All posts by Anita Chauhan

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

 

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

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
 

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 

OANDA is hiring!

Happy Sunday (and happy December 1st!). Just throwing out a little note to let you know that one of our sponsors, OANDA is hiring! 
 
OANDA is “a world leader in online forex trading and currency services”, and has been featured in “Wired’s 10 Non-California Tech Companies You Wish You Worked For” list
 
They are currently looking for a passionate and motivated engineer to join their team as a Web Team Lead. Find out more information and other job postings here on their site (also, check out the awesome perks you get from working with them. Free lunches!)

The DevTO Team 

EVENT RECAP – Wrapping up 2013 with Codeproject and IdeaNotion

This past Monday was our last DevTO of 2013. And what a great time! Polar Mobile hosted us and as always, showed us a great time. We were well-met with great friends and sponsors, and we even had a special guest appearance from the famous Gary Vaynerchuck! Gary stopped by (via video) to give #DevTO and the T.O. tech community a bit shout-out. The video is featured in our post here: http://www.devto.ca/2013/11/gary-vaynerchuk-keep-up-the-phenomenal-hard-work-toronto/ 

 

We welcomed Carrie Davis-Sydor and Sean Ewington to give our first presentation on behalf of Codeproject, one of the first coding communities in the world! 

Codeproject incase you hadn’t heard (which we are sure you have), is a wonderful resource for computer programmers of any level. Rich with articles and quick tips and tricks, you can copy and paste code straight from the site. Founded and based in Toronto, Codeproject boasts a grand library of helpful information and tons of contests with an emphasis on a community sharing culture. We were so happy to have them come in and talk to us, especially since they are celebrating their 14th year and their 10 millionth member! Check out their site and community here and their new Codeproject.TV initiative!

Our second speaker was Michael Siu and Raymond Tsang from IdeaNotion. A lover of all things open (open source, open data, open gov… etc.), IdeaNotion is a lean software consulting firm. They came to speak to us about an easy tool they’ve created for you to use: IdeaPress. “a platform that empowers the transformation of WordPress websites into mobile apps” Create a feature rich app through a step-by-step creator. Michael showed us an alternative approach to handling buggy apps and showed us how an hybrid app (native & HTML5) could automatically push updates directly to users without republishing the app. Check out the Github on IdeaPress here.

A big thank you (again) to Polar Mobile for hosting, and a big thank you to our event photographers, Chow Productions. We have posted our event photos here and here. Try and find your face!

See you at the Toronto Tech Social Wrap Up on December 3rd. Grab your tickets for only $10.00! There will be GREAT prizes you guys can win (and support the Toronto Tech Community and Daily Bread Food Bank.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Community Agency
Microsoft Canada
Oanda
Myplanetdigital
Mercatus
Kendo UI
YellowAPI
Ross&Bank

And our in-kind sponsors:

FITC
Orderit
AndroidTO
Holly Lews (thanks for the amazing cookies!) 

The DevTO Team thanks you, Toronto Tech community for making each and every one of the last Mondays of each month more amazing than the last. Here’s to 2013, and here’s to what’s to come in 2014!

 

 

World of Webcraft

Hey everyone, earlier this week we announced our new gold sponsor, Myplanet Digital is hosting a great series that could land you a job! If you’re looking to improve your skill set and brush up on your web developer and Drupal know-how, you should check out the World of Webcraft educational program.

More information is supplied below:

Myplanet is piloting an exciting FREE educational program beginning in January.  World of Webcraft is part-time, 12 week offering that welcomes junior web developers and freelancers who are looking to enhance their skill sets.

For the first month of Webcraft, participants will learn the basics of the Myplanet development process and project lifecycle. Using Drupal as our content management platform, hands-on exercises and challenges in class will deliver a thorough understanding of this open source framework. Beyond the first month, learners who exhibit a solid grasp of the concepts may be invited to take part in the “play & earn” phase for the remaining 8 weeks of the program. They’ll work on real client tasks that will support Myplanet production teams and will be compensated for their work. It’s an unparalleled opportunity gain first-hand, paid development experience with the guidance of skilled mentors.

Webcraft classes will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9AM-5PM at Myplanet’s brand spankin’ new office downtown Toronto. Successful completion of the program could lead to a full-time employment opportunity at Myplanet. Anyone interested in applying can get in touch with webcraft@myplanetdigital.com.

 

Welcome Myplanet Digital!

We are very pleased to announce that Myplanet Digital is a new Gold Sponsor! Welcome to the team guys. Thanks for supporting DevTO and the Toronto Tech community. Cheers to you!

Myplanet Digital is a design & technology company that “specializes in the practice of envisioning, designing & building digital products.” To find out more about this great company, check out their site (it’s pretty fabulous). Also, they’re hiring!

The DevTO Team