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Build mobile apps with Tailwind CSS, Next.js, Ionic Framework, and Capacitor


Tags app-development css frontend web-development ios android

A very popular stack for building responsive web apps is Tailwind CSS and Next.js by Vercel. By Max Lynch.

Tailwind, a utility-first CSS framework that replaces the need to write custom class names or even any CSS at all in many cases, makes it easy to design responsive web apps through small CSS building blocks and a flexible design foundation.

Next.js, a React framework for building high performance React apps, is one of the leading environments for building production React apps on the web.

The article then describes:

  • The stack visualized
  • Mobile UI and native runtime
  • Introducing the Next.js + Tailwind CSS + Ionic Framework + Capacitor Starter
  • Deploying to iOS and Android

If you’ve been interested in building mobile apps using popular web dev projects like Next.js or Tailwind, hopefully this starter provides inspiration and a solid foundation for building your next app using web technologies. Good read!

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Efficient machine learning inference


Tags big-data data-science analytics learning google

The benefits of multi-model serving where latency matters. By By Alejandro Lince and Steven Ross.

Machine Learning (ML) inference, defined as the process of deploying a trained model and serving live queries with it, is an essential component of many deployed ML systems and is often a significant portion of their total cost. Costs can grow even more uncontrollably when considering hardware accelerators such as GPUs.

Many modern user-focused applications critically depend on ML to substantially improve the user experience (by providing recommendations or filling in text, for example). Accelerators such as GPUs allow for even more complex models to still run with reasonable latencies, but come at a cost.

The article then deals with:

  • Benefits of multi-model serving
  • Analyzing single versus multi-model serving latency
  • Costs Versus Latency

Multi-model serving enables lower cost while maintaining high availability and acceptable latency, by better using the RAM capacity of large VMs. While it is common and simple to deploy only one model per server, instead load a large number of models on a large VM that offers low latency, which should offer acceptable latency at a lower cost. These cost savings also apply to serving on accelerators such as GPUs. Good read!

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Save yourself a lot of pain (and money) by choosing your AWS Region wisely


Tags cloud software-architecture devops cio aws

Choosing an AWS region is the first decision you have to make when you set up your AWS components. You can’t do anything in the AWS Management Console, SDK or CLI without choosing a region. Most AWS customers choose one based on proximity to themselves or to their end users, which sounds like a sensible thing to do. Price calculations using AWS Price List API (2021-05-26). By Ernesto Marquez.

However, proximity alone is not enough. There are a lot of other factors to consider when choosing a region. Cost varies by region - choose the wrong one and you could end up paying a lot more. Author uses the AWS Price List API a lot. He uses it to programmatically calculate the cost of every configuration he makes. For some regions, it’s not difficult to find a 30% or 70% price difference compared to the cheapest AWS region.

Cost % comparison by AWS region: 1 m5.large EC2 instance per month - 720 hours, prices in May 2021

Source: https://www.concurrencylabs.com/blog/choose-your-aws-region-wisely/

It is also worth noting that:

  • Reserved EC2 Instance Cost and Savings vary by region
  • Regions have different latencies and data transfer speeds
  • Consider the type of resource that is most important to you (i.e. compute, data transfer, latency, storage, etc.)
  • Not all services are available in all regions (some take a VERY long time before they are)
  • Not all regions have the same number of Availability Zones
  • All data transfer between AWS regions costs the same, except for one region (Ohio)

You would pay $0.02 per GB of data transferred to any region in the world, except Ohio. For Ohio, you would pay $0.01 per GB.

As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the right AWS region. Not everything is about proximity to your end users. Choosing your AWS region wisely can save you the pain of overspending thousands of dollars and potentially hindering the growth of your applications. For detailed charts and breakdown of costs follow the link to the full article. Excellent!

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Why monitoring and observability are critical to your hybrid cloud strategy


Tags cloud software-architecture devops startups microservices

According to a 2020 study, over half of the companies that use the public-cloud said that doing so had improved their ability to meet their business goals. By James Harvey, EMEA CTO at Cisco AppDynamics.

