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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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Matt S. Trout to Attend and Present at Dutch Perl Workshop

Dutch Perl Workshop Logo

Shadowcat Systems' very own Matt S. Trout will be hitting up the hallway tracks and presenting two talks at the Netherlands Perl Workshop this month. The workshop, held on the 25th April in the wonderful Dutch city of Utrech, will host a day of material devoted to modern Perl.

Matt is a familiar figure on the conference circuit scene and this will be the third workshop he has attended this spring following on from successful appearances at FlossUK in Brighton and the German Perl Workshop. At the Dutch Perl Workshop Matt will be presenting two talks, both of which can be comfortably described as ['not for the feint hearted'][two].

If you are attending the workshop be sure to say hello to Matt in the hallways, around his talks, or at one of the social events he is sure to be discovered at.(1)

[two]: talk/5479


(1) In no way would we insinuate that he'll be found propping up the bar, that would be an anathema. He's more likely to be gesticulating in gregarious fashion outside with a cigarette and a Belgian beer nestled comfortably in either hand or lips.

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Dbic Hack

This weekend is the first DBIx::Class Hackathon organised by Jess 'Castaway' Robinson and James 'theorbtwo' Mastros in the wonderful(1) town of Swindon. Castaway is well known to the Perl community as a prolific docs writer, herder of cats and helpful face in many channels and it was her idea to hold the hackathon.

DBIx::Class has become the almost de facto standard for Perl ORMs in the past few years and is extremely prolific in the corporate environment and has a long association with Shadowcat. The original author of the project was our very own Matt S. 'mst' Trout who will be attending the hackathon this weekend. The logo was designed by Mark 'mdk' Keating who will also be at the hackathon.

Of course these are not the only staff we are taking to this principal event; Tom 'TBsliver' Bloor, Ian 'idn' Norton and Peter 'ribasushi' Rabbitson will also be attending and representing the SC Crew. Of course castaway herself is also a member of the Shadowcat fraternity so we are fully ingrained in this event.

Ribasushi is the current Dbic Maint Manager and his presence, with mst and castaway, secures the almost holy trinity of Dbic personnel.

The event has been sponsored by Shadowcat, Eligo and CTRL-O and heavily supported in the Dbic community. If you are attending this weekend we will see you there, for everyone else watch this site as we are sure to write up the events that occur.

(1) Okay so I know to most people Swindon has to fight Slough for the most depressing place accessible from the M40, but that's the new part of Swinny and a tad unfair. The Old Town is lovely.

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