What could you do with 10 years of continuous improvement? with Tom Howlett

by groupadmin17. November 2014 13:10

The Talk

I'll tell the story of what can happen when you grow with a team for more than 10 years. How we went from frustration and stagnation caused by command and control to a to a collaborative, self organising team using kanban to search for the next improvement. I'll discuss why we made the choice to work remotely and how well that can work.
I'll talk about the negative sides of sticking together so long (more than half the team hasn't changed in 10 years) and the limits of what a team can do alone.
The talk discusses some of the big decisions we took over the years and some of the behaviours that emerged naturally. I'll discuss my thoughts on how to build teams that stay together and refuse to stand still.

In the second part we'll have a discussion on Continuous Improvement: why it's important, what stands in it's way and how we can overcome those blocks.

The Speaker

Tom's been building and working with .NET teams that focus on continuous improvement for 12 years. In that time he's written about the difficulties he faced and how he overcame them in over 100 blog posts on "Diary of a Scrummaster", and a book called "A Programmer's Guide To People". He has a strong focus on breaking down the barriers that restrict collaboration (whether remote or co-located) and ensuring the people who do the work can effectively decide how it's done. He's becoming well known in the Agile community through his speaking and running his local group the "Cheltenham Geeks'. His company LeanTomato provides help forming new teams and helping existing ones meet peoples needs more effectively.

Twitter: @diaryofscrum, Website: http://www.leantomato.com

The Meeting

The meeting will open at 6:00 p.m on Tuesday, the 16th December 2014 at the Lecture Theatre, EDF Energy Conference Centre, Barnwood, Gloucester GL4 3RS. You can arrive from Barnett Way and park at the EDF Energy car park. Conference building is located directly on the left from main reception and it's pass protected. You'll need to sign in for the fire registry.

Welcome Start at 6.15pm and the as usual event at 6.30pm and end at about 9pm. There will be a half-time break with pizza and a quick pub visit afterwards. Please arrive on time.

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Big Data with Gary Short

by groupadmin21. October 2014 22:47

The Talk

"How to Save The World Without Wearing Your Underpants on The Outside"

In May 2014, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs met in Washington, D.C. and predicted a perfect storm. On the one hand there is a demand for food from an ever growing population, whilst on the other, changes to the climate system are bringing storms, floods and heat waves which are diminishing crop yields. In this session we'll take a code heavy (C#) look at what data science can do to help maximise crop yields, at every level, from sowing to harvest; including the interesting question of, "can we monitor crop health from space?" (hint: yes we can and it's very cool). So come along to this session and find out how data scientists are helping to save the world from the comfort of their offices.

"Best Practices in Heterogeneous Big Data Stores"

In this session, Gary will cover best practice architectures for heterogeneous Big Data stores, covering SQL, NoSQL and distributed systems, and how best to make them interoperable.

The Speaker

Gary Short is a freelance data science practitioner and trainer, based in Dundee, UK. He has a deep understanding of the full Hadoop and HDInsight environment, as well as an interest in Social Network Analysis, (UCINet and Pajek) and computational linguistics (NLTK). Gary can be found on Twitter (@garyshort) and Facebook (TheOtherGaryShort).

The Meeting

The meeting will open at 6:00 p.m on Tuesday, the 18th November 2014 at the Lecture Theatre, EDF Energy Conference Centre, Barnwood, Gloucester GL4 3RS. You can arrive from Barnett Way and park at the EDF Energy car park. Conference building is located directly on the left from main reception and it's pass protected. You'll need to sign in for the fire registry.

Welcome Start at 6.15pm and the as usual event at 6.30pm and end at about 9pm. There will be a half-time break with pizza and a quick pub visit afterwards. Please arrive on time.

Web API 2 and Azure Web Sites With Shawn Wildermuth

by groupadmin22. June 2014 22:38

The Talk

Getting Started with Web API 2

Are you getting ready to build an API that works over HTTP? ASP.NET Web API 2 is probably your best way to do it. In this talk, Shawn Wildermuth can show you how to create your own API!