Another recent study found that shifting business applications to the cloud helped boost revenue by 16% and productivity by 19%. Little wonder, that 93% of enterprises today already have a multi-cloud strategy in place and 73% plan to optimise their existing use of the cloud in the future. The advent of sophisticated, scalable cloud architectures — native and hybrid — has enabled organisations to take full advantage of modern cloud infrastructures and microservices architecture to boost productivity and increase cost savings.

Despite these advantages, moving to the cloud still has its headaches for some organisations. Often, in highly complex - cross-platform and multi-site — deployments, it can be hard for IT managers and CIOs to demonstrate the gains from migrating to the cloud.

What’s needed, is a way to monitor, configure and optimise the organisation’s entire technology landscape, through a single lens:

  • Scale, adapt and grow with the cloud
  • The impact of the pandemic on cloud strategies
  • The power of observability and monitoring

Observability is important here because it provides the raw, granular data necessary to gain an in-depth understanding of complex and highly distributed systems. Perhaps even more importantly, businesses are able to identify how well the infrastructure supports the applications, identifying any bottlenecks and load issues, in real-time. Insightful!

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How to use metacognition skills to remember 90% of what you read


Tags learning management cio performance miscellaneous

Reading a lot of great books improves our knowledge, judgment and mental models. But many people rarely engage with the content of their books. By Thomas Oppong.

When you aim to read hundreds of books a year with no regard for absorption, you probably won’t get all the knowledge you need from the books. To improve your retention rate, you have to slow down and think deeply about the new ideas.

Successful reading requires metacognition.

When you are metacognitive, you are aware of your own thought processes and think about your thinking. It’s a vital skill for learning and retaining new knowledge.

When you apply metacognition to reading:

  • You make time to analyze the content and reflect on what you are reading.
  • You ask critical, challenging, and analytical questions whilst reading.
  • You make time to figure out what you already knew before reading and what you want to improve.
  • You’ve thought about what to do to retain more of what you read
  • You plan on applying some of the ideas in the book in your life. Successful readers use metacognition to understand what they want from books. They also use it to improve their reading experience.

Most great books require an investment of 5–10 hours to absorb the content thoroughly. When you plan of spending a lot of your time on good books, it’s essential to make sure you are getting the most knowledge out of them without wasting time.

We can learn to pay attention, concentrate, devote ourselves to authors. We can slow down so we can hear the voice of texts, feel the movement of sentences, experience the pleasure of words. Deliberate reading means you take your books seriously. It’s one of the best ways to acquire and retain new knowledge. Good read!

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Improving workforce performance through digital transformation


Tags agile performance management cio startups

Improving your workforce performance is probably one of the biggest priorities for all executives and business owners. When your team’s productivity is up, everything else is expected to be just as high in performance. By Thomas Jones.

One way to improve workforce performance is by using digital transformation as your primary means of driving this transition. Hence, here’s how you can use digital transformation to improve workforce performance:

  • Define realistic and clear goals
  • Align your strategy with your goals
  • Create an environment of transparency
  • Provide access to relevant information
  • Give opportunities for decision-making
  • Be flexible and adapt to employee needs

To sum up, using digital transformation to improve your team’s workforce performance is probably one of the best things you can do for the short-term and long-term success of your business. Good read!

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The psychology behind why some leaders are resisting a hybrid work model


Tags miscellaneous management cio startups

Because of strong employee resistance and turnover, Google recently backtracked from its plan to make all employees return to the office and allowed many to work remotely. By Gleb Tsipursky.

Apple’s plan to force its staff back to the office has caused many to leave the company and led to substantial internal opposition.

All of the surveys revealed strong preferences for working from home post-pandemic at least half the time for over three-quarters of all respondents. A quarter to a third of all respondents desired full-time remote work permanently. Between 40% and 55% of respondents said they’d quit without permanent remote options for at least half the workweek; of these, many would leave if not permitted fully remote work. Minority employees expressed an especially strong preference for remote work to escape in-office discrimination.

