Embrace UX speaker profile: Jon Lax



Embrace UX (@EmbraceUX) will be taking place on Saturday February 28th – Sunday March 1st in Hamilton, Ontario.

Embrace UX 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. Embrace UX 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!

Between now and the conference Software Hamilton will feature an Embrace UX speaker each Sunday.

Jon Lax – Teehan+Lax / Facebook

jonJon has been working in digital media since 1994. He started at Shift Magazine in 1994 where he helped develop the first ad supported site in Canada. In 1995 he received a National Magazine Award Nomination for his writing in the magazine. Jon went on to Grey Interactive in 1996 and was made Creative Director of Modem Media Canada in 1998. Jon received B.A.’s in Journalism and History from the University of King’s College.

Jon was/is the President and Co-Founder of Teehan+Lax, responsible for the overall strategic direction and operation of the company. Teehan+Lax was started in 2002 and has worked with clients like Beatport, Corcoran, Medium, Google, and Bell. Net Magazine’s 2014 Agency of The Year. Teehan+Lax has built a stellar international reputation out of their Toronto location:

“Teehan+Lax has a reputation bigger than their size and location might warrant. They’ve built this reputation on the principles of openness and sharing. Despite being relatively small and Canadian, Teehan+Lax has managed to gain a following within the global design community by making useful tools that are freely accessible to all. They’ve become the goto source for iOS PSD templates, recently releasing an iOS 7 pack just days after Apple announced the update.”Isaac Gray – web.desgr.com/teehanlax




Teehan+Lax made national headlines earlier this week when Jon and several others within the firmed announced they were moving to Facebook:

Toronto design firm Teehan+Lax closes, designers head to Facebook – CBC News

Toronto design firm shuts down as top leaders join Facebook – The Globe and Mail

Partners At Teehan+Lax, The Design Firm Behind Medium, Join Facebook – Tech Crunch

Don’t worry though – Jon will still be speaking at Embrace UX next month! It’ll be very exciting to have his expertise and perspective at the conference, and all the more exciting with this news.


If you’re planning to go to Embrace UX, I’d suggest registering before the end of January as ticket sales are going at a pace more brisk than usual for a Hamilton conference due to interest from out of town: embraceux.com


Big thanks to Embrace UX sponsors Innovation Factory, FluidMedia and Imagination Plus too!


Mohawk College Opens Additive Manufacturing Centre



HAMILTON (Jan. 16, 2015) – Mohawk College has officially opened Ontario’s first Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre in Canada’s manufacturing heartland.

Engineering Technology students and faculty are already working with 43 industry, education and government partners on applied research projects. Digital images are turned into three-dimensional prototypes and parts made out of titanium, aluminum, nickel, stainless steel, bronze and other metals.

The $2 million centre received $720,000 in funding from both the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Research Fund, with additional support from industry partners. Mohawk is one of only three postsecondary education institutions in Canada with the capacity to manufacture metal parts for industry.

Additive manufacturing joins digital health and smart grid technologies as Mohawk’s three areas for applied research.


“Our recently announced Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy expands the scope of our government’s targeted research priorities to include advanced manufacturing. The Canada Foundation for Innovation and our government are proud to partner with Mohawk College in developing Canadian innovations to improve our manufacturing sector, create jobs, and improve the quality of life of Canadians.” – The Hon. Ed Holder, Federal Minister of State (Science and Technology)

“Ontario is thrilled to support this partnership, which will help provide cutting-edge resources to companies and train future generations to become leaders in additive manufacturing — a field that promises to help drive advanced manufacturing, keep Ontario competitive in the global economy and create highly skilled, well-paying jobs here at home.” – The Hon. Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation

“Canada’s colleges work with the private sector in state-of-the-art research labs to create innovative products and services. These prototypes can be applied rapidly, giving Canada’s manufacturing industry a unique advantage in the highly competitive global marketplace.” – Gilles Patry, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation

“Our Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre helps strengthen our region’s global competitiveness on two fronts. Advanced manufacturers can test and develop new and improved products while our students work with emerging technologies and go into the workforce as highly skilled, future-ready graduates.” – Mohawk College President Ron McKerlie

For more information, contact:

Jay Robb, Director of Communications, 905.575.1212 ext. 3965, jay.robb@mohawkcollege.ca

Coder Camp 27

CoderCamp was 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, software development, and technology to learn from each other and get better at what we do in the process.

