are used in conjunction with web frameworks like Ruby on Rails and Django. On the other hand, Volt is capable of managing the back-end and a dynamic front-end; since both functionalities are tightly integrated into its core.

8 minute readContinue Reading
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Nvidia Shield - A Different Take On Android Gaming Consoles

by Nermin Hajdarbegovic

Describing Nvidia Shield as a mere Android console would not do it justice. The console relies heavily on streaming and cloud computing, so it shouldn't not be viewed as another standalone device. Nvidia sees Shield as Netflix for games, as a comprehensive Gaming-as-a-Service (GaaS) platform. While it's still part of the Android ecosystem, Shield could be bad news for some Android game developers, but it also creates a range of new and exciting opportunities.

10 minute readContinue Reading
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Application Development with Rapid Application Development Framework AllcountJS

by Pavel Tiunov

AllcountJS is an emerging open-source framework built with rapid application development in mind. It is based on the idea of declarative application development using JSON-like configuration code that describes the structure and behavior of the application. In this article, we walk through a step-by-step tutorial for prototyping a data-oriented web application using AllcountJS.

12 minute readContinue Reading
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Are We Creating An Insecure Internet of Things (IoT)? Security Challenges and Concerns

by Nermin Hajdarbegovic

After a couple of years of bullish forecasts and big promises, security seems to be the biggest IoT concern. The first few weeks of 2015 were not kind to this emerging industry, and most of the negative press revolved around security. Was it justified? Was it just “fear, uncertainty and doubt” (FUD), brought about by years of hype? It was bit of both; although some issues may have been overblown, the problems are very real, indeed.

12 minute readContinue Reading
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Video Game Physics Tutorial - Part II: Collision Detection for Solid Objects

by Nilson Souto

In Part I of this three-part series on game physics, we explored rigid bodies and their motions. In that discussion, however, objects did not interact with each other. Without some additional work, the simulated rigid bodies can go right through each other. In Part II, we will cover the collision detection step, which consists of finding pairs of bodies that are colliding among a possibly large number of bodies scattered around a 2D or 3D world.

21 minute readContinue Reading
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Best Programming Editors? A Never Ending Battle With No Clear Winner

by Phillip Brennan

Since programmers spend so much time using their favorite editor, they become extremely good at it, and are reluctant to learn to use any other. Even if offered a better editor for some specific task, the skilled programmer can get their existing editor to do the task just well enough, and therefore sees no need to learn how to use a new one. This is what compelled me to try out a number of different editors and make the transition as easy as possible; I hope my experience saves you time and effort if you find yourself in the same situation.

10 minute readContinue Reading

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