CodeGuru, AWS’s AI code reviewer and performance profiler, is now generally available

AWS today announced that CodeGuru, a set of tools that use machine learning to automatically review code for bugs and suggest potential optimizations, is now generally available. The tool launched into preview at AWS re:Invent last December.
CodeGuru consists of two tools, Reviewer and Profiler, and those names pretty much describe exactly what they do. To build Reviewer, the AWS team actually trained its algorithm with the help of code from over 10,000 open source projects on GitHub, as well as reviews from Amazon’s own internal codebase.
“Even for a large organization like Amazon, it’s challenging to have enough experienced developers with enough free time to do code reviews, given the amount of code that gets written every day,” the company notes in today’s announcement. “And even the most experienced reviewers miss problems before they impact customer-facing applications, resulting in bugs and performance issues.”

To use CodeGuru, developers continue to commit their code


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AWS launches Amazon Honeycode, a no-code mobile and web app builder

AWS today announced the beta launch of Amazon Honeycode, a new, fully managed low-code/no-code development tool that aims to make it easy for anybody in a company to build their own applications. All of this, of course, is backed by a database in AWS and a web-based, drag-and-drop interface builder.
Developers can build applications for up to 20 users for free. After that, they pay per user and for the storage their applications take up.
Image Credits: Amazon/AWS
“Customers have told us that the need for custom applications far outstrips the capacity of developers to create them,” said AWS VP Larry Augustin in the announcement. “Now with Amazon Honeycode, almost anyone can create powerful custom mobile and web applications without the need to write code.”
Like similar tools, Honeycode provides users with a set of templates for common use cases like to-do list applications, customer trackers, surveys, schedules and inventory management. Traditionally, AWS argues,


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Quizlet valued at $1 billion as it raises millions during a global pandemic

As millions of students and teachers shift to learn from home in response to the novel coronavirus disease, modern-day flashcard business Quizlet has raised $30 million in a Series C round led by General Atlantic.
Quizlet’s chief executive officer Matthew Glotzbach said that the new funding values the business at $1 billion, up five times from its last funding round in 2018. Quizlet’s total known financing is more than $60 million.

4 edtech CEOs peer into the industry’s future

The fresh funding comes off the heels of unprecedented usage for Quizlet, which connects students to virtual flashcards and study guides. Once a user makes a guide, they can share a unique link with friends and collaborate ahead of a test. School shutdowns due to COVID-19 have caused students to flock to the platform as they look for new ways to study, retain information and collaborate.
Students ask over 1 billion questions on Quizlet each


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In surprise choice, Zoom hitches wagon to Oracle for growing infrastructure needs

With the company growing in leaps and bounds, Zoom went shopping for a cloud infrastructure vendor to help it with its growing scale problem. In a surprising choice, the company went with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
Zoom has become the go-to video conferencing service as much of the world has shut down due to the pandemic, and life needs to go on somehow. It has gone on via video conferencing with Zoom growing from 200 million active users in February to 300 million in March. That kind of growth puts a wee bit of pressure on your infrastructure, and Zoom clearly needed to beef up its game.
What’s surprising is that it chose Oracle, a company whose infrastructure market share registers as a strong niche player in Synergy Research’s latest survey in February. It is well behind market leaders including Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and even IBM (and that’s saying something).

Brent Leary, who is


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Slack introduces simplified interface as usage moves deeper into companies

When Slack first launched in 2013, the product was quickly embraced by developers, and the early product reflected that. To get at advanced tools, you used a slash (/) command, but the company recognizes that as it moves deeper into the enterprise, it needed to simplify the interface.
Today, the company introduced a newly designed interface aimed at easing the user experience, making Slack more of an accessible enterprise communications hub.
Jaime DeLanghe, director of product management at Slack, says that the messaging application has become a central place for people to communicate about work, which has grown even more important as many of us have begun working from home as a result of COVID-19.
But DeLanghe says usage was up even before the recent work from home trend began taking off. “People are connected to Slack, on average, about nine hours a day and they’re using Slack actively for almost 90 minutes,”


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Google hits pause on Chrome and Chrome OS releases

Google today announced that it is pausing upcoming Chrome and Chrome OS releases “due to adjusted work schedules.”
The company confirmed that we will still see security updates, though, which will get merged into version 80, the browser’s current stable release version. “We’ll continue to prioritize any updates related to security, which will be included in Chrome 80,” the team writes in today’s brief announcement.
Don’t expect any new feature updates anytime soon, though. Chrome version 81 is currently in beta testing and will likely remain in this channel for now. Like so much in this current situation, it’s unclear when Google plans to resume regular updates.
Earlier this week, Google also noted that Android app reviews will likely now take longer as the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced in-office staffing levels. The same holds true for YouTube. As YouTube is taking measures to protect its staff, it says it’ll rely more on its


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Google Cloud launches new tools for deploying ML pipelines

Google Cloud today announced the beta launch of Cloud AI Platform Pipelines, a new enterprise-grade service that is meant to give developers a single tool to deploy their machine learning pipelines, together with tools for monitoring and auditing them.
“When you’re just prototyping a machine learning (ML) model in a notebook, it can seem fairly straightforward,” Google notes in today’s announcement. “But when you need to start paying attention to the other pieces required to make an ML workflow sustainable and scalable, things become more complex.” And as complexity grows, building a repeatable and auditable process becomes harder.

That, of course, is where Pipelines comes in. It gives developers the ability to build these repeatable processes. As Google notes, there are two parts to the service: the infrastructure for deploying and running those workflows, and the tools for building and debugging the pipelines. The service automates processes like setting up Kubernetes Engine


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GitHub launches new tools for teachers, including autograding

GitHub today announced new features for GitHub Classroom, its collection of tools for helping computer science teachers assign and evaluate coding exercises, as well as a new set of free tools for teachers.
The first of these is autograding, which does exactly what the name promises. Teachers can now add tests to their workflows that automatically test assignments and grade them accordingly. These tests then run automatically on every student repository. More importantly, though, teachers can also provide specific feedback with in-line feedback and automatic pull requests.
Autograding, of course, will save teachers quite a bit of time. At the same time, GitHub is also launching the Teacher Toolbox, a set of free tools for teachers that includes access to a number of development tools, tutorials, domain names and more. Among these free services are .TECH domain names, access to BrowserStack for on-device testing and the Termius SSH client. They also get


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Edtech startups prepare to become ‘not just a teaching tool but a necessity’

As Stanford, Princeton, Columbia and others shutter classrooms to limit the coronavirus outbreak, college educators around the country are clambering to move their classes online. 
At the same time, tech companies that enable remote learning are finding a surge in usage and signups. Zoom Video Communications, a videoconferencing company, has been crushing it in the stock market, and Duolingo, a language teaching app, has had 100% user growth in the past month in China, citing school closures as one factor. 
But Kristin Lynn Sainani, an associate professor of epidemiology and population health at Stanford, has a fair warning to those making the shift: Scrappiness has its setbacks. 
“[The transition to online] is not going to be well-planned when you’re doing it to get your class done tomorrow,” said Sainani, who has been teaching online classes since 2013. “At this point, professors are going to scramble to do the best they can.”
As the outbreak


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