Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The Pixies - Hammersmith Apollo

It wasn’t until I checked in on Foursquare that I actually managed to find out who was supporting The Pixies. It was The Jezabels. They were surprisingly good. They only played for half an hour and the first three songs all sounded the same, but it was good and in places quite dramatic (I like dramatic!) and the drummer was excellent. I won’t be rushing out to buy their album or EPs though.

The best I can say about the Pixies is that they sound much better live than recorded and I think the PA in the Hammersmith Apollo did them justice (the last time I was at the Apollo was for Europe and they were fantastic). Unfortunately they did nothing for me, although the 100 minute set (we didn’t stay for the encores) did pass quite quickly and the rest of the room, including my wife appeared to be having a fantastic time.

The Pixies are clearly talented musicians with an adoring fan base, they’re just not for me.


Gravity Review

I was at university and about 20 when I really discovered reading for pleasure. I started with Arthur C. Clarke’s A Space Odyssey quadrilogy and then moved on to the Rama series. I read Arthur C. Clarke pretty much exclusively until I was 29 when I discovered Alastair Reynolds and Richard Morgan. Now I read other stuff too. The thing about Arthur C. Clarke is that he rooted all of his stories in real science. Now that I’ve read other authors I see that sometimes the story suffered because the science was often favoured over the story.

There was a lot of hype around the new Gravity film starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Surely there’s only so much of a story you can write about two people in space suits stranded in space? I did wonder if it was just going to turn into a dialogue between them until they were unexpectedly rescued - luckily I was wrong.  Although I was also reassured by the fact the film was advertised as only 90 minutes long.

Gravity could have been an Arthur C. Clarke story (I’ve checked and it isn’t). It was great if you wanted to see details of what the space shuttle, international space station and chinese spaces station and various other craft are (probably) like and some of the other science around space exploration. Some of the suspense was incredible. The problem was there was just no story and the bit where George Clooney appears as an apparition to help Sandra Bullock just made it silly. Real spacesuits are unlikely to take the pummelling that they did in the film and Sandra Bullock should have run out of air long before she did.

Several people whose opinion I respect have seen this film and loved it. So maybe you should see it and perhaps I just don’t get it?

NorDev: Neo4j Workshop & Hybrid Mobile Project Next Week!

Is it really nearly December already? Of course nearly a new month means that NorDev is not too far away! Next week we have an extra special NorDev day for you. In the afternoon there is a Neo4j workshop with Ian Robinson of Neo Technology and in the evening a double header on mobile from IBM with Andrew Ferrier and Vladimir Kislicins. Full details are below. There are still spaces for, so please RSVP and come along. As always, if you are signed up and you can no longer make it, please let us know by updating your RSVP.

NorDev in January will be a little later than usual as the first Wednesday in January is the 1st of January and we suspect many of you will still be recovering from the night before. So NorDev will be on Wednesday 8th January. We have Aviva headlining and talking about an exchange programme they did with an Australian insurance firm who are very agile. Alongside Aviva we’ll be hearing from local firm Neontribe. Many of you will remember Harry Harrold from the question time event! We’re in for a very amusing evening!

Christmas Special with IBM: Hybrid Mobile Project 

Andrew Ferrier & Vladimir Kislicins

When: Wednesday 4th December 2013 @ 6.30pm

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

Sign-up: http://www.meetup.com/Norfolk-Developers-NorDev/events/141440522/

The Norfolk Developers Christmas special is a double header on Mobile and IBM Worklight Best Practices from Andrew Ferrier and Vladimir Kislicins of IBM’s mobile division.

Hybrid Mobile Project - Best Practices and an Introduction to using IBM Worklight
In this presentation, we look at some of the best practices we have developed for working on hybrid Mobile Projects. We'll start with a brief recap of web and mobile development models, then focus on the content within the hybrid container, building to discuss JavaScript toolkits and frameworks, looking at how they make mobile web development more straightforward, and how a framework for structuring larger applications can help.

We'll then move on to talk about the IBM Worklight platform, providing an introduction and describing how it can be used to built some of these types of application. We'll talk about a few Worklight-specific best practices, then demonstrate some of the applications we have built for customers using this technology, showing a little under-the-covers.


