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IT Development

Mexican developers created a robot to diagnose COVID-19

A team of Mexican developers built a humanoid robot that helps diagnose possible cases of COVID-19. The robot is equipped with a thermometer, an oximeter, and visual computing and machine learning technologies.

See also: Top 5 Tech cities of Mexico

Roomie, a firm of Mexican engineers, with the support of technology companies such as Intel and Amazon, seeks to demonstrate that this reality is not foreign to the country and for this, they developed a robot capable of helping in the diagnosis of a coronavirus case.

“The pandemic showed us that humanoid robotics has enormous potential because it can solve many of the problems of social distancing,” said Aldo Luevano, CEO of Roomie IT Services, in an interview. “It’s not just about robots like Roomiebot Covid-19, think about robots that help disinfect spaces such as hospitals or workplaces, deliver packages, or support information without human contact, minimizing risk.”

The founder of the firm, who has been working in Mexico for six years in the development of humanoid robots for assistance in sectors such as tourism, retail or banks explained that the pandemic allowed them to create a robot that would help public and private medical institutions to attend to possible cases of patients with coronavirus.

According to the firm’s CEO, after the research and development phase, Roomiebot COVID-19s are expected to begin supporting medical personnel at clinics and hospitals in the next three weeks.

“The plan is to create a robot that has a positive impact on society right now,” said Luevano. Although somewhat similar to other robots from the firm, Roomiebot Covid-19 is equipped with specific technologies to detect possible cases of coronavirus and was developed in conjunction with two infectious diseases.

The coronavirus not only digitized the entire world, but it will also make that science fiction world in which humans and humanoid robots naturally share and interact a reality.

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Events IT Development

Facebook is sponsoring an on-line hackathon

Facebook has made an open invitation for developers to participate in the company’s online hackathon. The objective: to find solutions that help strengthen communities and that have a social impact.

Participation in these Facebook hackathons will be online and the prizes total $ 7,000 in each category, which are: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Messaging.

In the invitation, the company stressed that it believes amazing things happen when innovators come together with passion and purpose. Facebook also expressed his enthusiasm to welcome developers to continue learning, building, and growing in these types of challenges.

Winning teams can win cash prizes and Oculus virtual reality headsets.

Augmented Reality Hackathon

Facebook invited developers to create with Spark AR, their augmented reality tool. Spark AR has templates and libraries that will allow newbies to create their first effects and invites developers to build more interactive experiences with this technology.

In the hackathon, participants will also have access to tutorials and resources that help them develop their projects. The company ensures that many participants will be selected to receive cash prizes and Oculus virtual reality products.

In addition to the cash prize, the first-place winners will have the opportunity to be in a 30-minute meeting with a Facebook engineer.

Messaging hackathon

In a call for both beginners and experts, Facebook invited developers to enhance the messaging experience with some of the following features: handover protocols, One-time notifications, private messages, and quick responses.

In addition to having the opportunity to showcase their skills, developers will be able to connect with a global community and benefit from educational resources to improve.

Natural language AI hackathon with Wit.ai

Lastly, Facebook invites developers to build advanced artificial intelligence solutions, focused primarily on natural language processing.

In this hackathon, Facebook encourages developers to create solutions that enhance the Wit.ai platform.

Facebook ensures that this does not require an AI / ML developer to create powerful experiences that involve natural language processing.

As a bonus, participants will have the opportunity to connect with a global community of developers with similar ideas.

How to participate in Facebook hackathon?

Developers who want to participate in the Facebook hackathon must upload a demo video on Facebook Video, Youtube, Vimeo, or Youku of about two minutes, showing how the application works step by step, and available in English.

The mobile or web application must have a way to access it so that it can be tested and evaluated.

Finally, participants must register a participation form before the deadline, which is June 24.

In the presentation, participants should explain how Facebook products helped them find a solution to their developments.

So far, more than 5,000 people have already registered. What are you waiting to participate in?

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IT Development

Hey, developers! Android 11 is updating news

Android Vice President of Engineering Dave Burke recently announced plans for the launch of Android 11. Burke mentions that when the team started planning for Android 11, they weren’t expecting all the sudden changes that would happen in the world.

According to Burke, this has kept the Android team flexible to find new ways to work with the developer community.

To overcome current challenges, Burke announced that there will be an update on his release plans. Developers will be able to preview the changes in the Beta version between June 1 and 3.

To tell the details about the launch and provide technical resources to developers, the Android team hosted a developer event (online, of course) which they will call # Android11: the Beta Launch Show.

What is # Android11: The Beta Launch Show?

Given the circumstances, sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, developers won’t be able to join Google’s annual Google I / O conference at Shoreline Amphitheater. For this reason, Burke announced that the Android team is hosting an online event where they will share the best of what’s new on Android.

