Merry Christmas from QA Consulting

Christmas at QA Consulting

As 2015 draws to close and our offices begin their shutdown for the holiday period, we wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

It has been an exciting year for everyone at QA Consulting and we are eager to see what 2016 will hold.

We hope your Christmas is filled with plenty of cheer and you have a prosperous New Year!

QA Consulting

The NETbuilder Academy is now part of QA Consulting

 

QA Consulting Logo - Incorporating NetBuilder Academy

As some of you may have seen in recent weeks The NETbuilder Academy has been acquired by QA, the leader in IT and business skills training.

This acquisition has led to the creation of QA Consulting which incorporates the NETbuilder Academy.

NETbuilder continue to offer Digital and Technology Consulting Services, and have their own separate LinkedIn page here.

QA Consulting sponsor Strata + Hadoop NYC

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On the 29th of September through the 1st of October 2015, QA Consulting sponsored and attended the Strata + Hadoop World event in New York City.

The NYC Strata +  Hadoop is one of the largest Big Data events of the year, with attendance numbers reaching over 5,500, as well as 135 exhibitors! Strata + Hadoop provided a unique opportunity for our QA Consulting team to discover new ideas, advanced and improved practices and discover some of the most recent techniques used within the Big Data world.

 

Day 1

The event started on Wednesday with tutorial sessions that drew a big crowd with over a dozen on offer and many whole-day workshops.  Sessions included a full day Spark camp, which was introduced this year and reflected the momentum Spark has gained over the last year. In addition, Python and D3.js continued to have a strong representation.

Our partner, Cloudera, discussed the trade-offs between real-time transactional access and fast analytic performance in Hadoop, from the perspective of storage engine internals. Also discussed was recent advances, evaluate benchmark results from current generation Hadoop technologies, and propose potential ways ahead for the Hadoop ecosystem to conquer its newest set of challenges.

Next up, HowOld.net, the robot that reached an extreme 50 million users in just one week.  To handle this massive amount of users unexpectedly, HowOld robot needed elasticity, built in monitoring, and cloud technology to control and sustain the rapid progression.  Their cloud technology turned hardware into software, software into services, and data into intelligence, providing them with the agility needed in today’s online world.

We then had Joy Johnson who elaborated the importance of technology within the vastly growing online music industry.  The recent convergence of digital music, streaming services, and big data have created a new discipline, Music Science.  This has allowed digital downloads and monthly subscriptions to replace all physical distributions of music, leaving labels scrambling and artists adapting to a new world of technology.

The keynote continued on the topic of creativity with the BBC Worldwide insight team lead, David Boyle, his section focussed on the comparisons on data vs. creativity.  He discussed the growing importance on data science, and how it’s growth is allowing it to play a bigger role in creative industries.  By recognition of the industry being about the people and helping them by providing data to help influence and make decisions, allowing data to be at the heart of the creative process.

Concluding day 1’s keynote, Dr. Dj Patil, White House office of Science and Technology Policy. Dr. DJ Patil discussed the act of responsibly unleashing the power of data for the benefit of the American public and maximization to the nations return on its investment in data.  His overall goal being to make the power of data available and easily usable for all Americans and essentially the world.

 

Day 2

Kicking Day 2 off was Paul Kent, VP of Big Data initiatives at SAS.  Kent provided significant tips from the future (provided by Big Data) as well as key patterns emerging from a wide cross section of corporate and institutional Hadoop journeys. The ideas of having all your data in one place, at a reasonable cost, with computing potential to learn from relations between data in all domains.

Keynote speaker and New Yorker Mastermind, Maria Kornikova dives into the importance of time management and recapturing the seeming nothingness of boredom.  She emphasises the vital details of harnessing life breaks for capturing ultimate creative potential in the workforce.

Finally we observed the talks of Jack Norris and his emphasis on how companies can get the biggest results from their data projects today through apps.  Examples of apps used by leading companies in providing the insights for developers and organisations for realising big data dividends of scalable applications.

Strata + Hadoop’s deep-immersion event allowed data scientists, analysts, and executives to get up to speed on emerging techniques and technologies by dissecting case studies, developing new skills through tutorials, and share emerging best practices in data science, and imagining the future of technology. Overall this was a great event for QA Consulting to introduce ourselves formally to the Big Data space.

 

The NETbuilder Summit 2015

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Last week NETbuilder travelled to Palma, Mallorca for the annual NETbuilder Summit 2015! It was a brilliant chance to catch up with NETbuilder employees and great to get everybody together again.

Day 1.

It was a bright and early start for NETbuilder employees on Saturday morning. NETbuilder CEO, Tony Lysak, kicked off the Summit with an inspiring keynote on how NETbuilder will be scaling up in 2016.

This was then followed by a technology update by Damien Despas, discussing how NETbuilder havIMG_1555e consolidated during their first semester and how the technology team will be supporting the growth of NETbuilder. Damien then went on to discuss the creation of a new line of business within the company and its focus for the rest of the year.

