Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Naked Element’s solution brings 100% conformity in just two weeks

Ashford Commercial work with government agencies across the board, as well as social landlords, to install windows and doors as part of large constructions. Priding themselves on building good business partnerships, they engaged with Naked Element to create a timesaving, cross-platform mobile app for them, in order to reduce error and save time when compared to their paper processes. With a strict budget and prompt turnaround required, the Naked Element team had their skills put to the test.

This was Ashford Commercial’s first app, and they were new to having bespoke software developed, making it even more important that everything went smoothly. Developer Kieran said “The project was to create a mobile app to streamline the completion of Fire Door Installation paperwork. Ashford Commercial wanted to improve their paper-trail for fire door installation, as relying on paperwork often meant waiting for fitters to pass the forms onto supervisors and then having a bundle of documents arrive at once – or potentially get lost.”

Keeping in mind that a quick turnaround was desired, Kieran came up with a solution to what could have been a lengthy development process. “We leveraged React Native (a cross platform mobile development framework) to ensure we only had to work with one codebase for both iPhone and Android. This dramatically reduced the time required to build the app and allowed us to deliver the full app in 2 weeks.”

Instead of Ashford Commercial’s fitters having to complete necessary paperwork manually, the app allowed for pre-filling of much of the data required. “The app provided ‘Yes/No’ questions with sensible defaults to make completing the form a breeze. As a further improvement to the previous paperwork” Kieran said “we were able to take advantage of the cameras in smartphones, so photographic evidence of the installation is supplied each time, confirming that the door has been installed as specified.”

Neil Davis, Operations Manager at Ashford Commercial, said Naked Element had been chosen to create the app because they felt they were the right company to offer the support for development. “It was a quick process, 98% of which was done Naked Element help Ashfords to reduce lengthy paperwork processes with Mobile App fluidly. The app means that there’s 100% conformity now, which is exactly what we wanted, as well as the performance we wanted. There’s total legal conformance and a lot of transparency which there wasn’t before. We didn’t want to invest people, so it was better to get the system to work, which is what we made happen with Naked Element.” With a relatively straightforward project such as this one, there were few challenges outside of the time and budget restrictions. Everything was made clear throughout the development process, “I was quite satisfied with how everything went and I would be happy to recommend Naked Element” said Neil.

“The app means that there’s 100% conformity now, which is exactly what we wanted.”

Friday, 6 January 2017

Is 2017 the year you’re going to improve your efficiency by up to 95%?

At Naked Element we’re all about making your business process more efficient and more accurate, saving you time and money. In 2016 Naked Element helped its clients increase their efficiency by up to 95% with made to measure, cohesive software solutions.

• Are you drowning under the weight of spreadsheets?

• Do you need to streamline and automate your process for your team and/or your clients?

• Is manual monitoring of tools preventing you from getting the best results for your clients and costing you time?

• Are you struggling to find the perfect tool or mobile app to solve or improve your process problem?

• Do you need a tool or mobile app to make sure you’re compliant?

• Are you using a number of different tools you wish could all talk to each other seamlessly without the need for manual rekeying?

• Have you got a fantastic new idea for a digital product or service and don’t know how to start building it?

This year Naked Element has helped all of its clients with one or more of these issues.

What could we do for you? Contact us now to find out how we can make your business more efficient in 2017.

Email: info@nakedelement.co.uk
Call: 01603 383 458

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

2016 claims Metal Hammer

In the 90s there was a ‘Rock Music Magazine’ called Raw Power (later renamed to Noisy Mothers, before getting cancelled) which aired on ITV in the early hours of Saturday morning. I often saw it in the Radio Times and sometime in the early 90s started recording it. As my obsession for Rock and Metal grew I also started reading the fortnightly Raw Magazine, which in the late 90s transformed into a more indie based publication for one issue and then died. At the same time I was buying Kerrang! weekly, Metal Hammer once a month and at some point I had a subscription to Terrorizer magazine. Raw Magazine was always my favorite, but then it went crap and died, Kerrang! became like Smash Hits for Metal kids (or maybe I grew up a bit) and Terrorizer didn’t have enough of a range of metal bands to make it worth the subscription, so I was left with just a Metal Hammer subscription which I maintained for the album reviews so that I knew what was coming out.

Last week 2016 claimed another casualty, Team Rock, the company who bought Metal Hammer from Future Publishing. It appears they just ran out of money, stopped and brought in the receivers. This of course means that there is hope for Metal Hammer if someone can be found to buy it and/or Team Rock. Although it’s not feeling very likely.

