Dispatches from the SpryHive 2014: Week 23

Posted by spry & filed under Tips.

Happy Friday and Happy National Donut Day! The Spry staff had their morning sugar rush courtesy of Strange Donuts, a local shop responsible for this amazing photo project. We really like the behind the scenes making of from a design perspective.

Grab a box of crullers and a hot cup of coffee and kick back and relax with your friendly neighborhood SpryHive. You want links? Lucky you! We’ve got links!

Tech News

An Apple a day…

Unless you were vacationing under a rock this week, you probably caught wind that Apple made some pretty interesting announcements at WWDC 2014, its worldwide developer conference. We got to see the future of Apple with a look at OS X Yosemite and iOS 8. While most people were expecting some hardware announcements, their software stole the show. We’ll spare you a play-by-play with this summary of the 22 most important things Apple announced.

Apple is already running into some criticism from designers for the selection of Helvetica Neue to replace Lucida Grande. Neue is being dinged for potential under-performance in its web functionality and appearance at smaller sizes. However, typograpy-philes have been expressing their love of Helvetica for a long time (there’s even a movie about it). We agree, it’s clean and slim, but is this a case of form over function?

Women in Tech

De-coding women

It’s no secret that development can be a bit of a boy’s club. Some have even called it “brogramming”. Often, this attitude manifests in subtly hostile and misogynistic assumptions and language that lets women know they’re not welcome. The latest example came from Atlas Camp – a developers conference run by software developer Atlassian, who makes Spry’s internal chat program HipChat. A presenter compared a plugin framework to his girlfriend, saying it “doesn’t play well with others”, “demands attention”, and “complains a lot”. For their part, Atlassian denounced the presenter’s comments as not being part of their company culture and issued a lengthy apology.

Re-coding women

Sadly, incidents like Atlas Camp aren’t isolated. How do we encourage women and girls to step in to the ring and get involved with more tech and coding? Simply put, we need to talk about it more. We need to make it more acceptable and encouraged. This excellent Op-Ed from this week’s New York Times offers a lot of resources. More and more startups are springing up across the country to address this question. Locally, LaunchCode has started a new offshoot called Coder Girl. Even a cursory Google search will let you know that this isn’t an isolated initiative; similar programs are gaining steam across the United States via broadening participation by girls in STEM programs and the Equal Futures Partnership.

Developer Goodies

“What’s this built with?”

Find a site you really like? Take a peek under the hood with Built With. Billing itself as a “Technology Profiler” (among other things) it’s one of our go-to resources. It offers a snapshot of all the technologies found on a site to help devs and designers make more informed decisions. Even better, there’s a Chrome extension that makes sneaking that peek a total breeze.

Learn Swift

With all the buzz Apple had in the news this week, there’s been a flurry of interest around their newly announced programming language, Swift. Swift is the successor to Objective-C for creating iOS and OS X apps. If you want to learn it, Apple is offering a free eBook from iTunes.

Miscellaneous Goodies

LEGO just *gets* us.

Two LEGO tidbits from this week. Based on public interest and petition, LEGO announced that it will be rolling out a women scientists set. We can’t wait to get our hands on it. Also, in LEGO’s latest ad campaign an artist re-imagines famous works of art using LEGO bricks creating pixilated, but recognizable, works of art. On both counts, we do advise you NOT to step on them. We hear it’s pretty much the worst.

Rock out with your HTML out.

If you need a little afternoon distraction, we’ve got you covered.  Check out the HTML5 Drum Machine. Makes getting into your work groove even easier with a good beat.

13 minutes of “WORTH. IT.”

You might remember our soapbox on net neutrality from a couple weeks ago. It’s a topic that’s not going away. John Oliver takes on net neutrality and motivates an army of internet dwellers – “for once in your lives, focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction. Seize your moment, my lovely internet trolls!” And, man, they did. Between Oliver and impassioned Redditors, 45,000 comments and 300,000 emails went to the FCC. The general rule of the internet is “Never read the comments” but that FCC site might be worthy.


That’s it for this week. You’ve got a whole weekend to recover from your donut-induced sugar coma.
We’ll catch you on the flip side. Pass the TUMS?


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