The low down on what’s on in Bristol and Bath for tech events and meet-ups for August.

August can be a bit of a quiet month for meetups, what with the school holidays and people going away. That said, it’s the perfect time to go out and socialise (if the weather holds up), so we thought we’d keep you up to date with what’s on in Bristol and Bath this month…

Bristol Digital Analytics: ‘Analytics in the Afternoon’ – Bristol

Tuesday 2nd August 2016 – 1:30pm to 5pmCX Partners, 2 College Square, Anchor Road, Bristol, BS1 5UE AND Tuesday 16th August 2016 – 2pm to 5pmThe Guild co-working space, High Street, Bath, BA1 5AW

Bristol Digital Analytics are offering free analytics training in at CXpartners office in Bristol. It’s a trial run looking at Google Analytics in particular. Limited to 15 people, get in there early and subscribe.
They’ll be covering:

  • Google Analytics for beginners
  • Top 10 GA reports to save you money
  • Any adhoc questions you might have
It’s BYO laptop and you should have a Google Analytics account set up ready. If you need any help to brush up on the basics, have a look at Google’s training videos.
The trainer is Phil – here are some of his presentations for reference.
About the Trainer: “Phil is an independent digital Analytics, SEO & PPC consultant based in Bristol & Bath. Over the past 15 years, Phil has been helping clients improve their analytics and search engine marketing through the introduction of new tools and disruptive techniques. “Fail Fast – Succeed Faster” is the motto behind Phil’s approach. Phil is renowned for his in-depth technical skills and the ability to solve business challenges through innovative technological solutions. Prior to going independent, Phil worked for optimisation agency Conversion Works as a Google Analytics and search specialist, and several other agencies prior to that. Phil holds a BA in Business Studies from the University of Bedfordshire. He is GAIQ certified, as well as holding search marketing certifications from the main search engines (Google and Bing).”

Bristol CodeHub Hack Night

Tuesday 2nd/16th/30th August 2016 – 6pm til LateMomentum Financial Technology office, 10 Temple Back, Bristol, BS1 6FL

This is a chance for developers in Bristol to get together in an informal social setting to work on projects, learn, and share with other developers. With food and drinks provided, good wifi and table football/tennis, you’re bound to have a good time. BYO laptop. Sign up to the event on the Meetup page and let them know what you plan to work on. The event is sponsored by Momentum Financial Technology (MoneyHub) and takes place at their offices, which can be found here.
What is a “hack night”?
“A hack night is a casual social coding event where people can come together to work on projects and learn new technologies in any language, at any skill level. It is a good time to work on those projects on the “back burner” that you never have time for. Some people will have personal projects that they want to work on in a social atmosphere, others may be interested in pairing up to work on a project or learn something new together, or perhaps, work through some of the online coding challenges. Some people may be experts, others may be noobs, and others may just want to learn how to code – all are welcome!”
Previous hack night projects:

  • People learned game development with three.js and phaser.js
  • People worked on meteor.js and angular.js and node.js and Ruby on Rails
  • People learned javascript on CodeAcademy
  • Someone improved their functional programming by learning Haskell
  • Someone wrote a test suite runner in C
  • Someone played with node.js on an Arduino board
  • People worked through the Euler project and game coding challenges

Show & Tell and Ask & Help

Tuesday 2nd August 2016 – 6:30pm til LateFamous Royal Navy Volunteer, 17-18 King Street, Bristol, BS1 4EF

Show off what you have been making, get it tested and get feedback or ask a question about anything to do with WordPress. If you’ve been building something in WordPress and want to show it off, come and show the group what you’ve been up to. BYO laptop. The group will be upstairs in the function room from 6:30pm and stay for a good few hours. They’ve provided a video to help you find it.
About the event: “If you’re having a problem/bug with WordPress site, have a question or just want to chat about it, then come and meet with us. We will have an equivalent to what WordCamps call the ‘happiness bar’. No question is a bad question, so come along and see if we can help you out. This will also be a great time for anyone who has any ideas on what they would like to see talked about in the group or any other ideas.”

