What we're about

GDG Reading and Thames Valley is the community for those interested in Google technologies in Reading and the Thames Valley, including but not exclusive to Bracknell, Wokingham, Maidenhead, Marlow, Newbury, Slough and Windsor.

Google technologies are an essential part of every developer’s toolkit. Making whatever you develop faster, more intuitive, powerful and reliable. But things move fast and it can be challenging to keep up. Google Developer Groups help you learn from your peers, find out what’s new and share ideas.

GDG Reading & Thames Valley has several sub-groups:

[WebDev]: JavaScript, CSS3, HTML5, libraries, frameworks and tools for building modern Web applications such as AngularJS, Chrome, Charts, Material Design, PWA, etc. As technologies are increasingly converging we also include Android development and mobile integration.

[Cloud]: A platform for cloud based services such as: Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service and Software as a Service. Google Cloud Platform includes App Engine, Firebase, Actions, Compute Engine, Bigquery (Big Data), Cloud Storage, Cloud SQL, Kubernetes, Functions etc...

[IoT]: Android Things and other connected device APIs

[ML]: Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Tensorflow & Keras, Cloud ML, Data tools on GCP.

Although these are our core areas we do not limit ourselves exclusively to them. You may also find events on wider web, cloud and api technologies.

We also provide regular hackathons, workshops, Study Jams and all day DevFests.

Let’s Build a Community

GDG Reading and Thames Valley meets at least monthly in Reading at our various sponsored venue locations. Our meetings will where possible be free and open to the general public. We believe in community and work where possible with Universities, Business Schools, Technical Colleges and Companies in the area. We often co-host with other developer and technical skills groups - Java, Python, Javascript, DataScience, Biotech etc. We like to help Not for Profit Groups and Charities.

Don’t be frightened

Developers aren’t all experienced full-time employees for enterprise companies - often they are business people trying to design better websites, create an app or get on the cloud. And we all have to learn - students are very welcome and we can help you gain valuable business experience as well as technical skills. Last but not least - we advise on methods and products we believe are best, not necessarily to maximise sales of Google products or services.

Follow us:

Twitter (https://twitter.com/gdgreading)

Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/gdgreadinguk/)

GDG Reading YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0nZUldcH1GVWcEs_b2_wHQ)

Google+ (https://plus.google.com/b/114875932755046206016)

Disclaimer: GDG Reading and Thames Valley is an independent group; our activities and the opinions expressed here should in no way be linked to Google, the corporation. To learn more about the GDG program, visit https://developers.google.com/groups/

Upcoming events (5)

Cloud Study Jam - ML and Kubernetes

UTC Reading

!! SAVE THE DATE for a double-barrelled Study Jam session !! Want to get started on the Google Cloud, but don't know where to begin? Join us for our Cloud Study Jam! Get official Google training, a $55+ value, free of charge. Together we'll work through several Google Cloud labs. You will get hands-on experience with Kubernetes and Machine Learning. Then after our live session, you will have free access to more labs you can finish at home. Complete all labs in the quest and earn a Google-hosted badge for your online profile, and additional 30 days access to the training platform to compete any labs you want. Bring a laptop and charger (PC, Mac or Chromebook)! The labs will run on all of the latest versions of the popular browsers. For the best experience, make sure your laptop has Firefox or Chrome installed. Don’t forget your charger. Choose from either of the two Study Jams below: ML Study Jam labs: Overview: http://bit.ly/sj-ml1 Details: https://google.qwiklabs.com/quests/34 * Introduction to SQL * BigQuery Qwik Start * Cloud ML Engine Qwik Start * Google Cloud Speech API * Google Genomics Kubernetes Study Jam labs: Overview: http://bit.ly/sj-k8s1 Details: https://google.qwiklabs.com/quests/29 * Kubernetes in the Google Cloud * Introduction to Docker * Hello Node Kubernetes * Managing Deployments Using Kubernetes Engine * Build a Slack Bot Agenda will follow but to get the most out of this session expect to spend between 2-3 hours jamming! There will be facilitators on site to help you get through the labs. Links to the labs are provided above so you can decide on which lab to take.

ML: Introduction and Codelab for Starcraft II

Spaces Reading

We are very excited to have Gema Parreño over in Reading all the way from Madrid to show us how to create a deep reinforcement learning (DRL) agent for StarCraftII!! She has a lot of experience in this area and is very kindly sharing it by creating a detailed codelab; after an introductory talk she will walk us through the codelab so we can actually get some hands-on experience. For those who want to follow please bring your laptops. If you don't know anything about RL this is a really good way to find out how it works, why people work on it, and what the challenges are so come along and listen. StarCraft is a challenging real time strategy game and is used as a testbed for many research groups working on reinforcement learning and various aspects of ML. You may have heard of AlphaStar ( if you want to read more see https://deepmind.com/blog/alphastar-mastering-real-time-strategy-game-starcraft-ii/) recently from Deepmind. This talk and lab will give you some idea of how to get started with a complex environment where you can try out your own ideas. Gema will also be able to give you insights into what is hard and how people try to tackle these hard problems. Agenda: 18:30 - Food, drinks, networking 19:00 - Gema (@soygema) - Introduction to reinforcement learning and the StarCraft II Learning environment 19:50 Short break 20:00 - Gema - Codelab - a hands on approach with the Starcraft II environment. 21: 00 - Event close BIO : Gema Parreño is Data Scientist at BBVA Innovation Labs. She designed DeepAsteroid, a Neural net architecture able to predict asteroids impact on earth . The project was selected among the 25th most innovative in the world and in between the 5th of the best use of data in NASA Space Apps Challenge 2016 and selected as one of the cases of use for TensorFlow in Google I/O 2017. She currently contributes to several open source projects having machine learning at their core. More at https://github.com/soygema https://twitter.com/SoyGema

