New Features Released

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 our new sponsors Amazon Development Centre Scotland!

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.

They are looking for outstanding Software Development Engineers, Machine Learning Engineers and Software Development Managers to join their centre. Positions offer the opportunity to really make a difference to the business by inventing, enhancing and building world class websites and systems and working on exciting and challenging projects. Examples include: all dynamic and personalised merchandising for Amazon worldwide, personalised advertising and real-time bidding on ad exchanges, the Amazon Storyteller app which creates storyboards from movie scripts and Intelligent Recruiting Systems where they search the internet for great job candidates, analyse their profiles and intelligently match them to jobs. The technologies they use include Amazon Web Services, Java, modern JavaScript frameworks, HTML5 and CSS3, R and Python.

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 our new sponsors FanDuel!

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.

Their development teams use agile techniques and continuous deployment with testing to create a fantasy sports engine that handles 3 million entries a week on average, with over 25 thousand of those per hour at busy times. The core technologies are normally Python, Java and JavaScript, but they look into whatever tool is right for the job and are currently rolling out native mobile apps.

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!


New Features Released

We are pleased to announce a whole bunch of new features! We are very pleased with this release, as many of the new features are improvements to the user interface and the common tasks people do on the site. We think the basic structure of the site is working fine and are now in the process of smoothing out the rough edges. Below are a selection of the changes:

Continue reading “New Features Released”

We’re going Open Source!

This is something we have been asked about many times before, and we have decided to do it: we’re going Open Source.

We will Open Source the engine that allows you to run a Wiki Calendar. This engine allows you to run a single calendar, or several calendars on one site.

Open Tech Calendar and Has A Calendar will continue to run as normal, the former for the tech community and the later for people who want a hosted solution.

When will this happen? At least a couple of weeks. We are half way through a major new feature we want to roll out first. That feature has now been released! We will release the code very soon. Released!

What license will it be under? Duuno yet. Probably BSD.

What will it be called? Dunno. Any suggestions? We now have a name, but please excuse us keeping it under wraps for now. OpenACalendar

Will there be a hosted version available? Yes, we will continue to run Has A Calendar.

What are the requirements? Briefly, PHP & Postgresql.

What is the code quality like? …… It works.  …… It has some passing tests.  Um, we’ll work to improve this … with your help!

As you can see, we haven’t worked out many details yet. But we wanted to make it official.

Survey & Game

We’re running a short survey at the moment. This will help guide our future development and we are keen to hear from everyone – attendees and organisers. If you had a minute, it would be appreciated – 1 page and all questions are optional.

We also made a quick mini-game for our 404 page that uses real event data.

Our 404 game

We wanted something silly and fun, but that also made clear what we do. Jump over here to play it.

Apart from the survey, if you have any comments or feedback do get in touch – always happy to hear comments!

Major new version released!

A major new version of Open Tech Calendar has been released! Read on for what’s new.

One part of being Open is that we want people to submit any events they know about, and we have tried to make that easier.

Add from the calendar. Click on the plus sign on any future date to add a event there.

Click To Add Cal

Search for a group. When adding an event, you can search for a group on the page and add directly.

Search Groups

Type in any date and time and we’ll guess. For example “2nd dec 2013 7pm to 9pm”, “2nd wed dec between 19:30 and 22:00” (Note that’s the 2nd Wed in Dec, not Wed the 2nd) or “fri 7pm for 3 hours 30 mins”.

Another part of being open is encouraging people to use our data. We still do this, and we have added Atom feeds several days before events happen as well as Atom feeds as events are created. Click export to see the variety of feeds available. You can choose how many days before.

Other features include … Continue reading “Major new version released!”

Shortlisted for Creative Edinburgh Unite Award, congrats to winners Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire

Last night we were out with Creative Edinburgh for their 2nd birthday party and awards night. We were honoured to be named as one of the 3 groups on the shortlist for the Unite award: “Either the way in which you work or the product or service you offer, has united a workforce, audience, community or client group.” We got a good cheer from the audience when our name was mentioned – a touching moment!

However the winners were the Edinburgh Mini Makers Faire from Edinburgh International Science Festival. We went to this event last year and it was a great day, so we are happy to hear it is returning in 2014. Congratulations to them and here’s looking forwards to more great events from everyone over the year!

Use our data!

Edinburgh TechCube Reception

Over at TechCube in Edinburgh they have put up a Raspberry Pi powered screen in reception – here modelled by Oli. It takes open data from Open Tech Calendar and their own house calendar of events (running on our companion project Has A Calendar) and shows the next 6 events, so those passing by can easily see what is coming up. It’s a simple HTML, CSS and JS screen that is on GitHub so TechCube ppl are free to hack around on it.

What interesting uses of the events data have you seen?