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Featured Startup: speakme

You read an interesting article online. You get to the end, and your eye glosses over the comment section, because you know it’s full of spam and rage.

You see someone’s thoughtful input on a reddit post, think to yourself: “wow, I feel exactly the same way.” And completely forget their username 5 minutes later.

You send an email or text message, and you’re surprised to find out the recipient was upset because your tone got lost in translation.

While anonymity and text communication serve crucial purposes online, it shouldn’t be universal. At speakme, we want to make the world feel smaller by giving you a way to truly connect.

speakme is a social video experience where users collaborate in global discussions about anything and everything they care about. Members login with social media profiles, and record videos of up to 30 seconds about topics that matter to them. Others publicly respond via their own recorded videos, and these responses play sequentially, creating a full, vibrant conversation; less like a bulletin board, and more like a dinner conversation with familiar faces. By combining users’ social media presences with face- to-face interactions, we are seeking to make the internet a friendlier, more engaging, and collaborative place.

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The team starts with two co-founders, Zack and Adam Fisch. Adam’s focus is on product, UI, marketing, and finance. He has a JD from Western University and spent several years doing investment research. Zack is technical manager, with knowledge in HTML, CSS and Python, and a degree in History from the University of Waterloo.

screen3speakme is working with GrandBright Software, a development firm in Richmond Hill, Ontario, to bring the idea to life. GrandBright’s two principals each have over 20 years’ experience in developing enterprise applications.

speakme is currently looking to bring on a technical cofounder, as we ramp up prototype testing and prepare for beta launch in the coming weeks. If you or someone you know wants to know more, please get in touch!

Check out this great video on speakme:

FITC’s Women’s Initiative gives 62 women a chance at attending FITC Toronto

FITC is a leader in many ways – they do amazing work in different communities throughout the world and offer great resources to the tech community here in Toronto. They are always looking for ways to enrich the experiences of all people in tech, and care about important causes like accessibility to their resources and try to make their events as inclusive as possible. That’s why it’s our pleasure to announce the great work they have done for their Women’s Initiative, or the #WomenAtFITC initiative. 
 
For the initiative, FITC welcomes submissions from women explaining why they would like to attend the FITC Toronto conference at the end of April and do it in the most creative way possible – this means in the form of an animation, a poster, a web page or even a short film. Yesterday, FITC announced on their blog that 62 women were chosen to attend the event. Congrats, guys! 
 
Women are a valuable part of the tech and design communities, but make up only a small portion of them. It’s an important initiative since we should all be striving towards equality and equal representation for both genders. We as a community have to work hard to ensure inclusivity and show girls and women alike that this is not only a male dominated industry, and FITC is doing just that! 
 
If you’re interested in attending FITC Toronto, there is still time! Tickets can be purchased here (we’re still in the early bird stage! So get on it fast!) and event info (speakers, times, location, etc.) can be found here
 
Anita

 

Playground Inc is looking for a Snr. Drupal Developer All Star

Our friends and future host, Playground Inc, are looking for a Senior Level Drupal Developer!

Playground is hiring! We’re looking for an experienced Senior Drupal Engineer to join our talented development team. Playground is a digital agency that strives to create beautiful, intuitive user experiences, and we have a track record of producing kick-ass, award-winning web applications, utilizing modern web technologies and standards.

Our ideal candidate is looking to design and develop fast and scalable web architectures based on the Drupal framework. As a member of the team, you’ll have the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of product development, in a team-based structure which handles clients from start to completion. As such, we’re looking for someone with multi-disciplinary interests, who can express their opinions in a clear and concise manner.

The responsibilities of this role include:
- Working with team members during planning and design cycles to develop ideas and prototypes.
- Architecting system components based on provided software specifications.
- Testing and maintaining personal responsibility for code quality.
- Participating in daily stand-ups and other agile practices.
- Staying up to date on emerging technologies and standards and sharing lessons learned with the team.
- As a senior engineer, providing guidance to more junior team members.

Requirements:
- Expertise creating web applications in PHP, specifically using the Drupal framework.
- Experience working with AJAX, JSON, and REST APIs.
- Experience integrating with web services such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Strong MySQL (or Postgres) skills.
- Self-motivated and able to function with minimal supervision.
- Basic Photoshop skills.

