All posts by devtofolks

Path to CTO – August 31st 2015

 

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In our second panel of 2015 we are bringing together 8 CTOs from across various companies and startups in the GTA to discuss their roles, how their responsibilities differ from each other and their experience getting to their current role.

RSVP to Path to CTO

This panel event is slightly longer than the typical #DevTO event. A rough outline of the evening will be:

Introductions – 15 minutes

Panel Questions Period – 45 minutes

Break – 10 minutes

Audience Questions – 30 minutes

Closing comments – 10 minutes

Panelists

Dessy Daskalov, CTO Nudge Rewards
Dessy spent the better part of her life knowing she would one day be an entrepreneur. In 2011 she became the CTO and co-founder of Nudge Rewards. She’s passionate about building a better world through software. Dessy is happiest coding with the team at Nudge, participating in a riveting debate, or drinking a smooth ale.

Lars Laakes, CTO Sciencescape
A hands-on leader with over twenty-five years of experience in executive management, product management, team building, process and execution, business and technical architecture, and software development. Lars has delivered successful solutions in many domains including finance, sales, manufacturing, media, social, and human resource systems. Combining business, people, communication, and process skills with strong technical architecture experience and a passion for software craftsmanship, Lars has lead and inspired local and distributed teams to efficiently deliver highly successful customer solutions.

Gurminder Kandola, CTO Viafoura
“Serial CTO” develops long term technology strategies and aligns them with business objectives for his clients.  He has held strategic positions at FanXchange, Audiobooks.com and Redknee. His efforts have enabled partnerships with numerous Fortune 500 industry leaders across North America, and he holds the North American patent for the smart cloud-based bookmarking technology developed for Audiobooks.com. Passionate about mentoring tech entrepreneurs and companies in commercializing their technologies, Gurminder has advised many area startups including the 2012 winner of a Global Startup competition.

Erik Levinson, CTO Uberflip
His career spans over a decade of diverse roles in support, QA, operations, development, infrastructure, and technical leadership in B2B, B2C, and public sector organizations. As CTO at Uberflip for the past four years, Erik leads a dev/QA/ops team responsible for delivering a highly-available, secure, and highly-scalable SaaS platform serving enterprise customers. Erik is the co-founder and former CTO of a Canadian regional telecom company, where he developed and commercialized innovative technologies. Erik is also active in Toronto’s tech community, including co-organizing the Toronto CTO Group and the DevOps TO meetups

Christine Day, CIO Questrade
Since joining the firm in 2005, she has defined the firm’s technology posture, steering the company from a small start-up to one of Canada’s top online financial services firms. Her vision and drive has ensured Questrade is now an undisputed leader in delivering disruptive financial services that benefit all Canadian investors. Christine’s philosophy is to deliver technology business strategy by bridging technological innovation and business innovation.

George Eichholzer, VP Engineering Top Hat
He brings more than 20 years of experience to Top Hat, executing business software solutions for companies across a wide range of industries. Prior to Top Hat, he served as CTO of the Financial Services division at NexJ Systems, responsible for the technical architecture and direction of the division. In addition, George  previously held product management and marketing positions at Oracle where he led efforts in integrating technologies onto Oracle’s CRM channel offerings.

Nathan Wong, CTO Foray
Nathan is the Co-Founder and CTO at Fortay, a hiring platform to help candidates and hiring managers assess cultural fit as part of the hiring process. Before Fortay, Nathan cofounded BuySellAds, the largest self-serve marketplace for online display ads, where he led the tech team as they grew to serve 5 billion ads each month.

Bohdan Zabawskyj, CTO Mercatus (Panel Moderator)
He leads the Engineering, QA, IT, and DevOps teams at Mercatus. Bohdan is also an advisor to a number of compelling companies including Kik, Staff, Yeplive, Parkbench, & DevBBQ.  Prior to Mercatus, Bohdan was responsible for evolving Rypple’s performance management solution whose clients included Facebook, LinkedIn, & Spotify. Previously, Bohdan was the CTO at Redknee were he contributed to Redknee’s growth from a start-up to a publicly traded &profitable entity with clients in over 60 countries.  Bohdan is also a named inventor in over 50 patents world-wide.

