Last year, June 2016 to be exact, I took part in my very first company “HackFu” event. I had decided that my first years’ attendance would be as a competitor, to get a feel for the event from an attendees point of view, before attempting to become part of the team that would organise and run the event for the following year.
“HackFu” is a two day, completely immersive, story based, learning and development event, run by MWR InfoSecurity for its employees – and most recently organised and developed by chronyko, for MWR. In the month before the event attendees begin to receive parts of the storyline, beginning with some soft detail before getting into the hardcore minutia shortly before the event. The entire event is themed, and actors are brought in to portray characters within the storyline.
UPDATE: The book I mentioned, Continuous Delivery with Windows and .NET, by Chris O’Dell and Matthew Skelton, can be found here.
On a lovely warm Thursday evening in May I returned to the speaker’s floor and presented a great session on Continuous Integration, Delivery and Deployment, to a fantastic group of developers at DevSouthCoast in Southampton.
The main takeaways from the session are all about how easy CI, CDel and CDep can be to get going, as well as how you can start the process off for free using popular, industry-used products. One of the most exciting parts of this session for me is that everything about the session is live. Using two VMs I replicate a standard setup – installing and configuring the applications right there on the session floor. Whilst the progress bars load I talk about how the applications I’ve chosen will help the process flow and what they bring to the Continuous party,
“Beginners Guide to the Kinect API”, a session aimed at scratching the surface of the Microsoft Kinect API, got its first outing last night at Dev South Coast, a monthly developers meetup in Southampton (previously known as NxtGen Southampton).
The session went through the various streams of data available from the Kinect – such as audio, camera, infrared, depth, skeletal face mapping and skeletal structure mapping. Each stream had a demo and a dive into the code used. Unfortunately the audio demo decided it didn’t want to listen, however we were able to move on and take a look at the camera feeds which thankfully did work correctly.
One nugget of information I wanted to get over to the attendees was that the Kinect API makes it easy to grab the post-processed data from the Kinect. The streams are really easy to pick up and the API delivers the data through events which you can easily handle. Streams such as the ColorStream() deliver camera images, add in the event of .ColorFrameReady and it’s so easy to pick up the camera frame through the event arguments (e.ColorFrame) – I don’t think it could be easier!
I’ve put the session forward for DDD North and hopefully it will be picked by the attendees as it was a session I really enjoyed. Giving a talk at an event such as DDD North is a little less nerve-wracking that last nights’ talk as at a DDD event the attendees have the ability to move into a different session if they don’t connect with the topic or the spreaker. At a Dev South Coast event there is no other session, it’s like having a captive audience. Last nights session was also the first one where I’ve broken into doing live code demos – thank goodness for Coderush and templates!
Hopefully the session was enjoyable – just waiting for the Dev South Coast feedback.
In June 2011 I presented two sessions at DDD South West. The first was the normal Rewriting software presentation but the second was a chance to attempt something new. At DDD Scotland I had spoken to Guy Smith-Ferrier about doing a 20/20 presentation on Build Radiators and I was thankful for being given the chance to do so at DDD South West. What I didn’t expect was that on the day, in the line-up for the lunchtime 20/20’s, right before my slot, was Gary Short and his 20/20 on Asymptotes and Algorithms.
To say that Gary pulled off his 20/20, with as much practice as you can get on a train from London to Bristol, minus the time it took to put the slides together, in an absolutely impeccable fashion, will not surprise many. He is a speaker who it is simply a joy to watch. How was I supposed to follow him? I tried, and I didn’t do quite as well.
Download the video file: Build Radiators: Hot or Not
Judge for yourselves!
For those of you who don’t know what a 20/20, or Pecha Kucha, presentation is then I would suggest a quick to trip to the Wikipedia.
The last time I was “North of the Border” was when I was a wee boy of five years. Holidaying in Fife, close to where my grandfather was born, was the only place in Scotland I’d ever visited.
So not only was I overjoyed at having my session, “Rewriting Software is the biggest mistake a software company can make”, being accepted for a second time – and therefore dispelling the idea that the first acceptance at DDD9 was a bit more than a fluke – but I was also over the moon at being given the opportunity to make the journey upto Scotland.