Category Archives: Announcements

#DevTO 9 coming up Jan 30th 2012: new location, FITC, Design Edge giveaways & more!

Happy New Year everybody! We hope everybody had a safe and happy break. The folks at #DevTO are super refreshed and ready to bring twelve kick-ass #DevTO events to you in 2012!

Before we get into our starting line up – we have some important announcements for you:

Get your tickets!

#DevTO tickets go fast, so before you continue reading these announcements make sure you grab a ticket for yourself. Use the RSVP button on the right.

New Location!

First off, many thanks to the folks at Richmond Day for hosting us (and all of you) the past 8 months. We started off at Richmond Day with a dozen or so attendees in the first few months before blowing past 70 attendees in the past couple of months. The guys at #DevTO are working hard on relocating the event to a new home for this year.

 

While we finalize where we are going, we thank our friends at BNotions who have offered us their space for the events in January and February at:

46 Hayden Street (3rd floor)
Toronto, Ontario
M4Y 1V8 CANADA

 

 

FITC Giveaway!!

Remember Marc Levy won a ticket last month? Well we can’t send him alone. So FITC is giving us another ticket ($500 value) to giveaway on January 30th for FITC Toronto 2012 April 23- 25th.

FITC produces design and technology focused conferences and seminars worldwide which inspire, educate and challenge attendees. Since 2002, FITC has brought together like-minded professionals and students in Toronto, Amsterdam, Tokyo, San Francisco, Chicago, Seoul, New York, Los Angeles and many other cities. Staying fresh by covering relevant topics including interactive design and business, HTML5, Flash, FLEX, AIR, mobile and more, FITC provides the professional development and networking opportunities needed to keep attendees up to date on the rapidly changing industry they work in. FITC produces a number of events internally and in collaboration with other event organizations throughout the year.

 

 

Design Edge Giveaway!!!

Design Edge Canada Regional Design Awards has a Mobile Design Category and would like to encourage more mobile app designers/developers to enter. They have offered us two free early-bird entries (value $85 each) to DevTO attendees. Early-bird deadline is Feb 3.

So is your app awesome? Then make sure you are following @DevTO on Twitter to learn when we are giving you two entries to submit your brilliant app!

 

 

Steam Whistle Giveaway!!!!

Canadas Premium Pilsner Steam Whistle Brewing is offering #DevTO attendees 10 voucher tickets for their souvenir tour. You get to tour the brewery, sample their awesome Pilsner and even take home a souvenir glass or retro bottle opener!

So that is another reason to be at the next #DevTO! We will be giving these out during the event!

 

Like every month we have two great presentations waiting for you, say hi to Peter, Sue and Marc:

Make your data dance

Peter Newhook – Cineplex Entertainment
Peter is a Business Analyst at Cineplex Entertainment in Toronto where he focuses on Workflow and Business Intelligence on the Microsoft SharePoint platform. Prior to joining Cineplex, Peter was a student at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. In his spare time Peter likes hacking on various .Net technologies and isnt above venturing beyond the walls of the CLR and experimenting with Hadoop and data mining. When he isnt talking tech, Peter enjoys running marathons and inline speed skating.

The Silverlight PivotViewer is possibly the coolest tool available to developers to make large amounts of data meaningful and accessible to end users. In this presentation Peter will show how any developer, regardless of platform, can expose information in a way thats fun to use, and invites exploration.

How to Deliver Effective Client-facing Presentations: A Crash Course for Developers

Sue Varty & Marc Roginsky – HeadStart Soltuions

We have been seeing Sue and Marc since the early days of #DevTO, they have presented a couple of times in the early months and now continue to support #DevTO as one of our sponsors. Sue and Marc are presenting at #DevTO for the 3rd time now – we are looking forward to it!

Marc Roginsky is a Toronto-based recruitment strategy consultant with more than 10 years of experience.

A power LinkedIn user since 2004, he is a senior recruiter and resourcing specialist who has implemented recruitment strategies for start-up and Fortune 500 companies in the telecom, software development and mobile sectors.

Susan Varty has been providing communications, digital strategy, and technology advice to corporate clients and small businesses since 2006. With a strong background in enterprise software, she is a non-traditional recruiter, marketer, and established social media consultant/blogger.

You know your stuff. As a developer with extensive technical abilities and exceptional problem solving skills, you have a good career. However, not-so-strong communication and presentation skills can inhibit your full potential when it comes to your professional growth.  Under-practiced communication skills can hamper your career especially when there are client-facing situations at your workplace.  Would you like somebody else to present and communicate your brilliant technical ideas to the client and get the spotlight?

