Web browsers are the modern operating system. Google’s Chrome OS, an operating system that runs the Chrome Browser exclusively, is now the second most popular desktop operating system. Additionally, the rise of Electron and similar cross-platform frameworks means that many of the applications we use every day (e.g., Slack) are actually browser applications in disguise.
The ubiquity of browsers has cemented their critical role in consumer productivity and self-efficacy. Given this importance, I wanted to learn how browser extensibility has evolved over the years. Since I couldn’t find a complete history, I set out to write my own.
I still remember the first time I got my hands on a first-gen Chromebook.
It was 2011 and I was a computer science PhD student at the idyllic University of Washington. I was coming into my own as a tech guinea pig — Amazon had given my class large-screened Kindle DXs to test their feasibility for textbooks. And, instead of a laptop, I had opted for a desktop plus a Netbook with a screen and keyboard that were comically small for my 6' 4" frame.
Frustrated with the sluggish Kindle and Netbook, I immediately applied when Google announced its Chromebook…
We asked senior IT leader and RPA expert, Doug Shannon, a few questions about his experience with RPA. Here’s what we heard:
Doug Shannon: Companies building toward automation or digital democratization need a team or group to lead, govern, and provide process improvement. The RPA team or better-known COE team monitors and controls this role and RPA platform.
Doug Shannon: The largest mistake a company can make when looking to utilize RPA is to not have a COE. …
If you’re like most developers, you’ve probably encountered Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) selectors for styling webpages.
For example, the following CSS rule combines a paragraph element selector
p with a class name selector
.lead to set the font size:
We can mix-and-match CSS selectors to describe any subset of elements on a page. There are CSS selectors for HTML tag types, ids, classes, attributes, page structure, and even UX interactions.
Because of their expressiveness, CSS selectors are used everywhere in the web ecosystem:
My freshman year of college, I interned as an “equities analyst”. What this meant in practice was that I was supposed to look up numbers in a terminal, and then type them into an Excel spreadsheet. The software provider hadn’t gotten around to implementing export for the data yet.
Not wanting to spend a whole summer entering data, I set out to put my computer science classes to use. I coded up a flow where I took screenshots, passed them through off-the-shelf OCR software, and then had a script add them to the spreadsheet. …
In the engineering world, a flywheel is a device with a rotor that accumulates, stores, and smooths energy flow. A flywheel has a high moment of inertia, so once it’s in motion, it’s almost as if it were a perpetual motion machine.
In the business world, a flywheel is a cycle where a company gains an edge, leading to better outcomes, which in turn compounds that edge. In the field of Systems Theory, such a cycle is known as a virtuous cycle or reinforcing loop.
The flywheel business concept was popularized in Jim Collin’s 2001 book Good to Great. Over…
Welcome to our new blog exploring the science of hiring! We’ll be using this space to investigate the question:
How can teams most effectively hire and develop talent to achieve their goals?
Along the way, we’ll be drawing on a broad array of fields and mental models — everything from psychology to economics to artificial intelligence.
Here’s a sampling of the topics we’ll be covering:
Make sure to “Follow” the Science of Hiring so that you don’t miss a post!
Interested in making better hiring decisions in less time? Try out Interview GPS, which make it easy for any team to run a best-in-class structured hiring process
Co-founder @ PixieBrix. University of Washington CompSci PhD. Formerly AI at Bridgewater Associates. Machine ✘ Business Intelligence