Monthly digest: September's tech highlights

September, a month that usually sees various members of the team returning to Kyan Campus after one or two weeks' absence looking slightly more tanned, slightly confused, and with any luck, some sort of regional food-based treat in hand. Here's our postcard from September.

Our friends at Monzo celebrated a spectacular milestone — 1,000,000 customers. πŸ‘πŸΌ They also revealed that they make up 15% of all new current accounts being opened in the UK every week. Canadian kings of commerce Shopify announced integration with Apple's AR Quick Look, which will allow online shoppers to view 3D models of products in real-world environments. And in high-profile-people-taking-a-step-back news, Instagram's founders announced they'll be retiring from daily life at the now Facebook-owned business, whilst the sometimes controversial Linux creator Linus Torvalds has taken some time out to focus on his behaviour towards others in the industry.

Here's the big headlines...

Farillio, Cleo and Stripe all secure new funding rounds

Merlie Calvert, who founded Farillio in March 2017, has secured £650,000 in funding which will allow the startup to grow out their team and secure strategic partnerships over the coming months. Farillio are a legal tech platform with a mission to make legal services more accessible for small businesses. Payment company Stripe move from strength to strength, having raised their value to $20bn after securing $245m in funding. Stripe's expansion plans include new hires in their US and Dublin engineering teams, as well as a brand-new hub in Singapore. Personal finance bot Cleo—something I've used before and think is utterly fantastic—are set to begin offering their own financial products after raising $10m from Balderton Capital. With 600,000 users in the UK, US and Canada, Cleo securely connects to users' bank accounts via Facebook Messenger, and analyses spending through AI. 


Santander planning and funding huge Milton Keynes tech hub

“Milton Keynes is already one UK’s leading technology hotspots, and with the new MK:U university on the horizon, we believe it is set to become an even greater magnet for technology talent." Nathan Bostock, CEO of Santander UK, announced the £150m project mid-September, revealing that the site will be house more than 5,000 Santander staff and will be ready for business in 2022. Santander plans include environmental sustainability, employee health facilities, and space for collaboration with local businesses and community organisations.


A serverless future for Ruby

The conversations around serverless Ruby have been growing in occurrance and volume over the last year, so we were glad to see this great lowdown, roundup, or however you want to look at it, by Justin Halsall. He jumps straight into the action and runs through what you need to do to go serverless.

If you combine Ruby with Serverless’ not having to care about scaling and managing infrastructure you have a combination that is truly optimized for developer happiness.  


User Experience UK Awards launch excellent 'Dark UX' category

What is Dark UX? Well, it's not necessarily bad UX. In fact, it's usually very good UX with a very bad purpose. Dark pattern design exists to influence a user's behaviour in a way that may counteract the user's original intentions. An example would be funnelling a user into a seemingly unavoidable sign-up process, or dropping items into a user's cart without their agreement. It also exists on a far greater scale around the way data is acquired. That reminds me, I haven't logged into Facebook for a while. Read the press release from UX UK Awards right here


Melinda Gates: How to get more women in tech and why college is too late to start

Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Gates Foundation, joined CNBC to talk about women and their underrepresentation in the US technology sector. Gates, who has started an investment and incubation company to create more opportunities for women in tech, believes that conversations around gender parity should begin early in education. Schools, colleges and universities should do more to make tech an accessible pathway for women, and workplaces could do more to support women starting families. Watch the full interview here, which also covers aspects of global health.


And in case you missed it...

We celebrated National Coding Week with a spotlight on five of our developers, part of which was an insight into our man Steve Butler's journey, From Tester to Developer. Karen Fielding confirmed her attendance at this year's Dot York conference — this time as a speaker!

Until Halloween. βœŒπŸΌπŸŽƒ