A Home for Windsor's Tech Community

Hackforge is Hiring an Open Source Project Community Manager!

This internship opportunity is presented as part of the “Digital Skills for Youth” program coordinated by the Independent Media Arts Alliance and funded by the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

This is an opportunity for under-employed or unemployed Canadian youth to learn web app development, project management, and community organization skills.

Windsor Hackforge is looking to fill the role of Pytheas Promoter. This person will act as an ambassador for and manager of Pytheas, an open source codebase used for creating walking tours. This position involves reviewing code, managing development tasks, public speaking, and writing code. It is intended as a learning opportunity, with some on-the-job training provided. As a developer advocate, the ability to clearly explain concepts is imperative. In this role you will be helping other software engineers to get the most out of Pytheas through documentation writing, live/online presentations, and answering direct questions. 

Our ideal candidate has experience with JavaScript – particularly React. They also have strong communication skills and are able to take directions and then work independently. The ability to problem solve, think critically, and communicate clearly are assets.

Throughout the 15-week internship, the Pytheas Promoter will receive experience in and training on project management and software development, including branching strategies, virtual machines, and software testing.

For more information on Pytheas, visit the Github repo.

Required Competencies: English (both written and spoken),  JavaScript, React.js, DNS, HTTP, Git, HTML, CSS

Desired Experience: Training or experience as a software developer, communicator or project manager in the software industry. This is an entry level position, so training alone is acceptable. 

Contract Length: 15 weeks (mid-December 2023 to late March, 2024)

Hours: 15/week, flexible

Pay: $30/hour

Location: Downtown Windsor, Ontario, Canada (most work can be done remote, but some in-person time is ideal)

Educational Background: be enrolled in or have completed education in computer science, communication studies, or a related field.

Funding Requirements:

  • Be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the internship;
  • Be legally entitled to work in Canada (either a citizen, permanent resident or person with refugee status – work permits are not eligible);
  • Self-identify as underemployed (i.e. employed below their level of education, holding part-time employment, or in emerging fields with few jobs);

Please send CV + cover letter to: info@hackf.org by December 11, 2023

Interviews will be held on December 14th

Windsor Hackforge is committed to equity and diversity in the delivery of services and our work environment.  Members from equity-seeking groups including Women, Indigenous Persons, Members of Racialized Groups, Persons with Disabilities and Persons of Diverse Gender Identities, Gender Expressions and Sexual Orientations, and groups protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code are encouraged to apply and to self-identify in their resume and/or cover letter. Hackforge is committed to a recruitment process and work environment that is inclusive and barrier free. If you require assistance with your application, please contact Hackforge Managing Director Lauren Hedges at lauren@hackf.org, or 888-960-7641 ext. 4

November 2023

End of Year Mixer

Friday, November 17th, @ 7PM In-Person Only

Get ready to party at our End of Year Mixer! It’s a fun, laid-back gathering where we’ll grab a beer and celebrate the highlights of the year, while we hang out with old pals and make some new friends.

Join us for good vibes, laughter, and a toast to what’s next in the year ahead. Whether you’re new to Hackforge or have been around for a while, if you’re interested in tech this is a relaxed get-together you won’t want to miss!

Location: Craft Heads Brewing, 89 University Ave. W (SE corner of University and Pelissier)

Cost: Free

Winfosec: OWASP Top 10 – Software and Data Integrity Failures

Monday November 20th, @ 7PM Hybrid

We’re back! After a long hiatus, Winfosec will resume its series on the OWASP Top 10, exploring number eight: Software and Data Integrity Failures. Come to learn how you can get in trouble running code from untrusted sources and with deserializing untrusted input. As always we’ll show a live exploit and mitigation for the threat.

This will be a hybrid event – so feel free to join us virtually via Zoom or in-person at Hackforge HQ (300 Ouellette, Unit 210).

There is no cost to participate. If you’d like to review past Winfosec sessions, check out the Youtube playlist.

Introduction to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for WordPress

Thursday, August 24th, @ 1:30PM Online Only & 7pm Hybrid

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means different things to different people, but the ultimate question that is asked by virtually every website owner is a simple one: 

]How do we ensure that prospective customers or users are finding us when using online search, and ideally doing so before they discover competitors or alternatives? 

This workshop introduces the core concepts behind Search Engine Optimization, including the 4 main pillars of SEO and how each one contributes to your website’s search ranking. We’ll then take an introductory tour of the premier SEO plugin for WordPress: Yoast SEO. You’ll learn how to leverage this plugin effectively to improve your website’s SEO posture.

There will be 2 times for this event:1:30 pm (virtual only) and 7pm (hybrid)

There is no cost to attend, and everyone is welcome!

