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.

EngineeringIcon ChevronTechnology

Don't Be Fooled: Calculate the Real Cost of Employees and Consultants

by Hyam Singer

It's astounding how few business owners properly account for the real cost of their labor. This article presents tried and true methods -- including an online calculator -- for calculating the real cost of your employees and consultants, enabling you to perform a sound financial analysis when faced with the "employee vs. consultant" dilemma.

17 minute readContinue Reading
EngineeringIcon ChevronWeb Front-end

Your First AngularJS App Tutorial Part 2: Tools for Scaffolding, Building, and Testing

by Raoni Boaventura

In this follow-up to his first highly popular AngularJS tutorial, Toptal engineer Raoni Boaventura guides you through the steps of setting up your project, including scaffolding, dependency management, and preparing it for testing.

9 minute readContinue Reading
EngineeringIcon ChevronWeb Front-end

Polymer.js: The Future of Web Application Development?

by Alejandro Hernandez

A year after Google's launch of Polymer, Toptal engineer Alejandro Hernandez takes it out for a test drive to see if it's yet ready for prime time. This post explores the maturity and stability of Polymer.js as a foundation for large-scale application development. The results and conclusions from this analysis are provided, along with an introductory overview of the technology.

8 minute readContinue Reading
EngineeringIcon ChevronTechnology

Buggy Python Code: The 10 Most Common Mistakes That Python Developers Make

by Martin Chikilian

Python's simple, easy-to-learn syntax can mislead Python developers -- especially those who are newer to the language -- into missing some of its subtleties and underestimating the power of the language. In this article, Toptal's Martin Chikilian presents a "top 10" list of somewhat subtle, harder-to-catch mistakes that can trip up even the most advanced Python developer.

12 minute readContinue Reading
EngineeringIcon ChevronWeb Front-end

JavaScript Prototype Chains, Scope Chains, and Performance: What You Need to Know

by Diego Castorina

JavaScript is much more nuanced than most developers initially realize. Even for those with more experience, some of JavaScript's most salient features continue to be misunderstood and lead to confusion. One such feature, described in this article, is the way that property and variable lookups are performed and the resulting performance ramifications to be aware of.

11 minute readContinue Reading
EngineeringIcon ChevronTechnology

Buggy C# Code: The 10 Most Common Mistakes in C# Programming

by Patrick Ryder

C# is a powerful and flexible language with many mechanisms and paradigms that can greatly improve productivity. Having a limited understanding or appreciation of its capabilities, though, can leave one in the proverbial state of “knowing enough to be dangerous”. This article describes 10 of the most common programming mistakes made, or pitfalls to be avoided, by C# programmers.

19 minute readContinue Reading
EngineeringIcon ChevronData Science and Databases

A Guide to UTF-8 Encoding in PHP and MySQL

by Francisco Clariá

Once you step beyond the comfortable confines of English-only character sets, you quickly find yourself entangled in the wonderfully wacky world of UTF-8. Indeed, navigating through UTF-8 related issues can be a frustrating and hair-pulling experience. This post provides a concise cookbook for addressing these issues when working with PHP and MySQL in particular, based on practical experience and lessons learned.

10 minute readContinue Reading
EngineeringIcon ChevronData Science and Databases

Fixing the “Heartbleed” OpenSSL Bug: A Tutorial for Sys Admins

by Gergely Kalman

A potentially critical problem, nicknamed "Heartbleed", has surfaced in the widely-used OpenSSL cryptographic library. The vulnerability is particularly dangerous in that potentially critical data can be leaked and the attack leaves no trace. As a user, chances are that sites you frequent regularly are affected and your data may have been compromised. As a developer or sys admin, sites or servers you're responsible for are likely to have been affected. Here are the key facts you need to know about this dangerous bug and how to mitigate your vulnerability.

< 5 minute readContinue Reading
EngineeringIcon ChevronLifestyle

How to Travel While Working: The Traveling Engineer's Survival Guide

by Breanden Beneschott

As Co-Founder and COO, Breanden Beneschott has been effectively running Toptal, a venture-funded company growing hundreds of percent year over year, while traveling across the globe. Breanden shares his tips and experiences as a successful traveling engineer and entrepreneur, including his perspective on the benefits of this new lifestyle.

13 minute readContinue Reading

Join the Toptal® community.