An offer from Agile Scotland

Here is an offer you can’t refuse if you want help doing agile software development projects properly:

Hi everyone,

Just over two years ago I woke up one Monday morning, made my weetabix, took a bite, swallowed and doubled over in agony. By the end of the day I was in
the high dependency ward at The Royal Infirmary dosed out on morphine. I had chronic pancreititis, an illness which has a surprisingly high fatality rate. I was lucky, I survived, but I’m told it was pretty scary.

So what’s this got to do with Agile? Well it turns out that If I hadn’t missed my last two diabetic clinics (due to work travel and complacency) then my GP would have immediately noticed my hugely elevated triglyceride levels; he would have changed my medication and scared me into going to the gym; I would’ve avoided a whole lot of physical pain; and I wouldn’t have scared the **** out of my family and friends.

The treatment, it turns out, is incredibly simple: each day I take 3 capsules of medical strength Omega Three fish oil. So here’s the Agile connection:

Over the last few months I’ve been chatting with a bunch of very seasoned AgileScotlanders and we’ve come to the conclusion that with the addition of just a little bit of (free) expert advice many of the Agile implementations here in Scotland would be HUGELY healthier and happier.

We’re sick of hearing "Agile bad news stories" that could have been easily avoided so …

… each month, from now on, we’re going to run a free day-time "Agile Clinic" in a local coffee shop. We will alternate between Glasgow and Edinburgh and (if there’s demand for it) Dundee and Aberdeen. We’ll be there for 2 hours or so.

If you have an Agile problem you’d like help with then send me an email - [email protected] - quickly describing the problem and I’ll book you in for a 30 - 60 minute "consult" with someone who can *probably* help you out. They’ll "take a blood test" and because they’re experts they’ll usually prescribe some off-the-shelf "medication".

A few things:

  • we promise to keep the conversations absolutely confidential;
  • no one will never ask for money at these sessions;
  • all we ask for, in return, is that - provided you find the clinic useful - then please will you recommend us to your friends, colleagues, bosses and  competitors;
  • we won’t ever make a sales pitch to you but you are welcome to hire us or recommend that others do;

Over the next couple of days I’ll send out "bios" of our current stable of "Agile GPs". You probably know of most of them: Rob Lally, Alan Francis, Paul Wilson, Brian Swan and myself. We all specialise in different areas with a bit of overlap. We all know what we’re doing. The first clinic will be NEXT WEEK in either Glasgow or Edinburgh. You get to decide. If you need a little confidential Agile help, or you have a friend who does, then email me now - [email protected] and I’ll get the ball rolling.


For more information about Agile Scotland, visit their website.

ADDENDUM: The first appointments will be in Glasgow.

Developer Day Scotland 2009

There is less than 2 weeks until Developer Day Scotland 2009. There are still a few places left so if you haven’t got one, now is your chance. If you’re still not sure then read on.

Developer Developer Developer events are founded on a number of principles which I think makes it unique and well worth a single day of your time once a year.

DDD events are free. It doesn’t cost you anything to attend. Think of any large conference that you might like to go along to. They costs hundreds of pounds, if not more. Sure, we might not have all the bells and whistles of a big fancy conference, but at the end of the day what do you want out of an event like that? Do you want the glitz and schmaltz or do you want to learn something new?

Speakers from the community. We invite people that have something to say, a story to tell, or an experience to learn from. This year we had 84 session submissions from all sorts of folks and on all sorts of subjects. The majority of these people are real day-to-day software developers or DBAs that actually work for a living.

DDD events are democratic. All the sessions are voted in by the community, so we only put on what people have asked to see. This year the 84 sessions were whittled down to 20. We have 5 database sessions all lined up so if you are a DBA or database developer you won’t miss anything. We also have a route through the agenda for Web Developers. We also have sessions on languages (dynamic and functional languages as well as what’s coming soon in C#), processes and tools (such as scrum, virtualisation, TDD and refactoring) and architecture & patterns (such as MVC, MVVM and AOP)

No Marketing BS. The core philosophy for the sessions are that they contain useful information. Stuff that you can either take back and start using the next day or (if not yet available) to start planning how to move to that technology.

To paraphrase the Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, Developer Day Scotland is of the developer community, by the developer community and for the developer community.

User Experience Book Club

The next meeting of the Glasgow User Experience Book Club will be on Wednesday 6th May.

Next Meeting

If you haven’t read the book don’t sweat it, you can still come along and give your opinions about what we should be reading next.

If you are interested in attending then more details are available here:

Girl Geek Scotland

Announcing Girl Geek Scotland, a new community for women interested in technology, creativity and computing.

It all began in London with Girl Geek Dinners a few years ago, and we now have a network throughout the UK and Europe. 

We are hoping that the events will grow internationally and that people around the world will have fun creating events like these! The events are aimed at providing a welcoming atmosphere and a platform for learning in an informal environment. They are always held in pubs and bars, and there is usually a speaker or three who talk for a short while on a chosen subject for the evening. We have had a number of sponsors for the events and we always welcome new sponsors.

Their girl geek dinner launch event is on 14th May in Edinburgh.

Girl Geeks Dinners has arrived in Edinburgh! Come to our launch night, where we hope to gather the region’s brightest female computer scientists, technologists, entrepreneurs and techies for good food and good company. The evening will be chilled, friendly and informal. We hope to attract students, as well as professionals across the Lothians.

There will be 2 speakers on the night - Danielle Wilde (bio below) and another TBC. But there will be plenty of time available to mingle and chat throughout the evening. We hope you can join us in the first ever Edinburgh GGD!