In the late 90s I would read all the magazines I bought cover-to-cover. In more recent years it’s just been the album reviews, of the bands I recognised, and the odd interview if it looked interesting. Did that make it worth the subscription? Absolutely! Convenience is something I’ve been happier and happier to pay for as I’ve got older and having Metal Hammer drop through my door once a month and enable me to keep abreast of the latest album releases was fantastic.

I am going to miss Metal Hammer and inevitably miss album releases, which will mean I save a bit of money. The alternatives mean me taking positive action to follow bands on the internet, Facebook or Twitter and I’m unlikely to fit it all in.

Metal Hammer was how I discovered the Bloodstock Festival, my now annual pilgrimage to Derbyshire with around 10,000 other metal heads. It’s how I discovered Dream Theater, Behemoth and countless others. I discover most new bands at Bloodstock now, but still…

I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that someone acquires Metal Hammer, if not the whole of Team Rock and maybe I need to investigate a Terrorizer subscription once more.

Let’s just hope we don’t lose Princess Leia before the year’s out (or in the 2017 for that matter).

Sunday, 25 December 2016


Every time I’ve seen Jennifer Lawrence on the Graham Norton show she has been drunk and obnoxious. In The Hunger Games she wasn’t exactly a charismatic resistance leader. I’d heard bad things about Passengers and that coupled with the fact it had Jennifer Lawrence in it wasn’t giving me any hope, but the trailer made it look like an interesting sci-fi, so I went to see it anyway.

I’m glad I did. It wasn’t amazing, but it was good. I don’t think I’d need or want to see it a second time. If you put aside the fact that it’s set on a spaceship in a universe where hibernation for long distance travel is possible, there isn’t a great deal of science fiction in the this film. It’s a film about morals.

What’s more, Jennifer Lawrence is actually quite good in it and not at all annoying. Chris Pratt is also very good in this predominantly straight role (I’ve only seen him in Guardians of the Galaxy before) and of course Michael Sheen is, as always, amazing even in a supporting role.

The special effects are good, but don’t make the movie. They’re as they should be, there to tell the story not to outshine it. The climax is your usual last minute saving of the spaceship and characters just in the nick of time. Some of it is difficult to suspend belief for, but then it’s a sci-fi film.

Go see it, it’s many times better than Arrival.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Rogue One

So much better than The Force Awakens, but still a little way to go and it all ended a bit Blakes 7.

After the disappointment that was the Force Awakens, I approached Rogue One with some trepidation. It was slow going to begin with and I missed the usual scrolling introduction to the story so far, but as one of three standalone Star Wars movies I guess there was no story to tell.

My heart fell more when there started to be a lot of references to the other films, especially Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi, as this was one of the things that had detracted from the Force Awakens, but they were just references, it wasn’t actually the same story!

Half an hour in it was great and I really enjoyed it from that point on. I liked the way it was almost split into two stories with two separate climaxes. I started to get a bit worried towards the end. I remember the beginning of the original Star Wars film (now called A New Hope) and how the Tantive IV had received the transmitted plans for the Death Star. The way Rogue One was playing out didn’t look as if it would be consistent. Then the plot sped up, just like it does at the end of The Clone Wars and the story played out just as expected to align with A New Hope.

Rogue One did what The Force Awakens failed to do. It built some brilliant characters, but then it did the worst thing you can imagine. It killed them all. I know people have wrongly said that the story was borne out of Mon Mothma saying “...many Bothan’s died to bring us this information…”, but it wasn’t necessary to kill everybody!

Friday, 16 December 2016

Nor(DEV):con 2017 Saturday Keynote Speaker – From Coda to Code: The SupaPass Journey

Nor(DEV):con keynote speaker, Saturday 25th Feb

From Coda to Code: The SupaPass Journey
Juliana Meyer

Join Norfolk Developers to discover the tech startup story, that began from a bedroom in Norwich with a vision for a more efficient rewarding future for creatives, and has led to a globally recognised tech platform working with artists from major record labels.

About Juliana
Juliana Meyer is Founder and CEO of SupaPass, the fair-trade music streaming app. SupaPass gives anyone with a fanbase their own subscription streaming service. Fans subscribe to a specific creator’s channel from £1 per month and creators earn up to 100% net revenue share of their fan subscriptions.

Juliana founded SupaPass to give efficient, fair, transparent revenue from streaming for artists, labels and publishers. Working with global artists like Grammy Award-winning Imogen Heap, SupaPass is exploring cutting edge technology including Blockchain.

