Toptal Engineering Blog

The Toptal Engineering Blog is a hub for in-depth development tutorials and new technology announcements created by professional freelance software engineers in the Toptal network.
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Anton Goncharov
Streamline Software Integration: An Apache Camel Tutorial

Designing systems integration architecture can be a difficult task. And it gets worse if you’re designing for software at scale. An enterprise service bus can be one way of working around the challenges. But this is definitely not the simplest of solutions.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Anton Goncharov gives us a detailed overview of the challenges of systems integration and a guide to addressing those challenges with Apache Camel.

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Nathan Finch
Don't Repeat Yourself: Automating Repetitive Tasks with WP-CLI

In a recent project, there were several programmatic tasks I needed to repeat periodically. One task in particular involved updating user-level permissions based on evidence of membership level purchase or subscription.

Instead of going into the admin panel and manually deleting hundreds (maybe thousands) of subscriptions, I opted to reach for one of my favorite WordPress tools: WP-CLI, which fixed the problem in a few keystrokes.

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Fahad Munawar Khan
No-Fuss AI for Your App: Meet Salesforce Einstein

The AI revolution is transforming the consumer world. Some developers may shy away from AI, which has traditionally been a heavily technical specialty. In this article, Toptal Freelance Salesforce Developer Fahad Munawar Khan explores how accessible to developers the AI cloud has become, even for non-Salesforce apps, with Salesforce Einstein.

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Juan Carlos Arias Ambriz
Front-end Frameworks: Solutions or Bloated Problems?

Modern front-end frameworks constantly require you to download an entire development environment, complete with dependencies, and compile your code before even trying to view it on your browser. Is this something good? Is it the problem we are building more complex sites, or the frameworks are complex on their on own and they introduce an unnecessary level of complexity.

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Francisco Reynolds
Fastlane: iOS Automation on Cruise Control

Working on an iOS application can be tedious, especially when you are wasting countless hours doing the most boring tasks: taking screenshots, signing code, and jumping through similar hoops to get your app to the users’ devices.

In this article, Toptal Freelance iOS Developer Francisco Reynolds walks you through the ultimate release automation tool for your iOS app and shows how it can save you from all of the tedious tasks.

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Vivek Khatri
Magento 2: Revision or Revolution?

Magento 2 was initially greeted with skepticism, but the maturity of the next generation of Magento development has brought on an explosion of new users. In this article, Toptal Freelance Magento Developer Vivek Khatri explains why it’s the top choice for eCommerce sites, new and old.

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Vuk Djapic
Getting Started with the Elm Programming Language

Elm is a purely functional, strongly typed, reactive, and event-driven web client language. It takes a step back from the norms and really changes the way you reason about and program web application front-ends.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Vuk Djapic takes you through the exotic concepts of Elm and its pros and cons in real world use.

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Dino Causevic
Getting Started with TensorFlow: A Machine Learning Tutorial

TensorFlow is more than just a machine intelligence framework. It is packed with features and tools that make developing and debugging machine learning systems easier than ever.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Dino Causevic gives us an overview of TensorFlow and some auxiliary libraries to debug, visualize, and tweak the models created with it.

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Oliver Holloway
From Solving Equations to Deep Learning: A TensorFlow Python Tutorial

TensorFlow makes implementing deep learning on a production scale a breeze. However, understanding its core mechanisms and how dataflow graphs work is an essential step in leveraging the tool’s power.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Oliver Holloway demonstrates how TensorFlow works by first solving a general numerical problem and then a deep learning problem.

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Alonso Ayala Ortega
Test-driven React.js Development: React.js Unit Testing with Enzyme and Jest

Any piece of code that has no tests is said to be legacy code according to Michael Feathers. Therefore, one of the best ways to avoid creating legacy code is using test-driven development (TDD).

While there are many tools available to create unit tests in JavaScript and, in this post, we will use Jest and Enzyme to create a React.js component with basic functionality using TDD.

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Cody Nash
Create Data from Random Noise with Generative Adversarial Networks

Generative adversarial networks, among the most important machine learning breakthroughs of recent times, allow you to generate useful data from random noise. Instead of training one neural network with millions of data points, you let two neural networks contest with each other to figure things out.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Cody Nash gives us an overview of how GANs work and how this class of machine learning algorithms can be used to generate data in data-limited situations.

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Iulian Gulea
A Guide to Performance Testing and Optimization With Python and Django

Donald Knuth said that “premature optimization is the root of all evil.” But there comes a time, usually in mature projects with high loads, when the need to optimize presents itself. In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Iulian Gulea talks about five common methods to optimize a web project’s code using principles that can be used in Django as well as other frameworks and languages. Using these principles, he demonstrates how to reduce the response time of a query from 77 to 3.7 seconds.

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Rodrigo Donini
How to Create Exclusive Custom Taxonomies in WordPress

In WordPress, taxonomies allow you to flexibly organize your content in categories with tags and more. However, when defining custom taxonomies, you may not get the desired behavior out of the box.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Rodrigo Donini shows how exclusive custom taxonomies can be implemented in WordPress for strict categorization of posts.

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