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Our first #nerdlearn-aversary

Photo: Chris Mud

At TWG, we consider the growth of Toronto’s dev community a priority. With this week’s #nerdlearn marking the first anniversary (or #nerdlearn-aversary) of our local dev panel, we decided to take some time to reflect.

The History of #nerdlearn:

It all started in the land of cowboy boots, 20oz steaks, and Southern accents. We (Andres, Dessy, Jon, and Chris) were at SXSW in Austin, Texas, where the masses of the tech community gather each year. While we spent hours immersed in riveting conversations over beer, we found the technical discussions in the SXSW presentations to be lacking. Still reeling from the adrenaline of the four day trip, we spent the flight home dreaming up different events to satisfy the software dev community back home in Toronto. We came up with some criteria:

Our ideal event had to:

  • – Be very technical and geared specifically to developers;
  • – Encourage people in the room to learn from each other;
  • – Feature experts in the Toronto community;
  • – Have plenty of beer and pizza.

On that flight home, #nerdlearn was born…

A week later, we were no longer riding mechanical bulls in Texas, and were instead surfing the waves of the Costa Rican coast at the annual TWG retreat. There, we introduced the #nerdlearn concept to the rest of the team, and began planning the first event.

Originally, it was named “Good Developers Drinking Beer and Learning From Each Other” (after our Good People Drinking Wine and talking to each other event) but since we value every character when we tweet, we codenamed it #nerdlearn. The name stuck after our first event back in May of 2011: The Future of Rails:

From there, we moved onto: The Future of Mobile Dev:

Then #nerdlearn Demo Day with: BuzzData, The Wub Machine, Big Bang Technology, Comfortable Mexican Sofa, My City Lives, bnotions, and Mapitat:

Who could forget The Future of JavaScript down on the 3rd floor of the Burroughes Building:

Photo: Chris Mud

and this week’s Scaling Your App For The Future:

We spent the evening chatting with Jason from FreshBooks, Oleg from 500px, Scott from PostageApp, and Sean from Nulogy. The panelists all have very different experiences with scaling, due to the nature of their products, so we had a lot of varied discussion on topics ranging from latency to databases to hosting providers. We also heard some horror stories, which are hilarious in hindsight, but we’re sure weren’t so funny when they were happening.

Thank you Toronto Devs!

Each event has reinforced how awesome the Toronto dev community is, and it gets us more excited to regularly gather so many smart developers in one room. We want to thank all of you for continuing to attend and support #nerdlearn, and look forward to seeing you at the next one!

If you’d like to receive a heads up about future #nerdlearn events, please join our mailing list below. We’ll only send you emails to notify you of upcoming events, and we’ll never give out your email address to bad (or good!) guys.


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