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Re/act: Innovation, Machine Learning, and Culture of Collaboration

At Cantina, our team is constantly sharing and discussing emerging trends, opinions and thought-leadership within the tech industry. It helps us stay up-to-date on what’s happening and collectively contribute to each other's knowledge and learning. But why keep it just to our ourselves? We believe that in order to demonstrate knowledge, it means sharing what we learn with those around us. That’s why we’ve decided to launch a weekly blog series recapping some of the most relevant, compelling tech news articles shared by our staff. We hope you’ll find it useful — and something you’ll want to share with your organization.

Ready to catch up on some of the latest tech news? Here’s what caught the attention of our team this week.


Box’s top strategy official talks innovation - article by Ron Miller (@ron_miller)

The cloud content management and file sharing service behemoth Box recently opened up about some ways the company has kept its edge, and grown into a $500 million run rate. A few key takeaways include what might be considered some basic strategies to innovation success: utilizing defined processes and methodology to continue structuring teams correctly (8-10 people is good), reacting positively to change and being cognizant of the marketplace. Establishing rules and metrics is vital; these tell you whether the team is succeeding or failing at any given time. Targeting problems that can deliver value is another key takeaway from Box Chief Strategy Officer Jeetu Patel’s remarks. His comments held an underlying tone that Box takes nothing for granted and intends to continue innovating as efficiently and successfully as possible.

“Having very defined local missions, having [small] teams carrying out those local missions, and making sure that those team sizes don’t get too large so that they can stay very agile, is a pretty important kind of core operating principle of how we build products.” Jeetu Patel, Chief Product and Chief Strategy Officer at Box


Machine learning is already revolutionizing your job — in more ways than you know - article by Ben Lorica (@bigdata) and Mike Loukides (@mikeloukides)

As computers continue their evolution as ‘general-purpose machines’ versus their past as ‘number crunchers,’ there could be an unintended consequence for the software developers whose job is to push that evolution; automating parts of their own jobs. Software has been built the same way since the 1970s using a mix of low and high-level computing languages, scripts and tools. Machine learning has been helpful to collect data and make coding more efficient. Future advances in the field will enable us to craft products that are faster, more reliable and better for the world — and allow developers to reallocate their time. While more automation can be a scary thought, it could revolutionize the purpose of developers everywhere: to focus more on those world-changing, high-level problems rather than making sure every line of code is clean enough to get that app on the App Store.


Code reviews build a culture of collaboration and openness - article by Ida Aalen (@idaaa)

Collaborating on new products is absolutely essential to create products and services that matter to customers. Getting more eyes during testing is not a new idea, but it’s notoriously difficult to get designers and developers seeing eye to eye as the digital and screen use continues to evolve. More and more companies (including Cantina) are realizing that a product can only truly succeed if it’s built by collaborating across disciplines. Because of this new methodology, the long-used waterfall model is all but dead; however, that sometimes leaves designers involved without a plan or vision for the project. Code reviews not only allow for that extra check on everyone’s work, it opens people up to the idea that scrutiny of one’s work shouldn’t be something to feel threatened by, but a welcome part of the process of accomplishing the ultimate goal: creating a great product for your client.


Re/act is our weekly take on some of the tech world’s biggest stories curated by humans not bots. Cantina is a strategic design and development agency based in Boston, Massachusetts. We help organizations innovate, grow and deliver better digital products and services that matter to customers.

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