Shopify’s Saturday Afternoon Warm-Up Party at SxSW!

shopify party

Shopify is going to be at South by Southwest, and we’re throwing a little warm-up party on Saturday afternoon for our customers and friends! Join us at Stephen F’s Bar and Terrace at the Intercontinental Hotel (a.k.a. the Stephen F. Austin Hotel – 701 Congress Avenue, at 7th Street) this Saturday, March 10th between 3 and 6 p.m. for drinks and finger food on us!

The Shopifolks who’ll be in Austin are:

  • Cody Fauser (@codyfauser), Chief Technical Officer
  • Daniel Weinand (@danielweinand), Chief Design Officer
  • Edward Ocampo-Gooding (@edwardog), Developer Advocate
  • Harley Finkelstein (@hfizzle), Chief Platform Officer
  • Mark Hayes (@allsop8184), Marketing and PR Guy
  • Tobias Lutke (@tobi), Chief Executive Officer
  • …and Yours Truly, Joey deVilla (@accordionguy), Platform Evangelist

We purposely picked that time and place so it wasn’t too far from the Convention Centre and wouldn’t happen at the same time as all the big parties. Think of it as a way of warming up for the crazy Saturday night bashes. We’d love to see you there!

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.


We’re in Vancouver This Week!

Creative Commons photo by Casey Yee.

This week, a number of Shopifolks will be in Vancouver. If you see us, come say hi!

Tobi and Harley at the GROW Conference

Grow 2011

Tobias Lütke, our CEO, and Harley Finkelstein, our CPO (Chief Platform Officer) will be attending the sold-out GROW Conference 2011, which will be taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre’s West Building (the media building for the Olympics) from Wednesday, August 17th through Friday, August 19th. This is the must-attend conference for Canadian startups and entrepreneurs. I’ll leave it to my friend David Crow to describe it:

The Grow Conference is a unique three-day conference that brings together the top minds in business, entrepreneurship, technology, and capital to inspire and engage the next generation of disruptive entrepreneurs. It doesn’t matter if your business is on or offline, the next-gen entrepreneur knows where their customers are and how to engage them. Today’s entrepreneurs are creating new opportunities, disrupting age-old markets, leveraging technology on their path to being tomorrow’s leaders. The Grow Conference is bringing the best minds of Silicon Valley and Canada together to share lessons learned and inspire action. Be part of this entrepreneurial revolution as we work together to drive innovation for the future. GROW is more than a conference, it’s a movement.

All the tickets that were made available online are sold out. For you super-procrastinators with some money to burn, there will be a very limited number of tickets at the door available at the door for US$595.

David and Joey at HackVAN

HackVAN and Shopify

David Underwood, Developer Advocate, and Yours Truly (Joey deVilla, Platform Evangelist) will be sneaking into the GROW Conference after-party, but the real reason we’ll be there will be for the HackVAN Hack Day taking place at the Mozilla offices (163 West Hastings, Suite 200, Vancouver) on Saturday, August 20th. HackDays are events that are being held across Canada where developers get together, and working either in teams or solo, build cool applications in a day using publicly available APIs. If you’re a developer of any level of experience, from just starting out to guru-level, come out, make new friends and connections and get a chance at winning some cool prizes (up for grabs: a MacBook Air, iPad 2 and Kindle).

Registration for this event is a mere $10 — register now, and we’ll see you on Saturday!

This article also appears in the Shopify Technology Blog.


Where to Stay in Minneapolis (May 6th–8th)?

minneapolisCreative Commons photo courtesy of Sri Dhanush.

I’m helping out with BarCamp Minneapolis, a.k.a. MinneBar, which takes place on May 7th. The event takes place at Best Buy’s headquarters out in Richfield, and we out-of-towner helper-outers are staying downtown. If you know any good and reasonably-priced hotels in an interesting but not sketchy part of downtown, please let me know in the comments or drop me an email!

This article also appears in The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century.


TechDays Halifax: November 2nd and 3rd

Theatre mural in Halifax

We’re in Halifax this week for TechDays! Here’s what we’re up to this week:

  • Tuesday, November 2nd, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.: TechDays, Day 1
  • Tuesday, November 2nd, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.: Go DevMental
  • Wednesday, November 3rd, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.: TechDays, Day 2
  • Thursday, November 4th, morning: Presentation at Nova Scotia Community College
  • Thursday, November 4th, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code

Watch this blog for updates and goings-on!

Entrance to TechDays Halifax

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


FITC Mobile 2010

FITC Mobile 2010: The Windows Phone 7 booth

What is FITC?

What a week! On Thursday, I was in Vancouver at the Take 5 Cafe making an all-too-brief appearance at the Windows Phone 7 Coffee and Code, and on Friday I was at FITC Mobile 2010 in Toronto, minding the Windows Phone 7 booth.

FITC Mobile 2010 is part of a larger group of conferences called Mobile Innovation Week, which took place in Toronto last week and comprised:

FITC logoFITC (pronounced “Fit-See” by those in the know) is a descendant of the Toronto Flash user group FlashinTO, which I know from my old days as a Macromedia Director developer working at a little interactive shop called Mackerel. Local Flash/interactive media guru Shawn Pucknell started the group, and from it came a Toronto-based event in 2002 called “Flash in the Can”. Since then, the events have spread all over the world and expanded to cover more topics, so Flash in the Can became FITC. It’s great to see that Shawn’s still directing FITC, and it was good to chat with him – it’s been too long – and we’ve got to talk sometime about how Microsoft can participate in other FITC events.