The # Android11: The Beta Launch Show will be an opportunity for developers to discover what’s new in Android from the people who create Android. The event will start at 11 a.m. ET on June 3. And it will end with a live Q&A after the show.

Also, developers can ask any questions they have from Twitter, with the hashtag #AskAndroid.

The event will also include talks that were originally planned for Google I / O, which will cover topics such as Jetpack Compose to Android Studio and Google Play, conversations that they had originally planned for Google I / O, to help you take advantage of the latest in Android development. 

Everybody can subscribe to receive updates on this digital event at developer.android.com/android11.

Android 11 scheduling update

In a fast-moving industry, the Android team is looking for ways to bring Android to devise manufacturers looking to incorporate the operating system into their new products. 

Read also: IT Industries are getting sick

They have also found that many developers prioritize early testing of apps and games on Android 11, based in part on the Stability Platform and other novel features of the operating system. At the same time, they require remote collaboration and prioritize the well-being of close family and friends.

Also read: The Tech Sector is infected with the coronavirus

To meet the needs of the ecosystem, the team led by Burke decided to postpone the launch of Android 11, which is why they will move to Beta 1 in about a month. Despite these changes, Android remains on track to make the final launch in the third quarter.

Here are some of the key changes to the new schedule:

  •     Developer preview release for testing and feedback.
  •     The Beta 1 version is moved to June 3. They will include the final SDK and NDK APIs with this version and open the Google Play publication for applications intended for Android 11.
  •     Beta 2 moves to July. The stability of the platform with this version will be achieved in this version.
  •     Beta 3 moves to August and will include release candidate versions for the final test.

Providing to the developing community with the final APIs on the original timeline while changing the other dates gives developers an extra month to compile and test with the final APIs, while Android developers make sure they have the same amount of time between Stability of the platform and the final launch, scheduled for the third quarter.

Application compatibility

The schedule change adds some extra time to test the compatibility of the developing application and identify any modifications that need to be made. Burke recommends launching an app update compatible with Android 11 Beta on June 3 to receive feedback from the largest group of Android Beta users who will receive the update.

With Beta 1, the SDK and NDK APIs will be final, and as platform stability is reached in July, system behaviors and non-SDK gray lists will also be finalized. At this point, Burke recommends planning a final compatibility test and launching the fully compatible application, SDK, or library as soon as possible so that you are ready for the final version of Android 11.

Compatibility tests can be done on a Pixel 2, 3, 3a, or 4 devices, or you can use the Android emulator.

Developers simply need to show the latest version, install their current production application, and test user flows.

Burke recommends reviewing behavior changes for areas where the application could be affected.

Start testing Android 11

The Android team released the fourth Developer Preview with the latest bug fixes, API tweaks, and features to test in their apps. It’s available via manual and flash download for Pixel 2, 3, 3a, or 4 devices, and if you’re already running a Developer Preview build, you’ll get a wireless update (OTA) for today’s release.

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IT Development Web Development

Semantic UI or Bootstrap? Discover the pros and cons of each framework

Among the multiple frameworks currently available to web developers, Boostrap remains the guild’s favorite. However, now, various frameworks compete for the love of front-end developers, and some, like Semantic-UI, have made their first steps and have more and more followers.

Let’s start by learning a little about the history and characteristics of Bootstrap and Semantic UI, and then review the pros and cons of each.

What is Bootstrap?

Bootstrap is the framework behind several of the popular websites such as Netflix, Espn.com, and CNN.com. This tool allows web developers to create projects that, without it, could take several days or weeks.

Developed by Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton at Twitter offices, Bootstrap sought to save time for web designers on the social network while ensuring that the website maintained a similar style across all sites.

The Bootstrap Community

Currently, this framework has one of the largest and most active communities. At the time of this writing, there are close to a hundred thousand questions on StackOverflow tagged as twitter-bootstrap, of which over 70% are resolved. About the latest version of Bootstrap (Bootstrap 4), there are 20 thousand questions, 85% of them fixed.

In addition to the essential help of the StackOverflow community, Bootstrap maintains communication with the developers through its official blog, Twitter account, and Slack and IRC chats on Freenode.

In short, Bootstrap is the most popular framework. But also Windows and the QWERTY keyboard are the most popular in their respective areas and, for that reason, they are not the best. Let’s see below some of its strengths.

Pros of Bootstrap as a framework

To retain the title of the most popular framework, you must do at least one or two things well. If not, the developer community will either quickly find other solutions or develop them themselves.

