• Congratulations Imagine Cup EMEA Regional Final Champions: Team Finderr from the United Kingdom! Russian team is third

      Imagine EMEA group photo blog.jpg


      The Imagine Cup 2019 competition is well underway with our second Regional Final wrapping up in Amsterdam, the Netherlands this week. Team Finderr from the United Kingdom took home the first-place title and a spot in the World Championship for their app solution to find lost objects with a smartphone. Congratulations!

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    • The History of SXSW: How It All Started

        SXSW is a festival of culture and technology held every spring in Austin, Texas. It’s a global phenomenon, with hundreds of thousands attending the event every year and millions more following the media coverage. Even if you’ve never heard of it, you’ve certainly felt its influence on our culture.

        But it wasn’t always that way.

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      • The Origins of Startup Culture: How the Early Success Stories Shaped the Modern State of the Tech Industry

          In the late 1930s, two Stanford students, William Hewlett and David Packard, were inspired by their professor’s plea to turn the Bay Area into the national capital of high tech. Operating out of the cheapest property they could find — a garage in suburban Palo Alto, they built their first commercial product, the HP200A oscillator. Now a private museum and a California Historic Landmark, this place is a living monument, commemorating the birth of the Silicon Valley startup culture.

          This event preceded the similar and widely publicized success stories of Microsoft and Apple by more than 30 years. But it nonetheless perfectly defines the startup culture as we know it today. How come?

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        • How to land a job in Germany for IT professionals

          At my agency we work a lot with international candidates and German companies. So, I wanted to write a small essay about the visa issues because often they will influence your chances of landing a job heavily. Since I work mostly with German market, I will talk about the processes in Germany, the processes may and probably are different in other EU countries. Hopefully the information will be helpful and will give you some clarity.

          As all of you know, nowadays there is a big demand for experienced IT professionals in almost all EU countries. When I say experienced I mean 3+ years of experience. Companies are adjusting their teams to accept English speaking colleagues from around the globe, coming up with different perks to smooth up the relocation process and in general the IT world is becoming predominantly English speaking. Germany government understanding the demand by the industry has made the process quite fast and straightforward. I expect even easier process to be implemented in the upcoming year or two.

          Visa sponsorship


          Companies in Germany do not sponsor visas like in other countries, there is no such a term here. Companies either hire non-EU candidates or not. The decision is strictly an internal decision and is not influenced by any quotas, permissions etc. If you get a job contract from a German company (be it a big conglomerate or a small startup) you have a right to apply for the work visa.

          Do I need a university degree?


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        • How Protonmail is getting censored by FSB in Russia

          • Translation

          A completely routine tech support ticket has uncovered unexpected bans of IP addresses of Protonmail — a very useful service for people valuing their Internet freedoms — in several regions of Russia. I seriously didn’t want to sensationalize the headline, but the story is so strange and inexplicable I couldn’t resist.


          TL;DR


          Disclaimer: the situation is still developing. There might not be anything malicious, but most likely there is. I will update the post once new information comes through.


          MTS and Rostelecom — two of the biggest Russian ISPs — started to block traffic to SMTP servers of the encrypted email service Protonmail according to an FSB request, with no regard for the official government registry of restricted websites. It seems like it’s been happening for a while, but no one paid special attention to it. Until now.


          All involved parties have received relevant requests for information which they’re obligated to reply.


          UPD: MTS has provided a scan of the FSB letter, which is the basis for restricting the access. Justification: the ongoing Universiade in Krasnoyarsk and “phone terrorism”. It’s supposed to prevent ProtonMail emails from going to emergency addresses of security services and schools.


          UPD: Protonmail was surprised by “these strange Russians” and their methods for battling fraud abuse, as well as suggested a more effective way to do it — via abuse mailbox.


          UPD: FSB’s justification doesn’t appear to be true: the bans broke ProtonMail’s incoming mail, rather than outgoing.


          UPD: Protonmail shrugged and changed the IP addresses of their MXs taking them out of the blocking after that particular FSB letter. What will happen next is open ended question.


          UPD: Apparently, such letter was not the only one and there is still a set of IP addresses of VOIP-services which are blocked without appropriate records in the official registry of restricted websites.

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        • Why does Dodo Pizza need 250 developers?

          • Translation
          In autumn, we announced we were going to expand our IT team from 49 to 250 developers. And immediately we were buried under an avalanche of questions — mostly, people were interested why a pizza chain needs so many software engineers. How did we come up with such a number? So now I want to answer that.


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        • You Do Not Need Blockchain: Eight Well-Known Use Cases And Why They Do Not Work

            image


            People are resorting to blockchain for all kinds of reasons these days. Ever since I started doing smart contract security audits in mid-2017, I’ve seen it all. A special category of cases is ‘blockchain use’ that seems logical and beneficial, but actually contains a problem that then spreads from one startup to another. I am going to give some examples of such problems and ineffective solutions so that you (developer/customer/investor) know what to do when somebody offers you to use blockchain this way.


            Disclaimers


            • The described use cases and problems occur at the initial stage. I am not saying these problems are impossible to solve. However, it is important to understand which solutions system creators offer for particular problems.
            • Even though the term ‘blockchain use’ looks strange and I am not sure that blockchain can be used for anything other than money (Bitcoin), I am going to use it without quotes.

            1. Supply chain management


            Let’s say you ordered some goods, and a carrier guarantees to maintain certain transportation conditions, such as keeping your goods cold. A proposed solution is to install a sensor in a truck that will monitor fridge temperature and regularly transmit the data to the blockchain. This way, you can make sure that the promised conditions are met along the entire route.

