Saturday, 24 January 2015

NorDevCon 2015: It's Design Time‏



Fingers, toes, legs on a daddy long legs, syllabi to a haiku and the Jackson’s - lots of important things comes in 5’s and that’s exactly how many weeks left until this year’s NorDevCon. This week we’ve taken a closer look at the conference sessions dedicated to design - it’s Design Time.

Chucking it Over the Fence
Creative/designer/developer relationships in a device agnostic landscape

John Skinner

It often used to be the case that a creative would mock-up every page for a website in Photoshop/Fireworks, working closely with the client to ensure that every word was spelt correctly, all images selected and every eventuality seemingly mapped out. All too often a bloated zip file of psds/pngs would be ‘chucked over the fence’ to a dev team to turn these into a functioning site. If they were lucky, there might be some hand-over notes!

More often than not, this ‘process’ would lead to problems but today’s device-agnostic web landscape has rendered such a relationship all the more inadequate in meeting the needs of our clients and their users/customers.

John Skinner, a designer who leads projects in both the digital and traditional print worlds for organisations of all sizes in both the UK, Europe and Asia, explains how as web technology becomes increasingly agile, how are the traditional roles within web design affected? Who are the ‘designers’ who are the ‘developers’ and what are their new roles?

Design: A Tricky Business

Hannah Tometzki

Being a designer can mean many things, so it rarely just involves the act of designing. Whether you are a freelancer, work for an agency or run your own agency there will always be unavoidable tasks that take you away from the core of your job description, as well as issues that seem to actively hinder you.

Hannah will talk about taking a job from start to finish and dealing with the many hurdles along the way, such as clients dragging their heels, rekindling your waning enthusiasm, and handling distractions.

Hannah wear’s many hats, officially, she is the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Tipsy & Tumbler but on any given day she can be found designing a responsive website or a cross-platform app, writing extensive documentation, meeting with clients and solving a myriad of problems.

Rapid Product Design in the Wild

Michele Ide-Smith

Michele poses the fundamental question - How do you know you’re developing the right product? In this in-depth case study Michele will share how she used Lean UX methods -such as rapid prototyping – to inform product design in the wild, at a trade show.

In August 2012 the Red Gate Oracle team attended Kscope, a conference for Oracle developers. They turned their trade show stand into a live lab and took Agile development processes out of the office and in front of customers. Over 3 days they conducted 25 customer interviews, using a paper prototype to get feedback on designs. By the end of the conference they had developed an interactive HTML/CSS prototype, which potential customers could evaluate. The team went through several rapid learning cycles to discover which customer problems to solve, how to solve them and to validate the market need for the product.

Michele will cover the benefits and pitfalls of doing live design and development in front of potential customers and competitors. Currently working at the University of Cambridge, Michele will also provide insights into the challenges she now faces using Lean UX techniques within a centuries-old institution.

An absolute must for anyone directly involved in product design, development and marketing.

Conference Dinner and Kurasie Wine Reception

Make the most of your time at NorDevCon and join us for a wine reception (free), also at The King’s Centre, generously sponsored by Kurasie. Discuss what you’ve learnt, raise any questions or introduce yourself to other delegates and share insights.

If you’re unable to attend the conference then you’re still very welcome to attend the drinks reception and mingle with conference delegates, speakers, organisers, Norfolk’s tech community and beyond.

The drinks reception will be followed by the conference dinner (£35 + fees for 3 courses and 2 glasses of wine) where you’ll have the chance to sit down and dine with all your favourite speakers in turn and pick the minds of those that are most relevant to you and your business. Places must be booked in advance and, like the drinks reception, invitations extend to those unable to attend the full conference as they also provide invaluable stand-alone networking opportunities.

View the menu here.

Pre-conference special & dinner

You can now RSVP for the pre-conference special and dinner on the evening of Thursday 26th of February(the evening before the conference). If you're able to make it, please do come along to both. The details are below.

Everyone is welcome at both events and you don't need to attend the conference to attend the pre-conference events.

Pre-conference Special with Allan Kelly and Kevlin Henney

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 5pm
The Kings Centre, Norwich

The Rule of Three - Kevin Henney

The three-act play, the given–when–then BDD triptych, the three steps of the Feynman problem solving algorithm... a surprising number of things appear to come in threes. This talk walks through — and has some fun with — a number of triples that affect and are found in software development.

Every business is a software business - Allan Kelly


Pre-conference Dinner at All Bar One

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 7.30pm
All Bar One, Norwich

This year the pre-conference dinner will be at All Bar One (a short walk from the Kings Centre) at 7.30pm. All are welcome and the fixed price menu is here:

View the menu.

When you RSVP you'll need to pay £11 for the meal and then for your drinks on the night. Please specify a starter, main meal and dessert when you RSVP.


Student & Unemployed Discounts

If you’re a student or are unemployed you can attend NorDevCon for just £25 + fees. If you purchase a discounted ticket you will be required to prove your status when you register on the morning of the conference.

Click here for student tickets and here for unemployed tickets.

Monday, 19 January 2015

NorDevCon 2015: .Net Heaven at NorDevCon


Take your mind off Dry January and the gym and check out our next instalment of NorDevCon 2015's sensational sessions. From C# to the cloud and Docker to data and even dinner - NorDevCon has got it covered.

C# 6 – the future is (nearly) here!

Jon Skeet

Jon Skeet, Java developer for Google in London, is self-confessed C# obsessed. Outside of his day job Jon loves writing and talking about C#, and the third edition of ‘C# in Depth’ was published in September 2013. Writing less formally, Jon spends a lot of time on Stack Overflow… where ‘a lot’ is an understatement. Give him a puzzle about how C# behaves which gets him reaching for the language specification, and Jon is a happy bunny.