Linux Users Group Meetup

Wednesday, November 29th, @ 7PM In-Person Only

Come be a part of our upcoming Linux Users Group social gathering! This month, we’re delving into the fascinating realm of self-hosting and the quest for digital independence. Our discussions will center around key topics such as Bitwarden, Nextcloud, network administration, cybersecurity, VPNs, and much more. Join the conversation as we navigate the self-hosting landscape together!

Location: Hackforge HQ (300 Ouellette Ave, Unit 210)

Video Game Swap

Saturday, December 2nd @ 12PM In-Person Only

If you have some finished video games you’d like to trade in for something new (to you!) come out to Hackforge’s Video Game Swap on Saturday, December 2!

Running from 12 – 3pm, this free, in-person event is a chance to practice your bartering skills while refreshing your game collection. All systems are welcome, and we’ll even have some stations set up to play/practice/test out everyone’s wares!

This event will also include special guests who are filming a TV pilot on video games and the people who love them – participation in this part of the event is completely optional though, so don’t let it put you off!

Please note that while we do welcome those under 16 years of age to attend, they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

WIFF Screening Data

Like many in Windsor-Essex, Hackforge is excited for the return of WIFF! This annual celebration of film is a fantastic way to experience new films that explore languages, cultures, themes, and stories that we might not find in commercial theatres or on our regular streaming services.

While perusing this year’s list of screenings, we decided that we needed to see the information in a different way. Sure, show times and film synopses are interesting, but we wanted to know how many countries contributed films, how many different languages we might hear throughout the festival, and what the total runtime of the entire festival is.

So, naturally, we created a database and ran some calculations. Note that this is based only on feature-length film screenings, and does not include the 48-Hour Flickfest or WIFF Local Shorts.

Overall, we found 186 unique titles, spread across 13 genres. Dramas and Documentaries are the most common genres this year, comprising 32.8% and 30.7% of overall screenings, respectively.

Number of Films Per Genre

  • Drama – 61
  • Documentary – 57
  • Comedy – 33
  • Biography – 8
  • Adventure – 5
  • Action – 4
  • Crime – 4
  • Horror – 4
  • Romance – 3
  • Animated – 2
  • Family – 2
  • Thriller – 2
  • Science Fiction – 1

At least 32 countries are represented on-screen this year. Some films didn’t include any country of origin, while others listed multiple.

Based on the number of times each country shows up in the list, France and the USA are the most common contributors, at 46 films each. Canada comes in close behind with 42 domestic inclusions. Following in a far fourth place is the UK with 14.

Just so we’re clear – we don’t like assuming that 36% of films are being shown in English.

Similar to countries, many languages can be represented in a single film, and in some cases language was not listed at all.

In instances where we have first-hand knowledge of the movie (ie The Lord of the Rings trilogy), we added the language ourselves, otherwise we left it blank.

Using this methodology, almost 28% of films being screened at WIFF 2023 include French, and roughly 18% include English. However, if we were to assume that any film that did not list its language will be screening in English, that number climbs to over 54%.

When going to see a film at WIFF, depending on the screening you’ll have 1, 2, or (very rarely) 3 timing options to choose from.

Of the 186 movies being shown, only 3 of them have 3 screenings, while the majority (102), have 2 screenings.

Overall, there are 294 different feature-length film screenings in Downtown Windsor between October 26 and November 5.

These screenings will be happening across three venues and four screens: The Performance Hall at The Armouries (AKA The University of Windsor’s School of Creative Arts); The Chrysler Theatre, located in the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts; and the Pentastar and Kelly Theatres within the Capitol Theatre.

Most of the movies being shown do not have official ratings. This can happen for a few reasons, and under Ontario law, it isn’t a problem. As of 2020, exhibitors are not required to include a film’s rating, but they are required to include information on the film’s content.

Still, WIFF gives rating information when it’s available – which admittedly isn’t often.

Overall, WIFF will be showing 511 hours and 7 minutes – or over 21 days! – of films during the course of this year’s festival.

That number does include the time of movies that will be shown multiple times, so if we want to talk about unique screen time, we’re looking at 327 hours and 44 minutes – or over 13 days – of films.

How much time do you plan to spend watching movies at this year’s Windsor International Film Festival?

October 2023

Videogame Enthusiasts Meetup

Friday, October 6th, @ 6 – 8 PM In-Person Only

We’re bringing together gamers of all ages and backgrounds, united by their love for gaming. Whether you’re into PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, or even retro consoles, you’ll find like-minded individuals to connect with. From action-packed shooters to immersive RPGs, there’s room for all game genres here.

