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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Toptal core team members share their experience, expertise, and perspectives on the Toptal Edge Blog

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The Power of Skills-Based Volunteering

Social responsibility is increasingly front-of-mind for employees as they consider where to build their careers. This article explores how skills-based volunteering can not only serve as a strong employee retention strategy in response to this greater desire for social impact, but also democratize highly skilled talent to help a broader range organizations and communities.

6 minute readContinue Reading
Melody Liu

Melody Liu

Melody is a Delivery Manager in the Projects department at Toptal, bringing expertise from her backgorund in consulting.

The Undeniable Importance of a Business Plan

We often hear about business plans in the context of early-stage companies; however, constructing excellent business plans is difficult and time-consuming, so many entrepreneurs avoid them. But, is this a mistake?

While most people may be aware of the “soft” arguments for and against writing a business plan, in this article, a Toptal Finance Expert takes a data-driven approach to addressing the debate. In it, he finds strong evidence to support the notion that writing an excellent business plan is time well spent.

12 minute readContinue Reading
Sean Heberling

Sean Heberling

Sean has analyzed 10,000+ companies, built complex models, and helped facilitate $1+ billion in investment transactions.

Top-level Control With Redux State Management: A ClojureScript Tutorial

ClojureScript is the tool of choice for front-end developers who have tried it. Recently in this series, we showed how to use it to get started with React. In today’s tutorial, Toptal Freelance Clojure Developer Luke Tomlin dives into how to use Redux for React state management in ClojureScript.

10 minute readContinue Reading
Luke Tomlin

Luke Tomlin

With a Master’s in CS and mathematics, Luke specializes in functional programming. A Google internship launched his powerhouse dev career.

Working With Static Patterns: A Swift MVVM Tutorial

Real-time data-driven apps create new challenges in the way we structure our programs, especially on mobile. In this article, Toptal Freelance iOS Developer Lucas van Dongen implements an iOS chat app, comparing the classic MVC approach with a static immutable MVVM pattern.

21 minute readContinue Reading
Lucas van Dongen

Lucas van Dongen

A mobile developer and teacher, Lucas has built not only iOS apps but also back-end APIs using Swift, Objective-C, Python, Elixir, and C#.

Sound Advice: A Quick Guide to Designing UX Sounds

Sound can be easily overlooked in UX design, but it’s an essential element in building impactful user interactions, such as providing feedback for user’s actions and building brand recognition.

8 minute readContinue Reading
Leo Foureaux

Leo Foureaux

Leo is a product designer who uses empathy and research to craft valuable, multi-sensory digital products that make businesses thrive.

Terraform AWS Cloud: Sane Infrastructure Management

Writing an application is only part of the story. In order for it to be of value, it needs deploying somewhere it can scale; it has to run with high availability, have backups, and so on. Deployment and infrastructure management isn’t a simple process. And Terraform does nothing to hide the complexity. However, it does make your infrastructure declarative and reproducible, like your code.

In this article, Toptal Freelance DevOps Engineer Radosław Szalski teaches us what Terraform is, how its components work, and how to configure an entire AWS Cloud solution in minutes using its configuration language.

24 minute readContinue Reading
Radosław Szalski

Radosław Szalski

Radosław is a Python enthusiast and full-stack developer with over half a decade of professional experience engineering web apps.

AI Investment Primer: A Practical Guide to Appraising Artificial Intelligence Dealflow (Part II)

In part I of this two-part series, Toptal Finance Expert Carolyn Deng provided an overview of the world of AI aimed at investors, with a focus on understanding what factors make for a great AI company. In this follow-up post, she outlines five practical steps investors should follow when diligencing a potential AI investment.

11 minute readContinue Reading
Carolyn Deng, CFA

Carolyn Deng, CFA

A Wharton MBA and CFA, Carolyn has executed 20+ VC/PE deals, managed a $700M portfolio and is a fundraising, growth and M&A specialist.

The Practical Guide to Building Online Communities

Online communities shape the relationship between a company and its distributed workforce. They also foster connections between workers, enriching both their professional and personal lives. In this article, David Abramovich, the Online Community Leader at Toptal, shares fundamental steps to successfully cultivate this critical ingredient that increasingly impacts the future of work.

6 minute readContinue Reading
David Abramovich

David Abramovich

David Abramovich is the Online Community Leader at Toptal, with over 8 years of experience through WeWork, Remote Year, and more.

Is It Time to Use Node 8?

Node 8 has brought significant performance and feature upgrades. Should you use it on new projects? Is it worth upgrading existing codebases? In this article, Toptal Freelance JavaScript Developer Youssef Sherif gives a tour of Node 8’s biggest changes and what they mean for your project.

13 minute readContinue Reading
Yoosif Sherif

Yoosif Sherif

Youssef has utilized React, Angular, NodeJS, and Python to build sophisticated web apps, API services, and machine learning applications.

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