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Hi Guys,

One of our organisers, Fatos Ismajli, an undergraduate of Kings College London, attended a presentation at his former uni about the importance of societies to graduates. Guest speakers from three organisations, the IEEE, the BCS (Chartered Institute for IT) and the IET (The Institution For Engineering & Technology) all made presentations about what they offered to graduates and how they could help with career progression.

Being an active member of a community is an excellent way to network with fellow developers, share information and potentially even acquire new jobs. Obviously the GDC should still be your number one J but these other societies could also be valuable resources.

Here is a brief summary on each, but for more detailed information you should definitely check them out:

The IEEE is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. They run competitions, award scholarships, allow students access to an extensive library and have several special interest groups, including a computing society. They also have a general news site ( and their IEEEXtreme competition is a world-renowned programming contest: (

More information here:

The IET was Founded 140 years ago and is the world’s leading professional societies for the engineering and technology community. They also run competitions, awards and scholarships.

More information here:

Finally, the BCS. They champion the global IT profession and the interests of individuals engaged in that profession for the benefit of all.  The Institute fosters links between experts from industry, academia and business to promote new thinking, education and knowledge sharing. Again they run competitions and scholarships.

More information here:

One more noteworthy society that weren’t present at the event is the ACM (Association of Computer Machinery), who are one of the largest groups dedicated to computer science. They produce a large catalogue of specialist publications and also run several SIGs like the IEEE.

More info here:

I hope this brief guide to graduate friendly communities helps, I’m sure there are many more out there, but these are some of the most well known.

If you have any questions about any of the above or require careers advice don’t hesitate to give me a shout at

Thanks guys,





Hi guys,

My names Aaron Braund, I’m the latest member to join RecWorks, I’m going to be looking after much of the marketing here. If anyone has any questions about the GDC or RecWorks then just fire me an email at

Last night we had our Lego XP Game event ran in association with Thoughtworks and Queen Mary University.

The event ran from 6pm till 7.30pm and went really well. 30 people came along, a blend of graduates, lecturers and consultants from Thoughtworks. The event was lively, with some great fun had by all. Afterwards, everyone went to the Half Moon pub for some beers and some informal networking.

Here is the event page – If you passed by and have some feedback please add it as a comment here –

The event demonstrated the benefits of working within an agile team. Groups had to build Lego animals for a “client” following an agile software development process. Tasks were prioritised to be delivered on time so there was a high emphasis on teamwork. Groups worked well in general and produced some very interesting results. Meeting the clients ever changing needs and expectations was challenging, but ultimately fun for all!

Thanks first of all to Queen Mary University of London for allowing us to host the event in such a spacious environment.

Massive thanks also goes to the team at Thoughtworks who acted as the clients and explained the agile process so expertly.

Finally thanks to everyone in the group that made it out last night. The GDC is a rapidly growing network of undergraduate developers with a serious interest in programming. If you know anyone that would be interested in joining, please forward some details.

Our next event is the December Code Share. Details can be found here – – avid Java puzzlers and coders should definitely come along!

One more thing, RecWorks are always actively recruiting for graduate developers, if you’re looking for a new role after uni then please contact myself, Laurence or Barry by phone or email for an informal chat. If you are not sure what to do after you graduate and would like to discuss your options or just get some free informal CV/Interview advice then either check out or let me know and I’ll put you in touch with our careers concierge team.

Hope to see you at the next one!



The Graduate Developer Community’s next free event is ‘December’s Code Share: Java Puzzlers’ on Wednesday 7th December at 6:30pm.

Please see link for details and to sign up –

Java Puzzlers

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet The year is coming to and end and there’s a last day of term feel to the last code share of 2011.  We’re going to solve some puzzles.  It’s going to make a nice change Joshua Bloch and Neal Gafter have gathered together a good collection in their book Java Pluzzlers

These behaviors are known as  traps, pitfalls,  and corner cases. Every platform has them, but Java has far fewer than other platforms of comparable power. The goal of the book is to entertain you with puzzles while teaching you to avoid the underlying traps and pitfalls. By working through the puzzles, you will become less likely to fall prey to these dangers in your code and more likely to spot them in code that you are reviewing or revising.

Joshua Bloch’s and Neal Gafter’s A Java Puzzlers Sampler Does every language have them?  It would be interesting to see some from languages other than java.   The puzzles seem like the black holes of software, the places where the normal laws break down.  This isn’t true, the laws are behaving exactly as they should but interacting in unexpected ways.  That’s why studying these puzzlers is such a useful exercise: it forces to look at what is really happening, to see the rules for what they really are. They also remind us of Spolsky’s Law of Leaky Abstractions.