ALT.NET Meeting

This has been reposted from a message on the Scottish Developers Google group.

I’m happy to announce the next Scottish ALT.NET Meeting:
WHEN: 19:30 - 7th May 2009
WHERE: Waxy O’Conner’s, 44 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1DH
AGENDA: Still up for grabs, ping me your suggestions :)


Job: XCalibre Communications is looking for a C/Java developer

XCalibre Communications Ltd has been delivering innovative hosting solutions to thousands of customers across the UK and Europe since 1997. Based in Scotland we have a network of UK data centres in central locations and offer a unique range of secure, reliable and cost-effective hosting services. We are also the European market leaders with our Cloud Computing solution “Flexiscale” which is live in its second iteration.

This is an exciting opportunity for a high calibre C, Java Developer to join the core development team within a well established and rapidly expanding Scottish organisation. The team is responsible for delivering projects across various sectors of the business, all based from their head office in the Scottish Central Belt.

The core focus of the role will include knowledge of the following –

  • C – Ability to fluently understand and program in C. A familiarisation with Pthreads and sockets is highly desirable.
  • Core Java – a minimum of 3 years developmental experience in Java with a necessity of being knowledgeable with Multi threading and sockets.
  • Database – In-depth knowledge on SQL and database design with hands on experience in Postgres and MySQL.
  • Linux - As all code written will be utilised on Linux based systems a sound understanding of Linux down to command line.
  • Others – Web services and XML is a must Experience in developing scalable distributed software with a knowledge of PHP would be extremely beneficial.

You will work closely with analysts and software developers to deliver a bespoke integrated, modular management system across various business units. You will also be required to interact with business users, gather requirements, analyse, code and test all products prior to final implementation.

Not only will you be given the opportunity to work with cutting edge technology, you will also be provided with a structured career path and ongoing training in the most current technology and the opportunity to obtain further industry accreditations. Further information will be provided upon receipt of an up to date CV.

Please send your CV to oali at xcalibre dot co dot uk


Scottish Developers April Newsletter


Developer Day Scotland 2009 is almost full, so if you have not taken the opportunity then have a look at what is on offer and if you like what you see then register as a delegate. It is an excellent opportunity to find out about many new technologies, refine your understanding of some existing technologies and keep up with best practice. As with last year SQL Bits are sponsoring a track so there is something for SQL Server DBAs and SQL Developers too.

This week Martin Bell and Satya SK Jayanty will be talking about various aspects of SQL Server DBA to Developer. Next month we are re-running Michael Brigg’s session on Search Engine Optimisation in Glasgow.

Sod This - Braim Burps for the Tech SavvyOliver Sturm and Gary Short have recently started their new podcast, called Sod This, and it’s here: Sod This is a mixture of two rather technical people having a chat, discussions about relevant or not so relevant technology, programming questions and sock monsters, and interviews that Oliver and Gary record with people they meet at the events they attend around the world. It doesn’t have a fixed length and they don’t tell how often new episodes become available, so you’ll just have to go to the web site and check it out! [Advisory: Some content contains adult themes.]

Colin Mackay, Chairman, Scottish Developers


14-April-2009 @ 18:30 in Glasgow (Scottish Developers & SQL Server UG)
Two DBAs walk into a room full of developers…
Registration Optional - Cost FREE

15-April-2009 @ 20:00 in Edinburgh (BCS)
A Gentle Introduction to Climate Modelling, Observing and Projections
Registration Required - Cost £4 to £6

29-April-2009 @ 19:00 in Edinburgh (Java UG Scotland)
A Gentle Introduction to Rich Internet Applications with Flex
Registration Unknown - Cost Unknown

2-May-2009 @ 09:00 in Glasgow (DDD)
Developer Day Scotland 2009
Registration Required - Cost FREE

12-May-2009 @ 18:30 in Glasgow (Scottish Developers)
An Insight into Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Magic
Registration Optional - Cost FREE

Further Afield

WebDD ’09 (Reading)
ALT.NET North (Bradford)
ACCU 2009 Conference (Oxford)
International Cloud Computing Conference (London)

Developer Day Scotland 2 (Glasgow)
DDD South West (Taunton)

Bits ‘n’ Bobs

jQuery talk follow up

Andy has now put a copy of his jQuery slide deck and the source code examples up on his website.

Upcoming events

We also have some other events coming up which you may be interested in.

You can always keep up to date by following @scottishdevs on Twitter.


A huge 40% discount is being offered on a wide selection of Wrox programming books available to buy at

Contract/Freelance C# .NET

One of our members has some work on offer. Details as follows:

We are looking to get some more development resource on site over the next few months. If you, or anyone you know, is interested in working on a very exciting project I would love to hear from you. We are building a very rich Silverlight 2 based application in the financial services / budgeting space. Check out for an overview.

If you are a C# developer with experience of at least .NET 2.0 (Silverlight experience beneficial but not required) and are able to work onsite in Pathhead just south of Edinburgh please contact me. This role is on a contract/freelance basis for a minimum of 3 days per week for at least a couple of months.

Knowledge of the following required: -

  • MS SQL 2005 / 2008
  • WMI
  • Developing Windows Services in C#

Knowledge of the following preferred: -

  • LINQ to SQL
  • SNMP
  • TCP/IP
  • WCF

If you are interested please forward a summary of your background, availability and rates. Its a great team and a relaxed environment but we do work hard and are driving to get our product in beta release very quickly.

Please contact James Varga at [email protected]

Please no agencies.