Money Money Money

Woman with handful of money

Sorry – couldn’t resist the link …

But its actually not an ABBA revival (much as we would love one) but actually about a LOT of funding opportunities coming through – so first off:

The Digital Innovation Fund is now live: UWE Bristol announces a second round for its £1m Covid-19 Recovery Fund

Following on from a successful first round, UWE Bristol has launched the second round of funding for its Digital Innovation Fund, a £1m Covid-19 recovery fund open to SMEs in the West of England. 

The programme is supporting Research and Development projects in a range of industries and will be creating more innovation opportunities with this second round.  The scheme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), offers eligible businesses innovation grants from £10,000 to £40,000 to fund 35% of project costs.

Grants are open to businesses in any sector that want to innovate and address new challenges that have arisen from Covid-19. Applicants must be small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and based in Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire. Deadlines for applications: 10 November 2020. Apply now:  www.digitalinnovationfund.co.uk 

And some more funding from Rosa

Covid-19: Current Funding Opportunities

Existing inequalities mean that coronavirus is having a disproportionate impact on women – especially women who experience discriminations that intersect race, gender, class, ability, and migration status. We know this means women’s organisations in the UK are under enormous pressure to support their communities, while also dealing with their own internal challenges.

Manic Mondays

Manic Monday

Back every Monday (except holidays) we will have a zoom catch up – if any members want to meet up with one another to call in from a local cafe/bar then we think that will be a nice way to start small gatherings. We have a general intro – then run through some of the upcoming events and conferences that we think may be of interest to the group. Followed by anyone wanting to mention their projects or things of note and a general catch up. If anyone wants to have a further chat then we will put together a couple of breakout rooms where we can have one to ones while the main group can carry on the social if they like. Join us on our meetup page here.

Each for Equal in Systems Engineering

We’re speaking at this one on friday so thought its worth a mention and would love to get more men involved in the converstation to help them make informed decisions when gender comes up in the conversation.

Our first equality and diversity event, that was planned for March this year to celebrate International Women’s Day, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are delighted to go ahead and host it as a virtual event this autumn, bringing it to an even wider audience across the country. The theme of the event (and the 2020 IWD campaign), #EachForEqual, is adopted for both female and male systems engineers in mind and we’re planning to explore steps we can take to create a culture of equality in which everyone can advance and thrive.

From the business perspective, equality can be a great performance accelerator as a more inclusive and diverse range of participants is likely to achieve higher levels of innovation, and greater levels of risk reduction in projects and programmes through greater diversity of thinking and experiences.

Inspirational speakers will share their experiences

Expect a lively and interactive virtual event with inspirational speakers, panel discussions with live Q&A, great insights and the opportunity to network with other fellow professionals across different sectors. You will also have the opportunity to stay online for some informal, post-event networking.

Continue reading “Money Money Money”

Struggling with online learning?

woman frustrated with training

We know that many of you have been taking the time during this pandemic to work on upskilling and Kathryn who runs the Python beginners group posted a link that resonated with her: What beginner’s mind is really like. In response Steve from CodeHub wrote the following which we thought was brilliant advise so we thought it was worth sharing for all of those feeling like you are scaling an impossible task:

  1. You will succeed and so it is worth pushing through. Learning to code is not about innate talent or any guff like that. It does require you to find a new way of thinking about processes, which is quite reductionistic, and if that’s a bit foreign to you at the moment, it will take extra time. But you will get there.
  2. Focussed learning is demanding and stressful and that stress comes in waves unique to you. So don’t worry about the fact that you’re sweating it. Do not compare yourself against other students to see if they too are finding it tough because they are likely to be at different points in the learning cycle. Be kind to yourself and recognize that you’re doing something challenging and give yourself rest periods.
  3. Setbacks are keys to the learning process. When you are blocked, do not worry that it means you are no good at this. Setbacks are a normal and important part of learning, indicating a missing and valuable line of thought. There are two ways to progress through a setback if you’re on your own. You can back off and try ‘circling’ the topic to see if a different approach fills in more information. Or you can try to push through with intensified focus: close off all distractions, grab a coffee, get comfy and re-read every part of the puzzle and force yourself to understand every sentence in its entirety. And also …
  4. Reach out for help from more experienced people, especially when you encounter setbacks. The ideal situation is when someone will set aside an hour or so to work through what you’re finding challenging. Sometimes just putting it into words can be enough. Sometimes you’ll need someone to patiently listen and then show you how to put your thoughts back on the rails.
CodeHub Logo

CodeHub is a great place to get support and they have some brilliant members in there who appear to be simply sat waiting for you to pose them questions – if you haven’t joined up with them yet then go take a look at their slack channels here. We feel like saying that you get 30 days and if you’re not satisfied we’ll give you your money back. The thing is its free and we know that its brilliant so see you all in there…

Continue reading “Struggling with online learning?”