(And now you know why the FITC logo features an old-school can opener.)

This was FITC Mobile’s second year. Its goal was to cover as wide an assortment of aspects of mobile development and content development as possible, with presentations, demonstration and panel discussions. The schedule was packed with all sorts of useful sessions, which covered:

  • Mobile operating systems: Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone 7
  • Tools: Flash, HTML5, Unity and Visual Studio Express for Windows Phone
  • Ideas: Marketing, usability, design, Canada’s place in the mobile world and the current state of Canada’s mobile industry

What I Saw

I spent most of my time at the Windows Phone 7 booth, showing off the phone and the development tools to passers-by. I did manage to get away and take a peek at some of the presentations, including:

Here are the slides from Paul Trani’s Mobile Design That Doesn’t Suck session:

Here area couple of photos I snapped at Mark Arteaga’s Windows Phone 7 presentation:

View of Mark Arteaga's presentation from the back of the room

View of Mark Arteaga's presentation from the front of the room

The “Booth Brains”

Anthony Vranic and Sean Kearney hack away as Barranger Ridler and Cory Fowler demonstrate Windows Phone 7 to a visitor to the booth

On Friday, I minded the booth with my coworkers Mandy Kaur, Yue He, Paul Laberge and Anthony Bartolo, but I was the only one available on Saturday. I put out a call for “Booth Brains” and got a number of responses. In the end, these four local heroes came in for the whole day:

  • Cory Fowler
  • Sean Kearney
  • Barranger Ridler
  • Anthony Vranic

My thanks to you four (and Yue, who showed up for a couple of hours too!) I couldn’t have done Saturday without your help.

Barranger Ridler and Cory Fowler demonstrating Windows Phone 7 to a booth visitor

We had a great number of people show up to the booth, curious about Windows Phone 7. We showed them the development tools – Visual Studio Express for Phone, Expression Blend and the WP7 emulator – and they got to get their mitts on an actual Windows Phone 7 device. Everyone who came by was impressed by the look, feel and responsiveness of WP7; I think we changed more than a few minds there.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


The jQuery Online Conference: Monday, July 12th – Everywhere!

ThinkVitamin presents...The jQuery Online Conference

Are you a web developer and want to sharpen your jQuery skills? Would you like to attend a conference featuring some of the brightest lights in jQuery programming? Are you too short on time and travel expenses to hit such a conference?

For a mere US$150 and no travel at all, you can attend the jQuery Online Conference. It’s a live, over-the-‘net conference taking place on Monday, July 12th starting at 12:00 noon EDT / 9:00 a.m. Pacific and featuring these four sessions:

  • Beyond String Concatenation. Using jQuery Templating to Cleanly Display Your Data
    Rey Bango (Client-Web Community Program Manager for Microsoft and Head of Evangelism for the jQuery JavaScript Project)
    In this presentation, Rey will show you a new way to produce easily maintainable dynamic pages via pre-built JavaScript templates and the Microsoft jQuery templating plugin.
  • Testing Your Mobile Web Apps
    John Resig (JavaScript tool developer for Mozilla and creator of jQuery)
    This talk will be a comprehensive look at what you need to know to properly test your web applications on mobile devices, based upon the work that’s been done by the jQuery team. We’ll look at the different mobile phones that exist, what browsers they run, and what you can do to support them. Additionally we’ll examine some of the testing tools that can be used to make the whole process much easier.
  • Taking jQuery Effects to the Next Level
    Karl Swedberg (Web developer at Fusionary Media, member of the jQuery Team, author of jQuery 1.3 and 1.4 Reference Guides and maintainer of the jQuery API site)
    One of the first things web developers learn to do with jQuery is to show and hide elements on a page and then add some flair by sliding those elements up and down or fading them in and out. Too often, though, we stop there, missing out on the incredible range and flexibility of jQuery’s core effects. In this talk, we’ll investigate both standard and custom animations and how they can be used to create useful and fun effects. We’ll also build a couple effects plugins, explore parts of the effects API that are often overlooked, and learn how to avoid common problems when attaching these effects to certain events.
  • jQuery Pluginization
    Ben Alman (Developer at, contributor to jQuery and Modernizr)
    In this live-coding session, Ben explains how, with just a little thought and effort around generalization, parameterization and organization, you can convert your "just get the job done" jQuery code into a legitimate, reusable, modular jQuery plugin.

Your conference attendance fee not only lets you watch the live event and ask questions of the presenters, it also lets you watch the recordings of the events any time afterwards. So if you can’t catch the live event (perhaps you’re busy at work, or it’s 3:00 a.m. in your time zone), you can still watch the presentations. This also lets you watch the live event to get the general idea, and then watch it again for note-taking or hands-on workshopping.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


My Photos from Make Web Not War 2010

I’ll post a more detailed write-up of the Make Web Not War conference later, but I thought that those of you who were there (or wished they were there) would like to see some photos as soon as possible. I’ve posted my photos at full resolution to my Make Web Not War Flickr photoset, which you can view either on Flickr or the slideshow above. The photos all have titles, and I promise I’ll finished the remainder of the descriptions over the next couple of days.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.