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The Importance of Dementia Awareness Among Technologists

Posted by on February 17, 2017 @ 2:03pm | 0 comments

Our populations are aging. Our populations have always been aging, yes, but it’s no secret that as large numbers of people age – and, notably, live longer – our governments, communities, and healthcare providers need to evolve to suit these new realities. By and large, our hospitals and senior care facilities are not equipped to care for the amount of new patients who require services. Yes, there are care homes and facilities specifically for those living with dementia and Alzheimer’s, however the cost of these options is sometimes, if not often, the barrier to receiving care. Additionally, rural and smaller communities often have incredibly well-trained staff, but dedicated care centres and facilities are often too far from family and community and are therefore not attractive options for those living with dementia. So, we face a dilemma – our healthcare infrastructure was not designed to manage this large a population (564,000 people in Canada are currently living with dementia) of people requiring such specific care. The focus, then, often becomes “How do we keep elderly people safe and comfortable in their homes for a longer period of time?” and “How do we provide an excellent standard of care to all those who need it, regardless of income/money or geography?” We think the answer to this question is technology. As we witness the rise of inclusive design, wearable technology, and healthtech, we see more and more practical, adoptable solutions to common problems. This showcases the impact of technology and applies new, outside-the-box thinking to ongoing challenges. While many in healthtech and tech spaces are working to address issues facing our seniors and aging populations, there’s a stigma surrounding elderly people and technology that can often deter technologists from focusing on the challenges they face. Many of us have an ‘I taught my parent/grandparent how to use a smartphone’ story; however, writing off seniors as tech-illiterate is a huge mistake with immeasurable consequences. If tech exists – or can be developed! – that makes senior care, dementia and Alzheimer’s care specifically, easier, safer, more efficient, then we should promote it! Instead of sticking with the attitude ‘elderly people won’t use this’, we should be thinking “How can I solve this problem with technology elderly people can use?” Not to mention, myriad caregivers including family members, personal support workers, nurses, doctors, specialists, and more who could be tremendously impacted by using new technologies. We often turn a blind eye to problems that aren’t directly our own; if you’ve never had a loved one living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, or don’t work in healthcare, it’s easy to avoid thinking about solving problems they face. Most technology revolves around making life more convenient, and that conversation often puts younger people/families at the forefront. But we should know and do better, so let’s not allow technology to abandon our aging populations. DementiaHack, the world’s foremost dementia hackathon, returns to Toronto March 4-5, 2017. Register now to create impactful solutions that could – quite literally – change...

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Tech That Helps us Daily

Posted by on February 9, 2017 @ 7:27pm | 0 comments

Where would we be without technology, honestly? It’s managed to weave its way into every aspect of my life, and I don’t think I’d have it any other way. I’ve got apps that distract, organize, create, and connect. Technology is more than just something we use to amuse ourselves. It can really help our lives on a daily basis, and has changed the way we interact with other people, yes, but also with our work and education. Tech can do good, and if we can use it effectively, we have the potential to change the world on a pretty grand scale. Why not start with ourselves? Innovation is said to have diminishing growth potential, which means that the more you innovate, the less potential for a product to innovate further. Once a product takes zero time and has zero cost, room for innovation on the product ends. That sounds horrible! I think we need to see this more as an opportunity than an ending. We have the potential to help others, and as long as that desire is real, there will be need for innovation. On that note, have you registered for DementiaHack yet? 😉 I thought it would be neat to highlight three great apps that help me in my daily life, because really, the best technology is always easy-to-use, helpful, and accessible! (Disclaimer: these are listed in no particular order and this should not be considered endorsement, just the author’s opinion on the products. We receive no compensation in exchange for these write-ups.) Google Sheets: This one is easy, simple, known by all, and used by a few. Spreadsheets have this horrible connotation of being a boring application for professionals only. However, this app makes it simple to create budgets, calendars, and a multitude of other tasks that can help you stay organized in any and every aspect of your life. The best part of it is, it’s free and syncs across all your devices. Personally, I use it for budgeting. I created a budget tracker on my desktop and as I go about my day, I fill it out on my mobile each time I spend. It’s completely customizable and seriously does the trick. Best of all, it’s totally based off my preferences. SoundHound: Ever have a song just stuck in your head with no way of figuring out what it is? This is where SoundHound excels. This app can recognize a song just by you humming it. Along with conventional functions such as recognizing songs playing in the background, and even following along with lyrics provided, this app can store your searches and even connect you to the services that provide the songs you find. See? Simple. Duolingo: I love this app! For anyone who’s been wanting to learn a language, this is a great jumping off point. Its gamification of learning a language allows you to play against other users and moves you from beginner to someone functional in the language. With over 22 different languages to choose from and more on the way, Duolingo can set you up for that next vacation. Try these out if you haven’t already! We’d love to hear your thoughts, and if you have apps that you think are great, let us know! You can comment below or join the...

