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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A Software Defined Radio Tutorial: Images from the International Space Station and Listening to Hams with an RTL-SDR

by Amin Shah Gilani

Radio has used fundamentally the same technology since Marconi’s experiments in 1895. However, improved circuit design and signal processing techniques have allowed us to transmit much more and much farther out than before. In this article, with a laptop and less than $30 worth of equipment, we’ll capture images transmitted from the International Space Station and listen to amateur radio conversations at a local repeater.

19 minute readContinue Reading
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Looking at Failed IPOs in the Age of the Unicorn

by Natasha Ketabchi

For many years, the IPO market appeared dormant. 2019, however, is bucking the trend with a large number of high-profile tech companies going live on stock exchanges. Not all of these IPOs have been successes. What is the process and what determines success (or lack thereof)?

9 minute readContinue Reading
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The Dart Language: When Java and C# Aren't Sharp Enough

by Star Ford

Five years after Dart 1.0, Google's rewritten open-source language is attracting increasing numbers of developers. What do C# and Java developers need to know to get started with it?

13 minute readContinue Reading
DesignIcon ChevronDesign Process

The Complete Guide to UX Research Methods

by Miklos Philips

UX research provides invaluable insight into product users and what they need and value. Not only will research reduce the risk of a miscalculated guess, it will uncover new opportunities for innovation.

7 minute readContinue Reading
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Google Apps Script Tutorial for Mastering Macros

by Stefan Thelin

Google Apps Script may appear familiar to those with knowledge of Microsoft’s Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) language. However, Google’s coding offers more integrations and the ability to harness workflows seamlessly across spreadsheets, documents, and presentations.

11 minute readContinue Reading
DesignIcon ChevronUI Design

Aesthetics and Perception – How to Approach User Experience Imagery

by Rian Dutra

Once designers better understand how people’s minds work with imagery, they are able to create better products that really make sense in a person’s life, while positively affecting the business itself.

9 minute readContinue Reading
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How to Create a Swipeable UITabBar From the Ground Up

by George Vashakidze

Apple’s iOS SDK features a bevy of built-in UI components, but what happens when you decide you need a bit more? What if you need to create a swipeable UITabBar? In this post, Toptal iOS Developer George Vashakidze explains how he tried using a third-party library, and why he chose to create his own solution instead.

9 minute readContinue Reading
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A Road to Better Agile Testing

by Vytas Butkus

The yearly World Quality Report created by Capgemini shows that 42% of survey respondents list a “lack of professional test expertise” as a challenge in applying testing to Agile development. While the advent of Agile has brought the increased speed of iterations for software development, in some cases this has come at the cost of quality.

8 minute readContinue Reading
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How to Approach Modern WordPress Development (Part 2)

by Andrey Shalashov

WordPress code, especially back-end PHP code, is often a mess—even in WP core! But legacy code is no excuse. Find out how to develop WP customizations the right way, so your code is readable and maintainable.

13 minute readContinue Reading

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