Leaders frequently proclaim that people are their most important resource. Yet the leaders resistant to permitting telework are not living by that principle. Instead, they’re doing what they feel comfortable with, even if it devastates employee morale, engagement, and productivity; seriously undercuts retention and recruitment; and harms diversity and inclusion. In the end, their behavior is a major threat to the bottom line.

Many people feel a desire to go back to the world before the pandemic. They fall for status quo bias, a desire to maintain or get back to what they see as the appropriate situation and way of doing things. Read the rest of this interesting article to understand cognitive biases and taking research-based steps to address them, so you can make the best decisions. Nice one!

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Implementing an end-to-end machine learning workflow with azure data factory


Tags big-data machine-learning data-science cloud azure

From collecting data to sending results, ADF constructs the right MLOps Lifecycle on one screen. By Rahulraj Singh.

Flow Diagram of the complete Machine Learning System

Source: https://towardsdatascience.com/implementing-an-end-to-end-machine-learning-workflow-with-azure-data-factory-f16cbeeffd94/

Author will walk through an entire Machine Learning Operation Cycle and show how to establish every step of the way using Azure Data Factory (ADF). Yes, it is possible, easy, and extremely reliable. As a bonus, it also automatically sets you up to receive alerts for any sort of data anomalies occurring throughout the process, so you do not have to worry about monitoring the workflow manually.

The article content is split into:

  • How would you define an End-to-End (E2E) ML Workflow?
  • What is Azure Machine Learning?
  • Walking through the workflow step-by-step
  • Azure Function to create a trigger for the pipeline
  • Azure Databricks for data preprocessing and storing to Data Lakes
  • Build and train models from the stored data using Azure Machine Learning
  • Push the final output into Azure Blob Storage
  • Access the blob storage from Power BI to build reporting dashboards

… and more. And we liked: “Storytelling is the most important part of any analytics process”. You will also find links to further reading on the topic in the article. Good job!

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Writing better regular expressions in PHP


Tags php web-development app-development programming

Regular Expressions are powerful, PHP but they are not known to be readable, and more often than not, maintaining a regular expression is not a straight-forward task. By Ayesh Karunaratne.

Further, using these improvements also means the regular expressions might be less portable to other languages. For example, named captures are supported even in older PHP versions, but in JavaScript, named captures feature was only added in ECMAScript 2018.

The choice of the delimiter is important because all occurrences of the delimiter character within the expression must be escaped. The fewer escaped characters inside a regular expression, the more readable it will be. Not choosing meta characters (such as ^, $, braces, and other characters that carry special meaning in regular expressions) can reduce the number of characters escaped.

The article brings information on the following:

  • Choice of delimiter
  • Reducing escape characters
  • Non-capture groups
  • Named captures
  • Using comments
  • Named character classes

Regular expressions support character classes, and they can help take the scrutiny off a regular expression while making them more readable at the same time. Good read!

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How to run Selenium tests in Docker?


Tags docker devops containers java tdd

Automation testing and Continuous Integration (CI) are integral parts of the development and test activity. Selenium test automation is one such approach that helps in the end-to-end testing of the web product. By Himanshu Sheth.

The article deals with:

  • Introduction to Docker
  • How to install and setup the Docker on Windows
  • Why use Selenium with Docker for web application testing
  • Creating Selenium test in Docker
  • Debugging Docker Container with RealVNC Viewer
  • Running Selenium tests on LambdaTest with Docker

Container in Docker is a stand unit of software that packages the code and all the required dependencies so that the application can run more quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another.

In this tutorial on how to run Selenium tests in Docker, we have seen how Docker lets you run tests in containers and isolate the tests in development and deployment. Docker with Selenium provides a light-weight solution to run UI tests, that too in an isolated environment. Good read!

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