11 items found for ""
- How to Choose a Software Development Company
Talk about an important decision! Whether you just need someone to double-check your code or you’re looking for a complete overhaul, the team you choose can have a significant impact on your project's success. With so many companies offering software development services, it can be overwhelming to determine which one best suits your needs. But the struggle is over: We’ve got the advice you’re looking for! Welcome to BearPeak. We’re a Dev Shop + Consultancy that connects people who have great ideas with expert developers that can bring those ideas to life. Today, we’ll be discussing some of the key factors you should consider when selecting a software development company to work with. We aren’t just trying to sell ourselves as the solution; Sure, we know a thing or two about which companies make reliable partners, but everyone has different needs. Whether you use our services or not, we want nothing but the best for you and your project, so let's talk about what that best scenario should look like: Experience and Expertise Look for a team that has a proven track record of successfully delivering projects that are similar to yours. You want a company that specializes in your industry or has experience working with companies similar to your own. At BearPeak, our most common clients are Series A startups, but we’ve also worked on brand-new ideas for company names, logos, and websites. There are thousands of software development teams out there; Make sure you pick one that understands your business. It's also important to consider the expertise of the developers themselves. You'll want to ensure that the team has the necessary technical skills and knowledge to complete your project. Ask about their experience with specific programming languages and frameworks that are relevant to your project. In the software world, we refer to developers with titles based on how long they’ve been working: Senior for ~6 years and Staff-level for ~12+ years. Look for this on the company’s website or feel free to ask. Communication and Collaboration Effective communication and collaboration are essential when working with a software development company. Look for a team that is responsive and communicates clearly and frequently. You want to work with a company that is easy to reach and provides regular updates on the project's progress. Nobody wants to work with a lackluster team that doesn’t meet your expectations, and definitely not one that ghosts you! You should also look for a team that is collaborative and works closely with you to understand your business needs and goals. The best software development companies will be able to offer insights and suggestions that can help improve your project, and they can explain why those changes would be beneficial. Behind every website is a different team of flesh-and-blood people; Do these ones mesh well with you? Quality and Testing Quality is essential in software development, and you want to work with a company that prioritizes it. Look for a team that has a strong quality assurance process in place to ensure that the code is clean, well-documented, and maintainable. Not many teams will take the time and effort to get to know your project, your code, and your goals in-depth, so look for the golden nugget teams that do care. Teams like BearPeak Technology Group offer a free code review at the beginning of your time together, then a 30 money-back guarantee in case you find any issues with the code or service. These companies offer this because they know their service is excellent, and they definitely want to know if any part of their work leaves you feeling dissatisfied. Testing is also a critical part of the development process. Imagine how frustrating it would be to receive a beautiful final product and part ways, only to learn it doesn't work with 100% accuracy? You want to ensure that the software is thoroughly tested before deployment to minimize the risk of bugs and other issues. Ask the company about their testing process and how they ensure the software is of high quality. Project Management and Delivery Effective project management is crucial to the success of any software development project. Look for a company that has a well-defined project management process in place. This should include regular status updates, a clear timeline, and a defined scope of work. Teams like BearPeak will schedule you next call during the initial call. They’ll provide updates on their work via email or Slack, and they’ll take notes and return to them. Look for a team that takes your project seriously and treats it with care. You'll also want to ensure that the company has a strong delivery track record. Ask for references and case studies that demonstrate their ability to deliver projects on time and within budget. Pricing and Value Pricing is, of course, an important consideration when choosing a software development company. However, it's essential to look beyond just the price tag and consider the value that the company offers. Look for a team that provides transparency in their pricing and offers flexible payment options. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll list their prices on their website; custom coding will come with a custom price, because every project is different. You should also consider the long-term value of working with the company. Will they be able to support and maintain the software after the project is complete? Do they offer ongoing training and support to ensure that your team can effectively use the software? Choosing a software development company is a critical decision that requires careful consideration. By considering factors such as experience and expertise, communication and collaboration, quality and testing, project management and delivery, and pricing and value, you can find the right team to help bring your project to life. Remember to take your time and do your research to ensure that you choose a company that is the best fit for your needs. Good hunting! If this article has piqued your interest in BearPeak’s services, let’s talk about your project: It's important for us to disclose the multiple authors of this blog post: The original outline was written by chat.openai, an exciting new AI language model. The content was then edited and revised by Lindey Hoak. "OpenAI (2023). ChatGPT. Retrieved from https://openai.com/api-beta/gpt-3/"
- React Native | Build a Chatbot in 9 Steps
- Python | Deep Reinforcement with OpenAI Gym & TensorFlow
Learn how robots learn! Deep reinforcement is a subfield of machine learning that focuses on how to make decisions through trial-and-error and reward-based feedback. Before diving into this topic, we'll first need to define an important term, just in case we're covering content you're unfamiliar with: Software Agents: These are programs that perform actions to achieve a particular goal. All agents are programs, but not all programs are agents. Commonly-used agents include: Internet search systems, e-mail inboxes, shopping bots, form auto-fillers, and chatbots. In a game, an agent might use search algorithms to explore different moves and evaluate their outcomes. In a robotic application, an agent might use sensors and machine learning to figure out how to navigate the environment and perform tasks. Key qualities of agents include that they are: Reacting to their Environment Autonomous Goal-Oriented Persistent An agent can be implemented using various approaches. These include rule-based systems, search algorithms, and the kind we'll be looking at today: machine learning techniques like reinforcement learning. With this technique, an agent is trained to perform a task by interacting with its environment and receiving feedback in the form of rewards. The agent then uses this feedback to learn a policy that maximizes its rewards over time. It's like the saying: Practice Makes Perfect The agent not only learns how to perform a task, but how to improve its performance for the best result. It practices different methods while searching for the best solution. A great visual example of this is learning how to walk. A teacher can only warn the student about so many variables in the terrain; The student must learn from its trips, fumbles, and falls to walk better next time. Meet Cassie: a bipedal robot at Berkley who taught herself to walk utilizing machine reinforcement learning. In the video, Hybrid Robotics provides a useful chart for understanding the reinforcement learning cycle. Deep reinforcement learning has shown great promise in solving complex problems in areas such as robotics, game playing, and autonomous driving. How does a Python programmer write code that teaches an agent to do something new? Two of the most popular Python libraries for implementing this technique are OpenAI Gym and TensorFlow. OpenAI Gym is a toolkit for developing and comparing reinforcement learning algorithms, while TensorFlow is an open-source software library for machine learning and AI. Let's take a closer look at what that means and how these libraries can be used together to implement deep reinforcement learning: OpenAI Gym : The Practice Space OpenAI Gym provides a wide range of environments for testing reinforcement learning algorithms. These environments simulate a variety of tasks, such as controlling a robot arm, playing a game of Atari, or navigating a maze. Each environment provides: An observation of the current state A set of possible actions A reward for each action A way to transition to the next state Again, the agent learns to perform the task by interacting with the environment and receiving feedback in the form of rewards. One environment is the The CartPole environment, which consists of a pole moving along a frictionless track. The system is controlled by applying a force of +1 or -1 to the cart. The pendulum starts upright, and the goal is to prevent it from falling over. Here is an example of how to use OpenAI Gym to simulate a CartPole environment: pythonCopy code import gym env = gym.make('CartPole-v0') obs = env.reset() for t in range(100): action = env.action_space.sample() obs, reward, done, info = env.step(action) env.render() if done: break env.close() In this code snippet, we create an instance of the CartPole-v0 environment and reset it to the initial