SPINJam: Software methodologies in South Africa

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Polymorph Systems

According to southafrica.info “The South African information and communication technologies (ICT) sector is well established and sophisticated.” “South African software developers are recognised for their innovation, production and cost efficiency – and are backed by sturdy local infrastructure, as well as government support.”

While southafrica.info paints a pretty picture of the South African Software landscape, industry experts have mixed opinions, especially concerning the methodologies used in Software development.

On the 19th of November we will have 4 panelists debating over types of Software methodologies and their relevance in the South African Software industry.

Venue

Wednesday, 19 November 2014, 18h15
Bandwidth Barn,
3rd Floor,
Block B,
Woodstock Exchange,
66-68 Albert Road,
Woodstock

Enter  from Williams St (around the back) which is closer to the lift/stairs. Their offices are in the corner of the building by Williams and Station St. There is parking on Station St and Williams St around the venue. Dial 300 on the intercom if the door isn’t open.

RSVP

Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP on the SPIN meetup page.

Continue reading SPINJam: Software methodologies in South Africa

CT-SPIN #105: Scaling the Organisation for Success

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VISA Cape Town

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Polymorph Systems

One of the greatest challenges facing the global IT organizations of today is how to effectively scale the organization for success. With today’s plethora of take-overs and merges, the effective transitioning and incorporation of start-up development resources and processes into existing global structures is imperative. Scalability, alignment and maturity need to be of key strategic importance. While these challenges are immense, we have successfully demonstrated that teams can be transformed by embracing change, understanding the team dynamics and providing structure to scale. By taking a unique approach to truly understanding our team dynamics and acting on the needs of teams and individuals, we were able to provide leadership, direction and the structure needed by the teams to be successful.

About the Speaker

Carol May is the Head of Product Development, Planning and Delivery for Visa Cape Town. Visa is a global digital payments network that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments.
Carol has established herself as a manager with an extensive track record of business and Information Technology (IT) consulting experience, primarily in the commercial sector.
Since starting her career in the UK as an Independent Consultant to the Financial Services sector, Carol has gained international experience fulfilling roles such as Strategic Program Manager, VP of Product Management as well as Executive Consultant. She has successfully pursued consulting roles in various US Fortune 500 companies; established and led a mobile product innovation group for a major US Bank group and has now pulled on her years of experience to lead the emerging markets mobile banking product development group within Visa.
With over 20 years’ experience in a variety of technology domains, she has honed her ability to rapidly grasp concepts, think creatively, innovate solutions and build and motivate teams. Her proven ability to establish thought leadership and centers of excellence within organizations only serves to further concrete her reputation as one of the most innovative and successful IT strategists in this space.
Her recent successes with Strategic Product Management within the burgeoning Mobile Payments space pays testament to her true agility. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Carol’s most recent claim to fame is the successful re-alignment and transitioning of a large software development team and the related planning, release and development apparatuses from a local startup company into a global corporation.

Venue

Wednesday, 15 October 2014, 18h15

Bandwidth Barn, 3rd Floor, Block B, Woodstock Exchange, 66-68 Albert Road, Woodstock

Enter  from Williams St (around the back) which is closer to the lift/stairs. Their offices are in the corner of the building by Williams and Station St. There is parking on Station St and Williams St around the venue. Dial 300 on the intercom if the door isn’t open.

RSVP

Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP via Meetup.

Agenda

18:15 Welcoming and Introduction Chris Oloff
18:25 Scaling the Organisation for Success Carol May
19:25 Closing and Thanks Chris Oloff
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #104: Banana for Scale

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Polymorph Systems

Heavily loaded transaction processing systems, struggling clients…  Albert and Chris have been faced with scaling challenges like these, and would like to share their experience. They will present some lessons learnt and they’ll explain why bananas were not suitable for scale.

About the Speakers

Albert is a software architect at Visa. He is the technical lead of the DevOps teamand is trying to improve the world two weeks at a time. Sometimes it works out.

Albert previously worked at Postilion (now ACI), Sanlam, Metafour in London and for Hochschule Konstanz in Germany. He holds a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Stellenbosch.

In his free time he gets pulled around by his two Weimaraners and spends money on his Land Rover (sometimes willingly.)

Chris has been working with very small and not-so-small-anymore companies since 1994 in the IT industry in Germany, The Netherlands and South Africa. He enjoys supporting enterprise processes by IT, designs and creates software in complex environments.

Chris strives to write great code and to implement efficient software development methodologies in existing or new teams. He likes the challenges of leadership and motivation to achieve great performance.

He holds an Honours Degree in Computer Science and Economics from the University of Mannheim, Germany.

Venue

Wednesday, 17 September 2014, 18h15

Bandwidth Barn, 3rd Floor, Block B, Woodstock Exchange, 66-68 Albert Road, Woodstock

Enter  from Williams St (around the back) which is closer to the lift/stairs. Their offices are in the corner of the building by Williams and Station St. There is parking on Station St and Williams St around the venue. Dial 300 on the intercom if the door isn’t open.

