Connecting

3 Ways to Meet Techies in Toronto

January 18, 2017

I love to meet techies in Toronto. Finding people with similar hobbies who we like makes us feel connected – like part of a community. Many people in Toronto take part, but it can be hard to get started. That’s why I decided to write up a few of the things that worked for me. They are attending meetups, attending classes and… well, just asking! Without any further ado, here’s the list! Attend a Meetup There are tons of great events in…

Continue Reading

Software

Why Don’t People Use Strong Passwords?

January 12, 2017

Chances are that you use lots of online services, each one asking you to create new passwords. If you’re like most people, you’re only going to have 1 or 2 that you remember. After all, there are a lot of different sites to log into! Why bother making a new one every time? Unfortunately, it’s time for a bit of a reality check – passwords are the bottom line of security. No matter how secure a service is, an attacker can easily access…

Continue Reading

Programming

Your First Programming Language

January 9, 2017

Recently, I responded to Business Insider’s shamelessly sponsored fluff piece on what your first programming language should be. Their recommended language is Python, because it’s simple and popular in the job market. While that’s true, it doesn’t mean that Python is what a new programmer should learn. I’ll explain why the advice is bad, how to actually pick a first programming language, and conclude with examples. Why the advice is bad First off – many people who get started with programming have no idea what to expect,…

Continue Reading

Software

Writing Good Technical Documentation

January 7, 2017

The time arrived to write technical documentation for our product, X Life. Our goal was to achieve the thoroughness of a wiki and the fun of Valve’s Handbook for New Employees. We used Google docs so we could work together at the same time, which proved to be a fun exercise! Building Good Documentation Most of what worked in our documentation came from discussing it beforehand. The developers split up and brainstormed what they would want to see if they were reading new the technical…

Continue Reading

Film

Arrival (2016) – Character Study Moving the Plot

January 3, 2017

The film Arrival, released late 2016, was what feels like the first good movie I’ve seen in theatres in recent memory. The plot follows linguistics professor Louise Banks as she is tasked with interpreting the language of aliens who touch down on Earth. Whereas we usually see establishing shots or what the protagonist sees, in Arrival, we mostly see Louise. News stations cover the alien crafts, but we are looking at her reactions. The aliens do an action and we see her watch.…

Continue Reading

Blogging

Making Decisions Around Blog Topics

December 27, 2016

Making decisions around what to write about can be a difficult task, especially if you’re writing without a specific purpose. That can be the difficulty with something like a blog. I had thought I would write about business, as I’m constantly learning new things that are worth sharing. But, that topic has been discussed more thoroughly by more experienced people. And the other things I want to talk about – mostly movies – wouldn’t really fit with that theme. Therefore, I’ve decided…

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship leadership

Being Mindful of Feedback with Snowballs

December 7, 2016

It’s tough to be mindful of the feedback we give and receive. We’re humans, and humans are fallible – even mild feedback can seem harsh if it’s perceived to come from a place of hostility, or if we feel like we’re somehow threatened by the person giving it. However, feedback is inevitable, so it’s our duty as compassionate human beings to make sure that it’s taken and received as best as possible. The Snowball Imagine you’re standing at the top of a snowy hill holding a…

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship

Leading Meetings

November 24, 2016

Leading meetings can be tough if you have a group of analytical minds around the table. People who like to process what they hear thoroughly can sometimes refrain from speaking until they’re totally ready. This can lead to a meeting dominated by a few vocal team members, which can dissuade others from adding their valuable input. This can be a problem when you need your whole team creatively thinking around solutions. Leading Meetings with Purpose Approaching every part of a meeting analytically and with purpose…

Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship X Life

Serendipity

November 16, 2016

The story of the CEO of my current venture and I meeting seems almost unbelievable in retrospect. Kaela, the CEO in question, is an Australian who’s been living in Toronto running in-school experiences for the last ~10 years. She decided to ask a freelance website developer she had working for her, Zeshan, if she knew any young technologists who needed a job. Zeshan is an aspiring developer from India who did schooling in Nigeria before coming to Toronto. Also, as…

Continue Reading

Personal

Beginnings

November 13, 2016

I’m currently working on a product called X Life, a daily self-regulation and key life skill tool for school communities. It’s my third serious foray into the worlds of startups and education. My introduction to the company was unnaturally serendipitous, and the job feels like a culmination of everything I’ve learned over the years – startups, technology and working with children. When I began studying computer science, I stopped working as a swim instructor/lifeguard at camps and began hanging around the Digital Media Zone, a startup incubator in…

Continue Reading