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The Third Lancaster Social

On Wednesday the 24th September the last Lancaster Social of 2014 will be held at The Hall on China Street, Lancaster. This is the third event of the year, and since this is the innagural year the third event ever. This is all the more reason to sign up for tickets.

Shadowcat Systems are once again proud to be amongst the sponsors and to give help in the organising of the event. The Lancaster Social is designed to be a free to attend, open access event that does not distinguish between the different social groups, instead it seeks to unite them.

If you are a business owner, community member, or just a curious individual wishing to meet people in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere this is the event for you.

The theme of this event is 'LinkedIn'. The proceedings will be opened by Shadowcat's very own Mark Keating; Jane Binion wil provide an excellent quick 'LinkedIn Introduction (Jane's Social Media)'; Shadowcat's Ian Norton will chair the Q&As and the event will be closed by Sarah Thornton (Back Room Sam).


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Velociraptor goes to Sofia

This year the YAPC::EU Conference (Yet Another Perl Conference :: Europe) will be held in the beatiful, and historic, city of Sofia in Bulgaria and Shadowcat's very own Matt S. Trout will present his State of the Velociraptor keynote at the event.

The State of the Velociraptor (SoV) has become a staple performance at the European and American conferences over the last few years and it is especially nice to be able to present them again this year.

As always the performance and content of the SoV will be different in each event so a viewing of the previous performance on You Tube will likely reveal less than anticipated, and it is a well-known tale that Matt is best seen in person (if only for the pure theatre).

If you are attending the event then please feel free to come along and say hello to Matt and to pass along business cards/introductions for him to return with to the towers of Castle Shadowcat.


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Earlier this year Mark and Ian presented two talks to the Kendal Engineering Society at their January Meeting.

That was the first presentation of the Shadowcat year and it was a wonderful event where Mark and Ian met a great group dedicated to furthering their knowledge. Mark spoke on Open Source and Ian presented an interactive talk on How the Internet Works.

Such was the success of the event that Mark and Ian have been asked to present at the Lancaster Engineering Society in September. Once again they will be doing introductory talks on What is Open Source (The Bread Model), Open Source for Business and How the Internet Works (The Telephone Model).


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Getting Support, Gaining Understanding

As many of you that folllow the news about Castle Shadowcat will already know the previous year has seen us grow in both size and scope. This has been a challenging and rewarding time for us all but there comes a point where we reach an inevitable presipice. As an organisation we have crossed a boundary from one type of company to another and with that we need to build, grow and change.

Change is always a struggle, much as growth is a challenge and building (construction) a cost. Until this point we have utilised our own internal strengths, and the advice and guidance of business associates, as we developed and evolved. Last year we started a programme of eliciting help and education from a broader range of sources.

Already staff have completed courses in Project Management, Project Frameworks and we have participated in the Lancashire Forum. Now we have joined the Growth Accelerator Programme.[1]

As a part of this we will be guided by a persoanl business coach/mentor. Andrew Dewhurst from Affilius will be working closely with a management team at Shadowcat over the next few months to further enable us to deliver a broader, and more detailed, portfolio of services.

As always we will keep you interested parties up to date with the developments.


[1] A Government run initiative in the UK backed from funds both local and as part of the European Regional Development Fund.

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A New Intern Checks In

Castle Shadowcat are proud to announce the capture of a new developer to add to our growing Lancaster team. We would like to introduce you to, and welcome on-board, Errietta Kostala.

Errietta is a student at the University of Huddersfield where she is studying modern web technologies. She will be joining Shadowcat full time in late July for her 'year in industry'. This is a necessary component of her degree where she will work in a professional(1) environment and work as a full employee.

We have decided to start Errietta a little early early by giving her some smaller projects. This is part of an on-boarding process which will help her to get more up to speed for when she starts full time at the Castle.

During her year with us we hope to construct a challenging programme of tasks which will encompass internal projects, client portfolios and a mixture of community projects which satisfies Shadowcat's commitment to the broader environment.

I am sure you will welcome this newest, and youngest, member to the Shadowcat staff. We know that the coming year will be filled with challenges and we look forward to facing them with Errietta as part of the team.


(1) Less sniggering in the back there, I can see you.

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