RSVP

Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP via Meetup.

Agenda

18:15 Welcoming and Introduction Dale Humby
18:25 Banana for Scale Albert de Jongh and Chris Oloff
19:25 Closing and Thanks Dale Humby
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #103: Driving Client Adoption

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Polymorph Systems

A large percentage of software projects fail. Most times not because the technology team could not deliver the application based on the Functionality Specification Document provided.They fail because the clients thought they knew what they wanted and what was developed was not what they needed. Hours and money have gone down the drain.Client fatigue starts to step in. My Discussion will focus on using some software design methodologies to avoid this pitfall.

About the Speaker

Kolawole Olajide is an education technologist based in South Africa. He is also the lead engineer at Funda, a company that develops learning management systems for higher institutions in South Africa. Funda has been recognized as the best innovation in education in the world meeting the United Nations Millenium Development Goals. He is very involved with software certification training with major organizations in South Africa most notably Business Connexion and he leads the development team on a major city of Cape Town project. Kola‘s passion for education technology arose from his need to see African institutions growing technologically, out of the four walls of a classroom. He was recently selected by the African Leadership Academy as one of the Top 12 entrepreneurs under the age of 25 in Africa.

Venue

Wednesday, 20 August 2014, 18h15
Bandwidth Barn,
3rd Floor,
Block B,
Woodstock Exchange,
66-68 Albert Road,
Woodstock

 

 

Enter  from Williams St (around the back) which is closer to the lift/stairs. Their offices are in the corner of the building by Williams and Station St. There is parking on Station St and Williams St around the venue. Dial 300 on the intercom if the door isn’t open.

RSVP

Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP via Meetup.

Agenda

18:15 Welcoming and Introduction
Herve Bagalwa
18:25 Office Optional
Kolowole Olajide
19:25 Closing and Thanks
Herve Bagalwa
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #102: Office Optional

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Polymorph Systems

REMOTE, the book by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of 37signals claims that it is possible for employers and employees to work together, remotely, from any desk, in any space, in any place, anytime, anywhere (http://37signals.com/remote/).
POLYMORPH agrees and Wim Morris will be sharing why.
Presentation slides are available here.

About the Speaker

Wim Morris: Interested in Tech. Really excited about Mobile. Trained as Industrial Engineer. Part of the Polymorph team. Proudly South African.

Venue

Wednesday, 16 July 2014, 18h15
Bandwidth Barn,
3rd Floor,
Block B,
Woodstock Exchange,
66-68 Albert Road,
Woodstock

 

 

Enter  from Williams St (around the back) which is closer to the lift/stairs. Their offices are in the corner of the building by Williams and Station St. There is parking on Station St and Williams St around the venue. Dial 300 on the intercom if the door isn’t open.

RSVP

Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP via Meetup.

Agenda

18:15 Welcoming and Introduction
Chris Oloff
18:25 Office Optional
Wim Morris
19:25 Closing and Thanks
Chris Oloff
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #101: Uncertainty, Software and Discovering Deliberately

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Polymorph Systems


When last did you hear this story:

Once upon a time there was a software development project in which everything that would happen was Known and Certain.
And so the project began. And it happened that the world stood still while the application was being built, so that it was delivered exactly as it had been envisaged, and was perfect.
And everyone rejoiced for they were able to work more efficiently than ever before (but exactly as had been known they would, with no other impact on the world around them).

It’s a myth that’s shaped our industry for years. Yet everything we make changes what we know while changing the world a little bit, in an environment that’s changing all the time.

As planners we often struggle with the volatility this causes in our predictions. But what if we embrace the discovery process, and find ways to actively engage with uncertainty instead?

This is a talk about deliberate discovery, complexity and creativity – and where agility fits in with all that.

About the speaker

Cara Turner is an agile coach and rigorous tinkerer with a passion for creating positive working experiences. Facilitation is her tool of choice to harness team knowledge and direct meaningful change. Her ultimate aim is for us all to find autonomy, mastery and purpose in our work.

Venue

Wednesday, 18 June 2014, 18h15
Bandwidth Barn,
3rd Floor,
Block B,
Woodstock Exchange,
66-68 Albert Road,
Woodstock

 

 

Enter  from Williams St (around the back) which is closer to the lift/stairs. Their offices are in the corner of the building by Williams and Station St. There is parking on Station St and Williams St around the venue. Dial 300 on the intercom if the door isn’t open.

RSVP

Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP via Meetup.

Agenda

18:15 Welcoming and Introduction
Jan Pool
18:25 Uncertainty, Software and Discovering Deliberately
Cara Turner
19:25 Closing and Thanks
Jan Pool
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #100: 99 Problems but DevOps ain’t one

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Polymorph Systems

The state of the art in infrastructure management has come a long way in the past two decades, yet in spite of the growth in fields like DevOps and Infrastructure Architecture there are still major hurdles to be overcome when provisioning and deploying systems and software.

