CareGo charity golf tournament raises $22,700 for north-end neighbourhood

caregoHAMILTON, ONTARIO – CareGo’s 15th annual golf tournament raised $22,700 for programs and services provided by the Robert Land Community Association in Hamilton’s north-end.

More than 100 golfers hit the links at Century Pines Golf Club in Flamborough on June 20, including CareGo staff and their family members, suppliers, customers and business associates. The cost of the tournament is covered by CareGo, so all funds from golf registrations and sponsorships are directed to Robert Land Community Association.

“It’s our company’s 15th anniversary and we’ve held the tournament every year since 1999,” says Demetrius Tsafaridis, president and CEO of CareGo. “This year we set a record with the highest number of golfers and more money raised than any year previous.”

Tsafaridis said the generosity of suppliers and customers was outstanding, with each hole sponsored and prizes provided for every golfer.

“I’m thrilled by the amount raised,” said Don MacVicar, founding president of the Robert Land Community Association, who attended the tournament. “The funds provided by CareGo through this tournament have made an incredible difference in the Keith neighbourhood, as we are continuing to create new educational opportunities and a brighter future for the families in this community.”

The Robert Land Community Association provides programs and services through the Eva Rothwell Resource Centre on Wentworth Street North. It is the home of the Literacy Express, a refurbished rail dining car turned into a literacy and learning centre.

Golfers in the winning foursome, with a score of eight under par, were Demetrius Tsafaridis, Bruce Gabel and Greg Gabel from IPC Securities, and Ward 1 Councillor Brian McHattie.

CareGo ( provides optimization/automation technology and distribution services for steel and other heavy products. It was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Hamilton.

CONTACT: Cynthia Janzen, Vice President, Communications, 905-308-3489,


Mabel’s Labels is hiring a Web Developer


Mabel’s Labels is a successful and growing e-commerce company that designs, manufactures, markets and sells stylish waterproof labels to identify personal belongings. We sell directly to consumers worldwide through our website, and across North America via fundraisers at schools, daycares, camps and other organizations. Our products are also present in the retail market through Canadian Walmart and Costco stores. Our print environment, website, and manufacturing technology have been built, and are maintained, in-house. We believe in a continuous cycle of exciting projects that are forward thinking and innovative.

At Mabel’s Labels, we have adopted a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) concept. We have created this unique ROWE culture whereby employees are evaluated solely based on their accomplishment of goals; this performance agreement is developed collaboratively between managers and employees. ROWE enables us as an organization to offer the ultimate “work-life balance” plan: we attract and retain high calibre talent by entrusting employees to make effective decisions with regard to their time, in order to achieve successful outcomes both professionally and personally. Mabel’s Labels is the first Canadian company to formally adopt this ROWE engagement strategy.


The successful candidate will play a key role on developing and maintaining our web applications and e-commerce flows. You will support both IT and company initiatives through the agile development process, code reviews, and system architecture planning. There will be many opportunities to use your knowledge and skills in a high tech environment to be active in our development of new ideas, and new technology.


- Responsible for creating technical specifications, design, code, unit and integration tests
- Drive complex software design and development, with delivery responsibility through the entire life cycle
- Deliver requirements that are secure, scalable, maintainable, supportable, highly available, comply with PCI standards
- Analyze system design to ensure functional and business requirements are met
- Create and follow web application development standards and best practices including responsive design
- Support web applications by diagnosing and resolving issues
- Participate in initiatives to improve processes, standards and practices
- Educate and mentor developers on web application development
- Participate in establishing plans and estimating work
- Contribute in the feature/product functional design process


- Degree or Diploma in Computer Science; equivalent working experience will be considered
- 4-5 years of experience building web applications
- 3-5 years of web services development experience in an e-commerce environment
- Prior experience building and maintaining test plans
- Strong working knowledge of ASP.NET, PHP, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery and jQuery UI
- Experience in C#, My SQL, Visual Studio 2010 / 2013
- Experience writing SQL queries and familiarity with database design
- Experience with Share Point , WordPress, Agile development practices
- Familiarity with graphic editing applications would be an asset


