BCS and Agile Experiences

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On Tuesday 4th November 2014 at 18:00, the North Staffordshire Branch of BCS and Agile Staffordshire are getting together for a special event. We will be sharing experiences in a series of lightning talks and exercises. This will be a great opportunity to network and learn more about what is going on in the area. This event is also ideal for students with an interest in software development who want to know more about practicing agile techniques in the industry.

Agile Staffordshire July 2014

This month’s Agile Staffordshire session is going to a be a real treat. Ian Russell is scheduled to deliver a session on F#, a functional-first programming language. This is of particular interest to me as I have no experience with functional-first programming and this session should prove to be a good opportunity to ‘dip my toe in the water’. You don’t need to be a ‘member’ to take part. The Agile Staffordshire sessions are open. Just register your interest on the Meet-up page and read the blog for information.

Agile Staffordshire May 2014

A reminder that Agile Staffordshire is meeting up tomorrow at Staffordshire University for the Lean Code Challenge. As usual, details are available on the Agile Staffordshire Blog and you can register your attendance on Meetup.com. I will be there and I hope to see you there too! New members are always welcome, it is a good opportunity to network with industry and academia.

Coding Standards – any standard you like

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We (those who develop software) still argue over coding standards. I do not refer to meaningful discussions over clarity, readability or group/project management. I mean crazy, ranting and aggressive behaviour towards one another over a ‘trivial’ matter. Before anyone jumps on my face for using the word ‘trivial’, I offer the following advice: If you work at a place with a compelling reason to adopt a style, adopt it and join in on constructive discussions about its use at the appropriate time. If you have a personal preference, then apply it consistently and bask in the loveliness of your own code. I do not think code standards are trivial and pointless. I think they are important and create clarity. I think arguing about code standards is unimportant. Actually, I think arguing about code standards is more than unimportant, I think Continue reading

A Plea for Help

I will soon be talking in schools in my role as a STEM Ambassador and hope some of you might help me with an endeavour. With the introduction of a new computing curriculum in schools, I will be talking to school pupils about computing in the wide world and what an education in computing might lead to. I am not ‘selling’ computing over other subjects, I am letting people know about the opportunities that computing can lead to. One thing I would really like to do is make a video, because listening to a myriad of lovely, interesting people will be even better than just me, talking. Interested I hope you’re interested. If you are, what follows is a little more detail on how you can help turn my presentation into something special. Using a web cam, phone or other video Continue reading

Alan Turing – Pardon Me?

In what way does it make sense for the state to forgive Alan Turing for…well, being himself? A summary from BBC News: Computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing has been given a posthumous royal pardon. It addresses his 1952 conviction for homosexuality for which he was punished by being chemically castrated. The conviction meant he lost his security clearance and had to stop the code-cracking work that had proved vital to the Allies in World War Two. The pardon was granted under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy after a request by Justice Minister Chris Grayling. It would seem appropriate for the state to apologise for its past actions and recognise that this is not a good way to treat other people. Making a request for the state to forgive him posthumously seems callous. “Overturn a conviction” sounds a lot better than “pardon”. Continue reading

Brooklyn Beta 2013

Camera Photo of Brooklyn Beta 2013 Main Event.

I have yet to fully ‘come-down’ from Brooklyn Beta. The come-down started the moment I walked away and it was intense. I had just experienced three days of cerebral stimulation and energising company. Walking to High Street station was ‘cold-turkey’, sobering and sombre. The sombre mood ebbed as the A-train took me North towards 185th Street. I felt privileged, energised and optimistic. I have a lot to consider. Enough about me, for now. What about Brooklyn Beta? A Conference, Literally When I think of industry conferences, I am often reminded of commercials and big unveilings of things you sort of know about already. Brooklyn Beta is a conference, the way a conference should be done. Brooklyn Beta brings many creative and technical individuals together in a friendly and a surprisingly, given 1300+ attendees, intimate atmosphere. Personally, I wanted to spend Continue reading