[WebDev] Clean Architecture and Software Craftsmanship with TypeScript

We'll be teaming up with https://logicroom.co/ for an evening on Clean Architecture and Software Craftsmanship. *Talks* Matt (Clean Architecture for the ‘Unwashed’ in Typescript and React): Bloated code bases make it hard for developers to work out ‘where’ to put ‘what’ code. It is all too common to see code bases littered with meaningless variables loaded onto framework properties, long winding functions that serve multiple purposes and badly named files. Using techniques from `The Clean Architecture (TCA): A Craftsman's Guide to Software Structure and Design by Robert (Uncle Bob) Martin, Matt will show steps that any developer can start taking to break their code into multiple files with more clearly defined roles. By using this common architectural framework for building apps developers will leverage greater flexibility and less brittleness. *Pete (Becoming a Software Professional)* : This talk is about the most important things Pete has learned about being a software professional. From his days as a frustrated employee developer fed up working with spaghetti code to setting up a business and working out what it would take to hire and bring out the best in a team of developers who want to deliver the cleanest of code with the minimum of fuss. As an added bonus Pete will also introduce his thoughts on gaining better focus and more energy and using physiological techniques. *Bios* Matt: Matt is a software developer who moved from an enterprise team to work with Logic Room in 2018. He is interested in writing scalable JavaScript and TypeScript architecture which allows easier comprehension and modification for Logic Rooms client full stack apps. He is an advanced practitioner of Logic Rooms methodologies; The Clean Architecture (TCA) for JavaScript and Test Driven Development Simplified (TDDS). Pete: Pete is the founder of Logic Room who has a deep interest in ensuring Logic Rooms client apps can change as fast as their clients business does. He helps the team at Logic Room make space to be able to work to the highest levels of professionalism, ensuring both process and methodology can work in unison to deliver results. *About Logic Room* Logic Room is a JavaScript and TypeScript Software consultancy that helps companies build scalable, stable and testable apps. They work as a company’s team or as an extension of their team. They provide development services, consultancy and strategic technology advice for teams. The frameworks they know and love are Node, React, Angular and React Native. Agenda: 18:30 Food and networking 19:00 - 20:00 : Pete (Becoming a Software Professional) 20:00 - 21:00 : Matt (Clean Architecture for the ‘Unwashed’ in Typescript and React)

International Women's Day 2019 #BalanceforBetter

Central Working

Hello everyone, GDG Reading is teaming up with Women Techmakers Reading and Central Working for a belated International Women's Day event https://www.internationalwomensday.com. Our aim is to establish a local network for women in IT and everyone passionate about achieving equal opportunities and equal representation in IT for all. This is the start of more events with the theme #BalanceForBetter. We have three great speakers lined up! We would love to hear from you too. Please fill out our CFP to submit a lightning talk or a fireside chat question: https://bit.ly/2Yky8d9 Schedule ------------- 6:00 Food and networking 6.30 - 6:40 Welcome and opening remarks 6.40 - 8:25 Talks with questions: Talking technology Léonie Watson 35mins Meta Learning Luisa Zintgraf 25mins Perfectionism, Impostor Syndrome, Anxiety and Learning to be Kind to Yourself Jo Franchetti 45mins 8:25 - 8:35 Tea break 8:35 - 9:20 Lightning talks/fireside chat questions and discussions 9:20 Closing remarks Speakers ------------- Léonie Watson (Keynote) Léonie is Director of TetraLogical; a member of the W3C Advisory Board; co-Chair of the W3C Web Platform Working Group; and a member of the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Advisory Committee. Amongst other things, Léonie is co-organiser of the Inclusive Design 24 (#id24) conference; co-author of the Inclusive Design Principles; and mentor to young people interested in the fields of accessibility and inclusive design. She is also a Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP). Please read more at https://tink.uk/about-leonie. Talk details TBA Luisa Zintgraf ------------------- Luisa is a second year DPhil student, supervised by Shimon Whiteson (University of Oxford) and Katja Hofmann (Microsoft Research). Luisa has a B.Sc. in Mathematics (University of Hamburg) and a M.Sc. in Artificial Intelligence (University of Amsterdam). Before starting her PhD, she worked at the University of Brussels as a research assistant. Her current research focuses on meta reinforcement learning, with a particular focus on how to enable artificial agents to adapt fast to new environments and tasks. Talk details The challenge of fast adaptation in machine learning is to learn on previously unseen tasks fast and with little data. In principle, this can be achieved by leveraging knowledge obtained in other, related tasks. However, the best way to do so remains an open question. In this presentation I will talk about the meta-learning approach to fast adaptation, i.e., learning how to learn on unseen problems/datasets within a few shots. In particular, I will focus on gradient-based methods, i.e., methods that adapt to unseen tasks within just a few gradient steps. I will also talk about my current work, the algorithm CAVIA, a meta-learning method for fast adaptation that is scalable, flexible, and easy to implement. I will show some empirical results on a variety of learning problems. Joanna Franchetti ------------------------- Jo is an Engineering Engagement Manager at Trainline who is passionate about WebVR, PWAs, and great CSS. She’s got 7yrs of experience as a front end developer and has worked in various parts of the tech industry from startups, agencies, and charities to large organisations. She is also a mentor and organiser at codebar.io where she is able to action her passion not only for teaching good use of the web but also for improving the diversity and inclusivity of the tech industry. Talk details Ever felt like everyone knows more than you? Spent hours procrastinating rather than starting or finishing a project? Perfectionism, anxiety & impostor syndrome affect many people in the tech industry. Learn how to spot harmful thought patterns, how to avoid anxious spirals and be kind to yourself! We are very excited to welcome everyone to an inspirational and fun evening of learning and discussions.

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