Friday, 21 December 2018

Alastair Reynolds is on form with this steampunk meets pirates space opera.

Revenger
Alastair Reynolds
ISBN-13: 978-0575090552

Alastair Reynolds is on form with this steampunk meets pirates space opera.

The story is cliched and almost totally predictable, but very enjoyable at the same time. I’ve started wondering a lot recently, if they body count in such stories is worth the life of the person who is being rescued and I think that remains to be seen in the sequel.

Fura Ness is extremely driven and I struggled to understand a lot of her decisions.

As with much of Reynolds’ work, there is no explanation for why this universe is the way it is and it feels as strange as when the clock strikes 13 in 1984, but makes me want to read more in the hope of understanding.

While most of the story is linear and complete, there’s a large chunk towards the end which feels missing. The climax is a little brief and just like in terminal world there is suddenly a lot of new plot in the final chapter.

Where the story goes next will very interesting.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

nor(DEV):con 2019 schedule live now!


nor(DEV):con 2019
Thursday 21st to Saturday 23rd of February 2019
The Kings Centre, Norwich, NR1 1PH


Friday opening keynote: The Failure of Focus
Liz Keogh

We know that in our landscape of people and technology, aiming for a particular outcome doesn’t always lead to us getting what we want. Sometimes the best results come from approaching a problem obliquely. But in Agile our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through the early and continuous delivery of valuable software. We like to start with the outcome, meet the needs of our users, delivering high-quality working software with happy teams and true agility… but how might that focus be holding us back, and what are the alternatives?

In this talk we look at some different strategies for approaching complex ecosystems, starting from where we are right now, and allowing innovation to emerge through obliquity, naivety, and serendipity.


Friday closing keynote: Software doesn't always work out. 
Kevlin Henney

Looking at the number of software failure screens in public places, it can sometimes seem that software developers are the greatest producers of installation art around the planet. Software failures can be entertaining or disastrous. They can also be instructive — there's a lot we can learn.








Saturday keynote: Plain Wrong?
Heydon Pickering

I love writing JavaScript. The trouble is, so does everyone else. When people aren’t writing JavaScript, they’re usually writing frameworks for writing JavaScript in JavaScript. In fact, most of the JavaScript that’s around these days seems to either be written for, or within, a JavaScript flavor like React, Vue, or Angular. Frameworks make writing your own code faster and more ergonomic, but they do not come without problems. Code written with Framework A depends on the environment Framework A provides in order to work — and this dependency often represents a lot of code to transmit, decompress, parse, and compile. What about ‘plain’ JavaScript? Is it always na├»ve to think anything worthwhile can still be achieved just writing some straight-up code? It turns out this is a tricky question to answer, because the line between plain and flavored JavaScript is kind of blurry. It’s also not clear who should be the ones to get to write JavaScript, for what reasons, or when. But there’s no doubt the little we do as web developers is often done with much more than we 

See the full schedule here: nordevcon.com


Monday, 3 December 2018

Emerging talent at the DevelopHER Awards 2018!


A couple of weeks ago I was honoured to be asked to judge and present the overall winner of the DevelopHER Awards 2018. There are a number of categories in the awards, including TechStar which I also judged, and the overall winner is chosen from the winners of the other categories.

I believe that the best developers start writing code at an early age and continue throughout their lives and on through their careers. As well as learning all they can, all the time, they give back to community around them and help other people develop as well.

Federica Freddi, who also won the Emerging Talent award, is clearly passionate about software development and is fully deserving of the DevelopHER award and I couldn’t have been more delighted to be able to present her with it on the night.

Federica told me "It is fantastic to see so many women recognised for their contribution to our industry. It is a huge honour for me to be able to represent so many talented people that are making the difference in tech. As an Emerging Talent, I still have a long way ahead and I don’t know what awaits for me in the future, however I am sure I will never forget to stop along the way to give back to people and help the next generations of tech stars to grow too."

I am hoping we’ll see Federica back in Norwich very soon.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

What's Norfolk Developers all about?


In this video I explain what we do at nor(DEV) and why we do it.

Seren: Sync the City People's Choice Award Winners


Sync The City is an annual event that brings together budding entrepreneurs and developers to pitch and build a start-up in just 54 hours. This year Naked Element's Director Paul Grenyer was a mentor for one of the teams and they had great success with their idea ‘Seren’, taking home one of the prizes!

Paul says “John Fagan has asked me to be involved with every Sync the City since it started five years ago, but this is the first time I've been in a position to commit to the 2.5 day event. Originally I was providing technical support via nor(DEV): but Sync the City were short of mentors so I was embedded into team Seren. I had to put my work for Naked Element on hold but I was more than happy to do so to be part of the event. My only regret is that I wasn't able to do it sooner!”

Lily Beel, a trainee solicitor at Leathes Prior, explains the idea behind her winning pitch, saying “the general idea was to connect those beginning to suffer from mental health conditions with those who have recovered/are in recovery. The waiting time to be seen through the NHS is 9 months for mild/moderate conditions - which means that people are likely to get worse during that period. If they had someone to talk to, who had been through similar mental health issues, it might stop them from reaching a crisis point and harming themselves or worse.”

“I pitched it by providing figures received from different organisations about mental health and how long it takes to be seen. I explained that it would be good to have venues which allow people to connect and chat (whether about their mental health directly or about other subjects)”

Lily and the team of eight worked together under Paul’s mentorship, to build the business start-up, but the process was not without its obstacles. “It was particularly difficult to work out how to reach those suffering and how to fund the charity. We overcame this hurdle using research and speaking to people. Contacts are invaluable - as you are limited to 54 hours, you need all the help you can get!”

But this wasn’t the hardest part of the process, as Lily had never taken part in Sync the City before, let alone made a business pitch, she found the idea of doing this in front of everyone a daunting prospect. “I wanted to make sure I got the point across as I feel really passionately about mental health and feel that more needs to be done - it was hard to keep my emotions in check when I was pitching. We had a performance workshop beforehand and my team were incredibly supportive, which really helped.”

“When we came out of the workshop with the performance coach” Paul adds, “I was really pumped up, as I knew Lily had something special and the drive and talent she exhibited had the potential to go a long way.”

Between Lily, her amazing team and the support of Paul and all the other mentors and experts, team Seren took home the People’s Choice prize and £1000 between them! Paul says “I put winning down to the amazing drive and determination of Lily BeeI and to listening to the other mentors and following their advice.”

“Sync The City is so important to Norwich and the tech community for so many reasons,  but mostly because it helps get new ideas off the ground and is great for the tech community, especially the collaboration with the UEA which brings so many business and computer science students to the event.”

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Crack the motivation code! at the nor(DEV):con 2019 Thursday Workshops!


Join one of our interactive workshops at nor(DEV):con 2019 on Thursday 21st of February from 9am, Get your tickets here: http://nordevcon-2019.eventbrite.com

Crack the motivation code! - Cassandra Andrews

Imagine if you knew precisely what motivated each member of your team, how motivated they were and what you could do to improve their motivation!
Cassandra Andrews interactive workshop focuses on motivation in the workplace and introduces ‘motivational maps’, an incredibly accurate and user-friendly tool which enables us to unlock and measure employee motivation.

Understanding exactly what motivates individuals in an organisation can be used with significant impact to support business growth and profitability by maximising employee and team motivation, retain employees and recruit the right people to complement existing teams.

At the workshop you will discover how to create high performing teams by learning:

  • What motivation is, how it can be measured and how it impacts the workforce.
  • About the nine motivators identified in motivational maps.
  • How to increase team performance by identifying conflicts in motivation.

To enable all delegates to get their own ‘wow’ moment from the session, when you register for this event you will receive a complimentary motivational map (worth £150) for completion prior to the event.


Day of Deliberate Practice - Jon Jagger.

During the session we will discuss and practice software craftsmanship, communication and creativity, focusing on TDD, pair programming, trying out new things and revisiting old ones. Deliberate practice involves careful repetition and reflection to master, explore and understand a technique, to know its boundaries, to make it second nature.

  • Hands on workshops & lectures
  • Shared Learning Environment
  • Effective coding habits
  • Collaborative Development

If you code every day, keep in mind that a change is as good as a rest — yes, there will be coding, but it’s not your workaday coding. We will be using cyber-dojo, an innovative, collaborative, open source environment. We are going to have fun — join us!

  • Test Driven Development – TDD
  • Pair & Mob Programming
  • Cyber-dojo

With time to look at different code, and code differently, this session will open your mind to different ways of doing things and new ways of approaching old problems with great rewards. Using Jon Jagger’s innovative cyber-dojo environment, you will get to re-examine coding habits and debate modern practices with experts and peers.

This session is open to individuals and teams of all abilities, the only pre-requisite is some experience of software development and a desire to learn:

  • All programmers who want to step back and examine how they can be better
  • Junior programmers who are looking to master their craft
  • Experienced developers who want to reflect on their own practices and hone their skills

Bring a laptop – wifi and access to http://cyber-dojo.org/ required.


Real time analysis of streaming data with Hadoop and Druid - Tom Barber

In this workshop we will build and deploy a Hadoop cluster along with Apache Druid which is an analytical database designed for high volume time series data. We will then work with the attendees to stream data into Druid, process that data and return it for real time analysis. This type of workflow is useful for log file analysis, intrusion detection, sensor analysis or similar and very relevant to businesses of today. All of the software used is open source and free to deploy, attendees will leave with a high level understanding of the various technologies used and a framework that can be deployed quickly and easily in the real world.

Level: Intermediate


Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Deep Tech is affecting people’s lives without them even knowing it.


Deep Tech sounds like a character from the X-Files right? While it’s not a covert government agency, Deep Tech is affecting people’s lives without them even knowing it, but it’s not something we need to be afraid of. There are lots of very technical and wordy definitions of Deep Tech, but essentially it means technology that has an engineering aspect while having a demonstrable impact on people’s daily lives. Rather than a disruptive technology, like AirBnB or Deliveroo – apps that alter a service that already existed – a Deep Tech breakthrough could use technology to cure cancer or expand space travel. AirBnB is an intangible app, while Deep Tech often involves robots or breakthroughs in scientific or medical equipment.

Good examples are artificial wombs to increase the survival chances of premature babies, or brain implants to improve the independence of stroke victims. It’s not just medical advancements that are benefitting from Deep Tech, but improvements to smart homes and cleaner cities as well as energy efficiency are all developing areas of Deep Tech. Self driving cars and lithium-ion batteries could vastly improve the environment and how we live in it and are both examples of Deep Tech. Since

2015 European investment in Deep Tech has been growing three times faster than B2C investments (Wavestone) and it’s easy to see why when the impact that technology of this kind can have is made clear. Rather than just making it easier for people to order the weekly shop, or interact with a video on social media, discoveries in the Deep Tech arena make fundamental changes to how we live and survive. Researchers and scientists working in Deep Tech have not only created machines that can replicate human actions, but improve them. Like something from a science fiction movie, ‘HoloEyes’ are goggles that can provide a surgeon with a patient’s anatomy before the first incision is made, right there in the operating room. Harvard scientists have gone one further into the science fiction realm and created a brand new material, never before seen on earth. Metallic hydrogen was formed after 45 years of research and tests and has enormous potential, from space travel to superconducting abilities.

Deep Tech is technology at its most advanced and it’s most useful. While it may not affect all of us at once, the advancements being made in this field have a huge impact that will influence and hopefully improve daily life on a global scale.

Talk to me about Deep Tech.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Event: nor(DEV), TechEast & Barclays Eagle Lab present the digital technology showcase



Event: nor(DEV), TechEast & Barclays Eagle Lab present the digital technology showcase

When: Monday, 29th October @ 6.30pm

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

RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/Norfolk-Developers-NorDev/events/252875683/

Ever thought that technology could help your business but weren’t sure how?

Have you wanted to talk to experts about the advantages of business software but were afraid of being given a hard sell?

Do you have questions about software and technology but were unsure who to ask?

Our Technology Showcase is here to help! Norfolk Developers, along with TechEast and the Barclays Eagle Lab Norwich have put together an evening of talks and introductions to help companies access technology firms on an informal basis. No sales pitches, no pushy sales people, just information and introductions.

The evening will be free from complicated jargon and tech-speak and questions are actively encouraged! This is an evening designed for people who run businesses, not IT experts.

The Technology Showcase is your chance to understand the advantages that technology can offer your business, and an opportunity to pick the brains of the regions best software companies, without obligation.

The evening will begin with introductions to Norwich’s supportive tech community, who offer support, workshops and discussions to novices and experts alike.


  • SynchNorwich help promote startups and enable local tech businesses to grow.
  • DevelopHER promote equality in technology and host the successful DevelopHER awards, recognising women in technology.
  • Norfolk Developers are a group focussing on practical skills and hardcore software developing and run the annual nor(DEV): conference.
  • Hot Source are a creative community group that aims to promote digital enterprise in our region.


The second half of the evening will give tech companies a chance to explain what they do, how it can benefit you and answer any questions you might have.


  • Candour are a creative digital agency that harnesses the power of open minds and honest feedback to create engaging experiences for users and powerful platforms for business growth.
  • Neon Tribe develop software in three stages, using ‘Discovery, Development and Delivery’ process to ensure they get the results businesses want first time.
  • Selesti are a digital marketing agency who pride themselves on strategies that help brands achieve extraordinary things. There will be one final featured company.
  • TBC.


We hope you will join us in what promises to be an informative and informal evening, designed to help technology help your business.

Calling Companies - Showcase your Tech at Sync the City 54 Hour Startup event


Sync the City is a great event in which you can promote, share and test your API's, Tools and Services.  You could provide the vital ingredient that helps the startup teams Build & Launch a Startup in 54 Hours, and win the amazing cash prizes on offer!

Sync the City 2018 is a 54 Hour event that brings together local entrepreneurs, developers, business managers, marketing gurus, graphic artists, students to pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo & final pitch (to win cash prizes).

More details syncthecity.com

In the past, we have had companies providing free access to address lookup API's, customer surveying services, hosting services, sentiment analysis API's and much more.  Its a great opportunity to publicise your own SDK / APIs / Products to be used at the event, and put them to the test and get direct feedback.

If you are interested in getting involved, then email syncthecity@norfolkdevelopers.com.


Saturday, 6 October 2018

Win an Echo Dot with Naked Element at the Norfolk Chamber B2B



On Thursday 11th October Naked Element will be making its yearly pilgrimage to the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s annual B2B event at Norwich City Football Club. We’re looking forward to seeing clients old and new, meeting new people and most of all YOU!

This year we have stand number 85 on Top of the Terrace (Level 2). All of the Naked Element team will be on the stand at various points throughout the day and we’ll looking forward to Rain Crowson helping us out at lunchtime and during the afternoon.

We’ll be raffling an Echo Dot in exchange for your business card and offering new potential clients £500 off their projects over £10,000.

Come and see us, we’re looking forward to seeing you!

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Naked Element proud sponsors of Inspired Women’s Big Conversation Conference

Naked Element are proud to be the main sponsors of Inspired Women’s Big Conversation Conference. Women are under-represented in business, often especially in tech, which is a fact that needs to change. As well as talking and promoting change, Naked Element decided to offer practical support as a sponsor of the Big Conversation. As a local company it makes sense to get behind a regional effort designed to inspire the next generation, and as a forward-thinking company, supporting the Inspired Women Conference was an obvious choice. Naked Element are honoured to see our name alongside such an important and relevant cause.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Reidolized

So Blackie Lawless decided to re-record my favorite album of all time and my initial thoughts are why did he bother. I’ve avoided buying it for months until last Friday when I was trying out some new headphones with the re-recorded guitar solo from The Idol and quite enjoyed the new layers and mix of the new version of the song. Although I’m not a musician, it feels like I know every note and I could really hear the difference. It’s not the original guitarist, and consequently the solo wasn’t the same or as good.


Having now listened to the first disk of the re-record I can only say there is one improvement, the extra songs, at least one of which was taken from WASP’s latest studio album and is magnificent. The removing of the swearing in the songs and intros feels wrong and a cop out and the lead guitar work just isn’t up to Bruce Kulik’s incredible standard.

The second disk is starting now….

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

nor(DEV):mag Youth in Tech out NOW!

Welcome to our Youth in Tech issue – just in time for the new term! It was no coincidence that our August issue is all about younger developers, but we’ve also included articles about how it is important to never stop learning, even when we might think we know everything!

The world of tech is always evolving, sometimes it feels difficult to keep up with new developments and technologies. It’s important to spend some time investing in ourselves and staff to make sure we keep abreast of this ever-changing sector. We hear from Luminous PR and netmatters about the importance of learning in their articles.

Of course it wouldn’t really be a Youth Issue without the view of an actual young developer, and we knew just the chap. Teenager James kindly gave us his opinion on the best bits of being into technology and where he thinks the future of development will be and student developers Emily and David were also kind enough to give us a developers view of their university project ‘Theia’, which aims to use machine learning to help students.

On the lighter side of things developer Adam sent us an amusing code piece (just try not to spit your tea while reading!) and we were also lucky enough to have an insider view from the recent Apple conference in San Jose, California, so if you’ve ever wondered what actually happens inside Apple, see inside!

Download now: https://www.norfolkdevelopers.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/norDEVmagazine-201808-e05.pdf

Sunday, 15 July 2018

nor(DEV):con 2019 Call For Speakers


nor(DEV):con 2019 Call For Speakers
Thursday 21st to Saturday 23rd February 2019
Kings Centre
63-75 King Street
Norwich
NR1 1PH

nor(DEV):con, the Norfolk Developers Conference is back for 2019 and stronger than ever with new tracks and an updated format. nor(DEV):con is Norfolk and Norwich’s premier and most well attended conference for everyone involved in software development and business.

Call for Speakers

The call for speakers is open from now until Friday 28th of September 2018. To submit a proposal, please send an email to paul@norfolkdevelopers.com with the following:

  • Session Title
  • Session abstract
  • Session topics: Pre-conference workshop, Tech, Process. Workshop, Stephen Fry, Business, Lightning talk
  • Session length: 45 min presentation, 90 minute presentation, 90 minute hands on workshop, Full day hands on workshop, 5 minute Lightning talk
  • Technical level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Business
  • Speaker(s) Bio
  • Availability for Thursday 21st (full day workshops only), Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd February.

Further information will be required if you proposal is accepted.

Conference Topics

Pre-Conference Full Day Workshops - We’re looking for three full day pre-conference hands on workshops. These should be on a software development or process theme and we’re looking for one beginner, one intermediate and one advanced workshop. Pre-conference workshops attract between 5 and 30 people.

Tech Track - We’re looking for 45 minute and 90 minute beginners, intermediate and advanced presentations primarily on coding, techniques and libraries. This year we’re particularly keen to include a few Blockchain sessions.

Process Track - Rather than just concentrating on Agile, this year we have a process track for any type of software development process. Yes, you can even propose a session on Waterfall if you’re feeling brave!

Stephen Fry Track - Software Development is more than just code and practices. It’s about people. And people are not logical entities that follow easily understood rules. We’re illogical, irrational, and tend to shy away from difficult subjects like mental illness, inequality, and bias. This track looks at the softer side of Software Development, at the people, how they interact, and how we can work with the whole gamut of humanity, because it’s not just Stephen Fry who has  manic depression.

Workshop Track - We’re looking for 90 minute hands on workshops for up to 20 people. These can be on any of the topics above and delegates bring their own laptops.

Business Track - The business track is the track for everyone! We’re looking for business based sessions with a technical slant.

Lightning Talks - On the Friday evening during the wine reception, which will be in the main hall, we’ll also be opening the floor to lightning talks. A lightning talk is a 5 minute presentation and we encourage new speakers as well as experienced speakers to present.

Speakers Package

  • Free entry to the Friday and Saturday sessions at the conference
  • Free entry to the Friday night speakers dinner
  • Travel and accommodation at the discretion of the conference organise


Saturday, 14 July 2018

SYNC THE CITY 2018 – SAVE THE DATE & NEW VENUE

We are really pleased to announce that Sync the City 2018 will be held on November 15-17th at OPEN, Norwich.

This will be our 5th year in which we challenge attendees to Build & Launch a Startup in 54 Hours - for fun or profit.   Last year the event sold out in 9 days, subscribers to this list will be notified of ticket sales 24 hours ahead of public sale (early September).

OPEN Norwich - its BIG, its BEAUTIFUL



Experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup.

Do you have an idea that could be solved using technology? Or perhaps want to know more about how technology startup businesses become the next Facebook?

SyncNorwich's flagship event is Sync the City 2018 is a 54-hour event that brings together entrepreneurs, developers, business managers, marketing gurus, graphic artists, and students to pitch ideas for new startup companies, to form teams around those ideas, and to develop a working prototype, demo & presentation.

In just 54 hours, you will experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup.

CONNECT with people driven to build something new.

DISCOVER where you are on the Entrepreneur's Journey.

LEARN what it really takes to start a company. No book, panel, speaker will teach you what you need to know.

START It’s that simple. Sync the City is designed to get you going, FAST. So grab your ticket syncthecity.com and let's do this.



From Work Experience to Oxford University


"It was an invaluable and pretty unique experience"

Here at Naked Element we’re big into supporting the future of tech, and that means young people. One work experience recruit was Chelsea, an ambitious school student who went on to be accepted at Oxford to study Computer Science. We couldn’t be more proud! Here she tells us a little about her journey and what inspired her to take up tech and join Naked Element for some real world experience.

How did you start your work experience with Naked Element?

One of my teachers at school was friends with Paul Grenyer (MD of Naked Element), and I was looking around for any work experience in the tech/computing/software industry. I had begun thinking about what I wanted to do in the future and had begun thinking of going into a technology based career. I was introduced to Paul and he asked me what I wanted out of the experience and offered me work experience. After completing a week, he offered to let me come and do another week of paid work!

What skills did you bring to Naked Element do you think?

Not sure I brought too many skills but I had some previous programming experience with python and a tiny bit in Java. I’d done my fair share of teamwork and group projects but this was definitely my first experience in a ‘work’ / ‘professional’ environment.

What did your work experience entail?

I was really surprised when I arrived on my first day and was given a real project to work on, and actual code to edit. It was a vastly different experience to other placements I had done and I loved the hands on experience. I got to work on a couple of projects including one that would manage your social media posts. What was really interesting for me was seeing the difference between the theory we learn in class and how it’s actually implemented in real life, such as client and server side processing. When I came in I thought I would be completely out of my depth, but even though I didn’t understand Java to start with everyone at Naked Element was willing to take the time to explain to me how something worked and what it was doing. Even being given a task as simple as going through previous code and fixing mistakes or inefficient parts was a useful experience for me and has helped in me checking to make sure my A Level coursework is as efficient as possible!

Were there any stand out moments during your time with the company?

Definitely the best part about the work experience was the hands on nature of it. I definitely had never had work experience that was so hands on, it would often just be tours of the departments etc. But with Naked Element I actually got to look and work on code for live projects.

What did you learn while at Naked Element?

I learnt a lot on my work experience. I got a serious introduction to Java and experience with JavaScript and CSS as well as what a career in Software Development could entail. As well as the actual tech aspects of the experience. I learnt a lot about the business management side of things and it was interesting going to one of the talks and training sessions and learning how to better advertise the company. It was also brilliant being introduced to other tech companies around Norwich and seeing how they interact.

What made you choose Oxford?

I’ve always been pretty ambitious, and I wanted to apply for Oxford on the chance I got in. The opportunities a degree from Oxford would provide would be almost unmatched and I adore the city. I’d also enjoyed looking round on the open days and the taster lectures I had. I currently hold an offer to study Computer Science at Jesus College, I just need to get the grades now!!

Do you think your time with Naked Element helped with your application?

I definitely think it helped, it was an invaluable and pretty unique experience that helps make you stand out from the thousands of others who apply. I know a lot of people don’t have the opportunity to get work experience.

Do you have any plans for your career future yet?

I’m not sure about a career future. After my work experience I’m definitely looking at software development. I also like the idea of working in cyber security or even AI. I think Computer Science opens up a vast field of job prospects and I haven’t quite got around to choosing one just yet. Luckily I don’t have to.

Do you have any advice for other young people interested in tech?

Firstly go out and get experience. It’s not easy but there’s no harm in asking and you’re not going to find what you enjoy or what you’re good out without trying things out. I don’t think there is any harm in broadening your skills and any experience is good experience.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Even the smallest job deserves dedication!

We don’t just create industry-changing software for big businesses, we can also pick up smaller jobs that need a quick result. Naked Element recently completed a minor job for Thyngs, a digital consumer engagement company based in Norwich. With our flexible team, experienced in development and design, we were able to turn the work around in a matter of hours.

Niall, head of marketing at Thyngs, said “we needed some urgent, short-term support with some updates we needed to make to our website. We know Paul and the team, and he was responsive and eager to help.”

Our designer/developer Shelley stepped in to get the job done. “Thyngs wanted some new pages added to their existing website, all in the same format, and they wanted their homepage amended slightly. Niall was lovely, easy to talk to and clear in what he wanted, which meant there were no snags or issues to worry about!”

Even though it was only a few hours work, Naked Element still have a reputation for quality. “Everyone was very professional and proactive” said Niall, “I would absolutely recommend Naked Element to companies in need of similar support”

Even the smallest job deserves dedication!

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Find out how the employer voice can influence technical & vocational training.


When: Monday 2nd July @ 5.30pm

Where: The Library Restuarant, 4A Guildhall Hill, Norwich NR2 1JH

RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/Norfolk-Developers-NorDev/events/251982755/

How the employer voice can influence technical & vocational training and apprenticeships in the digital and IT skills sector over the next 5 years.