These are some of the advantages that the developers point out about Bootstrap:

  1. Fewer cross-platform errors. An advantage of having a large community is that it is easier to detect a mistake and correct it. The web design solutions offered by Bootstrap work in most browsers.
  2. A consistent framework that considers most compatibility issues. The design looks great in your latest version of Chrome, but not in your client’s Internet Explorer 7. With Bootstrap, it is possible to avoid most of these problems.
  3. Light and customizable. Whether you use it externally or within your project, Bootstrap optimizes resources and allows you to make your design changes.
  4. Responsive styles and structures. This feature is one of the favorites by developers, who must take it more seriously than they do web pages for multiple platforms. With Bootstrap, it is possible to make responsive sites from scratch.
  5. JavaScript plugins that use jQuery. Making dynamic sites is easier even for front-end developers with little JavaScript experience.
  6. Well documented support and an active community. We mentioned it before, but it’s worth mentioning again. If there is a problem with Bootstrap, someone probably already has a solution.
  7. Hundreds of free and professional templates, WordPress themes, and plugins. Another consequence of having an active community is the large number of free resources that exist made with the framework.
  8. A grid system easy to implement. This Bootstrap feature has now been improved in version 4 thanks to the incorporation of flexbox.

Cons of Bootstrap

But if Bootstrap were perfect, there would be no room for other frameworks like Foundation, Bulma, or Semantic UI, which will be discussed later.

These are some of the Bootstrap features that can cause a headache:

  1. Departing from Bootstrap’s predefined layout can be a pain. To make changes to the base design of the framework, you will probably have to overwrite styles or rewrite some files, which can take as long as having done the project from scratch.
  2. Departing from Bootstrap’s predefined layout can be a pain. To make changes to the base design of the framework, you will probably have to overwrite styles or rewrite some files, which can take as long as having done the project from scratch.
  3. You will need to take extra steps to customize a site. If not, you run the risk of all sites looking the same.
  4. Styles can be very bulky, causing a lot of unnecessary output for HTML.
  5. Since JavaScript is tied to JQuery, there may be many plugins that will not be used.
  6. Unpleasant HTML. The large number of classes that are sometimes necessary can make the HTML used not very pleasant to review later. Also, the name of the classes can be less intuitive than Semantic UI.

Where can I learn to use Bootstrap?

In English, you will find a lot of info and tutorials for using Bootstrap. One of my favorite sites is w3schools, which has tutorials for both Bootstrap 3 and Bootstrap 4. It is best to learn how to use version four as Bootstrap 3 will soon be discontinued.

What is Semantic UI?

Semantic UI is a framework for CSS, like Bootstrap. Full-stack developer Jack Lukic created this framework based on natural language principles, becoming one of the leading JavaScript projects on GitHub.

Semantic UI has a small but very loyal and enthusiastic community. In a short time, it managed to overgrow. In 2015, the community had already created more than 3,000 themes for the framework, in addition to more than 50 components for the user interface, and carried out 3,800 commits on GitHub.

Semantic UI Pros

  1. Very easy to use. This reason is one of the main ones for developers. Semantic UI is very intuitive. Do you want three columns? Type “three columns.” You want a dropdown. Type “dropdown”.
  2. Less time to design a page. Naming Semantic UI classes with meaningful names not only make the learning curve shorter but also makes developing projects more intuitive and faster.
  1. Wide variety of themes available. Layout variety is a weak point of Bootstrap and a strong point for Semantic UI. You can probably find a theme for the projects you are developing.

Cons of Semantic UI

  1. Less browser compatibility. Semantic UI does not support Internet Explorer 7, which Bootstrap does. Being an old version, this is probably not a significant problem.
  2. Less responsive design. Unlike the previous point, this can be a bigger problem, considering that web designers are increasingly forced to think about a wide variety of devices. We will have to wait for development to grow to find better solutions to these issues.
  3. Smaller community. On GitHub, Bootstrap has more than 50,000 followers, while Semantic UI does not reach 1,000. Meanwhile, on StackOverflow, there are only 2,500 questions about Semantic UI, with about 25% of the questions unsolved.
  4. Few recent updates. Perhaps this is the most worrying point about Semantic UI, and that caused concern among its followers just over a year ago. The development of Semantic UI seemed to be abandoned for a long time, more than a year passed without any commit between 2018 and 2019. This situation caused the same community to create some forks for Semantic UI, as in the case of Fomantic-UI. However, developers commented last year that the new version was taking longer, but was almost ready.

Part of the delay Semantic UI has shown was due to differences between Jack Lukic and Levi Thomason, one of the main collaborators in the project, about the necessary changes. Thomason considers CSS in JS to be the future of web development and insisted on leading the project in that direction.

Currently, Semantic UI is still in development and now with other forks as an alternative for those who do not fully agree with the changes of the main collaborators. On its website, the framework has detailed documentation, and there are already some materials to learn how to use it in English, like this video:

Which is better: Bootstrap or Semantic UI?

