XP Manchester

#xpman August 14th – The Circuit Breaker Pattern

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The Circuit Breaker Pattern is a simple idea that helps to build robust, self healing systems. We’ll be exploring it in this month’s meetup.

Also, as a lightning talk/exercise, Gemma Cameron will be running us through (ironic) silent grouping.

This month will involve coding! Bring a laptop ready for web dev, you’ll be making a little website.

Madlab from 7pm

Written by Mark Kirschstein

August 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm

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Lightning Talk Videos

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For anyone that missed last night’s session, we had another go at live streaming the event. The videos are now available.

Duncan Sommervile – Continuous Integration – Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Andy Lowry – Types In Haskell

Ryan Gough – Erlang/OTP

Chris Carroll – Clojure

Matt Cannon – Pentagonal Architecture

Mark Kirschstein – Increasing Velocity

A big thank you to Andy Grant for recording these last night

Written by Mark Kirschstein

July 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm

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Meeting #50 – Lightning Talks. Thursday July 10th

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For the fiftieth (!) meetup, we’ll be looking at a variety* of topics in the shape of an evening of lightning talks.

Andy Lowry – Haskell
Chris Carroll – Clojure
Ryan Gough – Erlang
Mark Crossfield – REST
Matthew Cannon – Pentagonal (sigh) Architecture
Duncan Sommerville – Continuous Integration (Where did it all go wrong?)
Mark Kirschstein – Increasing Velocity

*At the end of the meeting, Andy, Chris and Ryan will be having a threeway cage fight to decide on the ultimate functional language.

and yes, late notice again. I’m sorry. I know it’s Tuesday evening, and the meetup is on Thursday, but you know, we’ve been discussing this on the mailing list for over a month now… you do read the mailing list, don’t you?

Doors open 6:30

Written by Mark Kirschstein

July 8, 2014 at 8:39 pm

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June 12th – The Debate

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#IsTDDDead aired its final ‘show’ today. Whether you feel some points weren’t concluded, or missed entirely, the next Xpman meet up is for you.

We will begin with a small panel of people debating pro and anti TDD positions. After opening up into audience Q&A we will conclude with a goldfish bowl style discussion.

Anti TDD Panel: Kevin Rutherford, Matt Cannon
Pro TDD Panel: Julian Haegar, Iain Mitchell

Coincidently, this session also marks our 4th birthday. There will be celebrations. Bring party hats.

Madlab from 6:30pm, see you there!


EDIT: Given there seems to be quite some interest in this session, we’ve taken the decision to ticket it.

Grab a free one from our eventbrite page.

Written by Mark Kirschstein

June 4, 2014 at 5:53 pm

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May 8th – Machine Learning 101. With Grant Crofton

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In this session, Grant Crofton will introduce us to the interesting field of Machine Learning (ML).

Want to build Skynet, but don’t know where to start? Grant will give a brief overview of various kinds of ML including Neural Networks, KNN, Bayesian Classification, and Genetic Algorithms. We’ll also take a look at the kinds of problems these algorithms are good at solving.

But don’t worry, it’s not all theory – most of our time will be taken up writing our very own digit recognition systems using the simplest of ML algorithms, k-nearest neighbors (KNN). The goal in this exercise is to take images of handwritten single digits, and determine what those digits are. We’ll be using the famous MNIST character data, commonly used to study and compare ML algorithms.

Although it may sound tricky, it’s actually relatively straightforward, and we’ll have partially-written solutions in C# and F# and Python (possibly Ruby/Java) to help get us going. (Any other language and I’m afraid you’ll have to start from scratch, although it’s still achievable in the time).

After that, you should be well on your way to creating your very own self-aware Global Digital Defense Network with which to destroy humanity! But if you get a re-programmed T-101 coming back through time and trying to stop you, you’re on your own.

Madlab from 6:30 pm, Common beforehand and after.

Written by Mark Kirschstein

May 6, 2014 at 1:02 pm

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XPMan – Thursday 10th April – Team Productivity and Flow, with Francis Fish 

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The main talk this month is being hosted by Francis Fish.

Francis owns and operates Lean Teams Consultancy and will be demonstrating some of the techniques he uses to help teams deliver more work faster. The session will include practical examples and discussions on the negative impact of too much Work In Progress as well as Flow and Communication.


Madlab from 7pm

Written by Mark Kirschstein

April 6, 2014 at 11:26 pm

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March 13th – Baby Steps Kata with Ian Howarth

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Baby Steps, a hands-on session to encourage working in the smallest possible increments.

You will need…

- A laptop
– A development environment
– A unit testing framework for that environment
– A version control system (git is ideal)
– A stopwatch/timer (most smart-phones will be fine)
– A pen & paper

Some help will be available with Git on the evening (command-line and Tortoise-Git for Windows)

Madlab from 6:30pm

Written by Mark Kirschstein

March 8, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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