Jerry White - Deputy Principal at City College Norwich

The Government’s agenda for the wider field of technical and vocational education alongside apprenticeships is changing. As a large FE College and apprenticeship provider we believe that employers are central to this process and our aim this evening is to start meaningful dialogue into how we can enable employers to both support and challenge us as we launch the new T Level curriculum and apprenticeship standards. We want to hear from you about the challenges you have in recruiting employees and how we can work together to fill the gap and make a difference to the next generation.

The goal of the session is to begin to investigate where local businesses could help us trial the industrial placement model and how we can develop our working relationship over a number of years and ask you as employers what should our curriculum look like?'

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Learn WordPress & build a website in ONE day


When: 28 June 2018, 9am to 4.45pm

Where: The Kings Centre, Kings Street, Norwich, NR1 1PH

How much: £150

RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/Norfolk-Developers-NorDev/events/250241910/

WordPress is the world’s best and most popular website builder and this hands-on course takes you through from the basics, including installation and set up, to cover all the most useful features and tools WordPress offers. Whether you already have a site and want to manage it properly or are starting completely from scratch, this is the course for you.

You will learn to

  • set up and run a great website of your own
  • add content, images and videos
  • add structure and navigation menus
  • apply an attractive design using easy templates
  • make the site search engine friendly
  • add contact forms, maps and take payments
  • add social networking and track visitorslearn to add all the features and functionality you need to run and develop a fantastic website
  • and much, much more…


How the course works


  • Please bring your own laptop: PC, Mac or Chromebook, any is fine. Or you can hire a laptop for the day here.
  • WiFi and power sockets are provided
  • No experience is needed – 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! (see more advice in our FAQ here)
  • After the course you are welcome to stay around for further discussion with your trainer Toby and with each other, about WordPress, about your website and about your business.
  • 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, after which time it is from just £8/mo for unlimited space and bandwidth.


More details here (https://wpcourses.co.uk/wordpress-training-courses/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0bSL8tTR1wIVSjobCh2A9gVdEAAYASAAEgJLnfD_BwE).

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Introduction to Laravel Workshop



When: Wednesday, 20 June 20 - 9:00am to 4:45pm

Where: Kings Centre, King Street, Norwich, NR1 1PH

How much: £85

RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/Norfolk-Developers-NorDev/events/250343445/

If you would like to start using the worlds most popular PHP framework, this is the workshop for you.

We will cover from installing Laravel to building a basic application. Everyone will learn along as we go from a freshly installed Laravel application up to creating a basic web app that interacts with a database.

Course Details

We will aim to cover the following (subject to change and class experience)

  • Routing
  • Using Blade (templating)
  • Controllers
  • Validation
  • Config/Env
  • Using Eloquent (database ORM)
  • Laravel inbuilt Auth
  • Artisan (CLI commands)
  • File Storage

Instructor

Simon Bennett is a Software Consultant who works with Laravel daily, helping clients update there development practices and coding software for startups. He also runs his own SAAS for backing up DigitalOcean servers which of course is all built with basic Laravel.

Prerequisites

This beginners workshop will run through simple code as we learn about Laravel.

Basic knowledge of PHP is required, I would recommend you know you know basic OOP.

To save time on the day, you will be contacted directly before the workshop with a guide on setting up docker. The reason we use docker is to make sure we are using identical environments on Windows/Mac/Linux.

Since Laravel used to build web-based applications (mostly), it would be helpful to a basic understanding of developing websites in PHP and MySQL.

  • Bring your Laptop
  • Have Docker installed
  • A good IDE like PHPStorm is strongly recommended
  • Working command terminal
  • A GIT client installed

TechNorwich: The End. A Story & New beginnings


TechNorwich: The End. A Story & New beginnings

Whitespace is sadly now having to close. Started in 2013, it was the first and largest co-working space in Norwich. Its been home to many great & successful businesses, plus home to Barclays Eagle Labs and birthplace of TechVelocity, the first accelerator for the region. Come along to this event to have a drink to remember some of the history, catch up with some of the great businesses that have lived here and discuss on the future of the amazing digital creative & tech sector in our fine city.

Get your ticket: https://technorwich.eventbrite.co.uk

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Event: Find out what makes Python so appealing!

A Tour of Python
Burkhard Kloss

Wednesday, 6th June
The Priory Centre, Priory Plain, Great Yarmouth

Find out what makes Python so appealing!

Burkhard will offer a brief tour of the Python language, and some of the features that make it so expressive, easy to use, and appealing in a wide range of fields. After that, he'll look at examples of Python usage in practice, from really small computers (micro:bits) to clouds, from database to web development, and data science to machine learning.

Burhard Kloss

I only came to England to walk the Pennine Way… 25 years later I still haven’t done it. I did, though, get round to starting an AI company (spectacularly unsuccessful), joining another startup long before it was cool, learning C++, and spending a lot of time on trading floors building systems for complex derivatives. Sometimes hands on, sometimes managing people. Somewhere along the way I realised you can do cool stuff quickly in Python, and I’ve never lost my fascination with making machines smarter.

RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/Norfolk-Developers-NorDev/events/249290648/

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Do you still get the buzz? I do!


Whatever else I do to earn a living, I am a software engineer at the core. Outside of work other things give me a reason to smile - heavy metal bands, science fiction books or my family - but when it comes to work, writing software is what gives me the biggest buzz. Even after 33 years!

Recently I spent the weekend writing some software for a client. They have an app, which we built, that allows them to take photos and complete a questionnaire for installations so that they can record compliance. The software I wrote receives the photos and questionnaire responses from the app, generates a PDF document detailing the responses and attaches it to an email, along with the photos, to send to the client. Not a particularly exciting process most would agree.

It’s a straightforward piece of software (despite the security concerns and image processing which took a little while to get just right) which delivers exactly what the client needs, but we wanted to be doubly sure. So, in the early days of the software running for real (i.e. the client is using it, not just us testing it) we got copies of the emails the app generated so we could check everything was working as it should. And that’s where the buzz of being a software developer begins.

As developers, we’re not always able to monitor in what way or how frequently the software we write is being used by our clients. There are confidentiality issues to consider, as well as the practical aspects and cost concerns of implementing a suitable monitoring process. This means a lot of the time we rely on anecdotal responses from our clients, and of course feedback when something goes wrong (which thankfully, isn’t too often).

With this particular client we knew each and every time they used the software as an email would appear and we could see how the app was working until we, and they, were satisfied with the process. Even though it was such a simple thing, every time an email pinged through from the app I got a twinge of excitement and a flush of pride. To see something I’d created from scratch work successfully and be used by someone was a small but genuine reward for me and reminded me why I love doing what I do. The buzz of seeing software work.