Half Day Workshop: An Introduction to the Neo4j Graph Database

Ian Robinson

When: Wednesday 4th of December 2013, 1:00pm to 4:45pm

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

Sign-up: http://www.meetup.com/Norfolk-Developers-NorDev/events/141314382/

This is a half day (afternoon) workshop prior to the main Norfolk Developers event in the evening. You must sign up separately for the evening event if you wish to attend.

Neo4j is a JVM-based, open source graph database. With the power to store and query billions of highly connected, variably structured entities, it is ideally suited to solving complex network- and graph-oriented data problems. Today, Neo4j is employed in business-critical applications in domains as diverse as social networking, recommendations, datacenter management, logistics, entitlements and authorization, route finding, telecommunications network monitoring, fraud analysis, and many others.

This tutorial will show you how to develop a Neo4j-based graph database application. With a mixture of architecture and hands-on coding exercises, you'll quickly learn how to design a graph data model, write queries, and incorporate Neo4j into a server or desktop application. Topics include:

- Introduction to Neo4j
  - The property graph data model
  - Database features
  - Example use cases
- Creating and querying graph data
  - Cypher query language
  - Java APIs
- Building a graph database application
  - Application architectures
  - Data modeling
  - Testing

You don't need any previous experience of Neo4j to participate. You will, however, need some experience of Java, and a laptop with a Java IDE of your choice.

The venue for this event is provided by Naked Element Ltd.


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Help needed marketing the Norfolk Tech Journal

The second issue of the Norfolk Tech Journal is due out in the middle of next week. The website is attracting about 50 to 150 views a day (during the working week). We have a single paying advertiser and a significant production and printing overhead.

I need to increase the views (ideally 1000+ per day) and the number of advertisers and I am looking for some help. A marketeer of the required scale I am not. There are lots of marketing agencies in Norwich and I am hoping that some of you are prepared to help me. In return I can offer advertising and features in the journal and I’m happy to discuss other ways I or one of my projects may be able to help you in return.

If you’re interested in helping market the Norfolk Tech Journal, please drop me a line: paul@nakedelement.co.uk.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Winter Is Coming - Part 5


In this, the fith part of Winter Is Coming we take a look at three more sessions from next year’s NorDevCon. Tickets for NorDevCon on Friday the 28th of February 2014 are on sale now! You can buy your ticket by following the link below:

http://nordevcon2014.eventbrite.co.uk/  

DD The Other SDLC

PDD, or Panic Driven Development, isn't what you'd consider to be a mainstream Software Development Lifecycle, but it's out there, and it's adoption is surprisingly high. Scarily, most teams don't even know they're using it. It doesn't matter if you're Waterfall or Iterative, RAD or RUP, Agile or Lean, you almost certainly use some elements of PDD. In moderation this can be A Good Thing™ but too much PDD can kill a project, and left unchecked it can kill a company. To make things worse, many people think they're implementing Agile techniques when all they're doing is embracing PDD and all that's wrong with it. This session aims to highlight the characteristic elements of PDD, allowing teams to spot where they've drifted away from Agile, and helping them avoid the pitfalls of PDD in the future.

Dom Davis 

Dom Davis heads up IT at Virgin Wines and has been an avid Agile practitioner for well over a decade. A veteran of PDD teams he's now helped pull two companies out of the PDD trap and put them on their way to being productive members of the Agile community.  

LevelDB + Node.js

When LevelDB met Node.js it sparked a new way of thinking about databases. Rather than the traditional approach of selecting a complete database system, with Level you plug together the modules you want, to create the database you need. You make your own choices around replication, consistency and functionality. This talk will include an overview and some practical demonstrations with live-coding databases.

Orleans

Known for underpinning the Halo 4 server-side components, Orleans offers an actor based approach to programming for the cloud. This simplifies the programming model by removing shared state and thread safety concerns, and unlocks the potential for huge horizontal scale out. Orleans is a great fit for online computer games, but is also applicable in other areas, from business applications to the Internet of Things. The talk will be an overview of the architecture, and a live coding demonstration. Richard has had early access to the technology, which is not currently publicly available.

