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

Oracle to SQL Server and SQL Server to Oracle Migration Guide

by Leonid Draginsky

Migrating in either direction between Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle Database? There are some significant pitfalls to be aware of...

11 minute readContinue Reading
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Accelerate with BERT: NLP Optimization Models

by Jesse Moore

For a successful natural language processing project, collecting and preparing data, building resilient pipelines, and getting "model ready" can easily take months of effort even with the most talented engineers. But what if we could reduce the data required to a fraction? In this article, we’ll cover how transfer learning is making world-class models open source and introduce BERT (bidirectional encoder representations from transformers). BERT is the most powerful NLP “tool” to date. We’ll explore how it works and why it will change the way companies execute NLP projects.

6 minute readContinue Reading
DesignIcon ChevronDesign Process

How to Recruit UX Research Participants

by James Tucker

Finding the right UX research participants can result in valuable insights even from a mediocre UX testing plan. UX researchers should spend the time to identify and find the right participants.

9 minute readContinue Reading
FinanceIcon ChevronFinance Processes

Analyzing the Effects of Negative Interest Rates Across Five Economies

by Alex Graham, CFA

What happens when interest rates drop below zero - are you really paid to borrow money? Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, and the Eurozone have all experienced negative rates and their experiences give pointers towards the effectiveness of such strategies.

12 minute readContinue Reading
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Build with Confidence: A Guide to JUnit Tests

by Nikhil Bansal

In an age of continuous delivery, Java developers have to be confident that their changes don't break existing code, hence automated testing. There's more than one valid approach to it, but how can you keep them straight?

10 minute readContinue Reading
DesignIcon ChevronMobile Design

Why Small Words Matter – The Importance of Microcopy UX

by Chintan Bhatt

Small words matter. Effective UX microcopy can help UX designers create digital products that are more useful, engaging, and simple to use. Here are several examples of good (and bad) microcopy.

7 minute readContinue Reading
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How to Build a Role-based API with Firebase Authentication

by Joaquin Cid

Nearly every app requires an authorization system on top of an authentication system. We often need a fine-grained permissions model to allow only specific users to access certain resources while simultaneously restricting access for everyone else. In this tutorial, Toptal Freelance Firebase Developer Joaquin Cid teaches how to build just such a system. Called a role-based authentication, we’ll learn how to implement this system in an API using Node.js and Firebase.

13 minute readContinue Reading
FinanceIcon ChevronRevenue & Growth

Looks That Thrill - Inside the Booming Beauty Industry

by Natasha Ketabchi

How has the beauty industry become extremely innovative? How did Glossier and The Ordinary approach (and crack) the problem of enticing consumers, building brand loyalty and creating unique experiences? The lessons are relevant for all DTC companies.

11 minute readContinue Reading
DesignIcon ChevronDesign Process

Home Smart IoT Home: Domesticating the Internet of Things

by Kent Mundle

By adopting the smart home, are we forfeiting the security and intimacy our home—our most personal space—has given us over millennia?

8 minute readContinue Reading

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