Here are some of the articles we’ve been reading around this office this week.

Recognizing Traffic Lights With Deep Learning – “I recently won first place in the Nexar Traffic Light Recognition Challenge, computer vision competition organized by a company that’s building an AI dash cam app. In this post, I’ll describe the solution I used. I’ll also explore approaches that did and did not work in my effort to improve my model.”

Take the Time to Use Fewer Words (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “Using fewer words isn’t a panacea to fix every user experience; it’s just one guideline, together with all the others employed by excellent writers, designers, developers, program managers, and researchers. It’s how UX writers reduce the text to create experiences that let people to do more of what they want to do — not waste their time reading explanations of how to do it.”

Spending 10 Minutes a Day on Mindfulness Subtly Changes the Way You React to Everything – “Having trained thousands of leaders in the techniques of this ancient practice, we’ve seen over and over again that a diligent approach to mindfulness can help people create a one-second mental space between an event or stimulus and their response to it. One second may not sound like a lot, but it can be the difference between making a rushed decision that leads to failure and reaching a thoughtful conclusion that leads to increased performance.”

Your Career Needs Many Mentors, Not Just One – “Many professionals have had success with creating mastermind groups, which are a curated mix of peers who meet regularly to discuss professional challenges and hold one another accountable. But less formal arrangements — sometimes called a mentor board of directors, a personal board of directors, or a kitchen cabinet — can also be effective.”

2017 is the year that front-end developers should go back and master the basics – “In our fast-paced ecosystem, we tend to spend our time trying out the latest inventions, then arguing about them on the internet. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do that. But we should probably slow down a bit and take a look at the things that don’t change all that much. Not only will this improve the quality of our work and the value we deliver — it will actually help us learn these new tools faster.”

Bro, ditch the Table Tennis (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “There’s plenty of debate around why there aren’t more women in tech generally, and there’s plenty of great women that are in tech that are better equipped to write about that than me. But have a look around your office and ask if you’re doing enough to encourage a diverse workplace? Are you making a welcoming environment for a team, or just a cool place for men?”

Self-Reflection is the Key to Good Product Design – “This empathy for the customer allows companies to meet specific needs. She’s seen startups where the culture is “launch, launch, launch and move on to the next feature,” but that process bypasses the important step of listening. She says some companies avoid engaging in user research because they didn’t feel the product was ready yet.”

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