Category Archives: Community Posts

Bitmaker Labs is taking you to school!

DevTO and Bitmaker Labs are excited to share that we’re partnering to offer two part-time scholarship opportunities, available exclusively to DevTO members.

Five $250 scholarship for either part-time program 

Five $750 scholarship for enrolling in both part-time programs 

Who should apply:
If you’re looking to add to your career skills toolbox, our part-time programs can help you open up new opportunities.

Simply share the code BMDT10 in the comments section of your application to be considered and we’ll follow up within 48 hours.

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!

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

 

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

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 

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.

 

Donate & Learn Expo! Do it for a great cause

Don’t miss GoDaddy’s first keynote in Canada, joining expert from Microsoft Bing, Big3 and Green Lotus. 100% of donations will go to support the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto!

Interested in learning how to increase your business leads and sales? and effectively manage your online marketing budget? Join 500 of Toronto’s top entrepreneurs, business owners and online marketing specialists to learn cutting-edge search engine and social media marketing strategies for your business.

Network, learn from experts and support a great cause!

The concept is simple – instead of paying a conference fee participants make a tax-deductible donation to the partnering charity of the Donate & Learn event. Donate & Learn Events have so far raised $8,350 for the YWCA Toronto, and the goal is to raise $10,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto!

Limited spots are available – Donate & Register now to reserve yours: http://greenlotus.ca/expo

Sponsors: GoDaddy, Microsoft Bing, Marin Software, BlogDash

* Note: Expo registration must be completed on the Donate & Learn Expo website to guarantee your spot!

 

Are You a Front-End Developer Looking For a Job? Look No Further:

 

JAM Direct, located in Toronto is looking for a ‘Junior to Intermediate Front-End Developer’ – Could this be you? Read more below:

 

Job Description


We’re looking for a Junior to Intermediate Front-End Developer for an onsite contract.

The ideal candidate is an HTML/CSS programmer with the drive to make things pixel-perfect. From speedy Photoshop skills to solid cut-up work that generates valid HTML 5, XHTML and CSS markup, we’re looking for someone who can really make the work sing. If you can look at any website and instantly know how it was built, and what trade-offs were made when balancing the merits of the design against the demands of SEO, CMS, cross-browser compatibility and mobile support – then please give us a call.

 

Desired Skills & Experience

What we’re looking for from a good front-end developer:

1.) Code HTML Emails:

  • Take a completed PSD and build email-client-friendly HTML
  • Create low-k animated gifs
  • Understand the theory behind responsive design (so you can use our template and make it happen)
  • Run test deployments and inbox inspections

2.) Code websites and WordPress sites:

  • Take completed PSDs and build valid HTML 5,XTML and CSS markups
  • Load templates into WordPress and ensure all dynamic elements (nav, content area, etc.) function as designed
  • Make any and all updates to WordPress sites (content, plug-ins, theme and style updates)

3.) Basic knowledge of PHP:

  • Apply CSS and layout changes to dynamic PHP sites
  • Work with senior developers to ensure the styles are applied without breaking anything
  • Make minor scripting changes in PHP and similar script based languages

4. Qualifications:

  • Formal training (minimum 1-year course) in website design and development
  •  Fluency in Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Microsoft Office (Word and Excel), Email Deployments and CMS Systems
  • The knowledge that Firebug is not actually a bug on fire

BBM on Android and Apple!

For a long time, it was strictly for their dear Blackberry users, but this past week the instant messaging service was released free for all platforms. While the chat aspect of BBM is available for Android and Apple users, the voice and video chat are still currently exclusive to BlackBerry.

With all the recent news surrounding BlackBerry and RIM, we wonder how they are going to monetize this service. The release of BBM seems to be a way to open up new revenue streams, but I can’t help but wonder if this is too little, too late for the Canadian company. There has been some buzz around BlackBerry’s ‘BBM Channels’, which is a social networking service that sounds like it will share some of the same features as Facebook. BBM Channels will allow users to share content and will give BlackBerry the potential to target ads and content to specific users.

Personally, I think that they should keep the app free and not go the eventual route of charging subscription fees. BBM should be keep free as a reminder of a great product from a great company, and maybe that can help to bring people back (if they ever bounce back). The app had 6 million users pre-registered for the app, and a whopping 10 million downloads within the first 24 hours of it’s launch. They are also said to be “processing new users at the rate of 500,000 per hour, with millions queued up.” These numbers are astounding, but the idea that 10 million users of different phones have downloaded the app does not bode well for the company.

Here is a great article on how BBM differs from other text messengers.

Anyway, will you be getting this app? Have you already gotten it? Let us know!

Anita