#devTO and Design Edge Are Calling All Mobile Developers

  We here at #devTO encourage the Toronto Interactive scene in app making. Heck, we’ve backed Atendy and Epilogger to produce a high calibur solution to both run and cherish those special events. Supporting a contest that can produce this sort of quality is no exception. Especially with our friends from Design Edge Canada involved. So…


Yes, you with the passion for production. The ambition for quality assurance tests on even your own devices. Yes – you, the one with the innovative, head-turning idea that will shine on any platform. Whether it’s the Green Bots or looking through glass panes.  #DevTO is giving you a chance at Regional Design Award in Mobile Design glory with two free early bird entries to be used before February 3rd! You’re thinking…

No way! There must be SOME sort of catch to this!

A bit of leg work, on your part, is our style! If you’re still really reading this: you’ve guessed it right: there is ALWAYS leg work. Nael, Jo, Chris, and I, will be the gatekeepers here. We will be evaluating the best idea to send off to duke it out with some of the best app makers(yeah – I said “best”. You know how Toronto gets down with apps). Anyway,  to submit your entry idea thesis, get this to #devTO at contests@devto.ca with the subject of “Regional Design Award Winning Mobile App”. Make sure you have your name in the body someplace. This should be in our hands by Friday, January 27th, 2012. Design Edge’s rules for the submissions are here, too.  So…

GET APP-ing!

#DevTO 9 coming up Jan 30th 2012: new location, FITC, Design Edge giveaways & more!

Happy New Year everybody! We hope everybody had a safe and happy break. The folks at #DevTO are super refreshed and ready to bring twelve kick-ass #DevTO events to you in 2012!

Before we get into our starting line up – we have some important announcements for you:

Get your tickets!

#DevTO tickets go fast, so before you continue reading these announcements make sure you grab a ticket for yourself. Use the RSVP button on the right.

New Location!

First off, many thanks to the folks at Richmond Day for hosting us (and all of you) the past 8 months. We started off at Richmond Day with a dozen or so attendees in the first few months before blowing past 70 attendees in the past couple of months. The guys at #DevTO are working hard on relocating the event to a new home for this year.


While we finalize where we are going, we thank our friends at BNotions who have offered us their space for the events in January and February at:

46 Hayden Street (3rd floor)
Toronto, Ontario



FITC Giveaway!!

Remember Marc Levy won a ticket last month? Well we can’t send him alone. So FITC is giving us another ticket ($500 value) to giveaway on January 30th for FITC Toronto 2012 April 23- 25th.

FITC produces design and technology focused conferences and seminars worldwide which inspire, educate and challenge attendees. Since 2002, FITC has brought together like-minded professionals and students in Toronto, Amsterdam, Tokyo, San Francisco, Chicago, Seoul, New York, Los Angeles and many other cities. Staying fresh by covering relevant topics including interactive design and business, HTML5, Flash, FLEX, AIR, mobile and more, FITC provides the professional development and networking opportunities needed to keep attendees up to date on the rapidly changing industry they work in. FITC produces a number of events internally and in collaboration with other event organizations throughout the year.



Design Edge Giveaway!!!

Design Edge Canada Regional Design Awards has a Mobile Design Category and would like to encourage more mobile app designers/developers to enter. They have offered us two free early-bird entries (value $85 each) to DevTO attendees. Early-bird deadline is Feb 3.

So is your app awesome? Then make sure you are following @DevTO on Twitter to learn when we are giving you two entries to submit your brilliant app!



Steam Whistle Giveaway!!!!

Canadas Premium Pilsner Steam Whistle Brewing is offering #DevTO attendees 10 voucher tickets for their souvenir tour. You get to tour the brewery, sample their awesome Pilsner and even take home a souvenir glass or retro bottle opener!

So that is another reason to be at the next #DevTO! We will be giving these out during the event!


