Closing down of SPIN

Dear Software Professional,

It is with great regret that today the SPIN committee is announcing that SPIN is closing.

When the Software Process Improvement Network events started in Cape Town in 2005, many of the problems it tackled, and discussions that it encouraged, were to solve the “big problems” of software development. With the rise of agile methodologies like scrum, kanban, and extreme programming, software process improvement is better understood than any time in its past.

Cape Town’s software development community has also experienced incredible growth over the last decade, now supporting technical talks for all major (and some niche) software languages and development practices.

All these events focus on “software improvement” in some way. The committee feels that there is no longer a need for talks focusing specifically on software process improvement.

The committee would like to thank all of our sponsors over the years, most notably the Bandwidth Barn for the use of their space, and Polymorph, for the wine each month. And of course you: our attendees and speakers. Without you we wouldn’t have had a community at all.

For those looking for events we highly recommend meetup.com which has many new and repeating events each month, giving what once only SPIN gave us.

Thanks, again, for all your support.

Regards, The SPIN committee.

CT-SPIN #115: Service Discovery: What’s Out There and What Works

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

About the talk

You’ve decomposed a monolithic application into a set of microservices.  Great, but now these services need to find each other and figure out whether or not they can take requests.  Fortunately there’s been great growth in tools for service discovery.  This talk will take a tour of some of the most popular choices for service discovery – including Zookeeper, etcd, Eureka and Consul – and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.

About the speaker

Hans Hesse has taken a winding path from coding through cassava processing, irrigation systems, helicopter rotors, and back into the world of technology. While living in Zambia he joined Zoona and oversaw the growth of Zoona’s money transfer service before moving to Cape Town to lead the engineering department.

Venue


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 Service Discovery: What’s Out There and What Works – Hans Hesse
19:25 Closing and Thanks – Chris Oloff
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #114: The not so very Short Migration to Rails 3.0

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

About the Talk

 

The Journey of updating a huge legacy Rails 2.3 website to Rails 3 with initial estimates of a few weeks, ending in a 1.5 year project. With learnings of upgrading huge code bases and continuing to add functionality.

About the Speaker

Grant Petersen-Speelman is a software Developer at Unboxed Consulting for the last 3 years now, during which he has worked on many Ruby on Rails projects. After completing his degree in Computer Science over 10 years ago has worked on many web projects and used many different technologies like PHP, C, Java, HTML, CSS, MYSQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, Elasticsearch and more. During his free time he currently works on his pet Ruby projects trying out new gems and technologies.

Venue


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 The not so very Short Migration to Rails 3.0 – Grant Petersen-Speelman
19:25 Closing and Thanks – Dale Humby
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #113: Reactive Systems, Microservices and The 12-factor App

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

About the Talk

According to the Reactive Manifesto, “Reactive Systems” are auto-scalable and rely on asynchronous message-passing.

A “Microservice Architecture” consists of a set of narrowly focussed, independently deployable, software services.

Finally, “The 12-Factor App” is a methodology for building software-as-a-service and web apps.

We discuss the overlap of these recommendations, and how they relate to cloud computing,  Docker, NoSQL and Node.js.

Slide Deck

About the Speaker

Dr Evan Summers is a Principal Consultant at Saratoga. He is a passionate technologist who has experience in PCI security, Linux virtualisation, PostgreSQL, Java development, NodeJS and NoSQL.

Currently he works with the IOL digital media team at World Wide Creative. Last year they built the “new” IOLmobile site using AngularJS, Java and Node.js. They are currently building a new responsive IOL site using ReactJS, Node and Redis.

On weekends he tinkers on his NodeJS “Redex” messaging project on Github, using the proposed future ES2016 standard for JavaScript.

Venue


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 Reactive Systems, Microservices and The 12-factor App – Evan Summers
19:25 Closing and Thanks – Jan Pool
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #112: Cassandra@Mxit

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

About the Talk

NoSQL databases have become popular for big data and scalable web applications. They place an emphasis on horizontal scalability, manageable uptime, and lightweight design over relational data layout and full querying capabilities. Cassandra is one of the more popular implementations in this space and is considered the market leader in the column-based architectures.

In this talk I explain the main design principles behind Cassandra and what giving up relational tables, transactions, etc. means for database administrators and application developers. I then show how Mxit has successfully used Cassandra as a core component for their newsfeed implementation.

About the Speaker

Sylvia Dieckmann is a software engineer with a diploma from the Technical University Braunschweig, Germany, and an MSc from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has lived on three continents and has worked for some of the big names in IT, including Google, Sun, and most recently, Mxit. At Mxit she served first as senior software engineer on the backend team and later as development manager on the client team. She is most interested in scalable systems and high performance server applications but has recently found a new hobby in mobile app development.

Venue


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 Cassandra@Mxit – Sylvia Dieckmann
19:25 Closing and Thanks – Chris Oloff
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #111: “How much should you pay your domestic worker?” and other burning questions that people care about.

