Technical Resources + Perspectives

Since March, the pandemic has turned the business world upside down. Companies have had to reexamine previous successful practices and modify or reinvent them for current conditions. Those that are most able to connect a successful past to a successful future will be resilient enough to come through this crisis stronger. Others that fail to do so will disappear. Our parent company Catalyte partnered with the Technology Association of Oregon to sponsor a webinar series on resiliency: how companies can prevent disruption to their technology, processes and people, and emerge from the current crisis stronger than before. All three sessions…

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Successful onboarding is challenging when it’s done in person. It becomes exponentially more difficult when the new teammate is remote. Successful remote onboarding requires a structured approach. We’ve created a recipe that works at Surge and Catalyte that has helped us grow from 40 people to more than 700 in six offices, with a network of hundreds of fully remote software engineers. Our contractors routinely onboard and roll off from projects as remote technical specialists. Having proven remote onboarding strategies helps increase the rate of initial productivity in any business environment, allows engineers to focus on building software, enables HR…

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COVID-19 has thrust all of us into uncharted territory. Many businesses are following the advice of public health officials and having their entire workforces operate remotely. Some for the first time. This can be a difficult transition. From technologies, to corporate and interpersonal communications, remote working has its challenges. Surge has navigated these challenges for over a decade. Here are a few quick and easy pointers to make this transition easier. Treat All Workers the Same Never treat remote and office-based developers differently. There should be the same accountability, same hours and the same oversight for remote and in-office workers.…

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The typical American today is born into technology. A handheld or laptop is ubiquitous even in junior high school. As the connected generation matures, the idea that we need professionals to tell us how an application should work may seem like an unnecessary expense. However, there is an incredible gap between what an application should do and how it should do it. Every custom application ever built will provide its own user experience and your design will determine how effective you will be at moving your business forward. When Google reinvented email it was by thoughtful design that solved decades…

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Programming is hard. Since programmable computers went mainstream in the ’70s, software development has required highly skilled professionals with years of education and experience. The problem with creating a complex computer program that solves real-world business problems is that computers and humans speak fundamentally different languages. Computers deal in concrete terms while humans communicate in abstractions. To a computer, the meaning of a sentence never changes, but to a person, a single sentence and even single words may have different meanings in different situations. Over the years, providing a computer language that matches human intentions with the correct computer behavior…

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7 min read While once a distant dream of science fiction, today, Artificial Intelligence is everywhere. AI is in the algorithms that govern how you use social media. AI is in the Google or Amazon-powered home device that understands and carries out your basic commands. And now it’s becoming a staple of UI/UX design. Should you be worried about the rise of AI in the design field? Will software that makes decisions on its own put humans out of a job? Will Artificial Intelligence one day gain sentience and enslave humanity? No, no, and probably not. Let’s examine just what…

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Your Boss: “Remote development will never work…” Despite studies from universities like Stanford that tout the quality, productivity, recruiting and morale benefits of remote coding strategies, CEOs often struggle when asked to approve plans for remote staff augmentation. The reasons for this resistance are many and varied, but it typically comes down to a fear of lost accountability, resulting in a never-ending money pit. In our experience, the success or failure of remote development teams almost always comes down to scope and execution. If the person paying the bills—or the manager overseeing that project —sees a massive failure from the…

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UX/UI design is the foundation of a user engaging and performing tasks with your product. Whether your product needs an update or if you are launching a new product it is important to understand the ways to protect your investment with good planning and usability testing. Doing early-stage testing can help identify design problems before they become costly. 1. Increase your ROI Fixing an error in a product can be up to 100 times more expensive than it would have been to implement early-stage testing. One of the simplest analogies that can be made is comparing your product to building…

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6.5 minute read The Tricks To Making Agile Work For Your Project One of the confusing elements of agile and scrum development efforts is that functionality completed is not necessarily ready to be delivered nor even ready to be tested. This is due to interdependencies within the project at hand. A piece of the code may be completely ready on its own, but full functionality requires some other piece of code (which the first code relies on) to also be done. That's why a project can have 60 percent of its code completed, but not be able to necessarily deliver…

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UX Design – Protecting your ROI When building a house, steps must be taken to ensure the final product matches the envisioned design, stays within the allotted budget, and doesn't take longer than expected. The way an architect creates detailed specifications and blueprints enables builders to seamlessly bring projects to life while mitigating potential issues and overruns. In software development, the same principles should apply when thinking about constructing any application. UX (User Experience) Design has become a critical step for software development by maximizing both budget and resources while simultaneously delivering a high-quality product in a timely manner. MAXIMIZING…

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