If google does indeed limit, for example, "SRE II/ Location" to one posting, and Amazon expands that to, say, 100 postings, then the premise is worthless. I don't know how to confirm that.
As others said, there's no data on how many people Google or Alphabet are going to hire (postings are not 1:1 with individuals). Alphabet apparently hired 8,057 people in FY 2017 . Note that while HTC had ~2000 people come over , that was not closed within FY 17.
Google, for one, likes to hire a lot of people under just two-three job descriptions. The author doesn't take any of that into account and it's not clear what the original analysts said, either — perhaps they compensated for this by calibrating numbers against historical employee headcount. Which is still broken, because, historically, Google had varying mixes of engineers vs. non-engineers, for example (but also: employees vs. contractors; lots could be said there).
A quick Google search (ha) seems to indicate that Alphabet's growing by about 10,000 people per year or so. Let's be fairly conservative and say 20% of those folks are programmers. That's still much more than 1,147 people.
Besides that, the sentence "Amazon is hiring 1,147 people for its Alexa business unit alone" is very different than the headline, which is "Amazon Is Hiring More Developers." Not everyone working on Alexa is going to be a developer.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but as stated, this whole article fails the sniff test to me.
As of right now there are 5 postings. Software Engineer, Engineering manager, student research, and Software engineer new-graph/PhD.
That "Software Engineer" title covers many job levels and teams. I can't even imagine how many people are hired under that same title in Mountain View or other locations.
No, labor laws in most of the US do not require posting any positions, much less every individual position. (Civil service may require posting civil service positions individually, or at least explicitly identifying the individual positions being hired under a combined posting, and labor agreements may specify requirements for how and where union-represented positions are posted.
> They can't just have one generic position to cover many
Yes, they can.
> That would open the doors for bad hiring practices and just picking anyone you want (without proper due diligence) rather then the best candidate possible.
Bad hiring practices are not generally illegal; those that are (racial discrimination, for instance) are prohibited directly rather than by prohibiting things that might open the door for them.
I don't think (but I could be wrong) that requires separate, per position postings or even publicizing the number of positioms: if you publicize for a general job description and can't get adequate American candidates the openings for that position, that can, again AFAIK, satisfy that part of the requirement.
You apply as a SWE or SRE. Then you basically either pass their hiring bar or not. If you pass, they find out what you are interested in, what you would be a good fit for, and what team is interested in having you.
There are exceptions of course, for specialized positions or knowledge. Or if they have big gaps to fill they might do targeted recruiting for them.
I don't see why it would run awful of labor laws. They have a very structured hiring process, it doesn't allow much room for "picking anyone you want". If you pass they find a job for you.
Also, you are not required to show that you picked the best candidate possible, just that you didn’t discriminate against someone on the basis of protected categories.
Considering the time this has been out and the apparent resources, so much of the basic functionality is locked behind formal command patterns rather than anything natural (and every “new features” email I get seems to just be variants of “tell me a joke/fortune cookie/fact”)
This is new tech, I think your expectations are a little too high. Remember windows 3?
For years many developers of BLE hardware have been waiting for a BLE capable smarthome hub to win the market. Amazon has won but whenever I ask about the BLE SDK, I am told to "stay tuned". They have used that answer for years now.
That means my company will reluctantly release a Wifi Bridge this year. I say reluctant because we aren't motivated to collect $50 per customer on a bridge that will become instant garbage if Amazon does finally release the SDK. We are motivated by how much value we offer our customers, not by how much money we can collect from them.
Does anyone know if Amazon is actively working on a BLE SDK for Echo ?
This is why I will never understand the appeal of these "smart assistants". All of the above can be done with simple voice command recognition that has existed for decades. Why do I need to send my commands through a third party selling my data and tracking me?
In order to watch video from my Dropcam over in the next room, that video stream gets uploaded through my internet connection to some backend, then downloaded back through that same connection to my viewer. Madness.
These are the average things my wife and I use ours for at the moment.
Edit: Hey, and just to be clear, yes, we find it useful enough we have several devices.
