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!
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.
For the summer 2014 hackathon, we (the Tagged interns) decided to work on a project to improve the user experience for the “Add Photos” section of Tagged.
Originally, the buttons for uploading photos from your computer and adding images from URLs looked very different from each other, and they were a bit outdated in terms of design. Using modern HTML and CSS, we were able to give them a refreshed look. Also, the photo upload button was a plain HTML5 file upload button, which is implemented differently in different browsers. With the restyled button, users will get a consistent experience across all browsers.
“How to style an HTML5 file upload button?” is a question that has been asked many times in recent years. We decided to go with a simple, browser-friendly solution. We wrapped the upload button with a <label> element, then used CSS to hide the actual button and add the visual styles to the label.
Tagged promotes diversity both at our company and also in the broader tech industry. We’re always looking to partner with groups that share this goal, so last week we were proud to welcome Women Who Code to our HQ.
A small group of women joined us for a mobile study group, which was part of a three-session sprint for Android development bootcamp. This is a relatively fast-paced course that touches on several essential parts of Android development.
By the end of the class, attendees knew how to finish writing a simple To-Do-List application, so they were able to learn how to modify layout files to update application UI, implement a ListView widget with an ArrayAdapter and add keyboard listeners in an Activity for EditText objects. As a bonus, the instructor demonstrated how to add one additional line of code to show a toast message in-app!
The hands-on, step-by-step approach of the class made each piece of code much easier to understand. I’m sure by the time we were done, many attendees were already thinking of ways to make the application look fresher and run smoother. In the next session they’ll be learning to use content providers, local cache/database and intent services to make the To-Do-List application even better. Way to go ladies!
Ilona Sheynkman contributed to this post.
I recently attended the 2014 International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, & Prediction in Washington, D.C., where I learned various ways of modeling and making predictions with social-science and social network related problems. Here are some papers that were presented during the conference that I found relevant to Tagged: