nerdlearn – Hardware Hacking for Software Devs


#nerdlearn – Hardware Hacking for Software Devs

Thursday, January 24, 6pm to 9pm 

425 Adelaide St. West, #300 (panel begins at 6:30pm)

The Working Group

Come out to a panel discussion, where you’ll #nerdlearn all about hardware from Toronto hardware hackers and startup founders. 

Our amazing panelists will talk about how to get started, the cool physical things you can build with atoms, and the future of hardware startups, all geared toward software developers. The panelists are all bringing in something they’ve built to show off. Remember show-and-tell in grade school? This is way better.

The Story

You’re a software developer, and like usual, when a new tech trend hits, you’re eager to jump in. So when hardware became all the rage, you had big dreams of all the amazing physical things you were going to build.
So you bought an Arduino or a Raspberry Pi and sat down to build. A short while later, you realized you’d forgotten everything you ever knew about circuits, stashed your new hardware aside, and felt guilty as you watched it collect dust.
If the story above sounds familiar, then come on out, bring your nerdy friends, and have some pizza and beer while #nerdlearning all about hardware: getting started, getting awesome, and the hardware startup trends!

The Panelists

Pearl Chen

From HTML to LEDs, or Android to Arduino — Pearl takes on a cross-disciplinary approach to her work. Pearl was most recently the Senior Manager Research & Technology at the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab and is now working independently as an educator teaching web development, Android, and electronics — while also building tools for other educators. She runs regular workshops, which you can check out here. Her Intro to Arduino Programming workshop is coming up on January 19th. Alongside contributing to open source educational resources hosted on Github, Pearl is a published author and contributed the NFC and Open Accessory API chapters to Professional Android Sensor Programming published by Wrox. 

Rob Platek

Rob has been a software developer for over 20 years. He has always been fascinated with hardware/software interactions and how software can affect things in the real world, and is sharing that interest with the Toronto community by co-organizing the #InternetofThings Meetup group. An entrepreneur at heart, Rob has been running his own consulting company since 2008. He’s also the co-founder and CEO of, a startup changing the way you find help for jobs you need done. Think of it like Expedia for local services. Recently, Rob merged his passion for hardware and software, with his latest startup, SensorSuite’s low cost wireless sensors, in conjunction with the SensorSuite cloud sensor monitoring software, allow users to monitor various aspects of their business and personal environments.

Shaun Rossi

Shaun has been busy running Fidalia, a networking company and an Internet service provider, since 2001. He is no stranger to IP routing, switching and infrastructure deployment with high-speed copper, optical cable and microwave communications. His latest effort has been enabling his own electrical circuit designs to participate on the Internet to interact with servers and other devices via radio, wire and 2G/3G cellular IP connectivity. Shaun has assisted a few startup operations with systems and prototype design. We’ve been told he’s quite the hardware hacker on the side as well, and has several cool home projects installed. You can look forward to hearing about his batman lights. 

Panel Details

Our #nerdlearn panels are always very casual. We’ll start the night off with pizza, beer, and mingling. The panel will begin at 6:30pm, and will run for about an hour. Although we do have a general plan for the discussion, we encourage you to get involved throughout the hour, ask our panelists tough questions, and shout out your opinions. The more you #nerdlearn, the happier our panelists are! If you want to bring along some developer friends, feel free to send along this invite!
Media Mayor Inc.
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