state. We then run a loop for 100 time steps, during which we choose a random action from the set of possible actions, perform the action in the environment, and render the result. We continue until the task is completed (done=True), or until the loop terminates. The challenge presented to the software agent is to keep the cart pole balanced, even as these random movements pull it towards the ground. TL/DR: OpenAi Gym provides a digital practice space (like a gym) to place a software agent and teach it to teach itself. Now, all we need is the class curriculum. TensorFlow: The Lesson TensorFlow is a powerful library for building and training deep neural networks. In the context of reinforcement learning, TensorFlow can be used to implement the agent's policy, which maps observations to actions. This policy can be represented by a neural network that takes the current state as input and outputs a probability distribution over the possible actions. Here is an example of how to use TensorFlow to build a simple neural network for the CartPole environment: pythonCopy code import tensorflow as tf import numpy as np obs_dim = env.observation_space.shape n_actions = env.action_space.n model = tf.keras.Sequential([ tf.keras.layers.Dense(32, activation='relu', input_shape=(obs_dim,)), tf.keras.layers.Dense(32, activation='relu'), tf.keras.layers.Dense(n_actions, activation='softmax') ]) obs = env.reset() obs = np.reshape(obs, (1, obs_dim)) action_probs = model.predict(obs) action = np.random.choice(np.arange(n_actions), p=action_probs) In this code snippet, we define a neural network with two hidden layers of size 32 and an output layer with softmax activation that outputs a probability distribution over the possible actions. We then create an instance of the CartPole-v0 environment and obtain an observation of the current state. We reshape the observation to match the input shape of the neural network and use it to obtain a probability distribution over the actions. We then choose an action randomly from this distribution. Combining OpenAI Gym and TensorFlow To combine OpenAI Gym and TensorFlow, we can use TensorFlow to implement the agent's policy and OpenAI Gym to provide the environment. To put a picture to it: We create a practice room, place our student in it, and tell it what the objective is. In the CartPole environment, we're challenging the software agent to balance the pole even when the cart is randomly moved back and forth on the track. The software agent tries again and again, learning what happens when it makes a wrong move, until it learns the best way to keep the pole balanced. Success! Looking to add a Python Programmer to your team? If this doesn't sound like your field of expertise, hire someone who can help! Software consultancies like BearPeak Technology Group have expert developers for hire who can do all of these tasks for you. Check us out! We're a Boulder, Colorado-based team of engineers who help you hire remote software developers efficiently and reliably. We offer free consultations and are dedicated to your startup's success: It's important for us to disclose the multiple authors of this blog post: The original outline was written by chat.openai, an exciting new AI language model. The content was then edited and revised by Lindey Hoak. "OpenAI (2023). ChatGPT. Retrieved from https://openai.com/api-beta/gpt-3/"
- All About | Site Reliability Engineers
We know you're thinking: What does SRE mean again? Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is a discipline combining... Engineering + Operations ...to ensure that systems are highly available, scalable, and efficient. Let's take a closer look at what SREs do and why they matter so much. 1. Disaster Prevention You wouldn't want one error in your code to bring everything crashing down! Disaster prevention involves identifying potential failure modes, mitigating their impact, and proactively responding to issues before they escalate into catastrophic failures. SREs work to minimize downtime by: Monitoring the System Performing Risk Analysis Planning Disaster Recovery Implementing Redundancy & Failover Performing Proactive Maintenance SREs play a vital role in ensuring that systems are designed, deployed, and maintained to minimize the risk of catastrophic failure. 2. Structural Maintenance Just like a physical store that starts attracting more customers, SREs ensure that a system can handle an increased load without sacrificing performance. They do this by optimizing the system's infrastructure, improving the architecture, and allocating resources efficiently. They identify and address issues with: System Architecture Reviews Code Reviews Planning for Future Capacity Infrastructure Maintenance (Software & Hardware Updates, Replacements) Performance Optimization Structural maintenance is a critical component of system reliability, and SREs play a vital role in ensuring that systems are designed, deployed, and maintained to maximize their structural integrity. 3. Security Guard SREs are responsible for overseeing and maintaining performance. They use tools like monitoring and logging systems to quickly identify and resolve any issues. This helps ensure that systems are running smoothly and meeting users' needs. 