Chatting with Rasa: An Intro to Chatbots

Braden Niswonger Development Technologies, Machine Learning, Tutorial Leave a Comment

It seems like a lot of websites these days are equipped with a Chatbot. It’s used for customer service, simple Q/A, and more.

As chatbots have grown in popularity, so have the number of different frameworks that can be used to implement them.

In this blog, we will explore one of these frameworks, Rasa. First, I’ll cover some of the basics of chatbots. Then, I’ll explain how to write a simple Chatbot using Rasa, and we’ll highlight some of its additional functionality as well.

Using React Hooks To Save the Environment

James Bradley Node.js, Programming, React Leave a Comment

Every application has some need for environmental variables that are specific to that environment. This can be database connections strings or URL to an API that will vary between the different environments. In React, you can use .env files to define key-value pairs. Then Node will inject these at runtime to be used globally through the process.env.{variable}. In this blog, …

Creating a Stock Trading Bot With ThinkOrSwim

Ryan LaRue Development Technologies, Java, Programming 2 Comments

Even if you’ve never stepped a foot into one of its stores to buy the newest version of Call of Duty, you’ve probably been hearing the name Gamestop a lot lately. That company’s stock is included in a group of stocks called ‘meme stocks’. Basically, these are (or were) dead-man walking stocks that are being heavily shorted by the big …

Apple Silicon for Development

Lou Mauget Development Technologies, Programming Leave a Comment

In June, Apple announced a two-year transition from Intel to Apple Silicon for the iMac and MacBook line. I knew Apple had lost their mind. But, before Christmas, I owned my very own chunk of Apple Silicon living in an attractive milled-aluminum case.

In this article, I’ll discuss the Apple M1 silicon-on-a-chip (SoC) used as a software development computer. I’ll cover installation, and I’ll also talk through running apps that support development on my M1.

Four Ways of Writing Thoughtful Code to Think Less

Ryan Brewer Opinion, Programming 3 Comments

Long before I was offloading brainpower to Stack Overflow, I sought to offload it for my future self (ahem, and teammates of course). I have a book to thank for this. Steve Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think.”  It’s a critique of complex user interfaces.

Steve likes them simple and intuitive: the users’ goals are evident and easily accomplished.

Steve’s adage–“don’t make me think”–also plays a fair critique of the code we write. We can take that adage and apply it as a “DX First” approach to writing code. (An approach that admittedly should be sacrificed to UX or Performance Gods as needed.)

In this article I illustrate four high-level ways of elevating the developer experience to the forefront, helping us grok more while thinking less.