Even the best have humble beginnings. Brilliant companies with amazing user interfaces, in-genius advertisements, beautiful animations of the big screen, have all found themselves in one situation: Staring down at a blank piece of paper with a pencil in hand. With technology becoming more integrated with our lives and staring at computer screens for nine hours a day is no longer abnormal, it’s hard to come up with ideas when our processes have become this mechanical. The ability to come up with fresh and new ideas often occurs not in front of a screen, but when you revert back to the more humble and basic methods.
Here are three key benefits for using our template:
In order to express this importance of integrating paper and pencil into your design process, we made a simple idea kit in hopes of enabling lots of wonderful ideas to come to life. Happy creating!
For most beginners coding can be overwhelming; staring at a computer screen riddled with numbers and letters often discourages them from learning at all. When Apple released Swift two years ago however, they had high hopes for solving this problem and expanding and appealing to the newer generation of developers. Swift as a language is powerful and intuitive while at the same time providing a fun and interactive way to write code. Since then, over 100,000 apps have adopted the lighting fast and easy to learn language, notable ones include Twitter, Strava, Lyft, and Behance. Since it’s release as Open Source in December, the degree of adoption has been phenomenal, ranking as the number one project language on HipHop.
Apple maintains this goal of bringing more people into coding by revealing of Swift Playgrounds at Apple’s annual developer conference today. The app solves the critical problem of coding not being fun nor interactive by taking advantage of Swift’s inherit simple learning structure and pairing it with a game-like platform that includes an avatar(Bite) and several different mazes that one can go through. It offers levels and puzzles where you control Bite with code, and the farther you go the more advanced the concepts become. Other beneficial features of the game that makes it fun to learn the basics of Swift include high quality graphics, smooth transitions and animations. Here's a preview of the app.
While Apple has made incredible advances in several different areas of technology, this app is the first to dip it's feet into education and coding simultaneously. It takes critical steps towards encouraging more people to enter the coding environment and furthermore revolutionizing the way they learn.
In the previous post we discussed the basics of port/latency monitoring using AppBeat. In this post we will discuss full stack server monitoring using a tool called Datadog.
Datadog is one of the leading application performance monitoring SaaS tools. We will cover how to setup a monitoring agent on your servers and configure Datadog to display metrics, trigger alerts, and even integrate with twilio to send SMS when there is a problem with the server.
The first thing to do is to sign up for the Datadog service here. Once completed, you can integrate your server into their dashboard by running the Datadog monitoring agent on your server as follows:
Installing the Datadog agent on the server
The installation procedure is pretty simple, once you login to your server:
DD_API_KEY=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx bash -c "$(curl -L https://raw.githubusercontent.com/DataDog/dd-agent/master/packaging/datadog-agent/source/install_agent.sh)"
Once the agent is installed on your machine, go to the Datadog dashboard and see if any events appear on the event log.
You can find the default dashboard panel of your system at the bottom of the Dashboard List under the “Host Dashboards” section.
Open the host dashboard and you’ll see all sorts of metrics, for example :
Integrating Twilio into Datadog
Twilio is an telecommunications SaaS platform where your can send SMS and make calls like as you would on a mobile phone.
To integrate Twilio, follow this tab path to get to the configurations tab:
To test if the Twilio integration is successful:
"Body":"Service seems to be down, check datadog portal"
*(XXX) XXX-XXXX is your phone number and (YYY) YYY-YYYY is the twilio number.
3. Copy & paste the message in the content payload and check the “encode as form” box
4. Add the URL listed above into the URL field and “update the configuration”.
5. Create a new monitor and select the metrics you want to monitor and when it asks “What’s happening”, enter “@webhook-twilio” and save the monitor.
Possibly the worst part about running an online service is when it crashes, or worse, being unaware that it crashed. This post pertains to how to monitor your service effectively at a low cost. The key things to know about your service includes three critical questions, and our suggested effective solutions to them.
AppBeat is a service that monitors the ports and their latency from external servers from different locations on the globe and reports the analysis results on your dashboard; every day and every hour. Some benefits of using this service include the comforting knowledge that your apps are constantly being monitored and watched over, the high availability of services which often equates to high customer satisfaction, the detection of slow response times, and the critical prevention of unexpected outages. What’s more, it can integrate with other services like Slack and Pagerduty to report alerts on these.
Datadog on the other hand is a service that monitors various parameters on the server including CPU load, memory consumption, network I/O, disk IO, temperature, and many more. Benefits of this service include aspects in Integrations, Dashboards, Correlations, Collaborations, Metric Alerts, and Developer API. While there is a lot of information regarding all of these aspects, one of the main distinguished features include the fact that it sends data to the dashboard where the user can see it and configure/trigger alerts if anything goes wrong.
Regarding the low cost part mentioned above, another advantage of both Datadog and Appbeat is that they have free plans, so the setup cost for monitoring solutions is zero. This is a great alternative to paid services like Pingdom and Newrelic (which are fine services in their own right), making it a good option for startups with tighter budgets.
Before we start the set-up process for the monitoring system we have to identify a few things first, such as the email and mobile number you want to send alerts to and a credit card to sign up for Twilio (you only pay per-user at a nominal cost). We will first start off for cases with a use-purpose like running a blog, where just using Appbeat is good enough. We’ll cover Datadog and Twilio in a future posts.
How to setup Appbeat
Once you’ve added the new service, the next step involves adding checks that are to be grouped under that service.
After this, you will see many unfamiliar elements on the main dashboard appearing such as the status of the website, its average latency, and monitoring log. It will alert you on your registered email if any of your sites or services go down.
If you want the public to see if the services are operational or not, you can create a Public Status page. This can be easily made in the “Public Status” section in the side panel. Simply:
If you want to add new users to the site, where they can also look at the data received, they can be added through the “Contacts” section in the side panel.
To see the monitor logs and service statistics, you can access this in the Reports section in the side panel.
While the bulk of the credit when creating a product goes to the vision and innovation of the designer, the execution or the translation of the vision to a palpable product is equally as important. For years, Adobe products such as Photoshop and Illustrator have dominated the design-driven market. However, with the demand for designers rising and the outlets and opportunities expanding into different industries, the number of tools at a designer's disposal are also increasing.
"Process = Progress"
Out of the hundreds of possible tools that a designer can use to design websites and apps, here are the ones that Matt prefers.