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Economy, Software Nation

Norway is one of the Northern European countries that is characterized by its rugged coastline, huge fjords and thousands of islands spanning 83.281 km. The roads are very curvy, making it a hard and long journey to travel along the coast. Traveling Norway from the North to South could take around 23 hours. The current highway, which connects both points, goes through several fjords and mountains and you must take seven ferries, which can make for a dangerous trip when the weather conditions are bad. In order for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration to make the drive easier, they are developing an outstanding project that is very unique. When the project is completed, it will reduce the journey between Kristiansand in the South to Trondheim in the North to just 10 hours driving time.

E39 Coastal Highway is considered by experts to be one of the biggest engineering projects in the world. It will cost around $30 million and it is expected to be completed by 2035. It will involve renewing the whole road through route E39, building new highway bridges and two huge, curved, parallel underwater tunnels, which will be submerged 20 to 30-meters below the surface of the Norwegian Sea and then connected to massive floating pontoons to stabilize the structure. Every tunnel will have two lanes, one for traffic and the other for emergencies, maintenance and bike lanes. There will also be ventilation and a light system. Although much research has been done, problems and delays could still appear during the construction. This is because the floor of every fjord has it’s own delicate geology and bridges can disrupt maritime activities.

In the beginning the idea was to build bridges all along the coast by connecting fjords, but it was rejected because it would be much more expensive due to fjord extent and it would also interfere with maritime traffic. Fjords are one of the main touristic attractions in Norway, which means that many ships sail every day through this natural paradise. In addition, many navy vessels use this area for military spec tests.

Despite the high cost of E39 Coastal Highway project, the economy will improve due to the reduction costs in exportation. About 57% of them will come from the West region and will be made by maritime transport. The new structure will reduce transport costs and the economy will become more efficient. On the other hand, the Norwegian population can take advantage of what the construction will mean to people who live in difficult areas of access, especially because they will not have to wait for a helicopter if they run into an emergency situation. Certainly, E39 Coastal Highway will improve the quality of life for many nearby inhabitants.

Innovation is not new in Norway. The country currently hosts with the longest road-tunnel, a 24.5 km tunnel that was built in 2000 under the Norwegian mountains and it connects Laerdal and Aurlud. Norway is also home to the deepest underwater tunnel, which is 7.76 km long with a depth of 286 meters. Depending on the success of E39 Coastal Highway project, the Norwegian government will consider installing an additional floating tunnel to help smooth out the problems with its unique geographical location.

Modern engineering has allowed engineers to build many astonishing projects in just the last few years. All of them – roads, bridges, ports, airports and reservoirs among many others – aim to make people’s lives easier and to impact the economic growth of the country by improving it. Both of these goals can’t be reached without the power of an essential tool nowadays: technology.

 

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Cognitive Computing, Health technology, Projects, Software Nation

About every 43 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack. That means each year, approximately a million people have a heart attack in the United States alone and about half of them die. In fact, about one-half of those who die do so within 1 hour of the start of symptoms before reaching a hospital.

Emergency personnel can often stop arrhythmias with emergency CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), defibrillation (electrical shock), and prompt advanced cardiac life support procedures. If care is sought soon enough, blood flow in the blocked artery can be restored in time to prevent permanent damage to the heart. Yet, most people do not seek medical care for 2 hours or more after symptoms begin. Many people wait 12 hours or longer.

What causes a heart attack?

Heart attacks are caused by a blockage that stops blood flow to the heart. A heart attack (or myocardial infarction) refers to death of heart muscle tissue due to the loss of blood supply, not necessarily resulting in the death of the heart attack victim.

Your heart muscle needs oxygen to survive. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely. This happens because coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood flow can slowly become narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances that together are called plaque. When a plaque in a heart artery breaks, a blood clot forms around the plaque. This blood clot can block the blood flow through the heart muscle. When the heart muscle is starved for oxygen and nutrients, it is called ischemia. When damage or death of part of the heart muscle occurs as a result of ischemia, it is called a heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI).

heart-beat-watson-MD

How is a Heart Attack Diagnosed?

Diagnosis and treatment of a heart attack can begin when emergency medical personnel arrive after you call 9-1-1. But, many people put off calling 9-1-1 because they are not sure they are having a heart attack.

At the hospital emergency room, doctors will work fast to find out if you are having or have had a heart attack. They will consider your symptoms, medical and family history, and test results. Initial tests such as an Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) and blood tests (Troponin, CK-MB test) or Myoglobin test) will be quickly followed by treatment if you are having a heart attack. Depending on the results of these tests you would likely proceed to do the following: a nuclear heart scan, cardiac catheterization, or coronary angiography.