- Demonstrated success working effectively in a collaborative, team oriented environment
- Strong sense of teamwork and good interpersonal skills
- Entrepreneurial attitude; highly self-motivated and directed
- Ability to present ideas in business-friendly and user-friendly language.
- Proven decision-making, organizational, planning and problem-solving skills
- Strong oral and written communication and presentation skills
- Exceptional customer service orientation
- Analytical and detail oriented
- Exemplary problem solving and organizational abilities
- Ability to conduct research into emerging Web technologies
- Thorough understanding of application development methodologies and project management principles.

If you meet the above qualifications, and are interested in working for a growing company with an outstanding corporate culture and work environment, please submit your resume along with a brief description of your interest in the role to:

We thank all applicants for their interest; candidates selected for interview will be contacted.


There’s always room



There’s always room for Jell-O…

Innovation Night, DemoCamp, Startup Weekend, AppsForHealth, McMaster Computer Science Club, Mohawk College AI Club, Open Hamilton, Startup Drinks, HackIt Mac, McMaster Game Development Club, Hammertown GDD, CoderCamp, Ladies Learning Code, Hammertown CoderDojo, Coderetreat… and the list keeps going. And the amount of activity seems to grow a little more every month.

Can having ‘too much stuff going on’ be a bad thing for a community? Somebody asked me once “why can’t it all just be one group?”. Some people and communities try to attempt that. There’s a view that different groups and events compete with one another, and of course at the level of each individual sometimes people have to make decisions with their limited time. But if you look at a community as a whole, one of the most important goals has to be engaging the highest number of people possible.

If you have a “purely social tech pub night”, how many people is that going to engage? Maybe 20-40 in a city like Hamilton? Maybe 100+ in a larger city? So let’s say you’ve got 30 people engaged. If somebody spins off a web development group out of that, a web development group can focus in on things that are specifically interesting to web developers. The tech pub night might lose a few regulars, but the new web developers group will appeal to new people who were never previously engaged. And if that web development group spins off a PHP group? The same logic applies, and on and on. As the ‘original events’ become free to specialize on more specific topics themselves, they are able to engage new people too.

It’s not about putting more wood behind fewer arrows, it’s about putting more wood on the fire to make it bigger!

I know this is a point that a lot of people get intuitively, but because the comparison between tech and startup community building and more formal professional organizations with chairs and subcommittees is often made, it’s a point that’s lost sometimes too. Don’t worry about ‘too much stuff going on’. Right now a very small percentage of the total 500,000+ community in Hamilton is engaged in the tech and startup community, and the important thing to measure is how many of these 500,000+ total people in Hamilton (and beyond) become engaged in the years ahead.

A few years ago I published a list of events Hamilton didn’t have yet. Since that time we’ve added many more, and other types of events have become popular in communities all over. I’ll publish a new list soon in case anyone out there is interested in stepping up to continue to build the community but isn’t sure where to start.


Interview with Chris Lange creator of Scratch This

Check out the interview below with Chris Lange, creator of the new Scratch This app!


chris-langeTell me about yourself.

I am a fourth year Mechatronics engineering student. My favorite hobbies include fishing skateboarding and kiteboarding but in my free time I’m always coming up with new ideas to try and make some money.


What is Scratch This?

Scratch This! Is an android application that rates Ontario scratch card lotteries in order to allow users to choose the lottery that would give them the best bang for their buck. The lotteries are ranked by an algorithm that incorporates publicly available data such as current prizes remaining and expected number of printed tickets.


Why did you decide to develop Scratch This?

I’ve always done my research before making any kind of purchase and I realized that many scratch card players don’t realize that many of the prizes they are hoping to win have already been claimed. I wanted to create an easy and convenient way to show users which lotteries had the most prizes available, the most money available and the least amount of tickets printed per dollar spent.


Who do you expect to use Scratch This?

I expect everyone that buys scratch cards and who know about my app to use it. Right now there’s a $4 cash for life with a top prize of $500! I think the price of my app is very reasonable if it helps users avoid lotteries like this that do not have many prizes left.




