FIRST Robotics Canada: Educating and promoting students in science, tech and engineering

Have you heard of FIRST Robotics Canada? If not, here’s your chance: FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, Robotics runs robotic competitions for elementary, junior and senior high school level students. Their aim is to push and inspire children towards careers in the science, tech and engineering fields. Established in 1992 by founder and inventor Dean Kamen, the organization now extends and reaches to over 250,000 students continent-wide.  There are a series of qualifying rounds across North America designed to ignite and impassion an interest in this industry.

Check out this video with Morgan Freeman discussing FIRST:



Today and tomorrow, cheer on Teresa Sing’s team FRC Team 1325 – Inverse Paradox through the webcasts featured on here.

Need more information on FIRST?:

2013 Canadian FIRST Robotics Canada Events by date:

• Waterloo Regional (March 21-23, 2013)

• Greater Toronto Regional West (March 28-30, 2013) – Hershey Centre

• Western Canadian Regional (April 4-6, 2013)

• FIRST Championships in St. Louis (April 24-27, 2013)

Regional and Qualifying Events

FIRST Robotics Info:

FIRST Robotics Canada
FIRST America


The DevTO Team

Want more information on Teresa’s Team? Or just want to cheer them on? Contact Teresa at

Tech in Toronto – March 28th to April 4th

Welcome to our third edition of Tech in Toronto events! We have pulled together all the technology related events in the city to one awesome place for you to check up on. Don’t miss another event! Check back every Thursday to see a new listing curated by us, here at DevTO.

March 28th, 2013

MaRS - Building a Software Development Team
12:00 P.M. – 1:30 P.M. 

Responsive Web Alliance - Responsive Web Thinkers Meet and Greet
6:30 P.M. (FREE)


April 2nd, 2013

MaRS Startup Book Club: “UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging” by Scott Stratten
5:30 P.M. – 6:30 P.M. (Free)

GTA PHP User Group - PHP Performance: xhprof, xhgui, and profiling
7:00 P.M. (Free)

Toronto Ruby Brigade - Ruby Hack Night
6:30 P.M. (Free)


April 3rd, 2013

Dive into topic #1: Complex Navigation
6:30 P.M. (Free)

Launchpad x Accenture: From Tech to Consulting
6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. (Free)

Toronto Web Entrepreneurs - Spring Networking Event
7:30 P.M. ($5.00)

Mobile Learning Lab - Bringing a Mobile App to Market
7:00 P.M. (Free)


April 4th, 2013

Centennial College Technology Fair 2013: Automation and Robotics Society
3:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. (Free)

Achievers Tech Talks - Profiling and Tuning a Web Application – The Dirty Details
6:00 P.M. (Free)


The DevTO Team!

If you have an event that I have missed, please email me the info at

The Toronto NASA International Space Apps Challenge 2013

This April, NASA is bringing together some of the world’s top designers, developers, scientists and engineers from 75 cities across the world for a weekend hackthon of intense proportions! Held at the Royal Ontario Museum, on April 19 – 21, the Toronto NASA International Space Apps Challenge will consist of a hackathon with several challenges developed to focus on “real-world design challenges, and on making our planet and universe accessible, visual and fun to explore.”

Some of the outlined challenges are as follows:

  • Space Station Benefits to Humanity
  • EPA Earth Day Challenge
  • Tour of the Moon
  • Interplanetary Atlas for CubeStats
  • Renewable Energy Explorer App
  • ESA’s 3D Printing Contest

Come out and try your hand at solving some of these challenges, pitch your idea to the judges and see if you win! You can view last year’s winners here.

For schedule, times, registration and other FAQs, check the site today!

The DevTO Team

What They Don’t Teach You in Schools

We’re a little late on this, so many of you may have seen this video already.

But this a great little gem on learning coding, and all the great, inspiring people who code and have coded some of the programs that we use every day! With the amount of star power in this video, from Bill Gates, to Mark Zuckerberg to even Chris Bosh, I think society is on it’s way to making being a techie cool. Learning to code is the new literacy.

This brings to light other things, such as: why haven’t most schools jumped on this yet? As many DevTO people can attest, coding is a big part of their lives, and becoming an even bigger part of society as we integrate more of our lives with emerging technology.

It’s interesting because there has been a push for teaching coding in elementary schools in places such as Estonia, but many schools in North America have not caught on to the trend yet.

Either way, check out the video, show everyone you know, and get inspired!

The DevTO Team

Tech in Toronto – March 21st to March 28th

Welcome to our second edition of Tech in Toronto events! We have pulled together all the technology related events in the city to one awesome place for you to check up on. Don’t miss another event! Check back every Thursday to see a new listing curated by us, here at DevTO.

