This week at Skills Matter: 14th – 17th April 2014

Here’s what’s coming up at Skills Matter this week!


The Open Tech School are back for round 2 of their introduction to programming. They will continue with the back-to-basics of writing code, setting you up with the friendly programming language, Python. No experience necessary.

The London Ruby User Group will be around tonight to discuss aspect-oriented programming in Ruby and run through some of the adventures in early-adoption of open source code. Three leading experts, Camille Baldock, James Smith and Sam Pikesley will take you through these interesting topics.


Deep Learning London will be joined by Jeff Hawkins, a serial entrepreneur, scientist and Numenta co-founder. He will discuss his past experiences revolving around Cortical Learning Algorthims to the Numenta Platform. This talk will be streamed live from California, so make sure you are there to ask any questions!

Paul Ardeleanu will be joining Skills Matter to deliver an In The Brain on the ever popular topic of iOS testing. Usually perceived as a painful experience, Paul will get hands-on and show you how BDD can make your iOS projects a much more enjoyable experience.


The London Java Community will be joined by Marat Boshernitsan, a software development researcher and practitioner who will take a look at development testing. He will examine how it fits in a software development process, discussing strategies for introducing development testing in both Greenfield and Legacy software projects.

The Scala User Group may take you by surprise this week, as they are joined by Jon Pretty, who will be running through some crazy algebraic stuff with types with results that my shock you. Jon has been an active member of the Scala community since 2004, when he launched the first commercial application in Scala. This talk is definitely not one to be missed!


Ben Arroyo and Alastair Smith will be speaking at this month’s London Software Craftmanship Community, a great opportunity to pick up top tips for good object-oriented programming and saving time in the mechanics of coding. They will be running through the ins and outs, the mistakes made and how to improve OO and efficient coding.

Friday Round-Up: 10 – 14th February

The rain wasn’t able to keep most of you away this week, in fact we had even more than expected! With a mixture of In The Brains, User Groups and a bundle of courses filling the building, Skills Matter HQ was abuzz with activity. Remember if you haven’t already done so, sign up to our new website!

This week in Skillscasts:

This week's meetups and user groups at Skills Matter, London

So we kicked off the week with 9 fantastic lightning talks hosted by the London Ruby User Group. All with a theme of Ruby and Rails, the event was a hit among the LRUG community. We do apologise to those who did not manage to catch a glimpse of what was in store, but the bug with our online bookings system has now been resolved.

To continue the busy evening, Jimmy Bogard took a look at how Octopus enables Continuous Delivery at his In The Brain talk, looking at what it offers over standard tooling, and most importantly how to make your ops team love you again. Crucial! Jimmy is a member of the ASPInsiders group, the C# Insiders group, and received the “Microsoft Most Valuable Professional” (MVP) award for ASP.NET in 2009-2012. Jimmy is also the creator and lead developer of the popular OSS library AutoMapper.

Limited WIP hosted a talk based on Agile Product Planning co-organised and presented by Value Glide Ltd and PMI UK Agile CoP. The speakers looked at how to execute a product strategy in a way that is complimentary to the principles of Agile – the debate was lively and enthusiastic, so be sure to check out the Skillscast!

The London Android User Group brought together Steve Plank and Mandy Waite to explore building mobile backends in the Cloud & accessing the Cloud through your Android app. Mandy and Steve put together two fabulous talks for you, so check out if didn’t manage to make it there in person. Many thanks to Microsoft for sponsoring the event!

Finally Tomas Petricek made an appearance this week at the F#unctional User Group introducing Deedle, the new open-source library for data and time series manipulation. A fantastic talk, which demonstrated the Deedle library as well as the ‘data science’ stack for F#.

Friday Round Up: 4th November – 8th November

It’s been a quiet week in the line of conferences but we’ve had a very busy week here at Skills Matter hosting nine free events with our community. These included three In The Brain sessions and six User Group meet-ups all receiving positive feedback and marvellous turnouts! These events wouldn’t be what they are without our community so we’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the attending delegates and speakers for learning and sharing at Skills Matter this week.

This week in SkillsCasts:


Monday saw the arrival of the London Java Community with a talk from Martijn Verburg and Richard Warburton ‘The Bleeding Edge’ where they spoke about what happens to your technology stack if you’re willing to take a risk. Martijn and Richard work together at jClarity and are running production systems using Html 5, Angular.js, vertx, Mongo, groovy and are deploying using chef. They explained how it has been an interesting ride: how some things worked really well and how some things didn’t. They also explained how they ended up with such a diverse stack and how to make technology choices in a fairer way.

