In Depth: HackerNest Tech Social In Toronto

When I last wrote about HackNest, the Canadian non-profit group that’s focused on building very supportive tech communities all around the world that will help to bring about economic development through technological proliferation, I mentioned that I was honor bound to attend one of their Tech Social events in Toronto. In short, these Tech Social events get smart, accomplished people into a room with free beer. That alone is enough to get me out to one. But there’s more. The events have a “no douchebag” policy. What does that mean? In short, there’s no networking allowed, sponsors are clearly identified, no excessive drinking, no selling, no recruitment and some other undesirable stuff listed in their FAQ. The events are free, but they welcome $10 donations. Hint: Pay the $10 as it helps to keep these events going.

This particular Tech Social that I went to was hosted by local company BuzzBuzzHome.

IMG_1484Now I arrived early, and that turned out to be a great decision. Here’s what it looked like when I arrived at 8PM:

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This is what it looked like 45 minutes later.

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I have to guess that they got a couple hundred people out to this event. That’s pretty impressive. And it likely violated the fire code. But it illustrates that there is a need for what HackerNest does. There was a lot of sharing of info and spontaneous discussions amongst the attendees which was pretty cool from a neutral perspective. While there were people who were there looking for talent for example, that sort of activity was at a minimal level. For the most part it was generally a meet and make new friends sort of event.

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One of the sponsors that caught my eye was Hired.com which is a unique recruiting platform that matches job seekers in the high tech space with companies looking for talent. Some of their clients include Facebook, Square, and Uber. I’m going to be reaching out to them to do a story on them shortly. I also met representatives from Lighthouse Labs who have a unique development bootcamp which will give you the skills you need to be job ready and then get you a job. I’ll be writing about them as well.

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One of the things that I forgot to mention in my original article is that HackerNest has Hackathons with a social spin to them. At this event, they were advertising their upcoming DementiaHack which is aimed at improving the lives of those who suffer from Dementia.

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One of the judges at this event will be Toronto Mayor John Tory and event details are available at the link above.

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Finally, I got the chance to meet HackerNest Director Shaharris Beh (in the yellow t-shirt) who I interviewed for my original article. He is insanely funny and could likely do stand up if this non profit thing doesn’t work out for him.

The schedule for the Toronto Tech Socials can be found here, but if you’re someplace other than Toronto, check out this page for a city near you. If you are into software development, hardware hacking, or just consider yourself a nerd, you need to show up to one or more of these as it is a better way to spend an evening then popping online to play Call Of Duty or Game Of War. If you’re a high tech company, you should sponsor one of these events as you will not get a better opportunity to get exposure from people like me and you’ll do some good at the same time by helping to build this community of people who love technology in all its forms.

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