Latest Blog Items

Welcome to the Shadowcat Blog pages
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Mark Keating | Matt S. Trout | Tom Bloor | Errietta Kostala

The Perl Conference in Amsterdam

Mon Aug 14 17:00:20 2017

Community Traditions

Last week, 9th-11th August 2017, the Shadowcat crew travelled to the European Perl Conference held this year in Amsterdam. It was for us going to be a busy event.

Volunteers Needed

Tue Aug 1 16:00:20 2017

Time to Make a Difference

If you are attending the Perl Conference in Amsterdam this year and would like to make a real difference there is a sure fire way that you can help. Volunteer.

Hack Attack

Fri Jul 21 17:00:20 2017

EPO Hackathon

The EPO, Shadowcat Systems and Mark Keating are inviting people to attend and contribute to a one day hackathon to help organise and restructure the existing EPO sites. We will be looking at unsnarling the

FLOSSUk Barcamp Birmingham

Tue Jun 13 22:35:20 2017


Tom and I attended the FLOSSUK Barcamp in Birmingham last Saturday. I was there partly as a member of the organising team and partly to do some work on FLOSSUK infrastructure in a different location. I was also acting as a chauffeur and companion for Tom who was busy recording and, as it happens, also presenting.

What The Frack!

Mon Mar 20 15:35:20 2017

Out Of Your Fracking Minds

Need, Want and Like to Have

Sun Feb 12 21:45:20 2017

The Columns I Live By

Amongst the tools I use on a variety of projects is Trello. To be honest I use others that are similar to Trello as well dependent on the client requirements but a default tool is Trello because of my familiarity with it.

Fosdem 2017

Mon Feb 6 22:45:20 2017

A Snapshot of Perl at FOSDEM

In what has become a yearly tradition some members of the Shadowcat Team decamped to Brussels for a long weekend in the early months of the year for the annual FOSDEM event.

How much is a picture worth?

Tue Jan 24 21:45:20 2017

You will probably say a thousand wor...

The Chocolate Teapot

Tue Jan 17 21:45:20 2017

Be careful of what you ask for... you might get it

The # Superlative Items for $Thing

Tue Jan 10 20:45:20 2017

Do not mention Hitler or his Copywriter

Before I start I should invoke one of these <Rant> as yet again I am going to discuss something that irks me. This particular itch is about language, or more specifically about a naming convention.

Permission Denied

Tue Jan 3 13:05:20 2017

Seek Permission, Do Not Demand

This morning I was updating some applications on my phone, I noticed one of the applications asked for a lot more information than previously (it is why the phone didn&acirc;&#128;&#153;t auto-update it). The reason for the asking of these permissions is clearly for the application to build out its community features and grow their market share. But I have an issue with this.

The New FLOSS Council

Mon Oct 3 14:35:20 2016

Change and Refresh

Each year FLOSSUK holds an AGM where we discuss the shape of the organisation and deal with the legal duties of electing representatives from the membership. As such there are usually a few changes to the council and this year was no exception.

The PSIXDISTS experiment

Tue Aug 30 20:20:00 2016

Because we have to start somewhere, and this somewhere looks sunny.

Innovation 02: Find a Friend

Mon Aug 15 10:35:20 2016

You just remember what your old pal said[1]

Innovation 01: What Makes A Successful Product?

Tue Jul 19 10:57:13 2016

The Market Gap

There are a number of elements that people attribute to making a product that is desired and successful but we can distill this down to three simple questions.

The Estimated Cost

Mon Jun 27 16:26:47 2016

What do you mean that will cost?

I have heard this response a fair time as well and I am afraid the answer to both of those is in the opening. But let me show you using images and allegory. When we are asked to estimate on building a project there is an expectation, and some might believe is, that this should have no cost to prepare; be broadly accurate; have a upper, or fixed, price in time and money that can be clearly defined and adhered to.

Video for Business

Thu Jun 16 16:23:47 2016

What Do We Mean By Video?

Last week I attended a presentation by Workshop Media titled &#39;Are You Ready for Video&acirc;&#128;&#153;. The presentation was given by the amiable DJ Guest who is a likeable and energetic presenter. The content of the video, in brief, was a mixture of anecdotal discourse on the value of video with some analysis of the market strength to using video.

Five Words: 01 Quirky

Mon Jun 13 23:53:47 2016

The SC Staff are Truly Eccentric

The first word that pops into my head when I think about Shadowcat, its staff, its mindset, its history is quirky. I know a lot of people use the word niche or individual and the over-used unique in the same manner. But I would use Quirky. We are a little eccentric, yes that means a little mad I guess.

Five Words: The Introduction

Mon May 30 23:53:47 2016

What Isla Knew

I attended a presentation by the wonderful Isla Wilson last year. In that presentation, pretty much at the start, she ran a series of small demonstrations. One particular test was to think of five words to describe your business.

