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

Wine Sponsor

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

Wine Sponsor

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

 

CT-SPIN #96: Failing Fast! Case Study on achieving the elusive Time, Cost & Quality

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

One of the largest Financial Services companies in the world with a workforce of 54000 staff and 14 million clients worldwide, decided to embark on an ambitious journey of radical change. This study looks at its insurance quotation tool used by 8000 users and responsible for all new insurance policies issued. Being in operation for approximately 15 years and managed by a distrusting business unit, out dated technology stack and tiring IT team, this mission critical tool was reaching a point where it was almost unmaintainable and becoming a liability. Radical changes were needed, including technology, people, process and morale. The vehicle identified to be a driver of this holistic change was Agile. Saratoga was selected as a partner to help rescue this dire situation by bringing a healthy dose of insight, innovation and experience to introduce agile in an iterative fashion from business to IT. The intervention achieved a 55% end-to-end quality improvement including a more stable technology stack. There was a 98% increase in productivity which led to a 20% decrease in costs. The key drivers for these changes were the methods used to bring business into the agile vehicle and getting the Business Analysts eliciting the right requirements as quickly as possible and validating the requirements repeatedly (failing fast). This allowed the development and testing teams to ship working software as quickly as possible with minimal to no rework. This presentation will walk the audience through the 7 key drivers employed to achieve these phenomenal results.

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CT-SPIN #95: SPINJam – Software Product Development at Corporations and Startups

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Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

This month we host the third annual SPINJam. We deviate from the regular format with a facilitated panel discussion. This year’s theme explores the similarities and differences in software product development at corporations and startups.

The topics may include the environment, culture, individual and organisational risk appetite, approaches to problem solving, time to market, the technologies employed and the development processes that are followed.

Like any topic worth discussing, there are many individual opinions and preferences. We aim to stimulate healthy discussions around the topics to foster better understanding of the two organisational extremes.

We’ll start with a few minutes from each of the panellists to introduce themselves and their organisations, along with some opening remarks about the topic. This will lead into an open floor discussion lead by the facilitator.

Panellists Profiles

Olaf Aab

Olaf is a systems analyst at Fundamo where his key focus is mobile financial services and their pragmatic and sustainable implementation in various geographic and operating environments.

He has a decade of practical experience in IT, with his journey taking him through media houses, banks, telecoms and financial services, with a key focus on ICT and its use as business enabler. He is passionate about systems, innovation and their pragmatic use in a business and social environment. You will also frequently hear him use the words, “sustainability”, “scalability”, “business continuity”, “low cost of ownership” and “usability”, while asking “what are you trying to achieve?”.

Olaf specializes in enterprise systems integration and design, particularly in mobile financial services and associated cross-functional domains. His mantra is that you should never stop learning and developing.

Olaf holds a B.Comm in Informations Systems from the University of Cape Town.

Mike Jones

Mike Jones works at Western Cape Labs, which he helped form in 2012 where they run eCommerces sites (onelessthing.co.za and ontheway.co.za) and build smart apps for dumb phones on the Praekelt Vumi platform. He calls himself a “jack of all trades, master of some”, which really just means he has to make his own coffee. Born and raised in London, but now resident in Cape Town with his growing family, he appreciates all that the city has to offer as an awesome place to build a socially valuable business.

Nobukhosi Dlamini

Nobukhosi currently works for Fundamo as a scrum master. Her focus is on continuous process improvement and coaching on agile practices. Previously she has worked as a project manager in Metropolitan Health and at the Liberty Life startup Frank.net. She’s also worked as a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers focusing on telecoms, financial services, FMCG and the public sector. Her passion is in working within highly productive teams and introducing processes to make people happy and more efficient at what they do.

Nobukhosi has a BSc Computer Science from UCT and is completing a Masters IT with UP.

Angus Miller

I am the founder and CEO of Vulcan Labs, a software startup building web and mobile applications. I have over a decades experience in IT spread across software development and business intelligence. I really enjoy the performance tuning and data visualization side of software and spend most of my time building analytics applications using open source technology. I have no formal tertiary education and jumped straight into a career in software development after school. I enjoy a hands-on and pragmatic approach to life’s challenges and try and not take myself too seriously.

Jaco van der Merwe

Jaco van der Merwe has a Master’s Degree in Electronics Engineering and has been active in the software industry for over 20 years. During this time he has worked as a software developer and technical manager at several startup software companies, including DataVoice, CSense Systems, SunSpace, EMSS and Space Advisory Company. The problem domains that he worked on includes telecommunications, empirical data modeling and prediction, aero-space, satellite systems and computational electromagnetics. Some of these startups grew from 20 people to 200 employees in less than three years, some grew at a slower rate into successful medium-sized companies and some stagnated and closed. During this time Jaco also provided consultation services to numerous software companies in the Western Cape software industry, ranging from startups to more established medium-sized enterprises. He is currently working as a development manager for Amazon Web Services in Cape Town that is responsible for the core infrastructure of EC2.

Venue

Wednesday, 20 November 2013, 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 at ctspin95.eventbrite.com.

Agenda

18:15 Welcoming and Introduction
Jan Pool
18:20 Introduction and Opening Remarks
Facilitator and Panellists
18:40: Moderated Panel Discussion
Facilitator and Panellists
19:25 Closing and Thanks
Jan Pool
19:30 Networking & Discussion

CT-SPIN #94 – Scrum and the F Word

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hetzner logo - 300 dpi

Wine Sponsor

Polymorph Systems

In this month’s talk our very own Sheetal Gordhan will talk about Scrum and the F word.

This session was not inspired by Gordon Ramsay. I was recently contemplating my Scrum Journey when I was smacked on the head with the realisation that my Scrum Journey has been sprinkled with the F word. Could the same be said of other people’s scrum journey?

I intend to discuss people’s relationship with the F word. I’ll also explain why I think a Scrum Master should encourage the F word to be used by the team, as well as find creative ways to persuade the business to embrace the F word. I will be sharing some of my insights gained through some serious stressing, grasping at straws, frantic researching as well as some unexpected light bulb moments. I’ll also tell you a little story about how using the F word persuaded a group of grown men to gather and dance!

Come and join me for a lighthearted session full of conversation, questions, and a sharing of some of my ideas and my experiences.

This session may contain scenes of violence and strong language.

Venue

Wednesday, 16 October 2013, 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 at ctspin94.eventbrite.com.

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