Infracoders London were also in for their November meet-up with an interesting talk on ‘A Journey of Windows Infrastructure Automation At’ – a brief history, where it started, what’s happening now and where it’s heading using Chef, VMWare, power-shell plus a few other tools.

The London Clojurians had three separate lightening talks from the speakers, Henry Garner, Kris Jenkins and Jamie Brandon. This is definitely one to catch up on!

Oren Eini (aka Ayende Rahien) graced us with a first-rate In The Brain session, with a talk on ‘The DB Disassembly Kit’. Oren went into the details that make up the different components in a database, how they are put together and what the different design choices you have for each component, and how they work together.

Our second In The Brain session of the week was from Susanne Madsen who spoke about ‘Project Leadership: Are we too busy with the urgent to focus on the important?’ A very interesting and relevant talk – worth a watch if you missed out!

The London Pyramid Group had two awesome talks, the first from Jon Staley who gave a quick intro to Deform & Colander and spoke about how you can wrangle them into doing what you want. The second from Riley Doyle who covered key lessons learned in building an advanced ‘DNA Search Engine’ with Pyramid.

The London Lua had a talk on ‘Lua & Corona SDK – Cross platform mobile game development’ for their November meet-up. This talk is great for anyone interested in a basic beginners guide to getting started with indie game development in Corona and Lua…

The final In The Brain session was with Ian Plosker who spoke about The Triumph of Simplicity: how database complexity will be replaced by simple services. He discussed why the level of complexity in storing and querying data has exploded and how database software eventually will be overrun by simple services. The Skillscast to this talk will be available in two weeks.

Next week at Skills Matter:
Monday – The London Big-O November meet-upLondon Ruby User Group November meet-upLondon AJAX User Group November meet-up

Tuesday – In The Brain of Vaughn VernonIn The Brain of Jon Jagger

Wednesday – London Scala User Group November meet-up

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Friday Round-Up: 7th – 11th of October

It’s been busy busy busy here at Skills Matter, we’ve kicked off our season of conferences with a Haskell shaped bang! Not only did we have the Haskell eXchange 2013 on Wednesday but also 3 fantastic ‘In The Brain’ sessions with the brilliant Rob Harrop, Peter Ledbrook and Robert Annett. All talks received fantastic turn outs even though the bitter cold now seems to be upon us in London! Here at Skills Matter we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to this week’s events.

This week in Skillscasts

In The Brain of Rob Harrop: In this talk Rob demonstrated how to apply decades-old techniques from formal methods as the ideal tools for agile modelling. Rob presented a mathematical state model using the Z modelling language and a concurrency model using CSP.

In The Brain of Peter Ledbrook: Peter gave a fantastic talk on Open Source – thinking about the important questions that should be answered if you are to gain the benefits of open source and avoid any disappointment (do we yet understand how open source works? How is it funded? Is it a sustainable model? And how should we as developers approach open source?). Peter also spoke about how open source software cannot be treated as simply having no financial cost and that investment reaps rewards.

In The Brain of Robert Annett: Robert discussed and explored some of the issues of upgrading; maintaining or replacing many Java and .NET based systems that haven’t been touched in over a decade. He also provided some pointers on solving common problems.

Haskell eXchange 2013

The Haskell eXchange 2013

The Haskell conference on Wednesday went swimmingly. We had 7 enlightening talks from the great Simon Peyton Jones, Neil Mitchell, Adam Bergmark, Andres Loh, Gracjan Polak, Bas van Dij and Simon Marlow. If you missed the event don’t worry, we were live blogging throughout the day so you can catch up on the hour by hour events. Also all of the Skillscasts (film/slides/code) are now available on our website!

We’d like to say a gigantic thank you to all of our speakers and all of the delegates who contributed and attended, we couldn’t have done it without you. Why not secure your place for Haskell 2014? If this year is anything to go by it’s not to be missed! As an added bonus, the first 25 tickets for the 2014 eXchange are only £75!

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This Week at Skills Matter – In Pictures

Rob Harrop's In The Brain talk at Skills Matter

Check out the pictures from this weeks events on our Facebook page or our Google+ page.