4. AI Assignment By automating manual processes, SREs save time and reduce the risk of human error. This helps ensure that systems run smoothly and there's a lower risk of downtime. Data Requirements: AI algorithms require a significant amount of data to learn and make accurate predictions, so SREs first ensure that the necessary data is available and accessible. Algorithm Selection: There are many AI algorithms available, and SREs must select the most appropriate one for their current task. They consider factors such as accuracy, speed, and scalability. Training and Validation: Once the AI algorithm is selected, it must be trained and validated using relevant data. SREs must ensure that the training and validation processes are performed correctly and that the AI system is learning and improving as expected. Integration: Finally, SREs integrate the AI with the overall system architecture. The AI needs to communicate with other components of the system, such as databases, APIs, and user interfaces. Assigning processes to AI requires a deep understanding of both AI and system engineering principles. SREs must work closely with data scientists and other experts to ensure that the AI system is reliable, effective, and has room to grow. 5. Improving Design SREs identify areas where the system can be improved and make recommendations for changes. This helps ensure that systems are efficient, scalable, and performing well. Overall, Site Reliability Engineers work to minimize downtime, monitor and maintain performance, automate processes, and improve system design. With their expertise, organizations can have confidence that their systems will meet users' needs and support operations effectively. Looking to add an SRE to your team? If this doesn't sound like your field of expertise, hire someone who can help! Software consultancies like BearPeak Technology Group have expert developers for hire who can do all of these tasks for you. Check us out! We're a Colorado-based team of engineers who help you hire remote software developers efficiently and reliably. We offer free consultations and are dedicated to your startup's success: It's important for us to disclose the multiple authors of this blog post: The original outline was written by chat.openai, an exciting new AI language model. The content was then edited and revised by Lindey Hoak. "OpenAI (2023). ChatGPT. Retrieved from https://openai.com/api-beta/gpt-3/"
- Software Structure | Architecture & Design
In the software world, the terms architecture and design are closely related, sometimes even used interchangeably, but aren't really the same thing. In this article, we'll distinguish the differences between software architecture and design, then discuss the importance of proper software structure. In case we haven't met, hi! We're BearPeak Technology Group: A Colorado-based team of engineers who help you hire remote software developers efficiently and reliably. If your team would benefit from a software specialist, check us out! "Just because architecture is supposed to be stable, it does not mean that it should never change." - Gereon Hermkes, Scaling Done Right To non-programmers, the world of coding gets confusing fast, especially when terms overlap but aren't exactly the same (for another example, see React vs. React Native). To discuss the roles of software design and architecture, it's important to first identify the differences: Software Architecture = The Big Picture The high-level, comprehensive structure of a software system. It includes: The overall organization Its components The relationships between them Software architecture involves making strategic design decisions that affect the system's quality attributes, such as scalability, reliability, and maintainability. It may help to picture software architecture as the trail on a map: Where the landmarks are, what type, and how the path connects from one to the next. Software architecture works similarly: Planning the big-picture pieces of a software structure. Software Design = The Details Defining and planning the detailed specifications for a software system. This involves: Creating a plan. Ensuring the plan meets the functional and non-functional requirements. Following standard design principles like modularity, abstraction, encapsulation, and separation of concerns. Design affects the quality of the software. This includes how easy it is to maintain and how well it meets the needs of its users. In our map analogy, software design would be the details of the landscape and trip. The important sights to include and avoid, any potential pitfalls, and what supplies to pack so you have enough for the journey. Now that we've distinguished software architecture from design, let's discuss why both plans are vital to a successful project: The Importance of Proper Architecture Provides a Roadmap: It's harder to get lost when you have a good, straight-forward guide. Software architecture sets the direction for the development process, defining the overall structure, the components it will contain, and how they will interact with one another. This