A Home for Windsor's Tech Community

Be a Part of Open Data Windsor Essex


Tuesday, September 29th, Hackforge launched the Open Data Windsor-Essex community open data portal with the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Visit and explore the portal at ODWE.ca.

Open Data is data that can be freely used, reused, and redistributed by anyone. Governments of all levels have embraced open data in recent years to further transparency and accountability. Open Data Windsor Essex is introducing community open data through its new portal featuring data by the community, for the community.

We are inviting the community to take part in the portal.

Community Organizations:
Do you have data to share? We are looking for relevant community data that can be made publicly available (no sensitive or personal data). We can take archival data, on-going projects, or help in the development of future initiatives. Raw data is best, but we can work with data at any stage. Be ready for others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially!


We invite programmers to help the community data initiative by taking on an Open Data Windsor Essex dataset project, assist in the development of the ODWE Portal, report errors or problems, and use the data in their own work. If you are interested in helping as a developer, contact info@hackf.org.

Community Members:
We encourage the community to get involved in open data! Use the data in research, advocacy, education, journalism. Take part in hackathons. Support open data projects and keep Open Data in mind while creating.


See more about the ODWE Launch below:


Freelancer October Brings Celebration and Support


Continuing the Rebooting Windsor series, Hackforge and WEtech Alliance are hosting two events in October to highlight and support the work of freelancers in Windsor.

First, “Rebooting Windsor: Freelancer Panel” on October 21st will discuss on how self-employment is changing our local economy. This discussion will be held at the downtown Green Bean Cafe from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

Then, October 27th at Hackforge, a night of practical advice with “Freelancer Toolkit: Self-Employed Self-Care / ‘Ask a Freelancer.

The panelists for the October 21st Freelancer Panel include Ward 4 Councillor, Chris Holt; WEtech President and CEO, Yvonne Pilon; and local visual artist Greg Maxwell. The panel will be moderated by Hackforge President, Doug Sartori. They will be discussing self-employment, the advent of the Gig Economy, and how Windsor can better support this type of worker.

Tuesday, October 27th, Hackforge, in partnership with WEtech, will be hosting a companion event, “Freelancer Toolkit: Self-Employed Self-Care / ‘Ask a Freelancer” from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Hackforge (255 Ouellette). For the first hour, Beth Anne Turnovan, Manager of Counselling & Employee Assistance Program from Family Services Windsor Essex, will be hosting a talk on stress management and work/life balance for self-employed workers. The next hour will feature an informal “Ask a Freelancer” session, where a group of seasoned freelancers will answer practical questions from the audience and Twitter about the challenges of Freelancing.

The Rebooting Windsor series aims to highlight the changing Windsor economy and culture with a special emphasis on technology. While these events are great for tech based workers, they are general in topic.

The October 21st “Rebooting Windsor: Freelancer Panel” is free to the public. Light snacks will be provided thanks to the support of WEtech. ““Freelancer Toolkit: Self-Employed Self-Care / ‘Ask a Freelancer” will be $10 admission or free for Hackforge or WEtech members.


Rebooting Windsor: Freelancer Panel
Downtown Green Bean Cafe (300 Ouellette Ave)
Wednesday, October 21: 7-9PM
Facebook Event

Freelancer Toolkit: Self-Employed Self-Care / ‘Ask a Freelancer’
Hackforge (255 Ouellette)
Tuesday, October 27: 6-8PM
Facebook Event



Open Data Windsor Essex Portal Launch – Speaker: Alex B. Hill


Open Data Windsor-Essex is launching our community open data portal. Tuesday, September 29th from 7:00PM to 9:00PM, guest speaker from DETROITography, Alex B. Hill, will help us kick off this exciting new community initiative at Hackforge (255 Ouellette).

Open Data is data that can be freely used, reused, and redistributed by anyone. Governments of all levels have embraced open data in recent years to further transparency and accountability. Open Data Windsor Essex is introducing our new portal featuring data by the community, for the community.

Detroit speaker Alex B. Hill will be talking about “Giving Data Empathy.” Detroit has big numbers, big data, and big problems. “Open data is a critical movement that is a must-have for anyone who hopes to impact people’s lives with data,” says Hill, “the next step of that movement is to join data with empathy for people-centered innovation.” Alex Hill is the founder of DETROITography and is currently coordinating the Detroit Food Map which is mapping nutritional access of Detroit grocery stores, corner stores, and farmers markets.

The launch will bring together community partners who have made their raw data sets available through the portal, including Ford City Neighbourhood Renewal, Pathway to Potential, and Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. Engaged citizens and community groups can learn about how they can use open data and participate in the project.


Open Data Windsor Essex is proudly founded by The Ontario Trillium Foundation.



Software Guild: The Junior Developer’s Survival Guide



Software Guild: Monthly Gathering of Programmers
Wednesday, September 30: 6:30-9:00 PM
6:30PM: Doors
7:00PM: James York’s “The Junior Developer’s Survival Guide” Talk
8:00PM: Hang Out

The Junior Developer’s Survival Guide
Are you new to the professional world of software development? Do you have new developers on your team? Are you wondering why college and the School of Hard Knocks did such a bad job preparing you to be a functional member of a high-performing team?

Take some advice from a former junior dev who has walked the path and learn to avoid rookie mistakes. Learn the skills employers value and how to get them. We will discuss quick return actions that can be undertaken immediately, as well as long term, slow-burn investments in your career.

This session will focus on technical and interpersonal advice to help make your first job search, entry-level hire, and first year as a developer go smoothly. A great career won’t just fall into your lap. It takes dedication, skill, persistence, and more than a little luck. Happily, we make our own luck.

Great for students and those new to the programming work world!

James York is a musician-turned-software-developer who is like a knowledge TARDIS. He currently builds and teaches JavaScript curriculum for Grand Circus in Detroit, Mi. He has previously built web apps for cars, webapps for the … the web, and worked on an enterprise service bus, which even he has trouble describing.

Passionate about helping others find their way into software, James spends his spare time mentoring local software newbies and volunteering with Girl Develop It. He also co-founded a user group dedicated to software craftsmanship in downtown Detroit called the Detroit Craftsman Guild. He loves good chocolate chip cookies, bad kung fu movies, and is still waiting for Gandalf to invite him on an adventure.


Facebook Event 

September Hackforge Events


Hackforge Movie Fundraiser: Spaceballs (1987)
Tuesday, September 8: 8PM
May the Schwartz be with you!
Spaceballs is Mel Brooks’ classic 80s sci-fi spoof.
10$ admission supports Hackforge and includes popcorn and pop. Free for Hackforge members!
Facebook Event

Board Game Night
RESCHEDULED: Tuesday, September 22nd – 6-9PM
Join us for a night of board games and card games. Beginners welcome.

StartUp Windsor
Wednesday, September 16: 6-9PM LOCATION CHANGED: 490 Pelissier
Come grab a drink, meet some new people, and share your entrepreneurial experiences and ideas.
Facebook Event

Open Data Windsor Essex Portal Launch
Tuesday, September 29 @ Hackforge
Exciting announcement and launch! Stay tuned.

Software Guild
Wednesday, September 30: 7-9PM
Monthly group for professional computer programmers.
Evening includes technical talks and networking.

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