What is your plan to get the word out about Scratch This?

I am still figuring out how to advertise this app. Normally you can show popular blogs and reach a large audience but in my case I need to market Ontario specifically. Im hoping to find some popular local blogs and maybe even get featured on a local news network.


How can people get Scratch This? Is there a free and/or paid version? What does the premium version include? How do you plan to monetize the app?

There is a free and paid version available on the Google Play Store. The free version limits users to five non consecutive days of use. The paid version is $4 but allows unlimited use.


Where do you seeing Scratch This going in the future?

I’m using Ontario as a test market. If this app takes off I plan to incorporate other provinces and possibly an iOS application too.


New Hamilton WordPress meetup group



A new WordPress Hamilton meetup group is getting together for a meetup at Studio 41 in September, check out the details below!

We’re a group of local WordPress developers, designers, and publishers who get together to share our knowledge and experience, and to meet other WordPress users in the area. The WordPress meetup is open to all who love WordPress — join us!

When: Thursday September 11th 2014 @ 7:00 PM

Where: Studio 41 @ 41 King William St, Hamilton, Ontario



Special Appucations releases Street Smarts

streetsmartAs announced today by Sarah Kupferschmidt in the Special Appucations newsletter


This app is all about teaching children with autism and other special needs what to do if they become separated from their parents in a store. By navigating through Street Smarts, children are presented with 3 simple steps to follow if lost, watch videos of what to do, and with Morton the Monkey as their guide, kids can learn these steps in a fun and interactive way! Plus, it is the only safety skills app that includes a parent/teacher component to help practice the three steps in the real world. Street Smarts may work best for children who can follow 2 or 3 step instructions, imitate actions, answer simple who, what, and where questions.

As a BCBA in the field, I’ve seen how children with autism and other specials needs can learn incredible skills if they are given the opportunity to access the right strategies for them. That’s what Street Smarts is all about, giving children, parents, and educators the opportunity to access clinically validated strategies at an affordable cost (only $1.99).  If you are so inclined I’d love it if you would spread the word and help us reach even more kids, you may not know this but 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism and half of those children may wander and end up lost…you never know this might really help someone!

Here’s the link to Street Smarts for the Apple store:

Here’s the link to Street Smarts for Google Play:

Here’s the link to Street Smarts for Blackberry:



Sarah Kupferschmidt, M.A., BCBA

CEO and Co-Founder

Special Appucations, Inc.


Interview with Bryan Poetz about Coderetreat

Check out the interview with Bryan Poetz (@bpoetz) below about bringing Coderetreat to Hamilton!



Tell me about yourself.

I’m a freelance software developer originally from the Brantford area.  After bouncing around Guelph and Toronto, I settled in Hamilton with an eye towards a simpler life.  I’ve been attending Software Hamilton events for the past year. Lately I’ve been helping to organize the monthly CoderCamp meetups, where developers, engineers and the code curious come to talk about the craft and learn from peers in a relaxed, informal setting.


What first got you into programming? How has your career been since?

My path to programming started as a 9 year old, playing with the 286 PC my parents bought secondhand. The machine came with MS-DOS. I liked that I could talk to the computer by learning commands.  As I grew up I spent a lot of time playing computer games, but the computer programming classes taught in my small high school didn’t really excite me.

I ended up at an IT job after college @ Mohawk.  I got back into programming by writing Perl and Python scripts to help automate menial tasks for myself and my colleagues.  From there I progressed to doing ETL consulting. Lately I’ve been doing freelance web application development and trying to bridge the gap between my ETL consulting work and my current work as a freelance developer.


You recently attended PyCon – how was that experience?

PyCon was a blast! It’s a great way to meet other developers and learn about interesting projects people are working on. Some talks that I enjoyed were Gary Bernhardt’s excellent Birth and Death of Javascript, Erik Rose’s Designing Poetic APIs, Julie Pagano’s talk on Imposter Syndrome and David Beasley’s Discovering Python, which is about being hired to analyze 1.5 TB of source code in a locked vault for a patent lawsuit. If you’re planning to go to PyCon 2015 in Montreal, I recommend attending the tutorials in the days leading up to the conference as well.




