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#nerdlearn: code wars

November 27, 2014 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

#nerdlearn is our casual beer ‘n’ pizza night for developers of all shapes and sizes. Moderator Dessy Daskalov, CTO, Nudge Rewards, asks a panel of experts to share their stories, taking a deep dive into a particular topic to answer all your burning questions. Previous topics have included hardware hacking for software devs, JavaScript and mobile dev.

This #nerdlearn we’ll be pitting four panelists against each other in a battle of wit and skill. Each will represent a different language: PHP, Rails, JavaScript and Go. Get ready to #nerdlearn… code wars style!

Come and cheer for your favourite language, and bring your difficult questions so that our panelists can share their opinions on why their chosen language is the one to rule them all. If you’re looking to learn something new, now is a great chance to hear about the advantages and disadvantages of each language, hear from people who live and breathe them and mingle with other developers.

About our moderator 

Dessy Daskalov (@dess_e) is an entrepreneur, web and mobile developer, and the CTO and co-founder of ​Nudge Rewards. She’s always excited to chat with other developers and entrepreneurs, and has been moderating our #nerdlearn panels for over 3 years. She spends most of her time building Nudge Rewards and dreaming up big ideas for the future with the team. When she isn’t Nudging, you can find her at local Toronto dev events, reading a book on her balcony, or devouring a poutine – her one non-veggie food addiction.

Meet our panelists 

Representing PHP: Graham McCarthy: CTO, SoapBox

Graham is co-founder and CTO at SoapBox Innovations with many years of experience designing and building web applications. Graham’s passion is for creating beautiful products right down to the core system functions. He’s the reason SoapBox is primarily a PHP shop, and has been building PHP applications since 2004. He dabbles in Python and Objective-C in his spare time and is new and terrible at Ember.js.


Representing Javascript: Derek Watson: Tech Lead, The Working Group

Derek is a developer who currently spends his time writing Node.js, Rails, cracking jokes and being tall. He’s a Tech Lead at TWG, where he solves problems for innovators at tech start-ups, established media companies and big brands.

Unquestionably full-stack, he has worked with companies of all shapes and sizes, from start-ups to massive media conglomerates. His projects include Sobey’s web and mobile platforms, TSN, and the flagship Windows 8 application for the Globe & Mail.

In his spare time, Derek enjoys bicycles, bad comedies and chasing his baby daughter.

“JavaScript is the people’s language! It dominates the web, it excels on the server and haunts us in our dreams. JavaScript is everywhere. These words are JavaScript. We are all JavaScript. There is no escape.”


Representing Ruby on Rails: Julie Haché: CTO & Head of Instruction at Bitmaker Labs.

Julie Haché is the CTO & Head of Instruction at Bitmaker Labs. After 6 years of software development at companies like Shopify and Unspace Interactive, Julie discovered the joy of teaching, curriculum design, and sharing programming knowledge with others.

When she’s not coding or teaching, she can be found racing sailboats and climbing things.

“Ruby on Rails might not be new and exciting anymore, but it gets the job done. Backed by 10 years of lessons learned on the web, it has best practices baked right in. Whether you’re building a prototype or launching your long term project, Rails grows along with you. Its “convention over configuration” approach allows developers to build idiomatic code quickly, as well as share and communicate ideas efficiently.”

Visit Bitmaker Labs

Representing Go: Peter Sobot: Head of Labs, The Working Group

Peter Sobot is a software developer with a passion for emerging technologies, distributed systems, and simple user interfaces. As the Head of TWG Labs, he is responsible for testing and implementing new technologies, developing new products and improving tools.

Peter is formerly Founder & Lead Developer of Appstruments, where he crafted viral music apps like The Wub Machine and for the web, Android and iOS.

“Go is a relatively new language with a strong focus on simplicity, correctness, reliability, and speed. For many common tasks in web apps, Go can be between 8x and 60x faster than Rails, up to 100x faster than PHP, and up to twice as fast as Node.JS. Go ditches the slow, error-prone dynamic typing of other popular languages, adds a dead-simple package management tool, and has awesome dependency-free deploys.”
Representing Rails: Panelist TBA


We’ll start the night off with pizza, drinks and mingling. The panel will begin at 6:30pm, and will run for about an hour. Although we do have a general plan for the discussion, 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!

nerdlearn at The Working Group

We’ll be serving beer & soft drinks, and have vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free options available.


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November 27, 2014
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


The Working Group


The Working Group
425 Adelaide St. W, #300, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C1 Canada
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416 850 2500