This year, my colleague Shobeir and I attended the GraphLab Conference to learn more about GraphLab and data science in general. The event began with a really great introduction by Carlos Guestrin, which illustrated GraphLab’s strategy, vision and practices. After this we attended a few more high-level talks about GraphLab before delving into sessions specifically around data science, data engineering and deployment.
The GraphLab team introduced many exciting new features for GraphLab Create since its last release, including gradient-boosted trees for regression and classifications, deployment capabilities, hyper-parameter tuning, higher capacity SFrames, access to latent factors of matrix factorization methods and much more.
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!
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.
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.
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!