Like every month we have two great presentations waiting for you, say hi to Peter, Sue and Marc:

Make your data dance

Peter Newhook – Cineplex Entertainment
Peter is a Business Analyst at Cineplex Entertainment in Toronto where he focuses on Workflow and Business Intelligence on the Microsoft SharePoint platform. Prior to joining Cineplex, Peter was a student at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. In his spare time Peter likes hacking on various .Net technologies and isnt above venturing beyond the walls of the CLR and experimenting with Hadoop and data mining. When he isnt talking tech, Peter enjoys running marathons and inline speed skating.

The Silverlight PivotViewer is possibly the coolest tool available to developers to make large amounts of data meaningful and accessible to end users. In this presentation Peter will show how any developer, regardless of platform, can expose information in a way thats fun to use, and invites exploration.

How to Deliver Effective Client-facing Presentations: A Crash Course for Developers

Sue Varty & Marc Roginsky – HeadStart Soltuions

We have been seeing Sue and Marc since the early days of #DevTO, they have presented a couple of times in the early months and now continue to support #DevTO as one of our sponsors. Sue and Marc are presenting at #DevTO for the 3rd time now – we are looking forward to it!

Marc Roginsky is a Toronto-based recruitment strategy consultant with more than 10 years of experience.

A power LinkedIn user since 2004, he is a senior recruiter and resourcing specialist who has implemented recruitment strategies for start-up and Fortune 500 companies in the telecom, software development and mobile sectors.

Susan Varty has been providing communications, digital strategy, and technology advice to corporate clients and small businesses since 2006. With a strong background in enterprise software, she is a non-traditional recruiter, marketer, and established social media consultant/blogger.

You know your stuff. As a developer with extensive technical abilities and exceptional problem solving skills, you have a good career. However, not-so-strong communication and presentation skills can inhibit your full potential when it comes to your professional growth.  Under-practiced communication skills can hamper your career especially when there are client-facing situations at your workplace.  Would you like somebody else to present and communicate your brilliant technical ideas to the client and get the spotlight?

By following a very basic formula in making a presentation, borrowed from the internationally acclaimed Toastmasters Club, we will show you how to take your career to the next level and really show your clients that you are an expert in what you do, including:

  • How to make effective, simple presentations easily without breaking a sweat.
  • How to develop a positive, winning, and convincing attitude when working with your clients.
  • How to present technical concepts to non-technical audiences and get them to agree with you.


Hope to see you out there to kick off DevTO 2012!


DevTO Folks:

Nael, Chris, Kevin and Jo



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

Many many thanks to all our awesome sponsors below for helping us make this happen every month!

BNOTIONS is a technology company. We develop and design mobile applications, social applications and API’s. Our goal is to deliver rich, dynamic applications while using the latest, most flexible technologies.
Our development methodologies believe in an organic and iterative approach. Our respect for your brand resides in the usability and aesthetics. Our teams are comprised of creative technologists.


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.


Thinkwrap: A 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.

DevTO: A Year Later

A Look Back

Some 8 months ago the very first DevTO was held at 20 Mowatt St, in the offices of Richmond Day.  I think about 30 people showed up to that first event (and many of those who showed up that day are still showing up).  The next event wasn’t nearly as successful, but the 3rd and 4th really showed us that we were on to something and that we needed to keep doing this.

Speaking personally, I NEVER imagined that DevTO would turn into something this amazing. Something that I looked forward to organizing and working on every month, something that involved me with 3 other smart and capable guys, guys that I could learn from, guys that I enjoyed working on a team with.  Sometimes, when things are quiet, and nobody is around, I think a little bit about how lucky I have been to have been involved in something so great, with such great people.  I would highly suggest that If you ever get the chance to do something like this, to grab hold of it and go for it.  There’s nothing quite like it in the world.

Our Friends


The continued success of DevTO could not have been possible this year without the help and support of our amazing sponsors:

Quick Fact: did you know that the first 4 DevTO events were entirely self funded?  Well they were and boy are we glad that our friends stepped up to help us out on that front.

