Toptal Engineering Blog

The Toptal Engineering Blog is a hub for in-depth development tutorials and new technology announcements created by professional software engineers in the Toptal network.

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What CSS Developers Do and Why You Need One

by Silvestar Bistrović

Most websites today rely on CSS to deliver more style and polish, but the sheer popularity of CSS is causing many people to take it for granted and overlook its importance. In this article, Toptal UI Developer Silvestar Bistrović explains this disconnect and outlines why you need a true CSS specialist rather than a jack of all trades.

8 minute readContinue Reading
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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
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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
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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
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Make Your App Profitable, Part 2 – Harnessing the Mobile Funnel

by Matthew Knippen

Subscription-based apps need a special approach when it comes to analytics. Learn how a variation on the traditional sales funnel helps you work with LTV, subscriber retention, and churn rates to make your app better—and more profitable.

10 minute readContinue Reading
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Creating Your First GraphQL API

by Ioram Gordadze

GraphQL is a domain-specific language for data query and manipulation by Facebook. It is meant to replace the de facto REST standard in API creation. In this article, Toptal Freelance GraphQL Developer Ioram Gordadze creates a GraphQL API from scratch, summarizing problems new GraphQL developers face. He also teaches us to rethink the standard methods used in REST APIs in a more GraphQL-friendly manner.

16 minute readContinue Reading
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Increase Code Maintainability with React Integration Testing

by Anton Rublev

Integration tests provide a lot of value considering the time and effort required for testing. React integration tests improve code maintainability, yet they don’t slow down development. In this article, Toptal Software Developer Anton Rublev demonstrates how you can harness the power of react-testing-library to create superior code without wasting time.

7 minute readContinue Reading

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