And the benefit is, I don't have to remember my phone. It can be sitting wherever, and I can still do these things.
> I really don't see much of a benefit to having an alexa or similar device.
So? I like having a remote car starter, too, despite being able to walk out and start the car manually.
I like GrubHub, even though I could call up and order from places on the phone.
I enjoy streaming video over DVRing shows.
I value convenience. Maybe you value other things. That's fine.
> I dunno.
What? What don't you know?
Compare this to: "What's the point of remotes? If I want to change the station, I get up and walk to the TV". Once you get used to being able to turn lights off by voice, you get lazy and happy.
And it's not just one light, BTW. Suppose when I go to sleep, I want all lights except the porch lights off. I don't have to walk around the whole house switching them off, when instead I can just say "Sleep mode lights" or something equivalent.
 You know, the 3000 sq ft houses people outside of SV have.
Also, maybe I'm the outlier here your proposed situation is particularly accurate (and funny) to me- a couple of years ago a dog chewed up our TV remote and I have still yet to replace it. I get up and physically go to the TV to turn the volume up or down or to turn it on/off.
I'm really not trying to sound like a luddite, I just really don't care enough to adopt this stuff, at least not for the foreseeable future...I don't see the purpose of life as an endless march towards total comfort and ease, though. I will concede that these devices and smart home technology makes life much easier for those with disabilities, and I ultimately support it's development for this reason alone.
But on the flip side, it's a poor assumption that if someone is not turning off the lights manually, that the primary goal is comfort or ease. I used to think manually doing all chores was a virtue in itself - I had a dishwasher in my apartment for years before I started using it. I no longer think that way. Now for me, if I can eliminate mundane stuff like dishes, lights, etc - it is because I want to spend the time on more quality stuff.
As an example, too many older people say they wish they had just paid the money to repair stuff in the house, rather than spending the time to repair it themselves. They took pride in their work, on top of also saving money. But later in life, they wished they had used that time better.
They have sold tens of millions of Alexa devices, is it really surprising that people find them useful?
Or stamps. Or shoelaces. Or umbrellas. Or wallets. Or lipstick.
All useful things to millions of people.
One fundamental difference with fidget spinners: they have already peaked and faded in popularity, Alexa continues to grow year by year. That's the true difference between something tens of millions of people (soon to be hundreds of millions of people) find useful, and something people temporarily find amusing.
The example of fidget spinner is to highlight a counter example to the belief that selling well is an indicator for usefulness. It isn't.
Also the facts that they keep bringing out new devices and are hiring extremely heavily would lead you to believe they see a very bright future in the product.
I envision pick and place robot arms that swing around your kitchen grabbing things and preparing meals too.
Being able to make a sound when an action occurs (e.g. garage door opens alerting you that someone has arrived home) is nice.
Not sure what else. But satisfaction seems to be high. I think it falls squarely into the category of "Seems not worth the expense, but once I have it, it is kinda convenient".
(I do not own one).
I challenge you to provide a single shred of evidence in support of this claim.
What I do know is that, to my knowledge, there has never been a single verified publicized breach of any AWS systems that were due to a vulnerability in AWS itself. Care to provide a counterexample?
I am a super curious person by nature as also a couple of my kids and do get a lot of use out of the Google Homes. Often times during family discussions.
People keep moving to Alexa and not being back-filled.
I’m sure Google is not going let Amazon run away with the voice assistant market.
There’s nothing like an arm’s race between tech titans to move the needle.
With the additional efforts of Apple and Microsoft, voice as a user interface will soon be a solved problem.
I think amazon has a pretty big lead in the voice assistance market.
I know you can use google assistant on your phone, but if you have your phone it might easier to just type it in.
Amazon has taken the Echo global so look for hundreds of millions of users soon.
No, the claim in the source that that article is based on is that 70% of people who interact with a “voice enabled speaker” at least once a month do so with an Alexa.
Do you think that natural language processing, knowledge graph, translation, speech recognition, multiple hardware devices, etc will require fewer people?