In today’s fast-paced world of endless feature-demands and critical, remote, cloud-based systems it’s more important than ever to step back and take a careful look at where we are, and where we’re going to.

Sven’s slides are available at http://bit.ly/sven-spin-100.

About the speaker

Sven Agnew is a Ruby developer with a background in *nix system administration and open source integration.

A self-taught programmer, Sven came to software development via the age-old route of maintaining, patching and deploying other peoples code.

He drinks tea without milk or sugar, enjoys listening to ambient music when coding and prefers to be able to see trees whenever he’s thinking about something.

Sven currently resides in a leafy southern suburb of Cape Town.

Venue

Wednesday, 21 May 2014, 18h15
Bandwidth Barn,
3rd Floor,
Block B,
Woodstock Exchange,
66-68 Albert Road,
Woodstock

 

 

Enter  from Williams St (around the back) which is closer to the lift/stairs. Their offices are in the corner of the building by Williams and Station St. There is parking on Station St and Williams St around the venue. Dial 300 on the intercom if the door isn’t open.

RSVP

Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP via Meetup.

Agenda

18:15 Welcoming and Introduction
Steve Barnett
18:25 99 Problems but DevOps ain’t one
Sven Agnew
19:25 Closing and Thanks
Steve Barnett
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #99: Freelancing and working from home

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

If you are currently in an office job and wondering what it’s like on the other side of the fence, this talk is for you. Working from home and/or freelancing offers an unprecedented amount of freedom, but it comes with a variety of additional responsibilities and pitfalls. Nonetheless it can be a very fulfilling experience. This talk will discuss the good and the bad of being an independent developer. It will also provide some tips and tools for maximizing the fun and minimizing the pain. If you are currently working as a freelancer or consultant, come along to this talk and share your own insights with us.

About the Speaker

Rizmari is a freelance software developer working in Cape Town and anywhere else that has Internet access. She started off her career in games development at Tasty Poison Games, followed by 2 years at Praekelt Consulting doing web development. For the last few months she has been freelancing, making it her 3rd year of working at home in her PJs. She is passionate about open source tools, education, yoga and figuring out the balance between life and work. She is currently working on making pygame faster (http://morepypy.blogspot.com/2014/03/pygamecffi-pygame-on-pypy.html) and trying to make SA census data accessible (http://mma-dashboard.code4sa.org/profiles/municipality-CPT/).

Venue

Wednesday, 16 April 2014, 18h15
Bandwidth Barn,
3rd Floor,
Block B,
Woodstock Exchange,
66-68 Albert Road,
Woodstock

 

 

Enter  from Williams St (around the back) which is closer to the lift/stairs. Their offices are in the corner of the building by Williams and Station St. There is parking on Station St and Williams St around the venue. Dial 300 on the intercom if the door isn’t open.

RSVP

Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP via Meetup.

Agenda

18:15 Welcoming and Introduction
Herve C. Bagalwa
18:25 Case Study
Rizmari Versfeld
19:25 Closing and Thanks
Jan Pool
19:30 Networking & Discussion

 

CT-SPIN #98: Building a game with Unity and publishing to Steam

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Polymorph Systems

Building a game with Unity and publishing to Steam: going from manual uploads over ADSL to fully automated Jenkins deployments from Amazon EC2.

Developing a game is fun, but how do you manage a 26GB repository for a distributed team from an office with a normal ADSL line? How much fun is uploading the 3.5GB binaries on a Friday when the line keeps dropping?

In this talk, I will take you through the evolution of this process to the single-click deployment from the cloud that takes 10 minutes. And show you what I would change for the next round.

Cobus’s slides: Building a game with Unity and publishing to Steam [PDF, 35MB].

About the Speaker

Cobus has been addicted to computers since his first game: Sopwith on the Sperry XT. Since then he has been tinkering with them non-stop. Career-wise he has developed for Linux, Mac,Windows and mobile using Java, C#, Javascript and Xamarin. After hours he keeps busy developing games, mobile pet-projects and dabbling with NodeJS and Clojure.

Venue

Wednesday, 19 March 2014, 18h15
Bandwidth Barn,
3rd Floor,
Block B,
Woodstock Exchange,
66-68 Albert Road,
Woodstock

 

 

Enter  from Williams St (around the back) which is closer to the lift/stairs. Their offices are in the corner of the building by Williams and Station St. There is parking on Station St and Williams St around the venue. Dial 300 on the intercom if the door isn’t open.

RSVP

Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP via Meetup.

Agenda

18:15 Welcoming and Introduction
Sheetal Gordhan
18:25 Case Study
Cobus Bernard
19:25 Closing and Thanks
Sheetal Gordhan
19:30 Networking & Discussion