helps the team to stay focused and aligned with the end goal. Ensures Scalability: Good software architecture ensures that the system can be scaled up or down as needed. By anticipating future growth and change, the architecture can be designed to accommodate; The system can adapt without requiring a complete overhaul. Improves Maintainability: Software architecture separates concerns and makes the system modular. This means that changes can be made to individual components without affecting the entire system, reducing the risk of introducing bugs or breaking the system. Enhances Reliability: Well-designed architecture makes the system more reliable by minimizing the risk of errors and failures. By building in redundancy and failover mechanisms, the system can continue to operate even if individual components fail. Increases Reusability: A well-designed software architecture can make the system more reusable, allowing components to be repurposed for other projects or reused within the same project. This can save time and resources by reducing the need to develop new components from scratch. Importance of Proper Design Requirements Analysis: Proper software design starts with requirements analysis. This involves understanding the needs of the users and the system's functionality requirements. Considering these details ensures that the software system will meet the needs of its users. High Quality: Proper design means making a plan reliable, efficient, and easy to use. This is essential because it reduces the likelihood of bugs, crashes, and other problems that affect the user experience. It not only matters that software works, but that it can be navigated by human users. Proper design makes it easier for users to accomplish their tasks and reduces the likelihood of frustration and error. Testing: Proper software design includes testing to ensure that the software system meets its requirements and is high quality. Testing involves creating test cases that verify the behavior of the software system under different conditions. Testing ensures that the software system is reliable and free of bugs. Easy to Maintain: Well-designed software is modular, meaning it's made up of individual components that can be updated/modified without affecting the rest of the system. Both software architecture and software design make it easier to fix bugs and add new features without the risk of everything crashing down. In summary, proper software architecture is essential for developing high-quality, scalable, maintainable, and reliable software systems that meet the needs of their stakeholders. Proper software design is critical because it affects the quality of the software, how easy it is to maintain, and how well it meets the needs of users. By following these elements, software developers create exceptional plans that cover the big picture and small details of a project. Looking for a software developer who can take your company's code to this next level? Clean and efficient planning plus high-quality, scalable content? Contact us to get connected with an expert developer of your own! We always offer free consultations and reviews of your current code. It's important for us to disclose the multiple authors of this blog post: The original outline was written by chat.openai, an exciting new AI language model. The content was then edited and revised by Lindey Hoak. "OpenAI (2023). ChatGPT. Retrieved from https://openai.com/api-beta/gpt-3/"
- All About | React & React Native Programmers
- All About | Python Programmers
Whether you're totally unfamiliar with coding or a seasoned software developer, you've heard of Python. It's a high-level, versatile language that can be used to solve a wide range of problems. We'll be taking a look at what Python programmers do and how they can help your team. “Python is an experiment in how much freedom programmers need. Too much freedom and nobody can read another's code; too little and expressiveness is endangered." - Guido van Rossum, the Creator of Python What Is It? Python is a programming language used for a variety of tasks: Building Web Applications Data Analysis Scientific Computing Automation Machine Learning ...and much more. We'll go into these in a moment :) Software developers write code in the Python language to create programs. These programs can automate tasks, manipulate data, and interact with users or other software. Here are some of Python's most useful qualities: High-Level Language: Python's designed to be easy for humans to read and write. It has simple and consistent syntax that is easy to learn, making it a popular choice for new coders. Interpreted Language: Python does not need to be compiled before running, and is instead executed directly by an interpreter. Essentially, this makes it easier to quickly write and test code. Large Library: Python provides a set of modules and tools. These save the programmer time designing tasks such as working with files, connecting to databases, and handling network communications. Large & Active Community: Developers are constantly creating and sharing third-party libraries and tools that can be used to extend Python's capabilities even