Tuesday, 22 April 2008

C#/.NET Developer required

We have a vacancy at NationalRural for a C#/.NET Web Services Developer. The project is delivering Web 2.0 services to rural organisations through a web portal at www.nationalrural.org.

The portal requires further development, alongside integration with an online library. The Developer/programmer will lead further coding work, including managing the interface with a subcontracted team.

The post requires good analytical and technical skills, with skilled practitioner competence in:

  • data manipulation, utilising MS SQL2005, XML, XSLT, and XSDs

  • web-service and API development using C# and .NET

  • web interface development utilising CSS , Javascript , XHTML

The post provides a good career development opportunity, working on this leading project in the university sector, with excellent links to partners around the UK

Location: Newport, Shropshire

Salary: £30 - £33K - This is a fixed term post for up to 14 months, commencing June 2008 or ASAP

Download further details

Application pack available from

Closing date for receipt of applications: Wednesday 7th May 2008

It is anticipated that interviews for this post will be held on Friday 16th May 2008

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Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Wii caught up with Dr. Who....... hopefully without upsetting our ISP !!

I had a slight dilemma at the weekend when at the same point in space and time as meeting the Doctor again I was expected to go Scottish Reeling.... Enter iPlayer.

Yes I know I could have used the video recorder, but it has become a better chewer than the dog of late. Also I do not have a digital recording device as yet. No problem, lets use iPlayer now that my broadband connection has mysteriously sorted itself. Now iPlayer, Broadband and ISPs are very topical at the moment with ISPs calling foul since iPlayer is taking so much ISP network capacity - 5% is being quoted without financial contribution from the BBC, see Article on ISPs and iPlayer. What is interesting is that they complain chiefly about users opting to stream in the programmes as opposed to those that download first and then replay from their PC. I have always downloaded to get the better replay quality and the download speed is quick due to clever use of peering technology. However Dr. Who is not available to download, only to stream so I cannot be kind to my ISP.... I digress... Looking further on the iPlayer page I notice that iPlayer can be used over the Nintendo Wii gaming device. It is in beta... Now our household has just acquired such a device due to birthday/Christmas presents.. After much debate over the PS3 and XBox the Wii was chosen due to its motion technology which is rather fun... Even our 70 year old neighbours were hooked on it albeit from the sofa due to dodgy knees and unequal length legs... I digress again. So I thought what fun to try the beta... So I connected my tele/ Wii combo to the internet via Wifi and then downloaded the Wii Opera browser ("Internet Channel") and then navigate to the iPlayer page, and there is all it glory "Wii caught up with the Doctor".

In conclusion an interesting technical crossover, but the quality is not quite there yet... Also we had a few stop starts at the end which was a little frustrating... My vote still goes with downloading and being kinder to the ISPs. Yes I know there are those download boxes that one can buy for one tele, but we do not have one... Also I was amused that the BBC had opted to go with the Wii since Sony and Microsoft wanted to control too much of the experience. However I read that the PS3/iPlayer may be on its way due to the BBC's offer of employment to the hacker who made iPlayer work on the PS3 !!!

I think I will stick to beating the neighbours at tennis on the Wii ...

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Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Almost assimilated by the Borg...

Been at another IT conference today. Third in four weeks. Exhibiting, and participating. This particular one was for the third year on the trot, and being a reflective person.........

Been at another IT conference today. Third in four weeks. Exhibiting, and participating. This particular one was for the third year on the trot, and being a reflective person, I'm now just looking back over the day and asking myself (a) "was it value for money..?" and (b) "am I part of the problem, or part of the solution..?"
If you want to get value, they're not a easy day out. It can be emotionally taxing, swapping in and out of roles all day - sometimes you're being the smiling envoy for your organisation - sometimes you're being the cynical, quizical interrogator of potential service providers and merchants - sometimes you're being the ally or the devil's advocate in open discussions and debates - sometimes you're being the genial host - sometimes you're being the roadie, loading up, knocking down, ferrying back and forth.
On the whole, I'm pleased - today we cemented some good relationships; we measured ourselves against our peers; we checked out our closeness-to-the-edge; we said some of the right things in some of the right places.
I've been home now; sat in the armchair; eaten my supper; walked the dog. And it was whilst walking the dog that the penny finally dropped about why today's third-year-on-the-trot conference had felt good... I twigged that what was really going on (metaphorically) is that today we were walking round our territory p**sing on the lamposts, staking our claim to be there running with the pack. We're here, we've got a good hand, and we're playing the game.

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Thursday, 10 April 2008

Work in progress.......

Why did I join UKITA and what do we do in Shropshire? I thought I'd best contribute to try and help with my "blunt northern opinion" to what I find good about our "club".

Tuesday evening was another football night and I had to decide if I wanted to hear about blogs in the Corbett Arms, or sit in front of the telly and watch Liverpool embarrass Arsene Wenger's boys. As it turned out I got a bit of both. We got good ale, nice sandwiches (and chips!), an ear full of "why blogs are great" and saw the last 3 goals on the box - all in all a most satisfactory result! I was asked on Tuesday why I attend and why I'm a member of UKITA, and why I find time to go to these more social events rather than the more technical or commercial ones. The answer is simple - they are fun and I feel like I belong. I never feel out of place at the Shropshire events, it's never difficult to speak to people and I'm not intimidated by Geeks or Nerds, or sales people. I'm allowed to express my opinion and people take me as I am - they even tell me straight when I'm out of order! I go to the main UKITA events for commercial stuff and to push my networking skills upwards. I like to do business with people in Shropshire as much as anywhere, but I feel it my duty to help them that bit more because we share that "clan" status - it's only human to feel that way.
I started in IT in 1984 in Feltham, West London, as a field engineer for a hardware maintenance company. I've moved on a bit since then and now am a partner in an Oracle Technology company called JoraPh Consulting Limited (http://www.joraph.com) based in Telford, Shropshire. I find the duties of an MD very difficult at times and, like many people, I rely on advice and guidance from a variety of sources to help supplement my decision making. Sometimes though, it takes a different type of support to help get issues out of my head, and the camaraderie and interest shown by friends in the Shropshire branch of UKITA has done this for me more than most others, and I'm associated with several organisations including the Institute of Directors and the Oracle User Group.

I'm going to close this for today, and write a bit more as I go, maybe to try and base this blog on what I was told on Tuesday, it's like a diary of events and a measure of the passage of time.

I'll type to you later.


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Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Blogging Event proved to be a hot bed of debate...

Our Unplugged Blogging was a great success with lots of stimulating discussion which proves what potential this technigue offers for business .....

Our unplugged event last night proved to be highly energetic starting with a number of sceptics, but ending with a general appreciation of the usefulness of blogging as long as it is used in the correct way.

Basically one needs to understand the objective of the exercise and the target audience and write appropriately to meet these aims...

We introduced this blogsite and agreed to open it up to all of the attendees of the Unplugged Blogging Event in order to get people involved. So please post away... and remember to put on the appropriate labels/categories.

Now for the chips... They were brill... But I am sure Jeremy will devote a post to this subject !!!

Much of the content for the handout was sourced from Mark White's excellent blogging blogsite

Now for some pictures...

The collective Unplugged brain at work....

You talk, I'll drink ....

Here Roger is trying to show us what a 3D blog might look like.....

A good time was had by all...

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