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.
Nermin Hajdarbegovic
Android TV Development – Big Screens Are Coming, Get Ready!

Google wants to bring Android to everything from phones and watches, to cars and smart television sets. Unlike Google TV, Android TV is much closer to standard Android. It runs Android 5.0 (at least in the initial launch version) and can be used on new TVs, as well as on standalone devices.

Android TV is not just about improving the way people consume TV content, it’s more about changing the way they do it.

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Avinash Kaza
Business Intelligence Platform: Tutorial Using MongoDB Aggregation Pipeline

In today’s data driven world, researches are busy answering interesting questions by churning through huge volumes of data. Some obvious challenges they face are due the sheer size of dataset that they have to deal with. In this article, we take a peek at a simple business intelligence platform implemented on top of the MongoDB Aggregation Pipeline.

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Nermin Hajdarbegovic
Smartwatch Development: Are Smartwatches Worth The Trouble?

While the Apple Watch is on track to be a commercial success for Apple and its shareholders, technologists are still not entirely convinced smartwatches have what it takes to conquer the market, at least not yet.

What does this mean for developers? What are the implications for other smartwatch platforms and companies behind them?

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Doug Sparling
Full Text Search of Dialogues with Apache Lucene: A Tutorial

Apache Lucene is a powerful Java library used for implementing full-text search on a corpus of text. With its wide array of configuration options and customizability, it is possible to tune Apache Lucene specifically to the corpus at hand - improving both search quality and query capability.

This article gives us a glimpse of the simplicity and ease of customization of the Apache Lucene analysis pipeline.

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Marija Efremova
A Tutorial on iOS 8 App Extensions

iOS 8 introduced a new concept called App Extensions. This new feature did not break down the walls between the applications, but it opened a few doors providing gentle yet tangible contact between some apps. The latest update gave us an option to customize the iOS ecosystem, and we are eager to see this path opening up as well.

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Anton Shkuratov
SVG Text Tutorial: Text Annotation on the Web

Texts are an integral part of user interfaces. In many cases, text annotation plays a vital role in grabbing the user’s attention or allowing the user to decorate and highlight the content they produce.

In this article, we walk through the ins and outs of an open source JavaScript library built for annotating texts on the web.

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Nermin Hajdarbegovic
Toptal’s Selection Of Best Developer Blogs

You are what you read – and most Toptal members and blog subscribers are software developers. So what do you read? Where do professional developers get the latest information about how their peers work and think?

Today, we will be taking a look at a small selection of popular developer blogs frequented by Toptal developers. We’re counting on you (our readers) to expand the list in the comment section.

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Nermin Hajdarbegović
Biometric Security – The Key To Passwordless Authentication Or A Fad?

Passwordless authentication has been the Holy Grail of security for years, but progress has been painfully slow. Until a few years ago, the technology to implement passwordless logins on a grand scale simply wasn’t available.

However, the industry juggernaut is slowly but surely changing this. There are a few technical, legal and even ethical considerations to take into account, but be as it may, biometric, passwordless authentication is here to stay.

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Nick McCrea
A Digital Nomad Adventure: Traveling with Hacker Paradise

The nomadic lifestyle is not a vacation. There remains an impermeable barrier between the work world within the computer, and the real world outside of it. Yet there is so much intellectual stimulation and inspiration to be found on the road, it’s a genuine shame that we can’t build on it in the work we do, and with those we find around us. Making that dream a reality is the goal of Casey Rosengren and Alexey Komissarouk, founders of Hacker Paradise.

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Storm Farrell
Learn Markdown: The Writing Tool for Software Developers

Face it, you’re a software engineer, not a graphic designer. When you need to write a manual, technical document, or report, you just want to write it and be done with it. Especially for you as a software engineer – who is not put off by needing to learn and use some basic syntax conventions – Markdown can be the path of least resistance between what you want to write and getting it written.

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Bret J. Stancil
What To Look Out For In Software Development NDAs

You might presume that Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) have been widely accepted in the tech world as a means to protect sensitive and potentially valuable information from theft and abuse. Not so fast.

Jones Day Corporate Associate Bret J. Stancil examines software developer NDAs for Toptal blog followers in a must-read post for anyone faced with the prospect of signing an NDA.

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Radek Ostrowski
Introduction to Apache Spark with Examples and Use Cases

In this post, Toptal engineer Radek Ostrowski introduces Apache Spark – fast, easy-to-use, and flexible big data processing. Billed as offering “lightning fast cluster computing”, the Spark technology stack incorporates a comprehensive set of capabilities, including SparkSQL, Spark Streaming, MLlib (for machine learning), and GraphX. Spark may very well be the “child prodigy of big data”, rapidly gaining a dominant position in the complex world of big data processing.

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Tino Tkalec
JSON Web Token Tutorial: An Example in Laravel and AngularJS

Authentication is one of the most important parts of any web application. For decades, cookies and server-based authentication was the easiest solution. However, handling authentication in modern Mobile and Single Page Applications can be tricky and demand a better approach. One of the best known solutions to authentication problems for APIs is the JSON Web Token (JWT).

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