Amazon Alexa, the popular voice assistant helping with everyday tasks, has become a best friend to many households in the US and elsewhere. The list of available features for Alexa, released by both Amazon and third parties, keeps growing steadily, but according to reports from January of 2018, that the total number of skills (apps) working in the US only 25,784. More vendors are looking to integrate their product with the voice assistant—currently, you can link it to your Gmail account, your calendar, phone, or even home lighting.
Recently, I had a pleasure of attending the Wroclove.rb conference in Wrocław where one talk in particular caught my attention more than others. “Web Performance with Rails” by Stefan Wintermeyer was, in my opinion, the best prepared, one of the most indispensable, and definitely the most useful of all the talks but, most importantly for me, it was a wellspring of new knowledge for me and a source of inspiration that ultimately drove me to write this post.
Here at Monterail, we pay close attention to our clients and have always wanted to provide them with special treatment. Yet, we didn’t understand how to embrace the subject. If I were to explain how we used to think about this “special treatment” a few years back—well, we basically didn’t consider any form of automation. We wanted to be humane, not robotic. This is just how it was when we were a relatively small team and we felt that our approach makes us a unique partner. Makes us stand out.
Have you heard about progressive Web apps? Of course you have. The whole Internet seems to be discussing them right now. And the subject got even hotter after Google I/O 18’ and a long-awaited confirmation that PWAs are coming to desktop for Chrome OS 67 in early June. Work is already under way for Windows and Mac.
You probably heard about this new EU-wide piece of legislation called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Although much has been said on the subject, still many business owners struggle to wrap their heads around it. To make matters somewhat worse, the GDPR neither suggests a single, clear approach to data processing nor does it comprehensively explain how its ordinations will affect businesses of different shapes and sizes.
For a long time, I’ve been hearing a lot of criticism about the Rails way and some months ago my private experiences convinced me that I cannot find any use cases for that approach. It has developers build very fat models, controllers, and DRY is commonly understood as a method of extracting repeated one-liners to new methods.
There are probably few companies—whether in the IT industry or outside of it—that could say confidently “Yes, we’re ready for the GDPR”. The new law is a hard nut to crack as it does not provide explicit instructions or procedures, and puts it on businesses to decide how to comply with its regulations. Since every company processes personal data in a different scope, for different purposes and using different means, there is no universal approach or a solution to have implemented.
And so it happened. Progressive Web Apps are no longer limited to Android users, but can be now accessed by iPhone and iPad owners with the 11.3 iOS update. On March 30, Apple has quietly added support for technologies that make PWAs work (although you will not find any mention of this in their official press release), thus allowing you to install apps without any approval from the App Store. The PWAs on iOS are still far from being as smooth as they is on Chrome, Opera, or Firefox, but still it’s a big step for Apple.
Focusing on delivering high-quality software and building a close-knit team pays off. How do we know? Monterail has been ranked in Financial Times list of 1000 Europe’s fastest growing companies in 2018. This is the third 2018 ranking in which Monterail has been recognized as one of the most dynamic companies in Poland and Europe (hello Deloitte Technology Fast 50 and Gazele Biznesu!).