Richard Astbury 

Richard helps software businesses around Europe migrate their applications to the cloud. He works with a wide variety of companies, ranging from the smallest startups to the largest software businesses in the world, and specializes in moving applications that were never designed to run in the cloud, utilise the Windows Azure platform. Richard is a Microsoft MVP for Windows Azure, and Senior Consultant at Two10degrees. He is often found developing open source software in C# and Node.js, and lives in Suffolk with his wife and two children.   


Product Prototyping with Heroku - The Validated Ship!

Pete has spent the last 7 years working for web agencies and has come to the conclusion that one of the cheapest, most productive ways to develop a new project is through prototyping. Prototyping provides quick validation of our assumptions (we’ve all made them) and aids the creation of meaningful products that your customers actually want! We’re blessed as developers; there are more tools to help us prototype than we can shake a mucky stick at: backend frameworks, frontend frameworks and new plugins blogged about everyday. However, there is one tool Pete won’t deploy without: Heroku - a cloud based hosting platform. Heroku allows Pete and the Beta Hive team to turn local hacks into live, functioning products with little or no effort. This talk will document the Beta Hive prototyping process, how they validate their assumptions and most importantly how they deploy their products.

Pete Roome
Pete is a Developer at Beta Hive (http://betahive.com) a Product Development agency based in London. He is currently working on Pingle - a mobile app for meeting people and making new friends. Pete previously worked for a startup in Paris before co-founding PANDR Web Design & Development in Norwich. Pete is also a Developer at The 405, a leading online Music & Culture Magazine.  

Tickets

There are 50 Super Early Bird tickets at £50 + fees and 450 Early Bird tickets at £75 + fees. We are offering significant discounts for students and the unemployed. Please email paul@nakedelement.co.uk for details. There are 80 places for the conference dinner (3 courses, 2 glasses of wine and speakers!) and tickets are £35 + fees. The Virgin Wines reception is free to attend for conference attendees and there are 80 places. Tickets are on sale now:

http://nordevcon2014.eventbrite.co.uk/  

Originally published here.

Test Driven Development Doesn't Mean Test First

I’m a fraud and here’s why.

I am a huge advocate of Test Driven Development (TDD). I’ve even written an introduction to TDD. In his book Test Driven Development by Example [TDDbyExample] Kent Beck defines TDD as a process where you must write tests for code before writing the code itself. Therefore if you’re doing TDD you have to write the tests first, right? Wrong!

I really feel like unburdening, so here’s another admissions. I’m addicted to the green bar and high code coverage percentages. For those that are unfamiliar with the green bar, it’s a feature of the JUnit (and other testing framework) GUI. If all your tests pass you get a green bar. If any of your tests fail, you get a red bar. I’m addicted to the green bar, I can’t sleep without it. There are tools that allow you to measure how much of your code is exercised by your tests as a percentage. Usually anything over 80% coverage is considered good. I always strive for 100%, but usually achieve high 90s. I can’t sleep without high code coverage either. It’s very important that you bear these two vices in mind as you read on as they give me a discipline that not all software developers have. This isn’t because I’m some super software developer. It’s an affliction, believe me. If you don’t have this discipline, write your tests first.

There are many advantages to TDD. The two that stand out for me are loosely coupled code and code that’s easy to test (obviously). Actually by making your code easy to test it becomes loosely coupled and easy to change by default and that’s the point I’m making. If you want to get the green bar and have high code coverage then you need to make your code testable. Writing the tests first forces you to make your code testable, but it’s not the only way. If your tests are automated and measuring code coverage is automated or better still your continuous integration system runs your tests and measures the code coverage you’re forced to make your code testable. The key, when writing your code is to think about how you’re going to test it and write the tests soon after. This is a skill that has to be learnt and the best way to learn it is to start test first. Once you have it nailed though, you too will become addicted to the green bar and high code coverage. Of course you still have to write the tests, before you’ve written too much code, and refactor to remove duplicate code. It’s important to keep running the tests and to make sure they pass every time you make a change to the code. Many developers are lazy and don't bother. My affliction means that if I'm lazy, I don't sleep. It's a curse.





Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Norfolk Developers Christmas Special with IBM

What: Hybrid Mobile Project - Best Practices and an Introduction to using IBM Worklight

When: Wednesday 4th December @ 6.30pm

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

Sign-up: http://www.meetup.com/Norfolk-Developers-NorDev/events/141440522/

The Norfolk Developers Christmas special is a double header on Mobile and IBM Worklight Best Practices from Andrew Ferrier and Vladimir Kislicins of IBM’s mobile division.

Hybrid Mobile Project - Best Practices and an Introduction to using IBM Worklight  


In this presentation, we look at some of the best practices we have developed for working on hybrid Mobile Projects. We'll start with a brief recap of web and mobile development models, then focus on the content within the hybrid container, building to discuss JavaScript toolkits and frameworks, looking at how they make mobile web development more straightforward, and how a framework for structuring larger applications can help.

We'll then move on to talk about the IBM Worklight platform, providing an introduction and describing how it can be used to built some of these types of application. We'll talk about a few Worklight-specific best practices, then demonstrate some of the applications we have built for customers using this technology, showing a little under-the-covers.

Andrew Ferrier

Andrew consults for IBM Software Services, working with IBM customers on mobile technologies, especially Dojo Mobile and IBM Worklight.

He has presented extensively on Dojo, Mobile, REST, and Web APIs, contributing Intellectual Capital to the IBM and WebSphere communities, as well as writing two IBM Redbooks, and numerous posts on Dojo Tips 'n' Tricks and SOA Tips 'n' Tricks, both of which he co-founded. He also regularly speaks at internal and external customer conferences, including IBM IMPACT and the European WebSphere Technical Conference. Previously, he worked with WebSphere ESB and WebSphere Process Server.

Vladimir Kislicins  

Vladimir started his career in IBM MQ Development and recently joined IBM Software Services to get more involved with mobile technologies. Since joining the team he focused on rapid prototype development leading proof of concept projects, participated in customer workshops and provided support to other team members with Android native development. With passion in mobile technologies, Vladimir has experience with mobile application development in Worklight and Android native as well as several Prior Art publications focusing on optimising software processes to reduce battery consumption on mobile devices.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Winter Is Coming - Part 4

In this, the fourth part of Winter Is Coming we take a look at three more sessions from next year’s NorDevCon. Tickets for NorDevCon on Friday the 28th of February 2014 are on sale now! You can buy your ticket by following the link below:

http://nordevcon2014.eventbrite.co.uk/

XP at Unruly

Unruly is the leading global platform for social video marketing. Founded in 2006, we now have 11 offices and employ over 125 people globally including Germany. We've been applying eXtreme Programming (XP) from the start and that's still a core part of how we develop our software products. As our company and customer base has grown, we've had to figure out how to shape user stories and make plans with stakeholders spread across US and Europe. We also have grown our tech team so we can continue to develop new product offerings with rich user-experience while improving our underlying infrastructure to handle a growing amount of traffic and data. Come to this session to hear about how we use XP and where we've had to make adjustments to adapt to scale.

Rachel Davies

Rachel is co-author of the first "Agile Coaching" book and works as Agile Coach at Unruly Media, the leading global platform for social video marketing. Internationally recognised and presenting at industry conferences worldwide, Rachel started out working as a software developer and has been an agile practitioner since 2000 applying a range of agile methods including XP, SCRUM, Lean/Kanban, and DSDM. Follow Rachel on Twitter @rachelcdavies.

Cyber-Dojo

Created by software consultant Jon Jagger cyber-dojo is the world's simplest non-development environment! In a cyber-dojo you practice by going slower and focusing on improving rather than finishing.

What is cyber-dojo? 
cyber-dojo is an online browser-based coding dojo. Each group:

  • writes their code and tests inside a web browser 
  • presses their run-tests button to submit their code and tests to the cyber-dojo server 
  • the server saves the submission, runs the tests, and returns the test-outcome to the browser as a traffic light: red if one or more tests failed, amber if the tests could not be run (eg syntax error), green if all the tests passed
  • a dashboard shows the traffic light history of all groups. Click on any traffic light to open a diff-view of that submission
  • start a new practice session from any diff-view

Why cyber-dojo? 
Jon built cyber-dojo to promote deliberate practice of:

  • test driven software development, and
  • team dynamics and collaboration

Jon strongly believes that if you practice coding using your normal development environment then you are likely to be drawn into an unhelpful "completion" mindset.

