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Our first unified.diff meeting went really well. Usually we get around 6-7 people at developer meetups here in South Wales, but we had around 50 show up last night from various programming, development and hacking backgrounds, and probably a few with no experience yet. We had a good series of short presentations from the Never Out of Beta team, and plenty of time spent socialising.
For those who couldn’t make this event, our next one’s at the same venue on 7th March 2012.

Handling a Terminal Like a Boss
Most Linux users will be at least vaguely familiar with vi(m), which I’ve played with on a couple of occasions, but haven’t really bothered with. Sometimes it’s a necessity when editing stuff on a remote server.
Warren Seymour demonstrated how it allows more efficient navigation through file contents than most other editors, and there are other tricks like splitting the screen into several windows and using the screen command to restore sessions if a connection is interrupted.
There are also arguments for using vi(m) instead of other IDEs, one of them being it enables a more direct relationship between the programmer and the code.

Readable Code
Gavin Davies did a live demonstration of making object oriented code self-explanatory and more readable by others, something that’s good programming practice anyway. Points to remember include good structure, comments, proper naming of variables and functions, etc. This is particularly relevant in the case of open source projects.

Never Code Alone
Carey Hiles did a talk on the importance of some form of developer community and getting feedback on whatever projects. Most importantly, the process of learning from colleagues should be continuous, whatever the level of skill.

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