We celebrated our 6 month anniversary last night with 9 programmers in attendance.

The format for the meetup was lean coffee; where we all came up with some topics to discuss, voted on them and then talked through them over coffee and biscuits.


  • Cotton Court Business Centre, Church Street, Preston, PR1 3BY, Preston (map)

Who was there?

First timers

  • Stephen
  • Imran
  • Graham Templeton
  • Nick

Old hands

  • Mike Kelly (4 meetups)
  • Dan Kelly (4 meetups)
  • Simon Nagaitis (4 meetups)
  • Sean Cleaver (2 meetups)
  • Norbertas Petreikis (2 meetups)

What did we discuss

Mob Programming

Simon has read about Mob programming and was interested in seeing if any of us had tried it, and/or what our thoughts on it were

  • like pair programming but for larger groups
  • teams of 5-12
  • could work for solving requirements issues
  • brainstorming with code

Coding Kata

I (Mike) was interested in other developers techniques for improving and retaining knowledge of programming languages. In martial arts they have Kata, a set of moves that are practised to perfection to re-enforce techniques and to commit them to muscle memory. Is there something similar for programmers?

TDD Usage in the real world

Nick was interested in our experiences using TDD commercially

  • Continuous Integration, automating all the things
  • Test coverage
  • Refactoring old code base
  • Who should be writing tests > BDD, Specflow
  • Being asked in interview then never using on the job
  • First thing to get axed when time is short, false economy?

Machine Learning any practical applications?

Dan is learning it at the moment via Coursera and University of Washington

  • All just statistics
  • Big Data
  • Amazon reviews. sentiment analysers

.Net Core, ASP.net 5/6 discuss migrating projects

Sean is rewriting an old web-forms app with .Net core

  • Cross Platform
  • seems to just work
  • Developed in VS2015

DevOps with Docker is anyone using it

Graham is using Docker for a new product he’s developing to make deployments easier

  • Eases deployments
  • Stephen is using for development and quickly spinning up dev environments on Macbook Pro, but not using in production
  • Concerns over database changes, Docker scripts the answer

Hybrid Mobile Web Apps

I (Mike) was interested in peoples views on Mobile apps build with web tech vs native applications and what issues, if any people have faced with both approaches.

  • Native may be better for performance
  • If not a polished experience don’t bother
  • Phonegap app slow
  • Android UI easier than iOS
  • Just ship it, users don’t care so long as it works

Brexit - Good or Bad for programmers

Simon was interested on how we all saw Brexit with regards to how we get work in the future

  • Could create opportunities for contractors as per 2008 with freeze on perm hiring
  • Could limit opportunities as finance puts investment on hold
  • If London stops being a startup hub will the opportunities move to EU, Germany etc
  • Limit opportunity for contracts in EU etc
  • Could it help re-balance the economy and move focus away from London to places like Manchester
  • Basically a big question no one knows the answer to.

Take homes

  • Format is good, gets everyone involved lots of information shared
  • More new faces
  • Move time to 7pm for next one to make it easier for people to attend
  • Arrange a more social component either for after lean coffee or on another night so people can meet and chat
  • Could look at doing a Mob programming session at a meetup as an experiment, possibly with a coding kata

Link to the Trello board with the cards on, if you want to add any details or links please feel free.


Another good meetup with 4 new faces, good variety of topics discussed and a lot of further reading to do.

All future meetups will be hash tagged on twitter with #prestonprogrammers if you want to keep up to date outside of Meetup.