Software Practice Advancement Conference

26th – 28th June 2017

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About the Conference

The annual BCS Software Practice Advancement conference brings together experts and practitioners to share the latest thinking in software development.

Now in its 21st year, our conference has a tradition of active participation. We encourage conference sessions that bring people together to work and learn and in most cases, many sessions are highly interactive, involving participants and session leaders on an equal footing. This results in a conference like no other and consistently excellent feedback from all those who attend.

Monday Keynote

We are pleased to have Bruce Anderson for the first keynote at SPA 2017, and to kick off the conference with

Learning, geekery and small memories

Bruce led the design of the first SPA conference, where over a hundred people met in Cambridge for a three day residential.

That was in 1993, so this year is the 25th edition !

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Tuesday Keynote

Knitting and Coding. Is that code or a bit of yarn? - Karen Shoop

We are pleased to have Dr Karen Shoop join us for the second keynote at SPA 2017. Dr Karen Shoop is a researcher at the Queen Mary University of London

This session explores the intersection of knitting and coding: how combinations of binary knits and purls creates predictable, repeating patterns; how the instructions of the craft world used to make objects – the knitting instructions – resemble programming instructions; differing, perhaps error-prone, output thanks to human processing; encoding with knitting.

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Wednesday Keynote

Use of a repetitive craft activity to solve a complex software engineering problem - Harriet Shannon

We are pleased to have Dr Harriet Shannon join us for the third keynote at SPA 2017. Dr Harriet Shannon is a physiotherapist and senior teaching fellow at University College London.

In the session, we will discuss the role of the ‘default mode network’ in creativity, and will participate in a number of repetitive craft activities, from pom poms to sand art, that will aim to support the delicate balance between external stimulation and internal perspicacity. We will harness the powers of ‘constructive internal reflection’ in an attempt to solve a crowdsourced, complex software engineering problem.

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Tuesday Evening Diversion

Build a laser bot for Cats !!

This workshop aims to create a laser bot for cats and it will cover every step of the process: from manually building the bot to programming the laser. Cats will be less bored and fat and we’re going to hack on something cool!

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The location


SPA2017 will take place in the excellent facilities provided by The BCS’s London office. Located in the heart of London’s West End on Southampton Street, just a few moments walk from Covent Garden, the venue is easy to reach by public transport and is located near a wide range of hotels.

More about the location


The conference is being chaired by  Hibri Marzook and Nick Tune.

The programme is being organised by Alex Wilson and Leon Hewitt.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

More information on the BCS web site