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.

No comments:

Post a Comment