October 2015 – 1st Birthday Lightning Talks

We celebrated one year of Staffs Web Meetup on Thursday. There was cake, thanks to The Original CupCake Company and a sing-song towards the end!

The evening was hosted by Phil and followed our new format, two lightning talks followed by a longer discussion session.

Thanks to all those that have attended Staffs Web Meetup over the past year. The support has been incredible and we’re looking forward to delivering more great events over the coming year.

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.

Trials and Tribulations of teaching the web

Fiona Knight

I’ve been teaching web for 15 years now, and in that time things have changed a lot. Nowadays there are many different techniques, technologies and approaches to web development, and the challenge to teaching it is bigger than ever. I hope to provide some insight in our thinking and the problems of where we are, and possibilities on where we could go in the future, for your digestion and comment.

Test-Driven Development (TDD)

Ruth Mills

Including how we can tie this in with Behaviour Driven Development (BDD), and use TDD at as many layers of application development as possible – e.g. back-end (using a mocking framework, e.g. Mockito, for mocking database access etc), data binding from model to view (using Thymeleaf TDD), and in the front-end (using a JS unit testing framework, e.g. Mocha, for JS unit testing).

Discussion Session (Lean Coffee)

Trevor Adams

Our interpretation of Lean Coffee, a fast paced open discussion. Using sticky notes, during the break people will post up questions or talk topics. You will have the opportunity to vote for the sticky notes that you find the most interesting. We’ll then open the floor for a short discussion on each topic.

September 2015 – An evening of eCommerce

Thanks to all those that attended September’s eCommerce themed lightning talks. The evening was hosted by Natasha and we had three lightning talks covering a range of topics.

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.

Designing with clients

Dave Redfern

It’s a running joke in our industry how painful it is to work with clients. In this talk I’ll go through the processes we use to design and develop the front end of our eCommerce websites, specifically using Magento. I will discuss how working closely with clients creates better websites and happier clients.

The challenges of eCommerce hosting

Aaron Brady

eCommerce demands that sites be fast, available and secure, but also able to handle frequent changes, show fresh stock levels and handle as many paying transactions as possible. Unlike hosting a brochure site, it’s impossible to keep from storing and changing state. This talk will (really briefly!) show how iWeb structures our multi-server Magento deployments, but is applicable to any LAMP application and in principle to web hosting in general.

Preparing your store for international sales

Ian Cassidy

Preparing your store for international sales, talking through everything you need to consider to sell products around the world, from a Magento point of view.

Lean Coffee

Fast paced open discussion for all things eCommerce. Using sticky notes, during the break people will post up questions or talk topics. We’ll then open the floor to discuss those topics for 3 minutes before moving onto the next sticky.

August 2015 – Lightning Talks

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

A big thank you to our sponsors, Connect Group and iWeb for supporting 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.

Feature Testing and Deployment using Virtualisation

Presented by Trevor Adams

Describing the inception and evolution of internal product development and deployment using virtualisation and open source software.

An introduction to Elasticsearch

Presented by Ed Rowley

Elasticsearch is a modern powerful full-text search engine, but it is also really easy to get running and use. I will show how to get up and running with Elasticsearch, introducing the query language and explaining some of the high level concepts.

Port 80 All The Things Or At Least Most

Presented by Mike Elsmore

Micro service architecture is the in thing, and for good reason. With the growth of API’s, distributed infrastructure and the amount of things that are becoming app centric it totally makes sense. I’ll give an over view as to why it’s grown, why it’s great and some handy ways of glueing micro services together.

Building Better Things Together – June 2015 Meetup

If you have yet to attend Staffs Web Meetup, I strongly encourage you to register over on Meetup.com and take a look at the format. However, what you will not get a feel for on the Meetup page is the atmosphere during the event. Everyone who attends is a builder; and I mean both literally and figuratively. I have yet to meet anyone that is not creating things or trying to enhance the experience of others.

It was a real privilege to be able to address Staffs Web Meetup in June; a perfect forum to introduce an idea and get feedback (and hopefully some more help). Presenting a call action can often be daunting, but I was bowled over at the positive reception and discussion that ensued after the presentation. I genuinely believe that we can build a great open source web curriculum and I am delighted that the idea was received so enthusiastically.

The blue sky ideas are only part of the charm. Within the space of an evening, we’d had technical tips regarding SQL transactions, a look to the future based on current design and a rather interesting take on the use of language in the workplace and social settings (focusing on the word ‘just’). Every talk was a treat!

To round things off, The Bean Encounter is such a lovely, quaint venue – it compliments the meet-up so well; it has such a warm charm and friendliness (and some of the loveliest coffee and brownies you might ever get to taste).

Thank you for letting me contribute to this excellent group and I look forward to doing so again in the future!