Clifford Agius

Clifford Agius

Freelance Developer that just so happens to fly a Boeing 787 around the world.

Cliff is a senior first officer with a Major UK Airline on one of its newest jets the 787 Dreamliner.
He has a passion for flying from an early age, although his earlier career was spent as an apprentice at the Ford Motor Company and then a Project Engineer covering Electrical/Software/Robot engineering in major automotive brands. However his drive, focus and determination was always to become a pilot.
After self funding his pilots license and passing all necessary exams his first commercial flight was with Aer Arran (Irish regional airline), where he flew ATRs from Dublin and Galway to Ireland regions and into the UK. After this the jets got bigger, the cattle slightly less and eventually he applied and was selected to join a Major UK Airline.
After initially flying the Airbus A320 Cliff has continued his personal development and now fly’s the fleet of 787’s across the world, including the recently arrived B787-900 with the new First Class.
Although the current jets are technologically advanced its Cliff’s every decision and calculation on a minute-by- minute basis that carries over 215 people safely back and forth over the Atlantic or Siberia, therefore every decision is a critical one. He therefore has acute awareness of people’s decision-making processes and the consequences of these.
Its these decisions that impact on people’s lives, from lost luggage to engine issues to landing in fog, every decision is critical and everyone has an impact on how the airline remain competitive minute by minute, if not second by second. When not flying the plastic jet he spends his time huddled over his laptop thrashing the keyboard and working on some project from embedded systems to .Net.
Personal challenges are always part of Cliff’s spare time and as well as continuing to design computer software he is busy with family life of a Wife, 3 Boys and 2 dogs and is also a keen cyclist, with the Alps Passporte’s challenge as next year’s goal.

Current sessions

Building a Mobile Flight Simulator

Rebuilding the British Airways Mobile Flight simulator that is used to teach aviation STEM subjects to children or be a centre piece at a Corporate event.

The simulator is based on a Boeing 787 and is fitted into the back of a trailer that can be best descirbed as a burger van. In here you enter the world of flight sitting next to a BA line pilot while you try and land a 200Tonne aircraft.

In building the simulator there is a lot of IOT for the controls and instruments as well as a bespoke Application written to enable the Instructor to be able to control the simulator. This App can control where the Aircraft is, the weather and even throw in an emergency or two.

In this talk I will cover the details of the Simulator and how we built it as well as the Tech used, I will even show the DotNet code that went into the Instructors station.

Come along and really get your geek on with Aviation, Code and IOT all in one talk.

Walk away having learnt how to build your own simulator seen how you can control a simulated world from DotNet and a little IOT as well.


Pilot Decision Management

This talk explores Clifford's experience as a Boeing 787 Dreamliner Pilot and the critical decision management skills required therein.
As an Airline pilot, you may be required to make a decision often quickly to react to a situation as it presents itself and you will discover a way to achieve this called TDODAR. This model ensures that you achieve a safe outcome for all on board and Clifford often finds himself using the same model when facing a problem whilst wearing his Dev hat and it's yet to fail him.


3D printed Bionic Hand a little IOT and a Xamarin Mobile App

Description
Meet Kayden, a local 15yr old young man and close family friend, who was born with no left forearm and hand.
The National Health Service (NHS) is an amazing service in the UK, however their prosthetic provision is both basic and expensive (to the NHS).
Surely with modern technology we can not only improve the lives of young people like Kayden but also demonstrate how we can do it more cost effectively than current options.
This talk details how I set about building on the wonderful work of the OpenBionics team to provide Kayden with an alternative to the NHS prosthesis.
We'll discuss:

- How 3D printing of parts for the hand can be much more effective (cost and function) than fibre glass moulds

- Using home 3D printing we can create a viable articulated hand

- Using off the shelf commodity IoT boards from Adafruit can be used to program the hand (and how this is more viable than alternative approaches) but more recently in the project moving to the new WildernessLabs F7 board so that the whole project in DotNet.

