All posts by Steve Barnett

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 #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 #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 #100: 99 Problems but DevOps ain’t one

Wine Sponsor

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 #94 – Scrum and the F Word

Event Sponsor

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.

Continue reading CT-SPIN #94 – Scrum and the F Word

CT-SPIN #84: SPINJam – Native vs Cross-platform for Mobile Development

Mobile continues to be a huge area of opportunity and challenges, especially in South Africa. And it’s not just about phones anymore: featurephones and smartphones are being joined by tablets, phablets, TVs and games consoles, bringing us an ever-increasing range of screen sizes and capabilities.

Like any question worth discussing, the answer to “Native or Cross-platform for Mobile Development?” is “It depends.” This year’s SPINJam aims to have a frank and open discussion around the options and approaches available, and the pros and cons of each.

The format of the SPINJam will be similar to last year’s inaugural event: we will have a panel of 4 people, with a facilitator to lead the discussion. We’ll begin with a few minutes from each of the panellists to put forward their take on the topic. This will lead into an open floor discussion lead by the facilitator.

Topics may include:

Continue reading CT-SPIN #84: SPINJam – Native vs Cross-platform for Mobile Development