Host in the Cloud with Azure Web Sites

Controlling your own machine or VM in a data center leaves much of the responsibility for maintaining the OS to you. Why bother. In this talk, I’ll show you how to host your code in Azure Web Sites regardless of the technology. I’ll show you how to do it with ASP.NET, WordPress and NodeJS.

The Speaker

Shawn Wildermuth is an twelve-time Microsoft MVP (ASP.NET/IIS) and is involved with Microsoft as an ASP.NET Insider, ClientDev Insider and Windows Phone Insider. You may have taken one of his more than fifteen courses for Pluralsight including “JavaScript for C# Developers” or “Bootstrap 3”. He is also the author of eight books and dozens of articles on software development. He has been seen speaking at a variety of international conferences including TechEd, Oredev, SDC, VSLive, WinDev, MIX, DevTeach, DevConnections and DevReach. He is one of the Wilder Minds at http://wilderminds.com.  He can also be reached via his blog at http://wildermuth.com.

The Meeting

Following the closure our previous venue, we have a new location.

The meeting will open at 6:15 p.m on Tuesday, the 29th July 2014  at the Lecture TheatreEDF Energy Conference Centre, Barnwood, Gloucester GL4 3RS. You can arrive from Barnett Way and park at the EDF Energy car park. Conference building is located directly on the left from main reception and it's pass protected. You'll need to sign in for the fire registry.

Welcome Start at 6.15pm and the as usual event at 6.30pm and end at about 9pm. There will be a half-time break with pizza and a quick pub visit afterwards. Please arrive on time.

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Designing For Mobile (aka ... for every device) With George Adamson

by groupadmin14. February 2014 15:42

The Talk

Full title: "Designing for mobile (AKA How to build stuff for every device and platform)"

Never mind the "mobile web", we're designing for all-sorts. It's all just a blur of devices and screen sizes. This session explores the issues & tech solutions of attempting to design for everything. Everything from media-queries to touching (but not in a weird way ;)

The Speaker

An accomplished front-end dev, design architect and UX evangelist, George has tackled apps and web sites ranging from Dyson to Doctor Who, getting immersed in all aspects of Information Architecture, Interaction Design and Ideation. He strives to edge clients towards Institutional Usability.

From time to time George pops off to speak at conferences and user groups, typically on jQuery, Advanced JS shenanigans, Responsive Web Design and Interaction Design, about which he's rather obsessive.

Currently kicking the mobile and ui tyres of Artolo.com and Three.co.uk. Recent projects include Vodafone, Detica, Dyson US, Intrinsic's ATR app for iPad, Avelo mobile apps, BBC Doctor Who, Nationwide, HMV, Waterstones.

You can catch him on Twitter at @GeorgeAdamson.

The Meeting

The meeting will be on Thursday, the 6th March 2014 in the Maxima Forum in Cheltenham. Welcome Start at 6.15pm and the as usual event at 6.30pm and end at about 9pm. There will be refreshments and a quick pub visit afterwards. Please arrive in time.

 

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TDD, where did it all go wrong With Ian Cooper

by groupadmin12. January 2014 15:05

The Talk

Since Kent Beck wrote the book on TDD in 2002 a lot of words have been dedicated to the subject. But many of them propagated misunderstandings of Kent's original rules so that TDD practice bears little resemblance to Kent's original ideas. Key misunderstandings around what do I test, what is a unit test, and what is the 'public interface' have led to test suites that are brittle, hard to read, and do not support easy refactoring. In this talk we re-discover Kent's original proposition, discover where key misunderstandings occurred and look at a better approach to TDD that supports software development instead of impeding it. Be prepared from some sacred cows to be slaughtered and fewer but better tests to be written.

The Speaker

Ian Cooper has over 20 years of experience delivering Microsoft platform solutions in government, healthcare, and finance. During that time he has worked for the DTi, Reuters, Sungard, Misys, Beazley and Huddle delivering everything from bespoke enterprise solutions to 'shrink-wrapped' products to thousands of customers. Ian is a passionate exponent of OO, SOA, EDA, CQRS and Agile. When he is not writing C# code he is also the and founder of the London .NET user group.

