An Overview of React

React can be a great tool for app development. But how is it used? What are its strengths and capabilities? What kind of projects should you use it for, and how can you make the most of it? And what about React Native? Let’s take a closer look at just what React is and what it does. React.js React (also called React.js) is a JavaScript library first developed for Facebook by Jordan Walke in 2011. In 2012, it was also adopted by Instagram. It’s used for the building and rendering of User Interface components, in the development of single page applications (such as the Facebook and Instagram newsfeeds), as well as mobile apps in general. React is designed for simple use with your existing technology stack, whatever it may consist of. Because of that, it’s good not only for writing an app from scratch but for adding new features to […]

What Hardware Do Programmers and Developers Use?

When you think about writing code or designing websites, you generally think about software. Web developers work tirelessly to create a wide variety of sites and applications. You might even think of the software they use to create those programs, or the software they use to test them and make sure they run well and are free of bugs. But you can’t have software without hardware. So what kind of hardware does the average software programmer or web developer use to do their job? Well, every web developer works differently. They have their own workflow, which they’ve often honed over the course of years on the job. And that workflow includes different hardware setups that they’re comfortable with. If you’re lucky enough to work for a big tech company with plenty of money and resources, often they’ll provide the hardware you request, so you can set your workstation up for […]

An Overview of Angular

Are you using Angular? If you are, is it Angular 1 or Angular 2? What can you use it for and how can it make your life easier? Let’s take a look at the programming framework known as Angular, how it came to be, and what it means for you as a software developer. What Is Angular? Angular was developed in 2009, by Misko Hevery and Adam Abrons, as a method of using basic HTML tags for complex coding projects. The term “Angular” actually refers to the <carrot brackets> used to input HTML code. Using the Angular framework allowed web designers to create more dynamic content for their web applications, more simply. After being picked up by Google for use in the development of Google Feedback, Angular surged in popularity, and is currently used by over 1.5 million developers. In 2016, the developers released the updated Angular 2, which can […]

Does Your Software Pass the Test?

Testing is an essential part of programming: making sure your code is written properly and does what it was designed to do. It can be a tedious process, which is why automated testing is one of the most important tools in a programmer’s toolbox. But what kind of automated testing should you perform? And how do you go about it? Here are a few important terms you should know when it comes to testing your code. Unit Testing As its name implies, unit testing divides your code up into its individual units and tests them each separately. By breaking it down in this way, you can easily determine if each part does what it was designed to do. If there is an error, you can see immediately where the error is and fix it. Think of it as a string of Christmas tree lights. Years ago, strings of lights were […]

Build Don’t Buy – Why You Should Choose Custom-Built Software Over Buying Packaged

In the Digital Age, just about every aspect of your company runs on software. A new software application or platform is often just what you need to help increase efficiency, streamline operations, and improve your bottom line. But you have a choice: do you want to buy pre-existing, packaged software, or do you want to build a custom software solution? There are pros and cons to each, but at Surge, we heartily recommend a “Build, Don’t Buy” approach to software. Here’s why. Problems with Packaged Software The main reasons why you buy packaged software because it’s cheap and easy. For a simple flat rate, you get a pre-made software package, designed to meet the needs of companies sort of like yours. It’s easy to install and implement, and after a quick tutorial for your employees, you’re ready to go. Unfortunately, when you buy cheap software, you get what you pay […]

Who’s Using Raspberry Pi—And for What?

Do you want a tool for teaching programming and computer science to kids? Are you looking for a portable device to help you stream movies and your videos to your TV? Maybe you want to play around with robotics, or build some cool electronic gizmos. Then what you’re looking for is Raspberry Pi. It’s not a dessert. Rather it’s a small, inexpensive computer, which can connect to a wide array of other devices, for a wide variety of different uses. But what, exactly, is Raspberry Pi, and who’s using it? Let’s take a look. What Is Raspberry Pi? The Raspberry Pi device was initially created as a tool to teach kids the basics of coding, programming, and other computer science skills. It’s a single-board computer, about the size of a credit card, which can connect fairly simply to a monitor or other display. When used with a standard keyboard and […]

Where Have All the Coders Gone?

It seems like coding bootcamps, coding programs in schools, and other development initiatives are popping up left and right these days. After all, learning how to code, even just a little, is helpful for more careers than software engineering. In fact, some none-coding jobs are starting to require a basic level of coding ability. With all of these programs pushing coding these days, you may start to think the industry is flooded with would-be-developers as well as senior engineers, right? Wrong. In fact, there’s a significant shortage of qualified people in this country to fill the available programming positions. The Job Disparity In 2015, just under 60,000 people in the U.S. graduated with degrees in computer science, whereas the number of open jobs in the computing field was over 500,000. Of course, graduates aren’t the only that can fill open positions. Many of those jobs are likely to require at […]

7 Steps to Better Code Review

In a field like software development that demands attention to detail, peer review is essential. When the slightest mistake can cause serious errors throughout the project, another set of eyes (or several) will help ensure that everything reaches its full potential. While there are automated tests you can perform to vet your code, nothing beats the human touch. Code review had been demonstrated to significantly speed up the development process. But what are the responsibilities of the code reviewer? When running a code review, how do you ensure constructive feedback? How do you solicit input that will expedite and improve the project? Here are a few tips for running a solid code review. Establish goals. Code reviews are more than just finding errors and bugs.You may be thinking about adding new features and how to implement them. You may be trying to ensure that the code meets certain style standards […]

6 Usability Testing Methods That Will Improve Your Software

Successful software projects please customers, streamline processes, or otherwise add value to your business. But how do you ensure that your software project will result in the improvements you are expecting? Will users experience better performance? Will the productivity across all tasks improve as you hoped? Will users be happy with your changes and return to your product again and again as you envisioned? You don’t find answers to these questions with a standard QA testing plan. Standard QA will ensure that your product works. Usability testing will ensure that your product accomplishes your business objectives. Well planned usability testing will shed a bright light on everything you truly care about: workflow metrics, user satisfaction, and strength of design. How do you know when to start usability testing? Which usability tests are right for your product or website? Let’s examine the six types of usability testing you can use to […]

The Rise of Python

Popular webcomic xkcd, which frequently expounds on the complexities and pitfalls of computer programming, once did a comic about discovering Python. The comic joked that the open source programming language made everything so simple and straightforward that it would even allow you to fly, just by typing “import antigravity.” Indeed, the simplicity and versatility of Python has made it the preferred language for a lot of programmers, particularly in a professional setting. In fact, last year, it held the #2 most popular programming language (as rated by github pull requests), a position it has maintained for at least the last 4 years. How did Python first come to be, and how was it able to rise to the top of the pack like that? Let’s take a look at the rise of Python. A Brief History of Python Python was first developed in the late 1980s and officially launched in […]