Friday Round-Up: 28 April – 2 May


We were delighted to welcome two new user groups to Skills Matter this week, with MEAN Stack on Wednesday and Codebar on Thursday.

The MEAN Stack user group met for the first time in early March, and this week they came along to our venue for the first time. The group is aimed towards anyone interested in learning more about MongoDB, ExpressJS, Angular JS and Node.js – if you’re interested in the MEAN Stack, or just interested in Javascript as a programming language, then you should definitely get yourself along to their next meetup.

Codebar is a new group that’s aiming to make tech more diverse though helping to teach programming skills. They’ve organised free sessions on HTML, CSS, Javascript and Ruby, all with the goal of helping groups of people who are under-represented in the tech industry. They also host some great tutorials on their website!

The Week in Skillscasts

Every week we record the majority of meetups and user groups that come to our offices in London for evening events and talks. These are our Skillscasts – and their all available for free on!


We began the week with three In The Brain talks. First up was Luke Hohmann who took the evening off during his Certified innovation Games for Customer Understanding course to come and discuss Enterprise Retrospectives. Luke explored how to use online collaboration games to improve agile movement, bringing focus to teams as a whole, improving individual units and solving the issues that affect multiple teams or are beyond the control of any single team.

Shashikant Jagtap also joined us for a talk on Headless BDD & Responsive Test Automation, expanding on the processes and discussion from his previous talk of the same title at this years CukeUp! conference. This time around, Shashikant looked at Headless browsers such as PhantomJS and Zombie, how to speed up the entire BDD process and integration with popular tools such as Cucumber and Behat.

Finally on Monday Adam Gundry, a Haskell Consultant for Well-Typed LLP, gave a talk on overloaded record fields for Haskell. Find out how, with the help of Simon Peyton-Jones, Adam has extended Haskell to overcome some of the common frustrations with records.

The London Java Community were joined by Richard Warburton Tuesday for a talk on performance and predictability. Richard talked about why access patterns are important and the fact that fast code needs a harmonious environment to operate. He went on to discuss how this can work well with hardware such as RAM, disks and SSDs, and the unifying themes treating memory access patterns in a uniform and predictable way.

Neo4J were joined by three speakers – Yan Cui, Mark Wright and Nigel Small – for an evening about the graphs of gaming and recruitment on Wednesday. Nigel gave an overview of Zerograph features, and talked about its protocol and ZeroMQ connection management. Mark then discussed private social networks, before Yan looked at modelling a large scale social game with Neo4J.

Wednesday also saw MEAN Stack’s first meetup at Skills Matter, when they were joined by Mark Chapman and Tamas Piros. Mark looked at using the MEAN Stack to remove CRUD whilst Tamas explored geospatial data in the MEAN Stack.

Thursday brought the F#unctional Londoners and Michael Newton to Skills Matter HQ, as they looked at creating type providers in a hands-on session that provided expert advice on constructing and hacking existing providers, using the brand new Visual Studio.

The London Java Community were joined by Sam Adams, one of the lead developers at LMAX Exchange. Sam has been part of the team that built one of the fastest trading platforms in the world, and he brought his skills and knowledge to cover the architecture behind LMAX Exchange.

Finally, Codebar brought three speakers along – Swathi Kantharaja, Rosa Fox and Jarkyn Soltobaeva – for an evening looking at making the jump into coding as easy as possible.

The Week in Blog


Udi Dahan talked to us about NSBCon 2014; the F#unctional Londoners tell us what they’ve been up to; Daniel Steinberg talked to us about what motivates iOS developers.

Next Week in Brief

Tuesday: Robots, Haskell & Hedgefunds with the London Clojure Community

Wednesday: In The Brain of Farid Tejani; Cloud Developers DHARMA with the London Java Community

Thursday: Mixing biology and physics together, with the F#unctional Londoners

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s