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AWS User Group Liverpool - Things I wish i'd known about Lambda... and you should too!

Last Thursday saw the seventh AWS User Group Liverpool meetup in the wonderful Tapestry building in Liverpool. This month's topic was on AWS Lambdas and lessons learnt from trying to use them for everything. There was twelve of us in total which was better than the five last month and due to the numbers and the informal setting some great conversation and topic discussions happened. It was great to see everyone chipping in with information and sharing experiences, really brings a great deal of value to these meetups rather than just presenters talking to the room.

We started the evening with drinks and pizza and lots of conversation amongst the attendees. The Dominos pizza went down a treat as did the couple of cans of IPA.

As always the evening started with "What's new in AWS this month" presented by Simon this month, which is actually a really good idea because Amazon are bringing out new components and services all the time and it's hard to keep up.

A number …
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North West Tech Talks - Creating a FinTech Bank & Managing change at scale

It was a busy week for me last week with both Wednesday and Thursday evening spent at meetups. Wednesday's was the North West Tech Talks meetup hosted by AO in their very cool building over in Bolton. It's a bit of a trek from Ormskirk and due to traffic took me over an hour to get there but it was well worth it, the content and speakers were great as was the food!

I had two reasons for making the trip to this one, first was the good content listed for the evening but secondly my other remote colleagues were going so we could spend a little face-to-face time together rather than just speaking on the phone. After about thirty minutes to get a drink (beer, wine, soft drinks) and mingle a little it was time for the first speaker.

How the heck do you manage half a million devices?Peter Egerton
First up was Peter with his suggestions on how to be able to correctly manage content distribution to a huge number of devices in multiple regions whilst not failing and ending up in the …

Lancashire Tech Talks #8 - Digital Transformation with DevOps, Docker and the Public Cloud

The 26th September saw the return of Lancashire Tech Talks a meetup group run by Andy Norton and HoiYen Sihapanya in Blackburn. The topics were Docker and migrating to the cloud. HoiYen has been involved with running all eight of the meetups and as I've recently taken over the Liverpool Software Architecture meetup I was keen to pick her brains about how to run a successful meetup evening.

Some beers and soft drinks were on ice when we arrived and lots of people were stood around in small groups catching up with old work colleagues or just networking to make new friends.  After a brief introduction and run through of the format of the evening it was time for the first talk.



Docker: Lies to Children - Jamie Taylor
Jamie's talk was on DevOps and Docker. He ran through where DevOps has come from, explaining about the Toyota Production SystemKaizen and The Three Ways as techniques to help speed up learning and improving processes.  Next he moved onto explaining what Docker was, …

ExpertTalks Manchester - Secrets of an Agile Transformation & Obstacles of Digital Transformation Evolution

It was a busy week for me this week with two meetups that I was planning on attending. The first was on Tuesday over in Manchester hosted by Equal Experts on agile transformations.  The weather was horrendous although it brighten up by 4pm. Drove off to Burscough Bridge station on the Manchester line, bought my ticket only to be informed that the train to Manchester was cancelled. Suggested that I could get a different train on a different line if I drove to Bursough Junction station so off I went. Found out when I got there that this particular train was also cancelled and that I'd have to drive to Wigan to ensure that I could get a train into Manchester. I had planned on being there around 5:30 however I didn't get to the meetup until just after 6:30. This meant that I'd missed the drinks/food/networking that occurs before the talks and walked in with the first talk already in progress!

Obstacles of Digital Transformation Evolution - Ryan Bryers
Ryan's talk was on th…

AWS User Group Liverpool #6 - AWS AppMesh

I've been interested in AWS since it was released and read up on EC2, S3 and SQS but never really had much need to really get into them. I have been using S3 storage for around ten years as a bucket in which to store my podcast recordings but that was it.

Out of the three major cloud providers (Amazon, Google & Microsoft) I've always felt an affinity with AWS, probably born out of the fact that it was the first one that I read into. On browsing Meetup recently I came across the AWS User Group Liverpool and so attended the meetup on Thursday.

Although thirteen people had signed up for it there was a total of five of us there, two of which were the meetup organisers! I still don't understand why more people don't attend these free events, there was pizza and beer, like-minded folk and good content as well as having a chance to chat with some of the DoES people and see what they are building.

This evening's presentation was by Paul Gledhill. He gave a brief round…

ExpertTalks Liverpool - Let’s Talk Automation Strategy & Making Testability Our Mission

On Tuesday evening I attended an "ExpertTalks Liverpool" event organised by Equal Experts. They run a number of meetups across the UK and this was the third one in Liverpool. The evening started with an open bar (with some lovely craft ales available) and some sandwiches and wraps.


First up was Samuel Durand with a lightning talk on "Making a SAAS", discussing the challenges when converting an in-house application into a multi-tenant 'service'. To be honest there was a huge amount of information presented in a very short amount of time so it was hard to keep up! He covered how you need to identify the differences in your clients and your processes to ensure your application can be configurable enough to cope.  The storage of personal data and GDPR was covered not only in how the data is stored but also that you need to consider what personal information may be written to log files, etc. and the access controls that you need in place.  What kind of technical …

Lancashire Tech Talks #7 - Behaviour Driven Development, AI For Ordinary Folk & The Mobile Is Dead

At 6pm on Thursday evening I attended the seventh Lancashire Tech Talks (@LancsTechTalks) based at Graham & Brown in Blackburn. It was a tech meetup entitled "Behaviour Driven Development, AI For Ordinary Folk & The Mobile Is Dead" with three guest speakers and they also provided food and drinks.
Graham & Brown have a great conference room big enough to seat over a hundred people and there were not many empty seats once the talks had started. The room is nicely decorated (not surprising really considering Graham & Brown are a wallpaper and wall-covering company) but the room was also light and airy.
When I arrived there was a good buzz in the room with people conversing in small groups, and the organisers and speakers setting up. Cold soft drinks and beers were provided and what I particularly liked was that recycling of the cans and bottles was being encouraged.

The evening started with the organisers introducing themselves and plotting out the course of the…