Practising in a cyber-dojo helps to combat this tendency since a cyber-dojo is so obviously not your normal development environment!

Practising in a cyber-dojo helps you to concentrate on the practice. Practising in a cyber-dojo helps you concentrate on improvement. Find out more here: http://jonjagger.blogspot.no/p/cyber-dojo_2380.html. Read about Cyber-dojo here: http://www.masteringagilepractice.com/. Try it out here: cyber-dojo.com.

* * Participation in CyberDojo requires a laptop per pair. Please bring your own laptops * *

Jon Jagger

Jon Jagger is 2E years old (hex). He's loved software since he was 10 (dec). He runs his own software consultancy specializing in practice, people, process, agility, test driven development, and complex-adaptive systems-thinking. He built cyber-dojo.com to promote deliberate practice for software developers. He's worked with Accenture, Aviva, Cisco, Ericsson, Friends Provident, HP, Microsoft, Opera, Ordnance Survey, RBS, Reuters, Renault F1, Schlumberger, Tandberg and many many more. If you don't like his work he won't invoice you. He's the ex ECMA TG2 C# convenor. He's the current ACCU conference chairman. He's had some C# books published. He's married to the beautiful Natalie, and proud father of Ellie, Penny and Patrick. He loves freshwater river fishing. He live in Somerset, England. On twitter he's @JonJagger.

The Microsoft Cloud OS Data platform


The Microsoft Cloud OS Data platform enables high performance, insight rich solutions to be delivered securely across private, hosted and public cloud infrastructures. This session will cover the new capabilities being delivered in SQL Server, SQL Server PDW and HDInsight in the first half of 2014.

Anthony Saxby

Anthony is responsible for the Information and Data platform business for Microsoft UK. This role covers the product marketing and business management for Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft HDInsight and Microsoft Biztalk Server. Anthony has been at Microsoft for 19 years and prior to his current role was Practice Manager for Microsoft’s Architecture and Planning consulting team. Anthony has 25 years experience in the software and IT Services industry and has worked on large projects in Retail, Financial Services and Government, covering application areas ranging from B2C Commerce solutions in the Financial Services industry through to large scale Integration projects in the Government sector.

Tickets

There are 50 Super Early Bird tickets at £50 + fees and 450 Early Bird tickets at £75 + fees. We are offering significant discounts for students and the unemployed. Please email paul@nakedelement.co.uk for details. There are 80 places for the conference dinner (3 courses, 2 glasses of wine and speakers!) and tickets are £35 + fees. The Virgin Wines reception is free to attend for conference attendees and there are 80 places.

Tickets are on sale now: http://nordevcon2014.eventbrite.co.uk/

Originally published here.




Skid Row at the Waterfront November 2013

There are a few things I’ve waited twenty years for and I’ve written about some of them on this blog. In August 1992 I was on holiday with my parents. I don’t remember where, but I remember the cottage we stayed in and my sister’s radio that we listened to Atlantic radio on constantly. I knew one of my friends from school was at Donington Monsters of Rock and that they were broadcasting it on Radio 1. So I sneaked away to my bedroom and try to tune it in. Radio 1 reception was awful. Thunder were playing, but I soon got frustrated with the sound quality. When I got back to Norwich I started “collecting” the albums by all the bands who played:

  • Iron Maiden
  • Skid Row
  • Thunder
  • Slayer
  • WASP
  • The Almighty

and soon they all became firm favorites of mine. In the twenty one years since 1992 I have seen all of these bands multiple times, except for Skid Row. I went to my first Monsters of Rock in 1994 (Aerosmith headlined) and I went again in 1996 (Kiss and Ozzy), but I missed 1995 when Skid Row played again and some time after Sebastian Bach, the incredible front man, left the band never to return.

In 2005 I attended the first every Bloodstock Open Air. Children of Bodom and Sebastian Bach headlined, but of course no Skid Row. He was incredible (as were Children of Bodom who are playing Bloodstock again this year) and of course did Youth Gone Wild and the other classics. Superb!

