Canada’s first 30 under 30 for developers created by mobile marketing agency

Canada’s millennial developers will soon have their own 30 under 30 list thanks to the efforts of a Toronto-based mobile marketing agency.

Plastic Mobile is putting out the call for its first ever Developer 30 under 30 awards with a deadline of Dec. 1 for nominations. It has assembled a team of judges that include CIOs and CTOs from banks, retail, public sector, and telecom sector companies to determine who earns a spot on the list. That list, along with an event recognizing the winners, will be revealed in April, according to Sep Seyedi, CEO of Plastic Mobile.

Plastic Mobile was inspired to create a 30 under 30 program for developers when its own marketing director, Rebecca Basi was named to Marketing Magazine’s 30 under 30 list. Since there was no such program available for developers, it made sense to fill that gap, Seyedi says.

“There’s some amazing developer talent we’ve worked with over the years,” he says. “The point of the whole event and the awards are to shine a spotlight on the amazing talent here in Canada.”

Nominees can be entered – either by themselves or by someone else – on the Developer 30 under 30 website along with a 150 word description. Judges will be evaluating entrants on skill set, the impact their software has had on their company or industry, the community contributions they’ve made through open source project submissions, the uniqueness of coding techniques and products created, and non-technical skills.

“The skills of being a leader, a team player, and some business acumen will be something we will take a look at,” Seyedi explains. “But these are developers. They have to be hands on.”

Eighteen judges are identified on the website so far, including Valerie Adamo, the chief technology officer at Ontario Pension Plan; Jim Black, the CIO of Longos; Jeff Martin the chief technology officer at TD Bank; and Jacob Pat, the vice-president of IT at Canada Goose. Only three of the judges are women, but Seyedi says more judges are being added and women are being sought.

“It’s taken a bit more effort to really find,” he says. “We had some female judges on the panel because they’d ensure diversity would happen as well.”

Plastic Mobile reached out to schools and alumni programs across the country, as well as coding schools like Ladies Learning Code, he says.

Of course, computer developer demographics skew heavily towards male. For example, Statistics Canada reported in 2011 that women accounted for 30 per cent of graduates aged 25 to 34 to earn a degree in computer science or mathematics.


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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Former editorial director of IT World Canada. Current research director at Info-Tech

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