Schedule Web App

For ACCU 2017, Austin Bingham of Sixty North created an ACCU conference schedule Web application implemented in Elm. After the conference he donated the code to the ACCU Conference. Sadly, despite lots of good intentions, it has not been developed over the year. It seems though right to have it running anyway. So the ACCU 2018 schedule Web application is at

If you do want to get stuck in to helping to develop the Web app the master Git repository is at

Marriott Hotel and The News

A couple of people contacted us about this government document that was released 2018-03-09. It named The Marriott Hotel in Luton as having paid workers less than the national minimum wage. The people that contacted us were concerned that ACCU 2018 was being held at a Marriott Hotel (the Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre) and they were worried that Marriott Hotels were paying people less than the minimum wage, and that ACCU should not be associated with such a hotel.

AYA (the ACCU organisers) have had an excellent relationship with the Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre people since we moved from Oxford to Bristol, and we felt confident there was no problem with this hotel. However, we felt it prudent to ask them explicitly about this issue. For sensible reasons, rather than just make a local informal verbal statement, Marriott Hotels head office have created a formal public statement that they have authorised us to publish:

Marriott is committed to compliance with the national minimum wage. When an error was identified by a routine HMRC audit in 2015, we cooperated fully with HMRC and promptly reimbursed all those affected. We apologised to all our associates impacted by this error and have taken steps to ensure it cannot happen again.

This relates to technical underpayments made in 2015 where some hotels made deductions from wages for live-in accommodation or late-night taxi services. Despite acting in good faith, and with full consent from associates, these deductions were not permissible by HMRC as they lowered the impacted associates’ salary below minimum wage.

When Marriott first became aware of the issue, we immediately suspended all non-statutory deductions. We have since updated our payroll processes so this cannot happen again.

I would like to thank the Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre staff for taking our enquiry seriously, and not only giving AYA verbal assurances, but also "escalating" things so as to get this public statement for us to publish and so explicitly answer the concerns of the people who original raised the issue. Not only can ACCU 2018 go ahead in full knowledge there isn’t an issue, we can continue with our plans for 2019.

Session timetable swap

There has been lots of activity in ACCU organising over the last two months, but we failed to tell people the news. Our "There is a month to go" resolution is to report more news.

The news of the moment is that we have swapped a couple of sessions: Eoin Woods' session "Common Webapp Vulnerabilities and What to Do About Them" has moved from Wednesday 2018-04-11T16:00+01:00 to Thursday 2018-04-12T16:00+01:00, and Florian Gilcher’s session "Three years of Rust – A look around" has moved a day forward and will be where Eoin’s session was, i.e. it’s a straight swap of schedule slot.

As ever the current state of the schedule is at

Sorry We're Late

Due to some circumstances beyond our control, but also some problems at our end, we failed to meet the posted deadlines of 2018-01-12 for notification, and 2018-01-19 for publishing the schedule.

We have slipped everything by a week from today and should have everything sorted and published by 2018-01-29, but hopefully sooner.


First Decisions Made

So the ACCU 2018 call for session proposals ended 2017-11-17T23:59+00:00 exactly as anticipated. The committee then went through all the proposals and scored them and, if appropriate, added a comment or two. Also a number of irritants and glitches with the system were noted and added as issues to the source repository[1].

The committee met, some physically, some via video call, a couple of people had to send their apologies for absence, in Reading Saturday 2017-12-02 to review the situation, and make decisions. Some of the decisions were very hard to make since we had many more excellent session proposals than we have space for in the conference schedule.

It is now necessary to transfer the decisions made into data in the database, make all the consistency and correctness checks, and then we can begin the process of informing people of the results, and doing the sub-editing on scheduled proposals so the session data can be published. Despite the improvements made to the system compared to last year, this remains a non-trivial activity. The question is whether things are ready to send out notifications of acceptance before the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Hogmanay, New Year holiday period. Just at the moment it is not possible to tell.

1. If anyone who used the system and had irritants or spotted glitches with it, or indeed has suggestions for improvements, please feel free to add issues so we can make the system better for next year.

Registration is Open

Archer Yates Associates, who are the people who collaborate with ACCU to put on ACCU conferences, have opened up registration for ACCU 2018. Thus are people able to get tickets for ACCU 2018 as Winter Solstice / Christmas / whatever-your-end-of-calendar-year-holiday-is-labelled presents for themselves and/or others.

