Sunday, 28 July 2013


Keeping children happy over the summer holidays can be extremely expensive. However, we are very, very lucky in Norwich for so many reasons. In Norwich this summer there are 53 large  gorillas and 67 small gorillas painted up in lots of different ways and a map so you can find them all. Each gorilla has a name, a number (but it is a free gorilla!) and a letter. If you enter the letter from each gorilla into the the circle that corresponds to its number on the map they make a sentence.  Once you’ve completed the sentence you can send your map off to be entered into a competition. This has kept me and my family busy for a large part of the weekend. The gorillas are being auctioned on the 3rd of October.

Although most of the gorillas are in the very centre of Norwich and within the old city walls, there are a few slightly further out. Following the map and finding all the gorillas will show you just what an amazing and beautiful city we have.

As I write this we’ve seen about ⅔ of the large GoGoGorillas. Some yesterday and some today. You can keep up with our progress on my facebook page.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

The World's End

Simon Pegg is a nostalgia genius. He was clearly into all of the same things I was as a teenager. This is probably why he makes such appealing films. And you just have to love the Sisters of Mercy.

The World’s End is simply fantastic. Simon Pegg’s character, Gary King is dressed as Andrew Eldritch throughout the film until the last scene where he seems to have transitioned into Carl McCoy. I knew absolutely nothing about the film until I sat down to watch it. The first few scenes are rather ploddy and you’re clearly meant to hate Gary King and I did. Then the twist in the plot kicks in and it goes at about 100 miles an hour. What more could you ask for in a film that has an ex-Bond and an ex-Bond girl? Bill Nighy of course! And he’s in there right at the end.

If you were a teenager in the 90s, you’ll love this film and all the references. If you liked Simon Pegg’s other films and Spaced, you’ll love this. If you weren’t a teenager in the 90s and you didn’t like Simon Pegg’s other films, go and see this anyway! Did I mention it was fantastic? Oh, and Nick Frost is incredible too. Even Martin Freeman, who  I really don’t like, was rather good.

Naked Element Contractor Database

Naked Element Ltd is a bespoke software development company specialising in web, enterprise and mobile development. We also offer consultancy, training and integration services.

At Naked Element Ltd was are anticipating a period of growth and want to build up a database of contractors and their relevant skills and experience to help us ramp up quickly. If you have skills in mobile development, enterprise development, web development and/or design and would like to be added to our database, please email

We are looking for a wide range of experience including, but not limited to:

  • Java
  • C#
  • PHP
  • UI/UX/Graphic Design
  • Website Design
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Titanium (cross platform mobile)
  • Android
  • iOS
We are only collecting details for our own use. We will not pass your details to any third party and will only use them in the way we have described.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Agile Cambridge 2013

Now in its 4th year, Agile Cambridge has developed a reputation as the event to be at for UK Agile and Lean software development practitioners. The conference will be held at Churchill College, Cambridge from Wednesday 25th to Friday 27th September.

The event has a strong practical focus on experience sharing, hands-on activity and learning-by-doing as well as providing plenty of opportunity for unscheduled sessions, hallway chats and fun.

The event is for anyone who wants to successfully apply or learn more about the following topics:

  • Adopting and evolving agile approaches
  • Agile software development
  • Agile product management
  • Agile testing
  • User experience and design in an agile world
  • Coaching and mentoring agile teams
  • Leadership
  • Tool and technology adoption

Speakers at the event include: Michael Feathers, Janet Gregory, Chris Matts, Roman Pichler, Darci Dutcher, Rachel Davies, Paul Grenyer and Marc Evers.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Opportunity – Sales, marketing and business development

Naked Element Ltd is a bespoke software development company specialising in web, enterprise and mobile development. We also offer consultancy, training and integration services.

At Naked Element Ltd we are looking for someone to help us build on our exceptionally strong technical foundations. We want to grow the business and are offering an equity share in return for your ability to:

  • identify and approach new clients
  • build and manage relationships
  • win new business
  • build and market our business

If you are interested in discussing how you might be able to help us, please email

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Projector & Screen for Hire in Norfolk

Optima HD600X-LV

HD600-LV on Optima Website

Projector hire: £30 + VAT (£36) per day (inc evenings)

Screen hire: £7.50 + VAT (£9) per day (inc evenings)

  • Native Resolution: WXGA 1280 x 800
  • Max Resolution: UXGA 1600 x 1200
  • Input: PC/Video: HDMI (HDCP), 15 Pin D-sub (RGB/YPbPr/SCART), S-Video, Composite, Audio In - Mini Jack
  • Connections: UXGA, SXGA, WXGA, XGA, SVGA, VGA, Mac
  • User Manual
Email for availability.

A Review of MobDevCon 2013

MobDevCon 2013, Norfolk’s first mobile development conference presented by Naked Element Ltd. and held at Hethel Engineering Centre on Wednesday 3rd July 2013 was a huge success! But you don’t have to take my work for it. The numbers, reviews and feedback speak for themselves. 80 people attended the sold out conference.

