This year’s SPA conference (Software Practice Advancement) is soon approaching and starts this weekend on Sunday 28th June.

Organised by the British Computer Society, this four day event comprises a packed programme of sessions from a number of forward-thinking practitioners in our industry. The programme also includes evening “diversions” that provide ample opportunity for networking with other attendees.

 

 

 

Now in its 19th year, SPA offers a great opportunity to actively take part in sessions that are all about working on, and learning about, recent advances and ideas in software development.

 

There’s plenty to get involved in throughout the conference. Topics range from hands-on humanitarian software, to using Agile techniques to boost team productivity, or baby step refactoring, so there’s something for everyone interested in software development.

 

The team at 7digital is involved with a coding session that explores crafting high quality systems with emergent design, while another session we’re hosting looks at how the next generation is learning about technology and provides a workshop on the tools that young people are currently using in their Computing classes at school.

 

Say hello to us at the following sessions:

 

Exploring Emergent Design with TDD

Hosted by Leon Hewitt and Neil Kidd

Date/ Time: Mon 29th June, 9.45 – 12.30

 

Engaging Young People in Software Development

Hosted by Emma-Ashley Liles and Alex Graff

Date/ Time: Wed 1st July, 14.00 – 15.15

 

For more information, see the SPA2015 site. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Paul Shannon, VP of Technology, 7digital   

 

 

Tag: 
SPA; SPA2015; conference; event; software; development; BCS.
sharri.morris@7digital.com
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 12:49

I wanted to start looking at alternatives to our current set of cucumber feature tests. At the moment on the web team we're using using FireWatir and Capybara. So I though I'd take at look at what was available in Node.js. Many people think it's strange that a .Net shop would use a something written for testing Ruby or even consider something that isn't from the .Net community. Personally I think it's a benefit to truly look at something form the outside in.  Should it matter what you're using to drive your end product or what language your using to test it? Not really. So what are the motivations for moving away from Ruby, Capybara and FireWatir? In a word 'flaky', we've had heaps of issues getting our feature tests, AATs and smoke tests reliable. When it comes to testing, consistency should be king. They should be as solid as your unit tests.  If they fail you want to know that for definite you've broken something, rather than thinking it's a problem with the webdriver. It is with this aim in mind that I started looking at the following. Cucumber.js is definitely in it's infancy, there's lots of stuff missing but there's enough there to get going. Zombie.js is a headless browser, it claims to be insanely fast, no complaints here.

sharri.morris@7digital.com
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 12:44

After seeing some relative success in our Solr implementations xml response times by switching on Tomcats http gzip compression, I've been doing some comparisons between the other formats solr can return. We use Solrnet, an excellent open source .NET Solr client. At the moment, it only supports xml responses, but every request sends the "Accept-encoding:gzip" header as standard, so all you have to do is switch it on on your server and you've got some nicely compressed responses. There is talk of supporting javabin de-serialisation, but it's not there yet. I've decided to compare the following using curl with 1000 rows and 10000 rows in json, javabin, json/gzip compressed and javabin/gzip compressed.

anna.siegel@7digital.com
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 12:27

 

Following changes to our Catalogue API, we are releasing a change to the Basket API to support premium quality formats.

This release adds a package element below basketItem in all basket responses. This is to support the sale of music in different audio formats.

An example response would now look like this:

Anonymous
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 03:08

Guest Blog by John Nye on His First Week at 7digital

I have recently started at 7digital and already there are a few things of note that may seem small, but highlight the differences in attitude 7digital take over other companies I have worked for. Below are a few thoughts from my first week at 7digital.

Day 1 - Meet the team

After an incredibly frustrating start, owing to a 4 hour delay on my train journey, I was introduced to everyone, given my security pass and directed to a new starter guide that had a series of tasks that needed to be completed. These tasks ranged from installing software to getting added to email groups to reading up on the 7digital handbooks. So I logged into my Ubuntu machine and started going through the list... wait... Ubuntu?

Thoughts from the day:

  • Incredibly welcoming bunch.
  • Locate an Ubuntu book!

Day 2 - Empowerment