Setting up React Native build environments using NativeModules

By on in Development, Everything Else, JavaScript

React Native is an emerging platform in the mobile space that allows developers to write native apps in Javascript without having to learn Java or Swift. It’s great conceptually, but developers end up having to write NativeModules (for iOS and Android) anyway because it lacks the tools that other frameworks generally provide. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to pass your build environment from the native environment to your javascript environment. In the process, you should get a better idea of how to build simple NativeModules.

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Open Source 101: Be a Contributor

By on in Development, Open Source

If you’ve spent anytime writing software, you’ve used an open source project. Open source projects save you time and energy by leveraging other people’s experience and hard work, leaving you free to focus on the core features of your project. Often people want to contribute to these projects, but don’t know where to start. They are afraid their contributions will be ignored or, worse yet, attacked. With tools like GitHub freely available for open source projects, anyone can become a contributor. If you follow a few simple steps, you can have a positive experience. Continue reading …


Top 10 Product Mistakes Made by First Time Founders

By on in Mobile, Product Management, Startups

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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

By on in C5 Labs, Development, Everything Else

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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?

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C5 Labs: Daily Ascent

By on in C5 Labs, Design, Development, Mobile

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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).

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