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March 23, 2011

Rob Echlin
Talk Software
» OGRE March meeting – Redis

Ever find memcached is just too limited?

Apparently Redis is the newest. It allows you to store key-value pairs, lists, sets, and even perform set operations, and have them go to disk or expire. I think Jonathan did the show and tell? There are client libraries for a bunch of languages.


  • I didn’t stay for the code wars after.
  • The pizza was great.
  • That’s a weird tap in the kitchen – twist for temperature setting, “push” to turn it on – that’s push toward the wall, not “push in”. Andrew and I had to ask.
  • Nice to see some mixing between Ottawa groups – Andrew, Michael, Adrian, maybe more.
  • Ottawa indie game group, “The Dirty Rectangles” was mentioned –
  • International Game Developers Associations (IGDA) was mentioned:

Tagged: groups, Ottawa, Ottawa groups

March 17, 2011

Rob Echlin
Talk Software
» Review: Ottawa Android Developers Group

The Ottawa Android group met at 6:30pm at The Code Factory. More people should know about this group. It was a lively meeting with useful information every minute.

About the Meeting Space

It’s The Code Factory. It works well for small groups up to 30 people, and has room for larger groups, up to 80 people in theory.

About the Group


Yeah, there were just 9 of us. Most were developers. Several are new to Android and Apps. No women this time. Mature, err “experienced” group, probably two under 30.

Group interaction

We had a great time! Banter and side tracks were fun and valuable. There is a mail list and the web site has recent posts.

About the meeting


Chris presented a report on the Android Developers Convention, AnDevCon The First. Gee, that sounds formal. Actually we sidetracked him and asked questions while he tried to get through his list of seminars and classes. It seems to have been targeted at people new to Android.


Some people were there when I arrived at 6:25pm. I think it actually started about 6:40pm. We left just before 8:00pm.

After the meeting gathering

My favourite size for an after-meeting pub discussion is now 5 people, as that was how many of us were at the Royal Oak. Informative, relevant. entertaining discussion and jive continued down the street and into the bar. We left just before 10:00pm.

Cost? My half-Guinness and dessert came to $13 with tax.

Tagged: groups, Ottawa, Ottawa groups, review

December 9, 2010

Rob Echlin
Talk Software
» These are a few of my favourite groups

Ottawa has a wonderful software scene! I especially like the following groups, and go often, for the technical talks and networking.

  • OCLUG – Ottawa Canada Linux User Group
    • I have been going for several years. It’s the biggest of these groups, not often below 20 people, sometimes up to about 50. What else is good? Lively discussion at the Beer SIG after, active email list, dedicated board, both new and experienced people feel welcome, academic members, wide range of interesting topics.
  • OGRE – Ottawa Group of Ruby Enthusiasts
    • This group generally has a full house of about 20 or so people in their smaller intimate space at Shopify, and the buffet brings out people early for active discussions. More goodness? Active mail list with actual code, latest trends in software development, both Open Source and commercial products discussed, short presentations with live demos at the meetings, pros and newbies, developers and designers.
  • Agile Ottawa
    • This group has easily the nicest space in Ottawa software groups, sharp full-length technical presentations on Agile Software Development and related topics and generally a very good bar talk after. More! Active LinkedIn group, easily the highest ratio of bloggers to readers in any group in the city, consultants and developers, experienced and new, Scrum or Kanban or personalised process, out-of-town presenters.
  • CapCHI
    • The Capital Computer Human Interface group has polished academic and industry presentations, with generally 20 to 30 people. Light snacks facilitate the before-meeting. What else is fantastic? Discussions after at the bar, grad students + professors + government + industry, developers and designers, software and hardware.
  • Ottawa Scrum User Group
    • A group I’ve only dropped in on twice, but already one of my favourites with great audience participation in casual, focused talks on mostly the Scrum end of the Agile Software Development movement. More betters? Developers + hiring managers + a couple of consultants, government and hi-tech, students and experienced developers, newbies to master Scrum leaders. The before-menu varies but there’s lots.

The terms “beer” and “bar” refer to a gathering in a chattering place where some people imbibe, but you don’t have to. I have enjoyed lots of groups in the city, but prefer locations I can easily reach by bus, so I may be missing some of the best.

Click on “Ottawa Groups” at the top of the page for meeting details.

Tagged: Ottawa groups

December 5, 2010

Rob Echlin
Talk Software
» December Agile joint meeting

The Agile Ottawa and Ottawa Scrum groups are having a joint meeting at QNX this month.

Tues Dec 14, 6pm for networking, meeting at 6:30pm, at QNX, 175 Terence Matthews Crescent, Ottawa, Ontario.

Tagged: Ottawa groups

November 12, 2010

Rob Echlin
Talk Software
» Agile Ottawa Nov meeting – Steffan Surdek

I always enjoy going to the Agile Ottawa meetings.
I enjoyed the talk and got a lot out of it.

The presenter was Steffan Surdek. He is a co-author of the IBM Press
book “A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum”, that we are reading at my workplace, Exar Ottawa.

Points I felt important to me:

  • Improve your conference calls by making sure everyone knows everyone’s voice.
    • “Rob here. I agree with …” – say your name each time you speak
  • Help staff get to know each other
    • Provide pictures and video of yourself on the internal web site
    • Use more voice calls
    • No, most companies can’t afford to bring teams together from China to Ottawa. One or two people in each direction is a realistic limit.
  • Share the pain of 12 hour time differences. Meet or phone in their work hours, not just yours.
  • Share information. Write down what happened, and what especially was decided, and wikify it.

It was great to have a chance to chat with Steffan after the meeting. Thanks for sticking around, Steffan!

Tagged: Ottawa groups, software team