2009 - 2010 Programme

All events unless otherwise stated will be held in the Lord Todd Conference Room, Strathclyde University. The Lord Todd is entered from Collins Street (on which parking is readily available); see the map on the venue page.

Events start at 6.30 p.m. Usually, there will be a light buffet from 6.00 p.m. Non members are welcome to all meetings. Branch meetings qualify for BCS CPD credit.

Programme Summary

Date Event
12 Oct 2009 The Agile Way - Agility as a way of thinking
26 Oct 2009 BCS Glasgow Student/Young Professionals Event
9 Nov 2009 Transforming the BCS
14 Dec 2009 Augmented Reality
11 Jan 2010 LEO - The world's first commercial computer
8 Feb 2010 Visit to BBC Scotland
8 Mar 2010 Usability and Web Site Optimisation
12 Apr 2010 Artificial Intelligence in Computer and Video Games
10 May 2010 Practical OSGI
14 Jun 2010 BCS Glasgow Branch AGM 2010

Programme Detail

The Agile Way - Agility as a way of thinking

Date Monday 12th October 2009
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Eddie Gray
Speaker Clarke Ching

Bio: Clarke Ching is a New Zealander who has lived in Scotland for the last decade. Clarke started out working as a programmer, but he has been successfully managing software development and business projects since 1995. He specialises in introducing, running and accelerating Agile, Scrum, Lean and Kanban projects. Clarke runs the AgileScotland group.

Synopsis: Clarke Ching, author of the Agile parable *Rocks into Gold* and the upcoming Agile business novel *Rolling Rocks Downhill*, takes you on a quick journey through history, looking at three examples of great "Agile thinking". Clarke’s journey starts in late-18th-century Glasgow where James Watt is about to make his greatest discovery (it’s not the steam engine). He then moves to April 15th, 1865, (the day of Abraham Lincoln’s death) where the model used to deliver modern Agile software projects emerged, out of the blue, in one of today’s dying industries. He then leaps forward almost a century to the final destination, Spain, 1975, where the Zara Clothing company open their first store. On the face of it, none of these events has anything to do with modern-day software development, but dig a little deeper and you’ll discover 6 ageless principles for delivering commercially successful technology projects.

Poster download - http://www.glasgow.bcs.org/CCHING_BCSposterOCT2009.doc


BCS Glasgow Student/Young Professionals Event

Date Monday 26th October 2009
Time 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Location Lecture Theatre M001, George Moore Building, Glasgow Caledonian University, 70 Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA - Map of Location
Convenor Daniel Livingstone
Speaker Robert McDowell (Electric Tophat)

Synopsis: "Developing for the iPhone: Technology and Business"

ElectricTopHat have produced three games for the iPhone and are currently working on their first 'serious' apps. The first part of this presentation covers some of the technical issues of interest to budding iPhone developers. With a brief overview of the iPhone architecture, and an introduction to the iPhone SDK and development environment the talk shows how anyone can become an iPhone developer. Having created an app, the next step is to get your app into the Apple store - and once there, you need to get your app seen and generate interest for it. This can prove harder than actually creating your app in the first place, with tens of thousands of apps currently available, and more appearing every day. The final part of the talk provides an opportunity to the challenges in progressing from developing apps, to running a successful business as an app developer.

Map of Location


Transforming the BCS

Date Monday 9th November 2009
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Richard Trail
Speaker Elizabeth Sparrow, BCS President-Elect

Synopsis: "Our Society was created in 1957 to translate the grand dream of computing into a compelling public benefit. More than 50 years on, the impact of this computing dream is now pervasive. More than a million people work directly in information technology in the UK alone and computer science lies behind almost everything we touch, from credit cards to kettles. At one level, our work is done but at another it has hardly begun.

BCS now has a clear mission for the next 50 years - to enable the information society, not just in the UK, but around the world. To bring this new dream to reality we need concerted and committed action. We must reject traditional assumptions about what a professional association can and should be, and instead build a world-class organisation for IT that addresses all stakeholders' needs. The challenge and opportunity for BCS is clear. The UK and the world need an IT profession which understands its social impact and has a long-term strategy to address it. We need government, industry and academia to get involved, to vocalise and practise support for our profession. The transformation is now underway to enable that. The time is right, the industry is ready and BCS is stepping up to the challenge."


Augmented Reality

Date Monday 14th December 2009
Time 6:00 for 6:30 pm
Location University of Strathclyde, Room 13:18 (13th Floor) Livingstone Tower, 26 Richmond Street, Glasgow - Map of Location
Convenor Daniel Livingstone
Speaker Yolande Kolstee (AR+RFID Lab, Netherlands)

Yolande Kolstee is the project leader of the AR+RFID Lab, a collaborative initiative of the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague and the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). The AR+RFID Lab explores and experiments with Augmented Reality as part of its work developing innovative applications of emerging ubiquitous computing technologies in the field of art and design. In this presentation Yolande will demonstrate and show a range of the AR+RFID Lab's Augmented Reality projects from recent years. Yolande will be accompanied by Professor Dr.Ir. Pieter Jonker of the Bio-Robotics Lab of the Delft University of Technology. More information about the AR+RFID Labcan be found at:


Map of Location


LEO - The world's first commercial computer

Date Monday 11th January 2009
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor James Penn-Dunnett
Speaker Gordon Foulger

Synopsis: How and why a bakery company known for its teashops developed and built the world's first business computer which was based on the Cambridge University EDSAC.

