Updated on January 8, 2017
I can’t believe Q3 (July, August, September) is over! The weather is getting cooler, light jackets are back in use, but still enjoying a few hours of sunshine. I’m reviewing the quarter that was — what went well and what would make them even better.
Techweek Toronto – July 25-28, 2016 – Mars Discovery District and Berkeley Church
— Marie Casas (@mariecasasTO) July 28, 2016
Got to see the beautiful Berkeley Church and Mars Discovery District. I visited the booths at the startup pitch contest, the hiring fair, and an amazing day of tech panels. Techweek’s Amanda Signorelli and her amazing team celebrated women in technology with a great breakfast event where I got to meet some awesome ladies. The panel discussions covered relevant topics on tech startups and entrepreneurship. I got to see who’s who in the local tech scene. It was pretty cool to meet Ben of Instigator Blog, a website I followed from way back in my Startup Philippines / Pinoy Web Startup days. Life-changing as well was connecting with Markus Latzel of Palomino (WebPal), one of the panelists.
OK, not related to digital but absolutely essential to adulting! What an absolutely educational and practical program run by the Toronto Public Health! Our group had a very informative moderator named Ana Lina. Over a span of 6 weeks we discussed the Canada Food Guide, grocery shopping, and food safety guidelines. Every week we would try a new recipe that I immediately tried after our session. I appreciate how the course has shortened my learning curve with adapting my meal-making repertoire to what’s locally available. My favourite is yogurt parfait!
Freelancing 101 – August 15, 2016 at BrainStation
Dan O’Donnell was generous with sharing his framework for working with clients. I found myself nodding along and relating to a lot of what he said about scope, pricing, handling client discussions. What will make you stand out is understanding user requirements and managing and clarifying expectations. At first, you might not necessarily be able to estimate accurately your hours but as you work on projects more often, you can specialize and you become more efficient.
I’ve been using Sketch since it first came out, mostly for manipulating images, graphic design. So when I got the RED Academy email about a Sketch Basics workshop for UX design, I thought what a fabulous opportunity to learn some new tricks! I usually learn these tools on-the-job so it was nice to try the classroom mode of instruction. The classroom setup at RED does seem to foster collaboration and the quality of instruction was remarkable.
Tech Toronto – September 19, 2016 at RBC WaterPark Place
I got to see what #TechTO is all about! Including a chair yoga session. What a great level of energy and enthusiasm Alex, Jason, and Marianne get! I want Jason’s hoverboard!
Some takeaways (far too many!) There are many more markets outside of US and Canada that you can expand to. Plan for lean, mean expansion. Design for growth, internationalization, localization. Median time to IPO is 7-8 years, so you better choose well when you decide what you startup idea you commit to.
Intro to HTML and CSS Workshop – September 14 & 21, 2016 at HackerYou
— Marie Casas (@mariecasasTO) September 15, 2016
I felt right at home volunteering as a Technical Mentor for this Ladies Learning Code workshop. Just like my days at Philippine Web Designers Organization or when I was coaching junior designers. I loved seeing the faces of the participants light up when they made their webpage background change color or when I guided them through debugging. I’d love to volunteer here again.
Sales & Marketing Connections Info Session at ACCES Mississauga
My friend UX MVP Regnard gave glowing recommendations about ACCES so I finally gave them a visit. They have programs that support newcomers in shortening the learning curve for adapting to the Canadian workplace. This specific program is for newcomers with at least 3 years of sales and marketing experience outside of Canada. Quite a trek from where I’m staying but well worth it.
Look out Q4!
I’m really excited about all the buzz, the exposure, the people, the ideas from the events I got to attend. I’m definitely on the lookout for more quality learning sessions and maybe ways I can contribute.
Feeling thankful I’m in a meetup and talent-rich city! Happy Thanksgiving!