Fast forward to November 2013 and Skid Row are playing a double headliner with Ugly Kid Joe at the Waterfront in Norwich. I have moaned about the appalling quality of the Waterfront PA many, many times, but for some reason tonight they hit the sweet spot.

The support band Dead City Ruins were ok, but not worth getting excited about.

My concern about Ugly Kid Joe was that they’d do Everything About You and Cats In The Cradle and a load of fillers. Plus I’ve only got their first album (America’s Least Wanted) so haven’t kept up with their later stuff. I couldn’t have been more wrong. What an act! Musically very good and Whitfield Crane had a calm charisma which had the whole audience eating out of his hand all the way through. Who cares if they’re in their forties! I haven’t bounced up and down so much since I was in my early twenties.

Then the moment I’d been waiting upwards of twenty years for arrived. Original line-up, minus Seb, plus a new singler, who wasn’t as tall. First impressions were that they looked like spitting image characters of their younger selves. That didn’t matter because after the opener that I’d never heard before it was straight into classic after classic with only a small scattering of material from albums I didn’t know. In fact the only way the set could have been better was if they’d played their eponymous first album all the through followed by Slave To The Grind all the way through. They played superbly, but Seb’s replacement baffled me a little. He lacked Seb’s charisma and struggled to follow Whitfield Crane a little. Vocally he seemed to have the range, but not all of the time. He backed out of the first chorus during In A Darkened Room and then hit it almost perfectly the second and subsequent times.

It was certainly worth the wait and I wasn’t disappointed. Beyond a set consisting of the first two albums, the only way it could have been better would have been to have Seb back in the band. That’s probably about as likely as Fish back in Marillion or even freddie back in Queen.

Roll on Amon Amarth, Hell and the mighty Carcass on Sunday!


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Alexei Sayle

Alexei Sayle doesn’t really do Have I Got News for You, Mock the Week or Buzzcocks. I have vague recollections of him doing stuff on the TV the 80s and 90s and of course Indiana Jones and the Young Ones. So I didn’t really know what to expect.

He was funny and I enjoyed it, but if I’m honest I found the swearing too much, a lot of the details of politics went over my head and £17.50 (each) for 75 mins isn’t really value for money.

Would I go again? No, not unless my wife wanted was keen to see him again and then I’d be happy too.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

MobDevCon 2013 Videos Available On InfoQ Now

All of the videos filmed at this year's MobDevCon are available now on InfoQ:

http://www.infoq.com/mobdev-con-2013/

They are also linked from the presentation descriptions on this year's site:

http://mobdevcon.com/2013/

Next year MobDevCon will be on the 9th of July and the call for papers will be going out over the coming weeks.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Norfolk Tech Journal: First Issue Out Now!

“If I was going to start a software company, it wouldn’t be in Norwich” are words I actually said in 2008 when asked why the startup company I was working for was based in Norwich. Of course I’ve since changed my mind. I set up Naked Element Ltd. with Matthew Wells in 2012 for many of the same reasons that the startup I was working for in 2008 was in Norwich.

In 2011 my wife and I had one of those life changing experiences and I found myself back working in Norwich and determined to find out if there were technical people here. It is a source of extreme pride for me that I, along with the other founders of SyncNorwich and Norfolk Developers, built a strong and growing technology community in Norwich and Norfolk. I have been lucky enough to work with some of the best software engineers in the world and I find the level of talent and experience here in Norwich astounding.

More than twelve months ago now I was sat in Warings cafe talking to Julie “Jobhop” Bishop and she was lamenting how Norwich is frequently passed over as a tech city. I have been determined since then to put Norwich and Norfolk on the technology map. We have the community groups, the conferences, the technologists and the startups. The Norfolk Tech Journal is the next step and is intended to show the rest of the country, if not the world, that Norwich is a city of technology and this is where they should be doing business.

The first issue is out now and can be downloaded here.



Thursday, 7 November 2013

Winter Is Coming - Part 3


In this, the third part of Winter Is Coming we take a look at three more sessions from next year’s NorDevCon. Tickets for NorDevCon on Friday the 28th of February 2014 are on sale now! You can buy your ticket by following the link below:

http://nordevcon2014.eventbrite.co.uk/

All your types are belong to us!