This cliche question merits a cliche answer: it depends on the project. If a unique design is not the main thing, you have time to spare, and you prefer to have a lot of resources available online to solve problems, Bootstrap may be the most reliable alternative. On the other hand, Semantic UI can be an alternative worth trying for a project that needs to be completed in a short time, and that requires unique design, but keep in mind that the fact that the community is still small can cause trouble if you get stuck somewhere.

Categories
IT Development

IT Industries are getting sick

Due to the coronavirus containment measures, a series of events in the technology industry have been canceled by large technology companies, some of them highly anticipated by the community.

The industry production chain has also been affected, as a large part of the production of components is concentrated in China.

Not all sectors have been equally affected, as well as not all companies. Some components have a reasonably automated production, so they had no problem other than shipping. Instead, other companies suffered even on the stock market.

E3: Game over

Perhaps the most famous case so far is the cancellation of E3, the largest video game event in the world where brands present their new games to the public.

The event would take place in Los Angeles between June 9-11. In a statement, the Entertainment Software Association announced its decision after consulting with the event’s organizing members.

Instead of the classic E3 presentations, the companies will make a live broadcast to announce the releases and news they will have for gamers in 2020.

E3 will reimburse all participants who had already paid for the event.

Facebook also cancels the F8

The company has also canceled the F8, the main Facebook developer event. The conference was to take place at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center between May 5-6.

On the cancellation of the event, the director of the Facebook development platforms Konstantinos Papamiltiadis announced that to prioritize the health and safety of its developer partners, employees and other people who help with the event, the company decided to cancel it.

In addition to the cancellation of the event, the company has given the World Health Organization (WHO) free advertising to communicate to the world the measures it must take to prevent the spread of the virus.

Mobile World Congress 2020 outside the coverage area

In Barcelona, they also canceled the most critical event for the Mobile subsector. From February, the organizers announced that it would be impossible for them to proceed with the exhibition, which brings together several of the most critical players in the mobile device industry in the world.

Among the companies that had already confirmed their participation in the event are Nokia, Vodafone, BT, Deutsche Telekom, HMD, AT&T, Sprint, Cisco, Facebook, Intel, Royole, Sony, Amazon, LG, Vivo, Ericsson, and Nvidia. Meanwhile, ZTE and TCL.

Apple also falls into quarantine

The apple company also had to cancel its most significant developer event, which would take place on March 13.

Furthermore, as much of the company’s production chain is located in China, the company had to find alternatives for its plants in Wuhan, which had to be closed in the face of a health emergency.

The worst part of it was on the New York Stock Exchange, where its share price fell dramatically.

Google closes the curtain

Google, which has offices in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, announced that it would temporarily close these sites, as the health emergency passed. He asked his workers in Korea and Japan to work at home in the coming days, a recommendation he extended to workers in the United States in the past week.

Also, the campaign asked its employees, who have immediate family members who were in China recently, to work at home for fourteen days to avoid infection.

Google also canceled events, such as its Cloud Conference, that last year brought together more than 30,000 people. Instead, this conference will be digital-only.

The IT industry production chain is affected

With a large number of components made in China, the production chain of the technology industry has been affected, according to an analysis by the consulting firm TrendForce.

Some components present more problems than others for the industry. For example, most semiconductors are produced automatically, so their impact is less. However, shipments of this product may be reduced.

Memory device companies won’t have too much trouble with this product, either, as the companies had warehouses full in anticipation of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

The Internet of Things industry does not present significant problems. However, the situation could cause the research and development of this item to stop.

In contrast, the production of panels and optical communications presents serious problems. Production and prices of these products remain uncertain due to cuts in workers due to quarantine. In the case of optical communications, 25 percent of the production of optical fibers is located in Wuhan, which has caused the production chain to have problems.

Other products that may have problems are wearables that will be affected by a lack of materials and labor, in addition to laptops and LCD monitors, which are expected to drop in shipments. Smartphone production is also expected to hit its lowest point in the last fifteen years.

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IT Development Web Development

CSS Layouts: Know why Flexbox and Grid are getting popular

For some people with many years on web development, float positioning was a default option for creating a CSS Layout. But nowadays, web developers have more options and fewer bugs with Flexbox or CSS Grid.

Creating CSS Layouts with Flexbox and CSS Grids is super easy. However, the learning curve could be the first blocker for many web developers. So, many of them still trust the unreliable floats, the unflexible positioned elements, or the complex Bootstrap.

A brief layout’s story

Websites have changed a lot in the last decades. They started as static pages without any format. Now, you can find an utterly interactive webpage with a lot of users creating content at the same time. 

