HackerRank raises $30M to match developers with jobs

 HackerRank, the skills-based recruiting platform and online coding challenge community, today announced that it has raised a $30 million Series C funding round led by JMI Equity, a fund that specializes in helping software companies scale. Exiting investors Khosla Ventures, Battery Ventures, Randstad and Chartline Capital Partners also participated in this round. As HackerRank co-founder and… Read More

Storyline lets you build and publish Alexa skills without coding

 Thirty-nine million Americans now own a smart speaker device, but the voice app ecosystem is still developing. While Alexa today has over 25,000 skills available, a number of companies haven’t yet built a skill for the platform, or offer only a very basic skill that doesn’t work that well. That’s where the startup Storyline comes in. The company is offering an easy to use… Read More

Apple revises its controversial guidelines on template-based apps

 Apple today announced it’s amending the App Store guideline that banned apps created using templates and other app generation services. When the company revised its policies earlier this year, the move was meant to reduce the number of low-quality apps and spam. But the decision ended up impacting a much wider market. Read More

Apple’s widened ban on templated apps is wiping small businesses from the App Store

 ollowing its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple released updated App Store guidelines that included a new rule allowing it to ban apps created by a “commercialized template or app generation service.” The understanding at the time was this was part of Apple’s larger App Store cleanup, and the focus was on helping rid the marketplace of low-quality clone and spam apps.… Read More

Developer community Stack Overflow lays off reportedly 20% of staff as it refocusses business

 Some changes are underway at Stack Overflow, the online community where some 50 million developers and others converge to talk programming and many other things. TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that the startup has conducted a substantial number of layoffs across the company as it looks to steer the business more towards its core Q&A products and away from areas that were seeing… Read More

Google Compute Engine now lets you play nesting dolls with your VMs

 Here is a cloud computing feature that may seem a bit odd at first but that does actually have its uses. Google’s Compute Engine today launched the beta of a new feature called “nested virtualization.” As the name implies, this essentially allows you to run VMs inside of VMs. But why would you want to do that? “Nested virtualization makes it easier for enterprise users… Read More

Microsoft Azure gets a new VM family for bursty workloads

 Microsoft today announced the preview launch of a new family of virtual machines for its Azure cloud computing platform that’s specifically geared toward bursty workloads. Microsoft argues that these so-called B-series machines, which are currently the lowest cost Azure machines with flexible CPU usage, should work well for workloads like web servers, small databases, and dev/test… Read More

Google launches a new certification program for mobile web developers

 Google today launched a new certification program for mobile web developers. As the name implies, the Mobile Web Specialist Certification is meant to help developers show off their mobile web development skills, no matter how they learned them. The program joins Google’s existing certification programs for Android developers, cloud architects and data engineers. Taking the open book… Read More

Google updates its Cloud Speech API with support for more languages, word-level timestamps

 Google’s Cloud Speech API, which has allowed developers to use Google’s services to transcribe spoken words into text since its launch in 2016, is getting a major update today. The most interesting of these is probably the addition of support for 30 new languages on top of the 89 languages the service already understood (though, to be fair, Google includes multiple regional variants… Read More

Silent Echo lets you chat with Alexa over Slack

 Want to chat with Alexa via Slack? A new bot called Silent Echo now makes that possible. The idea is that there are times when you want to interact with Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, but you don’t want to do it by voice. For example, if things are too noisy in the room for Alexa to properly hear you, or, alternately, if you need things to be very quiet. The service… Read More