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

About the talk

Code for South Africa recently published a calculator on News24 that helps employers decide what to pay their domestic workers. The response was overwhelming. While the topic of domestic workers is an important one, this tool is the latest in a series of experiments that explore a new form of delivering information to audiences. In an age of information overload, how can we deliver important content, and more importantly, how can we help users take action and make more informed decisions. The thinking behind this tool is universal and can be applied to your business to better communicate with your customers and other stakeholders.

About the speaker

Adi Eyal (@soapsudtycoon) is the founder of Code for South Africa, a non-profit organisation that uses data and technology to promote informed decision-making to drive social change. He is a former software developer who spent a few years working in the data dark-side before he decided that data can be used for good.

Venue


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 “How much should you pay your domestic worker?” and other burning questions that people care about. – Adi Eyal
19:25 Closing and Thanks – Steve Barnett
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #110: Why should parents learn how to code

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

About the talk

As parents we all read to our children from a young age and encourage them to write. We do not expect them to become journalists or write books, but we know that these skills are a pathway to their productivity and prosperity. For me it’s the same with coding. I will be using my journey on how I learned to code and the benefits to my children and society.

About the speaker

Baratang Miya

Baratang Miya is a Businesswoman, and a Mother championing and dedicated to using technology to advances youth, mainly girls, to lead healthy and productive lives. She is the manager of TheBarn Khayelitsha.  She also serves on the board of Silicon Cape. She spends her Saturdays teaching girls how to Create Apps and build Websites at GirlHYPE, the NGO she formed in 2004 to encourage girls to enter STEM careers.

Venue


Wednesday, 18 February 2015, 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 Why should parents learn how to code –  Baratang Miya
19:25 Closing and Thanks – Herve Bagalwa
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #109: An AppDev approach to scale

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

About the talk

Alex and Hiren share their experiences and ideas of building and scaling the award-winning MyCiTi app, which helps users in Cape Town use public transit. Alex and Hiren will walk you through the challenges they faced, such as hacking NFC, overcoming twitter API limits and preparing the solution for scale.

About the speakers

Hiren Patel

Hiren is a software developer writing web apps and web clients powered by the Google Cloud Platform. Formerly a systems administrator in the linux/unix area for ten years, he transitioned to a developer role, until moving onto using Google App Engine as his platform of choice.

Hiren enjoys working with both web and android. He spends the majority of his time using python on Google App Engine, but also closely follows innovations in the rapidly changing cloud space, including Google Compute Engine and Google Container Engine.

Hiren has run the Google Developer Group of Cape Town for several years, inspiring the local community to use technology, and trying to help local non-profit organisations along the way.

Hiren lives in Cape Town, South Africa, where he enjoys the beautiful coast and the mountains, and hikes around the area regularly.

Alex Koller

Alex is an Android developer devoted to understanding the bigger picture behind the software he builds. He has led the development of some of South Africa’s most successful apps (22seven, MyCiTi Cape Town and BitX Bitcoin Wallet). When he’s not coding or conceptualising, there is a good chance he will be talking to others about Android development.

Before focusing on Android development, Alex co-founded and was involved in various startups after studying Computer Science at Rhodes University. He now lives in Cape Town and can usually be found climbing a mountain.

Slides from their talk.

Venue


Wednesday, 18 February 2015, 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 An AppDev approach to scale –  Hiren Patel and Alex Koller
19:25 Closing and Thanks – Steve Barnett
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #108: Building an eCommerce site without any coding experience

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

This is the story about my journey building an online store that allows local designers to showcase their handmade products, and how I ended up with Magento as a shopping cart system.

I will share my experience working with the Magento core, what customisations I had to make and still need to implement to include best practice and webstore hygiene.

I touch on the challenges of finding a CTO, and freelance PHP Magento shopping cart programmer and my experiences, good and bad, working with an outsourced agency in Vietnam.

About the speaker

Deidre is an eCommerce Entrepreneur, building local small businesses through market access. Her number one goal is to ensure that her business, MzansiStore.com , grows to become a successful and profitable online marketplace for local, handmade products. She serves on Silicon Cape.

Venue

Wednesday, 18 February 2015, 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 Thinking in Functions – Deidre Luzmore
19:25 Closing and Thanks – Dale Humby
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #107: Thinking in Functions

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

We’ve been using object oriented programming (OOP) to build fairly sophisticated systems for many years already.  Now there is buzz about an old branch of computer science and maths – functional programming.  

Why should we bother with FP?  That question led this month’s speaker, Aslam Khan, to explore designing with functions instead of objects.  In this talk, he unpacks the thinking toolbox for FP, and what it offers for software design.  The objective is to help you form your own opinion and make informed decisions on whether FP or OOP or both are relevant for your work.

About the speaker

Aslam Khan has been building software for long enough to make peace with the fact that software design is ridiculously difficult.  At the moment a fair bit of his time goes into writing the book Grokking Functional Programming published by Manning.  And when he doesn’t have enough to do, he blogs at http://f3yourmind.net.

Venue

Wednesday, 21 January 2015, 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 Thinking in Functions – Aslam Khan
19:25 Closing and Thanks – Jan Pool
19:30 Networking & Discussion