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

Sponsors

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!

Speakers

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

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