True, the schedule is yet to be decided, but we do know Gen Ashley, Hadi Hariri, Seb Rose, and Lisa Lippincott will be presenting keynotes. We also know there will be full day pre-conference tutorials, and lots of great sessions. And social stuff.

Buy now, enjoy later. Register here.

The 2018 Keynotes

We are very pleased to be able to announce that the keynote speakers for ACCU 2018 will be: Gen Ashley, Hadi Hariri, Seb Rose, and Lisa Lippincott. We’re collecting titles, blurbs, and bios and will have a webpage with the details very soon now.

Move the Conference Dinner?

A number of people at ACCU 2017 suggested that it would have been much better to have had the Conference Dinner on the Thursday and the Bloomberg Party on the Friday, instead of the other way around. The ACCU Conference Committee couldn’t see any reason why not try doing this as an experiment. However, we have no idea how many people prefer the way it is as we had no feedback that it was right the way it was. We are currently organising with the new format, unless enough people think it is a bad idea. You know who to email if you have a view.

What's ACCU About

The previous post was to let people know about the mechanics of session proposals and their submission. It did not though set out the scope of ACCU conference content – hence this post.

ACCU the organisation ( is a membership organisation of software developers, software engineers, programmers, coders, choose your preferred label for someone that creates software. The members are interested in programming, programming languages, testing, the tools of developing software, the process of developing software, and all related things. The tag line for the organisation is Professionalism in Programming. ACCU produces two journals, CVu and Overload, published every other month.

ACCU the conference is put on by ACCU the organisation, but is open to anyone who wishes to attend, not just members of the organisation. Obviously ACCU the organisation hopes that anyone not a member that attends ACCU the conference joins ACCU the organisation – and there is a stand at the conference for people to do exactly that.

So for content, ACCU the conference is looking for any material that is interesting to people who create software. Historically, ACCU has a lot of C++ and C content, and is proud of that: ACCU is the foremost annual conference for people interested in C++ and C, at least in and around the UK. But it is not just a C++ and C conference, ACCU is about programming in whatever language people are using, with whatever tools and processes people are using: D, Chapel, Java, Kotlin, C#, F#, Groovy, Rust, Go, Python, Ruby, Lisp, to name just a few programming languages about which there have been sessions at ACCU conferences.

The call for session proposals opens tomorrow, if you have an idea for a session do submit it. If you want to chat an idea over with someone before submitting, please email the conference chair

Proposals for ACCU 2018

Tomorrow (2017-10-16) at, most likely, some time around 09:01+01:00 the call for proposals for ACCU 2018 sessions will open. The call will close at 2017-11-17T23:59+00:00.

The conference comprises:

  • 90 minute sessions, either:

    • 60 minute presentation with 30 minutes questions and answers[1].

    • a workshop[2].

  • 180 minute workshops[3].

  • 20 minute sessions, 15 minute presentation and 5 minutes questions and answers.

There are also lightning talk sessions, but, as ever, these are organised at the conference: this call is for proposals for just the scheduled sessions. This call is though also for the:

  • full day (6 hour with breaks) pre-conference workshops

Although not part of the conference per se, they are separate pay-for things, we manage them as part of the overall event.

There is a "lead presenter deal" for lead presenters of 90 (and 180) minute sessions. This comprises a free conference ticket, two nights accommodation at the conference hotel, remuneration of travel expenses if needed, and a free ticket to the conference dinner. Sadly it is not possible to provide a "presenter deal" for the 20 minute presentations. Lead presenters of the full-day pre-conference workshops get a free conference ticket, two nights accommodation at the conference hotel, reimbursement of travel expenses if needed, and an honorarium.

We anticipate getting submissions from all the usual suspects, and that is good: an ACCU without the usual suspects would be suspect.

However we really want to see lots of sessions from people not in the set of usual suspects as well. If any "not a usual suspect", or indeed any "usual suspect", wants to discuss an idea before making a proposal please email the conference chair

1. Some people choose to structure this as 90 minutes of interactive presentation instead of 60 minutes presentation and 30 minutes Q&A, and that is fine – the point is to have interaction and dialogue. A 90 minutes one-way presentation without interaction is not really what we want.
2. A workshop is all about people doing things.
3. For the situation when 90 minutes is just too short for the activity.