Category Archives: Community

Salary guide for technology professionals released

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 11.46.00 PM


Recently Robert Half Technology released the 2015 salary guide for American and Canadian tech professionals. It’s a pretty good breakdown that drills into different specific job descriptions.

On a related note, there’s an interesting thread in /r/hamilton right now discussing developer opportunities and salaries in Hamilton. It’s too bad that several of the commenters are re-confirming what many developers have said in the past: local salaries and opportunities for career development aren’t competitive enough with Toronto/K-W. There are some really great opportunities locally (both pay and career development), but obviously Toronto/K-W are behemoth global tech players that offer tons of great gigs.

For whatever it’s worth, the best I can tell from surveys and informal hearsay is that the local average developer salary is $50k, but with a huge range from $34k – $120k depending on the type of work, experience, specific firms vs. freelancer, etc.


Hamilton Heat Alert app released

Jeremy Casey has created a Hamilton Heat Alert app, available now on the Google Play Store:

Details taken from Google Play Store

Check and receive heat warning alerts if you’re living in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

This application reads from this feed:

Note: Make sure you run the application at least once to receive automatic heat notifications.






Social Bicycles route data



Local software developer Ryan McGreal (@RyanMcGreal) of fame has built a Python module to download your Social Bicycle data. Check it out:

Details taken from the github page…



Download your Social Bicycles (SoBi) route data and save it locally in various formats.


The sobidata module allows you to download your Social Bicycles (SoBi) route data via the applications web API and save it locally in a variety of file formats.

The module uses the requests library to download collections of routes from the SoBi HTTP REST API using HTTP Basic Authentication, as outlined in the SoBi API documentation.

The route data is paginated, and the method that downloads the data calls itself recursively, incrementing the page with each request until there is no more data.

For each route, the module makes a follow-up request to the API to look up the bike name, origin hub address and destination hub address. However, it also stores the results of those requests locally so that a subsequent search for the same bike name or hub address retrieves the result from the local cache rather than making a duplicate API request.

As a result, the data includes three datasets: a list of routes, a list of hubs and a list of bikes. The module also makes a list of totals, calculating the total distance in miles, total distance in km, total duration in seconds, total duration in minutes, total duration in hours, total number of distinct bikes, and total number of distinct hubs.

Once the data is downloaded, you can save it locally in a variety of formats: JSON, XML, Excel 2007 or CSV format. Note that the JSON, XML and Excel 2007 formats save all four datasets, but the CSV format only saves the routes dataset.

Local tech firms walking a mile in her shoes



Some local tech firms are participating in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes campaign by the YWCA:

On Thursday, June 18th at noon, help YWCA Hamilton take a step toward ending women’s poverty, homelessness and violence by participating in the 6th annual, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, to help support YWCA Hamilton’s Transitional Living Program.

At Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, concerned men, women and families step into high heels and step up for women. By strutting and stumbling through Gore Park, you’ll be raising awareness, raising eyebrows and educating Hamiltonians about issues affecting women in our community.

Maybe you’d like to donate and help them raise funds for this important cause.


Orbital – [campaign]

factor[e] – [campaign]

EB Media Solutions – [campaign]


Hacking Health Hamilton re-launches

Last week Hacking Health Hamilton hosted its first Café event.

Over 40 healthcare professionals, entrepreneurs, developers, and others gathered at McMaster Innovation Park to listen, learn, network and discuss their ideas for improving healthcare in Hamilton.

The event featured three very informative guests.

Debbie Schmidt, a Clinical Informatics Specialist, and Registered Nurse at St Josephs Hamilton. With over 20 years of healthcare and technology experience Debbie gave insight about the upcoming trends for technology in healthcare and what some of the specific needs across the continuum are.


Giancarlo De Lio, the founder and CIO of VitalHub showed us his incredible intuitive interface that makes patient information available anywhere it is needed on multiple clinical systems thus allowing the clinicians to focus on the patient and not on the computer.


Sina Afshani from Blue Orchid Care Inc demonstrated his assistive device. The revolutionary product is light, unobtrusive and more affordable than existing lifts.

The drive and innovation demonstrated by all above showed us the benefits and importance of technology merging with healthcare which lead into brainstorming conversations amongst the attendees.


The Hacking Health Hamilton team are excited to connect more members of the community to continue discussions and start collaborations and are working on planning their next Cafe in late spring.

To learn more visit, follow @HHHamOnt and/or e-mail


Make your business Data work for you



When: Tuesday April 7th 2015 from 9:00am to 1:00pm

Where: McMaster Innovation Park @ 175 Longwood Road South



You are cordially invited to join us on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 for a seminar on “Make your Business Data work for you” presented by ORACLE and followed by a complimentary lunch.

Cloud Business Intelligence (BI) is the hottest buzzword talked about in every industry vertical and considered to offer a unique advantage to organizations of all sizes. It is an indisputable fact that information is the key for organizations to gain a competitive advantage. Business Intelligence can help decision makers get answers to business questions that enable them to increase sales, enhance business effectiveness, improve profits and safeguard the organizations survival.

