Thursday, 23 April 2015

Nor(DEV): Docker Beginners Hands on Full Day Workshop

What: Nor(DEV): Docker Beginners Hands on Full Day Workshop

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

When: Wednesday 27th May @ 9.45am - 4.30pm


Price: £30 per person
Level: Beginners
Prerequisites: Laptop with SSH client
Location: Conference Room 1 (1st floor)

In this hands on workshop we’ll be looking at the basics of using Docker to deploy services in immutable servers.

Starting from the absolute basics of installing and running docker we’ll then look at running pre-packaged images before moving onto creating our own. We’ll then use these images to see how Docker can be used to simplify testing and deployment of code.

During the session we’ll be working with the linux command line, so a familiarity with that will be beneficial. The practical sessions will be run from the cloud, so a laptop with an SSH client will be needed.

Dom Davis

Dom Davis is a veteran of The City and a casualty of The Financial Crisis. Not content with bringing the world to its knees he then went off to help break the internet before winding up in Norfolk where he is now a technology evangelist for a small startup.
Dom is an enthusiastic and impassioned speaker [read: he gabbles] who uses a blend of irreverent sarcasm and flippant humour to bring complex technical subjects to a broad audience. Whether or not they understand him is up for debate, but he likes to believe they do.

Nor(DEV): Unlocking Your IT Data & Building on the EPoS Now Platform

When: Wednesday, May 6th 2015, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm 

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


There are Priorities, Priorities, and then there are PRIORITIES. 

Today IT is generally seen as a critical if not essential part of our daily live’s, the data that it generates is readily accepted to be of essential importance. From mundane user generated data such as word documents (but only mundane as its content), to critical infrastructure regulating electricity supplies (but only critical if service affecting). One of the challenges we face is how do we understand what data is of critical importance and what is not. In addition another layer of added complexity is that one departments criticality is anothers nuisance, so how do we advise and decide as IT professionals what an organization really needs? Firstly in order to make an ‘informed’ decision we need to be….. Informed. 

We at Sumo Logic will enable you to create a platform which enables you to collect the right information in the right context, at the right time. 

Clive McDonald 

I would describe myself firstly as an IT Data evangelist, I think it is quite apt with regards to where I am in my career. In previous positions I have built and managed global teams,designed & implemented various technical enterprise wide solutions,and won multi-million pound contracts within both start-up companies and global enterprises. This work was done under various guises such as a EMEA Manager or a senior security professional/architect, predominantly dealing with FTSE 50 companies across a wide range of verticals. The reason I have chosen such a generic description for myself is simply because IT data and its use within the world has gone through a seachange, the use of ‘Big Data’ has blurred the previous delineations that existed between security, operations and auditing as an example. 

Building on the EPoS Now Platform 

April 2015 celebrates 3 years of software development at local tech company EPoS Now. The business has had great success from introducing Software as a Service and some great developer tools.They are soon to extend this by offering Platform as a Service, which will allow developers to build, host and resell their creations. 
In this talk Wayne will demonstrate how to build and host a simple JavaScript app using real-time data from multiple API's. As well as exploring the approach and scalable technology used to build the platform. 

Wayne Taylor 

Wayne works as Head of Software at EPoS Now where he has helped to create the successful SME from a fledgling start-up. Day to day means managing, coaching, problem solving, architecting, designing, watering the plants, keeping an ear to the ground and an eye on competitors... and every once in a while he still gets to write some code. He is very proud of the department he has built and is often amazed by the fantastic people he gets to work with.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Two birds, one stone: The future of mobile at New Patrick's Yard.

On Wednesday 1st of April (no, I’m not fooling) Norfolk Developers held a special event in the new “Technical Offices for Technical People”, at New Patrick’s Yard on the corner of Prince of Wales Road and Recorder Road in Norwich. New Patrick’s Yard is the location of the new Norwich based offices for Liquid 11, the very successful technology company created and run by Grant Hardy. They also have plenty of spare space, which they want to rent out to other tech businesses.

I first met Grant at SyncNorwich’s Agile August and we’ve kept in touch and bumped into each other at various events since; so when Sally Harding, Liquid 11’s Business Development Manager, asked me if I would help to promote New Patrick’s Yard, I thought what better way than to run a Norfolk Developers’ event there?