All non-trivial abstractions, to some degree, are leaky. Abstractions fail. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. There’s leakage. Things go wrong. It happens all over the place when you have abstractions.

Joel Spolsky’s Law of Leaky Abstractions programming is all about building abstractions, code is just a lie we tell ourselves because we cannot cope with complex reality of engines we tend.  There is nothing wrong with that as long as we don’t start believing them.

A lot of computer programming consists of building abstractions. What is a string library? It’s a way to pretend that computers can manipulate strings just as easily as they can manipulate numbers. What is a file system? It’s a way to pretend that a hard drive isn’t really a bunch of spinning magnetic platters that can store bits at certain locations, but rather a hierarchical system of folders-within-folders containing individual files that in turn consist of one or more strings of bytes.

idid Looking at these puzzles reminds us that there is more going on than our simplified philosophical abstractions allow for.  In these puzzles the consequences are obvious, they results jump out and confound us.  In our day to day code those consequences are hard to see.  They may result in code that performs poorly.  They may confound only a fraction of ours users under unusual circumstances.  Regardless, their are always consequences and it does us good to be reminded of them. Also, it’s fun to do puzzles.

Challenge: Language Quirks

Thanks to Peter Lawrey of Vanilla Java for the following challenge.

Give all the types and values for which `x` make this an infinite loop.  There are 16 answers!

while(x == -x);

Here is another one, this time with 3 answers.

while(x != x + 0);

Please bring along your answers, or any other example of a language behaving strangely.

What’s Going To Happen?

On Monday 5th December, a couple of days before the share, we’ll send out an email to everybody who has signed up.  If you have any code to contribute please send it in a reply to that email.

On Wednesday 7th December, the Code Share itself, we will all have a couple of short presentations.  This will be followed by breaking out into groups to try and predict the behaviour of the code.  Will we be able to successfully predict the outcome?  The puzzles will be printed, so you won’t have to bring a laptop. Afterwards we will come back together as a group to discuss what we have learned.

After the event we will be heading to the Half Moon, 213-223 Mile End Road, Mile End, Greater London, E1 4AA –… – for drinks/networking.

ThoughtWorks are delighted to be sponsors of the December Code Share!

This event is hosted in collaboration with the London Java Community. We expect many programmers across the range from junior to experienced to be participating, so it’s a great chance to see how code is viewed by an experienced programmer.

The Graduate Developer Community’s next free event is
‘Lego XP Game: Queen Mary University’ on Tuesday 22nd
November at 6pm.

Please see link for details and to sign up –

Thoughtworks will be running a hands-on game – using lego to simulate software delivery – giving you an insight to the working dynamics of an Agile development team.

The session is aimed at beginners to Agile as well as those with experience of Agile and XP. You will gain a useful understanding of the processes (XP iterations, feedback, customer involvement, stories) and some of the real world challenges frequently faced in adopting Agile.

No programming experience is required – the session is strongly recommended for anyone considering a career in software development regardless of what role you are interested in.

Thoughtworks are a leading international consultancy, well known throughout the industry for being at the cutting edge of technology and development practices. The Lego game is widely used by ThoughtWorkers to demonstrate practices to clients as well as internally for training.

You can find out more about ThoughtWorks by visiting us online and following us on twitter @TWEuropeGrads

Please see link for details and to sign up –

Packt Publishing are a unique publishing company specializing in highly focused books on specific technologies and solutions – please visit their site to find out more about them:

Each month we run a promotion with Packt in which GDC members will be selected at random to receive free books. This month we are offering 2 LJC members the chance to win;

First Prize Winner will receive 1 print copy of his/her choice
Runner Up Winner – 1 ecopy of his/her choice

Here are the books on offer this month, the winner will be picked at random and announced at the end of the month:

Learning jQuery, Third Edition book

Moodle 2.0 E-Learning Course Development

Irrlicht 1.7 Realtime 3D Engine Beginner’s Guide

jQuery UI 1.8: The User Interface Library for jQuery

To take part in the promotion all you have to do is send an email to me at with your name, your book choice and the address you would like your book to be sent. Please mark ‘GDC Packt Publishing’ as the subject title.

Congratulations to Fraser Hardy and Ebuba Udoh who have both won a prize in October’s draw!

Please visit the Packt site at

Good luck,

Barry Cranford

What is the GDC?

The GDC, or Graduate Development Community is an independent community of undergraduate software developers. Our goal is to bridge the gap between the worlds of Academia and Business. We organise and host presentations and events with senior members of the development community as well as offering advice, guidance, internships and jobs through our community site.