Websites have advanced because web-development has done. In the early years, Web-developers figured out how to create layouts using tables; a practice punished nowadays by search-engines and semantic web advocates. 

Float and position properties became a better solution for CSS Layouts for a while. Float property started like a valuable way to give webpages a magazine look-a-like feeling. So, developers can arrange an image and let the text flow around it, or they can create boxes with particular box info aside from the main article. 

After a while, web-developers realized that they also could use float property for building more dynamic and responsive layouts. However, developing CSS layouts wasn’t the first aim of the float property. So, sometimes it can be a real headache when trying to design a responsive site, or it couldn’t be the most elegant solution when you need to specify to clear in each element after a float.

In recent years, two new CSS modules have arrived to revolutionize the way that we create CSS Layouts: Flexbox and CSS Grid. These CSS techniques allow web-developers to build more complex and responsive design layouts that work in many browsers.

Know the Grid

Since October 2017, all major browsers -Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge- offer support on CSS Grid Layout without vendors prefixes. Now, web-developers have a powerful two-dimension tool for developing CSS layouts in less time and with fewer problems.

For some people, Grid offers “the most powerful layout system available in CSS.” Like a two-dimensional system, developers can set columns and rows up. 

How easy is using a Grid Layout in CSS? It’s incredibly easy. The first step is creating a Grid container element. It could be a “main” or “aside” element, or a div with a particular class. For example:

.my-first-grid {
  display: grid;

Then, specify how many columns and rows will the Grid have:

  grid-template-columns: repeat(4, 1fr);
  grid-template-rows: repeat(4, 20px);

The last lines mean four columns of the same proportion and four rows of 20 pixels each one. So, your code will look like this:

.my-first-grid {
  display: grid;
  grid-template-columns: repeat(4, 1fr);
  grid-template-rows: repeat(4, 20px);
}

Then, place the child elements of the grid-column and grid-row:

.my-first-child-element {
  grid-column: 1/2;
  grid-row: 2/3;
}

That means “place these class on the first column and the second row.”

You can find more detailed documentation about Grid in A complete guide to Grid or play this game meanwhile mastering the basic concepts.

Think inside the Flexbox

The Flexible Box Layout or Flexbox is a module aiming to distribute space or aligning items inside a container in the easiest way possible. Currently, it’s a W3C Recommendation with its last update in November 2018. 

A crucial difference between Flexbox and Grid it’s that Flexbox is a one-dimension system. Creating columns and rows in flexbox isn’t possible, but that’s a core part of its flexibility. Web-developers can order items and manage the space between them, even without knowing the size of the container.

This feature is convenient nowadays when web-developers need to design websites that users will retrieve in a wide variety of devices, like smartphones, laptops, or tablets.

Flexibility is an asset, and Flexbox gives that.

For displaying Flexbox, you select Flexbox in the display property of a container:

my-first-flexbox-container {
	display: flexbox;
}

Pretty easy, isn’t it? Yes, but beginners will need to learn some basic things about flexbox to take full advantage of this tool.

First, the default axis is horizontal-based and goes from left to right. If there’re four elements inside a container, they will order in this way by default:

Image from Mozilla Developer´s page.

For changing the order of the elements, add flex-direction property. For changing the initial position of the items, add justify-content property. For example, for ordering items like a column in the center, the code would be:

my-first-flexbox-container {
    display: flex;
    flex-direction: column;
    justify-content: center;
}

Master the basic concepts of Flexbox with A complete Guide to Flexbox and get fun playing this game.

Which is better: Flexbox, or Grid?

Both Grid and Flexbox can be used for building responsive design and complex layouts, but they are different techniques, and, like every web project, one is better than the other depending on what do you want to achieve.  

Flexbox is a simple, reliable, and fast solution for small-layouts and the elements of an application. Meanwhile, Grid is a more reliable technique for big-scale layouts.

Categories
IT Development

Developers already can play with Google Glass

Google Glass is already available for developers, according to Jay Kothari, Project Lead in Glass.

Glass created big expectations some years ago when the project was announced, but it was a big failure for Google when it was launched. The team had to rethink the product. After years of development, it started to become an ally in several industries.

Kothari mentioned that Glass Enterprise Edition 2 had helped people working in logistics, manufacturing, field services, and a variety of other industries. Each of these industries had something in common: they’re related to jobs done more efficiently through hands-free access to the information and tools they need to do their job.

The executive affirmed that “enterprises who have deployed Glass with experiences built by our network of solution providers have seen faster production times, improved quality, and reduced costs.”

Glass Enterprise Edition 2 was launched last May. Since then, more and more developers and businesses had been interested in building new, helpful enterprise solutions for Glass. Now, they can purchase devices directly from one of Google hardware resellers, such as CDW, Mobile Advance, or SHI.

Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is built on Android, so it’s easy for developers to work with, and for businesses to integrate the services and APIs (application programming interfaces) they already use. Google had also shared new open source applications and code samples, including sample layouts and UI components that may be helpful examples for those just getting started developing for Glass.

Categories
IT Development

01 Edu System, Nicolas Sadirac’s new computer school

According to a January 2019 report by The New York Times, a massive wave of students has recently flooded admissions to computer science majors in the United States. Tech school applicants are far outnumbering the number of seats available. Yet, new federal employment data suggests that 918,000 IT jobs will be left unfilled by the end of the current year. Even if computer science graduates have increased in number, CIOs around the world are having a hard time finding tech talent that is suitable for an increasingly specialized industry.

Even between the most academically qualified graduates, recruiters have identified a worrying misalignment between graduate know-how and the industry’s demands. While IT applications broaden and become far more complex, computer science curriculums are still based upon the same foundations and academic structures established decades ago. Furthermore, neither institutions nor faculty members are realistically able to keep up with the staggering changes and transform curricula accordingly, thus creating an educational chasm that widens year by year, what the experts call the tech skill gap.

Nicolas Sadirac, computer school developer

Nicolas Sadirac is the founder of many computer schools in France, and the designer of a novel teaching method that is booming worldwide. In Alex Beard’s book, Natural Born Learners, Nicolas Sadirac recalls going through the same struggle as present-day IT recruiters at his time as a teacher in French tech school EPITA. He says that his math student’s results “were awful” at first, but that this changed quickly once he decided to take on a different learning approach. Instead of forcing a traditional scheme, he encouraged groups of students to take on projects on their own, minimizing his presence as a teacher and involving pupils in real-world problems to solve. This new practice worked so well that, according to Sadirac, it helped reveal structural flaws in the traditional scholastic system, similar to the ones author Heather McGowan has talked about extensively.

« One of the major weakness with traditional education is that it trains people to replicate what the teacher is already doing, and that couldn’t be further from what we want to do, which is to train students to find solutions by themselves. »

Nicolas Sadirac, in an interview for Pirelli.

Over three lustra, Epitech and Web@cadémie, his first educational ventures, helped him refine his methods. Then, seven years ago, he gained media attraction when Parisian school ‘42’ —the combined effort of Sadirac and French billionaire Xavier Niel— was launched. The news outlets were fascinated to report the story of a tuition-free computer science institution that dared to get rid of what are commonly known to be the foundations of any learning space: teachers, schedules and degrees.

To the awe of many, the school performed remarkably well. Recruiters repeatedly lauded the school’s alumni, stating that their approach to real-life problems was substantially more creative and efficient than other candidates. Reportedly, more than 90% of the school’s students have found jobs in high-level postings since its inception.

Notwithstanding its success, this project was only the test probe of a larger project Nicolas Sadirac had already set his mind to. In 2019, by the time ‘42’ had opened another campus in California and over a dozen affiliated schools in Europe, the Americas, and Africa, Sadirac engaged in a more ambitious venture: the 01 Edu System.

01 Edu, the teacherless school

Founded by Nicolas Sadirac and a team of collaborators last year, 01 expands the methods developed during his previous experiences and creates an entire educational system around them.

First and foremost, 01 students are not dependent on teacher transmission to acquire knowledge. Rather than only being taught the theory and technical knowledge behind computer science —like for most conventional schools— they have to solve problems through software engineering by participating in active pedagogy. The students, both as individuals and as a group, teach themselves. It is an effort in “collective intelligence” that uses project-based education and peer-learning as means to develop student collaboration and creativity.

« We become richer by exchanging together. The Chinese say ‘you give me an idea and I’ll give you an idea, that makes two ideas.” We are not losing our knowledge by sharing it to another. »

Nicolas Sadirac, in an interview for WISE.

Even without faculty members, learning programs are well defined throughout the school’s 4-year course. While teachers in other computer science schools struggle to keep with the industry’s needs, an advanced 01 Edu System platform supplies new challenging assignments to students while tracking their performance. Moreover, the learning experience is gamified, encouraging -and often matching- the student’s motivation to learn. 

The all-inclusive social model

While the US offers attractive options for IT enthusiasts —such as the University of Stanford, the MIT and Berkeley EECS among many others— admission processes may well be disadvantaging candidates who are already unrepresented in computer science —including women, African-Americans, Latinos and low-income, first-generation college students, according to the NYT article.

Moreover, tuition fees for computer science programs like the one in Berkeley —costing around $60 0000— are often restrictive for most students. A decade ago, coding bootcamps came to fill a more affordable education market, proposing 3 to 12-week training courses that have become increasingly popular among professionals and first-entry students. However, even in these schools, the admission fee can go up to $17 000 for limited learning modules.

