Scottish Open Source Awards 2009

Nominations are now open for the 2009 Scottish Open Source Awards. If there is a person, project or organisation you want to nominate for an award make your way to:


M.Sc. Web Systems Development (.NET) @ Glasgow Caledonian University

Glasgow Caledonian University are now able to offer their Web Systems Development (.NET) postgraduate course, which will run as a part-time evening course starting in February 2010.

The course, run in association with the new Caledonian ICT Academy, provides candidates who have some experience of software development technologies with the opportunity to develop their careers by enhancing their skills in Microsoft .NET development, specifically in the area of web systems and data-driven websites. The programme provides the opportunity to gain postgraduate level academic qualifications in addition to preparation for Microsoft developer certifications relevant to Web Systems Development. Flexible study options range from a one-year Postgraduate Certificate up to a full Masters.

Further details of the course content and how it relates to Microsoft certifications can be found at:

Dundee’s Software Freedom Day Event

Software Freedom Day – Dundee – September 19th 2009

Information Line – 01382 848950 – List of talks, directions and other useful details about the event.

“The University of Abertay Dundee Linux Society” and the “Tayside Linux User Group” have long been establishing their names within the local Free and Open Source Community, as centres of support and advocacy for people from all walks of life.  This September we will be showcasing some of the best that our local community has to offer.

On the third Saturday (19th) of September teams from all around the world will celebrate Software Freedom Day:

“Software Freedom Day (SFD) is a worldwide celebration of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Our goal in this celebration is to educate the worldwide public about of the benefits of using high quality software in education, in government, at home and in business – in short, everywhere! The non-profit company Software Freedom International  coordinates SFD at a global level, providing support, give-aways and a point of collaboration, but volunteer teams around the world organize the local SFD events to impact their own communities.”

This is a real opportunity for people in Dundee and surrounding areas wishing to find out more about FOSS, its culture, its ethics and more importantly how to get started with it. Talks and Practical demonstrations throughout the day , for the novice computer user to the technical evangelist – you are sure to find something to interest you. The event is completely free and open to everyone;

10am – Short Welcome and Introduction to the Dundee Software Freedom Day Event
10.15am – What is free software, and why is software freedom so important?
10.45am – Freedom and Control
11.15am – Free and Open Source Software for Windows
11.45am – Free and Open Source Software for Students
12.15am – Free and Open Source Software in Business

Break for Lunch – (1.00 – 1.30)

1.35pm – Podcasting, from Mic to Audience
2.00pm – Free and Open Source Concepts in Security
2.30pm – SSH (Secure Socket Handler) The Beginners Guide
3.00pm – Basic introduction to building games with blender
3.30pm – Games and the Open Source community
4.00pm – VoIP and Open Source – A look at H.323 (4.00pm)
4.30pm – Thanks and Goodbye, a short wrap-up of the event

Ann: Groovy & Grails eXchange

We received an announcement from the Groovy & Grails eXchange that we thought you may be interested in:

Following on from the success in previous years this years Groovy & Grails conference will bring together the leading innovators in the Groovy & Grails community, including Guillaume Laforge and Graeme Rocher, the leads on Groovy and Grails projects respectively, for an informal day of deep technical insight and friendly discussion.

The aim of the Groovy & Grails eXchange is to promote awareness and adoption of innovative ideas and technologies for enterprise JEE development with Groovy and Grails.

With Groovy Project Lead Guillaume LaForge and Grails Project Lead Graeme Rocher providing the conference keynotes, 5 expert talks and two Parkbench sessions, the programme is structured to encourage discussion and bring together the leading thinkers and passionate members of the UK JEE, Groovy & Grails community. With a maximum number of 125 delegates, we aim to provide an informal and intimate environment where you can share experience, demonstrate new ideas and techniques, talk to the experts and generally have lots of fun.

Russ Miles has kindly agreed to be the Programme Lead, and is currently working with Guillaume LaForge, Graeme Rocher, Hans Dockter, Burt Beck and other leading experts on an interesting and exciting set of talks!

Groovy & Grails eXchange website

Register today – Tickets just £50

To event aims to provide a real opportunity to share ideas, learn and discuss, so we have limited the number of delegates to 125 only. There is also an /Early Bird Discount of nearly 75% if you book on or before September 10th/, so if you would like to join us, get your skates on and register today!


There are a variety of sponsorship packages available for organisations that wish to reach this audience. For further details about sponsorship packages, please contact Skills Matter’s Community Manager Natalie Gray.


At a recent Scottish Developers event we had a brief talk by Peter Munro who introduced us to IT4Communities who look for volunteers to help charities. He left us with a number of leaflets for those that were interested. If you didn’t make it to the event, or didn’t manage to get a leaflet here is the information.

Share your Time and Talent. Give your IT expertise to charities and make a real difference.

Share your Professional IT Skills

Share your time and talent with charities and make a real difference

Why volunteer?

  • Your skills make a real difference.
    You bring much needed professional skills and expertise to charities
  • Volunteering can develop your professional skills
    Apply your knowledge in unfamiliar settings and learn new skills
  • Something simple to you means the world to a charity
    An hour of your time could save months of headaches
  • There are a number of ways to volunteer
    Sometimes charities need hands on help, others just need your trusted advice
  • Your business perspective
    Your commercial knowledge can help and organisation achieve sustainability

Sounds great – How do I volunteer?

Register your talent in 5 minutes at There are hundreds of opportunities waiting for you. You can search in your own time (by region, skill and charity type or free text in our RSS feed) and you are not committed until both you and the charity are ready to go.

Why volunteer through IT4Communities?

IT4Communities is the UK’s leading volunteering programme for IT Professionals. We’re on hand throughout the project to help – we understand both IT Professionals and the voluntary sector. Remember we ask for established IT Professionals – see our link “What is an IT Professional?” on the registration page.

For more information, please visit or phone 020 7796 2144

Craig Murphy interviewed Caroline Bucklow from IT4Communities for his podcast last year.

Win an XBox 360 Elite by playing with IE8

Okay – You have to play with it in a certain way, but you can win an XBox 360 Elite. What you have to do is create one of them accelerator, web slice or visual search provider thingamabobs.

Even if you don’t win the XBox you could still be showcased in various Future Publishing titles.

For more information, links to a tutorials and videos to get you started, visit Mike Ormond’s blog: Fame and Fortune await those who play with IE8.

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 – – 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 – and I’ll get the ball rolling.


For more information about Agile Scotland, visit their website.

ADDENDUM: The first appointments will be in Glasgow.