The seminar will help you understand how Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service can enable your organization to access data, streamline analysis, drive collaboration, and go mobile – all without any infrastructure setup or capital costs.



09.00 am to 9.30 am Reception & Networking
9.30 am to 10.00 am What is Business Intelligence??
10.00 am to 11.00 am Introduction to Oracle BI Cloud Service
11.00 am to 11.15 am Break & Networking Opportunity
11.00 am to 11.30 am Live Demonstration
11.30 am to 12.00 am Q & A – Closing Remarks
12.00 am to 1.00 pm Lunch


Parking Information

Parking is available for a cost of $0.50/hour at McMaster Innovation Park Special Events and Conference Parking.


About Oracle

With more than 380,000 customers – including 100 of the Fortune 100 – and with deployments across a wide variety of industries in more than 145 countries around the globe, Oracle offers an optimized and fully integrated stack of business hardware and software systems. Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center – from servers and storage, to database and middleware, through applications.

As the #1 vendor in business analytics with the industry’s most complete and integrated range of enterprise-class business intelligence (BI) solutions, Oracle leads the way in helping organizations gain more insight, across more data, and drive better outcomes in every aspect of their business.

Note : Your registration for this event constitutes implied consent to be photographed and to have those photos published.

Oracle Gold Partner


Bitcoin Chat on Friday March 20th

When: Friday March 20th 6:00pm

Where: Westdale neighbourhood (register to see location)


Friday March 20th we’re going to mix it up with Bitcoin discussion! We’ll have a micro-panel featuring John Gerryts and Derek Braid who will taking questions from myself and attendees in regards to bitcoin and crypto-currencies in general. Bring your curiosity and your questions.

Derek Braid is an ex-financial advisor turned JavaScript developer and Data Visualization Expert. He’s a BitMaker Labs graduate and specializes in data visualization and cryptocurrencies. He also maintains angular.js and meteor.js projects. Derek founded the Burlington Bitcoin Meetup Group.

John Gerryts is the Founder/Organizer of the Niagara Bitcoin Meetup, and has recently volunteered as the interim Organizer for the Hamilton/Ancaster/Stoney Creek Bitcoin Meetup. John is a Certified Bitcoin Professional, CBP and an active bitcoin/altcoin miner since 2013. John is also a Founding member of Airlock, an based Bitcoin 2.0 project which was a top 3 winner at the Toronto Bitcoin Expo’s “In Crypto We Trust” Hackathon. Lastly John operates and is a Network Administrator by trade.

deltaHacks signals big change



deltaHacks (@deltaHacks) organized by HackItMac (@HackItMac) took place this weekend on McMaster campus. The event brought in 200+ students, not just from the McMaster community, but from around Southern Ontario – University of Waterloo, University of Toronto, University of Guelph, Mohawk College and others. The students formed teams and worked on building real-world applications for social change in a 24-hour time period.

I was a judge on the Sunday portion of the event and was able to walk around and check out the different projects. The projects ranged from web apps, to mobile apps to wearables. The nature of the event meant that many if not most projects were either medical or educational in nature. However there were a bunch of really cool non-profit and ‘social good’ ideas – for example applications to help foodbanks tell prospective donors what types of food exactly they are running short on, or applications to help people find items they have lost.




The teams were filtered down to 5 finalists on the Sunday who gave presentations before the top 3 winners were selected. The top prize went to Project Julius, an app that detects and blocks seizure inducing content, and included a flight/hotel to a hackathon taking place in South Korea!

The fact that the hackathon included students from outside the McMaster community was excellent. Making it more than a McMaster event builds awareness and brings connections to McMaster. Some of the better projects were done by students from outside McMaster and that’s OK too – that’s inspiration and education for everyone. A lot of the teams seemed to include students from a mixture of institutions. A hackathon is taking place at Western soon. It’s great for the broader region to see this happening.




deltaHacks really does signal a big change on McMaster campus. I’ve been at McMaster in one form or another since 2002. After the 2000 dotcom crash enrolment in computing programs plummeted for the early to mid 2000s. In terms of community activities, I think we had a bowling night or something, maybe a meet the profs night and a 40-person ‘programming challenge’ night? It was great fun, but nothing at this scale.

Around 2009 regular enrolment increases began (as did higher entrance averages). A hackathon at a scale like this would have been completely unthinkable 10 years ago… even 5 years ago. It was surreal walking around the student centre seeing table after table of students working on cool projects. Those enrolment increases have continued through to today and are, last I saw, expected to continue into the future.

deltaHacks signals a critical mass of talent has arrived on McMaster campus. A critical mass that could do some very great things in the years ahead. This was an amazing start.

Check out the top 5 finalists present at deltaHacks below:


Project Julius – 1st place


Android sWear – 2nd place


Chameleon – 3rd place


Intuit (honourable mention)


MyoBlinds (honourable mention)


#HamOntForever Digital Literacy Panel Discussion


The #HamOntForever campaign is organizing a panel discussion, see the details below:

When technology moves faster than society, it’s either keep-up, or risk going the way of the floppy disk. Presented in partnership by Hamilton Community Foundation and KITESTRING, join us for a panel on Digital Literacy, our city and how a growing digital divide must be addressed.