We have a projector and screen set up 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 or discussions if you’re interested in sharing. We welcome you to come, talk, discuss, share, or just sit quietly and listen.

Where: The Pheasant Plucker @ 20 Augusta Street (2nd floor)
Date: January 21, 2015
Register: eventbrite.ca/e/codercamp-hamilton-27-tickets-15131562912
Rough Agenda:
6:30pm – 7:00pm – meetup, grab a drink, talk shop
7:00pm – 9:30pm – series of 5-20 min. talks

Scheduled Talks:

J Kenneth King will improve our understanding of algorithmic composition and procedural generation, which has applications in games, art and beyond!

Bryan will tell us why he thinks Datomic is important, and why 2015 should be the year you stop deleting facts in your information systems.

Interested in giving a presentation? You can show up that evening and hope there is time for your talk, or you can email codercamphamilton@gmail.com and we’ll add you to the list of scheduled talks.

If you could register above so we know how many people are coming we would appreciate it – if enough people are coming then we need to tell the bar to bring in another staff member.


– AJ
– Bryan

ZIM.js released by Dan Zen



JAN 10, 2015- ZIM.js helps you code interactive media faster. See the tabs on zimjs.com for an intro to each module. ZIM Create, Build and Pages are the focus of the library and work with CREATEJS to add features, such as:

Available at: zimjs.com/code

– One-line drag and drop
– Multiple types of hit tests
– Pop-up Panes and Buttons
– Page and Layout Control
– Swipes, HotSpots, Grids
– Parallax and Tiling
– Proportional Damping
– And more!

About the Creator

Dan Zen is an award-winning creator of Web and mobile games, gadgets, communities and apps found at DANZEN.COM. He has been developing for over 20 years and will be porting from hundreds of Flash classes to ZIM. Watch for advanced interfaces in the new year.


MacGDA launches job shadow program



The McMaster Game Development Association’s main focus is to create a community of game developers within the Hamilton area and to provide them with the opportunities to develop skills, expand their networks, and discover new possibilities within the game development world. With this purpose in mind, MacGDA has launched a new initiative called the ‘Job Shadow Program’.


The Job Shadow Program is a new program created by MacGDA that allows our students to engage in an experimental learning experience with the help of the active role of our partners. This opportunity will be open to 3rd and 4th year students of any program at McMaster who are in the process of exploring their career options in the game development field after their education.

As a participant of the Job Shadow Program, you will have 1 to 5 days to help students understand what goes on in a real game development studio as well as the technologies they will be using and the career paths that are available to them. This is an excellent opportunity for you to show students the great aspects of your company, as well as preparing them with the tools they will need should you want to have them as part of your team in the future.


As a mentor for the Job Shadow Program, you will experience an opportunity to:

– Network and engage with McMaster’s future emerging talent into the workforce
– Be well-informed of classroom knowledge and current teachings in degree programs
– Experience the interests, ideas, and enthusiasm of our students
– Brand your organization at McMaster University and among students


The Job Shadow Program will take place at your workplace during the week of February 16th to the 20th (the week of spring break for students). Mentors will be able to choose how many students and how many days they wish to participate in this program.


Students are now starting to apply for the Job Shadow Program with a resume and a brief paragraph to explain their skills and experience in the game development field while our partners are signing up to be mentors by telling us how many student they want to take in as well as their preferred dates. The deadline for mentor registration will be mid-January and for students, the end of January.