- Creating a Xamarin application to connect via Bluetooth and provide customisation and control options for the hand and the challenges of UI design for those with accessibility issues.

- How this option can reduce the costs from £000's to several hundred £s and is being done as an Open Source project which will hopefully lead to designs and kits being available for others around the world to build their own.
Attendees will learn about and see demos of:

- The 3D printed hand and related components
- Programming of the IoT board and sensors (In DotNet and C#)
- Creation of the Xamarin application to customise the hand.
- Bluetooth connection options.

Please note: Kayden and his family have given express permission to use his name and images for this talk.


Team skills at 600Mph and 40,000ft.

As an Airline pilot I have to work as a member of a close nit team to ensure that the 200 tonne aircraft with 215 people get from point A to point B without featuring on that nights news. We often do this as a team of 12-14 people, most we have never met before with differing views and experience. So how do we manage this to ensure that we act as One Team to achieve a safe outcome.
My talk will be about the skills Crew use day to day in the Airline industry and how they too could help your team work together. From CRM (Crew Resource Management), the dreaded SARAH cycle to little tricks to get the team together and working towards the common goal.


.NET on tiny IOT Meadow Boards.

Description

It's a fact that DotNET has been around for 20 years and was once just the preserve of Windows, but has in recent years moved to Mobile using Mono and Xamarin, but still big powerful systems and processors.
However, thanks to the work of WildernessLabs there is now the Meadow F7 board, a small form factor IOT board based around the Adafruit Feather. This means you can now write your Dot NET C#/F# code and truly run anywhere.
The idea of this talk is to show that your existing DotNET skills can be used on IOT platforms without the scary Arduino version of C, you really do now have the skills to write code that will run anywhere.
I am just a DotNET dev like you, I don’t work for WildernessLabs and this is not going to be a sales talk about the Meadow system, I backed the Kickstarter and I just enjoy playing with IOT. I want to show you that it’s scary and you too have the skills to diving in and get that LED blinking after that you can automate the home.

We'll discuss:
- The process of setting up the Meadow board and getting that first Hello World Blinky light going.
- Brief explanation of the board and tooling
- Demo a more complex system where the board is battery powered measuring sensor values and reporting this to an Azure function for processing.


This talk will be a first as the Kickstarter boards have only just shipped this week (3rd October) and have yet to arrive. This means the talk and code will be written over the coming weeks.

Only extra need on the day will be a small camera that can display the actions of the board on the presentation screen, I can arrange this if the room AV is not able to supply this.

Target Audience for this will be beginners to IOT.


Xamarin File->New to on your Mobile device

Description

Xamarin and Mobile apps may look and feel scary, how do I write C# code on my Windows/Mac machine to target a Mobile device from Apple or Android even the new Surface Neo/Duo?

What special skills do I need and how can I get my code running on my phone?

I have a killer idea that will take over the world, but I just don't know where to start?

Our company wants an App rather than a mobile ready web page so that it works offline, we need access to the device hardware like the sensors, but we don’t know how?
We don’t want to build an IOS app then an Android App we want to build a Cross Platform application, but we are a DotNET shop?

If these are questions you have pondered, then we will take you from File->New to running app on your device.

Along the way we will talk about the basics of a Xamarin Application and the development cycle including recent changes like Hot Reload and Hot Restart to speed up that cycle.

We will then finish with a look at AppCenter which is used to distribute your application to a test team so you can get that all important feedback on your killer idea.

Attendees will learn about and complete the following:
- How to install the required Visual Studio tools for Mobile development.
- Introduction to Xamarin and the templates like Shell and Xamarin.Forms
- Build out a working Application including the use of Xamarin Essentials to access the device hardware, for example the Accelerometer, GPS, Torch and Network stack.
- Package and build the application locally so you can run on the emulator and your own connected Device.
- Connecting your application via GitHub to AppCenter so that the application is built in the cloud and pushed to your test team every time you commit.

