The Internet is becoming “smarter” every day. The video-sharing website that you frequently visit seems to know exactly what you will like, even before you have seen it. The online shopping cart holding your items almost magically figures out the one thing that you may have missed or intended to add before checking out. It’s as if these web services are reading your mind - or are they? Turns out, predicting a user’s likes involves more math than magic. In this article we will explore one of the many ways of building a recommendation engine that is both simple to implement and understand.
I've been an Engineer at Toptal for just about one year now, working on the same project since I joined the network: Ondello, a service that connects doctors and patients over WebRTC. When I first joined Ondello, I was hired as a Senior Ruby on Rails Developer, tasked to build a service up from scratch. These days, we're a team of multiple developers working on a fairly large, complex system. With this post, I'd like to share the story behind Ondello. Specifically, I'd like to talk about: how a simple application became not-so-simple, and how our use of cutting-edge technologies posed problems I'd never considered before.
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