Nice to haves:
- Experience working in an agile development environment.
- Modern front-end development tools (HTML5, CSS3, WebSockets, etc)
- Experience integrating with common server processes such a RabbitMQ, memcached, Solr.
- Knowledge of other databases, such as MongoDB, Redis, Kyoto, Couchbase, etc.
- Version control systems (mercurial/git).
- Familiarity with other popular web frameworks (Django, WordPress, etc.)

Playground is an excellent place to work, with perks such as flexible working hours, casual work environment, a beautiful office with a great view, stand-up arcade machine, and ping-pong table. If you’re a self-starter who thinks you’d be a good fit for our family, get in touch with us! Please include links to your portfolio or relevant completed projects, if possible.

Apply here or get them directly and also, let them know who sent you. ;)

Girls Raising Tomorrow!

From our friends at Girls Raising:

Girls Raising is a resource network for female entrepreneurs and founders that helps spur female innovation in an actionable way. Currently we run a series of Presentation events in New York, San Francisco, Toronto & Vancouver.

Our next Toronto event will take place on March 5th.

Each month we have an esteemed panel that consists of two female representatives from the venture capital industry and two founders of successful startup businesses, along with five women founded startups that pitch their ideas. Our audience of 120-150 attendees is an engaged community of actionable entrepreneurs, venture influencers, young professionals and service providers who all see the massive growth potential for investing in women and female founded companies.

For Tickets to Girls Raising, go here! But, also, use the discount code, DevTO, for our members.

StartupBus is looking for some Great Canadians to Compete!

Apply Now for the StartupBus North American Competition 2014!

StartupBus Canada is rolling towards Austin, TX in March, and we’re looking for some extreme Canadians to represent the Great White North.

If you already know what StartupBus is, apply at http://northamerica.startupbus.com/ and tell us why you’d be an awesome part of this global community.

If you don’t know what StartupBus is, read on.

What is StartupBus?

StartupBus is an exercise in time, resource, and comfort-constrained creativity – it’s a hackathon on a bus moving at 100km/hour for 3 days across the continent. It pushes people past their limits, and finds greatness on the other side.

Why Do It?

It’s a life changing trip that has seen people step off the bus and into incubators, new jobs, a new startup, or just a new way of looking at life. The competition a shared experience that has brought together a community of truly amazing people in countries around the world. StartupBus represents a network of amazing entrepreneurs, investors, journalists, and builders that is genuine and celebrates the do-ers in life. Also, a cross-country hackathon road trip makes for an epic story.

How Do I Apply?

Tell us why you’re awesome and what you bring to the community. The bus is stacked with do-ers (mostly coders and designers who can implement) but if you bring something unique, then we want you. In the past, we’ve had lawyers, environmental policy wonks, students, and retirees who all brought something special and make the community stronger for it.

Apply now- applications are accepted on a rolling basis and there are a limited number of seats.

When Do We Leave?

StartupBus rolls from March 2 to March 6, 2014 and ultimately lands in Austin, TX in time for the biggest tech conference in the U.S. From there, you get yourself back however and whenever you want.

I want more information!

Visit http://northamerica.startupbus.com/ for more information on the competition or email jamie@startupbus.com with questions.

Welcome to the club, Digital Ocean and The Laudi Group

2014 is off to a great start already! Last week we had a fabulous event and we are already ramping up for the next one. But some of the biggest news is in our sponsorship! 

We would like to welcome two new sponsors to our fold:
 
Digital Ocean - has designed a cloud hosting platform that allow developers to deploy a SSD cloud server in “55 seconds within an intuitive control panel interface”.  Check out this great video to learn more about the company.
 
- and -
 
The Laudi Group - a tech recruiting firm that has 25 years of experience and they “invest in research that follows the leaders, experts and agents of change that impact the industry”. They have created Red Canary, a site that helps job seekers connect with their ideal employer, all while offering helpful tips and opportunities for updating their skill set. 
 