What gives you that buzz every day and keeps you doing what you’re doing?

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Enjoy a summer feast with the hottest tech community in The East


Join the Norwich tech community on Friday 27 July 2018 for a tasty BBQ to celebrate #NorfolkDay.

SyncNorwich, Norfolk Developers and Hot Source have got together to organise a delicious BBQ at the lovely Unthank Arms pub. (Don’t worry, we’re leaving it to the professionals to do the cooking.) You will be able to enjoy your meal in the garden – or the covered courtyard (if you need shelter or shade).

We look forward to seeing you for what is sure to be a fun evening from 18:00 to 22:00.

There will be a paying bar.

If your business would like to sponsor this event (particularly the drinks), please get in touch with the organisers.

Tickets cost just £18.92 per person – including transaction fees – but excluding drinks. In return, you’ll be able to choose from the following freshly cooked BBQ food.

Choose a main from either: Juicy homemade burger, Salmon parcels with lemon and herb butter, Archer’s award winning sausages, Lemon and thyme marinated chicken fillet, or Halloumi and bbq vegetables

Choose a side from either: Homemade coleslaw, New potato and spring onion salad, Tomato and red onion salad, or Cucumber and yoghurt raita.

Book now: https://summer-bbq-2018.eventbrite.co.uk

Breakfast with Peter Brady – CEO and Founder of Orbital Media



What: Breakfast with Peter Brady – CEO and Founder of Orbital Media
When: Tuesday 5th June
Where: The Maids Head Hotel, Tombland, Norwich, NR3 1LB
How much: £13.95
RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/Norfolk-Developers-NorDev/events/qqwhznyxjbhb/

Peter Brady is CEO and founder of Orbital Media, one of the UK’s most innovative full service Digital Agencies. Founded in 2003, Orbital Media has worked with some of the world’s biggest organisations on national and global accounts (including Aviva, NHS, Sanofi, Nestle and Mitsubishi).

Although Orbital Media’s traditional focus was on projecting brand engagement and awareness through social and digital channels, over the last 10 years it has developed a strong innovation and technology focus, becoming the UK’s leading supplier of gamification apps to the healthcare industry.

Peter will talk about Orbital Media’s journey and how it has moved into large scale tech projects (including a collaborative Artificial Intelligence project with an NHS body and the University of Essex, to reduce the burden of minor ailments in primary care). Peter will also tell us about how Orbital Media is developing and exporting virtual / augmented / mixed reality projects in healthcare, education and pain therapy sectors into global markets.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

"The answer was always 'yes' with Naked Element"


Sometimes it is difficult to explain exactly how we are different from our competitors and what working with us is like, so we put together a short video that says it all!

Some of our lovely clients have kindly shared how they felt about working with Naked Element, the results they saw and the impact our software had on their business. In less than three minutes it is clear why we get such good feedback from our clients. Our specialised way of working and personal approach makes a big difference, and our understanding of each client's needs is obvious from the finished product.

As CEO Paul Grenyer says, we are driven by our clients, and that, combined with our years of development experience, means that we have helped companies large and small overcome processing issues.

But don't take our word for it! Take a look at our video and what our clients have to say about us, and get in touch if you think we can help you!

Monday, 2 April 2018

Naked Element CEO to feature on Radio 4


Naked Element CEO, Paul Grenyer, will be appearing on the Radio 4 show Moneybox Live at 3.30pm on Wednesday 4th April 2018, speaking about the impact of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on small businesses. The show will be available on iPlayer, shortly after the broadcast, here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09xcshq/

Friday, 16 March 2018

April nor(DEV): A.I. and Cognitive Computing with Watson & Keep Secure and Under the Radar

What:  A.I. and Cognitive Computing with Watson & Keep Secure and Under the Radar

When: Wednesday 4th April, 6.30pm to 9pm.

Where: Whitespace, 2nd Floor, St James' Mill, Whitefriars, NR3 1TN

RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/Norfolk-Developers-NorDev/events/242231165/

A.I. and Cognitive Computing with Watson
Colin Mower

Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Computing have become the latest buzzwords in the industry, with companies big and small rushing to work out how they can take advantage of this emerging technology.

In this discussion, we’ll look at the myths behind the hype, how mature the technology is and how IBM’s Watson has evolved from game show winner to one of the market leaders.

Colin works for IBM as a Technical Leader, crossing all the IBM technologies and services. Prior to Big Blue, he worked in Aviva for over 14 years and has contributed to nor(DEV):con and Norfolk Developer Meetups.

He still lives in Norfolk and apart from plenty of travel working for some of the big blue chip companies, he tries to get out in South Norfolk running and cycling in a vain attempt to lose weight and keep fit.


Keep Secure and Under the Radar
David Higgins

Some basic and some not so basic steps to keep you and your business safe in the on-line business arena.

David is ex UK Gov contractor discusses simple steps you need to take to stay ahead of current data security legislation and keep yourself / your business secured.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Linux & SQL Server at MigSolv a Review

We love the MigSolv data centre out at Bowthorpe in Norwich. This was nor(DEV):’s second visit and they always make us very welcome. Walking into what feels like a massive Blakes 7 set and getting the tour,including the retina scanner and massive server hall, is incredible and seriously interesting (even though it’s my third time!).

The intimacy of the board room with the table down the centre and nor(DEV): members arranged each side is great for generating conversation! And when you have a humorous and huge personality like Mark Pryce-Maher it encourages the banter and the discussion even more! It’s safe to say this was one of the most interactive nor(DEV): evening presentations for some time.

Mark was there to tell us about how you can run Microsoft SQL Server on Linux (or is that “Lynux”?). Anyone would think Mark had been on the WINE, but no, you really can run SQL Server natively on Linux now. The first question though, has to be “why?”. The answer is simple. Microsoft are going after geeks, Oracle users and Linux houses who only run Windows to run SQL server.

The second question is “how?”. Developers at Microsoft discovered that, despite the vast number of methods available from the Win32 API, there are only a small number of methods which actually talk to the operating system. These are for allocating memory, disc storage, etc. A project called Drawbridge was developed to identify these methods and port them to Linux. SQL Server can then make use of those methods to run on Linux. Simples!