FLOSSUK Spring DevOps 2016: The Presentations 09

Fri Apr 29 16:03:47 2016

Lameck Amugongo: Data Revolution Catalyst

FLOSSUK Spring DevOps 2016: The Presentations 08

Mon Apr 25 15:50:47 2016

Dawn Foster: Open Source: A Job and an Adventure

The talk from Matt was first presented two years ago but Matt recently updated it and delivered it for us at FLOSS Spring. The talk is still relevant as it is a series of steps for good automation practices when you come to automate a system not a discussion of a recent piece of software.

FLOSSUK Spring DevOps 2016: The Presentations 07

Fri Apr 22 13:15:27 2016

Matt S. Trout: Architecture Automation

The talk from Matt was first presented two years ago but Matt recently updated it and delivered it for us at FLOSS Spring. The talk is still relevant as it is a series of steps for good automation practices when you come to automate a system not a discussion of a recent piece of software.

FLOSSUK Spring DevOps 2016: The Presentations 06

Tue Apr 19 12:55:15 2016

Stephen Grier: Is Config. Management Still Relevant in a Containerised World

Stephen Grier works at the University of Central London where he mostly focuses on what he terms as &acirc;&#128;&#152;web technologies&acirc;&#128;&#153; and utilises Puppet for configuration management.

FLOSSUK Spring DevOps 2016: The Presentations 05

Fri Apr 15 16:55:15 2016

Bernd Erk: Icinga - Middle of your Toolchain

Bernd is the project lead on the Icinga project and has returned to the Spring Conference on a yearly basis to tell us about the latest developments. In the last few years the project has gone from strength to strength and the Icinga Version 2 carries that torch far forward. Icinga was originally a fork of Nagios with the intention of making it more accessible.

FLOSSUK Spring DevOps 2016: The Presentations 04

Wed Apr 13 13:55:15 2016

Rick Deller: Developing Your Brand

Rick Deller is an Open Source recruitment specialist at Eligo. Before you start to instantly make assumptions he is probably one of the few really good recruiters as he does care about the industry and the communities. Rick, and Eligo, are sponsors of a number of community events and Rick is always on hand to help out. One of his ways of contributing is in talks. Last year Rick spoke about how to write a good CV for your next job and this year he returned with the ideas of how to develop yourself as a brand to make your career stronger.

FLOSSUK Spring DevOps 2016: The Presentations 03

Mon Apr 11 11:55:15 2016

Paul Waring: Configuration Management with Ansible and Git

The conference had a strong feel of configuration management to it and the second talk on the subject I attended was from Paul Waring about using Ansible. A section of Paul&acirc;&#128;&#153;s talk was a little confusing to me as I lost the thread in the second half of his presentation. This was less to do with Paul&acirc;&#128;&#153;s presentation style and more my inexperience with the subject and sitting too far to the back of the room so that I couldn&acirc;&#128;&#153;t follow the slides (again this wasn&acirc;&#128;&#153;t Paul&acirc;&#128;&#153;s fault the room had very large windows and no blinds).

One Decade Down: Sponsorship

Thu Apr 7 13:00:15 2016

Part 10: The Well Sponsored World

There is a level of debate that can be had about whether we need, or should encourage, sponsorship in open source, voluntary or civil sectors. I like sponsorship, I like sponsors and I feel that you need to sponsor if you are in business. I think the act of sponsoring what are good ideas whether complimentary to your business activities or merely a remote, or passing, interest is a necessity.

FLOSSUK Spring DevOps 2016: The Presentations 02

Tue Apr 5 11:34:15 2016

Thom May: When Applications Make Promises

Thom is an applications developer with Chef, his talk was focussed on how Chef works in regards to Promise Theory

FLOSSUK Spring DevOps 2016: The Presentations 01

Sun Apr 3 21:34:15 2016

Mandi Walls: Always Be Learning

Mandi is a software developer currently working for Chef in London, the talk wasn&acirc;&#128;&#153;t about Chef though, it was about the Open Source world and our part within. Mandi started with a discussion an early large HP conference that she attended. The event had a number of communities gathered together to discuss a certain topic, however they were still segregated, this is an attitude that still persists today. We might have shared features but we remain tribal about our software choices.

One Decade Down: Conferences and Meetings

Sat Apr 2 20:34:15 2016

Part 9: From Web Frameworks to Keynotes and Organising

Shadowcat have been attending conferences, events, tech meetings and talks for as many years as we have been trading. A huge part of our community life revolves around the various meetings and events. In the murky past we used the term &acirc;&#128;&#152;Conference Season&acirc;&#128;&#153; to depict a period of the year when we would be attending the various Perl related events, usually the [YAPC::NA][na] (Yet Another Perl Conference::North America) and the [YAPC::EU][eu] which happen either side of the Western Summer break.