further. Software consultancies like BearPeak Technology Group have experts who can work on projects in Python. Now that we have a surface-level understanding of what Python programmers do, let's dive into the specifics of their role: 1. Application Development Instagram, Spotify, Dropbox, and Netflix's websites were all created using Python. It provides several frameworks (reusable components and libraries) that make it easy for developers to build and maintain. You may find Python programmers working on... Backend Development: Code that handles frontend requests, interacts with the databases, then returns the responses back to the frontend. Web Scraping: Data extraction from websites to use in web applications. Deployment: Publishing web applications to production environments. Programmers may also use cloud services to host their web applications. 2. Analysis & Computing Python is a popular language for Data Analysis because it provides an easy-to-use environment for visualization. This helps organizations make informed decisions by turning large amounts of data into actionable insights, then displaying or integrated them into web applications. Scientific Computing is also often performed with Python. Since this language provides powerful tools for performing complex calculations, Python programmers help organizations in areas like physics, engineering, and biology solve complex problems. 3. Automation, AI, & Machine Learning Python is also commonly used in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Python programmers in this field help organizations automate and optimize tasks, making their operations more efficient. These tasks can be anything from simple scripts to complex workflows. Automation saves time and effort for organizations, allowing them to focus on other important tasks. Python programmers can help organizations streamline their operations and make their work more efficient. So how does it work? Writing Code To follow best practices, every developer needs to write clean, maintainable, and efficient code. But what makes good or bad code? Here's an example of clean and efficient Python code: pythonCopy code def sum_even_numbers(numbers): return sum(x for x in numbers if x % 2 == 0) This code defines a function sum_even_numbers that takes a list of numbers as input and returns the sum of all even numbers in the list. It uses a generator expression to filter and sum the even numbers in a single line, making it clean and efficient. In comparison, here's an example of messy & disorganized code: pythonCopy code def messy_code(x,y,z): a=x+y+z b=x*y*z c=x/y/z if x > y: if x > z: max_value = x else: max_value = z else: if y > z: max_value = y else: max_value = z return a,b,c,max_value This code defines a function messy_code that takes three arguments and calculates the sum, product, and division of them, as well as the maximum value. This code is hard to read and understand because it lacks proper indentation, naming conventions, and has a lot of nested if-else statements, making it difficult to follow the logic. Debugging Python coders spend a lot of time writing, but also a lot revising, or debugging. Have you ever wondered what debugging really looks like? Here's a basic example: Suppose the programmer has the following Python code that's meant to take in two numbers and print their sum: pythonCopy code def add_numbers(a, b): sum = a + b print("The sum of", a, "and", b, "is", sum) add_numbers(3, 5) add_numbers(10, 7) add_numbers(2, "hello") The first two function calls should work correctly and print the expected output, but the third function call will cause an error because we're trying to add a string to a number. To debug this code, the programmer can use Python's built-in 'pdb' module. 'pdb' stands for "Python Debugger" and allows them to step through the code and inspect its state at each step. The programmer can use it to locate the source of the error and fix the code. Here's how they can use 'pdb' to debug the code: pythonCopy code import pdb def add_numbers(a, b): pdb.set_trace() # This sets a breakpoint where the debugger will stopsum = a + b print("The sum of", a, "and", b, "is", sum) add_numbers(3, 5) add_numbers(10, 7) add_numbers(2, "hello") When the code is run, it will pause execution at the pdb.set_trace() line and launch the 'pdb' debugger. The programmer can then use the following commands to inspect the code: n or next: This executes the next line of code. s or step: This steps into a function call. c or continue: This continues execution until the next breakpoint or the end of the program. p or print: This prints the value of a variable. q or quit: This quits the debugger and ends the program. Using the 'pdb' debugger, the programmer can step through the code and see that the error occurs on the third function call, where they're trying to add a string to a number. They can then fix the code by converting the string to a number before adding it: pythonCopy code def add_numbers(a, b): if isinstance(b, str): b = int(b) # Convert the string to a number if it's a stringsum = a + b print("The sum of", a, "and", b, "is", sum) add_numbers(3, 5) add_numbers(10, 7) add_numbers(2, "5") Now