#AppStrategy Workshops – July 14th 2015

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Join the App Developers Alliance for an App Strategy Workshop in Toronto on Tuesday, July 14. Attendees will:

  • Gain key insights from app industry leaders, such as OpenX, Millennial Media, Pollen, and more.

  • Learn how to boost user acquisition, increase revenue, and build a successful app startup.

  • Network with speakers and attendees after the workshop (Beer, wine, and appetizers served).

  • Have the chance to win a Nexus 9 tablet!

We hope to see you there! Register for free. Space is limited, sign up today!

 

Date: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 | 5:30-9 PM

Location: One Eleven, 111 Richmond St. W, Suite 5, Toronto, ON M5H 2G4 (map)

Unifying Product, Business, Design & Dev / 5 Steps to Outrank Your Competitors Online

The most challenging aspect of building products is the iteration of processes for the individuals and teams within an organization. From a development and design perspective, this is key to nail for focussed and efficient teams, and even more so when incorporating product management and the business behind products.

Our focus at Design Cofounders began with alleviating risks in product design and development by creating frameworks to ground our processes. These frameworks find themselves living in project management tools like Asana, in our standard operations written on Medium, as well as within the Design Kits that we create to standardize the product processes.
The business success of our company, as well as the clients that work with us hinges on maximizing opportunities and alleviating risks. It’s a simple concept, and one that we do independently in our day to day, and hopefully, in groups during meetings. But even in agile, and scrum, it’s not done contextually across all people and departments.
Lailee Soleimani and Mustefa Jo’shen from Design Cofounders are going to share examples of DC’s design kits, and provide an overview of how opportunities and risks can be interconnected throughout the entire software development lifecycle, from design, right down to technical decision making and implementation.

Lailee Soleimani is currently a Designer-in-Residence with Design Cofounders, leading internal research and development projects to strategically enhance the efficiency of studio and education efforts.

Mustefa Jo’shen is the Founder and CEO at Design Cofounders, where we’re assembling a team of developers, strategists, and designers to impact change.

Design Cofounders works with startups and organizations to achieve their business goals through the design of digital products. We also offer accessible courses on design thinking, entrepreneurship, product design, and product management for individuals and organizations via DC Edu. Our social impact mandate is “Design Makes Change”, and we use this to lead our initiatives across everything that we do.

SEO is a complex task, but a MUST for any business! Get the most out of your time and effort by following the 5 steps to SEO success. Bassem Ghali (Founder & Head of Client Strategy of Green Lotus Marketing Agency) will walk you through the most important organic search engine ranking factors, including how to detect and fix site errors, selecting the most effective keywords for your business, spying on competitors to learn about their strategy, building your backlink strength and developing online authority!

Bassem Ghali is a search engine marketing strategist and speaker with more than 8 years of experience managing online marketing strategies for some of Canadian’s largest corporations including Canadian Tire, Direct Energy, and Toronto Star – New in Homes. Demonstrated success in online marketing has led to speaking engagements at various events including Search Engine Strategies (SES) Toronto, University of Toronto, Ryerson University, Humber College, American Marketing Association, SOHO Business Expo, Online Revealed Canada Conference, Newmarket Chamber of Commerce and more.

Bassem is the driving force behind Green Lotus and has an knack for creating innovative online marketing strategies for medium, large businesses and non-profits. With a desire to support the community and increase awareness of local community non-profit organizations and charities.

DISCLAIMERS:

•   You must be 19 years or over to attend this event

RSVP Here

#DevTO March 2015 Featuring Robyn Larsen and Travis Patron

The 3rd #DevTO of the year is already around the corner, which also means DevTO is quickly approaching it’s 4th birthday! RSVP Here.
 

Next #DevTO Monthly Event: March 30 2015


In this session, Robyn will discuss the 9 week transition and how she landed her first big contract with 140 characters, the similarities/differences in both careers, what she learned along the way and where she is going now. Robyn is a former nuclear engineer now blurring the lines between work and play as a front end web developer, mentor and entrepreneur.