Big Data tasks typically require acquiring and analysing data from a wide variety of data sources, visualizing the data and applying a barrage of statistical algorithms. This talk will show how this can be accomplished in Visual Studio on Windows or Xamarin Studio on Mac and Linux using F#'s REPL and Type Providers.

Type Providers give typed access to a wide range of data sources from CSV, JSON and XML to SQL, OData and Web Services, instantly without a code generation step. The Type Provider mechanism can also be used to analyse data with direct access to statistical packages like R and MATLAB as well as all the existing .Net libraries.

Finally visualizations can be generated using F#'s desktop charting libraries, or with ASP.Net and even JavaScript libraries like HighCharts.

Expect a sprinkling of anecdotes drawn from experiences working on large machine learning systems at Microsoft, and plenty of live demos.

Hands On Machine Learning with F# (Workshop)

This session will introduce basic Machine Learning concepts with a practical exercise using sample data from Kaggle. No prior knowledge of either Machine Learning or F# is required.

To get the most from the session please try and bring a laptop along with F# installed.

Installing F#:

* Use F# on Windows
* Use F# on Mac OSX
* Use F# on Linux

Phil Trelford

Phil Trelford is a Software Developer and Architect at Trayport, a market leading supplier of energy trading systems. He's a regular speaker, trainer, blogger, open source author, co-organizer of the London F# Meetup and Microsoft MVP.

Let Me Graph That For You

Graphs are one of the best abstractions we have for modelling connectedness. Graph databases, in turn, are one of the best tools at our disposal for modelling, storing and querying complex, densely-connected data. Today, graphs and graph databases are helping solve some of the world's most challenging data problems, in domains as diverse as search, social networking, recommendations, datacentre management, logistics, entitlements and authorization, route finding, network monitoring, and fraud analysis.

In this session we'll take a peek inside the graphista's toolbox. We'll look at some common graph data structures, and the graph database queries that unleash the insights buried inside them. We'll survey some of the tools and techniques you can use to graph your world, experiment with graph data, and apply it in your own applications. And we'll draw lots of circles and lines. We might even colour some of them in.

Ian Robinson

Ian works on research and development for future versions of the Neo4j graph database. Harbouring a long-held interest in connected data, he was for many years one of the foremost proponents of REST architectures, before turning his focus from the Web's global graph to the realm of graph databases. As Neo Technology’s Director of Customer Success, he has worked extensively with customers to design and develop graph database solutions. He is a co-author of 'Graph Databases' and 'REST in Practice' (O'Reilly), and a contributor to 'REST: From Research to Practice' (Springer) and 'Service Design Patterns' (Addison-Wesley). He blogs at http://iansrobinson.com, and tweets at @iansrobinson.

Agile maturity - avoiding the 'process trap'

In the early stages of Agile Transformation it is all too easy for organisations, particularly large enterprises, to fall into the trap of seeing Agile as just a new process to follow.  In this session, Janet will use her experience of Agile transformation at Aviva to describe some of the common pitfalls, together with  strategies that can be used to avoid them.

Janet Randell

Janet Randell has been the driving force behind the Agile transformation in Aviva UK General Insurance since early 2010 and is now the lead Agile SME in the Aviva global Agile transformation programme. Janet has worked in IT for more than 20 years and is passionate about breaking down organizational barriers to improve the effectiveness of software delivery. She has been involved in the enhancement and application of IT development processes throughout much her career, with previous roles including Methods and Tools support and management of the Architecture and Design team for UKGI.

Tickets

There are 50 Super Early Bird tickets at £50 + fees and 450 Early Bird tickets at £75 + fees. We are offering significant discounts for students and the unemployed. Please email paul@nakedelement.co.uk for details. There are 80 places for the conference dinner (3 courses, 2 glasses of wine and speakers!) and tickets are £35 + fees. The Virgin Wines reception is free to attend for conference attendees and there are 80 places.

Tickets are on sale now: http://nordevcon2014.eventbrite.co.uk/

Read the original here.

