Category Archives: Community

REfficient CEO Appointed to Canadian National Committee of IEC

refficientlogoHamilton, Ontario – November 26, 2014 – REfficient CEO Stephanie McLarty has been appointed as a Member of the Canadian National Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission (CANC/IEC). The committee works to safeguard Canadian interests, and identify priorities and emerging issues in the electrical and electronic (or “electrotechnical”) sector.

The CANC/IEC recently reorganized in order to better represent Canadian interests. Working under the auspices of Standards Council of Canada (SCC), the CANC/IEC has 19 Members. The group is comprised of business and industry leaders representing a variety of key stakeholders in the electrotechnical industry.

McLarty has been involved in standardization work for five years. During this time, she has been the Canadian Technical Expert for reuse and recycling on TC111, Environmental Standardization for Electrical and Electronic Products and Systems. McLarty has held Secretary positions in two TC111 working groups, most recently the ad hoc working group for the TC111 Strategic Business Plan. She was selected to represent Canada at the inaugural IEC Young Professionals Program in 2010, where she was chosen by her peers as one of three global leaders to represent the group. In 2014, McLarty received the inaugural SCC Young Leader Award, which recognizes a leader of tomorrow who has been an engaged and active participant of the standardization network and who is under the age of 40.

McLarty and other Members appointed to CANC/IEC will shape and influence standards development and conformity assessment activities in Canada’s economic and trade policies, deployment of new technologies, and the health and safety of Canadians. CANC/IEC will also support a coordinated approach between industry and Canadian governments as well as for Canada’s regulator portfolio. McLarty notes, “It is an honour to be appointed to such a prestigious body, and to play an important role in the health and safety of Canadians and the environment.” The first meeting of the newly appointed group is being held in Ottawa in November 2014.

About REfficient

REfficient’s transactional marketplace is built on a “triple-win” model, providing large telecom and AV companies a trusted and efficient solution for deriving value from surplus inventory, while offering buyers reliable, often new equipment at savings of 20-50% over traditional sources. This innovative new green model benefits everyone by reducing waste and increasing resource efficiency. You can follow REfficient at @REfficient and

Bruno Venesia
905-544-5000 x5011

HamOntForever digital literacy crowdfunding campaign


A team of Hamiltonians has launched a crowdfunding campaign to establish a fund that can be used to create grants for local charities to work on digital literacy. Campaign donations will be matched by the Hamilton Community Foundation, and those who donate will have a chance to contribute to an “online time capsule” (e.g. pictures, videos) that will be opened in 2030.

Indiegogo Campaign:




Check out the details below:

Our Idea

In #HamOnt, we have a strong, vibrant online community. People in Hamilton use the internet and digital tools to enhance their personal and professional lives in lots of different ways. But not everyone is able to participate.

We want everyone – regardless of age, education, or income – to have the access and knowledge they need to participate online. #HamOntForever helps make that happen.

The campaign’s goal is to empower Hamilton’s passionate online community to turn social media into social action. Donations to the #HamOntForever Fund will be used to create grants that local charities can use to help improve the digital literacy of Hamiltonians. That means more Hamiltonians will have the skills and resources they need to be part of the online conversation and marketplace.

Our online time capsule makes the #HamOntForever campaign even cooler. As a donor, you get to contribute something to the capsule. Depending on your donation level, you can include a hashtag, tweet, post, or even a video. Leave a message or wish for future Hamiltonians. All those messages will be tucked away for 15 years. Then, at the Hamilton Community Foundation’s anniversary celebrations in the year 2030, the time capsule will be opened.

As part of the Hamilton Community Foundation’s commitment to the campaign’s success, they will match every dollar donated (up to $10,000). Your donation will help people in Hamilton even more!




Orbital Studios food and toy drive

From Orbital Studios….

In the spirit of the giving season, we are now collecting toys and/or non-perishable food item donations, to be distributed to St. Matthew’s House and The Good Shepherd Hamilton.

Donations can be brought to the main floor of 22 Wilson Street, Downtown Hamilton (Sonic Unyon Records building), Mondays to Fridays until December 22nd, from 9am to 5pm.

Thank you in advance for your kind generosity!




#HamTech hastag

A suggestion on r/SoftwareHamilton was to have a hashtag for informal meetups. That’s not a bad idea, more generally speaking a hashtag of some kind would be useful.

For a brief period there was a #HamTech hashtag for Hamilton tech community related posts. I’ve added a #HamTech Twitter widget back to the sidebar, and I’ll start tagging @hamiltonsw tweets with #HamTech again. Feel free to use #HamTech to meet up with others, share news, etc.




YWCA Hamilton Women in IT program seeking work placements

YWCA logoYWCA Hamilton offers the Women in IT (Information Technology) program designed to enable women to further training obtain certification and secure employment in the IT industry. The program will prepare women for well-paying employment in the information technology sector, and employers will be able to recruit and retain more skilled workers. It also includes training and certification towards an industry recognized certificate for IT related jobs and work placement. This initiative gives women the practical skills and knowledge as well as gender-sensitive in-class training to prepare them for on the job training and employment in the IT sector.

In this regard, we are asking you to consider supporting this program by providing a work placement (paid or unpaid) to one or more of the program participants for the role of web developers/designers or other IT related roles. The placement should start in October 2014 and could run between 4 -12 weeks. Program participants have completed the Webmaster Certificate program with Mohawk College and developed the technical skills including but not limited to HTML, CSS, Dreamweaver, Flash and Photoshop.

Please contact Jupiter Deveau @ if you can accommodate placement/s.


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.


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



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