Previous Events

The most common legal and technical mistakes made in Cloud Computing

19/03/2012 - 18:30
19/03/2012 - 21:00

Spring School - Cloud Computing

Venue: City of Bristol College See Venues

Speakers: Jeremy Holt is the head of the Computer Law Group of Clark Holt Commercial Solicitors. Luke Marsden is CTO at Hybrid Logic

6.30pm Refreshments
7.00pm 1st Talk
7.35pm 2nd Talk

Please see the main article for booking details

Assuming that Cloud will reduce costs, increase scalability and make businesses more Agile, the talk will outline the most common mistakes (both legal and technical) that people make in relation to cloud computing and will suggest pragmatic and practical ways of avoiding those pitfalls.

Luke's talk will focus on common technical problems made when implementing cloud technologies: the mismatch between expectations and technical reality. He will cover the cloud as equated to scalability, failure tolerance, virtualisation and agility, discuss the complexities and challenges in each along with some solutions and a case study of how it can be achieved.

Running Applications in the Cloud

12/03/2012 - 18:30
12/03/2012 - 21:00

Spring School - Cloud Computing

Venue: City of Bristol College See Venues

First Speaker: Michael Corbett, Cloud Touch
Second Speaker: Ben Halstead, Brightpearl

6.30pm Refreshments
7.00pm 1st Talk
7.35pm 2nd Talk

Please see the main article for booking details

Developing Apps for Google Apps:
Google Apps is Google’s cloud based productivity suite which now has over 4 million customers and a userbase running into hundreds of millions. It consists of many services including email, intranets, document sharing etc - all of which have APIs. The apps written against those APIs also run in the cloud thereby allowing organisations to keep their terrestrial computing footprint to a minimum.

Michael’s talk will cover:

  • The Google Apps suite and its APIs
  • Using Google services as “user i/o”
  • Accessing external cloud services
  • The business context - what business problems can we solve with the above.

Designing, building and running a SaaS application:
Software as a Service (SaaS) applications have unique design challenges that are becoming easier to overcome thanks to cloud hosting and modern development practices such as Dev Ops. This talk will cover:

  • Key design goals and constraints of building a SaaS application
  • Release and version management
  • Small development teams and Dev Ops
  • Datacentre automation

An Introduction to the Cloud & The Future is in the clouds

05/03/2012 - 18:30
05/03/2012 - 21:00

Spring School - Cloud Computing

Venue: City of Bristol College See Venues

First Speaker: Ian Fish
Second Speaker: James Cook

6.30pm Refreshments
7.00pm 1st Talk
7.35pm 2nd Talk

Please see the main article for booking details

Ian Fish will give a brief overview of cloud computing and the business drivers for its adoption. He will then look at risk management considerations and finish up with an overview of the security considerations associated with cloud computing - in particular:

  • Availability of data and business functionality
  • Protecting data from unauthorised access
  • Handling security incidents

During his talk, James will be discussing the journey of the Cloud; where it began, and more importantly, where it is going.

Lessons from Experience in test automation

13/02/2012 - 19:00
13/02/2012 - 21:00

Speaker: Mark Fewster

Venue: City of Bristol College

7:00pm Refreshments, 7:30pm Main Talk

Oh no! Is this yet another approach to Test Automation? Actually, no it isn't. This is about what other peoples' experience with test automation can teach us - how it can help us capitalise on good ideas and avoid potentially useless ones.
A new book by Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster "Experiences of Test Automation" published in January describes 28 case histories of test automation across a rich variety of application domains, environments and organisations. The book includes success stories, failure stories, and a few so-far-so-good stories.

While every story is different, there are many common elements running through these case studies. In this presentation Mark highlights some of the common themes that span both management and technical issues. For example, the influence managers have over test automation success and failure, the importance of keeping management informed and involved, and the need to match an appropriate level of investment with the desired objectives. Some of the technical issues include attention to testware architecture at an early stage, consistency of working methods to encourage reuse and reduce maintenance costs, and the quality of scripting.

By studying the experience of others we can start or progress our own test automation with a deeper understanding of the important issues, mitigate risks and capitalise on opportunities.

Achieving successful IT enabled business change

11/01/2012 - 19:00
11/01/2012 - 21:00

Speaker: Professor M.J. Norton

Venue: City of Bristol College

7:00pm Refreshments, 7:30pm Main Talk

Jim Norton’s presentation will address the continuing challenge of achieving successful and sustainable business transformation facilitated by new IT systems. It is based very firmly on the view that in both private and public sectors “there is no such thing as an IT project – only business change projects enabled by new IT systems”.

It will analyse both successful and unsuccessful projects and will highlight a series of key ground rules for successful business change. The presentation contains recommendations both for the business elements of the change programme and for the IT elements.

In particular it calls for holistic budgeting of the change programme, sharing research carried out by the Institute of Directors on private sector best practice, which indicates that typically 80% of the budget needs to go on the ‘people and process’ elements of the change and only 20% on the associated IT systems. It also identifies the need for an entire programme of work to develop stronger software engineering methods that are soundly based on computer science and mathematically rigorous.

