Amazon Development Centre Scotland is responsible for devising and growing innovations for Amazon around the world. From interactive UI design to large-scale distributed systems and machine learning, they do whatever it takes to deliver great products and experiences for customers.
Based right in the centre of Edinburgh in the offices next to Waverley station, their developers, designers and leaders are frequently seen at local tech events – so if you’re interested in a new challenge, check them out!
Over the last few months we’ve released a whole bunch of new features. The main one which several people have been asking for is following an area in the same way you could already follow a group. This means you can go to the page for Edinburgh, select to follow it, then get email updates when it changes or when there are upcoming events.
We’ve also had our third birthday in July! It’s great to see everything still going strong after all this time.
The new features (and version 1.5 of the Open Source software) was as a result of a lot of work we did over the general election for a website that tracked 1,000 hustings around the country called MeetYourNextMP.com. Now that’s out it’s time to let it sit for a bit, fix minor bugs and check the new features are working well for people.
Let us know how you find the site – feedback always welcome!
The tech industry currently has a problem with diversity, and the effects of this hurt us all. We have blogged before about this and many other people have written far more eloquently than us on this issue.
We said before and still believe there is no one single magic solution that will solve this, but a lot of different work at different points by different people.
One of the things that can help however is events having a Code of Conduct on record and having staff well versed in that code. Then everyone knows what is appropriate and when incidents do occur, there is a clear route that people can take to resolve problems.
So today we are announcing that we are adding an “Code of Conduct” field to every event on Open Tech Calendar.
This field will be optional and can be free text or just a link to a web page on the events website. It will be shown with the event details on the event page. But there will be no filtering, or special markers in event listings – the purpose of this is not to harshly judge.
We simply want to prompt event organisers and attendees to think about the issue and for events that do have one, allow them to highlight this.
For instance, check out TechMeetup Edinburgh’s next event.
Any comments or thoughts, please do comment below or get in touch privately.
Just wanted to quickly pass on a spin off project we’ll be very busy working on for the next 75 days. Meet Your Next MP is a site listing all the hustings events for the UK general election, supported by Democracy Club and others.
All the changes we’ve made to the base software so far have already been Open Sourced. A lot of them are to do with making the software more extendable, but one big new feature is this:
You’ll be able to make a user account to follow one area, like Edinburgh or Glasgow and then receive notifications of any upcoming events or changes in that area. You’ll be able to choose to receive these by email or not.
We know some people just export the whole calendar into their personal devices, and this gives people who prefer email a way to do that. This is similar to the way you can follow a group at the moment, if you are interested in receiving all updates from one organiser.
Keep your eyes peeled for more features coming in 3 months time after the election!
At Open Tech Calendar we’re trying to build up the tech scene by connecting, promoting and making more visible events. We’ve heard some great stories from people who found their way into events because of us.
We’ve recently launched a new design with some new features. As always, we will continue to work on this. We have features we want to work on next and more UI/UX testing we want to do with users. (More details to come soon!)
We’re always open to hearing feedback from both people who attend and people who organise tech events. What can we do to make it easier and more worthwhile to list events? What can we do to make it easier to find events?
Please answer in comments or contact us.
Thanks very much to everyone who has supported us over the years. It’s fantastic that a small weekend project has grown to this, and we look forward to the future. We’re also now providing our group calendar platform to other communities, and we look forward to celebrating birthdays with Jazz Musicians, Cyclists and more.
For this post, I wanted to update a chart from an old blog post, “We are building a community of contributors“.
In Oct 2013, this was the graph of the 126 users who had edited events on the calendar, and how many events they had edited (with the admin account removed):
And this is the same graph of the now 206 users:
See you at an event soon – or if your in Edinburgh tonight join us for a drink.
We are pleased to announce new features!
These have been running on the server since friday evening to flush any bugs out – we see a big dip in traffic during the weekend which makes sense as most tech events are during the week, but it means that we are the one site that should go live on a Friday afternoon!
These will be released as version 1.2.0 of OpenACalendar in a week or two and full release notes are here. But read on for a tour of the highlights. Continue reading “New Features Released”
Welcome aboard to our new sponsors Amazon, specifically their Scottish Development Centre based in Edinburgh’s central Waverley Gate.
Amazon Development Centre Scotland is responsible for devising, creating and growing major features and websites for Amazon worldwide. From interactive UI design to large-scale distributed systems and machine learning, they do whatever it takes to deliver great experiences. Their developers, designers and leaders are frequently seen at local tech events.
Thanks to them and FanDuel for sponsoring Open Tech Calendar. We’re only going to have 2 sponsors, so that’s the lot. Their help in ensuring we have time to develop and grow this project is much appreciated.
On which note, more new features are coming very soon … but of course, because we’re Open Source any excitement about what they are is just ruined.
Welcome aboard to our new sponsors FanDuel!
FanDuel specialize in one day leagues for American sports. Players can play against other users in any of the 12,000+ leagues offered per day, with entry fees ranging from $1 all the way up to $5,300. FanDuel pays out up to $1,000,000 per day in cash prizes.
FanDuel is a US company employing 82 people with most of it’s engineering, development, and design teams based in Edinburgh. Currently in TechCube, they are about to move to new offices in central Edinburgh.
To support a metrics-driven approach to the business, they are building a data warehouse using Hadoop and Amazon’s Redshift. This is all hosted on Amazon Web Services using automated configuration and deployment tools like Puppet.
You can find out more information about them here, and if you’re looking for a job and think this sounds like an interesting problem to tackle check out their Careers page here.
Thanks to our previous sponsors Toshiba Medical Visualization Systems who have helped us out from the start. We are looking for a 2nd sponsor – get in touch if your interested!