UX/UI Design Tool sets allow designers to transition ideas and concepts into a visual user interface for clients to review. Designs are published as a prototype, providing valuable feedback and a chance to experience the look-and-feel prior to code development. A designer may need three or four different design applications to organize the required design artifacts for the developer. Moving from application to application is cumbersome. As a UI designer it is important to stay competitive and efficient in the digital design space. There are a handful of popular software applications designers utilize that stand out as industry-recognized design tools. Photoshop, Adobe XD, Axure, Sketch and InVision are a few that have proven reliable and provide high-level professional results. Design Application Review Adobe Photoshop is a powerful photo and image editing application that provides a feature-rich toolset for digital image manipulation. UI Designers started using Photoshop more than a decade […]

Programming Language Popularity in 2018

Programming languages come and go over time, and it always seems there is some new, "e;hot"e; language that is all the rage. With things changing all of the time, if you were to start a new project, how would you decide what language your software should be written in? What’s Popular First, how do we even know what is popular at the moment? There are a few different methods one can use to determine what is being used in the real world; you can search job boards and see what companies are hiring for; you can follow news sources and get a feel for what is in the news; or you can get statistics from popular code-related sites such as a code repository host like Github. For example, in the fourth quarter of 2017, Github reports the following for the top 5 JavaScript Python Java Ruby PHP Javascript holds the […]

A Bigger SCRUM Team May Not Keep You On Schedule

Intrigued by the extensive benefits of working in an agile world, far too many executives think that agile development allows unlimited changes in scope while maintaining delivery dates—after all you can always add more developers, coders. I suspect these are the same people that believed clapping is what saved Tinker Bell. In fairness, sometimes adding people to an agile development project can preserve a targeted timeline while expanding scope, but it involves a complicated calculation by the scrum team master and development team, in collaboration with the client and product owner. How much time is necessary for new team members to onboard and to get up to speed? Will new team members opt to take a different approach, which could slow things down? Will the existing developers need to spend extra time onboarding new team members, which will impact commitments on their current deliverables? Has someone reduced the amount of […]

Rapid responsive form development in React with Redux-Form

This post assumes familiarity with both the Facebook’s React and Redux. Web applications often have forms, and users have come to expect an increasingly rich feature set to improve their user experience. Implementing a particular feature or set of features for a simple or moderate size form isn’t necessarily time intensive; however, some projects have large, complex forms that can span several to many pages with dynamic user flows. Forms have a lot of state which may be relevant at a given moment: Has the user accessed any or all of the form? What are the values of the fields? Is the form valid? If not, what are the errors? Which field has which error? Is the form asynchronous checking a field or submitting? As complexity grows, it becomes increasingly important to structure an application into recognizable patterns. Facebook’s UI library React and the Redux application state library are only […]


It is with great pleasure we publicly announce our acquisition by Catalyte! Catalyte, a company known for revolutionizing the software consulting industry by using artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to identify the best candidates for software development, is supercharging its predictive analytics data set and positioning itself to become the leader in IT services and project outsourcing. But, Why? Good question. We think Jake Hsu says it best: We have a shared focus and belief in the power of onshore outsourcing and tight business and strategic alignment. Catalyte and Surge are both committed to onshore development and training that creates a sources of quality tech talent, improves client outcomes, and generates opportunities for development careers to more Americans, all while creating a more diverse and productive workforce. Completing the Career Ladder One of the most exciting aspects of the acquisition is completing the career ladder for Catalyte. While Catalyte focuses […]

How To Improve Your AppDev Teams Strategically With A Remote Workforce

Few company execs have internalized the power of a remote workforce when dealing with development projects. Time-to-market is sharply improved. The talent quality you can recruit and retain is far superior, partly because you can find the best talent anywhere, even if it’s geographically far from the intense metro area where your operations are headquartered. And communication, which is often oddly referenced as a telecommuting weak spot, is actually orders of magnitude better than a headquarters-based team. And yet, with all of those benefits and many more, so many company execs still resist remote workforces. The reason is psychological: Headquarters employees falsely see the hallway meeting and conference room debates as ideal communication and can’t envision it being done any other way. It’s a have/have not situation, where the executives making the remote decisions are hardly ever themselves remote workers. The problem with managing a remote workforce is that it’s […]

What is QA?

What is QA? And why do I need “good” QA? I hear a lot of people talk about being in QA as an SDET or SEIT and I have to wonder, given how they talk or write, if they really understand what QA is and what it does. QA is not just testing, testing is QC and while that is a small part of QA, that is not all there is for QA. Good QA is about making sure everyone is on the same page. QA is about communication, including asking the “stupid” questions. QA does not assume that everyone knows what is being done; we talk to all stake holders to make sure the whole team has the same understanding of what is being done and what we are trying to accomplish with each feature. QA is process. QA is the group that puts into place the bumpers in […]


It’s always exciting for a UI Designer to get a UI Concept approved. But then, you need to weave business logic into those beautifully designed page concepts.This can be a complicated task, particularly in integrated web applications. Financial, medical, or business workflows often have business rules or regulatory constraints that add complexity and risk. The transition from the design layer to the business logic layer to the data layer is vital for a successful web application.  If not approached correctly these transition points can severely bog down project momentum.  There are various approaches to this transition. In some projects, the designer receives approval for the UI design and hands it off. The hand off transition may work for a simple web page, yet in many web applications complex business logic is involved and additional documentation is required. Many UI Designers, myself included, are expected to understand the platform business logic, […]


Scrum is a great way to rethink code-writing strategy, but only for companies whose structure supports it. Trying to layer a scrum approach on top of a traditional developer environment can deliver painful frustrations, as companies find themselves tripping over their own virtual feet. That’s the lesson we have learned through 2017, as we tried to integrate scrum teams into existing waterfall operations for hundreds of custom development projects across more than a dozen verticals. The scrum benefits of much faster time-to-market and greater control of the appdev process melted under the load of a client’s architect and a client’s project manager. In short, scrum almost always works faster than how a company works. Scrum is then slowed down to the pace of the original company, which is ironic because that company invariably sought the scrum talent and process because they needed to accelerate their time-to-market. Bottom line: the only […]

Manual Testing vs. Automated Testing

When it comes to the world of QA, automated testing is become more and more popular. In fact, a quick search of QA jobs on sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, etc. will show that the majority of these jobs now require automation experience with a language like Java, Python, etc. This can prove daunting for testers with a background in manual testing, who typically leave the coding to developers. It can also be confusing to employers, who aren’t sure how much automated testing they need, and whether it can replace manual testing completely. I’ve worked with clients who use 100% manual testing to great success, and those who attempted to do 100% automation, and had to re-think their strategy — so the reality isn’t always as black and white as it may appear. The ideal combination is having both manual and automated testing, though the amount of each depends on your […]