Mentions of #devTO in the Community

Our friends in the Toronto developer community have been shouting out #devTO quite alot recently. Some more notable than others. Especially two that stuck out greatly:

Mark Reale, of Bnotions, topped his #AndroidTO shout out with his Popplet map of the Toronto Tech Community Events. Some of the most notable monthly events are here, including their sites and who to tweet to! Impressive work, man!

Also, Hack For A Cause had given us a shout out on Facebook HQ wall. I wonder who could have done THAT… hmmmmmm

Anyway, we’re glad to have Toronto’s back in the industry and look forward to meeting/drinking/coding/war-story-sharing/hanging with you all.

#DevTO 7: Speaker lineup

#DevTO 7 broke some new grounds – first, we sold out in around 24 hours; usually it takes us a week or so to fill our 50 spots. Second, we added a couple of new sponsors bringing our total to 5 sponsors for November. Say hello to HeadStart Solutions and GelaSkins that join Rypple, ThinkWrap and Richmond Day in their quest to support the Toronto developer community.

Atendy Profile Pictures: Please remember to update your profile with a picture, name and description – these will get printed on lanyards and you can pick them up when you arrive. ALSO…first 15 to arrive with pictures on their Atendy lanyards get free #DevTO TShirts.

Want to present at a #DevTO? Just send us an email at


Farhan Thawar, VP Engineering at Xtreme Labs Inc.

Named one of “Toronto’s Top 25 Most Powerful People In 2010”, Farhan is a well-known and respected figure in the city’s tech community. Before joining the Xtreme team, Farhan held the positions of Chief Software Architect at I Love Rewards, the Head of Search & MSN Platform for Microsoft Canada and Technical Lead at Trilogy Software. In addition to being a programming and engineering guru for Xtreme Labs, Farhan also uses his wealth of industry and mobile expertise to mentor aspiring mobile and tech startups. Farhan has a degree in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo and an MBA in Financial Engineering from Rotman.

Managing an Agile Engineering Team. As the VP of Engineering at Xtreme Labs, Farhan has dealt with his fair share of programming dudes and divas. From project inception to the final build release, Farhan doesn’t miss a beat. Along with hiring world-class engineers, Farhan is also tasked with matching them to the appropriate project. Navigating personal preferences for platform-specific projects can be difficult, but with a certain level of persuasion anything is possible. His previous work experience in both small (I Love Rewards), and large (Microsoft Canada) work environments has allowed him to develop an effective management style for Agile Engineers in a start-up environment.



Wes Bos, Founder at DealPage

Wes is an independent Designer and Developer from Toronto with a passion for cutting edge web technologies. Wes spends most of his time hacking on JavaScript, his library of choice being jQuery. More recently Wes has focused his time on some of the new guys to the JavaScript scene including HTML5, NodeJS, and Backbone.js. Wes has a strong background in PHP development and loves WordPress to no end. You can check out his online tutorials at and follow him at

HTML5 Canvas. Wes will introduce us to one of the hottest parts of HTML5: the canvas element. Canvas is a blank slate which can be used to programatically draw, animate and manipulate pixels. There are many uses for Canvas from face detection to the next genere of online games. Canvas will show up to Flash’s funeral, only to sink a nail into its coffin.

This month’s #DevTO is brought to you by:

Headstart Solutions is a technology talent acquisition agency that combines digital media, employer and personal branding to complement great candidates with great employers.


GelaSkins The best skins on the planet! GelaSkins are removable covers for protecting and customizing your portable devices. They feature stunning, photo-quality graphics ranging from fine art prints to contemporary urban images designed by our growing family of artists from around the globe. Stand out in the crowd with personalized protection from GelaSkins.




Rypple is a social performance platform built for teams to share goals, recognize great work, and help each other improve. With Rypple, performance management becomes painless and effective.


ThinkwrapA team of outstanding software developers, engineers, architects, strategists, and designers whose ability to create responsive web environments serving 100,000 users doesn’t stop them from architecting for millions as if they were one.Our strong community of purpose is built on our clients’ lasting business success.

