Takeaways from Google I/O 2014

Like many others, I was excited that this year’s Google I/O tickets would be distributed on a lottery basis. Also like many others, I was not lucky enough to win one of the lottery tickets.

So when I heard that Women Who Code had discounted tickets for women in tech, I signed up immediately. Apparently Google made a big effort this year to get more women to participate in the conference, and as a result the number of women attendees rose from 7 percent last year to 20 percent this year!
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Caren Chang

Caren Chang is a Software Engineer I on the QA Team at Tagged.

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Lessons from php[tek] 2014

I recently had the opportunity to attend php[tek] 2014 in Chicago. As Tagged is a site primarily powered by PHP, it was a good opportunity to learn about upcoming features in unreleased versions of PHP, some of the newer features that are underutilized and not as well known, and just how far the language of PHP has evolved since it was released many many years ago.

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Nick Moore

Nick Moore is a Senior Software Engineer I on the web team at Tagged.

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Interface Design Bootcamp at Smashing Conference

As an engineer, learning about everything that goes into designing a product is a fascinating lesson for me. In the Interface Design Bootcamp at Smashing Conference, Aarron Walter walked through the steps he takes to go from idea to production.

His analogy to describe the process was the game of golf: start with strong, broad strokes, then use smaller strokes to get to the final point. The five steps he outlined, in increasing levels of granularity, were 1) research, 2) flow, 3) interaction, 4) personality and 5) aesthetics.
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Barrett Cook

Barrett Cook is an engineering manager on the web team at Tagged.

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CodePath Presents: Intro to Android @ Tagged

Tagged recently hosted an “Introduction to Android Workshop” by CodePath. CodePath empowers software developers to learn mobile development through workshops and bootcamps. I had a great time at the workshop and built two Android apps by the end of the day!

For those interested in Android development, I recommend this useful resource from CodePath: Android Cliffnotes, an open source wiki. The instructors of the workshops used the Developing our First App Using Android Studio and RottenTomatoes Networking Tutorial guides to teach us about the structure of Android apps, how to layout views, how to to communicate between activities, how to display toasts and more. It was cool to hear a variety of perspectives and tips from both new and seasoned Android developers in the workshop, many of whom are recent alumni of CodePath’s Android Bootcamp.

The highlight of the workshop was a presentation by Tagged team member Jeffrey Rogiers, engineering manager for our Android team. He discussed Tagged’s efforts in growing its Android team, what it was like developing Tagged’s satellite apps Sidewalk and Swoon (experiments in Android development to help muscle the team), and also explained the current overhaul of the Tagged app. Jeffrey reviewed the new structure of the app, emphasizing its modular architecture through the use of separate feature components, and the use of continuous integration to maintain code quality through lint, unit tests and automated acceptance tests. He also debuted the new app design, which follows Android Design Principles. Everyone in the workshop enjoyed hearing how the Android team functions at Tagged.

The CodePath workshop was a great experience, and it was fun to meet other developers interested in getting into mobile development. Thanks to everyone who made it a success!

Ling-Yi Kung

Ling-Yi Kung is a mobile software engineer on the mobile team at Tagged.

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Anomaly Detection at Monitorama

Figuring out when something has gone wrong with your app or site is extremely difficult. Anomaly detection was a major theme among speakers this year at Monitorama, an open source monitoring conference. You can create trends based on historical data means trends, and those trends can be extrapolated into predictions of traffic patterns. When live traffic deviates from the prediction, you can try to detect if it is a true anomaly or not.

One of the hardest problems in anomaly detection systems is trying to avoid false positives — you don’t want to be woken up at 2 a.m. to fix a problem when nothing is actually broken in the product. This often leads to a phenomenon called “alert fatigue” where the on-call developer ignores noisy notifications, allowing for real events to sneak through undetected.
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Barrett Cook

Barrett Cook is an engineering manager on the web team at Tagged.

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