LEO I remained unique but was used on a bureau basis by other organisations. Further development produced LEO II. A separate company was formed which built and sold several of these machines.

The third and final version was the LEO III, with its faster variations the LEO 326 and LEO 360. LEO I was first used for a live application in 1951 and the last LEO 326 was decommissioned in 1981.


Visit to BBC Scotland

Date Monday 8th February 2010
Convenor Richard Trail


Usability and Web Site Optimisation

Date Monday 8th March 2010
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Martin Blunn
Speaker Jim Williams (WeeWorld)

Improving Website Usability Using Google Website Optimiser

Synopsis: Design is very subjective, one man's meat is another man's poison. A website may look ‘pretty' in your opinion, but design is not just about how something looks, it has a job to do - it needs to be usable. If your design is not doing the job it's supposed to do, i.e. making you money, it doesn't matter if it looks nice. Many arguments have been had (and time wasted) choosing one design over another, "I think that one is better!", "why?", "erm... I don't know, it looks better?". To borrow a phrase from Harry Hill, "There's only one way to find out... fight!"

We prefer not to spill blood these days and that's where Google Website Optimiser comes in; science to the rescue. By measuring which page layout is more effective at achieving the desired conversion we can quickly determine which design is best and learn from that to help make design decisions easier in the future. One image or line of copy may mean the difference between being profitable or not. We'll be using lots of case studies to show you how we've started using Google Website Optimizer to run A/B Split and Multivariate Tests in the development of a social networking/gaming site and share some of the mistakes and lessons learned. It would then be good to open the meeting up to discuss how to use optimisation tools to improve website usability.

Bio: Jim Williams is Director of Customer Analytics at WeeWorld and a passionate advocate of using analytics to drive website design. Jim has been working in web analytics since 2002 starting in pharmaceuticals and e-commerce sectors before moving into consultancy. At WeeWorld Jim has introduced innovative data based decision making processes to manage product and marketing strategy. Typically using web analytics and user testing to identify poorly performing areas of the site before employing tools such as Google Website Optimizer to experiment with design improvements and improve website conversions. Jim is also President of the Scottish UPA and an active member of the Web Analytics Association.


Artificial Intelligence in Computer and Video Games

Date Monday 12th April 2010
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Daniel Livingstone
Speaker Luke Dicken (University of Strathclyde)

Abstract : Artificial Intelligence is a diverse field covering a multitude of potential application areas in which machines need to be imbued with decision making abilities. This talk will outline the motivations behind marrying work with Artificial Intelligence with the Video Games industry, provide a very brief overview of how AI can be incorporated into games and discuss some techniques being used right now in both industry and academia.

Bio : Luke Dicken has been fascinated with Artificial Intelligence since he first played "Creatures" as a teenager. He is currently a research student with the Strathclyde Artificial Intelligence in Games Research Group and the Strathclyde Planning Group, as well as being a contributing writer for the leading AI and games website AIGameDev.com.

*** Please note the change of speaker for this event. ***


Practical OSGI

Date Monday 10th May 2010
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Martin Blunn
Speaker Niels Bech Nielsen (J.P. Morgan)

OSGi started more than 10 years ago as an embedded java service platform. Within the last few years, people have started to look at OSGi as a candidate for a modular framework for Java. This talk demonstrate the fundamentals of the OSGi platform and how it can be used within large organisations to scale large systems.

Niels Bech Nielsen has been working with object oriented software development the last 20 years, and Java most of this time. Niels works as a Lead Engineer inside J.P. Morgan, where he helps build trading systems for the Global Rates and Derivatives Business.


BCS Glasgow Branch AGM 2010 + Social Networking Tools

Date Monday 14th June 2009
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Richard Trail
Speaker Kyle MacRae (Blether Media)

Synopsis: Social media can broadly be defined as conversations and communities enabled by digital technology. Think blogs, think social networks like Facebook and Twitter, think user-generated content. It’s an evolution of the old model where a company broadcast a one-way message to an audience. That audience isn’t content to absorb your messages now. It wants to talk back. Are you part of the conversation?

This workshop shows you how social media can be a powerful and cost-effective means of reaching new people in new ways. People who are using Facebook, Twitter and blogs - but who will probably never visit your website.

In this briefing, we'll talk about:

* How to understand the social media space

* How to make your organisation more interactive and responsive

* How to blog, use social networks and ‘tweet’ efficiently

* How to track relevant conversations and engage directly with potential customers

* How to use social media for marketing without advertising

The briefing will be presented by Kyle MacRae, Director, Blether Media.

Bio: Kyle MacRae worked as a technology journalist for 10 years before launching Scoopt, the world’s first citizen journalism picture agency, in July 2005. Scoopt was an early, successful experiment in social media (before the term was in vogue and before Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social sites were big news). Kyle built an international brand on a marketing budget of virtually zero. How? By listening to people with an interest in citizen journalism, engaging with and adding value to relevant conversations, offering first class user support, exploiting media interest, and making it easy for supporters to evangelise the business to their friends and contacts. In short, by running a successful social media marketing strategy. Kyle sold Scoopt to Getty Images, the world’s biggest image company, in 2007. Since then Kyle has undertaken social media work for Channel Four and established Blether Media to provide social media training and consultancy to businesses and organisations.

The AGM will start at 6.30pm and last about twenty minutes. It will be followed by the talk "Social Networking Tools" and immediately after there will be a discussion on the BCS EGM.

2010 AGM Agenda - http://www.glasgow.bcs.org/BCS-glw-agenda-agm2010.pdf