In addition to the technology update, Enterprise Practice Manager, David Njogu, discussed how we are investing in continued development through additional training and how we have developed a clear certification program road map. David also went on to discuss how we will be conducting more reviews to help develop a progression road map for our consultants and how we will be enabling our clients to form an active part of our consultants skill development. The session was concluded by introducing the NETbuilder Tech Champion Award nominees, this new award is NETbuilder’s way of recognising the hard  work our consultants do throughout the year.

IMG_1603Gareth Davis, Head of Academy, gave a brilliant insight into what the Academy have been up to in the past year and gave recognition to Karen Lysak, Aaron Mulholland, James Thompson, Kathryn Briggs and Matthew Barnard for their hard work throughout the year.  Finally, he showed us how the NETbuilder Academy was undertaking the ServiceNow training courses in order for NETbuilder to supply the market with certified ServiceNow delivery agents..

Once day one’s internal presentations concluded, our partners and clients delivered some inspiring presentations on how they had been working with NETbuilder and provided some great tips for our consultants with how they can progress and become better consultants in the Expert Panel.

Saturday was concluded with everyone gathering for traditional Tapas at Cella Sa Presma, followed by plenty of drinks and dancing at Palma’s night-time hotspot Titos.

Day 2.

After, what we can call a late night, day two started slightly later at a reasonable 11am . The Marketing team delivered the first presentation of the day where they discussed what marketing have been working on over the course of the past 9 months and how they are looking to build relationships with Partners, Customers, Universities, Graduates and our Consultants moving forward into 2016.

IMG_1609This was then followed by our Recruitment Manager, Liam Maidlow, who gave a brilliant insight into what has changed in 2015 within recruitment. One of the biggest changes being, with our Academy now based in Manchester, Media City, the offer for graduates has changed; they are now based in a very digital location which has produced a strong bond between trainees in and outside of training and with that our recruitment team has expanded to help fill the demand for our clients.

The 2015 summit concluded at 12.30pm where many of our attendees then proceeded to the pool area to enjoy a few drinks and a swim in the sun before heading back to England.

It was fantastic to see everybody attend the NETbuilder Summit 2015 and we can’t wait to see even more of you in 2016!

The NETbuilder Academy becomes part of QA

NETbuilder_ID_A2_RGB_300NETbuilder are excited to announce The NETbuilder Academy has been acquired by QA, the leader in IT and business skills training.

The acquisition will reinforce The NETbuilder Academy’s position as leading provider of STEM-graduate consultants providing specialist IT skills into Clients. The combination of The NETbuilder Academy and QA will provide a unique solution to the ‘digital talent gap’ experienced by many companies, as it brings together QA’s technical training expertise with NETbuilder’s established graduate programme.

Tony Lysak, Managing Director of The NETbuilder Academy, who will head up the new combined division, adds: “We’re delighted to be joining QA who we’ve always seen as the leading brand in professional learning, and looking forward to working with many more of QA’s clients. Joining forces means we can be even more effective at delivering flexible IT resourcing solutions into UK employers, and leverage the nation-wide training facilities of QA”.

The acquisition will allow The NETbuilder Academy to gain access to QA’s 6000 strong customer portfolio, providing us with the unrivalled ability to address the need of the growing digital economy.

“We are very pleased to bring The NETbuilder Academy capabilities and expertise into our business”, said William Macpherson, Chief Executive of QA. “We are delighted to be combining QA’s Gateway programme with the industry specialist leader, The NETbuilder Academy. This exciting opportunity will enhance our provision of innovative resource solutions for our customers when talent is scarce.”

All at The NETbuilder Academy are excited to start this new part of our journey with QA.

For more information on QA please visit https://www.qa.com/news/qa-acquires-netbuilder-academy.

NETbuilder sponsors PuppetConf

slide1_992x530This October NETbuilder will be travelling to Portland, Oregon to sponsor PuppetConf. This year’s event takes place from the 5-9th October at the Oregon Convention Center.

Automating IT has become critical to business strategy. In order to stay competitive, we need to continually educate ourselves on the newest IT innovations that will boost our productivity and let us respond more quickly to business needs.

PuppetConf is a must-attend IT automation event of the year and provides you with five days of Puppet intensive knowledge. The best minds in technology congregate to discuss leading-edge thinking in DevOps, continuous delivery, cloud management and software-defined networking, to name just a few topics.

This years conference takes place over the course of five days; October 5-7th holds the Puppet training courses where you can attend a variety of sessions including an “Introduction to Puppet” and “Puppet Practitioner” as well as many others. This year’s Puppet Contributor Summit on October 7th where new and existing contributors of the Puppet ecosystem come together for a hack day.