C# 6 is nearly upon us, and after doing the feature hokey-cokey for a little while, it’s all looking pretty stable. It’s a pretty special release, as along with the language changes themselves, there’s a whole new compiler to use – and poke at. The Roslyn compiler allows ordinary (at least, enthusiastic and persistent) developers to build their own warnings and refactorings, amongst other things.

In this talk, Jon will demonstrate all the new features, show how they’ve already made the Noda Time code base cleaner, and then take a look at how I’ve been using Roslyn to check my code more thoroughly… maybe it’ll give you some ideas about concepts you want to be able to express and check within your code, too.

Fun and games with Docker and Build Smarter Systems with Rainbird 

Dom Davis

Docker has been a hot topic in recent months but what exactly is Docker and why do we need Linux Containers (LXC)? After all, we’ve already got virtualisation and can spin up an AWS instance in seconds for mere pence.Dom Davis, a veteran of The City and a casualty of The Financial Crisis, is now a technology evangelist for a small startup. Dom is an enthusiastic and impassioned speaker who uses a blend of irreverent sarcasm and flippant humour to bring complex technical subjects to a broad audience.


In this talk Dom looks at using Docker to provide homogeneous, vendor agnostic environments, environments on demand – including local development environments, and investigates some deployment tactics that can be used with containers. All of this will be done from within Docker instances configured and spun up on a laptop during the talk. What could possibly go wrong?

Build Smarter Systems with Rainbird: A hands on workshop where you’ll get to grips with the basics of Rainbird and building a knowledge map. No technical expertise beyond basic computer literacy is required for this workshop as it will focus mainly around Rainbird graphical editor and publishing to a website/wordpress. For users wanted to move onto more advanced subjects an understanding of XML would be useful.

Understanding Cloud, Big Data, Mobile and Security – do they play nicely together?

Colin Mower

The IT industry is undergoing the biggest change since commodity distributed computing almost killed the centralised model of large systems. Definitions and labels describing this future state of computing change almost monthly, but the IT industry is largely in agreement that Cloud, Big Data/Analytics, Mobile and Security are the key themes that are driving this change.

In this session, software architect at IBM, Colin Mower talks about the challenges companies large and small are facing with this paradigm shift, how they can take their business forward with the off-premises model, and how all four themes can work together to achieve business value.

Colin specialises in Enterprise systems, with many of his 17 years in IT working with or on IBM Mainframes. He has also spent many years designing and architecting solutions across Windows, Unix and AS/400s. He is a chartered member of the BCS, and has had speaking roles in Large System working group conferences, Universities and at Norfolk Developers.


Conference Dinner and Kurasie Wine Reception

Make the most of your time at NorDevCon and join us for a wine reception (free), also at The King’s Centre, generously sponsored by Kurasie. Discuss what you’ve learnt, raise any questions or introduce yourself to other delegates and share insights.

If you’re unable to attend the conference then you’re still very welcome to attend the drinks reception and mingle with conference delegates, speakers, organisers, Norfolk’s tech community and beyond.

The drinks reception will be followed by the conference dinner (£35 + fees for 3 courses and 2 glasses of wine) where you’ll have the chance to sit down and dine with all your favourite speakers in turn and pick the minds of those that are most relevant to you and your business. Places must be booked in advance and, like the drinks reception, invitations extend to those unable to attend the full conference as they also provide invaluable stand-alone networking opportunities.

View the menu here.

Pre-conference special & dinner

You can now RSVP for the pre-conference special and dinner on the evening of Thursday 26th of February(the evening before the conference). If you're able to make it, please do come along to both. The details are below.

Everyone is welcome at both events and you don't need to attend the conference to attend the pre-conference events.

Pre-conference Special with Allan Kelly and Kevlin Henney

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 5pm
The Kings Centre, Norwich

The Rule of Three - Kevin Henney

The three-act play, the given–when–then BDD triptych, the three steps of the Feynman problem solving algorithm... a surprising number of things appear to come in threes. This talk walks through — and has some fun with — a number of triples that affect and are found in software development.

Every business is a software business - Allan Kelly


Pre-conference Dinner at All Bar One

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 7.30pm
All Bar One, Norwich

This year the pre-conference dinner will be at All Bar One (a short walk from the Kings Centre) at 7.30pm. All are welcome and the fixed price menu is here:

View the menu.

When you RSVP you'll need to pay £11 for the meal and then for your drinks on the night. Please specify a starter, main meal and dessert when you RSVP.


Student & Unemployed Discounts

If you’re a student or are unemployed you can attend NorDevCon for just £25 + fees. If you purchase a discounted ticket you will be required to prove your status when you register on the morning of the conference.

Click here for student tickets and here for unemployed tickets.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

NorDevCon 2015: Agile Sessions Part 2‏


The decs' are down and the diets have started. But it's not all doom and gloom - there's plenty to look forward to in 2015. For starters we're just 7 weeks away from NorDevCon 2015 and here's a few more sessions to sink you teeth into.

So long, and thanks for all the tests

Seb Rose

Consultant, coach, designer, analyst and developer, Seb Rose has been involved in the full development lifecycle, from Architecture to Support and BASIC to Ruby. Most recently he's been helping teams adopt and refine their agile practices, with a particular focus on automated testing.

He answers the questions we've all been asking ourselves - Do unit tests make life better? Should we develop using test driven development (TDD)? What exactly are our customers paying for?