You can read his blog at codebetter.com/iancooper and catch him on Twitter at @ICooper.

The Meeting

The meeting will be on Thursday, the 6th February 2014 in the Maxima Forum in Cheltenham. Start as usual at 6.30pm and end at about 9pm. There will be refreshments and a quick pub visit afterwards. Please arrive in time. Additional Details to find us here.

 

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AngularJS And TypeScript With Mark Rendle

by groupadmin27. December 2013 20:57

The Talk

AngularJS is Google's answer to client-side JavaScript MVC application development.

TypeScript is Microsoft's answer to working large, complex JavaScript code-bases.

Put them together and you get something like WPF-style MVVM, but better. This talk will introduce AngularJS and TypeScript, and show how to use them effectively to build rich browser-based applications.

The Speaker

Mark is the founder and CEO of Oort Corporation, a new company building cloud-based software for people who build cloud-based software. Oort's first product, Zudio, a web-based Windows Azure Storage toolkit, launched in April 2013. Mark has been a Windows Azure Development MVP for three years.

In his spare time, Mark work's on the Simple.Data not-an-ORM and Simple.Web projects, and wanders the world speaking at conferences and user groups. Or he just geeks out learning new programming languages and frameworks; in 2013 he's working a lot with TypeScript and AngularJS.

You can read his blog at blog.markrendle.net and catch him on Twitter at @markrendle.

The Meeting

The meeting will be on Thursday, the 23rd January 2014 in the Maxima Forum in Cheltenham. Start as usual at 6.30pm and end at about 9pm. There will be refreshments and a quick pub visit afterwards. Please arrive in time.

Additional Details to find us here.

 

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Get the (BI) Point With David McMahon

by groupadmin13. November 2013 20:56

The Talk

SharePoint is being hailed as the Microsoft Business Intelligence Platform.  ‘Do your BI on SharePoint’, ‘Don’t miss out on SharePoint BI’ you hear the slogans say.  But what does this all mean? What is Business Intelligence anyway? Can you ‘do’ Business Intelligence on SharePoint? Do you want to?  What does the Microsoft Platform offer anyway for ‘doing’ Business Intelligence?  There certainly seems to be plenty of offerings: Reporting Services, PerformancePoint, PowerPivot, PowerView, Excel Services, Visio Services now Power BI.  But what do they all do?  In this session Dave hopes to cut through the mire, give you the key facts about the Microsoft BI Stack, it’s major benefits and it’s major gotcha’s and provide a roadmap to a coherent BI strategy.

The Speaker

Dave McMahon is a SharePoint MVP who works as Software Systems Architect at Ridgian a Microsoft Gold Partner based in the Midlands.  He started in Custom Development but has also done Systems Administration and for the last 7 years has worked almost exclusively in the SharePoint world which he both loves and loathes, often with equal fervour … Within the SharePoint world, Dave is recognised as a specialist in the configuration of the SharePoint platform to support the Microsoft Business Intelligence Suite, having spoken at the Microsoft SharePoint Conference and the London SharePoint Evolutions Conference on SharePoint BI on several occasions.

The Meeting

The meeting will be on Tuesday, the 10th December 2013 in the Maxima Forum in Cheltenham. Start as usual at 6.30pm and end at about 9pm. There will be refreshments and a quick pub visit afterwards. Please arrive in time. Details here.

 

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Making Window Store Dance with Nokia Drums With Christopher Myhill

by groupadmin21. September 2013 15:40

The Talk

At the beginning of April 2013 Nokia released their very first Window Store Application, Nokia Music for Windows 8. In this presentation you will hear from one of the Nokia engineers involved in the development, on how to create Windows Store applications, what it is like working for Nokia and get to hear how a team of software engineers overcame real world issues to achieve publication to the Windows Store.