the code should work correctly and print the expected output for all three function calls. That's what Python programmers do! They play a crucial role in various industries, from web development to scientific computing. With their expertise, organizations can make informed decisions, automate tasks, and solve complex problems. The versatility and power of Python make it an essential tool for organizations, and Python programmers are the people who bring it to life. Need a Python Specialist? Hire someone who can guide you! BearPeak Technology Group has experts for hire. Check us out! We're a Colorado-based team of engineers who help you hire remote software developers efficiently and reliably. We offer free consultations & are dedicated to your startup's success: It's important for us to disclose the multiple authors of this blog post: The original outline was written by chat.openai, an exciting new AI language model. The content was then edited and revised by Lindey Hoak. "OpenAI (2023). ChatGPT. Retrieved from https://openai.com/api-beta/gpt-3/"
- A Day in the Life | Graphic Designer
What exactly does a graphic designer do every day? The daily schedule of an online employee can seem like a mystery; When you only see their occasional notifications and meet for video calls every couple of days, the other details of their work go unknown. Most of our team no longer works in an office, so let's take this opportunity to share what the BearPeak team members do in a day. Follow along with our Graphic Designer Lindey through her typical work day: 8:00am - Wake Up & Planning Working from home, I have the luxury of a calm morning routine. I roll out of bed and prepare a cup of hot chai. While eating breakfast, I usually scroll through Notion on my phone, adding and rearranging my to-do list of tasks for the day. My BearPeak role consists of both graphic design and social media management, so I'll be spending my day making art and ads. 10:00am - Video Call Meetings Depending on the workday, I attend meetings to discuss our current email campaigns, advertising, and the upcoming social media posts we have scheduled for LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. Since I've moved from Colorado to Oregon, my calls take place in the early morning. 11:00am - Design Work I prefer to dive right into my biggest projects right away; My ideas are fresh from the meetings, and I have a clear set of objectives from my morning to-do list. It's important to note that not all of my tasks will be completed in one day: Any artist knows that a quick sketch or minor vector adjustment often turns into something much longer. Artwork takes multiple days, returning to the project with new perspectives and ideas. One of the nicest perks about doing art for a living is the ability to listen to something as I work. From dozens of Spotify playlists to audiobooks, I often have something going in the background. I also have the strange ability to look at any art I've completed and remember what I was listening to as I created it, like a visual time capsule. I'm also a big fan of pomodoro videos, which help me power through work in 25-minute increments and remind me to take 5-minute breaks in between. BearPeak's graphic design work consists of edits, rearrangements, and new designs of our vector art characters. Instead of using stock photos, we opted for digital art that has evolved from the simple (yet popular) style of Corporate Memphis to a warmer, Colorado-themed set of characters with names, personalities, and coding specialties. The credit for the original art goes to Zul Fikri, an artist on Vecteezy. We purchase Fikri's artwork, which I download and open in Adobe Illustrator. Then, I edit the artwork to fit our style, adjusting anchor points and handles, replacing colors and patterns, sometimes completely redrawing the body so our character can strike a new pose. However, only having to modify artwork saves hours of time that would have gone into rough sketches, body movement & flow, and accurate proportions, aka lots of trial and error. 12:00pm - Lunch What's for lunch? Likely leftovers: Mongolian beef and roasted eggplant are two of my favorites. Otherwise, I'll cook a pot of rice with chicken curry and naan. Whatever I eat, I aim for all my food groups and a lot of water to help me focus when I get back into my work. For the remainder of my lunch break, I stay away from computer screens because I know the juxtaposition will freshen my ideas (and help avoid eye strain). I like to watercolor, read books, and take walks outside. 1:00pm - Work I like to get in one more hour of work while I digest lunch. I do well with challenges and time pressure, so I like to pick one project and aim to complete it within the hour. Most often, that challenge is in Buffer, our choice for social media planning software. I'll aim to finish organizing and writing a week's worth of posts before the hour's up. Since we love Boulder, Colorado so much and appreciate the hometown that has helped us grow so much, we like to share current local events. I take time every week to catch up on what's happening in Boulder and add the best highlights to our upcoming post calendar. 