Monday, September 18, 2006

Software Professional Groups in Toronto

I was driving to our Desing Patterns Study group the other day, and that's what I though with a smile: one of Toronto natural beauties is great software professional community. We got so many smart and nice people who self-organize into various professional interest groups. Let me share with you my personal "keyhole" view to what groups do we have around.

XP/Agile Toronto - I've been enjoying active participation in this group since 2003. Over this time the group changed few skins and meeting locations, but it remains vital and passionate. The group feature presentation and discussion with thought leaders in the industry, like Craig Larman, Joshua Kerievsky, Ken Schwaber, as well as many local Agile talents. It is currently Lawrence Ludlow who keeps the group moving. Discussion meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month. Current location is George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre at Ryerson University.

SCRUM Toronto - I think of it as a subset of XpToronto. It mostly comprises Certified Scrum Masters in GTA who throw eventual posts on Yahoo group mail list and get together for a dinner before XpToronto meetings, where you can meet most of them.

TPMA - Toronto Product Management Association. Clear from the name, this group is more inclined to Project Management and Marketing. The crowd is strong and diverse. Meetings are regular on last Tuesday each month at Metro Hall (55 John Street). Meetings are $20 at the door and free for members; membership is $100/year.

Toronto SPIN - Software Process Improvements Network. I visited one of their event on RUP and it was good, featuring two seasoned consultants from IBM Rational. But when I checked their web site recently, they appeared to go belly up. It's a pity.

TASSQ, the Toronto Association of System and Software Quality, is of more interest to software testers and QA. I never visited it, but rumors are it is more "planned school" participants, however they have very progressive speakers, thanks and credits to Michael Bolton who is a Program Chair there. The group meets for dinner on the last Tuesday of every month (except December, July, and August) Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen Street West, across from New City Hall. The price for attending a meeting is $35 for members and $50 for non-members, the membership is $85/year (do your math).

DPSG, Design Patters Study Group Toronto, is initiated by my friend Fernando Cuenca as a book study group. A small team of programmers and architects collectively storm fundamental books on software development. They gather every second Thursday, in the meeting room of the World's Biggest Bookstore (20 Edward Str., near Yonge & Dundas.) This season is going to be exciting at DPSG: we are reading Refactoring to Patterns by Joshua Kerievsky.

I am absolutely certain there are much more interesting groups around in GTA that worth mentioning in this list. I would appreciate your contributing with the info about such groups in the comments to this post or by emailing me at dz at

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At 9/18/2006 01:58:00 PM , Blogger Gerry Power said...

Thanks for the great list Dmitri! Should be a helpful resouce for those in the Toronto area looking to hookup with other like minded programmers.

I would add the Toronto Java User Group (JUG): It is fairly large, and centered around keynote presentations on recent / upcoming Java Technologies.


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