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

Stay up to date with the latest from Skills Matter! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or sign up to our newsletter.

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!

Stay up to date with the latest from Skills Matter! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or sign up to our newsletter.

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

Friday Round-Up: 30th of September – 4th of October

We know we say it too much but we really have had a crazy week here at Skills Matter HQ. Not only have we had an action packed week full of fantastic events but all systems are go for our up and coming conferences. This year has flown past with Haskell eXchange just next week!

Treated with not only the October meet-ups of the London Clojure Community, London Scrum User Group and the very first Big-O meet-up but also two enlightening In the Brains sessions. One from the renowned Giovanni Asporoni and the other from Nicolas Favre-Felix. A massive thank you from all the gang at Skills Matter for learning and sharing.

The week in SkillsCasts
London Clojure Community had a talk from James Adams and Malcolm Sparks on the production of a multi-user Poker application written using Clojure and Datomic. The boys informed listeners how they used Clojure’s currency features to reliably handle a large amount of concurrent players and how they tackled communication between the browser and server. This ones not to miss, even includes a live demo of the actual application giving you a rare opportunity to gain insight into how to use, integrate and deploy Datomic in production!

In The Brain of Nicolas Favre-Felix, Nicolas gave a talk on the history of doing analytics in the NoSQL database. He looked at the relative strengths of normalised and denormalised approaches and looked at how Twitter and Facebook have built a custom denormalised systems over NoSQL to support real-time analytics.

The Big-O meet-up was made up of two talks one from Jurgen Van Gaal on Numerical Optimisation where he gave an overview of multivariate numerical optimisation, covering line search, gradient descent, Newton methods and quasi-Newton. The second talk was from Okash Khawaja who closely followed the example of a chess engine as an application of negamax search and explored the implementation of such a lock-less look up table.

 In The Brain of Giovanni Asporoni, Giovanni gave an interesting talk on some serious and common mistakes programmers make when writing tests. He gave examples from real-code-bases and hints on how to avoid said mistakes.

The London Scrum User Group was given a talk from Casper Below & James Burnett who showed attendees how adapting scrum methods for non-technical teams has kept things moving and improved transparency of workload, of commitment, of agreement, of required consultation and work done, even before the development process.

Stay up to date with the latest from Skills Matter! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or sign up to our newsletter.

This Week at Skills Matter – In Pictures

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

Next week at Skills Matter
Monday: In The Brain of Rob Harrop: Model like you mean it.

Tuesday: In The Brain of Peter Ledbrook: Open Source and You.

Thursday: In The Brain of Robert Annett: Modern Legacy Systems.