Skills Matter: Remembering the Good Times

Like so many others I felt sad when I heard the news Skill Matter had gone into administration. Many words have been exchange on twitter about what tragedy it was, so rather than add to that, I thought I’d share some of happy memories of them. I can’t remember the exact date I first started working with Skills Matter, but it seems likely it was around 10 years ago. I remember the occasion very well. …

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Bitcoin: A Detailed Yet Easy to Understand Explanation

I’ve had an unhealthy fascination with Bitcoin and crypto currencies for a while now. I’m writing this article because there seems to be a gap in the market for an explanation of how Bitcoin works and thinking on the consequences of that. When the popular media covers Bitcoins it inevitably skips over important details, when technical bloggers cover Bitcoin they tend to get too bogged down in the details of the cryptography. …

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Trying Out Linux for a While

So, I had a good time at BuildStuff.lt, but my laptop died in quite an odd way. I’ll write more about the laptop death in another post. I’ll also write more about BuildStuff.lt in another post. This post is about the laptops resurrection. I tried to repair the laptop using a windows using a bootable USB rescue disk kindly provided by Jemery and Ronan, but despite taking a long time this just made it worse. …

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The Software Developer Identity Crisis

This is post tries to explain some of what I was talking about in my talk at weactuallybuildstuff.com, it’s series of two posts, I’ve tried write it as one post but it got too long and icky, so I’ve split it into two. I believe at the heart of Software Development culture there is an identity crisis. I say this because I believe software development to be an engineering discipline, based on science, but many of fellow developers do not believe this. …

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Using the Android GridView as a DataGrid

As part of the app I developed for AngelHack I wanted to display some data in a classic grid style. Android offers a GridView as part of the basic SDK, however if you look at all the samples they only show how to use it as a grid of images, essentially they only demonstrate usages where all columns show the same thing, usually columns of photographs. It’s not too tricky to use the GridView as classic “data grid” but it did require a wee bit of thinking, so I thought I put together a quick example to show how it worked. …

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Developing For Kindle Fire with Mono C#/Xamarin Studio

As I’ve already mentioned last weekend I took part in AngelHack and took the opportunity to learn how to develop for an Android device (in this case a Kindle Fire) using C# and Xamarin Studio. The experience was a bit mixed, overall I think the folks at Xamarin have done a good job in smoothing the experience when targeting mobile devices, but there’s still a few rough edges. Here’s a run though of what I thought: …

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AngelHack Paris 2013

AngelHack Paris is the first “hack day” I have every attended, so I didn’t really know what to except. Early on Saturday morning I found myself in a slightly run down area just outside the “peripherique” road that marks the boundary of Pairs. The event was hosted at “cifacom” a colleague for digital design and art, I was quite sure what to make to their campus, about half seemed to swish lectures theaters and the rest seemed to have been basically left as the old warehouse that it was before it is was converted. …

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Alt.Net Coding Breakfast - April 2013 Edition

Last Wednesday I got the chance to attend a “Coding Breakfast” hosted by Damien Thouvenin of CLT Services. The concept is simple, turn up a little before 8:30, enjoy some coffee and croissant, then we attempt a Coding Kata for about an hour and finally we get together to review the results. I was pleased to see the great and the good of the Paris coding scene there, in the form of Yann Schwartz and Jérémie Chassaing. …

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Reasons to come to Functional Programming eXchange 2013

The 2013 edition of Functional Programming eXchange is just over a month away, so if you’re not already signed up now the time to do so. When we first started Functional Programming eXchange back in 2009 there were very few functional programming conference’s aimed at developers, over years this has changed quite dramatically and now even if we just talk about about functional programming events in the UK hosted at Skills Matter we have Clojure eXchange, Haskell eXchange, Progressive F#, Scala Days and Scala eXchange. …

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Science and Software Development

Today I gave a talk ”Science and Software Development” at the weactuallybuildstuff.com. The talk was largely inspired by Ben Goldacre’s “Bad Science” column and book and try to apply some of the ideas relating to the use and abuse of evidence in the software industry. In the talk I tried to build a case for why the software industry might by to pay more attention to scientific techniques, such as “Randomized Controlled Trails”, by talking about availability bias, Confirmation Bias, the placebo effect and overconfidence. …

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