Software development is hard. Unit testing and Test Driven Development (TDD) can make it easier, but only if done well – and that takes time. Seb explains how these practices can help your project, what you can do to get better at them, and why your boss should care about them.

You’ll learn about project risk and how developer testing can improve the chances of a successful delivery and see how developer tests don’t just protect against regression, but also act as a primary source of documentation. And we’ll take a few hints from the ancient Egyptians!

A note about the title: In Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy the dolphins leave planet earth before it gets destroyed, with their last enigmatic message “So long, and thanks for all the fish” being misinterpreted. Is our software giving us the same message? After all, the software would still perform the same function without the tests, wouldn’t it?



The ups and downs of agile as a small agency

Lily Dart

Head of Service Design for dxw, an agency specialising in public sector digital, Lily walks us through her agencies experience as a small agile shop working for the public sector, sharing best practice advice and good examples of agile in practice.

When you’re actually working on the front lines with a client who has the drive to do things right, but is still limited by their timescale and budget, how can you make agile work? Lily reveals the answers leaning on experience in front end development and user experience design. Lilly loves using her technical knowledge and design expertise to solve problems.


Lies, damn lies and estimates 

Seb Rose

Seb steps up once again, this time posing the important question 'Are estimates an essential part of project planning and delivery or a waste of everybody’s time?

Seb explains how, as is so often the case, the answer is neither and both. In this session we discover that there is more than one kind of estimate and examine how they are typically used in an agile context.

He looks at what some of the great minds have said on the subject, from Steve McConnell to Demarco and Lister. He’ll also consider the need for estimates from the viewpoint of the business people who have to decide whether a project proposal should receive budget. Picking up the ‘No Estimates’ discussion from Twitter, Seb looks at whether there’s a case to be made for always refusing to provide estimates or whether there are times that some sorts of estimation is valuable. Seb closes by considering what Disraeli might have said on the subject
 
As a regular speaker at conferences and occasional contributor to software journals, Seb is also a contributing author to “97 Things Every Programmer Should Know” (O’Reilly) and is currently writing The Cucumber-JVM Book for Pragmatic Programmers. 

Conference Dinner and Kurasie Wine Reception

Make the most of your time at NorDevCon and join us for a wine reception (free), also at The King’s Centre, generously sponsored by Kurasie. Discuss what you’ve learnt, raise any questions or introduce yourself to other delegates and share insights.

If you’re unable to attend the conference then you’re still very welcome to attend the drinks reception and mingle with conference delegates, speakers, organisers, Norfolk’s tech community and beyond.

The drinks reception will be followed by the conference dinner (£35 + fees for 3 courses and 2 glasses of wine) where you’ll have the chance to sit down and dine with all your favourite speakers in turn and pick the minds of those that are most relevant to you and your business. Places must be booked in advance and, like the drinks reception, invitations extend to those unable to attend the full conference as they also provide invaluable stand-alone networking opportunities.

View the menu here.

Pre-conference special & dinner

You can now RSVP for the pre-conference special and dinner on the evening of Thursday 26th of February(the evening before the conference). If you're able to make it, please do come along to both. The details are below.

Everyone is welcome at both events and you don't need to attend the conference to attend the pre-conference events.

Pre-conference Special with Allan Kelly and Kevlin Henney

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 5pm
The Kings Centre, Norwich

The Rule of Three - Kevin Henney

The three-act play, the given–when–then BDD triptych, the three steps of the Feynman problem solving algorithm... a surprising number of things appear to come in threes. This talk walks through — and has some fun with — a number of triples that affect and are found in software development.

Every business is a software business - Allan Kelly


Pre-conference Dinner at All Bar One

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 7.30pm
All Bar One, Norwich

This year the pre-conference dinner will be at All Bar One (a short walk from the Kings Centre) at 7.30pm. All are welcome and the fixed price menu is here:

View the menu.

When you RSVP you'll need to pay £11 for the meal and then for your drinks on the night. Please specify a starter, main meal and dessert when you RSVP.


Student & Unemployed Discounts

If you’re a student or are unemployed you can attend NorDevCon for just £25 + fees. If you purchase a discounted ticket you will be required to prove your status when you register on the morning of the conference.

Click here for student tickets and here for unemployed tickets.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

NorDevCon: Meet the 2015 Sponsors‏


Every year NorDevCon provides businesses around the county with the chance to show clients and customers, both existing and potential, that they've got their finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest and greatest in business technology.

This year, Norwich-based accountants and business advisors, Farnell Clarke are the Elite event sponsors.

Will Farnell, Managing Director describes how his business is hand in hand with technology, “Farnell Clarke has been leading the way in cloud-based accounting for the past three years, working with more than 500 clients across the East of England and beyond. Technology is now absolutely fundamental to the way we run our business and help our clients to run theirs.  We rely completely on the talented people in the background who create the code that brings software such as KashFlow and ReceiptBank to life."

Will adds “Ambitious businesses such as ours cannot hope to thrive and grow if we don’t embrace everything that technology has to offer.  To do that the wider business community needs to forge closer links with the specialist tech sector.  That’s why we’re involved with nor(Dev):con: it’s a fantastic opportunity for the business and tech worlds to get together, learn from each other and, hopefully, develop partnerships which will help to cement Norfolk’s position as a truly innovative and ground-breaking business and tech community.”

Elite sponsor, Farnell Clarke are in good company too, with some of the counties brightest business stars generously sponsoring NorDevCon 2015.

This year's Partner Sponsors are: 

Kurasie - Helps you to get noticed in a noisy online world. Where the current trend is to "create" more content, you can serve your audience better by "curating" content.

MigSolv - Committed to providing secure, efficient, scalable and cost effective data centre solution including colocation solutions and the ideal place to house mission critical equipment.