How can you reduce damage?

Promptly receiving aid from a medical professional is the best way to prevent permanent damage. The only way to ensure that there is no irreparable damage is through restoring the blood flow to the blocked artery within a timely manner. For example, drugs must be administered within one or two hours of the heart attack to decrease the amount of damage done.

There are some over the counter drugs that have also been shown to have positive side effects such as Aspin and other anti-platelets, and Thrombolytic therapy; however, these are not a supplement for medical care.

So what can you do?

At the moment the best that you can do is know all of the major symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nausea lightheadedness, or cold sweats.

In a survey reported by the CDC only 27% of people were aware of all major symptoms and knew to call for medical help when someone was having a heart attack.

The Good News

We are working on a project with Dr. Henry Wu, a physician scientist and practicing cardiologist in New York City, to change all of that.

Welcome to Watson MD, an artificial intelligence app tool based on IBM Watson to help estimate the risk of a heart attack based on the characteristics of a person’s chest pain and “risk” profile.

Our mission is to help improve the chance of surviving a heart attack and guide patients with chest pain toward a diagnosis.

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Software Nation

Last week I wrote about front-end developers. This week we are revealing what goes on behind what the users see. I interviewed Milos and Milomir, two of our PHP or back-end developers at Software Nation’s European office to understand what back-end development is all about.

Back-end code can be called the brain of the application, as it is what makes the app or software actually work. It is nonvisible to the user and is run on the server. So as the front-end interacts with the user, the back-end interacts with the server to acquire information. There is a client side and a server side to an application, and the back-end is stored on the server side. When a user interacts with an application, the information is stored in a database that exists on the server. Thanks to the back-end the user is then able to return, save and change data when they interact with the application again. For example, when you sign into your email, the back-end checks that the username is valid and verifies that the password belongs to that username. Back-end is used for all kinds of calculations, logics, and storing data. Some of the programming languages used in back-end development are for example PHP, Ruby, Python, and Java.

 

What’s the first thing you do when you come to work?

Milos: Check email and Skype

Milomir: Have a coffee

What programming languages do you know?

Milos: PHP, JavaScript, HTML, CSS

Milomir: PHP, MySQL, JavaScript

Describe a typical day at Software Nation.

Milos: Going through my emails, checking in with clients on Skype, going through what was done the day before and what to do next with the team, making coffee, coding, coding, coding… writing reports.

Milomir: Work work work – and listening to Erik’s stories

What platforms do you develop for?

Milos: Web, mobile, tablet

Milomir:  Web

Explain the most advanced/complex application development project you have worked on and provide its details.

Milos: I’m part of a team that develops complex API that can run thousands of applications from a single engine.

Milomir: A video streaming website located on over 100 servers.

What sparked your interest to become a software developer?

Milos: I was looking for the best way to get cash from the infinite time I was spending on my computer 🙂

Milomir: Money

Is software development hard or easy and why?

Milos: The further you’re involved in learning new stuff in programming, eventually you’ll come to a moment where you find it interesting and not so hard to do.

Milomir: Easy – because you have a lot of documentation and video tutorials available on the internet. Nowadays it is also taught in many schools.

What’s the best thing about being a software developer?

Milos: Besides the fact that it is very well paid, it is fun working in team with other developers, planning the project’s workflow, putting it all together, and seeing the final product being used by customers.

Milomir: It’s a dynamic job.

 

Thanks Milos and Milomir for the interview! Now we have a better picture of what software developers, both those who work back-end and front-end, do.

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Software Nation

Here at Software Nation we wouldn’t be anything of course without our programmers. We decided to interview two of our front-end developers Uros and Alex about their job at Software Nation to get a better picture of what they do. But first, what is front-end development?

Front-end development is the so-called “client-side” of the website or web application. It is all the things that the users can actually see and interact with. Usually this includes both the web design and front-end development. Some of the programming languages used in front-end are HTML, JavaScript and CSS.

So what does a front-end developer do? Read below to get an insight to the daily life in our office!

 

What’s the first thing you do when you come to work?

Uros: Start working on the given tasks

Alex: Turn on the computer, prepare the environment for work and start to work on the project

 

What programming languages do you know?

U: HTML, CSS, SCSS, JS. I also have experience using Illustrator and Photoshop.

A: HTML, CSS, Sass, JavaScript, jQuery, SQL

 

Describe a typical day at Software Nation.

U: A typical day includes working on the given tasks for the projects, resolving any issues and bugs and providing feedback for the clients.

