Facebook might be positioning itself to build new features around voice navigation or voice-activated search into the social network, thanks to the hiring of Google product designer Mike LeBeau. While at Google and Google X, LeBeau worked as a Staff Software Engineer and Product Designer. Read More
Article courtesy of TechCrunch
Learning the fundamentals of programming is easy. But becoming an expert? That’s damn hard. There are a million and one languages, each with their own nuances, strengths, and weaknesses. Worse yet, the programming hype train is always chugging away; just when you think you’ve mastered the world’s greatest language, everyone will be talking up some new language or framework or database and your boss’ boss will be asking why you’re not using that, instead.
AirPair connects you with expert programmers, on-demand.
We first wrote about AirPair back in March of last year. Back then, it was just a one-man shop with an interesting idea. It seemed like something that should work, but it was a bit too early to tell. They’d done just seven on-demand calls, and had but a handful of experts to call in. Their service was, at its core, a Google Docs form.
11 months later, the idea seems to be working out. The one-man team has grown to five, and that handful of experts has grown into the thousands. They’ve ditched the Google Doc form, building up a proper site and service around the idea. Companies like Intel are turning to them to figure how which frameworks to adopt internally. While they kept their actual numbers under wraps, the company tells me that they reached “ramen profitable” levels shortly after launch, and have been growing their revenue 40% month-over-month ever since.
So how does it work?
If you’re familiar with Google Helpouts, the idea here is quite similar — just far more focused on a specific topic (and, to be fair to them, AirPair launched months before we broke the news of Helpouts’ existence).
From there, you tell AirPair how much you’re willing to pay per hour, with each tier opening up access to a wider pool of experts. $60 an hour, for example, gets you access to around 15% of the site’s experts — the folks who can answer most basic coding questions. $90 an hour opens it up to people who’ve been coding for a few years, and can tell help you start to crack the tougher issues. It goes all the way up to $300 an hour, at which point you’re talking to people who more or less live in code; the people who (literally) wrote the book on this stuff. (Each engineer on the service picks their own rate, with AirPair gauging customer success/satisfaction to ensure that everyone finds themselves in the right group.)
A few variables can send the price up or down, though. By default, sessions are private — but if you’re willing to let them record the session and share it publicly, they’ll drop the price a bit. Need the engineer on the other end to sign an NDA before your company will let you talk to them? They’ll organize all of that, but it brings the price up.
(Interestingly, that aforementioned session-sharing is part of how the company targets new customers. If you’ve allowed them to share the session, they’ll upload it to YouTube and tag it based on the topic matter. If people turn to Google with an issue and their video pops up, it serves as an ad for the next time that person finds themselves stumped.)
Once the pricing is set, AirPair takes over. Engineers don’t bid against each other for sessions, nor do companies pick engineers themselves — instead, AirPair picks the engineer they think is right for the gig, based on availability, track record, pricing, and expertise. “We’re kind of like Uber, in that sense.” AirPair co-founder Jonathon Kresner says. “You don’t think of who’s picking you up, you just trust Uber’s drivers are a certain level of quality. With AirPair, you trust our matching.”
But what about head-hunting? You have to imagine that if you’re offering up a direct connection to “experts” in a field that’s currently experience something of a talent drought, those people will be gettin’ job offers thrown in their face left and right. And if they get hired away from the service, that’s one less expert they have to call on.
“We’re not scared about it. The people who are on our system could work wherever they want anyway.” says Kresner. “But it definitely has happened. We have a policy where after you’ve worked with an expert for over 10 hours, you can pay a finder’s fee to engage them outside of AirPair.”
You can find more details on AirPair right over here.
Article courtesy of TechCrunch
Launching at Disrupt SF, Koality is a development tool that fills an important gap for engineering teams. It’s a seamless server-side application that sits between your startup’s repository and your engineers. Instead of submitting code to your repository, you push changes to Koality. The application will then run test suites before submitting to the repository, effectively ending broken builds and countless wasted hours.
“We all worked in software companies, and the most important pain point was broken builds,” co-founder and CEO Jonathan Chu told me in a phone interview before Disrupt. “It happens all the time and it was the most painful thing in our work. If you were working on the same code, you had no choice but to stop working until it was fixed” he continued.
Even though Koality is a very specific tool, it could greatly improve the overall productivity of a startup in two ways. There will never be a broken build again, and testing suites are much faster when you use Koality.
Here’s how it works: Every time a commit fails a test, a notification will be sent to the engineer telling him that something is wrong with his or her code. This way, the engineer has the opportunity to fix the bug before it gets into the repository.
Moreover, you don’t need to run painfully long tests on your computer anymore. You can push your code and shut down your computer. Koality parallelizes the tests as well, greatly improving performances. “When it runs your tests, it spins out replicas of your environment,” Chu said. Asana is a great example of a company that uses Koality already.
“Asana parallelizes its environment 30 times, making it 30 times faster,” Chu said. “Asana had a similar system internally, so it was really excited that somebody else was doing pre-push test suites and that it was even better,” he continued.
While Chu suspects that Facebook and Google have a very sophisticated testing process and internal environment, many growing companies don’t have the right tool and don’t have the resources to build it internally. That’s where Koality is useful. So far, most of the teams already using Koality have more than 25 engineers. Dropbox is one of them.
Koality supports Git and Mercurial, and runs on Unix-like systems. “Your code doesn’t have to leave your firewall,” Chu said. If you prefer, you can run it on Amazon Web Services. After the setup process, engineers can use your version control client the same way you would.
The team of five started a year ago and has received $1.65 million in funding so far from FF Angel, Webb Investment Network, Uj Ventures, Index Ventures and others. The two founders used to work at Palantir where broken builds happened every day. The company is still figuring out how much the product will cost, but you can expect a per-seat license with a free tier.
Judges: Mike Abbott (Kleiner Perkins, Caufield & Byers), Ali Partovi (Angel investor), Jess Lee (Polyvore), Gentry Underwood (Mailbox)
Q: Are you giving this tool to companies or individuals?
A: Our focus is on growing startups. Most of the teams that use Koality have more than 15 people.
Q: Market size and business model. How do you envision pricing?
A: On average it’s about $30 per month per seat. But it’s going to be cheaper for little teams and more expensive for bigger companies. Testing suites is just the first step, the low-hanging fruit. We can do bug tracking or other tools.
Q: How long it takes to set up?
A: It depends on the company. It’s simple. It should be a couple of hours, it can take a day.
Article courtesy of TechCrunch
Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer Nanigans recently announced a round of new hires. The company has been busy recently, scooping up Antonio Garcia-Martinez from the Facebook Exchange team and expanding rapidly.
Here’s a full list of Nanigans’ recent hires:
Companies who want their new hires included in the post must contact us directly at justin.lafferty (at) insidenetwork.com. Must be a Facebook PMD or Facebook Strategic PMD to be included.
Article courtesy of Inside Facebook
Facebook has added 17 new job listings on its careers page including a new FBX partner manager position based out of Menlo Park. This person would be working closely with PMDs as Facebook looks to strengthen the program.
Article courtesy of Inside Facebook
Facebook this week added a job listing for a Software Engineer, Computer Vision to join a team working on the social network’s “next generation products.”
Computer vision is a field that involves electronically processing and understanding images. It can be applied to a range of industries and tasks, but most obviously for Facebook, it could help the company organize the massive amount of photos and videos users share by recognizing what is within those images. If Facebook could better understand the contents of a photo or video, that could improve News Feed relevancy algorithms, help users search and find media on the platform, and open up new possibilities for Sponsored Stories or ways to monetize Instagram.
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