Plain Speaking - Straight talking, results focused PR and communications agency based in Norwich specialising in devising and implement strategies that encompass marketing communications in its widest sense.

Redgate - Provide a safe, efficient process to ship regular database changes with tooling that brings the benefits of source control, continuous integration, and continuous delivery to your SQL Server databases.

Plus, check out our A-Z of Associate NorDevCon 2015 sponsors:  

Allies Postcoder - deliver address lookup for 240+ countries, Geocoding, IP address to location and email validation - part of Allies, a leading UK supplier of address data quality solutions.

Anglia IT Recruitment - A multiple award-winning company placing IT professionals in a range of roles within small independent software houses to international giants the East of England.

Bristow Holland - Offer specialist IT recruitment, sourcing and attraction services across the East of England with long and trusting relationships with many of the most prestigious employers in the region.

The Forum -  Offers a unique and inspiring location for exhibitions, performances, conferences. Home to The Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library awarded the title 'most popular public library in the UK' for seven consecutive years.

InfoQ - Providing an online community with unbiased, practitioner-driven conferences, content, and an online community created 'For the Community and By The Community'.

James Neale Photography  - Award-winning commercial photographer based in Norfolk, covering the whole of the UK.

LY Copywriting - Provides copywriting services, from website copy to email marketing, and social media management to businesses in and around East Anglia.

Methods & Tools - A free software development magazine exploring everything from project management and software testing to Agile and programming.

The MS Society - The UK’s leading MS charity who, since 1953, have been providing information and support, funding research and fighting for change. With over 38,000 members and 9000 volunteers.

Norfolk Network - About discovering, championing and connecting ambitious, creative and talented business people , who are using technology, science and engineering to develop innovative products and services.

Onebyte - Provide the Managed IT Services, the IT Support and the technically minded people you need to create and maintain the IT structure your business requires to succeed.

Proxama - A global platform provider of proximity marketing, loyalty and contactless payment solutions on mobile to financial institutions, media owners, retailers and brands.

Rainbird - An  impressive AI platform for visually structuring knowledge and turning it into smart consultative tools that anyone can use 24 /7.

Smellyrabbit - Specialise in digital solutions from bespoke websites and apps to back office solutions and custom content management systems.

Conference Dinner and Kurasie Wine Reception

Make the most of your time at NorDevCon and join us for a wine reception (free), also at The King’s Centre, generously sponsored by Kurasie. Discuss what you’ve learnt, raise any questions or introduce yourself to other delegates and share insights.

If you’re unable to attend the conference then you’re still very welcome to attend the drinks reception and mingle with conference delegates, speakers, organisers, Norfolk’s tech community and beyond.

The drinks reception will be followed by the conference dinner (£35 + fees for 3 courses and 2 glasses of wine) where you’ll have the chance to sit down and dine with all your favourite speakers in turn and pick the minds of those that are most relevant to you and your business. Places must be booked in advance and, like the drinks reception, invitations extend to those unable to attend the full conference as they also provide invaluable stand-alone networking opportunities.

View the menu here.

Pre-conference special & dinner

You can now RSVP for the pre-conference special and dinner on the evening of Thursday 26th of February(the evening before the conference). If you're able to make it, please do come along to both. The details are below.

Everyone is welcome at both events and you don't need to attend the conference to attend the pre-conference events.

Pre-conference Special with Allan Kelly and Kevlin Henney

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 5pm
The Kings Centre, Norwich

The Rule of Three - Kevin Henney

The three-act play, the given–when–then BDD triptych, the three steps of the Feynman problem solving algorithm... a surprising number of things appear to come in threes. This talk walks through — and has some fun with — a number of triples that affect and are found in software development.

Every business is a software business - Allan Kelly

RSVP here.

Pre-conference Dinner at All Bar One

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 7.30pm
All Bar One, Norwich

This year the pre-conference dinner will be at All Bar One (a short walk from the Kings Centre) at 7.30pm. All are welcome and the fixed price menu is here:

View the menu.

When you RSVP you'll need to pay £11 for the meal and then for your drinks on the night. Please specify a starter, main meal and dessert when you RSVP.

RSVP here.

Student & Unemployed Discounts

If you’re a student or are unemployed you can attend NorDevCon for just £25 + fees. If you purchase a discounted ticket you will be required to prove your status when you register on the morning of the conference.

Click here for student tickets and here for unemployed tickets.

Learn WordPress & Build a Website in 1 Day!

What: Learn WordPress & Build a Website in 1 Day

When: Thursday, January 22, 2015 @ 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Where: The King's Centre, King Street, Norwich, NR1 1PH

Price: GBP150.00/per person

Sign-up: via meetup or email paul@nakedelement.co.uk

This course is given by WP Courses.

This course teaches you all the basics of building, running and marketing websites using WordPress, the world’s leading website solution. In one day, you will build your own stunning website, which will be hosted free for one year. The course runs from 9.30am to 5pm and is limited to 12 places.

About the course

We cover everything from WordPress installation and set up to all the most useful features and tools WordPress offers. You get a brand new site to work on through the day, which you will practise on and make your own. You will apply an attractive design, make the site search engine friendly and add all the features and functionality you need to further develop and run the site yourself.

Get your own domain name.

After the course, we can set your site up on any UK domain name of your choice, brand new or an existing one you already own. You can keep the site after the course, hosted free for one year.  After that, hosting is available from just £8/mo for our standard WordPress hosting package – see more details of our hosting packages here.

