Friday, April 22, 2016

DevWeek 2016

I was fortunate to be able to attend DevWeek 2016 at the Westminster Hall in London. This year I got to hear talks from Microsoft, Google and a lot of leading industry experts.

There were a few themes of the week, at least for the lecture which I attended. I was mostly interested in the Web technologies, so it was interesting to hear about the new frameworks vying for attention especially reactjs and angular. It was also interesting to hear a contract from google, apps have great engagement but its hard to get people to use them. Whereas the web has a low engagement but people can easily access content. There is basically an attempt to converge them by improving the ability to search inside applications. Whereas the browsers are playing catchup to be able to provide the same functionality as applications.

My favourite talk of the week was from Sander Hoogendoorn titled "Beyond breaking bad: the current state of Agile in 10 easy lessons". It was a thought provoking talk which echoed many things I have thought about our own agile process. Fortunately we don't have red sprints, but was are terrible at estimates!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

In spite of the knee problems I've been suffering in the past few weeks, I managed to run the
Kath and I pre race
Manchester Marathon in 4:29:32.

Its a weird feeling the culmination of 5 months of training.

The day started off cold, we had to scrape ice off the car, and at Parrs Wood metrolink station I had to wipe ice off the metrolink map in order to be able to count the stops.

Arriving at Old Trafford Cricket club we were greeted with hoards of people milling around in chaotic fashion. There large queues of people as there weren't enough loos. The queue for the baggage drop was so stupid that we decided Kath would take my stuff.

I was slightly late for the start but that didn't matter as unlike the Great Manchester run the start was simply a rolling one the waves meaningless. Undaunted I started off, at first it was hard to run as the crowds were so thick, but as the miles went by it all opened up. I overtook the 4:30 pacer and the 4:15 pace team, and was pretty happy about everything.

Post race with Erdinger
I was running really well round and out of Manchester towards Sale than Altrincham, I even passed by my office. The sun came out and by 2 hours a in the cold had been replaces by glorious sunshine. Unfortunately I started to overheat a little. The long sleeve top I had felt cold in only an hour before was now too hot. I carried on looping back past the 16 mile point. At 18 miles though I started to feel very tired my pace dropped and I was overtaken by the 4:15 pacer. I was hot and tired but determined to finish, I ran / jogged to the end, the last 3 miles felt longer than the proceeding 23. When I spotted the finish line it was just under a mile to go, I tried to keep running, but finished at a jog just under the 4:30 mark.

At the finish line I grabbed my Erdinger alkoholfrei, medal and goody bag then met Kath, Jo, Holly and Autumn. Jo's sister Lauren was also running, she was three minutes faster than me!

I felt great in mind but my body felt wreaked, my knee pain was back with vengeance, so after a brief chat with fellow runner Aleksandra and her partner Graeme, Kath and I headed home. Though we did stop at McDonalds to refuel!

After a few hours rest Kath and I headed back into Manchester to have dinner with  Aleksandra and Graeme. We ate at Bills restaurant on Deansgate a lovely and eclectic diner with very friendly staff. They gave us our dessert complimentary after we told the waitress we had run the marathon. The puddings were delicious, I had treacle tart and it was excellent.