Come prepared for an evening of gaming, chatting, and sharing your gaming experiences with fellow enthusiasts. Don’t forget to bring your controllers, consoles, memorabilia, and/or passion for gaming! All ages are welcome, but anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

This meetup is also acting as an information gathering session for a local production company who are making a TV episode about video games. There will be no official filming or interviews at this event, and attendees are not required to participate in the production. This is just a chance for networking, connecting, and learning. Questions? Reach out to Lauren@Hackf.org

Ontario’s Southwest Black Tourism “Spark” Program Launch Event

Wednesday, October 11th, @ 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM In-Person Only

Ontario’s Southwest Regional Tourism Organization, Southwestern Ontario Black Entrepreneurship Network, WEtech Alliance, Empowerment Squared, Libro Credit Union, Tourism Innovation Lab and partners would like to invite you to the official launch of the Ontario’s Southwest Black Tourism “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program.

The event will feature special guest speakers, a presentation about the Ontario’s Southwest Black Tourism “Spark” Program, and tourism industry networking opportunities.

The Ontario’s Southwest Black Tourism “Spark” Program will provide selected applicants with mentorship, $5,000 in seed funding and technology support, and additional partner resources to help them get started with their new tourism ideas.

A light lunch featuring Saila Vibes’ (Diva’s Delite) Caribbean specialties will be served. Diva’s Delite Caribbean and Canadian Cuisine (110 Chatham Street West Windsor, ON N9A 5M6)

Code Troubleshooting Workshop: Mastering the Art of Diagnosing and Fixing Problems

Thursday, October 12th, @ 6:30 – 8:30 PM Hybrid

Join us for an immersive learning experience at our “Code Troubleshooting Workshop: Mastering the Art of Diagnosing and Fixing Problems.” This event is designed for students, professionals, anyone interested in honing their troubleshooting skills when it comes to code. The ability to diagnose and rectify a problem is an asset to programmers at all levels. In this workshop, you’ll have the opportunity to witness live demonstrations of Doug Sartori diagnosing and solving real-world code problems. A seasoned instructor, Doug will walk you through the entire troubleshooting process, sharing valuable insights, strategies, and best practices along the way. Don’t miss this chance to enhance your programming expertise and gain the confidence to tackle any coding challenge that comes your way.

Join us at the “Code Troubleshooting Workshop” and unlock the secrets to becoming a code diagnostic and problem-solving expert. Reserve your spot today!

Everyone welcome, register via Zoom to receive the call link, or join us in-person at Hackforge HQ (300 Ouellette Ave, unit 210)

OSM: Mapping Party

Monday, October 16th, @ 5:30 – 6:30 PM In-Person Only

Get ready to map and mingle at the OSM: Mapping Party!

Join us in front of Harvey’s in the University Area for a fun group mapping adventure using Street Complete and Every Door apps. Whether you’re a mapping pro or just curious about creating maps, this event is for you! We’ll kick things off in front of Harvey’s, and you can grab some snacks and together we’ll explore our neighborhood and make our map more awesome. It’s a great way to connect with friendly folks, discover new places, and contribute to the world of maps.Don’t miss out on the OSM: Mapping Party – it’s going to be a blast!

Monday, October 16th, from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. At the intersection of Wyandotte Street and California Avenue


Linux Users’ Group: Container Workshop

Thursday, October 19th, @ 7 – 9 PM In-Person Only

Step into our Container Workshop, where we’ll immerse ourselves in the world of containers using Podman. Get ready for hands-on learning, as we cover container essentials, container creation, custom image crafting, and more!

Don’t forget to bring your laptop for a fully interactive experience.

Date: Thursday, October 19

Time: 7 – 9 PM

Location: Hackforge HQ (300 Ouellette, Unit 210)

Trees From Techies

Hackforge has teamed up with LaSalle-based Avinus Web Services to present “Trees from Techies,” an initiative aimed at raising funds to support reforestation of Canadian lands impacted by wildfires. The organizations are looking to raise $1000 by the end of October.

The “Trees from Techies” fundraiser represents a significant opportunity for tech enthusiasts, professionals, and companies to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. By contributing to this initiative, they can help restore ecosystems, mitigate climate change, and protect biodiversity.

The fundraiser is being managed through One Tree Planted, which promises to plant one tree for every dollar raised. An official partner of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, One Tree Planted is an established and  trustworthy facilitator of this endeavour. 

Each year, Avinus Web Services donates a portion of their profits to charity. For 2023 they have chosen to support reforestation efforts, and are inviting peers and clients to join in. “Technical professions are often thought of as being as far removed from nature as you can get,” says Sherri Wheeler, owner of Avinus. “So inspiring my fellow technical colleagues along with our friends and communities is a fun way to reconnect to the environment and each other.” 

Windsor Hackforge focuses on building and connecting the regional tech community, and is proud to help spread this campaign to their network. 

To learn more and make a donation, visit: https://forest-fundraiser.raisely.com/treesfromtechies

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