All posts by devtofolks

#DevTO Does The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Controversial or not, the ALS #IceBucketChallenge was an ingenious social campaign to raise much needed awareness to a medical condition that impacts many around the world. Here are the known facts:

  • ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries.
  • ALS can strike anyone, women and men, young and old.
  • In Canada, approximately 2,500 to 3,000 are living with the disease. In the U.S approximately 5,000 people are diagnosed each year and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 people in the U.S may have the disease. How many world wide? That appears to be unknown today.

I found it rather difficult to find quantifiable global research around how many people have had this or even how many currently have it. This must indicate how greatly more funding is required for global ALS research, records and reports.

Here goes…pouring ice on yourself is fun… but make sure you also donate!

The DevTO Crew

 

Super-sizing your Ruby App & How Does Security Blanket Work?

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Register for August’s event here with Tracey Lauren and Team Security Blanket Get your tickets

Super-sizing your Ruby App – Tracey Lauren

It is the story behind my endeavour to apply tried and true scaling strategies to a large Ruby on Rails app only to discover they did not apply.Why is there so much controversy over Enterprise level Ruby on Rails solutions? Why are there little to no examples? What was the eventual solution, and how can it be adapted to any large scale  Enterprise Application, RoR or otherwise.

Tracy Lauren is a self taught Software Engineer who has worked on many ground breaking projects in her 17 years in IT. She is currently an Enterprise Application Architect for Mosaic Sales solutions, and is responsible for the architecture of their flagship IT software mPower. Tracy likes to work with the newest technologies, and frequently will mentor startup tech companies.  As an avid gamer, Tracy is currently writing her own web based RTS in her spare time (ya right!), and does not believe that there is a problem that technology cannot solve.

How does Security Blanket Work?


The Security Blanket system is made up of two parts:
The first is a network of phones, computers, and other devices that are connected by having one of our applications installed. Security Blanket also offers a “plugin”, or SDK, that can be included in any application — so any organization with an app can let their users choose to help find lost children, too. This system is completely invisible to users and works in the background, so no effort is required in order to help. Data is only ever shared with law enforcement and a child’s information and/or location are never made public.
The second part lets parents attach a beacon to their child and register that beacon’s unique signal with our system. It’s up the parent to decide how much or how little personal information is included, and none of it is stored on our servers — anything identifiable stays solely on the parent’s phone or device. If the child goes missing, the parent can report them lost through the mobile app or website, which immediately triggers Security Blanket’s global network to start scanning for their child’s unique signal.

Once the network has found the child’s signal, law enforcement officers can see the child’s location, and coordinate search efforts appropriately. The more devices picking up the signal, the more accurate the location will become, until the child is located and returned safely home.

We’re looking for a Community Manager

#DevTO is on the hunt for an awesome volunteer Community Manager to join our ranks and help us help us promote our content and events online across our different online channels.

Responsibilities. Include creating and managing a content schedule for the blog, managing the conversation on the hashtag #DevTO during and outside of events, curating tweets and content of interest for Twitter posts about Toronto tech, startups, and other tech events we promote.

Committment. The position would require around 10-15 hours per month, ( 4 hours of which are during the event).

Why join us? Although this a volunteer position, it is an excellent opportunity for meeting some fabulous folks in the Toronto tech community, as well as access to free tickets and discount codes to other events occurring in the city ex. jQueryTO, AndroidTO, FITC, etc., plus “DevTO” would look great on your resume and we will provide an amazing recommendation for your role as Community Manager if you are selected!

Featured Startup: Sniply

 Do you share content on social media? Like so many others, you are probably doing an amazing job driving traffic to other people’s websites.

Content curation has become an important part of social media. People share great content across the web to establish thought leadership and become a source of credible information for their followers.

While curation is great, it does take time. The challenge is that no one knows how to calculate, or even generate a return on investment for the time spent in curating content. At Sniply, we are making this possible with a new approach to link sharing.