October 7th sees the conference part of Puppet Conf kick off, here we will be presented with some great sessions allowing you to become familiar with Puppet, Puppet modules and related technologies to advanced tips and tricks for using Puppet, PuppetDB, Razor, Facter and more.

NETbuilder are excited to showcase our services at PuppetConf and make our presence in the market known.

NETbuilder signs new partnership with Smartbear

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NETbuilder are pleased to announce our new partnership with Boston and Galway based SmartBear, as their first EMEA Referral Partner.

NETbuilder carefully select which technology vendors we engage with as partners. SmartBear is an industry leading vendor and our partnership augments our offerings in Automated Testing and API Management Services. This makes SmartBear the perfect addition to NETbuilder’s roster of vendors that we are proud to work with.

NETbuilder and SmartBear come together to help expand both businesses across Europe and the United States. Their software is used by more than three million software professionals and over 25,000 companies across 194 countries that are using SmartBear products to build and deliver the world’s best software applications.

SmartBear provide customers with tools for collaborative development, functional testing, performance testing, and performance monitoring across APIs, mobile, web and desktop. Their software helps companies to create world leading and APIs by ensuring quality throughout every step of the lifecycle, from the first line of code, to live in production, and every test in between.

Our partnership with SmartBear will allow NETbuilder to supply the market with cost effective SmartBear trained consultants, therefore offering new and existing customers the opportunity to engage with NETbuilder, and take advantage of our full range of testing capabilities and services.

NETbuilder are excited to begin our journey with SmartBear and provide our clients with leading testing services using their extensive product suite.

The NETbuilder Summit 2015

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Two weeks today NETbuilder employees will be jumping on a plane to Palma, Mallorca, to kick-start the NETbuilder Summit 2015.

With all our employees being based around the UK this is a great opportunity for everybody to get to know each other and its NETbuilder’s way to say thank you to our consultants; we couldn’t achieve our goals without consultants who giIMG_6621ve 100% not only to themselves, but to our customers. We also want everybody to gain valuable insights from others at NETbuilder as well as the wider industry, therefore we have some great speakers lined up.

It won’t all be work though, we also want NETbuilder employees to unwind and have a relaxing weekend. Therefore, we have organised welcome drinks Friday night in the centre of Palma; Saturday night we will be heading to Celler SA Premsa for dinner and drinks before we hit Titos, the most famous club in Palma that played hosts to an array of Hollywood’s finest, including Frank Sinatra and Liza Minelli.

We are excited to take this opportunity to update our employees with what’s been going on at NETbuilder over the last 12 months and can’t wait to get everybody together again for a great weekend in Palma.

NETbuilder is a proud sponsor of Strata + Hadoop World New York

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This September NETbuilder will be flying out to New York to sponsor Strata + Hadoop World. The event takes place on the 29th-1st October at the Javits Center, New York City.

The event provides three full days of cutting edge inspiring keynotes, intensely practical and information-rich sessions, and plenty of fun networking events. Big data’s most influential minds will gather at Strata + Hadoop to help shape the future of the technology world.

This year’s lineup has a great mixture of speakers who have laser-sharp focus on the data issues that are shaping the business, finance and government worlds. It is a one of a kind opportunity that allows NETbuilder to discover new ideas, share experiences, learn best practices and new techniques from the Big data world.

The data industry has seen exponential growth rates over the course of the past years, with the Hadoop-related ecosystem being projected to valued at $50 billion by 2020. NETbuilder are excited to make our presence in the Big Data world known.

The NETbuilder Hackathon

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On the 24th of July NETbuilder gathered 40 consultants, divided into 6 teams for the first NETbuilder Hackathon. With the key to a good hackathon being in the food and drink naturally we had a near unlimited supply of Energy Drinks and snacks.IMG_1435

At 12pm the Hackathon officially started with the teams setting up their environments and planning their projects. Within the hour every available piece of paper and board space was consumed with diagrams and illustrations as the teams planned. A number of special guest appearances were made by a number of colourful characters including a coding Monkey, Mario and a Princess.

The teams coded through the afternoon and their ideas began to take form within the code. All of the teams had chosen to use some technology they had never used before and so, as we entered the evening, technical problems arouse. Tensions rose as they searched for solutions but the good attitudes they started with held the teams together. Beer, Cards against Humanity and pool became common activities as the night drew in and breaks were needed.

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As the hackathon entered the early morning people began to give into the call for sleep and the numbers started to dwindle. Fortunately Mario and the princess stuck around to keep the spirits high.

By sunrise there were but five consultants left representing 3 teams. The first project was a mobile app that was aimed at rating banter called “Bantapp” which included a sound board. The second was a desktop application about a dungeon exploration game involving avoiding deadly traps in a text-based procedurally generated world. The third was a mobile app about collecting and fighting monsters.IMG_1436

Then at 11 am, 23 hours after starting the last 5 fell, the need to sleep became too great and, while not completed, they left happy with the state of their applications.