Skills and Equipment required:
- C# Skills to a beginner/Intermediate level
- Basic knowledge of XAML
- How to use GitHub tooling
- Pc/Mac for development work
- Mobile device Android or IOS

The Workshop would ideally be for 2 days but can be compressed into a day if required but this will reduce the abilities of the Application they will build.

If the workshop is too much then this can be given as a very compressed Talk session but rather than walking the attendee's through the tooling and getting them to do the work it will just be a Powerpoint and Visual Studio demo.


Pilot Critical Decision Making skills

Learn how to make time critical decisions just like airline pilots do around the world. As developers we all love a good framework well would it surprise you that pilots have a framework for making a team decisions on what to do in any situation be it an emergency, sick passenger or bad weather. The session is 40 minutes learning the TDODAR framework and then a fun exercise using the new skill in a team exercise to resolve a situation under time pressure you have less than 20 minutes GO!


Past and future events

Thames Valley Umbraco Meetup

"Pilot Decision Management" - Clifford Agius (Freelance developer, Boeing 787 Dreamliner Pilot)

This talk explores Clifford's experience as a Boeing 787 Dreamliner Pilot and the critical decision management skills required therein.
As an Airline pilot, you may be required to make a decision often quickly to react to a situation as it presents itself and you will discover a way to achieve this called TDODAR. This model ensures that you achieve a safe outcome for all on board and Clifford often finds himself using the same model when facing a problem whilst wearing his Dev hat and it's yet to fail him.
28 Nov 2019
Reading, England, United Kingdom

.NET SouthEast Meet-up

3D printed Bionic Hand a little IOT and a Xamarin Mobile App

Meet Kayden, a local 14yr old young man and close family friend, who was born with no left forearm and hand.

The National Health Service (NHS) is an amazing service in the UK, however their prosthetic provision is both basic and expensive (to the NHS).

Surely with modern technology, we can not only improve the lives of young people like Kayden but also demonstrate how we can do it more cost effectively than current options.

This talk details how I set about building on the wonderful work of the OpenBionics team to provide Kayden with an alternative to the NHS prosthesis.
We'll discuss:

- How 3D printing of parts for the hand can be much more effective (cost and function) than fibreglass moulds

- Using home 3D printing we can create a viable articulated hand

- Using off the shelf commodity IoT boards from Adafruit can be used to program the hand (and how this is more viable than alternative approaches)

- Creating a Xamarin application to connect via Bluetooth and provide customisation and control options for the hand

- How this option can reduce the costs from £000's to several hundred £s and is being done as an Open Source project which will feedback to the bigger project.

Attendees will learn about and see demos of:
- The 3D printed hand and related components
- Programming of the IoT board and sensors
- Creation of the Xamarin application to customise the hand.
- Bluetooth connection options.

Please note: Kayden and his family have given express permission to use his name and images for this talk.
19 Nov 2019
Brighton, England, United Kingdom

MK.NET - Milton Keynes .NET Meetup Group

Cliff returns to MK.NET to talk about a heart warming project involving a 3D printed bionic hand he created to help a friend.

-------------------------
Meet Kayden, a local 14yr old young man and close family friend, who was born with no left forearm and hand.

The National Health Service (NHS) is an amazing service in the UK, however their prosthetic provision is both basic and expensive (to the NHS).

Surely with modern technology we can not only improve the lives of young people like Kayden but also demonstrate how we can do it more cost effectively than current options.

This talk details how I set about building on the wonderful work of the OpenBionics team to provide Kayden with an alternative to the NHS prosthesis.
We'll discuss:

- How 3D printing of parts for the hand can be much more effective (cost and function) than fibre glass moulds

- Using home 3D printing we can create a viable articulated hand

- Using off the shelf commodity IoT boards from Adafruit can be used to program the hand (and how this is more viable than alternative approaches)

- Creating a Xamarin application to connect via Bluetooth and provide customisation and control options for the hand

- How this option can reduce the costs from £000's to several hundred £s and is being done as an Open Source project which will feedback to the bigger project.

Please note: Kayden and his family have given express permission to use his name and images for this talk.
17 Sep 2019
Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom