101: Bluetooth in a Nutshell

Hello everyone, so this is going to be the last episode of the 1st series of ZoneCast. This present collection of episodes primarily tried to cover the basics of most talked about and buzzing technologies today. In Series 2, we are going a bit further and tackle pressing issues and implications of various technologies in a real world context. We are currently in pre-production of the 2nd series and we’ll inform you on a premiere date as soon as we have one.

So back to today’s episode, it is all about Bluetooth communication protocol. Our hosts, Isuru and Deshal are joined by Kasun Rathnapala, where they cover topics starting from the evolution of Bluetooth to comparisons between Classic vs Smart Bluetooth. They also look at practical applications of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) before talking about how beginners can start developing using Bluetooth. The alternatives to Bluetooth and its future are also touched upon.

Listen to the final episode of the 1st series here:

Discussion Breakdown

What is Bluetooth? – 0:49 | Why is it called Bluetooth? – 1:28 | Why is Bluetooth everywhere? – 2:47 | Evolution of Bluetooth over the years – 4:43 | Identifying a specific device when there’s a common protocol – 6:20 | Difference between BLE and classic Bluetooth protocols and  the practical uses – 7:33 | Alternatives to Bluetooth – 11:37 | Getting started on a Bluetooth application – 16:19 | Future of Bluetooth – 19:37

Kasun Rathnapala

Associate Tech Lead

Introduction to Apache NiFi

This week in ZoneCast . . .

And we are back after a bit of a long break! To start off, A Very Happy New Year to all our listeners. If only long breaks like this come around every year…

Anyway back on topic, today’s episode is going to be about Apache NiFi. Its been increasingly gaining attention and we see it being used often in data ingestion. So we felt its the right time to explore in a bit more detail what is Apache NiFi is all about. For this edition our host Raathigeshan is joined by Hasun Perera and Asanka Herath.

The conversation starts off with a basic introduction into this component based drag and drop architecture before looking into deeper questions like how NiFi can power the future, a comparison with NiFi Projects vs Normal Projects etc. Fundamentals such as NiFi capabilities, flow files and custom processors are also looked at.

Listen below:

Asanka Herath is a Software Engineer at Zone24x7. You can follow him on LinkedIn.

Hasun Perera is also a Software Engineer at Zone24x7 and you can follow him on LinkedIn.

Image Courtesy:  Header image from unsplash.com/@chuttersnap

The Road to JavaScript Web Applications

This week in ZoneCast . . .

The Road to JavaScript Web Applications is a 4 part series where Yohan Gomaz, a Senior Software Engineer, takes you through the different stages of building a JavaScript Web Application from scratch.

(If you are interested in learning more about the evolution of JavaScript and its foray into web and mobile applications, check out The Rise of JavaScript).

Part 1: Setting Up your JavaScript

In part 1 our hosts, Awad and Isuru begin the journey by discussing the initial steps that you need to take in building a JavaScript Web Application. The discussion spans into ECMAScript, browser selections, tools and techniques, performance and much more. Listen to Part 1 below:

Discussion Breakdown

What to consider first – 00:56 | ECMAScript – 01:40  | Next step after selecting the browser – 02:42 | Does the environment require any thought – 03:16 | Any other tools that needed when setting up the project – 05:39 | Open source contributions by Yohan – 07:50 | Adding a carousal to the page – 08:24 | Does the performance differ based on the libraries used – 10:10 | Linking options through a CDN compared to a package manager – 11:12 | Issues with including CSS and JavaScript manually – 12:44

Part 2: Pitfalls and Best Practices

In Part 2, we explore, as the title suggests the common pitfalls you face when building a JavaScript Web Application and Best Practices you need to adhere to. Yohan wanders into script tags in index.html files, Document Object Models (DOM), ReactJS and Virtual DOM, coding standards and more.

Listen to the episode below:

Discussion Breakdown

Defining variables in the script tag and its problems – 01:08 | Script tags in an index.html – 06:07 | What is DOM and how it works – 11:48 | Best practices and pitfalls in manipulating DOM – 13:56 | DOM manipulation functions and ReactJS – 19:52 | Adhering to coding practices – 23:23 | What is Linter? – 29:00 | Useful references to learn JavaScript – 29:42

Part 3: Testing your Application

In Part 3, our hosts Awad and Sasitha discuss about Testing with Yohan. The topics they cover include front-end testing, the types of Testing, frameworks and tools to use and much more. You can listen to the episode below.

Discussion Breakdown

Front-end Testing – 01:01 | Types of Front-end Testing – 02:03 |  Difference between Integration Testing and Testing API – 04:30 | Frameworks and Tools – 07:11 | How to start Front-end Testing – 09:30 | Headless Browser – 13:35 | Verifying the UI – 16:06 | Coverage Reporting – 18:34

Part 4: Front-end Build Tools and CI

In the final episode of ” The Road to JavaScript Web Applications”, Yohan will be looking into build processes and Continuous Integration for front-end applications with our hosts Isuru and Ramitha.  At the end of this episode, you are in a good position to build a simple JavaScript Web Application on your own. So listen below and get busy coding. Good Luck!

Discussion Breakdown

Build Work Flow and Tools for Front-end – 01:05 | Options Available for Front-end Build Tools – 02:33 | Areas a Build System should Cover – 03:25 | Source Maps – 12:09 | Tools that Facilitate CI/CD Environment – 19:07 | “We should always go for the latest available tools and their versions of JavaScript”. True or False – 20:35

About ZoneCast: Simply put, ZoneCast is a podcast about technology. Listen in and discover all the tech that is brewed inside Zone24x7 and the many passion projects of our associates. To listen to previous ZoneCast episodes check out ourZoneCast SoundCloudPage.

Image Courtesy: Header image from unsplash.com/@forrestcavale

Yohan Gomez

Yohan Gomez was a Data Engineer – Frontend at Zone24x7.

At the Gates of UI and UX Design

This week in ZoneCast

We are scratching the surface of User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design. Our hosts Umaya and Lasitha are joined by Michael and Dhammika, who are Lead UI Engineers at Zone24x7. They start by unraveling the often most interchangeably used terms in design, UI and UX and where Customer Experience fits in this puzzle. We dig into the basics for any listeners out there, who are new to the subject with examples. From there, we explore the UI Engineer’s role in all this and how teams ensure good UX in the process.

This is neatly packaged episode that delivers a quick crash course on the basics of UI and UX design. Listen below:

Discussion Breakdown

UI and UX at Zone24x7 – 00:44

UX and the difference between UI and UX – 01:12

UX and its applications beyond Software Engineering – 02:21

Where Customer Experience fits in – 04:14

UI Engineer’s role in UX – 06:25

Examples for good UX – 09:16

Future UX trends – 10:34

Michael Lu was Lead UI Engineer at Zone24x7 and you can follow him in Behance.

Dhammika Gunaratne was Lead UI Engineer at Zone24x7 and you can follow him on LinkedIn.

About ZoneCast: Simply put, ZoneCast is a podcast about technology. Listen in and discover all the tech that is brewed inside Zone24x7 and the many passion projects of our associates. To listen to previous ZoneCast episodes check out ourZoneCast SoundCloudPage.

Image Courtesy: Header image from unsplash.com/@igorm