Friday Round-Up: 4 – 8 August

Things are heating up in the Skills Matter office as we approach our eagerly anticipated end-of-year conference season, in both London and New York. We have been delighted to announce a host of new speakers and keynotes (more on that below), as well as finalise the line-ups to a number of conferences.

Not forgetting about our wonderful user groups, we had some fantastic talks from the London Clojurians and Swift London – as well as a hands-on session from London Haskell. Be sure to check out the recordings below – we were particularly impressed with Tom Booth’s use of Clojure to create his own digital Pollock…

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 they’re all available for free on!

The London Clojure Community hosted three talks from three experienced and talented devs. First up Tom Booth, who currently works on the Performance Platform, showed us how he taught himself Clojure outside of his everyday work commitments by trying to model painting. Using the abstract work of Jackson Pollock, defining the workspace (vectors, canvas, gravity etc.), Tom takes you through how he built his very own digital Pollock.

Robert Rees, Developer Manager at the Guardian, introduced us to Mori – a Javascript library that brings the immutable data structures of Clojure to Javascript along with a lot of the sequence operation functions and some of the reducers library. In this talk Robert explains why he believes that it is a really important, practical way to bring the principles of Clojure into the hands of everyday Javascript development.

Finally, we escaped DSL hell as Tom Hall from Futurelearn re-imagined netlogo and geomlab as Clojure DSLs. Tom showed us how embedding them in Clojure makes the implementation easier, gives greater power to the user and enables extension.

We were also joined by Swift London this week, as they held a hands-on session giving everyone the chance to experiment with a variety of areas of Swift, beginning some new projects and working together to solve problems in some existing ones.

The Week in Blog

Dan Cunningham of #hack4good did a great round-up of their recent workshop at Skills Matter; we caught up with George Dinwiddie to talk about BDD, the need for conversation and the art of writing scenarios; we launched the Groovy & Grails eXchange 2014 Call for Papers!

The Week in Conferences


It was cheers all round as we confirmed Google’s Chet Haase as this year’s keynote at Droidcon London. He’s keeping the content of his talk pretty close to his chest, but we can confirm that he will be treating delegates to the very latest developments in Android technologies and APIs.

Chet is a senior software engineer at Google, and has previously worked as a senior computer scientist for Adobe, senior staff engineer at Sun Microsystems and was the DirectX Drivers Manager for Micron Technology. When he’s not making Android graphics and animation better, or speaking at conferences around the world, he writes on CodeDependent and Enough About You (amongst a whole number of books).

Chet joins what is already shaping to be the best line-up we’ve ever had at Droidcon, so make sure you head on over and book your ticket now!

And in other conferences this week:


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