By following a very basic formula in making a presentation, borrowed from the internationally acclaimed Toastmasters Club, we will show you how to take your career to the next level and really show your clients that you are an expert in what you do, including:

  • How to make effective, simple presentations easily without breaking a sweat.
  • How to develop a positive, winning, and convincing attitude when working with your clients.
  • How to present technical concepts to non-technical audiences and get them to agree with you.

 

Hope to see you out there to kick off DevTO 2012!

 

DevTO Folks:

Nael, Chris, Kevin and Jo

 

 

This month’s #DevTO is brought to you by:

Many many thanks to all our awesome sponsors below for helping us make this happen every month!

BNOTIONS is a technology company. We develop and design mobile applications, social applications and API’s. Our goal is to deliver rich, dynamic applications while using the latest, most flexible technologies.
Our development methodologies believe in an organic and iterative approach. Our respect for your brand resides in the usability and aesthetics. Our teams are comprised of creative technologists.

 

Headstart Solutions is a technology talent acquisition agency that combines digital media, employer and personal branding to complement great candidates with great employers.

 

GelaSkins The best skins on the planet! GelaSkins are removable covers for protecting and customizing your portable devices. They feature stunning, photo-quality graphics ranging from fine art prints to contemporary urban images designed by our growing family of artists from around the globe. Stand out in the crowd with personalized protection from GelaSkins.

 

 

 

Rypple is a social performance platform built for teams to share goals, recognize great work, and help each other improve. With Rypple, performance management becomes painless and effective.

 


Thinkwrap: A team of outstanding software developers, engineers, architects, strategists, and designers whose ability to create responsive web environments serving 100,000 users doesn’t stop them from architecting for millions as if they were one.Our strong community of purpose is built on our clients’ lasting business success.

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

#DevTO 8 Lineup

We had our biggest event last month with 60 people showing up at Richmond Day for our 7th monthly meet up for great presentations by Farhan Thawar and Wes Bos. We also had a massive giveaway of about 20 #DevTO t-shirts (thanks to Headstart Solutions!) and 20 GelaSkins $20 gift cards (Thank you!)

 

Speakers

On Dec 12th we welcome all our attendees to the 8th #DevTO with some more great presenters for you:

Tyson Kingsbury – Creative Director, ThinkWrap Solutions
Tyson has been working as a visual designer since the mid 90’s. By the end of the decade, he had worked his way up the design ladder to become Art Director at Montage eIntegration. Tyson has produced magazine ads, POP displays, direct mail, corporate branding and numerous web and intranet designs, with clients including Honda, AT&T Canada, Chapters, The U.N. and Canada 3000 airlines. When Montage was bought out by Manitoba Telecom, Tyson formed his own graphic design company and continued to develop award-winning designs for clients like Allstream, SQL Power and various other corporate and new media clients. Finally in 2004, Tyson became the Creative Director for Pentura Solutions and has contributed on the following projects: The No Phone Zone initiative, Automotive XPrize, Allstream Inc., Barack Obama’s Inauguration, DNCC, Bridgepoint Health, Google, Novell, Martha Stewart, and numerous ‘in-house’ projects.

Tyson is our first design talk at #DevTO, he’s going to share with us some of his experience in the creative process involved in designing logos. Make sure you ask him how the #DevTO logo came about!

Epilogger – We’ll remember it for you
Epilogger wants to answer the question: “What the hell happened last night and where are my pants?” We found that after attending an event its a feat trying to track down all the great content shared by all those who tweeted, blogged, or checked-in. We went ahead and did the work for you and put all that content time capsule. We’ll even give you the stats!

The team is going to give us a demo of Epilogger and show you how you can tell your boss that your night of hedonism was really a clever ethnographic study in disguise!

This month’s #DevTO is brought to you by:

Many many thanks to all our awesome sponsors below for helping us make this happen every month!

Headstart Solutions is a technology talent acquisition agency that combines digital media, employer and personal branding to complement great candidates with great employers.

 

GelaSkins The best skins on the planet! GelaSkins are removable covers for protecting and customizing your portable devices. They feature stunning, photo-quality graphics ranging from fine art prints to contemporary urban images designed by our growing family of artists from around the globe. Stand out in the crowd with personalized protection from GelaSkins.