Friday, 1 November 2013

NorDevCon Tickets On Sale Now - Winter Is Coming - Part 2


Tickets for NorDevCon on Friday the 28th of February 2014 are on sale now! You can buy your ticket by following the link below:

http://nordevcon2014.eventbrite.co.uk/

There are 50 Super Early Bird tickets at £50 + fees and 450 Early Bird tickets at £75 + fees. We are offering significant discounts for students and the unemployed. Please email paul@nakedelement.co.uk for details. There are 80 places for the conference dinner (3 courses, 2 glasses of wine and speakers!) and tickets are £35 + fees. The Virgin Wines reception is free to attend for conference attendees and there are 80 places.

Check out the website for the confirmed speakers, sessions and programme:

http://nordevcon.com

Speakers for the remaining slots will be announced over the next few weeks. The call for papers is now closed.

Please find details of further highlights in the second part of Winter Is Coming below.

The Conference Dinner

The conference dinner will be held in the evening following the conference. In this unique experience the speakers remain seated while the conference attendees move round between courses. This is your opportunity to speak to your favourite speakers of the day. Last year the conference dinner was one of the highlights of the conference and sold out! Please make sure you purchase your dinner ticket at the same time as your conference ticket. You can view the menu here.

The Virgin Wines Reception

Virgin Wines will be hosting a reception at the venue between the end of the conference and the start of the conference dinner. As well as a glass of wine courtesy of Virgin Wines there will also be a bar. Places are limited so please make sure you get your free Virgin Wines reception ticket at the same time as your conference ticket.

The Architecture of Uncertainty

Ralph Johnson defined architecture as "the decisions that you wish you could get right early in a project, but that you are not necessarily more likely to get them right than any other". Given our inability to tell the future how can we design effectively for it? Much project management thinking is based on the elimination of uncertainty, and advice on software architecture and guidance for future-proofing code often revolves around adding complexity to embrace uncertainty. In most cases, this is exactly the opposite path to the one that should be taken.

The talk looks at how uncertainty, lack of knowledge and options can be used to partition and structure the code in a system.

Kevlin Henney

Kevlin is an independent consultant and trainer based in the UK. His development interests are in patterns, programming, practice and process. He has been a columnist for various magazines and web sites, including Better Software, The Register Application Development Advisor, Java Report and the C/C++ Users Journal. Kevlin is co-author of A Pattern Language for Distributed Computing and On Patterns and Pattern Languages, two volumes in the Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture series. He is also editor of the 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know book.

Applied API design

It's all very well seeing toy examples of API design where only snippets are required, but what does a good API look like in a complete application?

In this live coding session, Jon will be applying his love of all things immutable, separation of concerns and other design goodness to a certain well-known shape-dropping game. We'll explore different approaches - including ones from the audience - as we go along, but end up with a clean model which works equally well when using WPF, a console-based view... or playing by email. Unlike some other sessions where Jon has shown some truly horrible, unreadable, twisted, evil code the aim here is to end up with an example of elegance and beauty. That doesn't mean we can't visit a few evil notions along the way, of course...

Jon Skeet

Jon Skeet is a Java developer for Google in London, but he plays with C# (somewhat obsessively) in his free time. He loves writing and talking about C#, and the third edition of 'C# in Depth' was published in September 2013. Writing less formally, Jon spends a lot of time on Stack Overflow... where 'a lot' is an understatement. Give him a puzzle about how C# behaves which gets him reaching for the language specification, and Jon is a happy bunny. Jon lives in Reading with his wife and three children.

Spock: the test framework of choice

JUnit, a derivative of sUnit, was the unit test framework of choice with Java for many years. Then came  TestNG and changed the scene: testing was about integration and system test as well as unit testing. With  behaviour-driven development (BDD) augmenting test-driven development (TDD) more development of test  frameworks became necessary. There are a number of Java frameworks for this but Spock, which is a  Groovy-based system, knocks them all for six.

Because Groovy is a dynamic language that works with the Java data model, it is symbiotic with Java. Spock can therefore be used for testing mixed Java and Groovy systems.

In this session we will explore what Spock can do and why it is the Java testing framework of choice.

Russel Winder

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 Python, Groovy, GPars, GroovyFX, SCons, Java, and Gant. Also Gradle. And Python-CSP. Seriously interested in Ceylon, Kotlin, D, Go, Rust.

Russel’s stance on testing: it isn't optional. Spock, py.test, Catch, etc. are your friends.


Originally publisher here.