Prior to founding SupaPass, Juliana Meyer ran her own label and was an award-winning singer-songwriter, including writing Norfolk’s Official Olympic Song for the 2012 Olympics. She also has a Masters Engineering Degree from Oxford University. One of the first steps in founding SupaPass was co-founding SyncNorwich in order to find and build the team.

Juliana also won the overall award at the 2016 DevelopHER awards.

RSVP: https://nordevcon2017.eventbrite.co.uk

Nor(DEV):con 2017 Saturday Keynote Speaker: The Technologist’s Guide to Hitchhiking

Nor(DEV):con keynote speaker, Saturday 25th Feb

The Technologist’s Guide to Hitchhiking
Seb Rose

Are you assessed according to the professional development plan you submitted at last year’s appraisal? Where will you be in five year’s time? Have you ever been hitchhiking?

While it’s important to acquire relevant knowledge and skills to further your career, it’s also useful to occasionally reflect on the role that serendipity plays in all our lives. I’m not talking about loosely thought out escapist dreams or delegating your career to a higher power. The best professionals and business people are those that are able to take advantage of opportunities when they arise – something that observers often characterise as luck. If it is luck then, to some extent, we make our own luck.

You may be wondering where hitchhiking comes into this. In part, it’s through the long relationship that technologists have had with the work of Douglas Adams and the number 42. Hitchhiking is also a good metaphor for the development of a career in technology, incorporating all the elements of forecasting and preparation, but combining them with massive unpredictability.

I’ll draw on over 30 years of software development (and hitchhiking) to encourage you to both loosen up and apply yourself.

About Seb
Consultant, coach, designer, analyst and developer for over 30 years. Seb has been involved in the full development lifecycle with experience that ranges from Architecture to Support, from BASIC to Ruby. Recently he has been helping teams adopt and refine their agile practices, with a particular focus on collaboration and automated testing.

Seb is the lead author of “The Cucumber for Java Book” (Pragmatic Programmers) and a contributing author to “97 Things Every Programmer Should Know” (O’Reilly). He has written for many online journals, including Agile Connection, Simple Talk and the Prose Garden. He has spoken at dozens of UK and international conferences, including Software Architect (London), XP (Vienna & Rome), Agile 2014 (Orlando), Java One (San Francisco), NDC (Oslo), Agile Testing Days (Potsdam) and Eurostar (Maastricht).

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nordevcon-2017-tickets-26029662421

Nor(DEV):con 2017 Friday Keynote Speaker: Are you ready for the coming revolution?

Nor(DEV):con keynote speaker, Friday 24th Feb

Are you ready for the coming revolution?
Russel Winder

UK school curriculum underwent a revolution as of 2014-09: ITC was replaced with programming (aka computer science). Whilst the change itself was campaigned for, and widely wanted, the way government handled the change left a lot to be desired. Some, but not all, universities and colleges have joined in realising the change and preparing for the consequent revolution in university computer science curriculum, c.2018 onward. Are businesses ready for the knock-on change?

This presentation will delve into some of the most important and/or obvious issues surrounding this world leading experiment in child education.

Ex-academic, Analyst & consultant Russel talks about the important issues surrounding the government’s push for programming in UK schools, and how the way it’s been handled has left a lot to be desired.

From 2015 ICT in UK schools is to be replaced with programming, but the way the government handled the change left a lot to be desired. Russel talks about some of the most important and obvious issues surrounding this world leading experiment in child education.

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

Actively involved with Groovy, GPars, GroovyFX, SCons, Me TV, and GStreamer. Also Gradle, Ceylon, Kotlin, D, Go, and bit of Rust. And lots of Python, especially Python-CSP.

Full agenda: http://www.nordevcon.com/agenda-2017/

RSVP: http://www.nordevcon.com/

Nor(DEV):con 2017 School conference day

Norfolk Developers are excited to announce their programme for Nor(DEV):con’s schools day, put together by Paul Foster, Microsoft in consultation with many members of faculty from different schools across Norfolk & Norfolk Developers themselves.

09:00 Arrival/Opening keynote segment (20 Minutes allowing for arrivals)

09.20 Paul Grenyer & Paul Foster Open event

09.25 Keynote- “Whoops”, and other classic programming phases by Dom Davis, (@Idomdavis).

Schools now teach algorithms and programming from the age of 5, so it’s hardly rocket science. Except when it is. And even when it isn’t it goes wrong a lot. I should know, I’ve been responsible for some of that wrongness. The trick is to learn from your mistakes, and to make sure that when it goes wrong, it does so in a way that no one will notice, and definitely not in the ways I’m going to spend this session talking about.