  • Richmond Day – Who provided our amazing location for this past year.
  • Rypple – Kept everyone fed with pizza at each event
  • Thinkwrap – Kept us all well lubricated with hops based beverages (beer!)
  • Headstart solutions - See those snazz DevTO shirts?  It’s all Headstart solutions!
  • Gelaskins – We’ve been giving away gift cards the last couple of events, there from Gelaskins and they are awesome!

None of what we have done this past year would be possible without the graciousness and charity of our donors.  We love and thank you!!

Special shout out: To the Atendy guys, it’s been a blast working with you fella’s this past year, you’ve really pushed us to try some new things and we appreciate your advice and help this past year!  Thanks Chris and Ahmed!


We have been incredibly fortunate over the last year to have been able to get some incredibly smart and knowledgeable people to come and talk at DevTO.  From the very beginning we knew that we wanted to have a bit of a split between really technical topics and easier to digest less technically focused talks and I think over the last year we’ve done a great job of getting some amazing people to talk about some great topics.

We’ve had topics that have covered everything from promoting your work on linked in, increasing reliability in your applications with RabbitMQ to using the canvas object in javascript. We love covering everything from the simple to the complex, and our speakers have done a fantastic job this past year delivering excellent and valuable talks on both of those fronts.

Quick Fact: @cbrooker presented from @jonezy ‘s desk at DevTO #2 (there were only 6 people at that event!)

So… Chris, Craig, Mark,, Khori, Alex, Shey, Sue, Mark, Wes, Farhan, Tyson and anyone else I’ve forgotten,  Thank you for being amazing!  We appreciate you taking the time to put together well thought out and fun presentations for us, we hope to see you back again next year!  If anyone wants to come back and do another presentation in the new year, email us at talks@devto.ca

The Real Reason – You!

The real reason that DevTO has been such a resounding success this year is you, the attendees. The people that come out week after week and show that not only is DevTO a great idea but that it works and provides value to those that attend.

There have been some great bit’s of connection that have happened at DevTO’s.

  • The DevTO / Atendy partnership was born because the guys from Atendy were coming to the events and wanted a place to test there new product (event registration and badges).  They approached us about partnering to test out there product and the rest as they say is history!
  • @jonezy met @cbrooker at DevTO 2 where @cbrooker presented epilogger.com. @jonezy was so impressed that he joined the team shortly thereafter.  Another DevTO success story!

There are a couple of things that we’ve noticed this past year when it comes to the people that are attending DevTO

  1. We usually split about 50/50 between new faces and returning attendee’s.
  2. 1/3 of attendee’s are women
  3. Attendance has increased steadily from month to month, with our most attended event being DevTO #7 (with approx 70 attendees)
So to all that have attended this past year, thank you!  Without you there would be no DevTO. We appreciate you coming out every month, dealing with our rare planning gaffe and making DevTO an amazing event for everyone involved!

The Future

As with all great things we plan on making DevTO better, we’ve had some thoughts that we’ve been sharing as a group about how best to make DevTO even better in the new year, we’ve talked about throwing full day hackathons, longer full day conferences, some expansion of the website and even getting into some more educational type programs as well.  Heck, we’re even talking about expanding DevTO to other cities!

From the founders, Chris, Kevin Nael and Jo we are going to be back 110% this year, we have had an amazing time working together on bringing you DevTO and can’t wait to do it for another year.

Of course as always we would love to hear what you guys think!  Do you have some suggestions to make DevTO a better event for everyone involved?  If you do please email us at info@devto.ca, we would love to hear your thoughts!

Keep In Touch

I’m pretty sure that I’ve mentioned a few times throughout this post that we would LOVE to hear from the people that have been attending and speaking at the events over this past year.

We want to know what you think has been good, has been bad and what can be improved.  So to that end here are the various ways to get in touch with the team