Some of you will remember that we had to do a last minute room swap between Seb Rose and Neil Garner at NorDevCon in February. It was so last minute that Neil had actually started speaking and sadly it also meant that we didn’t capture the video. So I thought that a special, last minute event at New Patrick’s Yard would be fitting and give us a chance to record Neil’s conference presentation again. Fortunately, Neil was very keen to do it too!

About 25 people, including some new faces and some members of Liquid 11’s team, descended on New Patrick’s Yard to consume the plentiful beer, wine and pizza which was very kindly laid on by Liquid 11. Twentyfive was the perfect number for the double office we were using for the presentation. New Patrick’s Yard had even created special Wifi just for NorDev.

We kicked off at 7pm and Grant gave a brief overview of the offices and their facilities before inviting everyone to look round after the presentation. Then we dived straight into Neil’s enhanced presentation from NorDevCon, Mobile Commerce: Past, Present, THE future.

I originally met Neil just before he opened MobDevCon for me in 2013 and I’ve seen him speak a few times since. His friendly, charismatic style lends itself brilliantly to these sorts of high level, business focussed technical presentations and it was clear that everyone was engaged with the material from beginning to end.

Neil told us about wearables and questioned how popular the new smart watches would be, given that many people wear a styled watch as a fashion accessory or as a status symbol. He posed the question, what will Apple and Google do to keep up?

He explained how the mobile app would become a thing of the past and how the mobile experience would become fully integrated, rather than segregated into separate apps. He told us that mobile developers are already predominantly engaged in integration.

Neil told us that “There are 102 lego bricks for everyone on the planet” and that this is particularly interesting because most software engineers are no longer writing low level code to display some text, capture input from a keyboard or setup networking. Now, we’ve all become integration engineers building software on top of other software, just like putting lego building blocks together.

Mobile phones are being used more and more for purchasing and Neil explained how mobile phone coverage is better in East Africa and across Asia than it is in Europe and how just about everyone with a phone there can make and receive payments on their phones.

Neil finished off by telling us about Loka, a new app from Proxama which delivers offers from high street in real time based on your proximity to certain shops. This sparked a number of questions about the technology behind it and how consumers would react to the notifications.

Following Neil’s presentation, New Patrick’s Yard was still buzzing as people finished off the pizza and beer, explored the offices and chatted. Norfolk Developers had a fantastic time at the Technical Offices for Technical People and we’ve been invited back.

Don’t miss the Norfolk Developers lunch at All Bar One at 12.30pm on Wednesday 15th of April followed by our regular evening event. This month, it’s Tools of the Javascript Trade & Coachtrain: the challenges of innovating the inter-urban public transportation system, from 6.30pm at the Kings Centre. RSVP here: and follow us on Twitter, @NorfolkDev.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

NorDev Special: Mobile Commerce: Past, Present, THE future at New Patrick's Yard

What: NorDev Special: Mobile Commerce: Past, Present, THE future at New Patrick's Yard

When: Wednesday, April 1, 2015 @ 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Where: New Patrick's Yard, 2 Recorder Rd, Norfolk, NR1 1NR


Come along to our April special at New Patrick's Yard and hear Neil Garner of Proxama telling us about mobile. Refreshments including beer, wine, soft drinks and pizza will be available!

Mobile Commerce: Past, Present, THE future.
Neil Garner (@Proxama)

Mobile Commerce has come a long way from basic automated voice and text messaging services in the late 90s, through basic WAP services on feature phones in late 00s through sophisticated shopping apps of today. Mobile Commerce is still at early stages of evolution in western economies like the UK despite many emerging countries like Kenya using services like m-Pesa instead of cash. What will the future bring? Growth of Proximity Commerce linking digital with physical wallets… wearables… Biometrics and authentication… death of Apps… however the future pans out the mobile will be at the heart of commerce in 2020.

About Neil

Neil founded Proxama in 2005 (then called Glue4 Technologies). The business focused on creating services that link people and brands using consumer technologies. In 2008, the company was rebranded as Proxama with a focus on the applications of mobile, smartcard and NFC technologies. Neil passionately believes in using emerging technologies to create valuable services for people.

Prior to founding Proxama, Neil ran a division of a niche consultancy, Consult Hyperion, where he led the systems implementation teams for a number of ground breaking products including Vodafone’s m-Pesa, MasterCard’s PayPass, Sky and Barclaycard’s SkyCard and American Express Blue card.