How the course works


  • Please bring your own laptop with WiFi.  Wireless broadband and power sockets are provided.
  • WordPress is incredibly easy to pick up and you will be free to go at your own pace throughout the day.  All training materials will be provided after the course, so there need be no fear of “falling behind”.
  • This is an intensive course and assumes a reasonable working knowledge of using computers and the internet, even if you have little or no prior knowledge of WordPress. If you are comfortable with using email, copy/paste, saving files/folders and navigating the internet, you should be fine!
  • Arrive at 9.30am to get online, and for tea and coffee ready for a 9.45am start . We will cover all the basics of WordPress and have your own site up and running before lunch!
  • After a break for lunch, we’ll go through everything WordPress can do in more detail.  You will learn how to control the structure, look and feel and add essential features like pages, text/images and forms. Learn how to track visitors, get ranked well on search engines, take easy PayPal payments on your site and much, much more.
  • The course ends around 4.30pm and you will be invited to stay around for further discussion with Toby and with each other, about WordPress, about your website and about your business.  Toby will be around after the course to give you further advice and guidance about your site.
  • After the course, you will be sent all the course materials and clear instructions for setting up your site on its own domain name (old or new).  You will have a year of free hosting, then you have the option to continue for just £8/mo. See more details on our great value WordPress hosting here.


Timetable

9.30am – Arrive for tea, coffee and to get online.

9.45am – Introduction to WordPress

10 am – You are guided through setting up your new website

1pm – Lunch (Not provided)

1.45pm – Course resumes

5pm – Course ends.  You are invited to stick around for further assistance with WordPress, with your site and general networking over drinks.L

WordPress Training Course – Topics Covered

  • Introduction to WordPress
  • Installation and Set Up
  • Admin Panel, Settings and Basic Configuration
  • Posts and Pages
  • Categories and Tags
  • Users, Links and Comments
  • Themes and Plugins
  • Theme Frameworks
  • Why and how to use the Genesis framework
  • Menus and Widgets
  • Images and Videos
  • Galleries and Portfolios
  • Contact Forms and Maps
  • Security, Stability and Backing Up
  • Take easy online payments with PayPal
  • Tracking – traffic, visitors and site stats
  • How to get visitors and “traffic”
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Google’s free tools: Analytics, AdWords, Webmaster Tools, Trends and Keywords
  • Blogs and Forums
  • Facebook, Twitter and social networking
  • RSS Feeds – stream external news and content on your site
  • Adding sitemap, privacy policy and terms & conditions easily
  • Make your site easy to navigate, accessible and print friendly
  • Translate – have your site written in any language for free
  • WordPress for the small business
  • Making money out of your website

Friday, 9 January 2015

NorDevCon 2015: Technical Sessions Part 2


Just weeks into the new year NorDevCon 2015 is back and this year it means business.

Tuck into our tech session taster take-two with more details of just some of our skilled speakers and what you can look forward to from the next NorDevCon.

The Rationale For Continuous Delivery

Many people working in software development spend their careers working without seeing what good looks like. Our history is littered with inefficient processes creating poor quality output, too late to capitalise on the expected business value.

Dave Farley, co-author of the Jolt award winning book Continuous Delivery, raises the questions we’ve all been asking ourselves like 'How have we got to this state?' 'How do we get past it and what does good really look like?'

David has been having fun with computers for over 30 years and over this time has worked on most types of software. He has a wide range of experience leading the development of complex software in teams, large and small. Dave was an early adopter of agile development techniques, employing iterative development, continuous integration and significant levels of automated testing on commercial projects from the early 1990s. More recently Dave has worked in the field of low latency computing developing high performance software for the finance industry.

Seven Ineffective Coding Habits of Many Programmers

The rule of three at it’s finest – not the three-act play or the given–when–then BDD triptych, but this talk walks through — and has some fun with — a number of triples that affect and are found in software development.

Habits help you manage the complexity of code. You apply existing skill and knowledge automatically to the detail while focusing on the bigger picture. But because you acquire habits largely by imitation, and rarely question them, how do you know your habits are effective? Many of the habits that programmers have for naming, formatting, commenting and unit testing do not stand up as rational and practical on closer inspection.

Kevlin Henney examines seven coding habits that are not as effective as programmers believe, and suggests some tried and tested alternatives.

Web vs Native: Where Are We Now?

O2’s Ruth John talks to us about the browser, it’s emerging technologies and how much mobile technology has changed the direction of the web. She asks the hard question of Web vs Native, where the arguments lie for and against in the current climate and which one is more suitable to your projects. You’ll start the day with an enlightened insight  into how influential mobile really is.

Working for The Lab at O2 (Telefonica), Ruth has over ten years experience in the industry and she heads up UXing, designing and front end coding. You can often find her chatting about new mobile & web development techniques and getting excited about building apps.

                   
Conference Dinner and Kurasie Wine Reception

Make the most of your time at NorDevCon and join us for a wine reception (free), also at The King’s Centre, generously sponsored by Kurasie. Discuss what you’ve learnt, raise any questions or introduce yourself to other delegates and share insights.

If you’re unable to attend the conference then you’re still very welcome to attend the drinks reception and mingle with conference delegates, speakers, organisers, Norfolk’s tech community and beyond.

The drinks reception will be followed by the conference dinner (£35 + fees for 3 courses and 2 glasses of wine) where you’ll have the chance to sit down and dine with all your favourite speakers in turn and pick the minds of those that are most relevant to you and your business. Places must be booked in advance and, like the drinks reception, invitations extend to those unable to attend the full conference as they also provide invaluable stand-alone networking opportunities.

View the menu here.

