"employment.nil" posterIn case you’re:

  • a programmer who works with the Ruby programming language
  • looking for work
  • available to get down to Toronto’s “West Queen West” neighbourhood soon

you might want to do what I’m doing in a couple of minutes (as of this writing): heading down to the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West, at Dufferin) to get a look at employment.nil, which bills itself as “the first Toronto Ruby job fair”.

Organized by the fine folks at Unspace, who are also organizing the upcoming FutureRuby conference and FailCamp (where I’ll be the MC), employment.nil isn’t your typical computer programmer job fair. No computers are allowed! They’re going to be strict about it – even the use of iPhone applications is verboten. Bring printouts of your resume and some scratch paper to do “live coding”. I’m going to bring my mini-whiteboard and dry-erase markers.

See you there!


The “Make Web Not War” Accordion Video

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

The Make Web Not War event in Toronto takes place in exactly one week! We’ve been spreading the word about the event and I thought I’d do my part by helping out with a video, accordion-style:

MAKE WEB NOT WAR – VIDEO FOUR – TORONTO from The Biz Media on Vimeo.

There’s only one mistake in the video – “accordion” is misspelled. If you’d like the follow me on Twitter, the correct ID is AccordionGuy, not AccordianGuy.

For more details about Make Web Not War, see:


A Busy Day

It’s a busy, meeting-filled day for Yours Truly down at the local headquarters for The Empire. Here’s a (slightly edited) photo that I took at our big Evangelism team meeting around 3:30 this afternoon:



“Make Web Not War” in Vancouver and Toronto

"Make Web Not War" - Vancouver, June 2nd / Toronto, June 10th - Microsoft and open source technology, together on the web

The “sea change” that’s been going on at Microsoft for the past little while is one of the things that convinced me to join the company and one of the factors in their even asking me to come in for a job interview. One of the most telling signs of this sea change is in Microsoft’s new approach to open source and web, with initiatives like the Open Source Lab, improved standards support in IE8, PHP on Windows, the Web Platform Installer and Open Source Initiative-approved MS-PL license, to name a few.

We know that the web is a big salad bar of various technologies put together by different vendors and organizations, and at long last, it seems that we’re cool with that. We’ve been reaching out to web developers of all stripes, from Microsoft “true believers” to people who don’t typically build their stuff with or on our stuff.

Make Web Not War is an event being held in Vancouver on June 2nd and Toronto on June 10th where we invite people building solutions on the web – whether you build on Microsoft tech or not – to get together and:

  • Hear from people who build on open source and Microsoft technologies
  • Network with other web developers living and working in your area
  • Learn about the latest Microsoft technologies and how they work with open source
  • Get technical training to build your web development portfolio
  • Win prizes and get your Web Warrior DVD featuring all the latest Microsoft Web Resources

The Vancouver event takes place today, June 2nd at Microsoft’s Vancouver office (1111 W. Georgia, 11th floor). It’s a half-day event featuring a presentation by Morten Rand-Hendriksen from Pink and Yellow Media as well as breakfast, a web partner community showcase and a lunch social.

The Toronto event takes place on Wednesday, June 10th at the Ted Rogers School of Management (use the entrance at 55 Dundas Street W.) and runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. It’s a full-day event with presentations by:

The Toronto event will feature breakfast, keynote, web partner community showcase, another keynote, lunch, breakout sessions, a Windows Server 2008 InstallFest, a web developer technical session and the FTW! competition final showdown. It’s be a very full day.

The registration fee for both the Vancouver and Toronto events is “donate what you want”, with a suggested donation of CAD$10. The money will go to a good cause:, the anti-bullying network.

Whether you’re a died-in-the-wool ASP.NET type, think in PHP or create new web applications by typing in rails mynewapp at the command prompt, Make Web Not War has something for you. For more details about Make Web Not War, check out the official site.


Microsoft Canada Wants to Pick Your Brain!

Microsoft Canada’s Audience Marketing Team wants to pick your brain!

Zombie picture: "I can has brains?"

If you’re a reader of this blog, Global Nerdy, chances are that you write software, manage computer systems or do some kind of work in the realms of software, IT or the internet. If that’s the case, the folks on my team at Microsoft – the Technical Audience Team – would like to hear your opinions.

Cat with cheese slice on its face: "Cheez: You're doin' it wrong"

The reason we want to pick your brain is simple: we want to be able to avoid a “Cheez Cat” kind of situation like the one pictured above. We’d like to be able to correctly identify the kind of opportunities – things like conferences, events, workshops and other things for developers and IT pros – that you’d be interested in. We’d also like to know whether you’d be willing to share your insights, or participate in activities that we’re putting together and with the developer community.

"Toothpaste for Dinner" comic on surveys

And now, it’s time to cut to the chase: yes, I’m asking you to fill out a survey. Yes, I know that there are things you’d rather do – maybe someone’s made a new Keyboard Cat video – but this survey is a chance for you to steer “The Empire”. We try to make sure that we’ve got hard data to back up the decisions we make, and surveys like this one are where we get the hard data from. We’d rather you tell us how to connect with you in a way that best fits your working style, skills, interests and passion than make what we call a S.W.A.G. (Silly Wild-Ass Guess).

Modified "Uncle Sam" poster: "I want fill out the survey"

If you’re based in Canada and you either write software (for the desktop, web or mobile) or manage computer systems, I’m asking you to fill out the survey. The official notes for the survey say that it takes about 15 minutes to fill, but you’ve probably guessed that you can fill it out in less time.

Big red arrow: "Click here to TAKE THE SURVEY"

To take the survey, you can either click the giant red arrow above, or you can click this link. If you’ve already taken the survey, I’d like to thank you for doing so!

If you know a developer or it pro whom you think should take this survey, please forward a link to this article to them!