We’re A PyDev Gold Sponsor

Kichwa Coders are proud to be a gold sponsor of Pydev. For us this is a continuation of the support we pledged last year.  This year has also seen Kichwa Coders join the Eclipse Science Working Group and become part of the global collaboration working towards reusable open source software. Python has always played a major part in scientific software and will continue to do so going forward. PyDev is the best Python development environment out there, we love it and our clients and their customers love it.  We’re excited about the plans ahead, particularly the Python profiler.  Here’s where you can learn more about the new features planned and join us in supporting PyDev.

What Good Tech Events Look Like

KidsAdoreDitchMy 5-year old son and I walked into the Village hall at Shoreditch, not sure what to expect after making the trek into London following a spur-of-the-moment sign up to Kids Adore Ditch. We needn’t have worried, because from our initial warm welcome it was a terrific day-out. And it had me thinking about how I wish all the tech conferences I go to were that much fun. Here’s what it takes:

1. A diverse crowd

The first thing that struck me was how nice it was to have such a mix of kids and tech side by side. The room was bursting with energy. And it wasn’t just boys, there were girls and plenty of them. At one point it seemed unreal as I was chatting with a fellow mum, discussing the pros and cons of the Eclipse IDE , with a quadcopter hovering nearby and a little girl doing snow-angels on the carpet. For me a that was a breath of fresh air from the normal male-dominated crowd at the conferences I normally frequent (added bonus: for once I was taller than half the people there). Continue reading “What Good Tech Events Look Like”

Crowdfunding PyDev

Kichwa Coders is now a silver sponsor for the PyDev project.

We’ve been using PyDev since 2008, and it is truly the best Python development environment out there. With such superb features like its context-sensitive code completion, rich debugging and testing integration it is a tool that has helped us focus on the real programming problems at hand. The development effort, led by Fabio Zadrozny, is highly responsive and always forward-looking.

We are dedicated to supporting such excellence in open-source projects for our and the benefit of the whole developer community.

We look forward to the continued development of PyDev, backed by the Python community. We are also excited by the new features and the LiClipse project.

Join us to support this worthwhile cause at indiegogo.
Read more about PyDev and Fabio’s blog where he explains more about the history and motivation for crowdfunding.

Kichwa Coders at the Great Marlow School

Back in March, Kichwa Coders was invited to participate in a Buckinghamshire Education Business Partnership (BEBP) at the Great Marlow School.

Kichwa Coders was asked by BEBP if we could provide a mentor for an Enterprise Day. I volunteered to attend the 18th of March session for year 10 students (14-15 years old). The day focussed on a brief prepared by Urban Media looking to get input from the students on a new Family Entertainment Centre to be located in South Bucks.

An Enterprise Day is a day for the students to experiment with some real life business problems. The school or a company from the community puts forward a real life challenge to the students, and under the guidance of a group of mentors they come up with a solution and then present the results back to the mentors and their peers.

In the case of the Urban Media challenge, the class of approximately 200 year 10 students were divided up into teams of 8 students each. The teams had about 4 hours to read the brief, and complete a set of tasks before finally presenting their results to a couple of the other teams. The tasks were:

  • coming up with a name for the family entertainment centre,
  • create an advertising campaign which included 2 posters, a radio ad script and a storyboard for a TV ad,
  • develop two “zones” in the centre, a learning zone and a gaming zone, the result of which should be a diagram for the zone detailing the activities and look and feel of the zone
  • come up with the concept for two additional zones and provide the same material as above
  • create a presentation to explain to Urban Media, the mentors and fellow students what the team came up with.

As you can see, the students had a huge amount of work to do. I was mentoring three of the teams providing them with guidance and encouragement on these tasks. Some of the students really impressed me with the level of dedication to this task, clearly demonstrating a level of maturity ahead of their age. The result was that all the teams did a very good job, and even though I thought it was a very short time to complete so many tasks most of the teams did.

The Enterprise Days are very good days for everybody involved. The students have an opportunity to complete some real world experience, the mentors get invigorated by the unbounded energy of teenagers, and the sponsoring company gets invaluable ideas from brainstorming with so many people. I am really looking forward to next year’s round of BEBP Enterprise Days.

Welcome To The Kichwa Coders Blog

Like Alexander Fleming discovering penicillin, my first encounter with Eclipse was unplanned but fortunate. With a background in electronics, I was more comfortable with assembler than Java. However, that was the year the custom processor project I had been working on at Altera was cancelled. The only other interesting role going in the group was looking into a relatively unknown open-source project called Eclipse to see if it would be suitable for putting together a development environment for the Nios processor. I decided to give it a go. The rest is worthy of a whole separate article or two. But in short, I was soon taken with the clean architecture and potential of Eclipse for creating tools in an industry notorious for its hardware achievements far outshining the software tools.

After Altera, I had opportunities to keep working with Eclipse and the CDT, and I still continued to be in awe of how much was being achieved by the open source projects, and how much they were changing the commercial landscapes for embedded companies everywhere. In September 2007, I started up Kichwa Coders – the idea was to keep focussing on the areas I enjoy working on most – Eclipse and embedded systems. This blog presents an in-depth look into the industry from my perspective. Hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think!