Next week at Skills Matter
Monday: London Ruby User Group October meet-up
Tuesday: In The Brain of Martin Thompson
Wednesday: London Ajax User Group October meet-up, the Pentaho London User Group October meet-up & In The Brain of Andy Singleton
Thursday: London Java Community October meet-up & the Functional Londoners Group October meet-up

Watch all the videos from DDD eXchange 2012 at Skills Matter here

Watch all the videos from DDD eXchange 2012

Another DDD eXchange has come and gone at Skills Matter, and our warm thanks go to the godfather of DDD, Eric Evans, for his help in putting together a fantastic event and sponsorship from Domain Language.

If you weren’t there, do you know what you missed?  Let me tell you!  Of course, you missed Eric Evans — our host, compere, and keynote speaker, you missed Greg Young, you missed Dan Haywood, and you missed  Alberto Brandolini.  You missed the excitement of two park bench panel discussions, hosted by Zi Makki.  You missed Cyrille Martraire, you missed Paul Rayner, and did I mention Eric Evans?

You can watch all the videos below:
Eric Evans: Opening & Welcome
Greg Young on Functional Programming with DDD
Dan Haywood on Restful Objects – A Hypermedia API For Domain Object Models
Alberto Brandolini on Why do all my DDD applications look the same?
Zi Makki hosts Park Bench Panel Discussion # 1
Cyrille Martraire on Applying DDD in a legacy application
Paul Rayner on Domain Scenarios to Drive Modelling Whirlpool
Eric Evans on Case Study Involving Strategic Design And Established Formalisms
Zi Makki hosts Park Bench Panel Discussion #2

We are also very excited to announce Skills Matter will continue our partnerhsip with Eric Evans for the fifth annual DDD eXchange! Coming June 14, 2013 — the first 50 tickets are on sale now for just £50.

Our summer of Architecture continues — check out the free events at Skills Matter from our DDD experts, including Eric Evans, Udi Dahan, Greg Young, Andreas Ohlund, Simon Brown and Alberto Brandolini. Read about it here, or check out our full programme of DDD & Architecture events here

London Scala User Group: Experiences from a Real-World Scala Project

Chris Turner: Experiences from a Real-World Scala Project


In this talk for the “award-winning” London Scala User Group, Chris Turner explores how a team of mixed experience Scala developers built and delivered a real-world Scala project in a highly agile, multi-language environment. Chris will give a tour through what they did, how they did it and what we learnt along the way.

Watch the video here:

@UdiDahan returns to @skillsmatter this July — don’t miss him

Udi Dahan's 5-day course Advanced Distributed Systems Design with SOA will help you to take the pain out of designing large-scale distributed systems.

Udi Dahan — the Software Simplist — has been a regular at Skills Matter for many years, and frequently a familiar face at the DDD eXchange.

Udi is recognised in the community as a leading expert in the areas of Service-Oriented Architecture and Domain-Driven Design.  What’s more, Udi is also the co-creator of the Command/Query Responsibility Segregation pattern, and the founder of NServiceBus.  Is there anything he can’t do?

Udi returns to Skills Matter as part of our Summer of Architecture, and will be delivering his Advanced Distributed Systems Design with SOA between July 2nd and 6th.  While new technologies make it easier to comply with today’s communications and security standards, they won’t magically provide you with a robust and scalable system.

If you enjoy deep architectural discussion, if you are in charge of building a large-scale distributed system, and if you want to know more about how the big guys run their systems, sign up now for Udi Dahan’s Advanced Distributed Systems Design with SOA workshop!

Udi will also be delivering a free “In the Brain” talk while he is at Skills Matter, join him on the evening of July 2nd for Commands, Queries, and Consistency.

Free events during Summer of Architecture 2012 @skillsmatter

Free events and videos at Skills Matter

Despite the recent monsoonal turn in the weather here in London, at Skills Matter we’ve still got our hawaiian shirts and bermuda shorts out for the Summer of Architecture.  You’ve heard about the courses, you know all about the DDD eXchange — but did you know we have a host of free In the Brain talks from our world class experts?  Including a talk from the Godather of DDD himself: Eric Evans!

Look who’s talking:

June 27Andreas Ohlund: Death to the batch job
Join Andreas for some real-time solutions to time-bound processes with the latest and greatest sagas from NServiceBus

July 2 Udi Dahan: Commands, Queries, and Consistency
Join “the software simplist” Udi Dahan for a new perspective on CQRS using a new twist on the saga pattern.