Nokia Music for Windows 8: http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-GB/app/nokia-music/4e9de0ba-ed72-4ffc-866d-cf964def6ddf

Session BIO: In this talk I will try and give you a head start in developing Windows Store applications and some of the problems you may encounter.  I will also give you an insight in how we did it the Nokia Music way.

Topics Covered:

  • Demos on Windows Store Development (C#);
    • GridView & Semantic Zoom
    • Snap View
    • MediaElement
    • Live Tiles
    • Setting & Search Charm
  • Developing Software the Nokia Music Way
  • Real World Problems and Their Solution
  • Windows Store Submission

The Speaker

Christopher Myhill has been a professional developer for over 10 years, working in various sectors in the pursuit of great code.  He spent the majority of his career as a web developer but now works at Nokia developing the Nokia Music apps for Windows Phone and Windows 8.  When not coding he enjoys baking bread and hot smoking meat on the BBQ all year round (when it’s not raining).

The Meeting

The meeting will be on Thursday, the 14th November 2013 in the Maxima Forum in Cheltenham. Start as usual at 6.30pm and end at about 9pm. There will be refreshments and a quick pub visit afterwards. Please arrive in time. Details here.

 

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Building Single Sign On websites With Jimmy Skowronski

by groupadmin21. September 2013 15:30

The Talk

Meet Dave. Dave is like you and he has a problem. He found that great website but he needs to register on to use it. That means he needs to create yet another user name and password. And he has to remember it or write on that big post-it on his monitor - booo! So Dave decided he will not register and he will look for another website he can use without creating yet another password.

There are plenty of people like Dave. He may be your user or you may be like him. But we need users and passwords and permissions and all that stuff on our websites.

Here is an idea. What if you could delegate all that somewhere and let someone else to worry about passwords, security and all that boring stuff - yayyy!

This session will show you how to delegate your authentication somewhere else. You will learn basic theory behind Single Sign On and delegated authentication concepts.

The Speaker

Jimmy started his computing adventure long time ago with Atari, which of course was far better than Commodore, contrary to the popular and wrong believe. Fast forward... When the first .NET version was released he jumped on it as an excuse to escape from the classic ASP and Delphi. He is now working as a Senior Developer in McKinsey & Company doing ... stuff and being annoying wherever he can. 

He is doing his best to stay active in the community. He is a speaker and Pluralsight author and even was the GL.net leader. Sadly he abandoned his group when moved to London but he stays active whenever and wherever he can.

And after a hard day in the office he loves to fly a virtual space ship in Eve Online. 

Jimmy blog can be found at http://jimmylarkin.net/, you can follow him on twitter @_jimmys

The Meeting

The meeting will be on Thursday, the 24th October 2013 in the Maxima Forum in Cheltenham. Start as usual at 6.30pm and end at about 9pm. There will be refreshments and a quick pub visit afterwards. Please arrive in time. Details here.

 

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The Power Of F# With Isaac Abraham

by groupadmin30. July 2013 07:51

The Talk

Are you interested in learning more about F#? Want to know why buzzwords like "immutability" and "statelessness" are becoming more and more important for programming?
 
This session will explain what F# is (and is not!). Why F# is a viable companion to C# and VB, and in what real-world scenarios F# should be considered for being used. In this fast paced tour around the F# language, environment and ecosystem, you'll see how to model domain problems in both C# and F#, and how you can more quickly and effectively perform the same work that you do today in C# or VB.

The Speaker

Isaac has been developing on the .NET framework since v1.0 on a wide variety of server and client-oriented platforms. He nowadays works as CTO for ElastaCloud, a consultancy and tools provider focusing on Azure-based big data solutions. In his spare time he works as a consultant, speaker and trainer, focusing on improving quality of .NET software development through improved day-to-day development practices, unit testing and automation.

Isaac blog can be found at cockneycoder.wordpress.com, you can follow him on twitter @isaac_abraham

The Meeting

The meeting will be on Thursday, the 26th September 2013 in the Maxima Forum in Cheltenham. Start as usual at 6.30pm and end at about 9pm. There will be refreshments and a quick pub visit afterwards. Please arrive in time. Details here.

 

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