Saturday, 18 February 2017

Couldn't be happier!

I often get asked about my tweets, but this one more than the others recently:


And the question is always, why were you so happy? Well, it’s quite simple really. It was early in the morning, Gt. Yarmouth was practically deserted, I had my laptop, my MP3 player (with the new Sepultura album) and good tea. I’ve mentioned many times how much I love my job and how lucky I feel to be paid for doing something which I enjoy. And there I was working away on some code without a worry in the world. Bliss.

Of course it didn’t last. I was in Gt. Yarmouth for a reason and not long after I had to go and visit a new prospect. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

We're Hiring!


Hoping to kick-start a career in software development? Looking to develop your programming skills? Grab this great opportunity to work with us at Naked Element, an experienced and innovative team producing bespoke software for a wide range of clients.

Naked Element would like to recruit a graduate to assist working on a varied range of software development projects.

Salary: 18k

Hours: 35 hours per week

Location: Whitespace, St. James Mill, Whitefriars, Norwich

Application Deadline: 26 February 2017

Interview Date: Week commencing 27 February 2017

The role will be tailored to suit your strengths and interests and specific tasks will include some of the following:

  • Maintaining existing applications and cloud based servers
  • Liaising with clients to gather information and provide support (including visiting clients at their premises
  • Full training will be provided and there will also be the opportunity for you to get involved in all aspects of this small but dynamic business.

Hands on software development of web and mobile applications using one or more of the following technologies:

  • Java
  • Ruby on Rails
  • JavaScript
  • HTML/CSS

Application of agile software development practices including:

  • Version control (git)
  • Unit testing
  • Automated build and deployment

Essential skills and qualities:

  • Keen interest in software development
  • Competency in at least one programming language
  • Pro-active, ‘can-do’ attitude
  • Flexible and adaptable

Desirable skills and qualities:

  • Able to demonstrate interest in software development by reference to a project you have worked on

This is the perfect opportunity to kick-start a career in software development. You will benefit from the guidance of staff with over 30 years’ experience of coding as well as receiving both in-house and external training. This is also a chance to gain an in depth insight into all aspects of a software development business.

If you would like to apply for this opportunity, please send CV’s to rain.crowson@nakedelement.co.uk

Monday, 13 February 2017

Updating Data Protection


Technology is developing constantly; communication is becoming faster and the exchange of ideas and information easier. Considering how quickly things are evolving, it’s shocking to discover that the legislation protecting our data hasn’t been updated since 1998! That was the year that Apple introduced the first iMac, Google had its first Doodle and someone hit Bill Gates in the face with a pie (a dissatisfied Windows 98 user perhaps?). Our data protection laws are as out of date as Apple making desktop computers in see-through candy colours. The state of information is unrecognisable from that time and the laws protecting it have been in dire need of an update. Cue an intervention from the EU.

After four years of work the new ‘General Data Protection Regulation’ will detail how data should be stored, how it should be used and when it should be destroyed. The public will have more control over their personal data and businesses will have a more simple set of regulations to follow when using said data. ‘Data’ in this case, refers to anything that might be used to identify an individual, including cultural and economic information as well as mental health details and even IP addresses and other online identifiers. If information held under pseudonyms has the potential to identify an individual this could also be classed as personal data. The GDPR has widened the definition of ‘data’ significantly.

The fines for those who do not comply with the GDPR are hefty (£20 million is no trifling sum) but businesses have until 25th May 2018 to bring their systems into line. The new regulations also apply to companies who process data on behalf of businesses, so developers need to be aware of the legislation too.

The basic principles are:

  • Data must be processed lawfully, transparently, and for a specific purpose
  • Data must be deleted when no longer required or it has served its specific purpose
  • Consent to keep and use data must be actively obtained and recorded
  • The public have the right to request, update, rectify or move their data or have it destroyed altogether
  • Data owners must also check the compliance of any processors they may use
  • Data breaches should be reported to those affected immediately and to the Information Commissioner’s Office within 72 hours
  • Companies outside of the EU are still subject to GDPR when processing or controlling data of individuals within the EU

Some of you may have already thought that as the UK is leaving the EU, their regulations don’t apply, but this isn’t the case. The UK will still be part of the European Union by the time the GDPR is in full force, and even after we leave the EU we still need to be able to work with them. Digital minister Matt Hancock said the GDPR should become part of UK law as it was a “decent piece of legislation”. He has emphasised the importance of uniform standards in order to maintain data exchanges with the likes of the EU and the US, and that the UK would meet the standards set out by the Union rather than asking them to meet ours.

For an in-depth guide on how to become GDPR compliant see the article below:
http://www.itpro.co.uk/security/27563/how-to-get-ready-for-gdpr-2018-data-protection-changes/page/0/2

Words by Lauren

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

Passengers

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