code development programming

DDD Scotland 2016

ddd Scotland Logo

The DDD Scotland 2016 conference CFP is open, so if you’ve ever wanted to present at a conference, now’s your chance. This is the first conference I presented at, and it’s a friendly, community conference. I notice there’s a Code of Conduct this year, which is a great sign, as other conferences have unfortunately found that some people need to be told not to be dicks. I’ve never seen any problems at DDD, but that’s another thing to help persuade you if you’re nervous about attending.

All talks are voted on so the content will be things people definitely want to see, and most topics and languages have been covered one way or another, so long as you can convince developers it’s interesting.

I’ve got a couple of talks I’m thinking about submitting, pulling threads I’ve been blogging about last year, but if there’s anything you want to hear more about from my posts, let me know and I’ll see what I can do about getting a talk written. I’m also thinking about topics for open conversation sessions.

Now, go submit, and I’ll see you there.

development programming

2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

My most popular post was “Agile Is Dead“, 6 months after it was posted, when I got a big boost from Scandinavia. I don’t know if it was a conference, but I appreciate all the support. I’ve got a few ideas for tech and political blogs in 2012. The tech stuff will stay here, but you’ll be able to follow both on my twitter account ( @craignicol ).

All the best for 2012.

code development programming

DDD Scotland 2011 Open Discussion Sessions

There were 2 great discussions on the alternative track at DDD Scotland this morning, so many thanks to everyone who came.

Below, I’ve posted the two mindmaps we generated. They are in .mm format. I used FreeMind (open source) to generate them.

Professional Development

An open discussion about how developers can be professional inside the constraints of management or environment. Examples of questions for this discussion could be

  • What obstacles do developers feel they face in regards to adoption of technologies and techniques?
  • How have these been overcome?
  • How can productivity and morale be improved or maintained?

Professional Development Mind Map
Professional Development Mind Map (.mm format)”
View “Professional Development” Mind Map online with Mind42

Tidied version

Professional Development - Tidy Mind Map
Professional Development – Tidy Mind Map (.mm format)

Agile Is Dead

Based on a discussion at QCon around the 10th anniversary of Agile and whether or not “Agile” actually means anything anymore. This discussion opens the floor to delegates to chat about the current state of Agile in software development.

Agile is Dead Mind Map

Agile Is Dead Mind Map (.mm format)

View “Agile Is Dead” Mind Map online with

Tidied version

Agile is Dead - Tidy Mind Map

Agile Is Dead – Tidy Mind Map (.mm format)

[EDIT : 10/05/2011]

I’ve created tidier versions of the above mindmaps to try and capture the groupings discussed on the day, as well as the abstract for each session. I’ve also highlighted the starting point of each discussion to make it easier to see what was added over the course of the session. I will leave the raw mind maps too.

[EDIT : 11/05/2011]

I’ve found an online Mind Map viewer to help you explore. Added links to the unedited mind maps above and here:
View “Professional Development” Mind Map online with Mind42
View “Agile Is Dead” Mind Map online with

code development programming

DDD Scotland 2011 Voting and Teasers

DDD Scotland voting With voting now open for Developer Developer Developer Scotland 2011, I thought it was time to give everyone a teaser of the 3 talks I submitted to inspire you to vote for me 😉 – but be sure to vote for some of the other sessions too, there’s a great line-up and some tough competition for speakers places.

HTML5 for mobile

HTML5 Canvas : Card back
A simple HTML5 game in 1 hour. Covering real-world usage of canvas, CSS3, ECMAScript 5, and a few other goodies. I’m not going to say too much, except that the image here is rendered via canvas (which neatly, in Firefox, offers a “Save As…” png option in the context menu). This canvas works in Firefox, Chrome, Android and iPhone, and possibly others.

The talk will be given using Firefox, but participants will be able to follow along on their Androids and iPhones (well, it’s one way to get people off Twitter 😉 – @craignicol btw, if you hadn’t guessed)

If angle brackets or JavaScript scare you, this is not the talk you are looking for.

Genetic Algorithms

Lights Out
Want computers to solve problems themselves? Maybe find a solution to light out like the game on the left?

I’ll run through the theory and a bit of practice, using the game above as an example of how to encode a problem to be solved by a Genetic Algorithm.

There may be some C++ (yeah, I am old skool 😉 )



IronPython has been around for a little while as an official .Net language. Whilst many .Net developers are fleeing to Ruby on Rails, wouldn’t it be nice to program in a dynamic language using the libraries you already know? Wouldn’t you like to write the same program with much less code. And wouldn’t you like to see how a language where everything is dynamic really works?

code programming

HTML5 : The language of the cloud

I had a great time at DDD Scotland, so many thanks again to the organisers and everyone who came. As promised, here are the slides for my talk : HTML5 : The language of the cloud? in HTML5 format. The talk was given in Firefox 3.6 with the MiniMap (geoDiscovery) and Tails Export (microformat) extensions. If you have to make any tweaks to get it working in your favourite browser, let me know and I’ll update the file.

For a bit of fun, I’ve put together a short survey on HTML5 to gauge responses to some of the discussions I’ve had since the talk. I will publish the results in an upcoming post.

Finally, for ease of access, here’s a list of the important links from the talk for those of you who missed them:

And here’s Google’s demo using the dev version of Chrome :

code programming test

DDD Scotland roundup : TDD talk available for download

Thanks to everyone who attended my TDD talk at the weekend. I’ve already got some good feedback, and I accept that maybe I didn’t have a clear enough title or take home message. It was about more than just not having enough time, but the take home message of TDD should be that the overall cost of development will depend much less on debugger and tool performance and much more on the quality of your tests, which is something you have far more control over.

The final cut of my presentation and code is available via the ScotAlt.Net code repository, and it will be available from the ddds site. It is also current available at:

I’m still following the #dddscot and #tdd streams on twitter if anyone wants to send feedback via twitter, or post a comment here.

If anyone can make it to Glasgow city centre this week to talk development, you’ve very welcome to join us at the ScotAlt.Net meeting in Waxy O’Conner’s in Glasgow this Tuesday 7th May at 7:30.

For anyone at my or horn grok talk, or who was interested in the links at the end of my talk, here they are again in clickable form :

Amazon referal links for the books referenced in the talk, other book sellers are available:

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code google programming search test

Developer Day Scotland 2 is tomorrow

OK. Slides are written, code is prepared. Laptop is charged up. Hopefully I’m ready for tomorrow. The final cut of the presentation is quite different from the one linked in my last post. I hope to be able to get it up for sharing on Google Docs, but it is available via the ScotAlt.Net code repository, and it will be available from the ddds site.

I’ll be following the #dddscot and #tdd streams on twitter if anyone wants to send feedback on the day (I may be nervous now, but I’m always willing to learn). I may not be able to respond to the feedback straight away, but It’s always gratefully received.

Hope to see lots of folk there, and be sure to bring your questions. If I can’t answer them, I’m sure someone in the audience can, or bring them along to the ScotAlt.Net meeting in Waxy O’Conner’s in Glasgow this Tuesday 7th May at 7:30.

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