Thursday, March 21st

6:30 P.M. – 9:15 P.M. ($5.00)

Central Toronto (CenTor) Amateur Radio Club - Introduction to Social Media
7:00 P.M. (FREE)

7:00 P.M. (FREE)

Sunday, March 24th
Girls Learning Code - Intro to Programming with Python
10:00 A.M – 4:00 P.M. ($50.00)

Monday, March 25th
Team Coding: Toronto Learns to Code -jQuery Hackathon – Beginners Welcome
6:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M. (FREE)
ProductTO - Meetup #2
6:00 P.M. – 7:30 P.M. (FREE)

6:30 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. (FREE) 
HackerNest Toronto Tech Socials - HackerNest Toronto March Tech Social
8:00 P.M. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 26th

6:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. ($65.00)

Toronto Ruby Brigade - Geeky Drinks and Boardgames
6:30 P.M. (FREE)

Toronto Semantic Web Meetup Group - Designing Applications for the Semantic Web
7:00 P.M. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 27th

6:00 P.M (FREE)
The Toronto Apple User Group - iOS Development Meetup
7:00 P.M. (FREE)

Toronto .NET Hackers - Microsoft Rosalyn
7:00 P.M. 
6:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. (FREE)

Thursday, March 28th

12:00 P.M. – 1:30 P.M. 

Responsive Web Alliance - Responsive Web Thinkers Meet and Greet
6:30 P.M. (FREE)

The DevTO Team!
If you have an event that I have missed, please email me the info at



At the next DevTO on March 25th we will be providing food sponsored by! What’s OrderIt? It’s the BEST meal delivery and take out service from ALL your favourite restaurants in Toronto and Vancouver! They are a Canadian started, owned and operated company that loves working with local restaurants and chefs. Not only do they deliver food from over 500 restaurants but they also deliver for restaurants that might not offer delivery themselves like Ill Fornello, Poutini’s, Live Food Bar, Richtree and Caplansky’s!

20% off discount code: DEVTO2013

Try and use the above discount code between March 18th and April 8th for a great meal at home!

Make sure you visit their Facebook page where they almost always have a discount code published and follow them on Twitter for updates @OrderIt

Women in Tech – An interesting infographic

We hear it all the time: there is a serious lack of female representation in industries related to tech.  Historically, women have been a minority in the tech world, but more recently, there has been a specific push towards empowering more and more women to enter into traditionally male-dominated industries.  This campaign for empowerment can be seen with women in tech positions championing the cause and pushing for equality and representation through taking a more active role in their communities.  This old boy’s club is changing, rapidly, and couldn’t be happening at a better time.

New evidence suggests that companies that have women sitting in higher positions, as well as on their boards, simply do better than ones that are entirely constituted by men.

Further, according to this infographic, research shows that “Venture capital firms with even just one female partner are 70% more likely to in business co-founded by women.”

So, why not have more women in tech? We are in a time where inclusivity should be heralded, if not just for the social aspect, but also for the clear evidence of success when equality is promoted.

Again, on the same infographic regarding the “Rise of Women in Tech”: the world of tech is in serious need of women, but not to fear, this statistic is on the rise.

Here are some interesting tidbits of information on the current state of women in tech:

  • Only 1 in 4 jobs in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics  (STEM) fields are held by women.
  • Between January 2011 and January 2012, the percentage of women in IT jumped 28.9%.
  • Women in STEM jobs earn 33% more than women in comparable non-STEM jobs (I don’t know about you, but this is undoubtedly impetus for more women to seek out careers in this field)
  • The wage gap is 7% less in the STEM fields!

However, this infographic has been generated with data centered on U.S. data and statistics; so, understanding this in the context of Canada is probably not too difficult, but some of the statistics may be different.

The DevTO Team

April 6th 10am – 7pm is Toronto’s Web Apps and Games Code-Along

On April 6th, we’re planning our second workshop alongside DevTOHTML5 TorontoTorontoJS and Make Web Not War. This one will focus on highlighting applications and games built using javascript and web technologies. We’ve got a couple of excellent speakers coming in from the local community.

Reserve your spot for $5 by March 30th and you can win an Xbox+Kinect bundle

Prerequisites. If you want to get the most out of this and other workshops it is recommended to install Windows 8. You can install it directly or host it in a Virtual Machine, including a Mac.You will want to install the tools and SDK and, if you get a chance, read Designing great games for Windows.If you don’t install anything, no worries, you will still be able to follow along. USB sticks and help will be available to get your computers ready to code-along.

Watch the online stream from the previous workshop

Submit your apps. If you think you have a great idea, we are having an application showcase competition where we will be giving away a Surface RT. Simply submit the URL of your idea hosted on a Microsoft platform (like the free trial of Azure) to where you will be added to a list of presenters to be given a 2 minute “Best At” style pitch where the audience will be the judge, not just the ones there but also those online. We will be streaming the whole event as well so you can have friends and colleagues help vote for you too.

Prizes. Ticket price will be $5 and for those that register by March 30th, you’ll be entered to win an Xbox & Kinect Bundle.

Code-along. Along with speakers throughout the morning, we will also have a code-along for developing Windows 8 applications using web tools. We’ll have experts on-hand to provide 1-1 support to answer questions about using frameworks, best practices for user experience, and server side solutions for managing your application’s data.

Tech in Toronto Thursday: March 14 – March 21

Welcome to the first edition of DevTO’s Tech in Toronto Thursday.  We will be updating our blog every Thursday with the upcoming week’s tech-related events in Toronto.  From conferences to Meet Up groups, we’ll try and have all the major events posted every week.

Here are Toronto’s Tech events for the week of

Thursday, March 14th – Thursday, March 21st:

Sunday, March 17th

Coffee and Code:
Code over Coffee

Monday, March 18th

Girl Geeks TO:
Build, Analyze & Optimize with Google

Team Coding:
Toronto Learns to Code – jQuery Workshop Series & Hackathon

Toronto Drupal User Group:
March Meeting

Tuesday, March 19th

Lean Analytics:
Using Data to Build a Better Startup Faster

Wednesday, March 20th

The Toronto Apple User Group:
Toronto Mac Meetup

Thursday, March 21st

Python Developers:
Meet and greet

Toronto Code Retreat:
Code Retreat @ Bento Miso



March 19th – 20th

Digital Media Summit:

March 18th – 20th

Predictive Analytics World Conference:



If you have an event that I have missed, please email me the info at



#DevTO 22 – 30 years of Software Engineering & Building Browser Extensions

With jQueryTO’s roaring success last weekend, and us getting to 21 sprints in nearly 2 years, #devto’s back in full swing before its’ birthday! If you HAVE NOT been, please do attend!

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!


If you missed last month’s speakers check them out here. Greg Wilson will measure out his 30 years in the software game as Mathieu Gosbee will be giving us more 411 on browsers! Seriously – Don’t miss it! The full details are below! More tickets will be opened at 8pm on March 5th.
Get your tickets

We Know (But Ignore) More Than We Think

Greg Wilson – Creator of Software Carpentry

Over the past thirty years, software engineering researchers have learned a lot about how software actually gets built, and about which tools and practices make developers more productive.  However, most working programmers don’t know these studies exist, and don’t base their own work on the best available evidence. This talk will describe a more of the most interesting results, and explore why the gulf between research and practice persists.

Greg Wilson is the creator of Software Carpentry, a crash course in computing skills for scientists and engineers.  He has worked for 25 years in high-performance computing, data visualization, computer security, and academia, has been on the editorial board of “Doctor Dobb’s Journal” and “Computing in Science and Engineering”, and is the author or editor of several books on computing (including the 2008 Jolt Award winner “Beautiful Code”) and two for children. Greg received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh in 1993.



Browser extensions! Chrome, Firefox and what the *bleep* am I doing?

Mathieu Gosbee – Co-founder of Groupnotes
Mathieu came to out to his first #DevTO in November last year looking for votes for Groupnotes in the Global Starup Battle. At #DevTO 22 he is going to tell us what he has learned about building browser extensions.

Mathieu is a Prince Edward Island born Canadian, a recent Startup Weekend Toronto winner for the team Groupnotes. He was awesome at Counter-Strike as a kid- not so much anymore. Now he spends his days coding in pure JavaScript (no, not that silly CoffeeScript stuff). Node.JS is awesome. ‘Nuff said!



Did you know we’re also holding another event on March 10th? Come out to start learning how to build apps for Windows 8 with HTML 5 Toronto, TorontoJS and Make Web Not War.

Gold Sponsors

Genexus Canada delivers a platform to enable you to create software for multiple platforms and technologies in less time. More than 7,000 companies worldwide use GeneXus to create and integrate mission critical applications that adapt readily to relentless technological changes.

JAM is a digital and direct agency based in Liberty Village. They’re pushing the envelope with email, HTML 5, mobile and Facebook for some of Canada’s largest and most successful companies. And right now, they’re hiring Front-end Developers and making connections with Digital Freelancers. Check-out their job posting here, or email your cv and portfolio to to learn more.

Make your app the next big thing! It’s time to get motivated with The Developer Manifesto. We are the game changers. We won’t settle for second best. We are the ones who know hard work pays off and that victory is only an app away. We know that if we don’t build it, they won’t come, but when we do, we’ll create a phenomenon. We are the imaginative, the creative and the driven. We are going to Start Something! Join the Developer Movement today.

We’re not just quite ready to give out a car at #DevTO through TwitterTwitterChickenDinner : ) , but last month Acura Sherway joins us as a Gold sponsor! Connect with Ameer Khan on Twitter – GM of Acura Sherway. Thank you for your support Ameer! is social software that makes feedback and coaching easy and fun. We’re a recently acquired start-up with a killer team and the coolest clients. We’re moving fast and building innovative software that people, including ourselves, actually want to use. We’re also hiring Engineers in Development and Engineers in Test.

Silver Sponsor

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!