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Tech Leader Panel - Challenges of Growing a Dev Organization

This month, Achievers Tech Talks has roped in some of the most sought-after leaders in the Toronto Tech community to host what promises to be an engaging discussion. Come join us as we grill our panelists on one of the most burning topics inside today's tech companies; challenges of growing a dev organization.

Peter Daly - VP Engineering, Achievers

Peter has an exemplary track record of delivering large scale information technology solutions to customers in Health, Financial Services, e-commerce and Telecom markets.  He recently joined the Achievers team in February 2013 with the primary goal of growing and scaling their development organization.

Jason Primeau - Director of Development, OANDA

Jay's first task at OANDA was to put his desk and computer together. His second task was to re-craft the entire trading platform UI. Since then, Jay has been in the unique position of having grown a grass-roots development team to one praised by Wired Magazine as one of the top ten places to work outside of Silicon Valley. Having gone through the trials and tribulations of implementing development best practices, methodologies, and strategies where none previously existed, Jay has an in-depth understanding of what makes (or breaks) development teams. The development team that Jay directs can deploy 100+ releases a week to a production environment where billions of dollars are traded every day.

James Lochrie - Chief Product Officer & Co-Founder, Wave Accounting

James has been in the accounting world for almost 20 years, with experience both in accounting product development and working directly with small business owners on their businesses. Prior to the launch of Wave, James led the technology and development team of one of Canada's most successful small business accounting firms.

Oleg Gutsol - Co-Founder & CEO, 500px

Oleg has integrated three of his passions — photography, software development, and business — into one of the world’s most successful and fastest growing global photo platforms. Prior to 500px, he was a software developer and designer who worked on creating user-first experiences for websites, mobile, and social networking apps. He wrote the initial code for 500px and set the standard for its high quality design and simple, elegant interface. Originally from the Ukraine, Oleg studied Applied Computer Science at Ryerson University, and while still a student, started his first internet business. Also, he is currently a mentor at Extreme Startups in Toronto

Register quickly as spaces are limited!  Doors will open at 6:00 and panel will begin at 6:30 sharp.

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  • Christian M.

    not enough time for all questions :-(

    June 2, 2013

  • Christian M.

    The question I wanted to ask was related to the discussion about great developers that would be bad managers and should stay close to technology. I was wondering how the panels companies make sure that long-time developers that are subject matter experts feel as much appreciated and valued as managers that are at the company for a shorter time or for the same time. And I mean both in terms of role/promotions and influence/value but also financially. Even on tech companies you sometimes feel that a manager that has been with the company for 5 years is valued more that a Developer with 10 years and who actually built Major parts of the product. I know from google that there product managers need to pitch to engineers, and engineers are as equal as possible to managers ... also in parallel hierachie structures.

    May 23, 2013

    • Yang Y.

      To have someone who communicates with business, has to worry about budgets and critical path, while trying to come up with a long term architectural plan with the best long term technology decisions, while trying to apply the right data structures and algorithms, is just not very productive, and also a waste of their own talents/time.

      1 · May 26, 2013

    • James L.

      I think the key thing here is to separate the distinction between management and responsibilities. Managers are responsible for managing people and results while developers are responsible for creating solutions and opportunities. It is a symbiotic relationship where both sides need to be great for a team to have a great result. For example I would never give a manager a pat on the back for delivering a scalable and reliable architecture, that praise goes to the development team but I would give the manager praise for delivering that project on time and on budget while keeping the team happy and productive and aligned with the company's objectives. Appreciation (or disapproval) for individuals should always be related to their individual responsibilities and not based wholly on a team's result.

      May 26, 2013

  • Robert H.

    Great talk. I had to leave before I had a chance to ask anyone on the panel: There is a limited supply of talented Canadian developers and many of the best students are looking for work outside of Canada.
    An estimated 350,000 Canadians alone currently live and work in the Valley* How are you able to find, and retain top Canadian tech talent? What are your insights and strategies for the future? *I got it from this article:

    May 23, 2013

    • James L.

      I don't believe the limited supply of talented developers is as big a problem in Canada like it is in the Valley. I think the primary issue is the opportunities available to those developers have been limited. We are seeing more and more people choose to stay in Canada and invest themselves in the emerging tech scene rather than go south. As long as there continues to be investment in Canadian tech and great companies are emerging the talent will stay at home. Our strategy at Wave is to give developers the same opportunities in Toronto as they would find in the Valley but still give them access to an extended network of technologists who are working at the world's best companies.

      May 26, 2013

  • Khoa N.

    Something came up :(

    May 23, 2013

  • David M.

    I am at CTIA in Las Vegas this week.

    May 22, 2013

  • Bilal K.

    I am looking forward to see what I can apply to

    April 15, 2013

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