March 2017 – Productivity

Thanks for those who came to March’s meetup focussed on productivity – we had a great turn out.

A big thanks to Paul and Andrew for speaking and Trevor for hosting the open discussion.

A massive thank you to our sponsors – iWeb and The Deskspace Project, run by TopCashback’s Charity (TopCharity).


The Toyota Way in Action

Paul Boocock

At Codeweavers we live and breathe The Toyota Way philosophy. This talk will show you how we have used this philosophy, originally from the car manufacturing world, and how it has impacted every corner of our IT business from development to sales to client support. It doesn’t matter what field your business is in, The Toyota Way will help you improve and reach your goal.

Herding Cats in the Digital Age

Andrew McCombe

In this Information Age demands are increasing. Organising a busy work schedule and a home life is a skill in itself. Here’s how I manage it using software and a few special techniques.

June 2015 – Lightning Talks

Thanks to all those that attended June’s lightning talks. The evening was hosted by Phil and we had four lightning talks covering a range of topics. We will update this page with coverage as and when it comes in.

We’d like to thank our sponsors, Connect Group and iWeb for their continued support of Staffs Web Meetup!

Lightning talks

We’ve included a summary of the talks below and we’ll update the page with coverage (slides/videos) as it comes in.

SQL Server Transactions – They need your help

Presented by Simon Hughes

Blindly wrapping SQL code in a BEGIN TRAN and COMMIT TRAN to make it atomic is a rookie mistake you’ll sorely regret. I’ll show you why this is a mistake, and a range of bad to good ways to handle errors and ROLLING back your transactions.

The word “Just”

Presented by Dave Redfern

We love to use the word “just”. Not just in the web industry but in every day life. “Just” is one of those wonderful words in the English language that has the ability to completely change the way people feel. Lets group together and stamp it out!

Open source curriculum in higher education

Presented by Trevor Adams

Web developers have benefitted greatly from open source software. Not only does it provide a plethora of great software, but it allows everyone to contribute. How many people contribute to the community of software developers? There is growing trend towards industry involvement in education. Can open source curriculum development provide a constant and effective conduit between education and industry? How do you think you could contribute?

Web design is dead!

Presented by Neil Martin

As websites are only a small part of our digital intake and more devices and products involve and create even more touch points for our users to receive content and perform tasks our skills are required even more. As a designer born in the generation of Tim Burners-Lee’s internet, its not the same for the next gen, as it evolves in to the new era.

May 2015 – Lightning Talks

We had another great turnout last Thursday! Thanks to everyone who came along. We saw lots of new and old faces. Thanks to everyone who signed up on Meetup or found us through the Feelgood Stafford Magazine.

A big thank you to our sponsors (Connect Group and iWeb) and of course Bean enCounter for the fantastic food, drink and service.

The evening was hosted by Dave Redfern and we had four lightning talks.

Lightning Talks

We’ve included a summary of the talks below and we’ll update the page with coverage (slides/videos) as it comes in.

Creating a CMS using Java

Presented by Ruth Mills

How I created a content management system for beauty salon websites in Java, using the Spring Framework, Hibernate, Struts 2, PostgreSQL and eXist-DB, and how it helped me with learning new technologies.

An introduction to Code Club 

Presented by Tim Wilson

Tim is the new regional coordinator for Code Club, a nationwide network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs for children aged 9-11.

In this lightning talk, Tim will provide an introduction to Code Club, the opportunities of becoming a volunteer and what’s involved in setting up, working with schools and an introduction to Code Club projects.

Unit Testing, for User Interfaces

Presented by Adam Davis

Testing is rather an art form, it can be done in a variety of ways, but often not a lot of people write front-end based unit tests. In systems which comprise heavily on front-end based, and complex interfaces the need grows stronger to provide greater front end coverage. This short talk will outline how to approach problems faced when writing tests for these scenarios, and how at RedEye we’re using various technologies to achieve this.

UX: The Bigger Picture

Presented by Kirsty Burgoine

As web designers and developers we spend a lot of time designing and building online experiences. We want the end user to feel joy when using our websites and apps (at least, I do) but its easy to lose sight of the fact that what we create is only one tool in the toolbox and that UX is more than just a shiny happy website. Its about shiny happy people, and creating an overall experience that encourages brand loyalty is so much more.

Having spent a lot of time mulling this over recently, I will look at a few of the brands that I think have got it right and why.

January 2015 – Guest Speakers

Thanks to everyone for their support and enthusiasm! We kicked off January with another successful Staffs Web Meetup. A fantastic turnout of just over 45 people. We hosted two guest speakers, Jenny Wong and Kirsty Burgoine.

A big thanks goes out to our awesome sponsors Campaign Monitor, Connect Group and iWeb.

Guest speakers

Staffs Web Meetup - January 2015 - Jenny WongJenny Wong

Jenny recently joined Human Made, Europe’s only WordPress VIP agency. Jenny is well known within the PHP and WordPress communities for her contributions and infectious personality! She is also an extra special guest for us at Staffs Web Meetup. It was her encouragement at WP Contributor Day which lead to the formation of Staffs Web Meetup.

Staffs Web Meetup - January 2015 - Kirsty BurgoineKirsty Burgoine

Kirsty is the organiser of ShropGeek, a monthly web meetup in Shrewsbury. She also organises the annual (R)evolution conference and Re:LOADED unconference. We first came across Kirsty while speaking at Responsive Day Out 2 in Brighton. Kirsty is a WordPress developer and managing director of her own company.


We’ve included a summary of the talks below and we’ll update the page with coverage (slides/videos) as it comes in.

Sharing Knowledge

Presented by Jenny Wong

The open source community works because of the amount of knowledge that is shared between people. Although everyone has knowledge and experiences to share, many do not feel they have anything worthy of saying.

In this talk, I will show that everyone has something to share, how to generate topics ideas based on conversations you have every day with your peers, and discuss the different methods of sharing – not all of it is on a stage.

I will also discuss the impact of the share mentality and how it is helpful even for your business.

Responsive Web Design

Presented by Kirsty Burgoine

Before responsive design, there was “standard” design. Keeping the client in the loop with standard design was easy, you showed them a visual and then created a pixel perfect website based on that visual. But as more internet enabled devices came on the market, responsive design became more common and the practice of pixel perfect designs became increasingly difficult to maintain, keeping the client in the loop using “the old ways” became impractical.

So how do we deal with this? What deliverables do we provide to the client and at what stages? There is no one-fit solution to this so instead I will share a few of the things I tried and how and why they failed. Hopefully you can then find a method to suit you and avoid some of the mistakes I made.

We’ll be back!

We raffled off a number of prizes on the night, including a number of books thanks to Five Simple Steps and O’Reilly Media. JetBrains kindly gave us a PhpStorm licence to give away. Finally, a French press with a bag of coffee courtesy of Bean enCounter. Congratulations to our raffle winners!

Our thanks goes out to our awesome sponsors Campaign Monitor, Connect Group and iWeb. With their support we’re able to put on Staffs Web Meetup and treat everyone to food and drink. Make sure to show your appreciation and pat them on the back!

We’ll be back in February for an evening of lightning talks. Join our mailing list and we’ll keep you updated on upcoming events.