Once a quarter, staff at Oanda – a foreign exchange trading platform developer and one of Toronto’s best kept technology secrets – lock themselves in the office for 24 hours and hack. Not just the developers, either; the whole staff contributes. According to Oanda staffer Liam Lahey (in the spirit of full disclosure, he’s a former colleague and good friend of many years), it’s an outpouring of creativity that doesn’t always produce results that will become part of its flagship trading engine (though it’s cool to hook up the coffee-maker to the network so you can order a cup from your desk and be notified when it’s ready), but it often does. A recent hackathon, for example, produced the new fxTradeNOW browser extension.
Then someone suggested Oanda turn that focus outward. To that end, the company is sponsoring the next three monthly HackerNest Toronto get-togethers. The first, this Monday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m., is at the Centre for Social Innovation Annex at 720 Bathurst St. The tech social is an opportunity to discuss trends in the IT industry, and attendees also get their hands on Oanda’s open API to develop on the platform. For the company, it’s an opportunity to recruit talent, nurture an ecosystem of partners developing on the API, and give a little back to the tech community in Toronto.

Registration is free at http://www.meetup.com/hackernest/

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Dave Webb is a freelance editor and writer. A veteran journalist of more than 20 years' experience (15 of them in technology), he has held senior editorial positions with a number of technology publications. He was honoured with an Andersen Consulting Award for Excellence in Business Journalism in 2000, and several Canadian Online Publishing Awards as part of the ComputerWorld Canada team.