Branch Xmas Event - Future Technology - a younger perspective

12/12/2011 - 18:00
12/12/2011 - 21:00

Speaker: Ian Hughes

Venue: @ Bristol

6:00pm Refreshments and @Bristol, 7:00pm Main Talk

The event is now full

If you think that playing games, understanding gadgets and keeping up with science and technology is great fun then you are coming to the right talk. If you don't then you need to come anyway and find out what you are missing!. If your parents ever say "stop playing video games" you can tell them that you are getting ready to the future. Ian plays a lot of games, works with a lot of gadgets and used to sit in an old fashioned office. You don't have to do that though as he can show you. Now he presents on the The Cool Stuff Collective TV show, invents new things, works with game developers, runs his own company and travels the world showing people the future. Everyday there is something new and interesting to learn about and if you know games and gadgets just a little bit you can not only have an awesome time but also change the world. Come and find out why.

Ian Hughes a.k.a epredator when online, is a Metaverse Evangelist and founder of Feeding Edge Ltd - Taking a bite out of technology so you don't have to. In 2006, whilst at IBM, he led thousands of colleagues into virtual worlds like Second Life with projects like Wimbledon. He has shown that leadership can be driven by the digital native and innovators can gather together regardless of geography or organization. Using creative expression online leads him to no longer be the programmer he grew up as. He presents an emerging technology slot on the ITV kids show The Cool Stuff Collective, third series to air late 2011. Ian is the chair of the BCS Animation and Games industry Group. If you discover anything else about Ian feel free to update him on wikipedia

Using Business Stories to Test Requirements and Systems

05/12/2011 - 19:00
05/12/2011 - 21:00

Speaker: Paul Gerard

Venue: City of Bristol College

7:00pm Refreshments, 7:30pm Main Talk

In conjunction with the Software Testing Club.

The use of stories to communicate dates back 30,000 years to the time when cave paintings recorded daily experience of people living as hunter-gatherers. If a software team uses a whiteboard to capture and talk about user stories to scope the next phase of development, they are drawing on an instinctive need to use examples, to criticise, discuss and refine them to arrive at a shared understanding. Stories worked for cavemen, they work for agile teams, and they’ll work for you too because they are universal.

Stories derived from written requirements can be used to walk-through business scenarios and when users see the proposed system ‘in action', requirements anomalies stand out and trigger informed discussions of situations, variations and outcomes. A disciplined approach to story-writing and requirements testing can improve requirements and the target solution dramatically. ‘Business Stories’ can be shared as examples for developers to see what was intended to help their understanding, and of course, they also provide the basis for later acceptance tests.

Up-front requirements testing doesn't require extra effort - much of this analysis work would be done during acceptance test preparation anyway. This approach provides a step-up with business impact analysis, regression testing, and even test automation.

Mobile Application Security and Privacy: State of the Disunion

23/11/2011 - 19:00
23/11/2011 - 21:00

Speaker: Graham Lee

Venue: City of Bristol College

7:00pm Refreshments, 7:30pm Main Talk

The new smartphone application platforms launched toward the end of the last decade brought new problems, but also a chance to break out of the backwards compatibility shackles imposed on desktop operating systems.

In fact existing issues were only partially addressed and failures-both ancient and modern-still remain. In this talk Graham Lee will summarise how the security and privacy landscape changed with the rapid adoption of smartphone apps, and what changes are still to come.

Graham Lee is the resident smartphone security boffin at Fuzzy Aliens Limited, an application security company based in Oxford. When he isn't making the app stores a safer place for everyone, he talks and writes for developers about mobile security issues. He is also a volunteer at the Museum of Computing.

The ‘new’ CIO: breaking the traditional mindset of the IT function

26/10/2011 - 19:00
26/10/2011 - 21:00

AGM and Branch meeting

Speaker: Neil Farmer

Venue: City of Bristol College

7:00pm AGM 7:15pm Refreshments 7:30pm Main Talk

Without getting ‘buy in’ to changes from relatively few key individuals (<5%) across an organisation, most people-intensive change initiatives are doomed to failure.

Traditional top-down change programmes have consistently focused on the change messages (WHAT we want to achieve and HOW we go about achieving it) targeted at broad stakeholder groups.

To avoid high levels of failure, however, we need a much clearer focus on “WHO are the key individuals whose support we really need?” Find the key influencer's and natural leaders, let them guide you in all the people aspects of change, and become much, much more effective.

Based on extensive practical experience of five major change programmes, this summary of three articles that Neil wrote in 2010 for Angelica Mari in Computer Weekly just might change the way you approach the role of CIO in future.

Effective Specifications & Tests for Agile Projects (Software Testing Series)

19/09/2011 - 19:00
19/09/2011 - 21:00

Speaker: Gojko Adzic

Venue: City of Bristol College

Fast turnaround in agile projects requires the specifications and testing processes to fit into to short iterations, which is a challenge for many teams when they start out with agile development. As a result, analysts and testers are often confused about how to engage in a weekly delivery process and developers don't have enough information to deliver the right product without wasteful rework. In this presentation, Gojko Adzic talks about set of process patterns that facilitate change in software products to ensure that the right product is delivered efficiently with short iterations. He presents how to organise requirements, specifications and tests effectively to support an agile development process.

Gojko Adzic is a strategic consultant who helps ambitious teams, from investment banks to web portals, to improve the quality of their software products and processes. Get in touch on or @gojkoadzic