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          • Meet A Content Strategist: An Interview with Dmitry Kabanov, Techstars Startup Digest curator and SXSW Advisor

              Dmitry learned the language of business but I think about the world as an engineer. He works with tech brands to create content and promote corporate culture at scale. Apart from it, he is one of the veterans at Techstars Startup Digest, and he is acting as an advisor for the SXSW tech festival.

              Here is his interview with the LAMA app platform.

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            • How is Blockchain Technology Changing the World for the Better?

              “Every inventor strives to reinvent the existing invention”

              Looks Insane, Right?

              image

              But it is the truth all inventions are not really inventions instead all of them are the replication of existing sources. Then what is an invention? The invention is something you find new on the earth. Inventions and discoveries are greatly varied, especially when it comes to technology.
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            • I lost faith in the industry, burned out, but the cult of the tool saved me

              • Translation


              I often rail at technologies I find inadequate, and in response I receive (along with arguments) sheer anger and pain. Sometimes physical.

              Developers take critique of their favorite technologies very personally for some reason. This “cult of the tool” is such a strange phenomenon I can’t explain it logically. Some say everyone’s prone to it, because a coder’s thinking processes intertwine very deeply with his programming language. Some say it’s a junior’s fallacy — you write something for the first time, it works, and you start treating your language like something divine.

              Whatever it is, I never understood it.

              I always considered cultists as imbeciles. But I always try to understand why imbeciles became them, why I’ve avoided that fate. I start thinking and bam! — it turned out I’m also an imbecile. I’m a cultist who worships F#. And, of course, there’s a story behind it.
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            • I ruin developers’ lives with my code reviews and I'm sorry

              • Translation


              Once upon a time there was a guy on my team so weak that he was going to be fired (a developer! Fired!). Every comment of mine was another nail in his coffin. I could almost hear the bang of the hammer every time I clicked “Submit review”. He was a nice person and I almost felt bad for him, but it didn’t stop me from tearing his work to shreds. I had an inalienable right to criticize his work, right? I’m a better developer, therefore I’m right. No one wants to say that bad code is good, right? He was eventually fired, not before leaving him without the customary bonus for a couple months.

              I said to myself: “I’m not going to do his work, right? He was taking the place of a more talented developer. I did everything right”. But then I received another pull request for a review, and something changed. Drastically.
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            • The Game of Archetypes: How Storytelling Works for Tech Brands

                How’s your work week going? I took some time off publishing new articles and consulting clients to look at «The Hero and the Outlaw» by Carol Pearson and Margaret Mark. It’s a guide to leveraging the power of archetypes for your brand, and I think there’s much to learn from it.

                Archetypes are properly defined as «universal constructs of the human psyche». In layman’s terms, these are images we all recognise because they’re built into our subconscious mind. One such example is the archetype of the hero  —  a good guy who triumphs over evil and saves the day.

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              • On higher education, programmers and blue-collar job



                  “Sometimes it happens that a man’s circle of horizon becomes smaller and smaller, and as the radius approaches zero it concentrates on one point. And then that becomes his point of view.”

                  David Hilbert
                  “When I thought I had hit rock bottom, someone knocked from below.”

                  Stanisław Jerzy Lec

                  Preface


                  Does a programmer need a higher education? The flow of opinions on this undoubtedly urgent topic has not dried up, so I have decided to express my view. It seems to me the general disappointment in education is due to the numerous processes and changes in the profession and it needs serious study. Below I will discuss the most common misconceptions, myths, and underlying causes of the phenomenon.
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                • Scaling a Tech Newsletter to 700k Subscribers in 300 Cities: the History of Techstars Startup Digest

                    Entrepreneurs are constantly looking for new tools and possibilities to develop their businesses and enrich their knowledge. One of the ways of doing this is visiting themed events — meeting colleagues in real life, exchanging experiences, and communicating with potential investors.

                    In fact, there are thousands of tech-focused events taking place annually. The important thing is to pick the best, most useful and easily accessible ones to optimize your time and expenses.

                    Techstars Startup Digest solves this problem by sending its subscribers an email newsletter with a curated list of relevant and reasonably priced events for entrepreneurs. Currently, Startup Digest consists of more than 700 curators, is approaching 700K subscriptions, and is available in more than 300 cities all around the world. Today, I’d like to share its history, how the founders came up with the idea, what it looked like in the initial stages, and what it’s going through right now.

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                  • Feature requests and Product requirements

                      You can always count product manager’s strategy skills like innovative thinking, blue ocean approach and others. But on daily basis we use more practical tools and approaches. This article is about working with feature requests and product requirements.

                      The main axiom of managing requests is that feature requests from customers, partners and internal teams are not requirements to the product. This is because every request can be split into several requirements or, otherwise, several requests can be combined to a single requirement.
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                    • Time management in real life

                      • Tutorial

                      no problems


                      Have you ever noticed that you were busy all day, however, you've done nothing or at X-mas evening you experience an epiphany that nothing was done during the year? If your answer is "yes", you should improve your time management skills. According to Wikipedia, time management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency and productivity. Nevertheless, how can we deal with it?

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                    • PVS-Studio ROI

                        PVS-Studio ROI

                        Occasionally, we're asked a question, what monetary value the company will receive from using PVS-Studio. We decided to draw up a response in the form of an article and provide tables, which will show how the analyzer can be useful. We cannot prove absolute accuracy of all calculations in the article, but we suppose the reader will agree with our thoughts, and it will help to make a decision in the matter of getting the license.
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                      • How to learn English

                        • Tutorial

                        One one hand I don't want to be the final authority, but on the other hand, I'd like to share my point of view on how to learn English. The English language is not secret knowledge; it is just a lot of hard training. One of the most important bullets is constantly improving English. You should do it from day to day if you want to approach result. It must not loathe torture for you, It means that you should find out something interesting in that process.

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