 

 

 

Rypple is a social performance platform built for teams to share goals, recognize great work, and help each other improve. With Rypple, performance management becomes painless and effective.

 


ThinkwrapA team of outstanding software developers, engineers, architects, strategists, and designers whose ability to create responsive web environments serving 100,000 users doesn’t stop them from architecting for millions as if they were one.Our strong community of purpose is built on our clients’ lasting business success.

Richmond Day is a full-service marketing and design agency committed to partnering with clients to further promote and develop their brands.
Through our innovative ideas and creative strategies, we have successfully implemented numerous campaigns and tactics to assist the world’s largest brands in increasing awareness, sales and positioning in their respective markets.

#HoHoTO Contest 1 Winner: @iAmJazzy

We had all these entries to our first contest but alas there can be only one winner. Thanks to all these people that entered and or retweeted!

Congratulations to @iamjazzy for winning our first #HoHoTO Ticket!

@iamjazzy was selected via a random draw on TwitterTwitterChickenDinner.com

 

Don’t forget – we have another contest on going RIGHT NOW! Please read the rules and post your festive #DevTO pics to support #HoHoTO!

#devTO HOHOTO Giveaway!

With the holidays coming, we’re looking to drop the keyboards and boogie with the rest of our Toronto community. The party? This year’s #HOHOTO shindig hosted by Daily Bread Food Bank! That being said: we’ve got a few tickets to give out to our #devTO members as a ‘Thanks For Coming Out’. And you’re thinking it’s gonna be THAT easy? HA!

We’ve got RULES for this twitter giveaway:

- wear your #DevTO tshirt and take a pic! (if you don’t have a #DevTO t-shirt then Photoshop it)
- put on something festive; santa hat, Rudolph nose, mistletoe, etc
- post picture on twitter with “Look at me @devto_ca #DevTO being all festive #HohoTO

We’ll select a random winner this Friday at 4pm by the power of TwitterTwitterChickenDinner.com! Entries will also be posted to the site!

Can’t wait to see you do something that just ISN’T code!

Mentions of #devTO in the Community

Our friends in the Toronto developer community have been shouting out #devTO quite alot recently. Some more notable than others. Especially two that stuck out greatly:

Mark Reale, of Bnotions, topped his #AndroidTO shout out with his Popplet map of the Toronto Tech Community Events. Some of the most notable monthly events are here, including their sites and who to tweet to! Impressive work, man!

Also, Hack For A Cause had given us a shout out on Facebook HQ wall. I wonder who could have done THAT… hmmmmmm

Anyway, we’re glad to have Toronto’s back in the industry and look forward to meeting/drinking/coding/war-story-sharing/hanging with you all.

#DevTO 7: Speaker lineup

#DevTO 7 broke some new grounds – first, we sold out in around 24 hours; usually it takes us a week or so to fill our 50 spots. Second, we added a couple of new sponsors bringing our total to 5 sponsors for November. Say hello to HeadStart Solutions and GelaSkins that join Rypple, ThinkWrap and Richmond Day in their quest to support the Toronto developer community.

Atendy Profile Pictures: Please remember to update your profile with a picture, name and description – these will get printed on lanyards and you can pick them up when you arrive. ALSO…first 15 to arrive with pictures on their Atendy lanyards get free #DevTO TShirts.

Want to present at a #DevTO? Just send us an email at talks@devto.ca

Speakers

Farhan Thawar, VP Engineering at Xtreme Labs Inc.

Named one of “Toronto’s Top 25 Most Powerful People In 2010”, Farhan is a well-known and respected figure in the city’s tech community. Before joining the Xtreme team, Farhan held the positions of Chief Software Architect at I Love Rewards, the Head of Search & MSN Platform for Microsoft Canada and Technical Lead at Trilogy Software. In addition to being a programming and engineering guru for Xtreme Labs, Farhan also uses his wealth of industry and mobile expertise to mentor aspiring mobile and tech startups. Farhan has a degree in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo and an MBA in Financial Engineering from Rotman.

Managing an Agile Engineering Team. As the VP of Engineering at Xtreme Labs, Farhan has dealt with his fair share of programming dudes and divas. From project inception to the final build release, Farhan doesn’t miss a beat. Along with hiring world-class engineers, Farhan is also tasked with matching them to the appropriate project. Navigating personal preferences for platform-specific projects can be difficult, but with a certain level of persuasion anything is possible. His previous work experience in both small (I Love Rewards), and large (Microsoft Canada) work environments has allowed him to develop an effective management style for Agile Engineers in a start-up environment.

