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HashiCorp thinks turning raw code into running apps should be easier. So it built a new tool.

Waypoint, the latest open-source project from one of the most valuable private companies in cloud tech, should make life far more straightforward for software developers.

​HashiCorp co-founders Armon Dadgar and Mitchell Hashimoto with CEO Dave McJannet.

HashiCorp co-founders Armon Dadgar and Mitchell Hashimoto and CEO Dave McJannet see a big oppurtunity in making life easier for software developers.

Photo: HashiCorp

HashiCorp hopes to make life easier for software developers with a new tool that automates the steps required to build, deploy and release an application onto cloud services or tools like Kubernetes.

On Thursday, the second day of its virtual HashiConf event, the company plans to unveil a new project called Waypoint. It will allow users to automatically configure their software development pipeline with their preferred tools, saving developers from having to configure and package their code in order to take their applications from concept to reality.

"In some sense, Waypoint is glue," said Armon Dadgar, co-founder and co-CTO of HashiCorp, in an interview with Protocol ahead of the event. "It glues all of those things together under a pretty abstraction for the developer, so they don't have to think about it or care about it."

Waypoint is the latest project from one of the most valuable private companies in cloud tech, a 1,000-person cloud infrastructure organization worth $5 billion that seems poised to join the ranks of newly public cloud companies at some point in the not-so-distant future. HashiCorp's tools, currently based on six open-source projects, help all kinds of companies — from startups to multinational corporations — get their applications up and running on cloud services. The company, co-founded in 2012 by Dadgar and fellow University of Washington computer science student Mitchell Hashimoto, has raised almost $350 million so far.

Over the last several years, forward-thinking software teams have embraced a concept called DevOps. The idea is that software developers and operations engineers should work more closely together over the course of the process than they had in the past.

Most developers write code in a development environment like Visual Studio Code, and test it with tools such as Selenium or CircleCI. That code winds up running on cloud providers like AWS, self-managed servers or an abstraction layer like Kubernetes and is evaluated with monitoring software like DataDog or Prometheus by operations engineers.

Waypoint addresses the middle stage of this process, where raw code is "built" into a format that computers can recognize, deployed to its destination, and released into the world, Dadgar said.

"There are very few developers who care if [their software runs] on a [virtual machine], containers or serverless," Dadgar said. Operations people, however, care very much where the code winds up, and with Waypoint they can give developers a tool with default settings that automates the build, deploy and release process for developers with a single command, he said, saving both the developer and the ops person from a tedious task.

There are lots of commercial tools that also address these steps, but HashiCorp thinks many of the alternatives on the market, known as continuous delivery tools, make it hard to figure out what happened when inevitable errors occur. There are also development platforms like Cloud Foundry designed for these needs, but they force developers to use a one-size-fits-all process that doesn't necessarily make sense inside companies with lots of different types of applications, Dadgar said.

At some point, HashiCorp will likely add a managed version of Waypoint to its stable of services, but for now the project will be available under a permissive open-source license. At launch, Waypoint supports cloud deployment services such as AWS' ECS, Microsoft's Azure Container Instances and Google Cloud Run, as well as Kubernetes and Docker.

Protocol | Workplace

The pay gap persists for Black women

"The pay gap is a multifaceted problem and any time you have a complex problem, there's not a single solution that's going to solve it."

For every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, Black women are paid just 63 cents, according to the American Community Survey Census data.

Photo: Christine/Unsplash

Last year's racial reckoning following the murder of George Floyd led many tech companies to commit to promoting equity within their organizations, including working toward pay equity. But despite efforts, the wage gap for Black women still persists. For every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, Black women are paid just 63 cents, according to the American Community Survey Census data.

Black Women's Equal Pay Day on Tuesday represents the estimated number of days into the year it would take for Black women to make what their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts made at the end of the previous year, according to the organization Equal Pay Today. And while the responsibility to fix the pay gap falls mostly on companies to rectify, some female employees have taken matters into their own hands and held companies to their asserted values by negotiating higher pay.

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Amber Burton

Amber Burton (@amberbburton) is a reporter at Protocol. Previously, she covered personal finance and diversity in business at The Wall Street Journal. She earned an M.S. in Strategic Communications from Columbia University and B.A. in English and Journalism from Wake Forest University. She lives in North Carolina.