Pre-conference special & dinner

You can now RSVP for the pre-conference special and dinner on the evening of Thursday 26th of February(the evening before the conference). If you're able to make it, please do come along to both. The details are below.

Everyone is welcome at both events and you don't need to attend the conference to attend the pre-conference events.

Pre-conference Special with Allan Kelly and Kevlin Henney

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 5pm
The Kings Centre, Norwich

The Rule of Three - Kevin Henney

The three-act play, the given–when–then BDD triptych, the three steps of the Feynman problem solving algorithm... a surprising number of things appear to come in threes. This talk walks through — and has some fun with — a number of triples that affect and are found in software development.

Every business is a software business - Allan Kelly

RSVP here.

Pre-conference Dinner at All Bar One

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 7.30pm
All Bar One, Norwich

This year the pre-conference dinner will be at All Bar One (a short walk from the Kings Centre) at 7.30pm. All are welcome and the fixed price menu is here:

View the menu.

When you RSVP you'll need to pay £11 for the meal and then for your drinks on the night. Please specify a starter, main meal and dessert when you RSVP.

RSVP here.

Student & Unemployed Discounts

If you’re a student or are unemployed you can attend NorDevCon for just £25 + fees. If you purchase a discounted ticket you will be required to prove your status when you register on the morning of the conference.

Click here for student tickets and here for unemployed tickets.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

NorDevCon 2015: Agile Sessions Part 1‏


Ahead of this year's forthcoming event check out NorDevCon 2015 Agile Sessions Part 1.

As well as a low down on the conference’s Agile aspect and a sneak preview of our seasoned speakers, the NorDevCon team would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Building Learning Into Team Life


Co-author of “Agile Coaching”, Rachel Davies has worked in software development since the likes of Madonna burst onto the scene in the late 80’s. She is interested in finding ways to help teams work more effectively to achieve their goals and specializes in coaching teams in agile approaches to software development, such as XP and Kanban. Rachel currently works as a agile coach at Unruly in London.

Rachel explores how when we make time and space for learning within teams, the products and services we build can benefit from new ideas and innovative solutions. Team members also tend to find work more satisfying and enjoyable, which helps company recruitment and staff retention. Many managers and coaches/scrum masters struggle when it comes to practical ways to encourage people to keep learning at work. It can help to build in time for learning, exploration and discovery into team/organization process but how can you get started? Rachel address the more challenging issues of how to keep learning initiatives going without taking on the admin yourself?

What Is This Agile?

If, like Allan Kelly, you are sick of your technical team answering every question with “Agile” then this presentation could be your antidote.
During his career, Allan has held just about every job in the software world, from system admin to development manager by way of programmer and product manager.  Today he works helping teams adopt and deepen Agile practices, advising companies of development generally and writing far too much.  He specialises in working with software product companies and aligning products and processes with company strategy.

Serial author of Agile books, Allan will explain why every question seems to be answered with “Agile” but pinning “Agile” seems to be impossible. We’ll take a look at what Agile can do for a business and why its important. And we’ll explain why the only flavour of Agile which is right for your business is the one you create yourself.

This talk isn’t for techies, it’s for people who employ and manage techies, who need to get the best from techies, who deliver a product or service which wouldn’t exist without software technology.

This is Agile?

Letitia Fearon poses the question ‘How many times have you been told that you will be working on an Agile project but when you start this doesn’t seem to be the case?’ and uses this session to take a look at what Agile really is, why you would want to run a project using it and the pros and cons of doing so.

Now a Business Analyst based in London, Letitia started out working in the pharmaceutical industry, shadowing scientists, observing both the time spent in the labs and the analysis phase and then working with them to optimise processes, at times using an IT solution and at others a change in their practice. These improvements always focused on reducing the time required, without impacting the quality of the output. This led Letitia into the world of consultancy where she’s since gone on to helps many companies work effectively with Agile techniques, using Scrum, Lean or Kanban.


Conference Dinner and Kurasie Wine Reception

Make the most of your time at NorDevCon and join us for a wine reception (free), also at The King’s Centre, generously sponsored by Kurasie. Discuss what you’ve learnt, raise any questions or introduce yourself to other delegates and share insights.

If you’re unable to attend the conference then you’re still very welcome to attend the drinks reception and mingle with conference delegates, speakers, organisers, Norfolk’s tech community and beyond.

The drinks reception will be followed by the conference dinner (£35 + fees for 3 courses and 2 glasses of wine) where you’ll have the chance to sit down and dine with all your favourite speakers in turn and pick the minds of those that are most relevant to you and your business. Places must be booked in advance and, like the drinks reception, invitations extend to those unable to attend the full conference as they also provide invaluable stand-alone networking opportunities.

View the menu here.

Pre-conference special & dinner

You can now RSVP for the pre-conference special and dinner on the evening of Thursday 26th of February(the evening before the conference). If you're able to make it, please do come along to both. The details are below.

Everyone is welcome at both events and you don't need to attend the conference to attend the pre-conference events.

Pre-conference Special with Allan Kelly and Kevlin Henney

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 5pm
The Kings Centre, Norwich

The Rule of Three - Kevin Henney

The three-act play, the given–when–then BDD triptych, the three steps of the Feynman problem solving algorithm... a surprising number of things appear to come in threes. This talk walks through — and has some fun with — a number of triples that affect and are found in software development.

Every business is a software business - Allan Kelly

RSVP here.

Pre-conference Dinner at All Bar One

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 7.30pm
All Bar One, Norwich

This year the pre-conference dinner will be at All Bar One (a short walk from the Kings Centre) at 7.30pm. All are welcome and the fixed price menu is here:

View the menu.