Richmond Day is a full-service marketing and design agency committed to partnering with clients to further promote and develop their brands.
Through our innovative ideas and creative strategies, we have successfully implemented numerous campaigns and tactics to assist the world’s largest brands in increasing awareness, sales and positioning in their respective markets.

You don’t just write code

About a year ago, I realized that after having worked in the Internet industry in Toronto for almost 15 years (yes, since 1996), that I had very little actual involvement in the developer community around the city, and actually, I wasn’t even really sure if there was one that applied to me.  I’ve certainly seen people talk about going to language or technology specific user groups, but there was nothing just for people that were developers, just to get together and share stuff, because hey, you don’t just write code.

The act of writing code is the end result of a lot of other kinds of work, planning, task breakouts, negotiations with customers, bosses, designers and other developers.  We struggle with understanding the customers problems (where else can you work for a bank, a major car manufacturer and a major retailer all within the span of a year?) and how best to solve those problems with code.  Once you start peeling back the layers what we do becomes more complicated than it seems.  This is not to say that the complication is a bad thing, it’s part of what we do, no avoiding that!

And this is where the “You don’t just write code” part of DevTO came from, a realization that we do a whole hell of a lot more than spend hours upon hours banging out line after line of code behind a computer.  We are people that contribute in more ways then we usually get recognized, and that’s one of the things that I felt was missing in my life as a developer.

Scratch your itch

One of the things I’ve learned over the years when it comes to building products, is to scratch your own itch.  That is, to solve a problem that you personally have as a gateway to building or doing something that solves a problem for a lot of people, and for me, DevTO was exactly that, a way to solve problem(s) I was having, and once I started talking to a couple of people about it (my amazing co-founders) I quickly found out that this was an idea shared by more people around the city than just me.

The past 7 months have provided more than I ever imagined in terms of what I was looking for when I first starting talking to Kevin, Nael and Jo about this idea a year ago. Speaking personally, it’s been amazing for me to get connected to others in my community and to find some exciting opportunities that have really gotten me out of a but of a rut professionally.  It’s actually amazing that I spend very little time actually doing development when it comes to DevTO, but it’s had such a positive impact on that part of my life none the less.

Thank you

I can honestly say that I did not expect to be talking about planning our 7th event, much less talking about some bigger and better things we will be doing (in the new year!).  I’m confident that I can speak on behalf of all of the co-founders at DevTO and say thank you to all of the attendees, speakers and sponsors who have taken DevTO from a small idea and turned it into an amazing recurring monthly event.

If you have any comments, suggestions or feedback feel free to send me an email ( or get in touch with me on twitter @jonezy

Jo Handy Thoughts – Toronto Developer Community

As you may know by now, I co-organize DevTO with Nael, Chris and Kevin. I am probably the most opposite and have the least amount experience in coding of the talented group. To be honest the extent of coding is theblinktag for me. The purpose of me joining this group is to bring my event organizing experience to the helm of 3 pretty darn good coders. I have enough experience in organizing events from big to small with my work experience. I’ve also organized over 40 tweetups and love the social aspect of these type of events. I’m hoping to bring a mix of devs and regular people who do not code into the mix to learn. It’s also a great way to learn about myself and working as a team which has been rewarding. We’ve actually had a surprising increase in “females” joining our events which is a good thing for the developer community as a whole and our attendance and interest continues to increase.

That being said, it’s great to have DevTO as part of the Developer community to help encourage learning and build synergies and networks of developers, designers and much more. With many other events in Toronto such as “Ladies Learning Code” and “AndroidTO” of recent this bodes well for Toronto Tech community. DevTO is giving many a free opportunity to learn from industry experts, meet with recruiters and give first time presenters the chance to present and gain experience in a casual atmosphere. The most favourable thing about the DevTO sessions is the sense of community and helpfulness of those that attend. There seems to be a friendly collaboration in learning which is the opposite of others in such places as Silicon Valley. We hope to continue and evolve DevTO as technology changes. If you ever have suggestion or want to contribute please let us know.


Thanks for following DevTO and see you at the next event! :-)


Joallore Alon