What is the Community Kickoff?
The Kickoff is a special day filled with talks and many opportunities to help you meet people from the various tech communities, both in and outside of Toronto.
This is a stand-alone event for Thursday, during the day, before NSNorth begins on Thursday evening. You do not need an NSNorth conference pass to attend.
Our opening keynote will begin at 9am on the 28th of April. The full day of sessions and discussions will run until 4pm.
From our CFP we have selected a diverse group who will speak on a range of topics.
Featuring Keynote Speaker
CoFounder of CoderDojo NYC
Technical Head of Product at Next Caller
CoFounder of CoderDojo NYC & Technical Head of Product at Next Caller
Rebecca is a passionate advocate for STEM education for youth and minorities especially women. She is the Cofounder of CoderDojo NYC, was awarded in 2013 as a U.S. White House 'Champion of Change' for Tech Inclusion, in 2015 Glamour Magazine's '35 Women Under 35 Who are Changing the Tech Industry’ and in 2014 and one of AskMen’s ‘Top 99 Outstanding Women’ in 2015. Currently she is the Technical Head of Product at Next Caller helping grow the next generation of enterprise Advanced Caller ID and fraud detection.
Head of Marketing
"The Higher the Fewer - Diversity in Senior Leadership"
Head of Marketing at Wattpad
As Wattpad's Head of Marketing, Melissa is responsible for the company’s strategic marketing, communication, and branding initiatives. Prior to Wattpad, she ran the global PR team at Mozilla and then founded a small marketing agency to help startups of all sizes. Melissa got her first startup job during the original dot com boom and after nearly two decades in tech, she has a ridiculous collection of tech branded t-shirts. Find her on Twitter @shappy.
Topic: "The Higher the Fewer - Diversity in Senior Leadership"
Andray Domise & Samuel Allemang
"The Pipeline Problem with Diversity in Tech"
Andray Domise & Samuel Allemang
Co-Founders of Techsdale
Techsdale (TXDL) is a startup with a mandate to teach youth from underprivileged, diverse communities how to make games, apps and websites, and to diversify the tech sector by mentoring these youth into employability, higher education and internships. Using holistic project-based learning, mentorship and skills training, Techsdale helps participants to develop portfolios in game, app, and website design and forges a path into the tech industry for young people with barriers to access. Andray Domise is a community advocate, writer (VICE; Torontoist; Hazlitt) and podcaster with Canadaland Commons. Sam Allemang is a front-end web developer (Cactus Design), who volunteers and works on tech-skills mentorship and education for youth (Boys & Girls Club; CoderDojoTo).
Topic: "The Pipeline Problem with Diversity in Tech"
Akamai Technologies, Inc.
"Telling your story - Speaking for Non-Speakers"
API Evangelist at Akamai Technologies, Inc.
Kirsten is an unapologetic hacker and passionate advocate for the development community. Her technical interests range from graph databases to cloud services, and her experience supporting and evangelizing REST APIs has given her a unique perspective on developer success. In her copious free time she’s a gamer, fantasy reader, and all around rabble-rouser. Code samples, recipes, and philosophical musings can be found here .
Topic: "Telling your story - Speaking for Non-Speakers"
Third Beach Technology
"How indie developers are becoming more like artists and why this is a positive change."
Founder of Third Beach Technology
Troy is a relative newcomer to iOS development but what he lacks in experience he makes up for in enthusiasm. Having studied Geography and GIS technologies, he is now starting his move into the exciting world of geo-apps and indie development. In between the time Troy spends teaching himself Swift, UI design, marketing, and self promotion, you can find him travelling, and searching out the best coffee shops and cafes.
Topic: "How independent developers are becoming more like artists and why this is a positive change."
"Truths Universally Acknowledged: Swift Design Patterns as Jane Austen Heroes"
Application Developer at Detroit Labs
Anne is an iOS developer and recovering iOS apprentice at Detroit Labs. She is passionate about clean code, craft cocktails, and the NWHL (GO PRIDE GO). She is contractually required to mention her three-legged cat, Wobbles. She can make you an app, a sweater, or a Manhattan.
Topic: "Truths Universally Acknowledged: Swift Design Patterns as Jane Austen Heroes"
"My product owner is in grade 3"
Cocoa Developer at Lightspeed POS
Matt likes to make things: drawings, bread, paintings, pillow forts, and sometimes even code. He started programming in high school, entered university in the Fine Arts program, and eventually wound up in Computer Science studying artificial intelligence and how to make good movie recommendations. Matthew has written software professionally for psychophysics experiments, Ethernet switches, OS X, and currently iOS. He is an active member of the Cocoaheads Ottawa community and mentors in grade 10 Computer Science at A.Y. Jackson high school.
Topic: "My product owner is in grade 3"
Senior Product Manager, Mobile & Apps
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
"Storytelling for Techies: The Hero's Journey and You"
Senior Product Manager, Mobile & Apps at the CBC
Leonard Cervantes is Senior Product Manager for Mobile & Apps at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Len has lived in the Mobile space since the early days of smartphones. After launching the mobile arm for MTV Canada, Len took his talents to the CBC to manage the Corporation's portfolio of apps and has since been a part of big launches such as the FIFA and Olympic Games apps, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Len's focus is on effective Product Management, Team Building, Diversity and the intersection between Technology and Social Enterprise.
Topic: "Storytelling for Techies: The Hero's Journey and You"
Nael El Shawwa
"A Fork In Your Career: To Code Or Not To Code"
Nael El Shawwa
VP Engineering at FlashStock
Nael is also one of the co-founders of #DevTO; one of Toronto's largest developer communities, that organize monthly meet ups and annual events for the everybody in tech. You can find him at various other meet-ups in the city, or at #DevTO on the last Monday of every month.
Topic: "A Fork In Your Career: To Code Or Not To Code"
Senior Software Engineer
"Building your own mobile team"
Senior Software Engineer at Unified Sense
Dal is a Senior Software Engineer with experience leading small projects, brainstorming product features and requirements, excellent programming skills, attention to detail and fast problem solving ability. Stopped by nothing including optimising software for best performance and user experience, innovating and adapting to new tools and technologies. An engineer that also enjoys designing user experiences, creating visual design of user interfaces especially for mobile and desktop applications.
Topic: "Building your own mobile team"
How much does it cost to attend?
There are two ticket types (now sold out):
- $10: Attend all sessions during the day, but you're on your own for lunch.
- $30: Attend all sessions, and enjoy a delicious, on-site, lunch.
Refreshments will be provided.
You do not need to buy an NSNorth conference pass to attend.
Is this event for me?
The answer is "YES!" if you are one of the following: entrepreneurs, designers, UX specialists, developers, engineers, marketers, product managers, HR, quality assurance specialists, customer support.
This special one-day event is for everyone working in our tech community.
What is the goal of this Kickoff?
- Bring together a diverse group of speakers to share ideas, lessons, insights, and take-away skills.
- Provide a safe and supportive environment.
- Everyone has an equal opportunity to speak.
- The best chance to network amongst your peers in the industry.
Space is limited!
What is the format of the day?
The program starts at 9am and runs until 4pm.
Mixed in between plenty of opportunities to network, there will be a series of talks ranging from 10-25 minutes.
This is THE perfect way to get out and meet people from the numerous tech communities.
Server-Side Swift is here!
We are looking for help with covering the costs for this event. If you would like to get involved and get the word out about your organization, please contact us!