 

 


Wes Bos, Founder at DealPage

Wes is an independent Designer and Developer from Toronto with a passion for cutting edge web technologies. Wes spends most of his time hacking on JavaScript, his library of choice being jQuery. More recently Wes has focused his time on some of the new guys to the JavaScript scene including HTML5, NodeJS, and Backbone.js. Wes has a strong background in PHP development and loves WordPress to no end. You can check out his online tutorials at www.wesbos.com and follow him at http://Twitter.com/wesbos.

HTML5 Canvas. Wes will introduce us to one of the hottest parts of HTML5: the canvas element. Canvas is a blank slate which can be used to programatically draw, animate and manipulate pixels. There are many uses for Canvas from face detection to the next genere of online games. Canvas will show up to Flash’s funeral, only to sink a nail into its coffin.

This month’s #DevTO is brought to you by:

Headstart Solutions is a technology talent acquisition agency that combines digital media, employer and personal branding to complement great candidates with great employers.

 

GelaSkins The best skins on the planet! GelaSkins are removable covers for protecting and customizing your portable devices. They feature stunning, photo-quality graphics ranging from fine art prints to contemporary urban images designed by our growing family of artists from around the globe. Stand out in the crowd with personalized protection from GelaSkins.

 

 

 

Rypple is a social performance platform built for teams to share goals, recognize great work, and help each other improve. With Rypple, performance management becomes painless and effective.

 


ThinkwrapA team of outstanding software developers, engineers, architects, strategists, and designers whose ability to create responsive web environments serving 100,000 users doesn’t stop them from architecting for millions as if they were one.Our strong community of purpose is built on our clients’ lasting business success.

Richmond Day is a full-service marketing and design agency committed to partnering with clients to further promote and develop their brands.
Through our innovative ideas and creative strategies, we have successfully implemented numerous campaigns and tactics to assist the world’s largest brands in increasing awareness, sales and positioning in their respective markets.

You don’t just write code

About a year ago, I realized that after having worked in the Internet industry in Toronto for almost 15 years (yes, since 1996), that I had very little actual involvement in the developer community around the city, and actually, I wasn’t even really sure if there was one that applied to me.  I’ve certainly seen people talk about going to language or technology specific user groups, but there was nothing just for people that were developers, just to get together and share stuff, because hey, you don’t just write code.

The act of writing code is the end result of a lot of other kinds of work, planning, task breakouts, negotiations with customers, bosses, designers and other developers.  We struggle with understanding the customers problems (where else can you work for a bank, a major car manufacturer and a major retailer all within the span of a year?) and how best to solve those problems with code.  Once you start peeling back the layers what we do becomes more complicated than it seems.  This is not to say that the complication is a bad thing, it’s part of what we do, no avoiding that!

And this is where the “You don’t just write code” part of DevTO came from, a realization that we do a whole hell of a lot more than spend hours upon hours banging out line after line of code behind a computer.  We are people that contribute in more ways then we usually get recognized, and that’s one of the things that I felt was missing in my life as a developer.

Scratch your itch

One of the things I’ve learned over the years when it comes to building products, is to scratch your own itch.  That is, to solve a problem that you personally have as a gateway to building or doing something that solves a problem for a lot of people, and for me, DevTO was exactly that, a way to solve problem(s) I was having, and once I started talking to a couple of people about it (my amazing co-founders) I quickly found out that this was an idea shared by more people around the city than just me.

The past 7 months have provided more than I ever imagined in terms of what I was looking for when I first starting talking to Kevin, Nael and Jo about this idea a year ago. Speaking personally, it’s been amazing for me to get connected to others in my community and to find some exciting opportunities that have really gotten me out of a but of a rut professionally.  It’s actually amazing that I spend very little time actually doing development when it comes to DevTO, but it’s had such a positive impact on that part of my life none the less.

Thank you

I can honestly say that I did not expect to be talking about planning our 7th event, much less talking about some bigger and better things we will be doing (in the new year!).  I’m confident that I can speak on behalf of all of the co-founders at DevTO and say thank you to all of the attendees, speakers and sponsors who have taken DevTO from a small idea and turned it into an amazing recurring monthly event.

If you have any comments, suggestions or feedback feel free to send me an email (jonezy@devto.ca) or get in touch with me on twitter @jonezy