October 2017 – 3rd birthday and lightning talks

Our thanks to everyone who has attended and spoken over the past year. With your support we’ve reached the grand old age of three!

October’s meetup went down well, with excellent talks from Mark and Marc, followed by Trevor’s famous open discussion session. We celebrated with tasty cupcakes, thanks to Ann and the team at The Bakehouse!

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

Talks

Do you want to Inspire and Engage Young People in the World of STEM?

Mark Robinson

Please come along and hear how together we can tackle the STEM Skills Shortage and provide the link between employers and the workforce of tomorrow. Learn how you will be able to join a community of over 35,000 volunteers and become a role model in schools and colleges and also establish links with educational establishments that may enhance recruitment within your own employment area.

Learn more about the STEM Ambassador programme.

Building a successful freelance business without going crazy

Marc Jenkins

Freelancing is hugely rewarding, lucrative, and provides lot’s of freedom but can also be stressful, put a strain on your relationships, and impact your personal health. Marc shares his experience of building a successful freelance business without it running him.

Marc has published a write-up and posted his slides over on his website.

September 2017 – DWP @ GOV.UK – Imposter Syndrome

Thank you to everyone who made September’s meetup. We were grateful to be joined by our guest speaker who gave an open and honest talk on imposter syndrome.

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

Talk

Imposter Syndrome

Gavin Elliott

When imposter syndrome got to be too much for Gavin Elliott, he had to confront his own deep, sophisticated mental health challenges. In a personal talk, Gavin shares how he learned to handle anxiety and imposter syndrome in a society that’s uncomfortable discussing it. As he says: “Being honest about how we feel doesn’t make us weak — we can overcome our imposter.”

This talk will discuss mental health support, recognising imposter syndrome, the effect it has on our personal and professional lives, how to deal with it and ultimately overcome your imposter.

Gavin has published a write-up over on his website if you missed out on September’s meetup.

July 2017 – The value of side projects

In July we focused on the value side projects. Adam presented a talk where he demonstrated building custom applications on the Amazon Alexa smart home platform. Talking us through the process and some of the things learnt along the way.

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

Talk

The value of side projects

Adam Davis

Side projects are important, you can exercise your own creativity and build all sorts of random things. They allow you to pick up new skills and expand your knowledge along the way. They can just be for fun, or they may even turn into commercial success stories, or sometimes fail… but ultimately they allow us to learn something new, and more importantly, you’re the boss! In this presentation I will go through the value of side projects in more detail, running through some success stories and also showing you a side project I’ve worked on using an Amazon Echo Dot.

June 2017 – Welcoming our new venue

We saw a great turnout for June’s meetup. Thanks to everyone who came along to see our new venue and learn about mobile first SEO.

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

Talk

An Arbitrary Number Of Things You Should Know About Mobile First SEO

Joe Turner

Slides

When Google’s Gary Illyes revealed plans to create a ‘mobile-first’ index in November 2016, it sent the SEO world into a tizz. But really there wasn’t any need. Fast forward seven months and we’re still waiting for Google to confirm when it will be fully rolled out.

So, while we wait, let’s address some of the fundamentals:

  • What the heck does ‘mobile-first’ even mean?
  • What can we do to prepare?
  • And how can we use to our advantage?

May 2017 – WordPress, Accessibility & Security

In May we were lucky to be joined by a number of speakers prominent in the WordPress community. We also said goodbye to the venue which has hosted us for the past two and a half years. The Bean enCounter has been a truly wonderful home for Staffs Web Meetup and we wish Jonathan, it’s proprietor; all the best in his new venture.

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

Designing for accessibility

Graham Armfield

The accessibility of a website is significantly affected by the underlying HTML, CSS and javascript that developers use to create it. But it is also possible to impact upon the accessibility of a site at the design stage – both the visual design, and the interactive design or UX. And it’s not just about colour schemes either.

In this presentation I will outline a few key points to keep in mind when you are designing your next beautiful website or theme. I will illustrate the points with some good (and bad) examples.

Good design and web accessibility can go hand in hand – come and find out how.

Key message: It’s not just developers that need to think about accessibility, it’s designers too.

Practical WordPress Security

Tim Nash

So we have all been to the scary WordPress security talk or indeed any security talk where Tim or someone else frightens you to death, but its not too dire, in those talks there is a theme that everything is beyond despair and very little helps. So this talk, which is low on scary tales and high on simple practical tips to improve your sites security. On their own they might not be the silver bullet but they all add up. Tim will guide you through things anyone of any ability level can implement to improve their sites security. While focusing on WordPress these tips can on the whole be used anywhere.