What is Coderetreat all about?

“Coderetreat is a day-long, intensive practice event, focusing on the fundamentals of software development and design. By providing developers the opportunity to take part in focused practice, away from the pressures of ‘getting things done’, the coderetreat format has proven itself to be a highly effective means of skill improvement. Practicing the basic principles of modular and object-oriented design, developers can improve their ability to write code that minimizes the cost of change over time.”

This is the description from Coderetreat Community Network, but for the event on July 23rd at Innovation Factory, we’ll start with an evening event to gauge interest in doing longer and more focused practice meetups.


What can attendees expect?

We’ll break into pairs and work on implementing Conway’s Game of Life. There will be three 45 minute sessions.  At the end of each session, we will delete our code.  After the first session, we will impose constraints to see how those constraints influence the design.




How did you find out about Coderetreat? 

I learned about Coderetreat from a friend at PyCon Canada in Toronto.   He told me that Coderetreat helped him with his imposter syndrome.  The idea that someone who I really respected could feel like a fraud really surprised me.  It made me wonder how many of the friends who I respect also suffer through feelings of intense self doubt.


Why are you bringing Coderetreat to Hamilton?

I went to an Evening of Coderetreat in Toronto in May to check it out, and left feeling reasonably confident that I could replicate the event in Hamilton.  I felt energized after attending, and I hope that I can help bring that energy to Hamilton.

I don’t want to see any more of my friends have to get on the Go bus at 5 AM to get to their jobs. Coderetreat itself won’t solve that problem, but a vibrant software development community will hopefully contribute to creating more opportunities for us to work in Hamilton.




When and where will Coderetreat take place and how can attendees register?

Coderetreat will take place on Wednesday, July 23rd from 6 to 9 pm, at Innovation Factory. You can register at


What can attendees expect to gain from attending Coderetreat?

I hope attendees will leave with a better understanding of the craft of software design and will connect with other programmers who are interested in improving their own skills. I think many local developers could benefit from learning about the problem solving process with those who come to software development from a different background.

As an example, at the Coderetreat evening event I attended I learned a novel way to refactor complex conditional statements in Python and gained some insights into how people from functional programming backgrounds approach software design.




What are your future plans for Coderetreat in Hamilton?

I’d like to gauge interest in doing a global day of Coderetreat later in the year and turn it into a monthly meetup group.


Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’d like to thank Innovation Factory for hosting and Sinha Consulting Group for sponsoring us and offering to foot the bill for refreshments and snacks. If you are interested in learning more about coderetreat come out to CoderCamp on the 16th and we can chat about it.


CoderCamp22 on July 16th

CoderCamp is an unconference born from the spirit of BarCamp, and has evolved into a monthly mini-conference. CoderCamp is for local software developers to learn tools, techniques, and technologies from one another in a casual and friendly setting. We meet to talk about coding and software development to learn from each other and get better at what we do in the process.

We have a projector and screen setup for people to give presentations. We try to have a few speakers lined up in advance to give the event structure, but there is usually room for “open mic” presentations if you’re interested. You don’t have to give a talk to attend, but we welcome you to come, talk, discuss and share, or just sit quietly and listen.

Where: The Pheasant Plucker @ 20 Augusta Street
(2nd floor)

Date: July 16, 2014


Rough Agenda:

6:30pm – 7:00pm – meetup, grab a drink, talk shop
7:00pm – 9:30pm – series of 5-20 min. talks

Scheduled Talks:

AJ Bovaird will tell us a little bit about the new features coming in vNext.

Rob Prouse will talk about contributing to open source using GitHub and distributed version control with Git, or his new watch.

Matt Grande is going to come tell us more about the HSR Real Time Data Hackathon on July 26th.

Bryan will also providing a brief update on the Coderetreat Evening being planned for July 23rd.


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