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#nerdlearn: Hardware hacking for software devs

Join us at TWG this Thursday night for the next edition of #nerdlearn, the event where good developers can drink beer and learn from each other! The topic this time around is hardware hacking for software devs, REGISTER ON GUESTLISTAPP.


  • Thursday, January 24th, 6:00pm at TWG, 425 Adelaide St. West, #300 (panel begins at 6.30pm)
  • Discussion, insights and awesome hardware provided by the panelists. Tough questions provided by you.
  • Follow updates on Twitter at #nerdlearn
  • Book your ticket here

When hardware became all the rage a few years ago, you probably had big dreams. Dreams of building robots to fetch you beer, do your laundry, or spend time arguing with Rogers customer service over bandwidth quality . So you bought an Arduino or a Raspberry Pi and sat down to build. Two days later, you realized you’d forgotten everything you ever knew about circuits, put your new hardware aside *just for a moment* and then began to feel guilty as you watched it collect dust.

The story above may be a dramatization… but it could have been you. Come out to #nerdlearn on Thursday, January 25th, bring your friends and join us to find out all about hardware hacking for software devs. Our panels are always very casual – we’ll start the night off with pizza, beer, and mingling. The panel will begin at 6:30pm, and will run for about an hour. We encourage you to get involved throughout the hour, ask our panelists tough questions, and shout out your opinions. The more you #nerdlearn, the happier our panelists are!

Cartoon, hardware hacking

If you want to bring along some developer friends, feel free to spread the word and share this post! Our panelists include Pearl ChenRob PlatekShaun Rossi and Mike Woodsworth. Book your tickets today and follow Twitter updates at #nerdlearn – in the words of Olivia Newton-John, let’s get physical.

Meet the Panelists

Pearl Chen

From HTML to LEDs, or Android to Arduino — Pearl takes on a cross-disciplinary approach to her work. Pearl was most recently the Senior Manager Research & Technology at the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab and is now working independently as an educator teaching web development, Android, and electronics — while also building tools for other educators. She runs regular workshops, which you can check out here. Her Intro to Arduino Programming workshop is coming up on January 19th. Alongside contributing to open source educational resources hosted on Github, Pearl is a published author and contributed the NFC and Open Accessory API chapters to Professional Android Sensor Programming published by Wrox.

Rob Platek

Rob has been a software developer for over 20 years. He has always been fascinated with hardware/software interactions and how software can affect things in the real world, and is sharing that interest with the Toronto community by co-organizing the #InternetofThings Meetup group. An entrepreneur at heart, Rob has been running his own consulting company since 2008. He’s also the co-founder and CEO of, a startup changing the way you find help for jobs you need done. Think of it like Expedia for local services. Recently, Rob merged his passion for hardware and software, with his latest startup, SensorSuite’s low cost wireless sensors, in conjunction with the SensorSuite cloud sensor monitoring software, allow users to monitor various aspects of their business and personal environments.

Shaun Rossi

Shaun has been busy running Fidalia, a networking company and an Internet service provider, since 2001. He is no stranger to IP routing, switching and infrastructure deployment with high-speed copper, optical cable and microwave communications. His latest effort has been enabling his own electrical circuit designs to participate on the Internet to interact with servers and other devices via radio, wire and 2G/3G cellular IP connectivity. Shaun has assisted a few startup operations with systems and prototype design. We’ve been told he’s quite the hardware hacker on the side as well, and has several cool home projects installed. You can look forward to hearing about his batman lights.

Mike Woodsworth

Mike is a co-founder at Upverter Inc. here in Toronto. He spends his time at Upverter trying to make electronics design easier, bringing some of the things he can’t live without in software development, like version control, to hardware development. He has both designed hardware and software professionally, before deciding to create the tools we cannot live without in software for the electronic design. Michael’s most recent project is trying to create interoperability between ECAD packages

Dessy Daskalov

The panel will be moderated by Dessy Daskalov. Dessy is an entrepreneur, web and mobile developer and CTO/Co-Founder of Greengage Mobile. She is a Developer Advocate and #nerdlearn moderator at TWG.



  • Thursday, January 24th, 6:00pm at TWG, 425 Adelaide St. West, #300 (panel begins at 6.30pm)
  • Discussion, insights and awesome hardware provided by the panelists. Tough questions provided by you.
  • Follow updates on Twitter at #nerdlearn
  • Book your ticket here

Follow TWG on Twitter or join us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with all of our events!

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