Monday, 31 March 2008

A trip to Uganda

And now for something not code related... In July this year I will be heading out to Uganda for two weeks - to do building work for Watoto orphanages. It's going to be hard work, but very, very worthwhile.

Watoto is an awesome project that builds homes for children left orphaned as a result of war and disease. The project has a long term goal to provide family life, shelter, education, and medical care for these kids.

Thanks to the support of people around the world, Watoto has built several villages for orphans. Far from being drab institutions, the children are given a full life and placed into a new family (of 8 orphans with one adoptive mother).

We need to raise a whole tonne of money to fund this project (as I understand it building and setting up a single house costs about £20,000, for example). I'm not sure how I'm going to raise funds yet, and since inspiration doesn't tend to turn up magically, I'd appreciate some ideas!

If anyone wants to support us in this project, I'd love to let you! Please do contact me.

I'm sure there'll plenty more about this project to come...

Friday, 14 March 2008

So that's QCon 2008

I was speaking at QCon London 2008 yesterday, which turned out to be a lot of fun.

It's the first time I've been to a QCon conference, and I'd certainly recommend it. The schedule contained a lot of very interesting material, and there was a definite "buzz" about the event.

Conferences like this are an excellent opportunity to take time out of your programming schedule to improve the quality of your work. They're also a great chance to meet other programmers. Techies don't tend to "do" talking to each other very well, so perhaps you should consider going to a conference just to get the practice.

If you feel motivated, check out the ACCU conference this year at It really is excellent. (And perhaps I'll manage to not write the talk I'm giving there the night before...)

The one downside to conference attendance is the inevitably large amount of coffee and junk food you are plied with in every break. It's far too easy to just keep on shoveling it in, but after a while your body starts to suffer. Mixed with the late-night socialising that goes on. I now definitely need a holiday to get over it all... and I was only At QCon for a day!

Monday, 10 March 2008

I'm speaking at ACCU 2008

I'll be speaking at the ACCU 2008 conference in Oxford, UK on Wednesday 2nd April.

My session is entitled "Legacy Code - Learning to Live With It". In my usual style, it'll leave you with some practical ways to improve the way you work with code, and it'll be a bit of fun, too.

If you're a developer and you've never been the the ACCU conference before then I highly recommend it. It's excellent value for money, it has a great atmosphere, and you'll learn a tonne of really useful stuff.

Find out more about the conference at More details about my session here.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

I'm speaking at QCon 2008

I'll be speaking at QCon London 2008 on the 13th of March.

Come and hear me speak on "A Tale of Two Systems". It should be interesting, and a bit of a laugh.

More details about the event can be found at