Friday, 19 April 2013

SyncNorwich: Big Data in the AWS Cloud + More

Last night was the first SyncNorwich that I have managed to get to this year and it was fantastic. There was a real buzz and the eagerly anticipated speakers did not disappoint. It was also good to catch with a lot of people from the early days of Validus.

First up was Richard Churchill of Service Tick. They’re doing some incredible stuff in the cloud with NoSQL databases. Richard was very engaging and is clearly bey passionate about what he is doing. Service Tick also boast one of the best DBAs I have ever worked with.

Next up was Ben Taylor from Validus talking about their migration of their claims handling system to the cloud. Ben is now Technology Director at Validus. I remember interviewing and hiring him for a Java developer role about 5 years ago. Lots of things have changed since then and Ben did a superb job tonight.

Unfortunately I had to leave early and missed Robin Meehan of Smart421’s presentation on big data in the AWS cloud. However I have heard from a number of people since that it was superb.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Naked Element Ltd. presents MobDevCon, Norfolk's Mobile Development Conference

What: MobDevCon
When: 3rd July 2013, 9am to 6.30pm
Where: Hethel Engineering Centre, Chapman Way, Hethel, Norwich, NR14 8FB
Tickets: (on sale 22nd April)

Naked Element Ltd. is very proud to present MobDevCon the first mobile development conference in Norfolk. MobDevCon is a one day conference  and is open to all. There will be presentations and workshops covering a broad range of mobile development topics. Do you want to go mobile? Not sure which platform to use? Want to find out about NFC? Come join us on 3 July 2013 and find answers to your mobile questions at MobDevCon.


At last! Proper sci-fi! Spaceships, aliens and everything!

I often think to myself when I go to see a Tom Cruise film that he’s never made a bad one. Then I remember War of the Worlds, but surely that has to be exception that proves the rule? Oblivion, despite some of the cliches and a few obvious twists, is a fantastic film once it gets going. There were a couple of places where I found myself wondering if something had been cut to get the 12A rating, which is always a shame. Having said that, the one piece of language at the end seemed totally unnecessary as it was absent from the rest of the film.

So I guessed pretty early on that the Scavs were humans. It was obvious. However, once that was revealed a new intrigue was introduced and the suspense reasonably well maintained until the end where it was almost fully described. It would have been good to understand exactly what happened to Jack and Victoria after they entered the alien ship and how the invasion happened and who the aliens really were, where they came from and why they were stealing energy from planets.

One of the highlights for me was when Jack flicked through his record collection and there was a copy of Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Asia’s first album. You don’t see that every day!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

A review of Trisha Gee from 10gen does an unconference

Last night was the second East Anglia MongoDB User Group meeting. We were once again extremely lucky to have someone from 10gen, the MongoDB company. Trisha Gee took some time out of her extremely busy schedule to pop up to Norwich for the evening for a general chat about MongoDB. I have never been to an event, let alone organised an event where I haven’t been pretty sure what the content was going to be beforehand. When Trisha suggested doing an unconfernece and responding primarily to questions from the audience I thought it was a great idea, but was a little apprehensive.

Trisha was absolutely sensational! There were slides, of course. These were on MongoDB document structure and scheme design. They were rushed through at almost lightning speed, but so clearly that everyone followed them precisely. I found it extremely refreshing to find a speaker who moved at a fast pace. Lot’s of discussion followed the slides and continued afterwards in the bar.

There were only 11 members of the group at the meeting and I think this is more reflective of the actual level of interest in the Norwich area. I don’t think we’ll see 30 people at an MongoDB event very often. I’ll be planning the next event very soon and I’m intending to have a few members of the group speak about their MongoDB or NoSQL projects.