Her tools of choice are HTML5, CSS3, Sass, responsive design, and Javascript. She lives by challenging assumptions, improving process, and never settles. Born & raised in small town Alberta – over the past few years she has snowboarded some of the world’s most majestic mountains, travelled to over 23 countries, cultivated movements and mentored students. Now you can now find her based in Toronto working at Normative with brands from all over the world.
Former nuclear engineer now blurring the lines between work and play as a front end web developer, mentor and entrepreneur. Over the past few years she has snowboarded some of the world’s most majestic mountains, travelled to over 23 countries, cultivated movements and mentored students. Her tools of choice are HTML5, CSS3, Sass, responsive design, and JavaScript. She lives by challenging assumptions, improving process, and never settles. Now you can now find her working at Normative, Toronto based software development shop. 



The innovation of bitcoin is perhaps the most important development of the early 21st century. In a span of only 5 years, the digital currency has jumped from being traded at 4 tenths of a penny, to highs of over $1200. In that time, we’ve seen individuals, government organizations, and large corporation warm up to the idea that bitcoin may be a form of cyber money pundits have been predicting for years. 

Outside the control of any centralized institution and owned by no one party in particular, bitcoin sets the stage for something bold and new. Experts describe it as a breakthrough in computing science formulated upon decades of research. Bitcoin operates by open-source and freely accessible technology backed by the mathematics of cryptography, to create a universal ledger of information. Bitcoin is poised to disrupt an entire swath of industries, holding promises of disruptive, even chaotic scenarios that will endure in the coming years. More swiftly than ever, this transformation will elicit massive changes on the way we work, play, and live. 

Travis Patron is a singularity researcher and cybereconomist most well-known for his thought leadership into digital economies such as bitcoin. As a respected public speaking authority and author, he has helped audiences ranging from small teams to large university classrooms understand the implications of non-political, programmable money for the average consumer. You can find him in Toronto, apathetic towards voting while hunting banksters for spare organs. 

Recruiting Partner

Creative Niche is a temporary staffing, permanent recruitment and executive search firm specializing in advertising, communications design, development, marketing, mobile, public relations, and social media throughout North America, Asia and Europe. Founded in 2002, our firm connects top talent with leading companies from across the globe. That includes the marketing departments of multinational corporations, as well as advertising, digital, marketing and public relations agencies. Our clients—ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500s—include Cohn & Wolfe, Draft FCB, Edelman, Frontgate, Interbrand, Kroger, Maple Leaf Sports + Entertainment, Ogilvy, RBC, SapientNitro, Sid Lee and TD Bank.

Check out the Fast Five tips from Creative Niche on Freelancing Success!

Partners

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!


BrightLane

is a community of entrepreneurs working together on King Street West. A cool location and a historic brick and beam building may describe where our Members work, but the inspiration comes from you. We want to help you connect, collaborate and innovate and improve your business results. That’s the essence of entrepreneurial success. Starting a new business means putting everything on the line. It’s a lonely road with many surprises. Taking this journey with others, some a little ahead and those who may have stumbled, is the best path for giving your enterprise every chance for success.

Gold Sponsors


Q4 Web Systems (Q4) is the leading provider of investor relations websites, social media and mobile solutions for public companies in North America. With 400+ clients and 50+ employees they are currently looking to grow their Liberty Village office. Learn more about their stack at the Q4 Stack Blog.


Digital Ocean is simple cloud hosting that is built for developers. Deploy an SSD cloud server in 55 seconds! We take the complexities out of cloud hosting by offering blazing fast, on-demand SSD cloud servers, straightforward pricing, a simple API, and an easy-to-use control panel. You’ll be amazed at how fast and easy it is to create a cloud server. Setup is super quick and painless.

Silver Sponsors

Vena is a cost-effective, user-friendly and easy to implement corporate performance management solution that ties the power and flexibility of Excel to a secure, centrally managed application. Organizations of every size rely heavily on spreadsheets to drive business processes. People love their flexibility, easy to use modeling capabilities, raw analytic power and many options for enhancing reports with charts and graphs.  Learn more about Vena and the positions.
Lighthouse Labs is Canada’s developer bootcamp. They teach people to learn to code in 8 weeks, and do it in a way that truly prepares students for amazing careers. Based in Toronto and Vancouver’s most innovative tech hubs, Lighthouse Labs combines a TA community of 40+ full-time developers with an agile curriculum that emphasizes building real software. This has allowed them to achieve the ultimate result for its students: 100% job placement rate.