Once we have our full list of applicants, our mentors will be able to choose the students they wish to take in for the duration of the program. This process will happen in the first week of February. During the second week of February, the mentors will have selected their students and contact information will be shared. Any administrative paperwork (NDAs, Contracts, etc), should your company require it, will be completed in this time. Finally, on the week of February 16th to 20th, students will report to your office to experience what your company can offer.


The students of the Job Shadow Program are expected to:
– Be open to learn and absorb the knowledge of the workplace
– Report to workplace and act professionally within it
– Represent McMaster students in a respectful way
– Provide a small testimony of your company to display on our website


The mentors of the Job Shadow Program are expected to:
– Provide students an accurate representation of the work environment
– Answer some of the questions that students might have about the workplace and the game development field
– Make the students feel at home! Let them see what you do and how well you do it!


To take part in our initiative to build up the next generation of game makers and producers,
you can register to be a mentor in the Job Shadow Program using the following link:


Thank you for helping us create the strong gaming community we have today.

For any question or inquiries, you can contact:

AbdulRahman Khodr @ khodra@McMaster.ca 905-920-6756 or
Chris Ko @ koh4@McMaster.ca 905-902-6468


Resolution solution




I figure this is timely given this is when New Years resolutions are happening.

The tech industry isn’t known for it’s physical fitness, and neither am I. I’m not a “gym guy”. I’ve always found it too hard to make it a regular habit.

You know why? Because as much as you might feel great after going to the gym, before you go to the gym it’s a total pain in the ass to get off your couch. You’re tired, you worked all day… it’s too hard.

I finally came up with one life hack for going to the gym that seems to be working: serialized television.

Load a couple seasons worth of a great serialized TV show you’ve never seen before onto your iPad/Tablet – think stuff like Sopranos, Breaking Bad, etc. Then watch that while you’re on the elliptical, treadmill, etc. But don’t watch it at home – you can only watch it if you go to the gym.

Podcasts and music can get you through weight training type exercises, but the addictiveness of great tv soap opera elements will ensure you go to the gym at all. I’ve never been able to gamify my going to the gym before now, but I’m finding this works.

The self-control required not to watch a serialized TV show at home isn’t too bad, and the reward of watching another episode can motivate you to get off your couch.


Indellient Prize in Software Entrepreneurship 2015

indellientWe are pleased to announce the Prize for Software Entrepreneurship to be awarded to the best project in the course CS 4EN3 – Software Entrepreneurship, and invite students, staff, alumni and anyone interested in fostering entrepreneurship to attend the presenations:

Time: Wednesday January 14th, 7:00-10:00PM.
Place: ETB 126
Prize: $1500

This contest is made possible by a generous donation from Indellient Inc., a provider of technology solutions to the global market, based in Oakville. In addition to the prize, Indellient will also provide a judge, co-founder, serial entrepreneur and McMaster alumnus, Adam Caromicoli.

We also thank the McMaster Industrial Liaison Office from supporting the Software Entrepreneurship program, and for the loan of Glen Crossley, who will be the second judge.

This prize supports the effort of Computing and Software at McMaster to foster entrepreneurship, and the department provides, Christopher Anand, the third judge.

The department also thanks Mark Pavlidis of Flixel and John Horack of management support network for lending their experience to our students.


Branding your business talk on January 12th

Where: 1280 Main St West McMaster University @ ETB 535

When: Tuesday January 13th 2015 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Register: eventbrite.ca/e/branding-your-business-tickets-15083994634

Join us as we learn about Branding your Business with Matthew Aubie of Hustle and Bustle Inc.

Matthew is responsible for a number of brands including one of the largest and most successful student incubators in Canada, Waterloo University’s Velocity- http://velocity.uwaterloo.ca/

This event will also be the McMaster Entreprneurship Association’s General Meeting. Lot’s of great student entrepreneurship initiatives are under way for 2015!




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