Archive for February, 2012

Thucydides – Web Testing for Devs – Event this Thursday March 1st

conor 26th of February 2012 by conor

The Irish Software Developer Network (ISDN – love it!) is running an event this Thursday all about automated web testing.

In this talk, John Ferguson Smart will look at the advantages of using Selenium 2/WebDriver for your web tests, and see what Thucydides brings to the party.

It kicks off at 6.30pm at the TCube, 32-34 Castle St, Dublin. Free beer and pizza too.

All the details and info about the live stream over on IrishDev.

Dublin Startup Weekend, March 2nd – 4th in Google

conor 25th of February 2012 by conor

I heard about Dubin Startup Weekend at Twitter Teatime this week and Ma?gorzata Hrasimowicz has sent on the details.

I really like the tagline of  ”No Talk, All Action. Launch a Startup in 54 hours.”

The idea behind the Startup Weekends is to get a broad mix of developers, designers, marketers, biz people etc to work together and turn ideas into a workable business in 2 days.

It’s a non-profit org based in Seattle and they have had weekends like this all over the world.

All the deets are over on the website. Head on over and register, it looks like it’ll be a fab couple of days and it’s on in the cool Google offices.

Ireland’s Companies Registration Office (CRO) launches #opendata API

conor 25th of February 2012 by conor

I was thrilled to get an email from Colm Ahern in Enterprise Registry Solutions telling me that the CRO now has an API which was just launched last week. This is the first time the CRO has done anything like this and I’m hugely impressed on many different levels.

I’ve been banging on about the lack of Government Open Data for years and built a few small things but nothing needle-shifting. Whilst we’ve had lots of bandwagon jumpers in the past 12 months yakking about it, the CRO has gone and done the hard work. The team in there deserves both publicity and congratulations for their efforts.

The API itself is a straightforward familiar RESTful one and currently provides all of the free data that the normal CRO site gives you. Pay-for data is not there yet. You need an API key to access the API and they provide some good examples in PHP, Python etc so that even the most inexperienced programmer can make use of it. Data is returned in XML or JSON.

You do have to register and there is a postal component to that. Yeah yeah, I know, but I also totally understand where they are coming from on this. Remember, they have never done anything like this as an organisation. Technically there is nothing stopping them giving out keys to anyone who registers online but they have to provide confidence at every management level that the system will scale, won’t be abused or won’t have bots slurping down the entire DB 24×7 etc.  I am sure that once they see how it is being used, the sign-up process will be relaxed.

I’ve played a tiny bit with it this afternoon and it was a doddle to use. The sample PHP code has everything you need. I’m already thinking about the kinds of mashups that might be possible with the data, particularly around location and general data mining. Some ETL into Google Fusion Tables might be fun. Hmm, I wonder what type of useful Twitter feeds you could create?

They are looking for feedback from developers on the API. Please sign up, kick the tyres, build some code and let them know what you think.

I fervently hope this will open the floodgates for Irish #opendata. It shows how any system, no matter what the technology, can be wrapped in a simple RESTful API and made available to the public. I hope everyone working in IT in the public sector and Government sees what the guys in the CRO have done and thinks “hell yeah, let’s do it”.


Twitter Teatime – Dublin

admin 6th of February 2012 by admin

Tea Time is a weekly staff meeting held at Twitter offices on Friday afternoons. Every Friday  the company gets together, greets new hires, talk about what happened that week and take Q&A. Anyone in the company can talk about what they did that week.

Over the past couple of months, Twitter have expanded outside the office and hosted a series of events for developers in the Twitter ecosystem.  There’s a lot going on in the ecosystem and it’s a chance to share the highlights with developers – including the latest developments with the platform, areas of demand within the ecosystem, and technical dives into integration opportunities for developers.

Thursday, February 23rd will see see Ireland hosting it’s first teatime event, Teatime Dublin. On the agenda will be a couple of talks by Irish startups who are currently working on interesting applications of the various Twitter API’s, followed by a Q&A with the platform team from Twitter San Francisco who will be joining the proceedings via the magic of SKYPE.

Its a great opportunity to meet other developers and also get a chance to put any tricky questions directly to the platform team.

You can sign up right here on Places are limited. 

For updates and more information, keep an eye on web2ireland and also keep an eye out for the hashtag #twitterDT or tweet any questions or queries to @donal_cahalane