VSJ – November 2008 – Members’ News

Charles Ross, FIAP writes about his new book and makes a generous offer to IAP members!

Recently I’ve been working on a book, with Shirley Redpath, entitled  Biological Systems of the Brain, Unlocking the Secrets of Consciousness. Drawing on a lifetime of work and research into thinking systems, we present a series of radical theories about how the cluster of neurons that make up a brain develops into the accumulation of understanding and consciousness that each one of us has come to identify as our unique selves.

Using clear, everyday language, we guide the reader through the labyrinth of research and behavioural observations to find answers to some of the questions that have puzzled scientists and philosophers for thousands of years:

l  what is memory and how is it formed?

l  how is it that neurons constantly die and are replaced, yet the memories that reside in them remain with us throughout our lives?

l  what is the physical process that moves us from the state of being asleep to being awake and aware of the world around us?

l  can the experience of one generation be physically passed on to its immediate successors?

This is a useful and thought-provoking journey into the mind for everyone who wishes to make the most of their brain. We’ve arranged a pre-publication discount of 25% for IAP members.

More information and an order form is at http://www.troubador.co.uk/book_info.asp?bookid=671. Quote code 859 to claim your discount.

Colin Mackay, MIAP wrote about Scottish Developers back in April. Here he reports on its first conference.

Developer Day Scotland was held on 10 May. Modelled on the highly successful DDD events held on the Microsoft Campus in Reading, Developer Day Scotland proved to be just as successful.

The DDD model is that the event should be free to attend, on a weekend, by and for the developer community, and with no fluff. Each of the sessions available on the day was voted in by the community prior to the event. The speakers are real developers who actually know what they are talking about and are able to give valuable real-world insights.

The event consisted of two development tracks and a third run by SQLBits, who organise community conferences for SQL Server DBAs and developers. We also had lunch time activities such as Grok Talks (which is essentially an open mic session), an Open Spaces session on the topic of ALT.NET and a couple of sessions from our sponsors.

The feedback from the delegates was very positive, especially as events of this nature are not normally held in Scotland, so many people enjoyed being able to go to a software developers’ conference without having to travel to the south of England.

The speaker feedback was fantastic, with 10 out of 15 speakers scoring 4 out of 5 or higher. Part of this is attributable to the fact that the community votes in advance for the speakers and sessions they want to see, so that the sessions on the day are those that people actually want to go to. Developer Day Scotland will be back in 2009. Keep an eye on www.developerdayscotland.com for details.

[Don’t forget to email eo@iap.org.uk with items of news about you or your company.]

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