Mark did a live demo of installing and connecting to SQL Server. Unfortunately he hadn’t made sufficient sacrifices to the demo gods and things didn’t go precisely to plan. SQL Server can be run on an Ubuntu instance on Microsoft’s Azure from about £1/day (I’m intending to try it on a Digital Ocean droplet which is slightly cheaper). It’s incredibly easy to install. You just add the necessary repositories to Ubuntu’s package manager and tell it to install SQL Server. There’s also a pre-made Docker image (if Docker is your thing) which is even quicker.

Microsoft have developed an open source version of the client tools called Microsoft Operations Studio . It is also very easy to install (I did it on my Linux Mint laptop over 4G while Mark was speaking), but for some reason during the demo it just wouldn’t connect to SQL Server. However, Mark talks a great talk and I’m sure with a little bit more playing it would have!

We enjoyed being at MigSolv and hearing from Mark! MigSolv would like us to go back and we’re keen to do so in the future.

The Next nor(DEV): is on 4th April and features “A.I. and Cognitive Computing with Watson” from Colin Mower of Microsoft and “Keep Secure and Under the Radar” from David Higgins. RSVP here: https://www.meetup.com/Norfolk-Developers-NorDev/events/242231165/

Thursday, 8 March 2018

National Apprenticeship Week

Seeing as it’s been National Apprenticeship Week this week, we thought we would shine a light on our apprentices, past and present. Naked Element would be a duller place without them and the valuable work they do!

We’ve had three apprentices in total, Lewis, Rain and Jack and they’ve all been invaluable to our business. Lewis spent his year-long software development apprenticeship with us, before staying on a while longer as a full-time employee. He headed User Story workshops, held meetings with clients and even managed to join in with some of the social sides of Naked Element too! Lewis got a lot out of his time with us, saying "an apprenticeship is a great way to get your foot in the door of an industry, gain some excellent skills and first-hand experience in a job you may want to turn into a career". Lewis decided to be an apprentice because he felt that a more hands-on approach to learning would suit him better than studying full time. At the time he hoped he would be working in the US in the near future, but he has since decided to settle down at university and is due to begin a Computer Science degree at the UEA later this year to bolster his industry experience with a formal qualification.

Rain joined us as an administrative apprentice for just over a year, keeping us organised and the company running smoothly. Rain was an asset to Naked Element, as a natural networker and often the first face to greet clients, she helped start the conversation about software and business. From the professional presentation in her initial interview to managing conferences, she impressed us all. She took her experience with Naked Element and became the executive PA to the CEO of Apple Helicopters!

Our current apprentice is Jack, who is part-way through his software apprenticeship. We’ve been so impressed with Jack that we’re hoping he will stay on after his course has finished to be a software developer full time! He’s a good problem solver, helping Naked Element deliver projects more cost effectively and equally enthusiastic at tech events when he represents the company.

Our CEO Paul says "I believe that apprentices are an excellent way for the predominantly small tech companies in the TechEast region to grow and a way to help fill the skills gap we have here. They are also a great way to support young people in our region to get industry experience." Naked Element has found all three apprentices invaluable to supporting and growing our business and we’re very proud of how far they’ve come!

Sunday, 25 February 2018

The new issue of the nor(DEV): magazine is out now, free to download!



This issue focuses on Business in Tech. Or Tech in Business, as it is almost impossible to have one without the other and they both have an equally important role to play in our region. Countless reports from business minds, governments and international organisations are all talking about how technology is going to play a bigger part in manufacturing, commerce and business in general.

So where does Norfolk fit in?

Luckily we’ve pulled together articles and interviews from some of the region’s leading names including Chris Sargisson and Tim Robinson, as well as celebrating all things Her with a gallery from the DevelopHER Awards. Speaking of women in tech, Hayley Johnson from Epos Now has been kind enough to close the issue with an inspirational call to action for all businesses.

We hope you enjoy this new issue and share the link with your friends and colleagues!

Download here.

Industry 4.0 – I Was There!

Last week we attended the Evolution: Journey into Industry 4.0 event and it was an illuminating experience! Not only did we get to hear from some of manufacturings leading lights in the region, we got to talk alongside them at Naame’s packed conference.

As well as having our exhibition stand, our Director Paul Grenyer spoke at the event, demonstrating the value of process automation within manufacturing and how it will support growth in the sector. No capital expenditure required! Paul was able to share the benefits our clients have already seen from automating processes, and have a little fun along the way too!

Other speakers included industry gurus from Loughborough University, the Department for International Trade, Knowledge Transfer Manager – KTN – Innovate UK, Cranfield University, Hethel Innovation and West Suffolk College. We were also fortunate enough to hear from companies already putting automation into practice to great effect, including Warren Services, asset intelligence group Pathfindr, telecoms giant Huawei UK and electric motors company MSF Technologies. We were also reassured that despite some reports claiming future tech would mean job losses, those at Industry 4.0 disagreed, saying job roles would simply evolve from manual tasks to monitoring and analysing. It was also interesting to discover that our region is leading the way in disruptive tech!

Henk Koopmans, chief executive of Huawei UK, encouraged business to ‘think big’ and focus on their market first, but the main takeaway message from the event was that engineering needed to play an important part of the New Anglia LEP economic strategy. The LEP is hoping for greater involvement from businesses to help define the skills needed in five years time so it can work with colleges to get those skills taught now in preparation.

For Naame’s part, it hopes to support manufacturers and introduce them to others who may be able to help with the challenges they face. They are also looking to create manufacturing groups in Suffolk – contact Naame if you are interested. The New Anglia Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering group are also looking to develop a strategic map and would like feedback on a consultation document being released onto their website this week.

The day proved to be a worthwhile investment, with genuinely interesting speakers and an intelligent audience keen to support and be involved in the next phase of industry in our region.

Interested in finding out what Naked Element can do to prepare your business for Industry 4.0? Get in touch for a cup of tea and a chat!

Originally published here.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

MyTech once again a roaring success!

Held by Inspired Youth Projects, My Tech 2018 was another successful meeting of tech employers and burgeoning tech talent.

Naked Element was proud to support the event, as always, and our developers really got a lot out of it too! "The MyTech Inspired Youth event brought together some of the great local tech companies and organisations including EposNow, Breakwater IT and Tech East” said our developer Henri Keeble, “It was was great talking to the students about what it is we do at Naked Element - the technically minded students showed a lot of interest. We were able to give some insight into what a career in software may look like, but also speak about the different routes we'd taken to get to where we are now, with my colleague Jack and myself having very different experiences. We were able to offer some advice we wish we'd known! It was also good to see those who were uncertain of their future career goals taking an interest in the various companies that were present.”

