Last year’s inaugural Developer 30 under 30 event in Toronto blew away everyone’s expectations, says Sep Seyedi, president and CEO of Plastic Mobile, who launched the event in 2017. And this year, it’s expected to be “bigger and better.”

“We’ve already surpassed last year’s number of nominations, and so far one-third of the nominations are women,” Seyedi tells IT World Canada, adding last year, there were more than 350 nominations, 21 judges and 19 sponsors. IT World Canada is a media partner of the event.

The event, which shines a light on the developers helping companies innovate and positively impact the world around them, is receiving a lot of attention from across the country, but mostly from Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. Organizers are hoping for more nominations outside of these known tech hubs.

“We’re obviously trying to push it out west more,” says Seyedi.

While there are no shortages of nominations so far, developers are often modest and much less likely to nominate themselves for an award, says Seyedi. Friends and family can nominate a developer by entering some basic information about the nominee online. The 30 under 30 team then follows up and contacts them.

“Getting the word out is what we need,” says Seyedi.

But what exactly does it mean to be nominated? According to Seyedi, a nominated developer is playing an “impactful role within their organization” and “helping companies move forward.”

“They can come from small startups to larger organizations like Google,” he says.

One of last year’s winners, Amy Xiao, who at the time was a junior research developer for RBC, helped RBC’s research division identify ways it could apply machine learning and other novel methods to the financial services industry. But several nominees last year were also from the startup scene, which was a pleasant surprise, says Seyedi. This year’s list of judges is not only longer, but more diverse. Seyedi says members of the Toronto Star and the Canadian Space Agency will be judging this year’s event.

“We wanted to round out our list of judges so it’s not just people from banks and retailers,” he says. “We’re excited about that mix.”

The deadline for nominations is March 16. Developers born after April 1, 1988, who live and work in Canada, are eligible.



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