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.
Juan Calou
A How-to Guide to SVG Animation

The advantages of SVG on the web go beyond producing resolution-independent graphics. With a little CSS and JavaScript, you can apply cool animations and effects to your front-end without requiring the user to install bulky plugins.

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Gabriel Livan
The 12 Worst Mistakes Advanced WordPress Developers Make

WordPress is a very popular way to get a site up and running quickly. However, in their haste, plenty of developers end up making horrible decisions. Some mistakes, like leaving WP_DEBUG set to “true,” may be easy to make. Others, like lumping all your JavaScript into a single file, are as common as lazy engineers. Whichever mistake you manage to make, read on to find out the 12 most common WordPress mistakes that new and seasoned developers make.

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Kevin Bloch
Code Optimization: The Optimal Way to Optimize

Optimization sounds ideal. Ironically, the very aspect of our code we are trying to optimize can be sabotaged by this process, taking out innocent bystanders along the way. Is it a perfectionists’ goldmine…or minefield? In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Kevin Bloch offers a more balanced approach to the art and science of optimization.

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Simon Boissonneault-Robert
Ngrx and Angular 2 Tutorial: Building a Reactive Application

Building a reactive web application is a lot more about how you handle events and data flow in your applications than the tools you use to do so. However, Angular 2 with Ngrx seems to be the perfect combination for building reactive applications for many reasons.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Simon Boissonneault-Robert walks you through a reactive web application tutorial using Angular and Ngrx and shows how these two technologies make it easy to do that.

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André Castelo
Laravel API Tutorial: How to Build and Test a RESTful API

Laravel is a PHP framework developed with developer productivity in mind. Written and maintained by Taylor Otwell, the framework is very opinionated and strives to save developer time by favoring convention over configuration. The framework also aims to evolve with the web and has already incorporated several new features and ideas in the web development world—such as job queues, API authentication out of the box, real-time communication, and much more.

In this article, we’ll explore the ways you can build—and test—a robust API using Laravel. We’ll be using Laravel 5.4, and all of the code is available for reference on GitHub.

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Dusan Simonovic
Get Started With Microservices: A Dropwizard Tutorial

Dropwizard allows developers to quickly bootstrap their projects and package applications as easily deployable standalone services. It also happens to be relatively simple to use and implement.

In this tutorial, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Dusan Simonovic will introduce you to Dropwizard and demonstrate how you can use this powerful framework to create RESTful web services with ease.

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Luke Sapan
Ramping up Software Deployment - A Docker Swarm Tutorial

Docker itself has been around for years and is composed of many inter-operating pieces. One of them is Docker Swarm, which allows you to declare your applications as stacks of services, and let Docker handle the rest.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Luke Sapan explains how to use Docker Swarm to deploy your own self-managing stack, followed by a quick example.

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Alexey Saenko
Spring Batch Tutorial: Batch Processing Made Easy with Spring

Spring Batch is a lightweight, comprehensive framework designed to facilitate the development of robust batch applications. It’s easy to set up, and even easier to use.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Alexey Saenko explains the programming model and the domain language of batch applications, using detailed code examples that should help any developer looking to get a head start in Spring Batch.

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Rico Mossesgeld
Eight CSS Tips for Advanced Layouts and Effects

Knowledge of CSS is a fundamental skill in the web development space. However, implementing certain web design patterns with just CSS can be a frustrating task, and often requires an in-depth understanding of it.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Web Developer Rico Mossesgeld shares several CSS tips and tricks that take advantage of lesser known CSS features to solve real layout and design problems.

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Raul Jimenez Herrando
Building an Angular Video Player with Videogular

Video accounts for more than three quarters of all bandwidth used today. That’s why developers need a solid, extensible, and advanced media framework that doesn’t come with a steep learning curve.

In this tutorial, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Raul Jimenez will introduce you to one such framework – Videogular. If you need to harness the power of Angular for HTML5 video, look no further.

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Gilad Haimov
Android DDMS: A Guide to the Ultimate Android Console

There is no way around application diagnostics. No matter how good your code is, you will need to be able to monitor and study system behavior. This is where Android’s DDMS shines.

In this article, Senior Android Engineer Gilad Haimov explains how veteran Android developers leverage the potential of DDMS to improve app stability and performance, test new features, diagnose, and debug their code.

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William Wang
Efficient React Components: A Guide to Optimizing React Performance

Why does a React web app run slow? The answer often lies in when and how frequently your components re-render, and whether those re-renders were even necessary. React doesn’t promise magical performance gains, but it provides just the right tools and functionalities to make it easy.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer William Wang walks us through some optimization techniques that can help you build performant React web apps.

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Hanee' Medhat
Apache Spark Streaming Tutorial: Identifying Trending Twitter Hashtags

Social networks are among the biggest sources of data today, and this means they are an extremely valuable asset for marketers, big data specialists, and even individual users like journalists and other professionals. Harnessing the potential of real-time Twitter data is also useful in many time-sensitive business processes.

In this article, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Hanee’ Medhat explains how you can build a simple Python application to leverage the power of Apache Spark, and then use it to read and process tweets to identify trending hashtags.

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