The discussion will be moderated by Chris Farias (VP – Creative Development, KITESTRING) with panel participants Mark Chamberlain (President & CEO PV Labs), Terry Cooke (President & CEO Hamilton Community Foundation), Joey Coleman (Journalist and Crowdfunding Pioneer), and Paul Takala (Chief Librarian Hamilton Public Library).

When: January 28th, 2015 from 5–7pm, with the one-hour panel beginning at 5:30pm.

Where: First floor at The Seedworks Building, 126 Catharine Street North, Hamilton.


Online: Streaming at or join the chat on the KITESTRING Facebook Page


Embrace UX conference



EmbraceUX (@EmbraceUX) will bring together web and technology professionals in the Southern Ontario region to get excited and informed about user-centric design, share their experiences, and network with fellow practitioners. EmbraceUX is a two-day event with talks, discussions, and a UX masterclass on Saturday and a chance to flex your UX skills during the design charette on Sunday!


When: Saturday February 28th and Sunday March 1st

Where: The Pearl Company @ 16 Steven Street, Hamilton, Ontario

Organizers: Martin Kuplens-Ewart and Kevin Browne


Cost: Only $60

A truly excellent value in comparison to other regional UX Conferences – e.g. Waterloo region’s Fluxible ($445 for 2 days), UX Day Toronto ($495 for 1 day). Any left over funds from event costs will be rolled over into next year’s conference.

Big thanks to sponsor Innovation Factory!


Speaker Line-up


Jon Lax

President and Co-Founder @ Teehan+Lax


Jon (@jlax) is the President and Co-Founder of Teehan+Lax. He is responsible for the overall strategic direction and operation of the company. Since starting Teehan+Lax in 2002 Jon has worked with clients like Beatport, Corcoran, Medium, Google, and Bell. He is responsible for establishing TL Labs and making Teehan+Lax one of the most respected companies in the digital industry.


Verne Ho

Director of Design @ Shopify


Verne Ho (@verneho) is the Director of Design at Shopify. Previously, he was the co-founder and Creative Director at Jet Cooper, a product design studio that was acquired by Shopify in 2013. Based in Toronto, Verne often writes and speaks about practical advice on building resilient design practices and teams.


Erin Dunham

CEO @ The Other Bird


Erin Dunham (@erindunham22) was born in, lives in and bleeds Hamilton.

As an undergraduate, Erin studied English and writing at Western University in London, Ont., before returning to Hamilton to do her MBA at McMaster University.

A published author, Erin also teaches communication skills to media students at London’s Fanshawe College.

As the CEO of The Other Bird, Erin is one half of the creative team behind a group of restaurants designed to enthrall the tastebuds of diners seeking different and interesting culinary experiences. The Other Bird’s distinct family of Hamilton locations includes the acclaimed Rapscallion Rogue Eatery, Two Black Sheep cocktail and oyster bar, and the Black Sheep Snack Bar as well as The Alex in Burlington.

She is a painter, who loves to sit back with a big fat red wine and a cigar.


David Crow

Director of Business Development @ OMERS Ventures


In his role as Director of Business Development at OMERS Ventures, David Crow (@davidcrow) is responsible for advocating OMERS Ventures within the technology community, assist in running OMERS Ventures related programs and initiatives, and participate in technical and business due diligence.

Prior to joining OMERS Ventures, David has held roles in product development and more recently in marketing & business development. David has extensive experience working with growth technology companies to acquire early customers, refine product designs and search for a scalable business model.

David is the Editor and Community Animator for StartupNorth, which he founded with Jonas Brandon and Jevon MacDonald. David currently serves on the board of Lymbix, and is an advisor to Hacker You, Bunch, PrintChomp and TribeHR.

David was named Toronto’s Best Web and Tech Evangelist in 2008. He has a Master’s degree, Human-Computer Interaction from the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Waterloo.


Matthew Milan

CEO and Co-founder @ Normative


Matthew (@mmilan) is the CoFounder and CEO of Normative, a software design firm headquartered in Toronto. Matthew is a design leader with 15 years of experience in the domain of emerging technologies, specializing in software design, innovation and product development. A veteran of startups in the areas of knowledge management, geospatial visualization and machine learning, Matthew excels at helping collaborators turn complex ideas and information into compelling and engaging user experiences.


Chris Ferguson

CEO @ Bridgeable


Chris (@chrisferg) leads strategy and design projects with some of the world’s largest and most innovative organizations. His work with the team at Bridgeable has been honored with numerous awards and he writes and presents regularly about the intersection between human-centered design and business strategy. He holds degrees in Biology and Entrepreneurship.

Chris will be joined by Spencer Beacock, Associate at Bridgeable.


Kevin Wong

Co-founder and COO @ Nulogy


Kevin (@knwong) is the co-founder and COO of Nulogy. Kevin has over a decade of experience building disruptive products using lean strategies to take Nulogy from a living room to an award-winning company with exceptional annual growth and Fortune 500 customers around the world. Kevin provides the leadership for the Agile UX and Product Management activities at Nulogy.


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