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If you have been following the news lately, you have probably seen some visualizations using COVID-19 data to show how new cases have spread in different parts of the world. These visualizations can be a useful way to put statistics into context on a global scale. I wanted to demonstrate how these visualizations are created because it is a useful exercise in translating raw numbers into a format that resonates with people. Once you’ve completed this tutorial, you’ll have the tools to create different kinds of visualizations from data sets of all kinds.

I am a senior software engineer and a coach for Major League Hacking — I will be walking you through the steps for importing data into MongoDB’s Atlas and some visualizations for that data once you get it uploaded. (Fun fact: I use MongoDB and Atlas in my job every day.) …


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Charts | Atlas | Data from MongoDB

One of the most powerful data storage technologies available in 2019, MongoDB is a worthwhile tool to add to your box for any stage of your career. It’s a cross-platform document-oriented database program and the most popular non-relational database by miles. You may be familiar with the general upsides and be able to run a few queries, but MongoDB Cloud Atlas has even more available. There is a wealth of tools for visualizing and interpreting your data as well. And most of it is free! …


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As software engineers, we are always deciding whether the testing we have done is sufficient to release what we are developing. Some teams require more explicit sign-offs before reaching this level, like a certain level of test coverage, or a certain number of code review approvals; whereas,n others leave the test resiliency entirely up to the developer. Still, the decision on whether our work is sufficiently tested is often left up to us to some extent. We ask ourselves in these cases, “How much testing is enough?”


So you have been considering getting into the conference speaking field? Well you’re in luck, it’s a great time to jump in! Maybe you gave a talk at a local meetup and enjoyed it. Maybe you attended an event recently and started to think about ways you could contribute to the attendees. Maybe you ran across a good talk on YouTube that inspired you.

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You got this! (source: Getty Images)

I have been speaking at conferences, reviewing proposals for events, and coaching new speakers for the last couple of years. …


I have always been somewhat afraid of change. Weeks before my 8th grade “graduation” I was suddenly filled with nostalgia and the need to capture memories with signatures from all my classmates in my yearbook (which is ridiculous because I hated middle school and this venture produced only pages of “Signed your crack” remarks). Four years later as I prepared to graduate high school I divided my time between making embarrassing vision boards for college and crying with my friends in my beat up car as we promised to stay friends forever. …


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The official student hackathon league Major League Hacking sends coaches to events to help participants come up with ideas, build their projects, demo, and receive prizes. As coaches we see the good, the bad, and the ugly of these events. This piece has some of our best advice on how to have an excellent hackathon experience, from arrival to final demo time.

The reigning motto of hackathons is “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” Teams meet, scramble to come up with a viable idea, and then assign roles and dive in — often in the course of under an hour. Necessarily less polished than something with a longer scope, hackathon projects are exciting and fast-paced. It is common to change directions several times in the interest of time or feasibility. Hackathon culture is extremely valuable and has been leveraged in the tech industry with mottos like “Move fast, break things” and internal hackathon week events that are now held at companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Zillow, Pinterest, and many more. …


Interviewing for jobs in college can be very challenging and time-consuming. Technical interviews (i.e. interviews with questions specific to technical details of a role) have an added air of mystery that can make these interviews even more stressful.

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if at first you don’t succeed,,,

As I near my graduation date, I decided to reflect on my job interview experiences throughout college. I want to preface this with some discussion of my circumstances. The University of Illinois, like many engineering schools, offers students many opportunities to meet recruiters and interview. I am tremendously grateful for this environment and it has definitely pushed me to do better.

This is a story about my interviewing experiences. To start out, I attempted to tally the number of interviews I have undergone throughout the last 4 years. …

About

Amanda Sopkin

Software Engineer at Zillow

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