10:00 break

10:25 Guided technology task (2 hour activity)

In this activity students will learn how to blend software and hardware to build a modern digital device. Working in pairs, students will learn how the internet of things uses sensors and actuators to build intelligent feedback systems that can interact with the real world.

12:30 Lunch. (Allocated 1 hour)

Lunch is not provided.

A loop of inspirational technology videos will run during the lunch break to give students further ideas.

13:30 STEM student challenge (3 hour activity)

The STEM Student Challenge aims to help students connect the dots between the STEM subjects they study today and the impact those subjects could have on their ability to be part of the next generation of technology heroes. We invite students to use their knowledge of STEM subjects and marry it with research and creativity to imagine and depict their vision of technology in 2027.

The challenge is open to teams of 4-6 students in years 10 to 13. The challenge is to select one of the following categories and come up with an original technology idea that could exist in that field in 10 years’ time.

  • Artificial intelligence and virtual reality
  • Data Security
  • Healthcare

Students must depict or “pitch” their idea in the form of a two-minute video.

1. Form a team. Teams should be made up of 4-6 students.

2. Choose a category and start imagining! We’re surrounded by technology, whether it’s in our pockets, our homes or our schools, and it’s only going to become more central to our daily lives. Microsoft is working in areas that will change the way we work, play and look after ourselves and we want you to think about how these might look 10 years from now. So choose from one of the categories below, and get to work – come up with an original idea for a future technology. Challenge entries should reflect your team’s creativity and your knowledge of your chosen category.

You are part of the generation that will help bring the technologies of 2027 to fruition, so in doing this challenge, we hope you’ll think more about how you can be part of driving the exciting world of tomorrow’s technology. Each team should choose one category and submit one idea only.

3. Create a video. Create a video that depicts your idea. The tech doesn’t exist yet, so you’ll have to get creative! Make a science show, do a skit, demo a mock up prototype using available materials – just keep it under two minutes. Please make sure that your team is familiar with the judging criteria which you can find in this document.

4. Submit your entry. Upload your video to OneDrive by 16:20

Video Entry Judging Criteria

1. Originality of idea Does the technology idea show creative thinking? Does it stand out from the crowd? Is the idea unique and original?

2. Quality of research methods Have the team shown the research that they have undertaken to lead them to their technology idea? Does the video demonstrate that the team has researched and understood the category they have chosen?

3. Understanding of STEM subjects How well does the video entry demonstrate a sound knowledge in one or more STEM subjects?

4. Quality of presentation and clarity of idea Is the video well presented, clearly describing the future technology idea? Have the team presented their idea in a creative, interesting and entertaining way?

5. Is it feasible? Have the students demonstrated how their technology idea could be possible in the year 2027?

6. Evaluation of the process Have the team demonstrated what they’ve learned from the experience of coming up with their technology idea?

7. Judging will occur after the event with schools being notified of results by the end of February

16:30 Close (dependent on lunch break length and required school departure time)

NorDev: Pre-Conference Special

Pre-Conference Special: Machine Learning & Take the risk out of Digital Marketing

Warm up for the main conference day with the pre-conference special.

Date: Thursday, 23rd February 2017

Time: 5.30pm – 7pm

Location: The King’s Centre, Norwich City Centre

R.S.V.P: http://www.meetup.com/Norfolk-Developers-NorDev/events/233466379/

Take the risk out of Digital Marketing
Marcus Hemsley
Fountain Partnership

In this talk Marcus Hemsley will outline how the most successful Digital Marketing Campaigns minimise risk through accurate forecasting and testing. He will outline the three most important numbers to consider before you take a product or service to market, and discuss the most common mistake businesses make when launching a new marketing campaign. He will conclude the talk by running through the most effective strategies for business growth in 2017.

Machine Learning
Darren Cook,
QQ Trend

Darren will be speaking about machine learning, specifically with H2O, a fast, scalable, open source machine learning system with APIs in R, Python, CoffeeScript (and quite a few others). After an introduction there will be a live coding session to show using deep learning on a hard machine learning problem. There might even be time for Q&A and to give away a couple of copies of my book: Practical Machine Learning with H2O, published by O’Reilly. All in 30 minutes.

Pre-Conference Dinner

Location: The Library Restaurant, Norwich City Centre

Time: 7.30pm – late

Price: £30 pp

An intimate dinner at a lovely local restaurant, limited to 25 places. Attended by speakers and organisers and affiliated sponsors and guests.

Find the menu here

R.S.V.P: http://www.meetup.com/Norfolk-Developers-NorDev/events/233466479