2:00pm - Exercise To keep my brain focused (and my body from morphing into the shape of my desk chair), I make sure to get in some exercise every day. I prefer yoga or a mat workout, both of which take about half an hour, then I shower. 3:00pm - Work The remainder of the workday is devoted to any outstanding projects. Recently, we've started adding blog articles to the website. I turn on a Deep Focus playlist on Spotify and knock out an article or two. 6:00pm - Dinner Prep & Chores For Christmas last year, I was gifted an InstaPot! As a less-than-excellent cook, I've been enjoying the simple prep of measuring out the ingredients, throwing them all in, then setting the timer and forgetting about dinner for a while. I take this time to clean up the apartment, take out the trash, finish folding and putting away the laundry, or do the dishes. Once it's ready, I like to watch TV while eating: Anything from Bob's Burgers to Grey's Anatomy, or sometimes a Studio Ghibli movie. 8:00pm - Winding Down The events of this time of day vary, but I often scroll TikTok, read, or play my newest video game obsession. This alternates between Rune Factory, The Sims, Potion Craft, and Fallout 3. I also like studying mixology and writing my own novels, so late-night hours with a cup of chamomile are the perfect time to explore another passion. I make sure to be in bed before 10pm; I LOVE sleep, and I want to be freshly alert in the morning to have another excellent day of work.
- Ad Fontes Media | Client Highlight
Meet Vanessa Otero, the Founder and CEO of Ad Fontes Media. Otero's organization is a media watchdog: It rates sources in terms of their political bias and reliability. She founded Ad Fontes Media to serve as the publisher for the Interactive Media Bias Chart, which requires complex custom software to function. Otero hired BearPeak Technology Group to help her team take the chart to the next level. You can view Vanessa Otero's interview as a video below, or read on for a written version: What solution did BearPeak provide for your problem? VO: We were looking for some additional help in all aspects of development: Front-end, back-end, and transitioning some of our software over to the cloud. We would have greater cloud computing needs and better infrastructure, something truly scalable so we could grow. BearPeak was able to source the right folks, start executing and producing features, like shipping features, within a week. I mean, that’s a really fast turn-around time. What did BearPeak offer that made their services unique? VO: John, specifically, has lots of expertise in getting software programs into the cloud, developing pipelines, and the type of processes that you need to make sure that you can continue to build new features and ship them out quickly. I think one of the things that BearPeak brings to the table is the ability to structure the project and communicate it really well. So, I always had really clear expectations of what was going to happen and when, and who was going to do what. You can’t find that everywhere, you know? Lots of folks have the skills to do software development, but you can’t just throw folks into a room and expect really efficient results, or that everyone’s going to get along, unless you have somebody who really understands interpersonal dynamics and has the technical knowledge. Would you choose to work with BearPeak in the future? VO: I’m a repeat customer of BearPeak. It’s really nice to be able to have a company that you can rely on. You know, we worked with them for about a four or five-month sprint last year, and then we were done with the project that they delivered on, right? Things were going great with our company, and then we found another spot where we really needed to invest some dedicated resources to developing a particular product and putting it out there, and we brought them back. And both times were different. We had different needs of where our software was and where we wanted it to be, and they were able to deliver. I have no doubt that, in the future, as our needs grow, they will be able to come in and step in and fill that role when we need extra talent. Who would you recommend work with BearPeak? VO: I would recommend startups that have a need to expand their capabilities work with BearPeak. The ability to find exactly the kind of developer that you’re looking for, that was really helpful to me. I have some technical background, but not experience programming in, you know, any language, let alone multiple languages, and knowing the various different skill levels and the pool of talent that’s available. Recruiting for software talent is difficult, especially if you’re not sure exactly what you need. Founders are looking to get their software set up correctly on cloud platforms, and implement things like testing and CI/CD where it really enables you to put out features quickly, expand the scale of your offerings with minimal downtime and minimal errors. BearPeak has that expertise. Folks who are looking for sourcing the right talent, cloud computing, BearPeak is definitely the company I would recommend.
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