Testing Workshop: Mocking and stubbing

Wednesday 3rd August 2016 – 6:30pmDesk Lodge, 5th Floor, 1 Temple Way, Bristol, BS2 0BY

An introduction to using mocks and stubs in your tests. They’ll be using PHPUnit (although the concepts are applicable to other testing frameworks and languages). BYO laptop with PHP, PHPUnit and an IDE pre-installed. Spaces are limited to 6-8 attendees.
This is suitable session if:

  • You’ve written a few PHPUnit tests and are ready to learn about mocks and stubs (e.g. if you’ve attended one of the previous Bristol PHP Training session)
  • You’re a bit rusty on these concepts and want a refresher
This won’t be suitable if:

  • You’ve never written a test before
  • You’re already happy with the concepts of mocks and stubs, and already write tests that use them

Bristol Business Brainstorm

Wednesday 3rd August 2016 – 7pm to 9pmHalo, 141 Gloucester Road, Bristol, BS7 8BA

Come along to the next Bristol Business Brainstorm – aimed at providing a social, interesting and productive evening, it’s a group for entrepreneurs to meet up and talk through business ideas, challenges or anything else important. If you want to just listen, rather than actively taking part, that’s okay, too.“We aim to help you develop a refreshing perspective, gain some valuable insight and get inspired. It’s also just a nice group of people having a chat about business.”
What’s happening?

  • 3 facilitated brainstorming sessions
  • Sign up to contribute a talking point and you’ll have the chance to get the group working on your business ideas, opportunities or issues you want to discuss
  • Come away with specific solutions and actions for your business, the satisfaction of having helped others with their ideas and the joy of being part of some really interesting conversations
  • Each session includes everybody at the event – if you attend, you will get to help others by contributing ideas, suggestions and questions while we brainstorm through their idea

Oh…and if you want to keep up to date with more tips and updates follow the group on Facebook and Twitter.

Bristol Digital Analytics: Connecting Digital Analytics with BI (Business Intelligence)

Thursday 4th August 2016 – 6pm to 8pmJust Eat Technology, Broad Quay House, Broad Quay, Bristol, BS1 4DJ

Meet other analytics folks in Bristol for a talk about connecting Digital Analytics with BI (Business Intelligence). There will be a short talk at 6:15 and then the opportunity to mingle. In order to tempt you more, there will be free beer and pizza…

Bath Ruby Hangout

Thursday 4th August 2016 – 6:30pmPicnic Coffee, 9 Saracen Street, Bath, BA1 5BR

Bath Ruby Hangouts are bi-weekly, agenda-free get togethers in Picnic Coffee shop. BYO laptop and pair up on a problem you’ve been having or just come along to chat about Ruby, Rails or anything else with other local Ruby people. Picnic have upgraded their wifi especially for the group and will be reserving some tables with power; everything you need for a relaxed evening with some very good teas, coffees, beers and cakes.

Develop Me: Designing and building a RESTful API with note.js

Thursday 4th August 2016 – 9:30am to 5:30pmUnit 1.8 – The Paintworks, Bristol, BS4 3EH

node.js is a JavaScript runtime which allows JavaScript code to be executed on the server. Its’ non-blocking, event driven approach makes it ideal for building APIs which can scale to thousands of concurrent connections. REST is a set of rules for describing client-server interaction. A RESTful API is an API which is designed to be compatible with the REST standard. By building an API in a RESTful manner, you can be confident that clients can consume your data with ease.
During this workshop you’ll learn how to build a RESTful API for creating, retrieving, updating and deleting database entries. The workshop covers the following concepts:

  • Designing a RESTful API for CRUD operations (Create, Retrieve, Update, Delete)
  • Approaching implementation of the API using a Test-Driven approach
  • Implementing the CRUD actions using node.js and express.js
  • Implementing sorting, pagination and filtering for the Retrieve operation
  • Adding non-RESTful actions
  • Adding authentication to your API
  • Implementing rate limiting to mitigate denial of service attacks
  • Discussing options for deploying your API
  • Scaling the API using the cluster module
  • Documenting your API
Prerequisites:

  • node.js v6 + npm v3
  • MongoDB server
  • Git
  • Text editor (e.g. Sublime Text)
Technical knowledge:

  • Intermediate-level understanding of JavaScript
  • Understanding of ES6 basics (let, const, template strings, classes)
  • Basic knowledge of CLI usage
  • Basic knowledge of git

No prior knowledge of node.js is necessary, but a basic understanding of it will be useful.

Bath: Hacked – QGIS Users Meetup

Thursday 4th August 2016 – 6:30pm to 8:30pmThe Westgate Pub, 38 Westgate Street, Bath, BA1 1EL

Bath: Hacked are having an informal get-together for people who are interested in the QGIS mapping tool. Whether you’re using QGIS as part of your day job or for building things for Bath: Hacked, this will be an informal meetup to discuss all things QGIS, swap tips and meet new people. It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced user or new to the tool; this is simply a chance to get together and be part of a local community user group.

South West Data Social

Tuesday 9th August 2016 – 7pmThe Watershed, 1 Canon’s Road, Bristol, BS1 5TX

The South West Data social is an informal evening for those involved in using, learning about or discovering data technologies to meet and network. It takes place on the second Tuesday of every month at the Watershed.

ProductTank SW #3 – Paddleboarding!

Wednesday 10th August 2016 – 6pmThe Cottage Inn, Baltic Wharf, Cumberland Road, Bristol, BS1 6XG

The next ProductTank SW event will be on the 10th August and this time, rather than try and squeeze a bit of networking around the usual talks, they’re creating an opportunity for some serious socialising. “Don’t panic if you don’t fancy getting on the water – there are a few of you in this boat (or not, as it were), so there’ll be a contingent devoted solely to drinking and soaking up the sun on the waterfront too.”
So the plan is this:

  • 18:00 – Meet at the Cottage Inn
  • 18:30 – Paddleboarding starts, for those who fancy it. Networking starts in earnest on the harbourside (at the Cottage Inn) for those who would rather have a drink in the sun.
  • 20:00 – Return to dry land
  • 20:00 onwards – Serious socialising
“Paddleboarding is the most relaxed watersport going and is loads of fun. We’ll be doing it with a qualified instructor who will guide the session for everyone. The team at SUPBristol do a brilliant job of catering to all abilities and will make sure you do as much as you feel able to. They’ve offered us a reduced rate of £20 a head and after this session, you’ll also be signed off and able to take part in their regular social rides, which are £12 and run almost every day during the summer.”
IMPORTANT – here’s how to join in the Paddleboarding:
Please RSVP to the event page on Meetup, then you MUST

  • Go to this link
  • Pay your £20 to join the event
That’s it! Once you’ve paid, you’re in. There’s a max limit of 24, so get in there quick.

Bristol Clojurians: Clojure ‘Office Hours’

Wednesday 10th August 2016 – 6pmOracle Bristol, Tower Wharf, Cheese Lane, Bristol, BS2 0JJ

This time, the Bristol Clojurians meetup will be following the office hours format. If you have a Clojure project you’re working on (or just some Clojure questions), bring it along to the Oracle offices to get some in-depth insight. They’ll be able to go through your code with you and offer advice.
Any type of project is welcome, whether it be an exercise from a beginners’ textbook or something crazy and ambitious, like a game. Maybe you just want an extra pair of eyes on that 4clojure problem you’re working on or want to upgrade your emacs setup. A bunch of devs will be on hand to help. Food and drinks will be provided. Just an FYI, the venue has changed to the Oracle office in central Bristol.