The day started with employability workshops and employer speed networking sessions, designed to help students get an idea of the variety of opportunities available to them.
For those who felt a little anxious at the idea of networking, there was a new ‘no pressure’ session for a more relaxed way to talk to employers. Our apprentice software developer Jack Rogers found it interesting to hear more about what students were considering after high school. “I enjoyed listening to students that were passionate about their future after finishing their GCSE's. Some of the students were also not certain what they were going to do, so it was very helpful to explain the decisions I made. It was interesting to see the diversity of career paths of the young people attending and the choices that each of them are making, as well as seeing how technology has advanced as more and more students are showing an interest towards it.”
The second half of the event was dedicated time for older students who had their sights set on career opportunities, training or apprenticeships within the tech industry and it as clear that those who attended found the day valuable. Supporting the new wave of techies in the region has long been a significant part of what Naked Element do. Director Paul Grenyer explains “It’s very important to inspire and encourage students to choose a career in tech in Norfolk, as there is increased demand for digital skills and this looks set to continue for a considerable time to come - Norfolk companies contact me weekly looking for developers and people with supporting digital skills.” Paul is also involved in a work group to help address the skills shortage in our local area. “TechNation has put Norwich firmly on the map when it comes to innovative tech companies” he says “and these companies will be looking to grow over the next 5+ years and will require a local workforce to support that growth. That’s why events like My Tech are so crucial.”

Thursday, 18 January 2018

HELP KEEP NORWICH & NORFOLK ON THE TECH NATION MAP IN 2018


HELP KEEP NORWICH & NORFOLK ON THE TECH NATION MAP IN 2018

Tech Nation is a groundbreaking series of reports on the UK’s digital tech ecosystem. Over the last three years – it has captured the strength, depth and breadth of activity across the UK. It has revealed the scale of the digital tech sector, captured its growth, and – crucially – developed an understanding of the characteristics of the communities driving it.

We hope to make Tech Nation 2018 the best report yet.

To do this, we need your help. Last year the survey had 2,700 responses, this year we hope to reach 11,000 responses, and to hear from all tech communities in the UK to allow us to provide the most up to date and insightful data on the UK tech community in 2018.

If you work in or run a business in the technology, digital sector or any business that is related to or supports these sectors such as investors, legal, education etc. then we need your input.

We want to hear from you on topics such as diversity of the tech sector in your local area, on opportunities for high growth businesses and the quality of education and training.

Help keep Norwich & Norfolk at the forefront of peoples minds when they consider Tech Communities in the UK.

It only takes 5 minutes!



If you would like to join Tech Nation 2018 Community Partner please email details of your business along with your logo to technation@techcityuk.com. This will mean that you will be sent updates of completions in your area, and have the opportunity to contribute further to the report.

All community partners will have their logos featured in the report.

The survey will close on Friday 2nd of February.

TAKE THE SURVEY

Monday, 8 January 2018

Full Day Workshop: BDD with Cynefin - Liz Keogh


What: Full Day Workshop: BDD with Cynefin - Liz Keogh

When: Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 9:00am to 4:45pm

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

How much: £130.00

RSVP: https://www.meetup.com/Norfolk-Developers-NorDev/events/245781564/

Behaviour-Driven Development is a practice in which we talk through different examples (scenarios) of how a system might work, from the perspective of its many users. In this unique tutorial we mix BDD with Cynefin, the sensemaking framework that helps makes sense of the world around you and the problems you encounter depending on their predictability.

The course provides thinking and conversational tools to enable teams, product owners and managers to address risk early, develop a deep understanding of requirements at different scales, shorten the time needed to reach that understanding, produce high-quality, innovative solutions, and create human-readable, relevant and memorable tests as a by-product… and it's not just applicable to software!

For each outcome, attendees will demonstrate the skill during interactive exercises in the course.

BDD

  • Explain BDD and its practices
  • Create well-formed scenarios which are relevant to your own domain
  • Use conversational patterns to draw out new scenarios and explore scope
  • Discuss how best to engage Developers, Testers and Analysts or Business Experts in conversations
  • Identify and design mechanisms for quick feedback using single scenarios


Cynefin

  • Explain the Cynefin model and how it relates to BDD and Specification by Example
  • Estimate the level of complexity in different requirements phrased at different scales
  • Predict when an unelaborated requirement is likely to cause conflict or excessive discussion
  • Discuss shortcuts to apply to well-understood requirements to reduce analysis and planning time
  • Differentiate between well-understood, domain-specific, and innovative / uncertain aspects of work through using scenarios in conversations


Capability Red

  • Identify core and incidental stakeholders for a project
  • Generate a map of desired capabilities from lower-level stories and scenarios
  • Identify risk and uncertainty in capability maps
  • Discuss prioritization of long-term plans accordingly
  • Decide whether to engage stakeholders before or only after implementation (educators vs. gatekeepers / checklist)
  • Phrase capability-level problems in problem-space language, without diving into solution-focused features
  • Identify continuous capabilities to which BDD can be applied using monitoring (non-functionals and other non-discrete requirements)
  • Discuss monitoring mechanisms, including manual processes and compliance / governance where applicable.

Please note that automation of scenarios will be mentioned in this course, but is out of scope; this course focuses on the conversational and analytical aspects of BDD.




Friday, 5 January 2018

Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results

Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results
Stephen Guise  (Author)

ISBN-13: 978-1494882273

I’ve read quite a few self help books and while they always seem really good at the time, I’m not particularly good at following through. I guess I don’t necessarily have the willpower or the presence of mind to do what they recommend.

Mini Habits are different. They’re to small for failure.

There’s lots of repetition, which is slightly irritating until towards the end of the book the when the author hints as to why. As the author often says, you start with ridiculously small habits, the reoccuring examples are one pushup a day and writing 50 words a day, because it gets you into the habit, making it easier to do more. But you only have to achieve the small habit you set out to do. That’s what success looks like. So you can’t fail.

The book was recommended to me by my good friend Tom Bool. Soon after I started reading the book I started walking everyday right around the park. This took a good 30 minutes or more. Will power failed me some days. Now I make sure I walk for 15 minutes every day. Most days I do more as I walk to work. If I don’t walk to work I do 15 minutes or more in the park.

In addition to this my habits are drinking a pint of water a day and reading two pages of a book a day. Everyday I drink more than a pint of water and my incentive is that I don’t have a cup of tea until I’ve drunk my pint. I’m finding reading is enough reward in itself and I’m usually reading more than two pages a day. But if I haven’t found the time to read, I know I can read two pages just before bed.

I wish I’d read this book when I was still responsible for sales calls, because I could have done one a day which would be much easier than the 10 I’d often try and I could have been a success every day.