A: Working on building the front-end part of websites, sometimes working on WordPress back-end tasks, fixing bugs and helping to accomplish important tasks.

 

What platforms do you develop for?

U: I develop full-responsive websites. That means they can be viewed on any device – desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone – regardless of what operating system they use.

A: I design for all platforms: Linux, Mac OSX, Windows and mobile phones.

 

Explain the most advanced/complex application development project you have worked on and provide its details.

U: Most advanced application I have worked on is an enterprise purchasing software, because of the variety of options and services it provides.

A: The Country Care website – I worked on the foundation framework, used html, css, Sass, php, a WordPress theme and WordPress plugins. I worked on both the back-end and front-end parts.

 

What sparked your interest to become a software developer?

U: Video games 🙂

A: I love computers and to learn about new technologies.

 

Is software development difficult or easy and why?

U: It depends on the project, the people you work with, and the deadlines. If the project is big, people unorganized, and the deadlines short, then it is hard. Otherwise, it is a lot easier.

A: It’s hard, because you need to learn and improve all the time.

 

What’s the best thing about being a software developer?

U: You can work from home, or any place that has a computer and internet connection.

A: You build beautiful websites that other people can see and use, and you learn new things every day.

 

Stay tuned to hear from our back-end developers next!

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Design, Software Nation

I interviewed our designer David about his job at Software Nation. During a typical day, he does UX and UI design, communicates with clients, takes care of everyday administrative tasks and attends client meetings.

Designers take care of the creative part of developing an app or website.

UX design is short for User Experience Design. It aims to improve customer satisfaction by making the product easy to use, and the interaction with it useful and satisfactory. A UX designer plans what the customer experience will look like and how a user will interact with a product.  A few techniques that UX designers have are wireframes, user testing, and scenarios.

UI design on the other hand means User Interface Design. It is the design of user interfaces for web and mobile apps and software. UI design compliments UX by determining how an app will look like, how information is presented and how users will interact with it. UI design might also include branding, which David also has experience in.

Underneath you can read what David answered to our questions!

What’s the first thing you do when you come to work?

D: Turn my iMac on 🙂

What design languages do you know?

D: Adobe Master Collection CS6, Sketch

What platforms do you design for?

D: All of them 🙂

Explain the most advanced/complex application development project you have worked on and provide its details.

D: A purchasing software that required overcrossing UX/UI functions with a custom responsive design for multiple client roles.

What sparked your interest to become a UX/UI designer?

D: The knowledge and accomplishment in design and desire to be the best designer in this part of the world.

Is UX design hard or easy and why?

D: UX design is a complex process of trial and error. Overcoming obstacles and making a process as simple and user friendly as possible. The way to simplicity is always complicated.

What’s the best thing about being a UX/UI designer?

D: Seeing your product coming alive, and making someone’s life and business better.

 

Thanks David for the interview! Stay tuned for more interviews with our software developers.

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Software Nation
Here at Software Nation our team will do everything in their power to offer you the best solutions for your tech needs. Our team consists of professionals in UX design, web and software development (front-end and back-end), and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). We offer everything from cloud computing (big data/smart data) to complex enterprise software solutions. Our headquarters is located in Boston, Massachusetts and we have high quality offshore software development in Central Europe. The majority of our clients are U.S. enterprises and startups. We are always looking to build new relationships with consumers looking to enhance the technological outreach of their business. What can you expect when working with Software Nation? The first aspect that our clients appreciate is the 24/7 Skype support. This means that you can talk to a real team member on Skype anytime to answer any concerns you might have about the project. Even our European office has U.S. staff that works Eastern Standard Time Zone, so you don’t have to worry about the time difference. We work to provide you the best service, Monday- Friday 7am to 3pm. Secondly, our programmers code in real-time. What does this mean for you? This gives you the ability to see the back-end progress and ensure the quality of work. We don’t hold the project captive. You are able to test everything live while the project is still in the development process. At the end of each day, we make sure to push the code on our development server. This allows you to see the changes in real-time. If something is not to your satisfaction, you can let us know right away so that we can fix it immediately. Our promise to you is an e-mailed progress report from one of our Software Nation business analysts at the end of each working day. You don’t have to be tech savvy to keep atop of your project. The report is written so that everyone is able to understand the technological progress. Through these methods, we believe that we are able to effectively keep both the client and programmers up to date on the current status of the project. We will become experts in your area of interest, and make your digital needs come to life. Still having doubts? Let us prove why Software Nation is the best fit. We will ensure compatibility by providing 3 free service hours for all new clients. So what are you waiting for? Contact us today at info@software-nation.com or call +1 617-275-2635.
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