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What is important to a career

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about my career and where it’s going. I don’t want to give the impression that I have never thought about my career before, but now the thoughts are becoming constant.

May 8, 2018
Databases: Component or Infrastructure?

There is always strong debate around databases and their role in development. Sometimes they are considered components, while others will consider them infrastructure. Is there a right answer? Let's discuss!

March 15, 2018
Software Maintenance: The Never-Ending Feud

There is one, and only one, primary focus that any software developer acknowledge: the ability for software to be maintainable. Of course, correctness, functionality, and performance are all important, these will always be easier to address with maintainable software.

January 25, 2018
Software: The Non-Engineering Discipline

So I bought myself a pinball machine this Christmas, Space Station (1987 Williams). It is fully functional and plays awesome. However, owning a pinball machine brings its own challenges. Keeping it running in tip-top shape isn't as simple as you'd initially think. It's almost an artform.

January 5, 2018
3 Attributes of the Mind

There are many models for the mind, varying in different attributes. Some people have broken them up into 5 attributes: Intelligence, Knowledge, Wisdom, Discernment, and Temperament. Others only consider the idea of intelligence, separating them into 9 Types of Intelligence. Still others mix these concepts into Knowledge and Intelligence. I don't believe these concepts are complex, but need a better separation, a cleaner boundary.

December 18, 2017
Connective Innovation: It's All Related

Our lives are intertwined with each other whether it's directly or indirectly. Processes must work together to bring about solutions and engineers must understand how pieces fit together like a puzzle. When writing code line by line, or executing a business process step by step, success depends on the execution of the previous line of code (step) and passes on those results to the next. This is an inescapable truth about our existence, the truth about how time works; the nature of cause and effect.

December 17, 2017
Young and Stupid: The Software Industry Story

The software industry is young, immature, bloated by a large swath of "hackers", self-taught from within its own system of immaturity. It's like teenagers still in high school offering to teach other teenagers the meaning of life when they have yet to even experience it...

December 16, 2017
Hard Reality

Sometimes reality hits you in a hard way. Only when you think you knew it all, then BLAM. It strikes. That's what happened to me a few days ago.

August 22, 2016
Raspberry Pi as a Dev Server

The Raspberry Pi is a little computer that you can get for as low as US $35 and on which you can run many different types of software and build many different projects. In this article, I’m going to guide you through the process of setting it up as a home development server and deploying a full-stack JavaScript application that you can access from outside your network. This is great for setting up your own remote digital workspace, or simply to have control over the hardware you use for development.

August 18, 2016
Introduction to Scalable Vector Graphics

Scalable Vector Graphics (or SVGs) are an XML-based vector image format for 2-dimensional graphics. Although SVGs have been around for a while, they haven’t really taken off until recently. However, if you’re a web developer or graphics design artist working with online graphics, you may find SVGs to be a valuable additional to your skills.

June 1, 2016
Invention vs Innovation

Is the idea of invention the same as innovation? Or is it different? Are all inventors innovators? How do you know if your idea is an innovation or and invention? At SparcPoint, we thrive in innovation. It's not that we don't love invention, it's just more difficult in its truest sense and can't be taught.

May 28, 2016
Gradient Descent: Optimization

Gradient Descent is an optimization algorithm used to find the local minimum of a function of infinite complexity. This is why it is such a useful mathematical tool.

May 16, 2016
Raspberry Pi: Linux Terminal Essentials

When working with the Raspberry Pi there are a number of essential commands that should be known. If you're a linux guru, skip this post. But if you're new to the whole Raspberry Pi trend and linux, will need a quick understanding of some of the basic commands to work with.

May 11, 2016
Real World Capacitors

Capacitors. A small, basic electronic component. It is used in so many ways. And yet, you probably know very little about them. The capacitor is 1 of 3 basic passive components in electrical engineering. It has the ability to store electric fields as voltage changes. Let's see a real world version of one of these components.

May 5, 2016
Concepts of Innovation: The Vacuum Approach

You don’t need a blank slate to change the world. Entirely new or novel ideas are often rare, exhausting, and costly. By its definition however, innovation requires only that we alter or change what already exists. We tend to mentally avoid this type of innovation. Faced with the thought of standing on the shoulders of giants, we find this interpretation lazy or opportunistic or worse, parasitic. In actuality, this type of innovation has provided some of most critical and successful innovations in the world today.

May 3, 2016
Bot Framework: Introduction

Microsoft has brought to us a new SDK: Bot Framework. Bots, or conversation agents, are becoming a fast growing part of our typical UX. Microsoft has given us the ability to use bots in a more general way always us, the developers, to innovate. Let's talk about how to use them!

April 29, 2016
Real World Inductors

Inductors. A small, basic electronic component. It is used in so many ways. And yet, you probably know very little about them. The inductor is 1 of 3 basic passive components in electrical engineering. It has the ability to store magnetic fields as current changes direction. Let's see a real world version of one of these components.

April 21, 2016
Ambient Wireless Power

Wireless Power Transfer. A task originally started by Tesla, and being continued by countless others. There are two main ways to perform power transfer through the air: Induction (Magnetic Coupling), and Radiation. Let's briefly discuss both.

April 18, 2016
Complex Matrix Algebra

Complex Matrices. Most people know numbers. Fewer know about complex numbers. And a subset of those people know about representing complex numbers as matrices, allowing (albeit limited) algebra in the form of matrices. By uses matrix algebra and the structure being presented, unique and efficient algorithms can be generated. But of course, I'll let you figure those out!

April 14, 2016
WordNet: The Lexical Database

WordNet is lexical database for the english language created at Princeton University in the Cognitive Science Lab around 1985. Since then it has been updated several times and is currently at version 3.1 (2012). The significance of this database is far reaching and important especially in natural language processing (NLP).

April 10, 2016
Universal Windows Platform

The Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is a new cross-device framework for developers that allows for a single App (Foreground/Background) to be installed on any Windows 10 device. This provides us the ability to create a singular application with the ability to be deployed to many different types of devices including: PC, Mobile, Raspberry Pi, Tablets, XBox One, etc.

April 6, 2016
Hex is not hard!

Hexadecimal and other numerical base systems are used in so many aspects of science and engineering, including software engineering. It is important to understand how Decimals, Hexadecimals, and Binary numbers interact with each other how they are converted. This post is meant to help show you how and why these bases exists and how to use them effectively in your endeavors.

April 5, 2016
Windows IoT Background App

The Windows IoT Core on Raspberry Pi allows for you to create Foreground and Background Apps. Both have their place in the development cycle or more complex systems. For Home Automation, it seems better to have a background app that can run without an interface. This allows less processing and memory consumption when trying to perform complex tasks. This article walks you through the basics of creating a skeleton for a Background App for the Raspberry Pi and enabling Remote Debugging.

April 3, 2016
Windows IoT on the Pi3

With any Internet of Things (IoT) hardware, we must have an operating system (os) installed to interact with it. Here we show how to install the Windows 10 IoT OS on the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B device.

April 3, 2016
SparcPoint Launch

SparcPoint.com has finally launched. It is a great day for innovators and those with an entrepreneurial spirit.

April 2, 2016