technology from back to front


Forces bolstered

After an intense drive to recruit over the last year we are proud to welcome a number of new staff. They bring a wealth of experience and talent.

Guy Strelitz fills the Programme Manager role. Joining the Lead Developers are Alex Thomas, Panos Katsaroumpas, Ash Hewson, Sam Carr, Robin Green and Shaun Tehari.

We are equally excited to see the very welcome return of one of the key members of the RabbitMQ development team: David Wragg, who first joined LShift in 2007.


Typesetr at the Frankfurt Book Fair

LShift and its partners from the Leuphana Inkubator (University of Hamburg) presented Typesetr(™) to a packed session at this year’s Frankfurt Bookfair during the “The Future of Higher Education and Academic Publishing” seminar.

Typesetr had just undergone a complete UI refresh and integration with the Zotero citation and bibliography service before the show and so attracted a great deal of interest. Typesetr is going to be used as the semantic editing and document transform platform for the EU’s principal research initiative for Open Access publishing infrastructure over the next three years.

The academic version of Typesetr shown to conference delegates enables students, researchers and academic departments to collaboratively create, edit, transform and enrich complex documents whether they be intended for book, journal, monograph or digital distribution formats. An intermediate representation of a highly structured document is maintained such that switching between different output targets doesn’t affect the original’s structure or metadata or compromise the design and specification of the desired output format.

Along with Zotero integration, support for some of the world’s leading Open Access academic publishers is next up for Typesetr’s development road map. If you’d like more information, or to join the Typesetr closed beta program then contact us


Lead Developer and Programme Manager sought

For those of you paying attention you will see we are advertising our regular “Lead Developer” position and we’re also now looking to fill a “Programme Manager” position, which is a rare event for us.

At its heart our development model centres the focus of project management around the Lead Developer. We’re always on the hunt for great developers to fill this role. But now as the size and volume of projects ramps up we need more help running our overall PM practise and supporting the main PM activities of our developers. This role is more planning and mentoring than hands-on and could be very interesting for someone who’s got to the stage where they feel they’ve gathered a lot of delivery experience and a good understanding of what makes projects run well and not run badly!

Programme Manager role:

A key enabling role driving LShift’s delivery capability.

LShift provides software development services across a multitude of industries and platforms and has developed a highly effective, if slightly unusual project delivery model in which a Lead Developer takes the primary project management role. This pulls the project management function into the centre of focus of everyday operations for developers and results in better quality and more efficient projects.

LShift is looking for a creative individual with experience of delivering successful projects using various methodologies, particularly agile methodologies, to become part of the management team and be able to provide support and advice to developers producing their projects.

Project Governance

  • Promoting best practice in processes and communication
  • Mentoring less experienced staff
  • Management reporting
  • Risk management

Support to Lead Devs

  • Reporting and client comms
  • Providing escalation point for LShift lead dev and customer
  • Issue resolution
  • Increasing client understanding of LShift model and methods

Commercial Management

  • Product Management
  • Monitoring performance against contract
  • Reviewing financial performance
  • Primary interface with finance team

Resource Management

  • Managing staff and project utilisation
  • Input to HR and recruitment management
  • Forward load analysis
  • Resource utilisation
  • Project budgeting

Putting RabbitMQ in the cloud

Bigwig is now available on Heroku.

It’s been a big week for Bigwig! We’re now live on Heroku with plans ranging from a no-cost
testing tier through to production-ready services. The Bigwig add-on is powered by the open
source RabbitMQ broker and comes with a slew of advantages for developers and organisations:

  • Scale your applications

    Using a message broker is a great way to decouple your applications to help them scale,
    to cope with peaks of activity, or as a central integration technology.

  • Open standards, open source

    Bigwig is powered by the open source RabbitMQ broker. It is it is the leading
    implementation of AMQP, the open standard for business messaging.

  • RabbitMQ Integrate almost anything, anywhere

    RabbitMQ was built from the ground up to interoperate with other technologies: it supports
    numerous platforms allowing you to connect a wide variety of applications. RabbitMQ Bigwig
    puts this flexibility in the cloud, connecting applications anywhere on the Internet.

  • Putting developers in control

    RabbitMQ allows you to implement a huge variety of messaging patterns, and with the AMQP
    model, it is you who controls the broker.

  • Quick and easy

    Getting started with Bigwig takes minutes, and there are guides to getting started with
    RabbitMQ for many platforms.

You can start using Bigwig here.


LShift presents at Royal Academy

LShift presented one of its research projects to an audience at the Royal Academy
last month.

“Typesetr” goes straight to the root of the problem of automating the process of
converting raw copy to carefully crafted templates and out to production-ready print
PDFs. Ingesting multiple input file types (from Google Docs to Microsoft Word) the
system allows users to apply rich templates and add complex metadata for the
intended platforms (PDF, e-book, mobi and more).

The RA event was hosted by the Technology Strategy Board and several organisations
who had participated in its grant awards (including LShift) presented the results
of their work in the “Increasing the Value of Metadata” stream.

LShift’s Keith Fisher presented and joined a panel Q&A session where several
representatives from academic institutions were keen to know more about Typesetr’s
applicability to and use within the academic publishing sphere. Let’s just say,
“More to follow…”


LShift hosts San Sebastián

LShift was delighted to host a sizeable delegation of tech companies
from the Basque region recently. The Economic Development Agency for
the city of San Sebastián brought representatives from 22 companies
to spend a day discussing a variety of issues and (with expert
simultaneous translators on hand) pose a wide range of questions from
how LShift was founded to how it sustains and develops its lead
developer model.

Our visitors represented a range of company types, from small startups
through to the region’s largest media concern. The overarching theme
of the discussions was how LShift managed to break down the
intermediate layers of management, communications and control in large
project deliveries and put senior developers into project leadership

There was, admittedly, a healthy dose of scepticism as we presented
our model in the abstract. It was when we covered our project
portfolios in specific detail that we attained that ‘a ha’ moment
and went off for a fantastic evening’s meal and more conversation.

LShift will be strengthening its relationship with San Sebastián this
year as we complete a search for interns to come on board for the


Software auditors for Lloyd’s of London

Lloyd’s asked us to take a look at the security design of a new gaming
business that they had been asked to underwrite – this start-up has an
interesting gaming model which has insured the payout of all wins over a
certain value. For Lloyds, the maths works, but only if the software
actually does what it should.

Topjack Games MD talks about how the business works.


London Hacker News Meetup 27th June 2012

It’s that time again – Hacker news is on tonight and you should go!

As ever there should be some interesting talks, interesting folks to meet and free beer and pizza – LShift is sponsoring once again.

The evening starts at 6.30pm, at Central Foundation Boys School, Cowper Street, in Shoreditch.

Come and say hello.


London Hacker News Meetup 25th May 2012

LShift will be sponsoring a fifth Hacker News monthly meetup event.

The evening, a Friday, for a change will, start at 6.30pm, at Central Foundation Boys School, Cowper Street, in Shoreditch.

We’ll be there again sporting red t-shirts and look forward to meeting more potential partners, clients and employees.


London Hacker News Meetup 26th April 2012

LShift will be sponsoring a fourth Hacker News monthly meetup event.

The evening will, as usual, start at 6.30pm, at Central Foundation Boys School, Cowper Street, in Shoreditch.

We’ll be there again sporting red t-shirts. Come and say hello.


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