This Week at Skills Matter: 14 – 18 July

Develop for Google Glass on Wednesday with the London Android User Group. Photo: Giuseppe Costantino via Flickr Creative Commons

Develop for Google Glass on Wednesday with the London Android User Group. Photo: Giuseppe Costantino via Flickr Creative Commons

There is a wave of excitement sweeping over the Skills Matter office this week in preparation for the arrival of Google Glass, as the London Android User Group host an evening looking at all the possibilities that it can offer for developers. The talks include the opportunity to get hands-on and try out some innovative apps and demos and start to get a feel for what you will need to consider when creating your own apps. Check out the link below for more details and be sure to register!

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


We begin Monday evening with an In The Brain talk from Richard Rodger, COO of nearForm. Richard will be looking at Monolithic Node.js, specifically, how to build large-scale modular Node.js systems by avoiding the monolithic mistakes of the past.

JavaScript lets you do amazing things in very small amounts of code. Node.js lets you write server-side code in tiny mind-size pieces. We call them micro-services. Stop writing monolithic web apps! Break everything apart. Do one thing and do it well. You can run hundreds of Node processes. Come along tonight and let Richard show you how Node.js can free you from all those past mistakes!

If Ruby’s more your thing, then the London Ruby User Group are also here tonight with three discussions from Tom Stuart John Maxwell and Rosa Fox. Kicking things off, Tom will be looking at the newly-released RSpec 3, demonstrating how it has moved beyond the problems of earlier versions and exploring many of the new features. and essential talk for all you BDD developer’s out there!

Next up John will look at how Continuous Deliverance can set your development free, creating a manifesto for how to go from scratch to automated deployment, with a few tales from the trenches of mistakes made along the way.

Rounding off the evening, Rosa Fox will be sharing her experiences of becoming a developer and the huge amount of support she has received from Codebar. Codebar teach programming skills for free to people who are under-represented in the tech industry. You can find out more about the group here.


Google Glass is arriving to Skills Matter HQ on Wednesday with much excitement, as the London Android User Group join us for an evening of talks and demonstrations from Timothy Jordan and Hoi Lam. If you’ve wanted to get to grips with the fundamentals of developing for Glass, this is your chance! Spaces are limited, so register now!


London Python return on Thursday to investigate how building shallow, transparent layers for your tests makes for better failures, clearer tests, and quicker diagnoses. The talk will be led by Julian Berman, lead developer of the media platform at Magnetic, a frequent contributor to the NYC Python Meetup group and a testing lover.

And finally, the London Software Craftsmanship Community will be helping us to round up the week with a discussion around Lambda Behave & writing IntelliJ plugins for fun and profit. Dmitry Kandalov will give a demo of LivePlugin, an IntelliJ plugin for writing plugins at runtime, followed by Richard Warburton with an introduction to the Lambda Behave framework, explaining why you would want to use it over junit and cover some of its cool features.

This Week at Skills Matter: 28 April – 2 May

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


Luke Hohmann


We have a fantastic kick off to the week today, with three In The Brain talks from some amazing experts:

Adam Gundry, Haskell Consultant for Well-Typed LLP, will be delivering a talk dedicated to employing Haskell records successfully within large projects. He will explain how he has extended Haskell to overcome common frustrations with records. Adam completed a PhD in 2013 on combining Haskell with dependent types, and is a seriously keen Haskell programmer.

Next up, Luke Hohmann will reveal how his team at The Innovation Games Company have been working with organisations to transform the retrospective process, using collaboration games to maximise the wisdom of the entire organisation and improve enterprise retrospectives to work. Luke is the founder and CEO of The Innovation Games Company, author of three books, and has studied not only data structures and artificial intelligence, but cognitive psychology and organisational behaviour. His playfully diverse background and life experience have uniquely prepared him to design and produce serious games!

Last (but certainly not least!) Shashikant Jagtap will tackle Behaviour Driven Design. His talk will show how using Headless browsers like PhantomJS and Zombie, can actually speed up the entire BDD process, making running scenarios easier to maintain and less time consuming.

Shashikant has been working in the Agile BDD environment as Developer in Test for the last few years with massive interest in BDD tools. He has explored BDD tools like Behat & Cucumber and integrated them with open source tools to use in test automation. He last spoke at CukeUp! 2014 in London on Headless BDD & Responsive Test Automation, and we’re delighted to have him back!


We host a performance and predictability special from the London Java Community on Tuesday, where Richard Warburton will be informing attendees why access platforms are important and what kind of speed you can gain with them. He will discuss how you can write simple high level code which works well with these kind of patterns.


Neo4J return with an evening based on graphs from the worlds of gaming and recruitment. Mark Wright and Yan Cui will cover topics from building your own private social network using Neo4J, to overcoming the challenges of modelling and balancing the economy of a large-scale game.

The MEAN Stack User Group join us for the first time to discuss Forms Angular – a simple framework built on top of the MEAN stack that enables you to generate forms super quickly. Mark Chapman will show how he used MEAN stack to build forms-angular while Tamas Piros will walk through how to use geospatial data with MongoDB.


The Functional Londoners will be here for a hands-on session with Michael Newton who will provide expert advice on how to construct and hack providers already out there. This will then leave you with the opportunity to create your own first type provider or hack some of the excellent open source providers that already exist.

Codebar, who are also joining us this week for the first time, will be aiming to make the tech scene more diverse by making the jump into coding just that little bit easier. The night will consist of talks that will answer important questions for beginners, introducing attendees to programming and its importance to the real-life stories and struggles of becoming a software developer.

And finishing off the week, the London Java Community will be back with a talk covering the architecture behind LMAX Exchange. Sam Adams, who leads one of the development teams at LMAX echange, will give an overview of their full architecture – all in plain old Java.