July 3 Simon Brown: The code doesn’t tell the whole story
Join Simon to find out what’s missing and how to create lightweight documentation for your software projects.

July 5 Brian Sletten: RDFa Today
Join Brian for this remote session as he sets the stage, catches you up on what has been happening in the past year and explains why you need to be paying attention.

July 5 Eric Evans: Case Study Involving Strategic Design And Established Formalisms
Join the Godfather of DDD as he elaborates on his talk given to this year’s DDD eXchange: a case study involving strategic design and established formalisms. Described by #dddx attendees as a “Cool example of an out of the box approach to the problem”, “Vaguely earth-shattering” and generally great, this is not to be missed!

September 3 Alberto Brandolini: Domain-Driven Design… Dirty Harry Style
Join Alberto for some practical, real life advice about how to seed and grow DDD in a brownfield scenario.

As if that wasn’t enough, why not check out some of our recent Architecture related videos:
Greg Young: Analysis and DDD
Eric Evans on DDD Strategies for Moving Away from Legacy Systems
Udi Dahan: Hidden NServiceBus Gems
Udi Dahan: Modeling Distributed Systems with NServiceBus Studio
Simon Brown: How much up front design is just enough?
Gael Fraiteur: Multithreading beyond the lock keyword
Greg Young: 5 common reasons DDD projects fail and how to avoid them
Greg Young: Simple is better
Udi Dahan: CQRS, race conditions, and sagas – oh my!
Eric Evans on Welcome to DDD eXchange
Udi Dahan on Domain Models and Composite Applications
Jim Webber on REST and DDD
Patrik Fredriksson on DDD in a Functional Programming Language
Greg Young on Assert.That(We.Understand)
Matthew Wall on REST & APIs in the Guardian’s DDD Processes
Zi Makki: DDD Park Bench Discussion

What are your favourite? Leave your comments and feedback on the videos below — or share them on Twitter. Sharing is nice.

DDD eXchange: one week to go! @skillsmatter #dddx

Now in its 4th year, the DDD Exchange has become one of the focal points of the DDD community

The Skills Matter DDD eXchange 2012 is just a week away — and we’re excited to be able to announce two new presenters for this star-studded conference.  While we are sad to report that Hans Dockter will no longer be presenting at the DDD eXchange, the great news is that we now have Cyrille Martraire and Alberto Brandolini lending their skills and their brains.

Cyrille will report on how DDD has been applied to capture deep models of the domain, within bounded contexts that emerged in the course of the project, and how DDD also helped to build a strategy for dealing with the legacy code. Read more here

Alberto has been helping different development teams exploring complicated domains to implement sophisticated application. But the more he explores very different domains, the more he has realised there’s more underlying commonalities that he hadn’t previously realised. Read more here

There are still tickets available through the Skills Matter website — get yours here

Progressive .NET Tutorials: watch the videos! @skillsmatter #prognet

Watch the videos from the 2012 Progressive .NET Tutorials

It’s been a week since the Progressive .NET Tutorials at Skills Matter.  The 3 days of tutorails were such a blast that we all needed two bank holidays just to recover and start planning the next big event.

No word of a lie, this was easily the best and most diverse #prognet we have ever run at Skills Matter — along with talks in Messaging and C#, there was Javascript, HTML5, RavenDB, Windows 8, simple.web, deliberate discovery and F#.   We also think at Skills Matter that Ian Cooper deserves a lion’s share of the praise for helping to put together such an incredible event as Progressive .NET Tutorials.  Show him some love.

Enough talk, though — you want to know what you missed and where you can see the videos, right? Right.  Then wait no more and look no further.

Liz Keogh on Deliberate Discovery, Cynefin and Real Options

Don Syme & Phil Trelford on Practical Functional-first Programming with F#

Matthew Baxter-Reynolds on Metro-style Apps for .NET Developers

Liam Westley on Async and C#5 – An Advance Screening

Mark Rendle on Introduction to Simple.Web

Ian Cooper on Messaging 101

Gary Short on End to End Javascript

Ben Hall on Automated Acceptance Testing

Dan Thomas on HTML5

Dylan Beattie on Security and Identity in the .NET World

Andrea Magnorsky on Introduction to RavenDB

Ashic Mahtab on Messaging – It’s not just about Large Scale Integration

Don’t forget — if you enjoyed the tutorials and videos please share them!  Most people find out about Skills Matter through word of mouth, so don’t keep it all to yourself!