When you RSVP you'll need to pay £11 for the meal and then for your drinks on the night. Please specify a starter, main meal and dessert when you RSVP.

RSVP here.

Student & Unemployed Discounts

If you’re a student or are unemployed you can attend NorDevCon for just £25 + fees. If you purchase a discounted ticket you will be required to prove your status when you register on the morning of the conference.

Click here for student tickets and here for unemployed tickets.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

NorDevCon 2015: Technical & Business Sessions Part 1‏


In preparation for 2015's NorDevCon, here's a little preview of what attendees can expect from our guest speakers.

A Tale Of Two Codes

 

Richard Astbury and Anders Fisher attempt to create a live coded web app from front to back and back to front using javascript.

This dynamic duo will live code a web app from start to finish using JavaScript. Anders will create the user interface and front-end code for the browser, while Richard writes the back end system using Node.js. This interactive session is packed with tricks, tips and techniques as the java geniuses attempt to build the app live on stage.

Anders Fisher is a self-confessed addicted developer from nearby Ipswich and is heavily involved in the developer community organising and speaking at numerous events including his own FESuffolk. Many moons ago he started out work as a front end developer and still has a great deal of passion and expertise in that area. Anders also works as a contractor on a variety of different projects including front and back end javascript development as well as ruby on rails. Anders is a big fan of live coding as its like pairing with the crowd!

Richard Astbury helps software businesses around Europe migrate their applications to the cloud. He is a Microsoft MVP for Microsoft Azure, and consultant at two10degrees. Richard is often found developing open source software in C# and Node.js, and lives in Suffolk with his wife and two children. Live pair programming is something new for Richard so what could possibly go wrong?

Selling A Promise


Burkhard Kloss will lead an exploration into how investment banks are structured and actually work, and the impact this has on how financial software is built in practice.


Since coming to the UK almost a quarter of a century ago, Burkhard has been primarily writing software and leading teams in the front office of financial services institutions, working closely with traders and quantitative analysts in C++, Python and a variety of other languages.

Understanding Cloud, Big Data, Mobile and Security – do they play nicely together?

The IT industry is undergoing the biggest change since commodity distributed computing almost killed the centralised model of large systems like video killed the radio star. Definitions and labels describing this future state of computing change almost monthly, but the IT industry is largely in agreement that Cloud, Big Data/Analytics, Mobile and Security are the key themes that are driving this change.

In this session Colin Mower, a software architect at IBM, will navigate the challenges companies large and small are facing with this paradigm shift, how they can take their business forward with the off-premises model, and how all four themes can work together to achieve business value.

Colin specialises in Enterprise systems and many of his 17 years spent working in IT have been dedicated to working with or on IBM Mainframes. He has also spent many years designing and architecting solutions across Windows, Unix and AS/400s, is a chartered member of the BCS, and has had speaking roles in Large System working group conferences, Universities and at Norfolk Developers. In his spare time he is trying to get his 9 year old son interested in programming on his RPi, BBC Model B and taking him back to basics and the dark ages of development with his Amstrad CPC 464.


Conference Dinner and Kurasie Wine Reception

Make the most of your time at NorDevCon and join us for a wine reception (free), also at The King’s Centre, generously sponsored by Kurasie. Discuss what you’ve learnt, raise any questions or introduce yourself to other delegates and share insights.

If you’re unable to attend the conference then you’re still very welcome to attend the drinks reception and mingle with conference delegates, speakers, organisers, Norfolk’s tech community and beyond.

The drinks reception will be followed by the conference dinner (£35 + fees for 3 courses and 2 glasses of wine) where you’ll have the chance to sit down and dine with all your favourite speakers in turn and pick the minds of those that are most relevant to you and your business. Places must be booked in advance and, like the drinks reception, invitations extend to those unable to attend the full conference as they also provide invaluable stand-alone networking opportunities.

View the menu here.

Pre-conference special & dinner

You can now RSVP for the pre-conference special and dinner on the evening of Thursday 26th of February (the evening before the conference). If you're able to make it, please do come along to both. The details are below.

Everyone is welcome at both events and you don't need to attend the conference to attend the pre-conference events.

Pre-conference Special with Allan Kelly and Kevlin Henney

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 5pm
The Kings Centre, Norwich

The Rule of Three - Kevin Henney

The three-act play, the given–when–then BDD triptych, the three steps of the Feynman problem solving algorithm... a surprising number of things appear to come in threes. This talk walks through - and has some fun with - a number of triples that affect and are found in software development.

Every business is a software business - Allan Kelly

RSVP here.

Pre-conference Dinner at All Bar One

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 7.30pm
All Bar One, Norwich

This year the pre-conference dinner will be at All Bar One (a short walk from the Kings Centre) at 7.30pm. All are welcome and the fixed price menu is here:

View the menu.

When you RSVP you'll need to pay £11 for the meal and then for your drinks on the night. Please specify a starter, main meal and dessert when you RSVP.

RSVP here.

Student & Unemployed Discounts

If you’re a student or are unemployed you can attend NorDevCon for just £25 + fees. If you purchase a discounted ticket you will be required to prove your status when you register on the morning of the conference.

Click here for student tickets and here for unemployed tickets.


Monday, 5 January 2015

NorDevCon 2015: Introducing the keynote speakers


We’re just weeks away from 2015 and one of the first dates in your diary for next year should be NorDevCon 2015.

Taking place in the heart of Norwich on the the 27th February, you’ll get to hear from the creme de la creme of Norfolk’s tech community as well as speakers from the big smoke.

Early Bird tickets are still available from £95 + fees and with a packed programme full of Agile, tech, business and design sessions as well as unique networking opportunities, delegates are certainly getting a lot of techie bang for their buck this year!