YENA – Young Networking Bath

Thursday 11th August 2016 – 7pm to 10pmBath Brew House, 14 James Street, Bath, BA1 2BX

YENA is the popular & growing Young Entrepreneur Networking Association that brings networking events to those with a keen interest in business from between the ages of 15 & 30. Come along, get to know people, grow your network, find a business partner, gain some work, clients, or maybe even find a job!

This month:
YENA Bristol returns to deliver another great event. Casual networking for all, with talks from our introductory and keynote speakers. Dress code: Come as yourself! There are no false personas at YENA – we want you to be as comfortable as you can. Smart casual is the norm, though.”

Bath Elixir Hangout

Thursday 11th August 2016 – 6:30pmPicnic Coffee, 9 Saracen Street, Bath, BA1 5BR

Bath Elixir Hangouts are regular, agenda-free get togethers in Picnic Coffee shop. It’s BYO laptop – why not pair up on a problem you’ve been having or just come along to chat about Elixir, Phoenix, Erlang or anything really with other local Elixir people?
“Picnic have upgraded their wifi especially for us and will be reserving some tables with power, everything you need for a relaxed evening with some very good teas, coffees, beers and cakes.”

.Net South West: Chris Bacon (Google) – Google Cloud Platform

Tuesday 16th August 2016 – 6:30pm to 9pmJust Eat Technology, Broad Quay House, Broad Quay, Bristol, BS1 4DJ

Lighting Talk: “I’m a Dapper .NET man” by Matt McCabe
About Matt:
Matt is a web developer who is as happy writing SQL as he is tweaking CSS. He takes a pragmatic approach to solving problems and is excited by the evolution of Modern Javascript and C#. His current focus is on Aurelia and modular design.
Featured Talk: “Google Cloud Platform by Google Engineer” by Chris Bacon
“Clouds are everywhere, but Google’s Cloud Platform may not (yet!) be an obvious choice for a .NET developer.”
Chris will talk about what GCP (Google Cloud Platform) is, a bit of its history, a bit about how it’s implemented, how they currently support .NET platform and developers, and what’s planned for the future. He’ll also mention many details on how they design the .NET client library APIs (and what you can do about it if you don’t like it); why API design is hard; some of the challenges around targeting multiple .NET platforms; and why C# development isn’t always simple at Google.
About Chris:
Chris has been in software development for quite some time; mostly in C#, Java, Scala, and C. Having worked in much smaller companies, he now finds himself in the only team at Google that develops for the .NET platform.

Flappy Bird in MonoGame, Hands On Session with Phil Trelford

Wednesday 17th August 2016 – 6:30pmJust Eat, 2nd Floor Broad Quay House, Prince Street, Bristol, BS1 4DJ

Important! – the date for this meetup has changed to August. This is a hands on session, where you adapt your own version of Flappy Bird. No prior experience of F# or games programming is required. Please BYO laptop with F# installed.
Getting F# Installed:
Here are some helpful links to help you with installing F#: for Windows and for Mac. Alternatively, use Atom/VSCode with Ionide.

Bath Hacked: Learning night: an introduction to QGIS

Wednesday 17th August 2016 – 6:30pmTBC: The Guild co-working space, High Street, Bath, BA1 5AW

Bath: Hacked are having a learning night introducing people to QGIS. If you’re interested in maps and maybe wondering how to build something interesting using some local open data, then this session is definitely for you.
“Based on feedback from a number of you we’re going to have regular evenings focusing on learning new skills and tools, making things, and curating data. This event will be the second of our new learning nights. This session will be a gentle introduction to maps and mapping using QGIS, a free desktop tool that provides some fantastic features for creating maps and analysing geographic data.”
By the end of the evening, we hope to give you:

  • A brief introduction to maps and mapping so you understand the basic concepts
  • An introduction to the basic features of QGIS as a desktop mapping tool
  • The skills to start creating, customising and publishing your own maps using local open data
  • A chance to meet others from the Bath: Hacked community (the session will be suited to beginners)
If you’re already an expert in QGIS and just want to help others learn some new skills, then please still come along. They’ll be including some hands-on exercises, so BYO laptop, if possible, and you’ll be able to follow along with the examples.
Note: they’ll confirm the location and the actual start/end times closer to the time, but the session will be running in centre of Bath (either at the Coworking space or in the Guildhall).

