So how does Spotify know to suggest Britney to me when I’m in my car? Or my phone recognizes that at 6 pm, when standing in my kitchen, I’m most likely to use Audible or the Podcasts application?

Recommendation engines, for better or worse, have clearly proven their staying power in the tangled and close-knit lives most of us live with the internet. This is especially true on social media apps, where the ability to understand and predict a user’s next move ties directly into a company’s ability to monetize that product (the product being us, not their app). …


The sun is going up and down over a frantic New York City. Developers are click-clacking on their blocky computers and this great voice in the sky is telling me that software is disrupting every industry. I’m eating pizza and hungover and just graduating college. It’s 2010. There’s a couch and a coffee table and a big CRT television with this loud commercial on.

He says databases are the lifeblood and backbone of the internet. Databases are old, he says. They’re outdated and built on tech from forty years ago. I’m not old, not yet. Why are my parent’s databases…


What is React?

React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It says it right here on the website.

That said, library may be a bit misleading. It may be better to consider React as a full framework, a framework insistent upon ease of operation and fluidity. Created and maintained by Facebook, React is a wonderful tool for quick and interactive pages. It really is hard to imagine modern social media without all the real-time bells and whistles that are made so comfortable and easy by React.

At its core, React is Component and State based, and this is…


I tried to make a mental note of how many APIs I used yesterday. I gave up by lunch.

The morning started with iPhone’s weather app, I needed to know if I should bring a rain jacket with me on the dog walk. The Weather Channel’s API says clear skies, all systems go. Next, Nellie (my dog), remarkably quick on the uptake, is jumping up and down while I fumble to get my headphones on and pull up Spotify. There’s two.

So, before we get too far into my day-to-day routine, let’s nail down some fundamentals about APIs. …


The new operator is an expeditious little line of code in JavaScript. A part of pseudoclassical instantiation, new is a concise and speedy tool for optimized object creation.

MDN explains that the new operator “lets developers create an instance of a user-defined object type or of one of the built-in object types that has a constructor function.” If you’re able to get past the slightly broken metaphor, I find it helpful to imagine new as a microwave (of sorts). It allows you to heat up a bit of code quickly and en masse.

Under the hood, our new keyword does…


The definition of recursion made sense to me long before its application. Anyone who has spent time in a bootcamp or a CS program knows there is no shortage of resources online that clearly state and define what recursion is: Recursion is when a thing is defined by itself or its type. In nature we might envision this as a fractal.

fun little fractals

In computer programming, recursion is when a function calls itself — until it doesn’t. This, at surface level, feels simple.

There are only three steps involved in any recursive function — but they are all vital:

1. Base Case…

Zachary Hester

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