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.
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!
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.