The Machine

Ep 4: Beginner's Guide To Web Development

An episode of The Machine

By Rob O'Connor
Faculty and students from Waterford Institute of Technology explore a wide range of topics related to computing and technology. Hosted by Rob O'Connor.

All opinions are personal and do not represent Institutional views.
Ep 14: Tips On Buying a Computer
We've all gotten questions like "what laptop should I buy?", "any recommendations for a computer?" or "is this a good deal for a PC?" The short answer to all those questions is  "it depends!" Host Rob O'Connor goes through some of the considerations you should make when thinking about buying a new laptop/desktop/computer. The panel go through some of the headline specs of machines and then some other aspects that aren't always apparent to the novice techie.
September 13, 2019
Ep 13: I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now
In what is likely to be the final episode of The Machine for this season, Rob chatted with some outgoing final year undergraduate computing students about their time at WIT: Dimitra Zucharelli, Ciaran Roche and Emma Ní Bhriain. The offered advice they wished they could have heard as first years and discussed some of the technical skills they learned over their four years. They also reflected on the social and personal growth they experienced as students.  Follow The Machine on Twitter @machine_podcast or on Facebook at 
May 17, 2019
Ep 12: Tech News Roundup - Global Tech Workers, Myspace Data Breach and Google Stadia
Rob is joined by Siobhan Drohan and Brenda Mullally to discuss a few tech news stories making headlines this week.  - Canada is becoming a tech hub thanks to President Trump's immigration policies - Myspace loses all user data prior to 2016 - Google announces Stadia, their new cloud gaming platform Follow The Machine on Twitter @machine_podcast or on Facebook at 
March 22, 2019
Ep 11: Women in Tech
Four women chat about how they began their careers in computing & technology. Features Phil Healy (Irish Athlete and postgraduate computing student at WIT), Aisling Furlong (digital media consultant with Glanbia), Mairead Meagher (computing lecturer at WIT) and Judy O'Brien (final year student of Computer Forensics & Security). Hosted by Rob O'Connor.
March 7, 2019
Ep 10: Bluffer's Guide To Artificial Intelligence
Ahead of the AI2 Applied Artificial Intelligence ( conference taking place in Kilkenny this week, Rob sat down with Glen Collins (Conference Director) and Susan Gallagher (Engineers Ireland) to chat about some of the main technical issues surrounding AI in 2019. What is Machine Learning? How computationally intensive is it? Will AI take all our jobs? (No!)
February 27, 2019
Ep 9: Technology Enhanced Learning
How can technology assist in the learning experience? How have these systems evolved over the years? What kind of access opportunities to education can they provide? A very interesting discussion on this episode of the podcast between Laura Widger and Pete Windle of the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning (CTEL) at WIT, Emma Fahey a 3rd year computing student and our host, Rob O’Connor.
February 15, 2019
Ep 8: Evolution of Mobile App Development
How did we get here from there? Rob O'Connor is joined by podcast regulars Siobhan Drohan and Eamonn De Leastar  along with Jason Blood and Padraig Howlin of Distilled (DoneDeal, and to discuss how developing apps for mobile has changed from the early 2000s up to the present day. WAP and J2ME, evolving to iOS and Android platforms, eventually getting to the newer languages such as Swift and Kotlin and their associated toolsets. The panel also discuss the as-yet-unrealised goal of cross-platform development. Finally, Rob gets some cooking analogies in there too ...
February 1, 2019
Ep 7: Tech Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future
We have a festive themed episode today! Rob is joined by Mairead Meagher, Siobhan Drohan, Brenda Mullally and Colm Dunphy to reminisce about tech gifts from years gone by, make some recommendations for tech gift for this Christmas and even predict some trends for the future. Ho Ho Ho!
December 7, 2018
Ep. 6: Efficiency
This podcast is all about efficiency! The panel (Mairead Meagher, Siobhan Drohan, Peter Carew and Rob O'Connor) discuss the concept of efficiency, how it relates to computing and writing elegant algorithms. This is also the longest episode of The Machine so far, so they weren't very efficient with their chat in the studio ...
November 30, 2018
Ep 5a: BONUS! HDip in Computer Science/ICT Skills
A special bonus edition of The Machine! Colm Dunphy, Eamonn de Leastar, Joan Mangan and Rob O'Connor discuss the part-time HDip in Computer Science/ICT Skills currently on offer at WIT. This follows on from the previous episode in which the panel discussed how adult learners can approach IT. You can learn more about the HDip on offer at
November 16, 2018
Ep 5: Approaching IT as an Adult Learner
Eamonn de Leastar and Colm Dunphy join Rob for this podcast episode in which they discuss how someone might get into ICT from another industry. They discuss what skills an individual could bring from another industry into IT, whether programming is the only game in town (it's not!) and the importance of "soft" skills.
November 16, 2018
Ep 4: Beginner's Guide To Web Development
Eamonn de Leastar and Brenda Mullally join Rob on this episode of the podcast to discuss Web Development. They contrast the difference between the Web and the Internet, then look at static sites built using HTML/CSS before moving onto Content Management Systems. Finally they introduce the world of Scripting (Client Side and Server Side) and discuss Web Apps. They also give advice on how to start dabbling with some web development.
November 9, 2018
Ep 3: Data & Big Data
Everything you wanted to know about Data but were afraid to ask! Rob is joined by Brenda Mullally and Siobhan Drohan for a chat about Data. What is it? How is stored? What's Big Data and what does it mean for you? They also explore some ethical dilemmas. So this episode includes maths, programming, science, ethics and philosophy!
October 25, 2018
Ep 2: Advice On How To Start Coding
Following on from the last podcast in which the panel attempted to describe what programming is, this time the same group (Siobhan Drohan, Eamon De Leastar, Mairead Meagher and Rob O’Connor) talk about how a complete beginner can dip their toe in the world of coding. During the discussion, they mention a number of (mostly) free tools that you can find at the links below, presented in the order in which they appear (we think!): (Hour of Code) - Processing - The Coding Train - Free Coding Camp - Stack Overflow - Sphereo Mini - Coder Dojo - Scratch - Glitch - W3 Schools - Eclipse -
October 12, 2018
Ep 1: What Is Computer Programming?
In our first episode, Rob O’Connor chats with Mairead Meagher, Siobhan Drohan and Eamonn de Leastar about Computer Programming. They approach it from the perspective of an absolute beginner, looking at algorithms, languages, tools and eventually DevOps. The conversation also wanders into the gender divide in computing.
October 1, 2018
Ep 0: Trailer
A trailer for the new podcast 'The Machine' in which lecturers and students from Waterford Institute of Technology will discuss issues surrounding computing and technology.
September 27, 2018
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