James Governor's Monkchips

There is such a thing as a free lunch. For London Developers.

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Marksman, Bethnal Green, E2

I have an evil plan, which I am not quite ready to tell you all about, but as a precursor to same I have just started my lunch club for developers. Basically if you’re a developer or sysops maven and you work in London I would love to host you for lunch – no agenda, no selling, just meet some other cool people – find out what’s going on locally, talk tech, nerd out. And i will pay for lunch.

The inaugural lunch was this week- what the hell to call it? Lunchchips, TNSTAAFL, Redlunch. Any ideas?

Twitter led us to check out the The Marksman pub on Hackney Road, followed by Espressoteria just down the road, owned and run by the pub. The food was excellent (perfect batter, huge fish and chips) – and the Marksman was extremely helpful. The proprietor Dawn is lovely.

I think everyone enjoyed it – we talked about SiliconMilkRoundabout, What’s in Tweetdeck’s stack, how’s business for everybody, and so on. So who came along?

Reza Lotun – @rlotun
Ultimate Frisbee player and music aficionado. Head of Infrastructure and Data @ TweetDeck. Canadian living in London. Closet scientist.

Steve Hughes – @ColtandtheCloud
Views on the wonderful world of cloud computing from Europe’s leading information delivery platform

Tom Woolway – @tomwoolway
Loves working on TweetDeck’s killer clients. And running and cycling. And eating.

Mario Menti – @mario
twitterfeed.com founder, swiss-brit, music lover, middle-aged idiot, developer & accidental entrepreneur

Tom Insam – @tominsam
dopplr / london / nokia / berlin / programmer / python / java / ruby / javascript / perl / bacon

Ollie Relph – @ollierelph
Interface Designer/ Developer

Vincent Roman- @vincentstinks
Web-head & art collector, living in East London and huffing on the fumes of the planet since ’78.

Wilfried Durand – @wiloo
French, 25 yrs // web worker, mac user. Currently Project Manager at Weecast & co-founder of Mailjet.com

James Stewart – @jystewart
Tech lead on UK Government single-domain project, @alphagov. Founder/director of @ket_lai. Husband to @klstewart and dad to Elisabeth.

Thanks guys – for validating my idea, and being such great company. You are the founding members of whatever I am going to call this damn club!

I should also give an extra thanks to Stephen Hughes from Colt. I really did plan to pay for the lunch, but he did the necessary. We love you Stephen! And you really got me thinking about innovation, developers… and training budgets. 😉

Finally a word to the wise- the coffee at Espressoteria was really very very good indeed.

Thanks Ewan-M for the use of the photo.


  1. This sounds great. Let me know if non devs are ever allowed to come along and hang round at the back!

    1. Dave – you’d be very welcome, I am sure. you may not be a software developer, but neither are you selling something – and you bring an interesting domain experience from local government

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