QCon London 2013 – Day 2

QCon logoQCon is a large conference, with around six parallel tracks, offering talks on a range of subjects. Normally when visiting QCon, I skip between these tracks as the day progresses. That was certainly my plan for day 2 this year, but as the day progressed, I realised one track offered me a great opportunity to take away a good cross-section of ideas; ideas that some might no doubt find controversial: agile can be too process-bound and people are more important than processes. Continue reading “QCon London 2013 — Day 2”

Try { harder } 2011. Days 3 & 4

This is part 2 of a of two-part article about the Try { harder } conference. I’d recommend reading days 1 & 2 first as this article will likely make more sense that way.

After a full day’s pair programming workshop, day 3 (Wednesday) was a much more normal conference-style day involving a series of technical presentations. Continue reading “Try { harder } 2011. Days 3 & 4”

Try { harder } 2011. Days 1 & 2

At the beginning of October, I spent four days at Nottingham Center Parcs at an unusual conference organised by Stray (Lindsey Fallow.) The conference was called “Try { harder }” and involved just 16 participants and one guest speaker. As I opted to attend this conference instead of Flash on the Beach (FOTB) this year, I was hoping to come away with a similar level of inspiration as FOTB has provided in the past, plus I hoped to learn new, useful things too. Try { harder } delivered both in bucket-loads. Continue reading “Try { harder } 2011. Days 1 & 2”

QCon 2011 Day 3

QCON2011I like conferences. I only discovered them a few years back, but since then I’ve become hooked. A conference offers a combination of many things: a break from the day job; a chance to learn new things; inspiration; a challenge to pre-conceived ideas; and an opportunity to meet new people or meet up with old friends. They offer one other thing too: a chance to discover that whilst I and the company I work for could be better at software production, things could be so much worse too. Sometimes that comes about by listening to horror stories of how other companies and individuals do things. Other times though it’s simply by a conference day being such a let down that getting back to the day job becomes something to look forward to. The third day at QCon turned out to be one of those days for me. Continue reading “QCon 2011 Day 3”

QCon 2011 Day 2

As I walked to the conference hall from Victoria Station with a couple of colleagues from the company I work for – Richard and Nick – we discussed the tracks and sessions available today and how they didn’t look as good as yesterday’s. Organising a three day conference to ensure there is something of interest to everyone all of the time must be a logistical nightmare, so some days are bound to inspire some more than others. I therefore approached the day with low expectations. Boy was I wrong to do so… Continue reading “QCon 2011 Day 2”

QCon 2011 Day 1

This was my second year at QCon London, so I had some idea of what to expect. Registration was a painless process: I walked up to booth related to my first name and collected my badge and “bag of crap” as one person described it and that was the job done. No ID or proof of purchase required; other conferences take note! I must admit though that I’d really like it if conferences gave out those cloth re-usable shopping bags rather than geeky laptop bags, which I then throw away as I already have a stack of them. After grabbing my badge it was off upstairs for a cup of tea and pastry and a quick look at the exhibitors stands. Being a Flex developer, it was great to see Adobe there this year. After that it was off to the day’s keynote. Continue reading “QCon 2011 Day 1”

QCon day 1: Craftsmanship & functional languages

I had been somewhat apprehensive of the first day of this year’s QCon London as the schedule didn’t really excite me. The “Architectures You’ve Always Wondered About”, “Non-Relational DBs & Web Oriented Data ” and “Solution” tracks aren’t really my thing and the “Dev and Ops: A single team” and “Software Craftsmanship” tracks sounded like jargon-laden fluff tracks that were likely to be full of hot air and waffle, rather than substance. That left just the “Functional Programming” (FP) track. Whilst I’m happy to learn about FP, I didn’t want to spend my whole day on the one track. Thankfully, my worries were baseless and the day turned out to be really very good. Continue reading “QCon day 1: Craftsmanship & functional languages”

Never mind the recession; here’s Flash on the Beach

Flash on the Beach 09

It’s nearly summer time and so it’s nearly time to start planning for a very special beach event: Flash on the Beach. This great Adobe Flash-related event returns to Brighton for its fourth year on the 20th – 23rd September.

If previous years are anything to go by, expect a fun mix of presentations ranging from the awe-inspiring, artistic and inspirational to the informative and educational. Previous years have seen presentations on designing adverts and using the “power user” features of Photoshop, through to building your first Flex app and some good best practices for software development.

Tickets are on sale now. The earlier you buy, the cheaper they are. In previous years they have all sold out too. Leave it too late and you’ll be left kicking empty bear cans on Brighton beach whilst everyone else enjoys the Flash on the Beach party. So get yourself over there now and sign up to join in.

ps, getting naked and really flashing is not advised. Doug McCune discovered what happens when you take your clothes off at Flex360 this year. You have been warned… 🙂

Windows 7: Apart from the stupid name, it’s looking very good

windows7 logoWith a demo of forthcoming features and the release of a pre-beta build of Windows 7 to folk lucky enough to attend this year’s Professional Developer Conference (PDC), the internet is awash with reviews. One point of interest is that the internal Windows version number for Windows 7 is still version 6.1 (yes, you did read that right, they really have called v6.1 of Windows, Windows 7. You can read a great article on just how insane the Windows 7 name choice is here).

The version number aside, Windows 7 looks good, and the reviews seem positive. Aspects of Vista that improved upon XP (such as Areo) appear to have been enhanced further. In addition, many of the things that Microsoft got wrong with Vista (such as the truly crap UAC) have been reworked and should be a whole lot better with Windows 7.

Here are some reviews worth reading (IMO of course; feel free to disagree 😉 )

Hands-On with a Windows 7 Notebook

Neowin: Introducing Windows 7

ActiveWin: Windows 7 pre-beta review

Gizmodo: Windows 7 Walkthrough, Boot Video and Impressions