Online coding platforms have flourished amid this situation, offering exercises and mobile apps development adapted as gamified interfaces. Because of its freemium nature, courses are generally limited to teaching programming syntax at a basic level, instead of dealing with more complex coding projects.

The 01 Edu System has managed to integrate many of these methods into its learning structure all while staying free and open to all backgrounds. Much like Elon Musk’s comments to CNBC —stating that he did not care if applicants to AI positions at Tesla were high school graduates or not— Sadirac has always valued student motivation over credentials. Entry to 01 schools is open to all ages and it is non-dependent of degrees nor previous programming knowledge. Candidates are instead selected through cognitive tests and an intensive 4-week coding program called the Piscine, where individual profiles are assessed and identified.

A radical learning shift

The Piscine (the Pool) method is Sadirac’s very own version of a coding bootcamp. It acts both as an introductory course and applicant filter; surviving one month in the Pool ensures that every student understands the basic programming tools they will need and that they will be able to perform in 01’s learning methods.

The 01 cursus is divided into two main blocks aimed to reveal the pupil’s creative talent. First, students go through a two-year study period divided into modules, each one covering a different programming language —C, Python, Unity, and JavaScript are the current available options. From this point on, students can choose a variety of specializations, ranging from app development to data analysis, game-dev, machine learning, cybersecurity, and kernel development.

At the end of such period, each student is hired by affiliated tech firms for two years in which they will acquire professional experience but also become 01’s main income. Part of their two-year salary goes to pay out the school and helping funding two more 01’ schools to be built in the near future.

01 schools are set up faster and cheaper compared to common tech institutions. The system offers a feasible alternative for young students and professionals in developed and developing countries with tuition-free schools that can be created for a fraction of the expense a traditional computer science institute requires. Institutions from all around the world can adhere to this system through the label Zone 01, setting up an entire network of coding organizations under the same standard.

According to Nicolas Sadirac, the 01 Edu System is flexible enough to wander off the usual territories of computer-related subjects and take on many other disciplines.

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IT Development

When solutions fail: the problems of a bad software development

Technology is to solve our problems, but only if it works well. This phrase is a truism. However, it still seems that both companies and governments do not have it entirely clear when developing technological solutions.

An investigator in Artificial Intelligence mentioned on one occasion that in Mexico, the system is a green dwarf that is hidden in computers and always falls. This jocular comment refers to an explanation that Mexican users commonly hear when requesting a service that requires an electronic machine or Internet connection: “the system went down.”

This excuse was the same used in the 1988 elections, when Carlos Salinas de Gortari, the candidate of the Party in power, went down in the vote count. Suddenly, a connection failure caused the results to stop showing. When the connection returned, Salinas de Gortari appeared leading the voting.

These types of failures were to be expected at a time when technology was barely being implemented. Even in more developed countries, technological shortcomings are frequent. When the Hubble telescope was launched into space in 1990, the researchers in charge of the project encountered several problems. The failures ranged from vibrations of its structure that affected the quality of the images, memory losses of the on-board computers, and a defect in the primary mirror that caused the telescope images to be blurred. These problems cost millions of dollars in repairs.

To err is a human characteristic, not of underdeveloped countries. However, both governments and companies must take quality seriously in the development of their technological applications and invest the resources necessary for them to function correctly. Only in this way can they offer products that offer trust among users and do not damage the image of the government.

Case study: #TeBuscamosKaren

On Tuesday, December 3, Karen Espíndola disappeared after sending a message to her mother, worried about the suspicious aspect of the taxi driver. This was the chronology of the facts:

Around 8:20 p.m., Laura Karen sent a message to her mother to warn that she would take a taxi.

At 8:58 p.m., Karen sent a second message saying that the unit driver looked suspicious and rude.

That was the last time the young woman had contact with her family before disappearing. His mother asked him to get out of the taxi and send his location, but Laura didn’t answer anymore.

From that moment, family and friends asked for help in social networks. Her brother, Daniel Espíndola, shared Laura’s conversation with her mother and a photo.

“Do not enter calls or whats. We only know that they turned the cell phone on and off. She was dressed as in this photo, with black leggings, measuring 1.65-1.70,” Daniel wrote.

On Twitter, the hashtag #TeBuscamosKaren became a trend. This broadcast caused an official to share the “My Taxi CDMX” tool, which includes a panic button to notify the authorities of a dangerous situation.

A modern solution for a growing problem in Mexico City. However, users report a problem: the app does not work as it should.

The complaints have not only been from users, but also from expert developers who pointed out several shortcomings of the application. One even simulated the app, showing that a better and open source could be made.

