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  • By Justin Coons
    Developers Build for the New Normal: Qaunain Meghjee Qaunain Meghjee.jpg

    The tech incubator Level39 is situated in the heart of London’s Canary Wharf district, occupying four floors of the One Canada Square building, the third tallest skyscraper in Britain.

    On an average day, more than 1,200 people pass through Level39’s doors to work at one of the 200 businesses located there. Level39 will welcome another 300 daily visitors: guests of member businesses, event attendees, and diners at its bar and restaurant.

    It’s a lot to manage.

    “If you imagine it, we've got six front of house staff,” said Qaunain Meghjee, head of technology at Level39. “It’s myself, different members of the tech team, and colleagues from other teams — all ensuring everything runs smoothly across our multiple floors.”

    It’s important to make sure that only the right people have access to the right places in Level39’s facilities. Each of the 200 member businesses has its own staff with its …

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  • By Justin Coons
    Developers Build for the New Normal: Adrian Bece Adrian Bece.jpg

    Homebound is an app that can’t help but make you feel good. Created by five colleagues at the Osijek, Croatia development firm PROTOTYP as a tool to help with at-home isolation during the COVID-19 crisis, it uses vibrant colors and beautiful interfaces to create a delightful experience for the user.

    Not to mention, there is also a chatbot named Couchy.

    HomeBound signup screen screenshot

    Behind the fun and carefree exterior is a serious mission, however. The app allows users to manually collect contact tracing information. If the user falls ill with COVID-19, they can provide their contact history to health officials. The app offers an easy SMS integration to reach out to contacts while social distancing or to notify them if the user has tested positive, and it also uses gamification to help the user keep to schedules and routines while in isolation, a recommendation from the World Health Organization to maintain mental health. …

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  • By Justin Coons
    Developer Spotlight: Amber Case & Ben Greenstein Developer Spotlight: Amber Case - Ben Greenstein

    The COVID-19 crisis grounded corporate travel and forced companies to cancel their conferences, which left Amber Case stuck at home.

    The Portland-based author, researcher, and speaker traveled regularly for work, and she enjoyed vacations when she wasn’t on the job. However, with lockdowns set to extend well into the summer, it looked as though she likely wouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

    Then, one day, she received an email from collaborator Ben Greenstein.

    “He sent me this email that said ‘Hi, this is B. Greenstein from Hypothetitech. Congratulations! You have won 10 hypothetical vacations,’” Case said.

    Case could call at any time, the offer said, to experience a Choose Your Own Adventure style hypothetical vacation over the phone. With Greenstein proving the pacing and direction of the overall narrative, she could go on, say, a road trip or a vacation in the desert, and she could choose what to do …

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  • By Justin Coons
    Developers Build for the New Normal: Ryan Kauffman ryan-kauffman-header

    We are living in an era of digital acceleration. Current events have forced people around the world to drastically change how we go about our day-to-day lives, and quickly. This post kicks off our mini-series highlighting the work of developers building for the new normal.

    As the spread of COVID-19 forced schools around the country to close, Ryan Kauffman saw his wife’s work routine turned on its head.

    “When you’re a teacher, you’ve got one classroom and it’s you versus your 29 students,” said Kauffman, whose wife Kristin teaches fifth grade. “But now that she’s at home, they’re at their homes in 29 different locations, and they’ve got whatever they’ve got going on with brothers and sisters distracting them. It’s much more challenging.”

    Classrooms have moved online and that has presented teachers with the unique challenge of continuing to provide individualized attention to their students. How do you know when …

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