Wednesday, 23 April 2014

NorDev: Software in the City & CoffeeScript is for...

What: NorDev: Software in the City & CoffeeScript is for...

When: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 @ 6:30 PM

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


Software in the City: the real story

Burkhard Kloss (@georgebernhard)

The news is full of tales of trillions of derivatives being traded in global financial centres. This talk will give an insight - with thinly veiled anecdotes, and possibly some humour - of how the software behind these trades really gets developed, and what it's like to be in the thick of it.

Burkhard has been writing Software in the City of London for longer than he cares to mention these days. Starting in C++, but occasionally venturing into Python, Java, .Net and sometimes VBA (but we don't talk about that), he has seen the good, the bad, and a lot of the ugly side of what really happens in "The City".

CoffeeScript is for... 

Anders Fisher (@atleastimtrying)

Anders Fisher will be giving an in depth look at the pros and cons of coffeescript as a compiled language as well as some of its advantages in encouraging good practices in JS development and encouraging different approaches. He will also be going into some of the diverse projects he has used coffeescript for including mobile development. If it sounds a bit much remember, it's just Javascript with a fancy hat on!

Anders Fisher is a seasoned front end developer working daily with a variety of clients helping to implement a variety of approaches to front end development.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

On The Steel Breeze

by Alastair Reynolds
ISBN: 978-0575090453

Fantastic! I loved this book. I really struggled to put it down and was reading it at every opportunity. I was even reading it for the three minutes it took to microwave my lunch at work each day.

It’s great not to have to start my review saying that this book is excellent, but not as good as Revelation Space, because it is, although it’s not as broad in terms of the scope of the story.

Unlike Blue Remembered Earth, you’re straight into the action with On the Steel Breeze and there’s none of the slow character building. It sits so well on the foundations created by Blue Remembered Earth that I wish I’d gone back and read it again first. I also liked all the characters this time.

There’s a great sense of mystery right up to the end. Most science fiction stories based around a paranoid machine intelligence remind me of HAL. However, HAL was a well intentioned, mislead child. Arachne, at least the version of her integrated into the Earth mech is clearly evil.

Science fiction is usually a look at possible future societies and many of them are utopian futures where there is no more conflict or murder and all of them are wavering on the brink of falling back into chaos. It’s the same in the future painted by On the Steel Breeze. And of course the characters acting for the good of everyone push it over the brink.

Following an experiment that went catastrophically wrong and destroyed a holoship, all development of the engines needed to slow the holoships down and allow them to reach their goal was prohibited. I was frustrated with the authorities making this decisions all the way through the book. It just felt so short sighted, but this is often how governments are. I also missed why the holoships couldn’t turn themselves over and use the engines they’d used to reach their transit velocity to slow down.

The end only answers about 90% of the questions asked by the rest of the book and sets the scene perfectly for the third and final part of Poseidon's Children. In the meantime I’ll be readying Doctor Who: Harvest of Time, also by Alastair Reynolds.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

MobDevCon 2014 Sponsorship Packages Announced

MobeDevCon 2014, Norfolk’s Mobile Development conference, will take place on Wednesday 9th July at the Kings Centre in Norwich. As a sponsor this is an ideal opportunity to get exposure to around one hundred mobile devs and decision influencers from the Norfolk area and beyond. Please take a look at the sponsorship packages below and if you would like to sponsor, please email Tickets for MobDevCon 2014 are onsale now from £80 plus fees on eventbrite.

Associate £300
  • Mention on twitter
  • Logo on website
  • Logo on slide in opening presentation

Partner £800
  • Mention on twitter
  • Logo on website
  • Logo on slide in opening presentation
  • Table & space for a small banner at the conference
  • Lunch and refreshments for person manning the stand

Elite £1500
  • Mention on twitter
  • Logo on website
  • Logo on slide in opening presentation
  • Table & space for a small banner at the conference
  • Lunch and refreshments for person manning the stand
  • 30 minute speaking slot that may be of a sales/marketing nature (all other presentations are strictly technical)

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Workshop: Test Driven Development (TDD) in Ruby

What: Test Driven Development (TDD) in Ruby

When: Wednesday, 23rd April at 7pm.

Where: Further, The Old Church, St Matthew's Road, Norwich, NR1 1SP


This month I will will be leading a workshop on Test Driven Development in Ruby:

Most of my experience with Ruby has been creating Rails apps using the command line engine and plenty of help and advice from people like Matthew Wells, my co-director at Naked Element Ltd. How a vanilla Ruby programme hangs together and especially how you use Rake to build one has been quite opaque to me. When NRUG asked me to do a session on Test Driven Development (TDD) in Ruby I saw this as an ideal opportunity for this to change. 

Concentrating on testing outside of a Rails context, Paul will be covering the setup and structure of a testable Ruby program, and will demonstrate how you can write your own tests.

To take part in the workshop bring along a laptop with Ruby installed.