Announcing BrightLane & Mercatus Partnership

It is our pleasure to announce a new and exciting partnership with BrightLane and Mercatus Technologies. DevTO is joining the community of entrepreneurs at BrightLane (including Mercatus) working together in a cool and historic building at 545 King West. Four years ago we started DevTO with a mission to bring developers, designers, techies and entrepreneurs together through monthly events, workshops and other seasonal events. Today we continue that mission in a new home at BrightLane as the newest member of that community!

“DevTO is the GTA’s premiere community of developers and, together with Mercatus Technologies Inc., we’re proud to jointly become a Partner-level sponsor,”

says George Horhota, BrightLane’s President. “We’re also excited that, only two months after opening our premiere coworking centre on King Street West, DevTO has decided to make BrightLane their home and will hold at least three DevTO events this year at BrightLane.”

Through this partnership, DevTO will have access to the fabulous facilities at BrightLane which opened in November 2014. This includes a dedicated space for our co-founders to meet and work on DevTO projects.

So, keep an eye out for BrightLane in 2015, check out their spaces  and schedule a tour to see for yourself. Maybe we’ll even run into you there!

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In the words of BrightLane’s and Mercatus Technologies co-founder, G. Raymond Chang:

“It’s people that make any successful enterprise”.

Tales from the Ops Side: Taking Black Friday & Evaluating Employers like a VC

Happy New Year!! We kick off our 4th year with two interesting topics on Dev Ops and How to evaluate employers.

We’d like to get your feedback on our past events, please help us make 2015 a great year of events for #DevTO by completing this survey.

Tales from the Ops Side: Taking Black Friday – Hany Fahim, CEO VM Farms

Beginning a series of talks presented by VM Farms, Tales from the Ops Side serves to educate developers on best practices for performance, stability, and security, as well as to share frontline stories from the battlefield (featuring such classics as The Bieber-bit, and Are You Sure This Is SSD?).  The series is intended to share an operations perspective on running and supporting application infrastructures.

January’s talk focusses maintaining performance and uptime during spike and sustained increases in load for a large eRetailer during Black Friday weekend.

Hany Fahim is the CEO and founder of VM Farms, a 24×7 Operations Team and Cloud Provider.  Hany has over 10 years of operations experience, both in building and supporting private and public cloud platforms, as well as Linux and OSS environments. You can reach Hani at @iHandroid and the folks of VM Farms @vmfarms

Evaluate Employers Like A VC Invests – Alex Stobe

Your career is an investment. One you make with a precious resource – your time. As you get to a point where more options become available, career change decisions can feel overwhelming. It helps to have a framework, especially if you’re interested in working for startups. You may want to borrow a few tips from the VC playbook and apply them to your job hunt. This talk will provide you guidelines for researching and interviewing potential employers to maximize your “Return On Experience.”

Alex Stobe headhunts for high-growth software companies and works to build recruitment solutions that connect skilled individuals with teams that will appreciate and nurture their talents. He helped design Hirefully (a candidate engagement product), and has placed software professionals at both the contributor and executive levels. Click here for his LinkedIn profile. This is Alex’s second talk at a #DevTO event.

RSVP to the next #DevTO

It’s Time to Donate & Party with Canada’s Top Marketing Experts & Entrepreneurs

Donate & Party for Small Business Superheroes – Dec 2 at 5:30pm – Downtown Toronto!

Join hundreds of Toronto’s top entrepreneurs and small business owners to enjoy an amazing night with complimentary drinks and snacks to get you in the holiday spirit.

Learn how to increase your business sales & leads from marketing experts at Constant Contact & Green Lotus while supporting moms and women-led families of the YWCA this holiday season!

RSVP here for a Free Event in Support of YWCA Toronto!

We’re buying you a drink at #ToTechBash on Dec 2nd 2014!

Last year we helped organize #ToTechWrap at the Court House with the whole Toronto Tech community crew. The event helped raise $3,000 for the Daily Bread Food Bank which helped feed 480 people.

This year Caroline and Matt are at it again organizing #ToTechBash on Dec 2nd, also at the Court House.  Tickets are $20 and all proceeds (after paying for this massive party for 500 people) will go to Not Impossible Labs which crowd sources solutions for “previously insurmountable healthcare issues” by providing DIY and open source solutions that can change lives around the globe!9bcbad_62382b5cb58e4234994ab0adebf0ec97.png_srz_957_401_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srz

So can we count on you to be there? We already bought you a drink, you just need to get your ticket!