Intro to … SQL on Workshop Wednesday the 26th

SQL

Continuing on from our **Intro to series, James and Ben are going to be hosting an intro to SQL session on the 26th of January at our Workshop Wednesday

They’ll be presenting some slides on SQL, relational databases and how to use them to store information. Then there will be at least one database server to play with, so please bring a laptop and you can try a few things.

We’ll look at how we create a database, query a database and, if we have time, structure it to optimise for different tasks.

Draft topics

How relational databases store information

  • Data types, columns and rows
  • Create a first table
  • Query a first table
  • Create a second, related table
  • Query both tables
  • Different ways of joining tables
  • How databases search tables
  • Indexes and why we use them
  • Create your own database and add some tables with data
  • Other clever tricks: views, triggers
  • Advanced ideas: stored procedures

Sign up on our meetup page here responding with SQL to teh attending question

SG Digital: sponsoring Workshop Wednesday

SG Digital logo

For our Workshop Wednesday on the 11th of March, we are pleased to announce that we have a great sponsor with SG Digital. They are currently recruiting in Bristol and are taking the opportunity to reach out and engage with the community, which we fully applaud. If you are interested in coming along outside of any of the workshops then feel free to sign up and respond with SG Digital on our meetup page here. Also, check out their job availabilities here and if you want to have a chat with them then pop along and speak at the meeting – we will post the Bristol Jobs on our Jobsboard also so you can check them out there too.

Continue reading “SG Digital: sponsoring Workshop Wednesday”

Workshop Wednesdays: “INTRODUCTION TO PYTHON WORKSHOPS”

Python Training

We are really pleased to announce the return of the Python workshops from our very wonderful volunteers Kathryn and Alex (BIG THANKS!!). They have done some analysis of the feedback based on feedback from the attendees last year and have spent their time and energy putting together something more structured for you all. For those wanting to understand Python this is the perfect free intro with support from some great volunteers looking to support our members wanting to improve their skillsets and to get coding. Join up here.

Audience

This workshop is for those interested to learn Python and is aimed at both beginners and those with a little Python experience. The topics and examples are chosen such that you can directly use Python for a Data Science project afterwards. Someone who comes to all the sessions (and does some practising at home) will have covered the pre-requisites for a typical Data Science bootcamp by the end of the workshop.

Note that it is not necessary to come to all the sessions – you can pick the ones of interest to you if there are only some topics you want to cover. 

While it is not mandatory to bring your own laptop, it is highly recommended to bring one if you want to practise with us.

Format of the sessions

Each session will stretch for a duration of max. 2 hours and will be divided into two parts: a theory part and a practice part.

During the first hour of each session, we will present the topic and show a few examples on how to apply the theory. We will be using a combination of PowerPoint slides and Jupyter notebooks for this.

During the second hour, you can practise what you learned – either on your own or in small groups, as you prefer. A range of examples and mini-projects will be provided so that you can select an appropriate level according to your experience and ambition. It will also provide an opportunity to discuss any unclarities on previous weeks’ topics.

Discussions can continue during/after pizza, according to demand.

All material will be available online afterwards and we welcome questions anytime both during the sessions and afterwards.

Proposed Syllabus

Session Date Topic area Covering:
1 15 Jan ‘20 Setting up the Python environment Overview of workshops; Python installation; Anaconda; Jupyter notebooks; PyCharm IDE for debugging Packages and environments
2 29 Jan ‘20 Data Structures Data Types (strings, integers, floats); Lists; Dictionaries; Arrays (Numpy package)
3 12 Feb ‘20 Programming fundamentals Conditionals: For/while loops; Try/except statements
4 26 Feb ‘20 Programming fundamentals Functions; Debugging in PyCharm
5 11 March ‘20 Working with data Introduction to Pandas; Loading/saving/manipulating data with Pandas
6 25 March ‘20 Visualizations Introduction to Matplotlib
7 8 April ‘20 Testing Testing in Python OR Code Quality (Pep8) OR something else? (TBD)