Neil has a MEng and DPhil from York University and is a Chartered Engineer. Any precious time at home is split between renovating an old property and enjoying life with his wife and three young children.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Win Tickets To NorDevCon 2016

At the recent NorDevCon we got fewer feedback forms than we were hoping for. We have been thinking of expanding the conference to run over two days, but would like your thoughts first!

Please complete the very short survey below, to let us know if you would want the 2016 conference to run over two days and if so, which two days.

As a thank you, if you complete the survey you will be entered into a draw to win one of five tickets to NorDevCon 2016.

  Create your own user feedback survey

Hot Source is Back!

For me, and I suspect many others, Hot Source is where it all started. They were the first community group in Norwich to put on free events for the digital industry. Run for many years by Nania Tate, Jake Hithersay and Tom Wood the sessions always contained cutting edge and relevant content from a whole range of areas within the digital industry.

And then the worst happened (ok, so I’m exaggerating a little for effect). The triumvirate all stepped back to, understandably, concentrate on their individual businesses. I have seen many times how something withers and dies when it’s founders and driving force pass it to someone else or step back and wait for the void to be filled organically. When I was thinking of passing on one of my projects a good friend once said to me that no one will ever believe in it like I do and it’s true. Most of the time.

Not so with Hot Source, but then you have to look at who stepped up to the plate and filled the void. Huw Sayer is becoming nothing less than a superstar in the way he supports, builds and nurtures the digital community in Norwich. As the perfect gentleman that he is, Huw was quick to remind me that he isn't doing this alone. He told me, “I’m particularly grateful to co-organiser Caroline Mayers, who stepped up to the plate at the same time as me. She was instrumental in sorting out the details of the evening (as well as inviting Ruth to visit Norwich). Other members of the team who gave valuable support during the planning and on the night were Guy Potter (who also set up the mini-survey for us), Niall Cook, Wayne Fick and Matt Dolan – we also really appreciate the support of NUA, particularly Catherine Hill who ensured the technology worked on the night.”

I haven’t been to Hot Source for a very long time. Mostly because there are so many other pulls on my time, especially from November through to the end of February, so I wasn’t at all sure what to expect.

The evening started off with Joy Haynes, director of the Norwich Puppet Theatre telling us how they used Kickstarter to try and raise £2,000 to put on a production of Beauty and the Beast to encourage people to visit the theatre, and by the end raised £2,475.

The Norwich Puppet Theatre is a well known feature of Norwich. It occupies an old church built with traditional Norwich flint stones on the inner ring road in Whitefriars. Prior to 1980 it was used as a night shelter. In 1979 money was raised and voluntary help enlisted to turn the church into the Puppet Theatre.

Joy brought along a couple of puppets (despite having seen Brian Connelly at Spotlight on Business a few days before, I refrained from shouting “It’s a puppet!”) and told us how the Norwich Puppet Theatre is one of only two in the country with a marionette bridge. And how in their take on Beauty and the Beast, the beauty is beastly in nature and the beast kind and gentle.

Joy spoke for about 10 to 15 minutes and then, without questions and with barely a pause it was straight on to Ruth Anslow of Hisbe Foods. Ruth is a social entrepreneur, which means she sets up businesses that serve the local community and make money. She explained how it’s very important to do both!

Ruth told us that she is “Pissed off with supermarkets.” She believes supermarkets should be more ethical and affordable, so set about creating a supermarket that pays suppliers fairly and pays the living wage to its employees. A supermarket the way it should be.

Ruth setup Hisbe Foods with her sister. They spent three years locked away building their brand and confidence in it through blogging and twitter. Then they used crowdfunding to raise £200,000 which they used to renovate, stock and staff their first supermarket in Brighton in December 2013. They are now about to turn over their first million.

Following directly on from Ruth was Simon Middleton, owner of the Shackleton brand. The previous two presentations had felt a little bit salesy, but the majority of Simon’s presentation felt very much like a sales pitch, complete with samples being passed around the room.

Simon told us how he was inspired by Ernest Shackleton’s failed expedition to the Antarctic to build a premium brand that started with Banjos and now includes clothing, boots, beer, quilts, chocolate and all sorts of other things. Towards the end of the presentation he told us about the various rounds of funding, including crowdfunding, that he’d used to make sure he could build his business and pay his employees. I believed him when he told us he didn’t use the money to line his own pockets.

