May 15, 2007

BCS Software Practice Advancement

Apart from mentioning the talk about Sun SPOTs the other day, I haven't mentioned any of the BCS SPA events that I've been to over the past few months.

If you're interested in computing, and live in or near to Cambridge, then the events held by the Cambridge arm of the BCS Software Practice Advancement group are well worth checking out.

You don't have to be a member of the British Computer Society to attend; the events are free; and cover a wide range of topics - from management techniques to computer-generated music.

There's a list of upcoming events on their events calendar page.

The first SPA event I made it to is also one of the best presentations I've ever attended. Not so much for the information it contained (the talk was titled The Second Coming of the Internet and was all about Web2.0) but for the presentation technique and style Adrian Van Emmenis, the presenter.

He started the session by taking the audience with him through some basic e-commerce tasks, deliberately tripping himself up on a number of problems with using the "reload" or "back" buttons along the way. That illustrated perfectly how seemingly ordinary behaviour could cause strange results and confusing error messages. I think that helped the techie audience get into the mindset of the average user.

He then laid out the technical reasons for the problems, accompanied by nice graphical explanations and even a live shop-keeping role-play session with the event organiser and a collection of fruit.

All in all a masterclass in how to keep the audience interested.


Posted by Adrian at May 15, 2007 04:30 PM | TrackBack

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