IWMW 2007: Day 1

I had good intentions to blog my experiences of IWMW but it’s been a busy couple of days so I’m going to attempt to review the first day before I forget too much of it.

From individuals to networks and sustainable communities?

Steven Warburton – the token academic – talked about communities, digital literacy, digital identities and many other things that often get forgotten in the rush to do cool stuff or the technical details.

Let the Students do the Talking…

Next up was our very own Alison Wildish. I think I’ve heard her talk about these issues a few times before (like every other day!) but it was very interesting to see the reaction from other people and feedback generally seems to be good. All the videos are available streaming online so there’s no excuse for not taking a look.

Parallel Session: The Eternal Beta

Phil Wilson from the University of Bath talked through the idea of the Eternal Beta – that services should be released even if they’re not perfect and using development methods that encourage rapid iterations to software. We seem to have followed a lot fo what they’re doing – using subversion for source control, wikis and ticketing systems for example – and I’m keen to make the next step in some of the agile / XP techniques.

In particular it was interesting that they’re using Pair Programming on a regular basis and for all new projects. The idea is that two programmers work together – one types and the other watches for bugs, suggests code and so on. While on the face of it this might seem like an inefficient use of manpower, it actually leads to better quality code with fewer bugs and gives more developers a good understanding of projects. Bath’s development team consists of seven people so it will be interesting to see how it works for three.

Discussion Group: A Greener Web

The discussion group wasn’t really directly related to the web so struggled a little to have a clear direction. There was talk about recycling, power usage the pros and cons of working from home. Paul Cheeseman has been talking about some issues on the Core Services blog, and our recent trialling of virtualization has potential for reducing power consumption so it was good to see we’re making the right noises at Edge Hill University.

That will do for now – Alison has her own round-up of events written ready to publish in the morning so it will be interesting to see how our views of sessions compare!

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