Conference sponsor polkadotfrog have written a review of the event, MobDevCon Success and I am pleased that they have expressed the intention to sponsor the conference again next year. Ipswich based consultancy firm Smart421 also write a review, Getting Serious about Mobile and NFC at MobDevCon. As did mobile newcomer Vickie Allen, Review by a mobile novice

MobDevCon received 50 responses to the conference survey. Feedback is key to making sure that next year’s conference is even better than MobDevCon 2013. Below is a little overview of what people thought about this year’s event:

Here are few of the comments received about the event: “MobDevCon provided an excellent platform to get a feel for new technologies, current development, networking and interaction. I came away with plenty of inspiration and idea. “ “Great community of expertise and all willing to share, relevant to both developers and also business owners” “Relaxed, no hard sell from companies, knowledgeable presenters, good venue and food, value for money” Of course there was also negative feedback which will be taken on board. Next year the conference team will improve the overall conference feel, the workshops and the breadth of topics covered. There were several requests to have some of this year’s speakers back next year, including Neil Garner, Ruth John and Paul Lammertsma. Ruth John has already agreed to open next year’s conference.

Next year MobDevCon hopes to cover more platforms, including iOS as well as the general focus on cross platform development. There’s only so much that can be crammed into one day and the conference team would be interested to hear your views on expanding the conference to two days and/or having more tracks. A poll will be sent out later in the year.

The general feedback received suggests that most people thought it was an excellent first conference and are keen for it to happen again next year.
If you have any photos of the event which you want to share then you can email them to and view others photos at

Finally, my two favourite photos of the day. One shows Charli and Robin who welcomed everyone to MobDevCon 2013 and the other the weather on the day:

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

NorDev 2 Review: Simon Elliston Ball: Glimpse & Phil Nash: Is it really worth TDDing iOS apps?

Seventeen people came to hear Simon Elliston Ball and Phil Nash at Norfolk Developers tonight. When you consider that it’s very warm and it’s July, so lots of people are on holiday and SyncNorwich’s first birthday party is tomorrow night, that’s not too bad.

Simon Elliston Ball from Redgate gave us a very enthusiastic introduction to the Glimpse tool. Glimpse is an open source tool for monitoring applications. The original developers are now working for Redgate and Redgate is looking for other people to contribute to the project. There weren’t so many .Net developers in the audience, so Simon kept his presentation to just the slides, which generated plenty of questions from the engaged audience.

Phil Nash is usually softly spoken, but his inability to hear this evening, due to an ear infection, meant we could all hear him clearly! He started off with a 5 minute introduction to Objective C for those in the audience who haven’t done any. I was surprised to hear it was inspired by SmallTalk! Phil went on to explain how TD gives us well factored code and a regression test suite before highlighting the problems with singletons and some alternatives to them. Then it was on to the code!

NorDev 3: Choosing an appropriate programming language & Killing pigs and proudly telling people about it with Riak

What: Choosing an appropriate programming language & Killing pigs and proudly telling people about it with Riak

When: Wednesday, 7th August 2013 @ 6.30pm

Where: Virgin Wines, 4th Floor, St James' Mill, Whitefriars, Norwich, NR3 1TN


Choosing an appropriate programming language
Prof Russel Winder

All too often IT projects do not actively choose the most appropriate programming language for the job at hand, but just use the one they always use and hack round any deficiencies. Sadly sometimes it is not realized that the choice of a different programming language would have made the project simpler, quicker to realize and more fun to work on.

Taking a mixed historical and crystal ball gazing approach, much of which will be personal and idiosyncratic, this session will investigate some of the issues in matching programming language to project as examples of the overall problem.

Fortran, C++, D, Python, R, Julia, Java, Groovy, Scala, Kotlin, Ceylon, C#, F#, Haskell, OCaml will all make an appearance.

JCL, Clists, Make, Autotools, CMake, SCons, Waf, Ant, Maven, Gant and Gradle will also appear as build is an example problem for the session.

Ex-theoretical physicist, ex-UNIX system programmer, ex-academic. Now an independent consultant, analyst, author, expert witness and trainer. Also a starter of startups. Interested in all things parallel and concurrent. And build.

Actively involved with Groovy, GPars, GroovyFX, Java, and Gant. Also Gradle and Griffon. Interested in Scala, Kotlin, Ceylon.

Actively involved in Python, SCons, and Python-CSP.

Interested in Go, D and C++ (but only C++11 and later).

Killing pigs and proudly telling people about it with Riak
Christian Dahlqvist

Riak is an open source key-value database that is fault tolerant, highly available and scales with ease.

In this talk we will provide an overview of Riak and it's features and show how you can use it to build efficient solutions that are highly available and scaleable. We will talk about data modelling and look at real-world production use-cases of Riak at organisations including:

  • Rovio, the makers of Angry Birds
  • Voxer, creators of one of the most popular mobile push-to-talk applications

Come and find out how Riak can ensure your application remains available through disasters and sudden success.

Little Miss Geek: Bridging the Gap Between Girls and Technology

by Belinda Parmer

ISBN: 978-0957389809

I don’t usually read this sort of book, but a friend of mine has started a group focused on equality in IT called SyncDevelopHER and I am keen to understand the issues that women in our industry face.

Although I didn’t get on well with the style of the book and felt that it was a little verbose and repetitive in places, also the images did nothing for me, especially on a kindle, I did feel it helped me understand some of the reasons there aren’t many women in IT and, more importantly, why we want more women IT. It also has some good suggestions for ways of getting more women into IT, although these were very much focused on large organisations. There weren’t any suggestions for start-ups or SME (Small and Medium sized Enterprises), who face very different problems.

If you do want an insight, this book is certainly a good place to start. Also, at only 192 pages and a lot of images and single statements on a page, it’s an easy and fast read.