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January Tech Social Pictures

Posted by on February 3, 2017 @ 9:15pm | 0 comments

Probably one of the coolest things about us (and there’re so many cool things about us) is that a Tech Social is a Tech Social is a Tech Social. That is to say, no matter where in the world it takes place, the vibe is the same – great people, a nifty office somewhere, and awesome conversation. Oh, and an occasional beverage or slice of pizza. 😉 But a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Check it out! Toronto Kitchener-Waterloo Boston Ottawa Vancouver Have an awesome pic from a Tech Social you want to share with us? Email [email protected] and be sure to let us know where you took...

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The Flatiron School and HackerNest Web Development Scholarship

Posted by on January 26, 2017 @ 5:57pm | 0 comments

The Flatiron School and HackerNest Web Development Scholarship

Exciting announcement for those interested in learning to code! We’ve partnered with the Flatiron School, an outcomes-focused coding bootcamp, to offer one full scholarship and nine 50% scholarships to their Online Web Developer Program! Here are the details: One scholarship recipient will receive a full scholarship. Monthly tuition of $1500 $750 with financing available for 9 finalist scholarship recipients. Get your questions answered in real-time by our instructional team. Direct feedback from instructors via code reviews and 1:1 project critiques. Job Guarantee, plus comprehensive Career Coaching, for students in the U.S. 800+ hours of rigorous coursework proven to get students jobs as developers. Learn at your own pace on our community-driven Online Campus, Learn.co. If it sounds too good to be true, we’ve got news for you: It isn’t! Any member of HackerNest’s community is eligible to apply. All you’ve got to do is fill out this simple application! Applications will be accepted until February 9th. Good luck!...

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RBC Sponsors HackerNest Throughout North America

Posted by on January 24, 2017 @ 2:39pm | 0 comments

Starting January 2017, we are thrilled to announce a partnership between RBC and HackerNest to promote over 16 cities in North America. “We’re proud that RBC – a huge household name – is sponsoring HackerNest across North America,” says Shaharris Beh, CEO of HackerNest. By sponsoring these communities, RBC helps further the HackerNest mission of economic development through technology.  We’re building a community around the people, engaging with technology, and endeavouring to make an impact in our world for the better, regardless of location, skill level, coding language, or area of focus. Harnessing these minds can lead to fantastic ideation; such as we’ve seen through our incredible hackathons every year. By empowering and building local tech communities throughout North America and around the world, we’re also strengthening and encouraging individuals to connect with one another and create! Brilliant products and fantastic ideas have been born from Tech Socials and HackerNest tech communities, and it’s this big thinking that builds and supports our economies. We’re so happy to have RBC on board, and look forward to the great work we’ll do together. ...

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HackerNest turns 6!

Posted by on January 11, 2017 @ 12:01am | 0 comments

HackerNest turns 6!

We’re super excited: 11.1.2017 marks 6 years of HackerNest. Happy birthday, everyone! Thank you for being part of our growing movement that builds local tech communities (globally). Your support, the camaraderie at our events, and the great collective you’ve helped us build compels us to do more. Organizers & Volunteers: The time and effort you’ve spent building stronger local ecosystems deserves the highest applause. Let’s keep rocking 2017 together. Sponsors: We truly appreciate your support for our local community events, hackathons, and other initiatives — thank you, thank you, and thank you. Community Partners: Thank you for sharing your channels and events to help spread the word on community. So awesome. Last but not least, props to our nimble HackerNest HQ Core Team and Advisory Board in Toronto and the US: thank you for fighting the good fight with us. Go team! Below are some HackerNest highlights — we did a lot in 2016, but not as much as we’ll do in 2017. Exciting times! Hope all is well with you and yours, Shaharris CEO, HackerNest ***************************************************** To see this full newsletter, click here.  ***************************************************** DementiaHack The world’s foremost dementia hackathon, presented by Facebook, championed by the UK Government, hosted at MaRS, and produced by HackerNest returns March 4-5, 2017. Hundreds will build products to help those living with dementia and their caregivers. When they win, we all win. ——— Tech Socials Our unpretentious, agenda-free Tech Socials continue to grow internationally. These down-to-earth, in-person community events bring passionate technologists together to make new friends — not ‘network’. Like a home away from home, you’ll fit right in. Check here for one in a city near you. ——— 2016 Highlights Tech Socials. We produced 170+ events in 33 cities across 14 countries on 5 continents for our almost-50,000 members around the world. Civic Pride. Mayor John Tory proclaimed July 26th “Tech Community Day” at our Toronto City Hall Tech Social. Special Events. We ran the CourtHack US Justice System hackathon with the National Center for State Courts in Salt Lake City and the Hack4Equality LGBTQ hackathon with Grindr in Los Angeles. Recognition. We were presented with the B. Damyanova Award for Corporate & Social Responsibility by the Tufts University Institute for Global Leadership at their 31st EPIIC Symposium. Read more. ——— The United Nations HackerNest was conferred Special Consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Our recently published statement outlines strategies and tactics for the eradication of poverty and achieving sustainable development for all. Read it here. ——— The White House We engaged with and demoed at the White House for the Obama administration’s Opportunity Project, a federal/local open data initiative encouraging and empowering Americans to build tools that improve access to opportunity for their communities. ——— Former Deputy Mayor, Toronto [email protected] Kelly @ the City Hall Tech Social. Tech Socials run in Canada, the US, and internationally. Our esteemed sponsors make all of this possible. Interested? Please [email protected] Passionate Volunteers Spearhead Community Growth! Join the hundreds of volunteers and organizers who band together every month to bring you awesome Tech Socials. They power the communities flourishing in dozens of cities and become pillars of the local tech scene. Please connect with us if you or someone you know is interested in...

