Dev Community North East March 2023

Dev Community North East - March 2023

Eve Routledge - Durham University CompSoc

Durham University is comprised of CompSoc, DUWit (Durham University Women in Tech) and DurHack. CompSoc brings in more social technology into Durham University including how you should learn from each other and working on really cool projects and want to get more people involved.

  • CompSoc - Workshops on Python and more along with typing competitions, paper reading groups and social events with various bar crawls
  • DUWit - Internship introduction, talks, movie nights socials and mentor schemes
  • DurHack - 24-hour coding challenge in teams in 5 and workshops from sponsors and a livestream. Projects last year including Fortune Fruits, Lean Mean Washing Machine, Kill Bills and Dirty Dish Defender

Matteo Catrini - Software Developer, GL Education

GL Education help students achieve their full potential through online assessments, help reveal barriers to learning, identify and support with additional educational needed, provide evidence of progress and more. GL Education were founded in 1980 and have been growing and expanding since then and have excellent retention rates among their clients. GL Education are currently the market leaders in the UK and the UAE.

Tech Team is based on Durham they use Spec Flow testing framework and are hosted on Azure and use Angular. Authoring questions is a challenge as the standards are not suitable so they need to create a content authoring tool along with needing to creating a question bank. Test players are a challenge as these need to be consistent across different devices and have to consider different localisations as well as disabilities. Workplace environment is really good and no one will bite your head off if you do something wrong.

Diner Ismail - Software Engineer, Olio

Why do Olio exist?

More than 30% food is wasted while 800 million people go to bed hungry every night. Olio connect neighbours with each other and local business to share food surplus rather than it being thrown away, volunteers collect surplus food to be provided and they also can provide non-food items that can be sold as well.

They help people go from "who would want this" to "I would live that", with Olio sharing is a mindset. One small share for you one giant smile for Jimmy next door. They have multiple aims for doing small things and work for a better future and have a better planet for them to live on.

About the team

They're on track, quick feedback loops, team is open to change, strong set of tests which are mostly integration tests and developers own the work from planning to shipping and they get time to address tech debt. They have more diversity there on average and have more women in the tech team than men and are fully remote with a couple of them living in the North East.

Peter Bull - Software Engineer, Bede Gaming,

Who is Bede Gaming and what do they do?

I spoke about joining Bede Gaming as a Software Engineer for their Platform Team in February. Bede Gaming are based in Newcastle Great Park but also have offices in Bulgaria and Canada and you can work remotely. Their goal is to drive innovation in the gaming industry by developing the next generation of gaming and lottery software. Bede Gaming made me feel welcome from before I started, through to onboarding just a month ago to getting to work with my team and it feels like I have worked there so much longer.

What is Bede Gaming's tech stack and what does my team do?

Bede Gaming's Platform Team uses the latest versions of .NET where possible to create microservices running in Docker containers, data is stored using Microsoft SQL Server and communicate with Azure Service Bus and we have websites with their front-end Angular and back-end using ASP.NET Core Web APIs. Out Platform team looks after features such as Player Account Management along with other services to help ensure responsible gambling such as third-party integrations using AI to help identify or predict harmful player behaviour.

What challenges do Bede Gaming face?

Testing includes unit, integration and acceptance tests but a challenge is contention for shared resources when manually testing branches of developers which requires coordination between teams using the QA environment. Evolving the codebase with new features is also a challenge as they often require more complexity to maintain compatibility with existing code and often it can be difficult to decide when to remove older functionality which can slow down development along with needing to maintain 100% consistency as for other sectors 99% may be fine for our sector anything less than 100% could be a fine.

What else do I do?

I enjoy sharing what I know with the community on for on for tutorials, talks plus workshops and for posts, articles and my brand new podcast along with attending user-groups and doing talks like Dev Community North East.

What do I love about the North East?

The North East has had vibrant technology scene this century so far with plenty of opportunities in established businesses or start-ups and it is amazing to see the support start-ups today can get to such as Ignite North East. There are also many user groups such as this one where people can get together, talk about what they're passionate about and hear from others. Over the years I've attended dozens of user groups in the North East where have meet new people and helped gain new opportunities that got where I am today including presenting at events like Dev Community North East.

Oliver Hamilton - Technical Product Manager, intel GETi

What do Intel do?

They have many groups but behind their hardware they have a lot of software with four of them based in the North East and Intel also create developer tools and SDKs.

What is Intel GETi?

Intel GETi is a platform that enables anyone to create Computer Vision models and accelerate their vision with AI. Most AI models are very complex, so a most cost effective and easy to develop AI that enables developers to create computer vision systems and can work together with domain experts and avoid siloed teams and can make faster workflows and have what you need to create models and allows features to be created such as AI annotation on images and more. Intel GETi is built on Microservices using MongoDb and others along with Frameworks.

What do they love about the region?

Cheaper houses, better environment and people are friendlier. They have used Intel GETi to recognise birds in a bird box and can automatically record highspeed video when a bird flies into the box.