Following on from Simon’s presentation all three speakers were invited back to the front for a questions and answers session which was comprehensive, very enjoyable and informative. As is often the case, I learnt even more from the questions and answers than the presentations.

It was fantastic to get back into Hot Source, I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to June!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Join us this Thursday for the NorDevCon 2015 pre-conference dinner at All Bar One

What: NorDevCon 2015 Pre-conference Dinner at All Bar One

When: Thursday, February 26th @ 7:30pm

Where: All bar One, 29, Tombland / 1 Upper King St, NR3 1RE

Price: £11.00


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 desert when you RSVP.

Please attend the pre-conference special with Allan Kelly and Kevlin Henney and then come along for dinner.

Join us this Thursday for the pre-conference special with Kevlin Henney and Allan Kelly

What: Pre-conference Special with Kevlin Henney and Allan Kelly.

When: Thursday, February 26th @ 5:00pm to 7:00pm

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



5.00pm - Free beer

5.30pm - Introduction, Paul Grenyer

5.40pm - Every business is a software business, Allan Kelly

6.10pm - More free beer

6.25pm - The Rule of Three, Kevlin Henney

7.00pm - Finish

To kick off this years NorDevCon we will be having a pre-conference special hosted at the wonderful Kings Centre in Norwich with Allan Kelly and Kevlin Henney followed by the pre-conference dinner. Please RSVP for the dinner separately.

There will also be free beer, cidre, wine and soft drinks.

The Rule of Three 
Kevlin Henney (@KevlinHenney)

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 (@allankellynet)

Listen to me talking to Future Radio about NorDevCon.

On Thursday 29th January I was invited onto Norwich Today on Future Radio to talk about NorDevCon and tech generally in Norwich. They were kind enough to make it into podcast and you can listen to it below.

[NorDevCon] Changes to our Business Track

Nor(DEV):con is now less than three weeks away and with over 240 delegates its going to be bigger than ever before! Early bird tickets are on sale until 6pm on Friday!

We have a couple of last minute announcements to make. Rodric Yates of IBM will be taking our last speaker slot. Unfortunately Stephen Flowers isn't able to join us this year but we have Ben Nuttall from the Raspberry Pi foundation taking his slot.

The Mind Shift to Enterprise Mobile

Rodric Yates

Driving a business by putting mobile at the centre of your strategy, focussing on design, realising repeatable and rapid time to value whilst maintaining secure and robust access to back end transactional systems. Working with the wider ecosystem of citizens, consumers, design agencies, vendors, VC and academia to delight and surprise.

About Rodric:
Professor Rodric Yates is Mobility Business Development Leader at IBM United Kingdom and Ireland, leading a team of subject matter experts across Software and Services, transforming the Digital Office to help clients adopt innovative mobile solutions to help drive their business objectives. Prior to this he led the CTO organisation at IBM as Program Director, responsible for driving first of a kind and incubation projects on IBM and open source technologies across local and central Public Sector organisations in Europe.

How Raspberry Pi (an educational charity) funds itself without rattling a tin

Ben Nuttall

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK charity based in Cambridge. Named for its product, the Raspberry Pi – a single board computer you can use as a desktop replacement or as the brain of your next hardware project, developed primarily for the education of children – available to all for just £25. Like many charities, it has a side which brings money in, and a side which spends money (on its charitable goals) – in this case the Foundation earns money in the form of a royalty from the sale of all Raspberry Pi computers, the hardware and software of which is designed and maintained by its own engineering team and manufactured by Sony in the UK. The Foundation uses this regular income to fund its charitable goals in education – producing free learning materials, providing free training for teachers, funding external education projects and open source software – as well as further developing its hardware and software stack.

About Ben:
Ben’s been doing development and outreach with the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s education team since late 2013. Previously Ben ran a Raspberry Jam, helped with CoderDojo and was involved within various local STEM network activities while working as a developer in Manchester. Now based in Cambridge he develops free educational resources and trains teachers in delivering the new computing curriculum, he travels the world engaging with people in the Raspberry Pi and open source communities and he advocates and contributes to free and open source software.

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.