We are happy to have you on our team and can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for us. Thanks for supporting us and our community! 
 
The DevTO Team
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FITC is back! Great discounts for DevTO-ers!

It’s February! Did you make it out to our event last week? If you didn’t, don’t fret… here is a quick little recap.
 
At last weeks event, Caroline from FITC came by to give away some FITC tickets and let us know about the great DevTO-specific discounts available for the FITC Toronto 2014 event this April. 
 
FITC is a much anticipated, annual, 3-day conference in Toronto that features sessions for you to learn and upgrade your skill set. Whether you’re on the business end of things, a developer, or even just someone who is curious, this conference is for you. FITC aims to find that sweet spot “between Creative Technologists, Designers, Developers and all-around awesome thinkers from various innovative industries across the globe”.
 
Check out these links for information on the different
speakers or the presentations sessions that FITC will be holding. 
 
FITC has set us up with an amazing code for $100 off all tickets (excluding Workshop only tickets and the 4-packs). If you’re a student, this applies to you as well – which means that student tickets will cost you just $99 for the three days! (What a deal!). To get this deal, check out our specific DevTO link.
 
Don’t delay! Early bird tickets will sell out soon.
 
Happy February,
 
Anita
 

Reaching a new audience in less than 10 minutes and How Closure Compiler can help protect your IP

To all those who braved it out in the cold: thanks for attending our event last month. Too bad we can’t control random acts of God. As for the videos and presentations: these will be forthcoming. Now, for our second #devto this year!

Mailing list

Have you joined yet? Remember you get access to tickets a whole day before everybody else. It’s free and it’s the fastest way to get #DevTO tickets delivered to your inbox!
Join our mailing list!

Tickets

Got 10 minutes? Let’s see how BlackBerry can explain how to capture mobile experiences in this time frame. Also, IP closures.
Gotta get your tickets!

Reaching a new audience in less than 10 minutes – Manny Elwar

Many mobile developers these days focus their efforts on only a single platform, limiting the potential gains of an entirely new audience.  These same developers are also unaware of how much existing resources they can reuse to reach that audience in a short period of time. Join BlackBerry Developer Evangelist Manny Elawar as he walks you through some of the key ways you can start developing for multiple mobile platforms from the very start with little overhead.

Manny Elawar travels the globe in the hopes of finding talented developers eager to pursue new opportunities on the new and exciting BlackBerry 10 Platform. Manny’s technical background primarily includes C/C++ development for simulation tools, specifically in the areas of Mobile Device Management, BlackBerry Enterprise Server, and VoIP. He has an educational background in Software Engineering and Business Administration. 

How Closure Compiler can help protect your IP

Sharing can be a good thing. But would you “borrow” a box of Blu-ray movies from Best Buy and share them with your friends? Of course not. Unfortunately, when it comes to purely digital assets like proprietary databases, some people consider it open season to share what does not belong to them.
Our small firm, which owns and licenses proprietary databases, faces this threat on a daily basis. We’ll describe some techniques we use, including Google Closure Compiler, to protect our IP and the integrity of our online system.

Kevin Macdonald is a partner with Loxcel, a geomatics consulting firm whose online tools and products help clients in the cellular and brewing industries.

… THAT’S NOT ALL!

Save $100 with discount code DEVTO


3 days worth of inspiration, creativity and partying with 75 digital creators! Register here to get at this cool $100 off FITC.

60% off with discount code HACKERNESTLOVESDEVTO

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HackerNest Construct: Mind and Motion is coming up February 23rd! A 24-hour programming competition focused on creativity and innovation using technology; not business plans, commercial viability nor monetization! http://hackernest.com/construct/http://hackernest.com/construct/

Canada’s Largest Javascript Conference


Join us for the 2nd annual jQuery conference in Toronto on March 15th-16th for a 2 day series with international speakers including Matt Seeley, Dave Methvin, Darcy Clarke, Wes Bos, Nahim Nasser and many more!

Partners


Community is a dynamic and audacious, vertically integrated agency representing the digital, social, production and experiential arms of Pulp&Fiber. The Community is a multilingual, digitally focused agency with traditional expertise working on a variety of high level brands in the lifestyle sector. Community works with international clients in the Canadian market to create global partnerships that are mutually beneficial and directly support the business needs of the brands they represent.