 

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Sniply is a simple tool that lets you embed your own message and call-to-action into any page on the web. For example, as you share an article from Mashable, you can use Sniply to embed a custom message and link back to your own website directly within Mashable. All you have to do is to input the URL of the page into Sniply, type a message, and Sniply will give you a special link which contains the article with your message inside.

mike               chris               nigel2

Sniply was founded in early 2014 by three Next 36 alumni, Michael Cheng, Christopher Bowal and Nigel Gutzmann. Michael specializes in product design while Chris and Nigel take the charge on software development. Within 4 months post-launch, Sniply already attracted thousands of users, acquired two of their competitors and expanded their team from 3 to 10 people.

Sniply links have generated over 1.3 million clicks so far and you can expect a conversion rate of 7-10% with every link you share. The best thing about Sniply is that you can share great content from your favourite sites but still drive traffic back to your own website.

Last but not least, Sniply is free to use! Check out this short video on how it works:

Welcome Genesys to DevTO

This month we welcome Genesys to DevTO’s Gold Sponsor roster. Gensys is a leading provider of multi-channel customer experience and contact center solutions. Their platform helps companies engage with their customers, across all channels and interactions to deliver differentiated customer journeys, while maximizing revenue and loyalty.

Join their award winning team with several positions open in the GTA and Canada wide .

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Genesys is also organizing a hackathon in Toronto on July 18th and 19th with prizes including 2 Google Glasses and 2 Ubis.

Thank you 1,616 times!

Last month we reached out to all of you to help us send 5 girls between the ages of 8 and 13 to a Kids Learning Code summer camp and together we have raised $1,616 in 4 weeks!

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 6.10.39 PMWe decided that DevTO will donate the difference so that we can hit the target we set out to reach!

From all of us at DevTO thank you to everyone who donated and shared our campaign this month.

Stay tuned for an update post once we sort out the details with Ladies Learning Code and Big Brothers Big Sisters Toronto!

 

Welcome to Creative Niche!

Today we welcome the team at Creative Niche to our #DevTO Sponsor roster as our exclusive recruiting partner!

Check out the Creative Earners Survey of salaries and billing practices in the Communication Design Industry and get entered to in one of 15 $100 Umbra gift cards and one of two passes to 2014 Design Thinkers Conference in Toronto November 6th and 7th.

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.

They’ll be at our next event coming up June 30th! See you there

Help #DevTO send 5 girls to a Girls Learning Code Summer Camp!

This month we are trying to help send five girls between the ages of 8 and 13 to a Kids Learning Code Summer Camp in July and August.

At our May event we will be discussing how to retain more women in STEM. It is a known fact that to achieve this we have to start at a young age AND make it fun and that’s where Kids Learning Code comes in!

These camps experiences are meant to take kids on a journey of discovery, empowerment, creativity and making! Each camp includes at least one field trip to a relevant technology company, a panel discussion with some of Toronto’s most energized professionals and experts, small and large hands on projects, demo presentations at the end of each day of camp, a demo day for parents and the community at the end of the week, and more!

In June 2013, Kids Learning Code began offering monthly workshops, camps and events for boys and girls. Like Girls Learning Code, these programs are beginner-friendly, hands-on and fun. Featuring a 3:1 ratio of kids to mentors, we ensure kids are guided by balanced numbers of male and female role models. At Kids Learning Code, we believe that if we want to encourage more diversity in the field of technology, we need to help boys and girls learn to work in technical environments together effectively. Thus, at Kids Learning Code events, 50% of tickets are reserved for boys and 50% for girls. If your child hasn’t yet experienced the fun of a Kids Learning Code workshop or camp, we encourage you to check out one of our upcoming events!

We need your help to achieve this goal in June!

FITC Day 1: Sing-a-long with Stefan Sagmeister

Definetely today was an awesome kick off to the FITC talks and festivities. The day was jam packed with tons of fabulous sessions that made it really really really difficult to pick one to go to.

One of the main highlights though was Stefan’s keynote and especially the sing-a-long belong. Definetely up there with some of the greatest FITC talks I’ve seen in Toronto.

Anyway, enjoy!

Nael

Gary Vaynerchuk: Keep up the phenomenal hard work Toronto!

Gary sends a shout to the #DevTO community and the Toronto tech community at large to keep up the hustle and the phenomenal hard work!

Gary for those that don’t know is the founder of WineLibrary.com, WineLibrary TV and more recently Vayner Media.

Gary’s last book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Book: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World comes out November 26th. Learn more about the book and Gary at http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/