Bristol Java: Hadoop fundamentals & “Electricomics” (open source digital comics)

Tuesday 23rd August 2016 – 6:30pmBrightpearl, New Bond House, Bond Street, Bristol, BS2 9AG

Talk 1: “An introduction to the Hadoop ecosystem” by Daniel Cook
“Everyone has at least heard of Hadoop these days and probably gone through a trivial word count example. This talk aims to cover the fundamentals of the Hadoop filesystem and MapReduce for those not already familiar but without word count! We then go on to explain the significance of distributed compute and schema on read to the business and how we can get value out of a big pot of data. The Hadoop ecosystem is overwhelming in terms of the number of technologies and buzzwords, hopefully we can demystify some of this!”
Talk 2: “‘Electricomics’ project for open source digital comics using HTML5/JS/CSS” by Dave Crane
“No idea what this is about but he must be a smart guy ‘cos he’s got his name on some books.”

Python social meetup

Tuesday 23rd August 2016 – 7:00pmBrewdog, 58 Baldwin Street, Bristol, BS1 1QW

“We have had a lot of new members since moving to meetup.com, just over 150 now, but not so many events, so its time for a social meetup, so that some of those new members can get to know the Bristol Python community, and each other :-). We also aim to canvas for ideas as to what new members want from the group, and hopefully recruit some new speakers for the next get together, as a talks session. So three of the organisers should be in attendence – we are looking forward to catching up with some old faces and new Pythonistas.”

Bristol Clojurians: Programming in the pub

Wednesday 24th August 2016 – 6pmSmall Bar, 31-32 King Street, Bristol, BS1 4DZ

Come and meet the group at the pub and spend some time with other Clojure fans. There’ll be a Clojure symbol on the table. BYO laptop to the pub and work on whatever Clojure project you like in the company of like-minded people.

Bristol JS: Alternative August – Rewired Learning

Wednesday 31st August 2016 – 7pmBaseKit office (South Wing), One Castlepark, Tower Hill, Bristol, BS2 0JA

“A lot of the meetup groups take a break in August (I have no idea why but let us know in the comments if you do). Starting this year we’ve decided to do something a little different and will be hosting Alternative August.”
Bristol JS are bucking the trend this month and continuing on with their programming despite the school holidays. This is a chance to get some new inspiration from different sectors of our industry with a strict no JavaScript policy. They’re opening up the floor to lightning talks – if you want to do a talk on space, lightning, the multi-world theory, PHP, Ruby, the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy, graffiti, the origin of your awesome surname “Power”, architecture, process, retro arcade machines or anything else us nerds would enjoy, then please leave comment on the meetup page.
Rewired Learning by Adam Butler:
“Coders have incredibly rewarding jobs: we get to build products that change the world and improve the quality of peoples’ lives. However, it is also one of the most mentally challenging careers. As developers, we’re expected to build something from nothing that works across a increasingly diverse range of platforms in a constantly evolving landscape, all too often with very limited resource. In this talk, I’ll cover these challenges as well as playful mechanics that you can use to tackle these issues, whilst developing yourself personally. We’ll look at some strategies to ensure that you continue to test your assumptions, experiment often and stay motivated, including some fun hardware hacks that have taught me some genuine skills that I actually use in my job. Expect to see Eugene, the IoT taxidermy ship it squirrel, mini missile launchers, drones and plenty of other stuff that are almost certainly applicable to building real shit – you know, for banks and stuff.”

Main image by Peter Clark