Busy Week I: Toronto Ruby Job Fair
Jun 15, 2009 17:54

Last week I attended two developer-related events in Toronto: Employment.nil?: The Toronto Ruby Job Fair, and Microsoft's Make Web Not War conference. Each was great in its own way, but they also reflected each other interestingly. Over the next few days I'm going to discuss these two events and how they related to each other.

First was last Saturday's Toronto Ruby Job Fair. Joey deVilla did a good writup on his blog, and organizers Unspace had a recap with a number of videos that really give a sense of the event.

As I had warned last week, I set up my own display, even though I'm not really looking for work at this moment. Check out the videos on Unspace's post to see the great stuff that people were doing. Here's one of me:

Employment.nil? Andrew Burke from Pete Forde on Vimeo.

Actually printing things on paper is not something I do very often, so it was quite the task putting everything together for this. I gained a new appreciation for Apple's Pages and Keynote - they make it very easy to assemble good-looking graphical layouts. I also spent a whole lot of money buying new ink cartridges for my cheap Epson ink-jet printer.

I didn't see as many of the other booths as i would have liked, since I was having flash-backs to my High School science fair in 1988 where a quick trip to McDonald's just as the judges came by cost me the chance to get to the Regionals - so I mostly stayed at my booth.

Luckily, I was next to Kristan "Krispy" Uccello - not only is he a great guy to spend an afternoon with, but he had one of the better posters, including a whiteboard and a great Open Letter to Java which started with: "By the time you read this, I'll be long gone. I'm sorry to be doing this, but you left me no other choice..."

Highlights of the event for me were:

  • myttc.ca's made stylish flip books showing how their route-finding algorithm works.
  • Toronto Hacklab talked about their frickin' LASER and brought their own toy rayguns
  • AideRSS, who are a very sophisticated technology company, had an endearingly low-tech poster looking for new engineers
  • Enrico Bianco baked 'session cookies' for everyone
  • Chatting with the Ontario Minister for Small Business, who dropped by. I didn't know we had a Minister for Small Business, but he seemed like a good guy - he also gave Unspace a plaque in well-deserved recognition for their achievements supporting small business in Ontario
  • Watching the occasional Queen West Hipster wander in, look around, take a few seconds to try to figure out what was going on and gauge the irony level, and then leave again
My only complaint would be that the event was exhaustingly long - especially considering that most of us had stayed up all night finishing up our posters. Everyone was so exhausted after the fair, that very few of us made it to Pavel Zaitsev's after-party at his place - a shame, since he showed us some Russian Hospitality with a great spread of food and drink, and taught us how important kosher pickles are to the proper drinking of vodka.

All in all, it was a great event. Unspace and other places like the HackLab have fostered a lively and creative technology community in Toronto, and it was well on display at the event. Congratulations to Unspace, and especially to Pete and Meghan for making it happen. I'm very much looking forward to see what they do for this summer's FutureRuby conference.

Employment.nil - the Toronto Ruby Job Fair
Jun 01, 2009 12:52
Make Web Not War
Jul 30, 2009 15:41