An app with poor performance not only offers a bad image of the government, which remains incompetent. It also endangers users who are considering it as a reliable option in emergencies.

A country with talent that is not being used

The problem is not a sign of incompetence on the part of Mexican programmers, nor for the lack of technological tools. Mexico is a country that is increasingly gaining confidence in the software development industry. Large and medium-sized software companies have decided to establish themselves in the country, partly because of their proximity to the United States both geographically and culturally. Although Mexico City is the most developed metropolis, other cities have gained prestige over time.

The problem is the talent that is not being used in the country. And this situation happens on several levels. In the area of ​​technology, the Mexican education system has had problems keeping up. In many cases, young people do not find space to develop within companies.

Mexico faces many problems. Technological innovation can contribute to solutions, as long as it is well done.

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IT Development

Software development centers are choosing Mexico for expansion

In this month, the Argentine company Baufest opened offices in Monterrey. This software and IT services development company reaffirmed its expansion strategy and commitment to Mexico with this action, as more and more technology companies do.

That Monterrey (Nuevo León) is the site chosen by Baufest for the opening of its new offices is not fortuitous. Currently, Mexico City is where technology companies are most concentrated in the country. Still, the governments of other states have sought in recent years to boost their metropolises as attractive options for the IT sector.

Read alsoTop 5 Tech Cities of Mexico.

Baufest’s goal is to generate closer attention with its customers; In addition to prospecting, in that entity, new market opportunities. Monterrey is one of the most important industrial centers in Mexico.

“We want to diversify and evolve together in the country.”

Luis Battilana, Country Manager at Baufest

Luis Battilana, country manager of this firm nationwide, highlights the advantages of investing in Mexico: “Here we find a territory of opportunities, not only to expand our operation but also, to serve the local market. We want to promote digital transformation, always maintaining a close relationship with our customers.”

A fast-growing software company

With this movement, Baufest is positioned as one of the fastest-growing companies nationwide, focused on serving the private software and IT development market. This technology company is also a consultant in digital transformation, specialized in accompanying other companies in their evolution to renew the way they work.

In the last five years, Baufest has maintained a customer satisfaction index (NPS) above 95%.

“Our new offices in San Pedro Garza, Nuevo León, represent what we want to achieve with our growth plan,” says Luis Battilana, who joins the local management of this company, along with Analía Baño, since October 1.

“We are interested in not only having a presence in the main cities of the country; but also, adapt to the culture of each client to be close to them and understand them.” 

This Argentine-born firm has 25 years of experience in Latin America and 2 thousand projects developed. Also, it maintains operations in different areas of the region, the United States and Europe, with Mexico being one of its main markets. 

“Since we arrived in this country, in 2007, we have sought to position ourselves as a different company that transforms the work of people,” says Luis Battilana, who also serves as Latam Industry Head for the Financial industry: “Today we serve large companies importance for the national market in different sectors such as Bimbo, Vitro, Sky or Santander, providing them with user-centric technological solutions”.   

Precisely, to stand out in the markets where it has a presence, Baufest maintains a close relationship with its customers. In fact, in Mexico, it has business relationships – up to 10 years – with some of the firms that have hired it. “Our approach is based on AI, machine learning, cognitive technologies, and data science,” says the manager. 

“We always seek to leave a legacy in the solutions we offer. It’s not just about offering technology, but also to produce good things for people. Always through agility, cultural transformation, and digital advancement,” he adds.  

Regarding other expansion plans they have in Mexico, Luis Battilana says that they are already working on tender projects with prestigious companies: “We will seek to continue promoting our presence, attracting more clients to our portfolio. This country provides unbeatable conditions to be one of the international technology capitals at the international level. And in that growth, we want to position Baufest.”

Domestic and foreign companies grow in Mexico

Baufest joins a plethora of technology companies that have found success in Mexico thanks to IT services outsourcing.

In this list, we have examples of national companies that started working since the Internet arrived in the country, as is the case of Softek, an IT company founded by Blanca Trevino in 1982.

At that time, the bet of being a technology development company was risky. However, in recent years, this has changed, and there is less and less doubt that Mexico has the infrastructure and human resources to grow in software development outsourcing.

This sector will be critical to the growth of the economy, not only for Mexico but also for the rest of Latin America. For 2019, global outsourcing expects to grow by 10%.

The possibility of growth is wide for Latin America, although at present, the region represents only 3.5% of the market in the world.

Currently, software companies in Mexico are not limited to meeting the needs of this country. The proximity to the United States opens the possibility of exporting services to the United States. In some cases, these companies maintain offices in the Bay Area of San Francisco, while their development centers work in Mexico.

In Mexico, there is still a need to modernize education to meet the demand of software companies. Even, the country is increasingly positioned as an option both to hire services and to expand technology companies.