Get more information and your tickets here.

Keynotes

Introducing Opening Keynote speaker, Jon Skeet, Java developer at Google based in London


Developing Passion, in many senses. Few areas of business seem to provoke as much passion as technology. Many technologists seem to be perfectly happy taking their vacation time on a busman’s holiday of conferences and community events. Millions of hours of “spare” time are poured into open source projects, lovingly crafted and then used gratefully by industry. And then there are the arguments of course… to the outside world, the idea of arguing whether a brace should go at the end of one line or the start of another must seem incredible, let alone all the language, framework and operating system debates.

So in this world where passion certainly exists, how can we make it work for us? Not cynically or selfishly, but for the betterment of all. How can we align our natural passions with our day to day work, without losing any chance of work-life balance? How can we inspire passion in others, and know when to step back, appreciating and learning from them? Where can too much passion become a problem?

Passion in technology can take many forms, many of them symbiotic. Find your passion; nurture and enjoy it. Help those around you to discover theirs, and we can inspire each other, making remarkable technological leaps while having a blast.

Family man Jon Skeet has a passion for C# and not only loves to talk about it, but write about it too with the third edition of his C# in Depth series published in September 2013.


Fast-forwarding to the end of the conference Neontribe’s Rupert Redington & Harry Harrold have teamed up to close with their keynote titledAgile apocrypha and an ad-hoc manifesto.’

 

A former thespian, Rupert has spent almost 15 years immersed in the world of web development and, after founding Neontribe, has recently been using Javascript for everything from helping teens talk to doctors and helping Americans buy airline tickets.

Harry, remembers the last dot-com boom, and left the US technology company who bought his start-up out when they asked him to move to Texas. After a break, he started learning again and earned his stripes as part of Neontribe in 2007. He believes in empathy as a key skill for developers and designers, and in the importance of documentation done last.

Conference Dinner and Kurasie Wine Reception

Make the most of your time at NorDevCon and join us for a wine reception (free), also at The King’s Centre, generously sponsored by Kurasie. Discuss what you’ve learnt, raise any questions or introduce yourself to other delegates and share insights.

If you’re unable to attend the conference then you’re still very welcome to attend the drinks reception and mingle with conference delegates, speakers, organisers, Norfolk’s tech community and beyond.

The drinks reception will be followed by the conference dinner (£35 + fees for 3 courses and 2 glasses of wine) where you’ll have the chance to sit down and dine with all your favourite speakers in turn and pick the minds of those that are most relevant to you and your business. Places must be booked in advance and, like the drinks reception, invitations extend to those unable to attend the full conference as they also provide invaluable stand-alone networking opportunities.

View the menu here.

Pre-conference special & dinner

You can now RSVP for the pre-conference special and dinner on the evening of Thursday 26th of February(the evening before the conference). If you're able to make it, please do come along to both. The details are below.

Everyone is welcome at both events and you don't need to attend the conference to attend the pre-conference events.

Pre-conference Special with Allan Kelly and Kevlin Henney

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 5pm
The Kings Centre, Norwich

The Rule of Three - Kevin Henney

The three-act play, the given–when–then BDD triptych, the three steps of the Feynman problem solving algorithm... a surprising number of things appear to come in threes. This talk walks through — and has some fun with — a number of triples that affect and are found in software development.

Every business is a software business - Allan Kelly

RSVP here.

Pre-conference Dinner at All Bar One

Thursday, 26th February 2015 @ 7.30pm
All Bar One, Norwich

This year the pre-conference dinner will be at All Bar One (a short walk from the Kings Centre) at 7.30pm. All are welcome and the fixed price menu is here:

View the menu.

When you RSVP you'll need to pay £11 for the meal and then for your drinks on the night. Please specify a starter, main meal and dessert when you RSVP.

RSVP here.

Student & Unemployed Discounts

If you’re a student or are unemployed you can attend NorDevCon for just £25 + fees. If you purchase a discounted ticket you will be required to prove your status when you register on the morning of the conference.

Click here for student tickets and here for unemployed tickets.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Norfolk Developers: Let's get function with F# in January

Norfolk Developers are extremely lucky to have Phil Trelford returning for both the evening event and a workshop the following day. Details are below. Please sign-up now.

What: Functional Hands on Workshop with Phil Trelford

When: Thursday, January 8, 2015 @ 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Where: The King's Centre, King Street, Norwich, NR1 1PH

How much: £20.00

Sign-up

Prerequisites: A laptop with F# installed.

Ham or Spam

In this session, we'll learn about the Naive Bayes classifier, and take a classic Machine Learning problem, recognizing Spam from Ham.

Hands On FParsec

FParsec is a parser combinator library for F# that let's you quickly build a recursive-descent text parser.

This session will introduce parsing domain-specific and general purpose languages using FParsec. Along the way we'll also cover creating a simple Abstract Syntax Tree (AST) with discriminated unions, and interpreting or compiling the language using pattern matching.



What: Write your own compiler in 24 hours with Phil Trelford

When: Wednesday, January 7, 2015 @ 6:30

Where: The King's Centre, King Street, Norwich, NR1 1PH

Sign-up

Write your own compiler in 24 hours
Phil Trelford (@ptrelford)

Compiler writers are often seen as the stuff of myth and legend.

In this session we'll step behind the proverbial curtain and reveal how compilers actually work.

Expect plenty of live code samples, primarily in F#, covering language design and parsing, all-the-way through to emitting code. This session is aimed as a primer for those interested in writing an external DSL, general purpose language or just understanding how these things work.