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What comes to mind when you think of AI? In the past, it might have been the Turing test, a sci-fi character or IBM's Deep Blue-defeating chess champion Garry Kasparov. Today, instead of copying human intelligence, we're seeing immense progress made in using AI to unobtrusively simplify and enrich our own intelligence and experiences. Natural language processing, modern encrypted security solutions, advanced perception and imaging capabilities, next-generation data management and logistics, and automotive assistance are some of the many ways AI is quietly yet unmistakably driving some of the latest advancements inside our phones, PCs, cars and other crucial 21st century devices. And the combination of 5G and AI is enabling a world with distributed intelligence where AI processing is happening on devices and in the cloud.

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Alex Katouzian
Alex Katouzian currently serves as senior vice president and general manager of the Mobile, Compute and Infrastructure (MCI) Business Unit at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. In this role, Katouzian is responsible for the profit, loss and strategy of the MCI BU, which includes business lines for Mobile Handset Products and Application Processor Technologies, 4G and 5G Mobile Broadband for embedded applications, Small and Macro Cells, Modem Technologies, Compute products across multiple OS’, eXtended Reality and AI Edge Cloud products.
Protocol | Workplace

Tech company hybrid work policies are becoming more flexible, not less

Twitter, LinkedIn and Asana are already changing their hybrid policies to allow for more flexibility.

Photo: FG Trade/Getty Images

Twitter, LinkedIn and Asana are all loosening up their strategies around hybrid work, allowing for more flexibility before even fully reopening their offices.

In the last week and a half, Twitter announced it's adopting an asynchronous-first approach, and both Asana and LinkedIn said they would increase the amount of time their employees can work remotely.

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Allison Levitsky
Allison Levitsky is a reporter at Protocol covering workplace issues in tech. She previously covered big tech companies and the tech workforce for the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Allison grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from UC Berkeley.
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Activision Blizzard scrambles to repair its toxic image

Blizzard President J. Allen Brack is the first executive to depart amid the sexual harassment crisis.

Activision Blizzard doesn't seem committed to lasting change.

Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Getty Images

As Activision Blizzard's workplace crisis rages on into its third week, the company is taking measures to try to calm the storm — to little avail. On Tuesday, Blizzard President J. Allen Brack, who took the reins at the developer responsible for World of Warcraft back in 2018, resigned. He's to be replaced by executives Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra, who will co-lead the studio in a power-sharing agreement some believe further solidifies CEO Bobby Kotick's control over the subsidiary.

Nowhere in Blizzard's statement about Brack's departure does it mention California's explosive sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit at the heart of the saga. The lawsuit, filed last month, resulted last week in a 500-person walkout at Blizzard's headquarters in Irvine. (Among the attendees was none other than Ybarra, the new studio co-head.)

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Nick Statt
Nick Statt is Protocol's video game reporter. Prior to joining Protocol, he was news editor at The Verge covering the gaming industry, mobile apps and antitrust out of San Francisco, in addition to managing coverage of Silicon Valley tech giants and startups. He now resides in Rochester, New York, home of the garbage plate and, completely coincidentally, the World Video Game Hall of Fame. He can be reached at nstatt@protocol.com.
Protocol | Workplace

Alabama Amazon workers will likely get a second union vote

An NLRB judge said that Amazon "usurped" the NLRB by pushing for a mailbox to be installed in front of its facility, and also that the company violated laws that protect workers from monitoring of their behavior during union elections.

An NLRB judge ruled that Amazon has violated union election rules

Image: Amazon

Bessemer, Alabama warehouse workers will likely get a second union vote because of Amazon's efforts to have a USPS ballot box installed just outside of the Bessemer warehouse facility during the mail-in vote, as well as other violations of union vote rules, according to an NLRB ruling published Tuesday morning.

While union organizers, represented by the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, lost the first vote by more than a 2:1 margin, a second election will be scheduled and held unless Amazon successfully appeals the ruling. Though Amazon is the country's second-largest private employer, no unionization effort at the company has ever been successful.

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Anna Kramer

Anna Kramer is a reporter at Protocol (Twitter: @ anna_c_kramer, email: akramer@protocol.com), where she writes about labor and workplace issues. Prior to joining the team, she covered tech and small business for the San Francisco Chronicle and privacy for Bloomberg Law. She is a recent graduate of Brown University, where she studied International Relations and Arabic and wrote her senior thesis about surveillance tools and technological development in the Middle East.

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