Gold Sponsors


Myplanet Digital emerged in 2009 with a commitment to unifying meaningful user experience design with technical excellence. We’re a quickly growing team of over 90 designers, developers, and business types headquartered in Toronto, Canada. We embrace everything digital, but design and build primarily for web, mobile, and tablet form factors.


Digital Ocean is simple cloud hosting that is built for developers. Deploy an SSD cloud server in 55 seconds! We take the complexities out of cloud hosting by offering blazing fast, on-demand SSD cloud servers, straightforward pricing, a simple API, and an easy-to-use control panel. You’ll be amazed at how fast and easy it is to create a cloud server. Setup is super quick and painless.

Silver Sponsors

YellowAPI is the go-to resource for location-based applications. Our curated local search API is built off of the strength of the Yellow Pages database of over 1.5 million geo-localized Canadian business listings and associated rich content. Not only is it free, but we offer ways for you to make money fast. We provide the tools, you provide the ideas and the talent. To get more information and sign up for a free developer account, visit the YellowAPI website at http://www.yellowapi.com/.

Mercatus Technologies enables retailers and advertisers to achieve competitive advantage, boost brand equity, and improve financial performance. Leveraging Mercatus’ smart shopping technology on a cross-channel marketing level, achieve the ultimate one-to-one relationship with shoppers throughout their buying cycle—from intent to influence to purchase. Check out their career page – they’re hiring PHP developers!

Do you hire people for their qualifications, qualities or potential? Making the right choice is a skill that’s refined over time, it’s a matter of experience. You can learn as you go or work with professionals with a proven track record. The Laudi Group knows all about talent. Our consulting packages and products are designed to attract and select proven performers for Canada’s emerging tech companies. We’ve got more than one answer to the challenges of building great teams. www.laudi.comwww.hirefully.comwww.redcanary.ca

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New Year, New DevTO – A recap of our first event in 2014!

Happy Monday! 

Last week we had our very first DevTO event of 2014! What a great time, too. We brought together a great group of new and old faces and learned a little bit about Scaling WordPress on a budget with Alan Lok and the future of file sharing + the private cloud with Ziyan Hossain. Both speakers have been long time DevTO attendees, and it was great to open the year with them! It was an evening of good beer, talks and lively debate. 
 
Alan Lok’s presentation, “Scaling WordPress for the world on a (relatively small) budget”, brought to light the challenges he faced when creating the wordpress-based site Walk Free.org - a site with the aim of ending slavery across the globe. His talk touched on AWS use, redefining cloud hosting use, and how to manage a workload while being aware of your budget. 
 
If you’re interested in learning more, Alan has posted an in-depth blog on his talk
 
Ziyan Hossain, from qnext brought some interesting thoughts on file sharing and the private cloud. The talk, entitled “How the private cloud can help improve access & security”, grapples with the issues that sharing poses for us in the future. How will the multitude of emerging devices change how we share and how we protect ourselves? We will be posting Ziyan’s talk here, so check it out!
 
The photos are up and you can peek them here and here.
 
And as always, thank you to Wave Accounting for their amazing space. Also, Matthew Potter of HTML 5 and Make Web Not War for bringing his gear. You guys rock! 
 
Thanks to our sponsors and to our amazing community, we are sure that 2014 is going to be an amazing year!
 
See you next month,
 
Anita 

The Hackernest Inaugural Hackathon: CONSTUCT!


Our friends next door, Hackernest, are hosting a hackathon next month!

The Hackernest inaugural hackathon is Feb 22-23 - with a “next gen interface devices” theme. HNC is judging is based entirely on creativity and the innovative use of technology, not business plans or commercial viability. We’ll have hardware for you or you can bring your own.

Details: hackernest.com/construct. $10 for students, and a ridiculous 60% discount code for our DevTO friends:HACKERNESTLOVESDEVTO. Early bird tickets going fast – ZOMGhurry!

Come out to #devto, this month, for a chance to win a team pass to enter the hackathon!