Monday - BelfastJS @ NIDC Meetup Week


Join us on Monday the 22nd of November for an evening of web development talks featuring 3 fantastic local speakers, giving you an opportunity to learn, catch-up with the community and enjoy free food.

Watch the stream & recording on NIDC's YouTube channel.

Talk #1 by Neil McCallion: Go North, Get Sword: Making Text Games on the Web

Development Manager @ Lightspeed (ex-ShopKeep, BelfastJS)

Text adventures were some of the earliest and most influential computer games. Born of the need to present fantasy worlds without complex graphics, games like Colossal Cave Adventure and Zork spawned an entire genre of ‘interactive fiction’ that has evolved, mutated and persisted to this day, despite the massive advances in games and graphics over the decades.For aspiring writers, indie game devs with limited resources, and engineers looking to flex their creativity, making a text game can be hugely rewarding. The web’s text-based roots, rich APIs, and ease of development and distribution make it a natural home for your next adventure. Join me for a look at the basics of text adventure writing and development, with a focus on what browsers can bring to the table. From simple linked HTML pages to full JavaScript-based game engines, we will explore how to structure map data, parse user input, keep track of state, and add complex logic on our journey to a working adventure game. Bring a torch!

Neil McCallion is a development manager at LightSpeed, a long-tenured browser-based developer, and occasional community speaker. Neil likes to promote the more creative and experimental side of the Web, from audio-visual art and learning aids to game dev and beyond, while also pushing for better performance, accessibility and inclusion on the platform. Will ‘do things’ for cake.

Talk #2 by Paul Barber: Why quit a perfectly good job and end up building a Twitter bot with 60 followers

Data Person at Code and Numbers

After 18 years working in software and data analytics, most recently leading the engineering and data science team at Analytics Engines, last summer I came to the conclusion that I knew what I didn't like doing, the bigger challenge was to know what I did want to do. Up until that point I'd been following a fairly standard career path in technology - get good at tech, then become an OK manager. Since then I've set up as an independent contractor, joined the NHS COVID workforce appeal in a graduate role, and spent *a lot* of time on a twitter bot about COVID-19 in NI.

Things I've learned: - what you are good at and what makes you happy aren't the same thing - working in the public sector is a great and unintentional route to humility - from a software development perspective\, if you thought startups were bad\, wait until you meet the public sector - working with Microsoft tools is a great and unintentional route to humility - building automated data analysis (that other people understand) in 280 characters is exceptionally difficult

Paul is a data and software contractor, recently working with Tourism NI and the Public Health Authority. Before contracting he led the engineering and data science team at Analytics Engines and developed broadcast products at Ericsson Television.

Talk #3 - TBA


The main event runs from 7pm - 9pm, but doors open at 6pm with catering available from around 6pm.

If you're coming in straight from work, come to the space at 6pm to chill out and have some food before the event.


An elevator is available for anyone unable to use stairs, and our event will be taking place in a single-floor flat area without stairs. Toilets will be available downstairs.

Transport and Parking

There are multiple car parks in the area, including NPC Dublin Road and because it’s past 7 there should be some places on the streets. The surrounding area is very safe however NIDC is not responsible for your vehicle.

Code of Conduct

Our standard Code of Conduct applies.


A COVID-19 risk assessment has been performed for the venue. Our event is indoors and will require masks to be worn. We ask that you be mindful and respectful of others if asked, please keep a distance. Capacity will have a maximum of 60 people. Your sign-up email will be used as track-and-trace contact information.

FAQ from You

Send us your questions, whichever way you prefer and we’ll put answers on this page for everybody.