Five things you don’t want to miss at Wuthering Bytes

30 Aug, 2016

Wuthering Bytes event organisers Andrew Back and Tim Harbour launched the ten-day tech festival to bring together hobbyists, creators, makers and doers, and to inspire anyone with a curiosity in technology. Here they share their top 5 sessions not to miss.

What is Wuthering Bytes?

This year’s event will return to Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire from 2 – 11 September with more than 70 talks, workshops and live demonstrations. Speakers will include Channel 4 technology journalist Geoff White, engineer and BBC Robot Wars judge Dr Lucy Rogers, WordPress co-founder Mike Little, radio and TV producer Andy Finney (who helped to found the BBC Domesday Project) and more.

Co-founder Andrew Back said: “We wanted to create an event that was affordable and accessible to businesses, students and individuals. We wanted to create a space where they could come along and listen to world-class speakers talk about science, software, design, art, data and more.”

Channel 4 tech journalist Geoff White
Channel 4 tech journalist Geoff White

Here are the 5 sessions Andrew says you don’t want to miss:

1. Learn how I hacked robot dinosaurs

Hear from BBC Robot Wars judge Dr Lucy Rogers about how she used Raspberry Pi to hack dozens of life-sized dinosaurs at Blackgang Chine; the UK’s oldest amusement park.

Attendees will learn how, back in 2011, the UK’s oldest amusement park called in Dr Lucy to help liven up some of their pre-historic residents – several life-sized dinosaurs. Accessing a Raspberry Pi inside the control boxes of the dinosaurs, Rogers used a Node-Red visual flow programming system to control the dinosaurs – getting them to roar on demand, breathe, wag their tails and even interact with each other.

2. Head in the clouds: a talk from the founder of Project Nimbus

Learn more about artist Dave Lynch, part of the team who pulled off a ground-breaking world first in 2015 when they managed to project moving images directly onto clouds from an aircraft. The work they call Project Nimbus has led to Dave having performed over 360 live shows and installations, combining elements of art, science, military, maker and media cultures.

Attendees will hear more about how and why Project Nimbus used a laser version of the zoopraxiscope, a device designed by pioneering 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge. Fittingly, Dave and the team looked to Muybridge again when deciding which image they would select, settling on Muybridge’s famous Horse in Motion for the projected display.

3. The rocket science of computing: GNU Tools Cauldron vs LLVM Cauldron

Wuthering Bytes will also play host to the first ever LLVM Cauldron meeting. While LLVM is the new kid on the block when it comes to Open Source compiler toolchains, it is already being put to use by Apple, as a core part of the official tools used to develop apps for all their OS X and iOS devices. This will then immediately be followed by the annual GNU Tools Cauldron meeting.

The two events will create an informal space to bring together developers from around the world to discuss the impact that LLVM has had on the GNU Tools, as well as the benefits of one versus the other and how engineers can switch between the two. The sessions will also create a platform for attendees to discuss current and upcoming projects, coordinate efforts, exchange reports, explore developer tutorials and discuss upcoming projects.

Previously hosted at locations such as Cambridge University, Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters and Charles University in Prague, with sponsors including ARM, IBM and Google, the event is a first for the Pennine’s Hebden Bridge.

4. Meet the co-founder of WordPress: the world’s biggest publishing phenomenon

Mike Little, the lesser-known WordPress co-founder
Mike Little, the lesser-known WordPress co-founder

WordPress now accounts for a staggering 26% of the web, with over 61 million sites hosted on the platform. And while you may have heard of Matt Mullenweg, it’s safe to say that his partner Mike Little is lesser known.

Mike’s talk will feature as part of Open for Business – a one-day conference hosted by the BCS Open Source Specialist Group and Open Source Consortium. Exploring some of the key themes in Open Source software, other speakers include Maarten Ectors, Vice President Internet of Things (IoT) at Canonical.

5. Keynote from Amy Mather

This year’s closing keynote at the Festival Day on Friday 2 September will see coder and maker extraordinaire, Amy Mather return to Wuthering Bytes. At only 17, Amy already has an impressive CV. She became the recipient of the European Commission’s European Digital Girl of the Year Award aged just 14 and more recently featured as the coding expert on a series of BBC Live Lesson broadcasts for the Micro:Bit.

Attendees will also hear how, as a STEM ambassador, Amy uses code to solve real life problems and encourages others to try STEM activities by highlighting the creative side of technology. Her talk will detail her journey from that very first Arduino, right up to her Mission to Mars (via BBC Micro:Bit).

For more info and tickets visit

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