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Developer 30 Under 30 Awards

Posted by on December 6, 2016 @ 7:48pm | 0 comments

Developer 30 Under 30 Awards

If you’re familiar with HackerNest’s local tech communities (of course you are! You’re here, aren’t you?) you probably know a lot of really awesome developers doing cool things in your city. With Canada’s surge in innovation and startup culture, there are so many amazing people working on projects which deserve more attention than they get! Now’s your chance to give a friend or coworker some adoration for the things they create. To solve this problem – the lack of recognition for Canada’s exceptional developers – Plastic Mobile’s CEO Sep Seyedi has created the inaugural Developer 30 Under 30 Awards! This fantastic initiative aims to identify and award the top 30 Developers from across the country, and will be announced in April, 2017. Winners will be chosen by a panel of expert judges from organizations including RBC, Holt Renfrew, TD, and Kijiji. “We rely on software every single day – from communicating with each other to getting around, at work, for fun – even to wake up on time. What would we do without it? We believe it’s time to celebrate these contributions and recognize the amazing talent moving our world forward,” states Seyedi. Aside: On the subject of daily software, we recently started using ProsperWorks, the only CRM recommended by Google. It is a simple, smart and easy to use CRM platform that helps you manage your data, streamline and scale sales processes, and get actionable insights, so you can sell more, faster. They’re sponsoring our Toronto Tech Socials this year and have really helped us keep track of things. Check ’em out! /aside The goal is to make the Developer 30 Under 30 Awards an annual celebration of Canadian tech talent! With more and more people across the country learning code, there won’t be any shortage of nominees this year, or in years to come. To nominate yourself or someone else, visit the Developer 30 Under 30 Awards page. The criteria are pretty straightforward: the nominee must live and work in Canada and have a birthday after April 1, 1987. Best of luck! We’d love to see some HackerNesters make the...

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Holiday Care Drive

Posted by on November 25, 2016 @ 7:03pm | 0 comments

Toronto is our home base, location of our head office and the first ever Tech Social, and the city in which most of HackerNest’s staff lives and plays. We love our home – even when it’s freezing! – and so many things about it. As everyone knows, a major problem in most urban centers is poverty and homelessness; it exists everywhere and many folks want to help, but don’t know how to get started. This holiday season, we’ve teamed up with Lighthouse Labs to collect donations for WoodGreen Community Services. This local organization serves 37,000 people per year in Toronto, creating new paths of opportunity for Torontonians. We’ll be putting together stockings full of necessities, and WoodGreen Community Services will deliver them to those who need a little help. If you’re joining us at the HackerNest Toronto Tech Social this Monday at Info-Tech, bring along a donation to help someone in need! We’ll have a collection bin near registration, and we’re counting on our amazing HackerNest Toronto community members (that’s you!) to make a small donation of some of the following items. Personal care products (toothbrush/paste, shampoo, body wash, chapstick) • Feminine hygiene products • Cough drops • Deodorant • Hats • Socks • Mittens • Hand sanitizer • Flashlights • Reusable water bottles • School supplies • And more! RSVP for the Toronto Tech Social, and we’ll see you Monday to hand out high fives to everyone who adds even one item to the bin. Head to your local dollar store and spend a few bucks to help someone in need; it’s what the holidays are all...

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