Top 10 Product Mistakes Made by First Time Founders

By on in Mobile, Product Management, Startups

regrets

 

The tech scene (especially in the Bay Area) has reached a point where it’s expanded way past techies. It seems successful people from all different industries are drawn to the promise, reach, and money in tech. Doctors, bankers, artists, and even educators are launching startups and talking about MVPs. It’s definitely exciting and inspires me everyday. But, building a great product is sometimes more of an art than a science, and first time founders make common mistakes. From a company that has worked with more startups than it can count, and has seen its fair share of first time product mistakes, here are some of the most common ones to avoid.

Continue reading …


My Apprenticeship at Carbon Five

By on in Everything Else

When the opportunity came up to participate in the Carbon Five apprenticeship program in April, I was first in line. With two other apprentices, I spent the next three months at Carbon Five, working alongside a mentor across client and internal projects.

I had been working as a junior developer for about a year and was looking for an opportunity that provided mentorship that would allow me to level-up my skill set. I would often be asked why quit your job and take an apprenticeship position when you are already working. Yet given the experience I had, if all apprenticeships were like that of Carbon Five, I think they would be invaluable to any junior developer. So why? Continue reading …


Elixir in the Trenches

By on in Development, Elixir

At Carbon Five, we’ve been getting excited about Elixir and Phoenix – with its promise of the productivity of Ruby and Rails without the performance penalty. We’ve used it for a few of our internal projects with great success, but we’re always wary of any new technology’s hype cycle. We wanted a bit more experience working with Elixir on a real project.

We recently had the opportunity to do so. The project was an iOS application that made heavy use of the device’s location services; users can share where they are and what they’re doing. We needed a backend for an API, and to keep all connected clients up-to-date. From the start, Phoenix and its channels seemed like a great fit. Today, we’d like to share some of what we learned.

Continue reading …


Services and Serverless – Carbon Five LA Talk Night August 17th

By on in Announcements, Development, Docker, Events, Los Angeles, Microservices, Ops, Web

The micro-services push is on with developers writing simpler applications that interact with each other. But how do you deploy these services? Manage versions and discoverability? Learn two approaches from our August 17th Talk Night speakers as they cover using Docker or going completely server-less with Amazon Web Services’ Lambda!

First we’ll have Samuel Chow, Head of Mobile at Farmers Insurance, give an “Intro to Docker”:

Docker has become one of the hottest technologies in the industry. But what is Docker? Why do developers love it and why might you want to use it? We will cover how it works and introduce the Docker terminology and toolset.

Then Grindr’s Principal Applications Engineer Tom Bray walks us through “Going Serverless with AWS Lambda”:

Microservices got you down? Come learn how to implement Serverless architectures with AWS Lambda and API Gateway from someone who has done it in the real world. Get a glimpse of life beyond the operational overhead that Microservices require and discover the benefits of Serverless. Decrease time to market, reduce operational cost, and let AWS Lambda handle scaling for you automatically while you only pay for the compute you use.

Our doors will open at 6pm with pizza, drinks (including non-alcoholic options), and of course wi-fi provided. The talks will kick-off at 7pm, with Q&A interspersed throughout.

So sign up on Meetup and get ready to get some macro-knowledge on building micro-services!


C5 Labs: Vrogger

By on in C5 Labs, C5 Labs, Culture

2016-07-25 16_29_00

 

For the last two weeks a few of us here at Carbon Five Santa Monica explored our latest love, Virtual Reality, by creating a game from scratch. We had a hard time limit of two weeks and our team was small. Just Bhavna, Sidney, Nicole, and Rudy working on a full game experience, with levels, sound and design.

This was completely an exercise in prioritization and exploration of a platform that only half the team had any experience with.

So, after just 10 working days, we present a variation of an 80’s classic and favorite: VRogger!

Continue reading …


DIY Pokemon Go: Our Experience Building an Augmented Reality Scavenger Hunt

By on in C5 Labs, Development, Everything Else

feature

 

Thanks to PokemonGO, the streets are filled with people racing around cities, stopping to interact with virtual characters they could see through their phone camera. The experience is familiar to us at Carbon Five; 6 months ago we were doing the same thing on the streets of San Francisco playing our own augmented reality game. A game our tiny, three person team conceived, built and delivered in under a month, in and around our regular client workload!

This was no simple feat. In addition to the tight timeline, most of our day to day work focuses on mobile and web applications. Working in 3D was something only some of us have tried, with little practical experience.

So how did we do it?

Continue reading …


C5 Labs: Daily Ascent

By on in C5 Labs, Design, Development, Mobile

da-tv-inuse

There is plenty of research to show that taking stairs is one of the best ways to work out without taking time out to exercise. Taking the elevator wastes electricity, and the stairs are a great opportunity to improve overall health. With this in mind, we wanted to encourage people to start thinking about using the stairs over elevators.

Though there are lots of great social health tracking apps out there, we wanted to try using wellness as an excuse to build community around a physical location (the Edney building staircase).

Continue reading …


Rails, meet Phoenix: add Phoenix to your Rails ecosystem with session sharing

By on in Elixir, Microservices, Rails

You’ve resolved to build your company’s Next Big Thing in Phoenix and Elixir. That’s great! You’re facing a problem though – all user authentication and access concerns are performed on your Rails system, and the work to reimplement this in Phoenix is significant.

Fortunately for you, there is a great Phoenix plug to share session data between Rails and Phoenix. If you pull this off, you’ll be able to build your new API on your Phoenix app, all while letting Rails handle user authentication and session management. Let’s get started!

Continue reading …


Design by Listening Inside and Out – Carbon Five LA Talk Night July 20th

By on in Announcements, Design, Events, Los Angeles

Designing good UX is an iterative process that begins and ends with the same core action; listening. But who do we listen to and how? As the speakers of our July 20th design themed Talk Night will demonstrate, you listen to everyone! Whether they’re the person you believe your product is for or your fellow teammates facing the same issues you do, listening and processing their feedback guides you to designs that delight and deliver.

Kicking off the evening is Carbon Five alum Alexa Roman, giving a talk titled “Metrics That Matter”:

Design and engineering have value. We need to do a better job of proving it. Too often, we leave metrics to someone else, when we can directly learn and show the impact we’re having. Learn how to initiate and implement a metrics strategy from someone who really cares about money. And people. But mostly, money.

Then, LA design community leader Geremy Mumenthaler talks about his experiences with The Noun Project as they learned “The Largest UX Team is Also the Smallest”:

Noun Project created its newest product Lingo by listening to the of problems our community and empowering our whole team with UX tools to understand those problems. Through prototyping, iteration, and a scrappy attitude, we launched a brand new product that teams needed.

Our doors will open at 6pm with pizza, drinks (including non-alcoholic options), and of course wi-fi provided. The talks will kick-off at 7pm, with Q&A interspersed throughout.

So sign up on Meetup, and show up with your questions and ideas. We’re ready to listen!

Update: We have a change of speaker from own Nicole Thayer, who sadly could no longer present, to Alexa Roman, who generously agreed to step in. Thanks, Alexa!