Nerds on a train

Make Web, Not War May 27, 2010 in MontrealI’m going to miss this years’ Make Web, Not War event in Montreal on May 27, 2010. I’ll be attending another event in Ottawa. There is a great list of presenters including:

It’s a great training event for developers in Montreal. Thought I might be biased, I keynoted the 2009 event in Toronto. It is great to see continuted support of interoperability and developer choice. Joey and I joined Microsoft after doing most of our recent web development on other platforms (Rails, PHP, ColdFusion and Java2). I still have a deep interest in understanding the impact of emerging technologies (lately I’ve been looking at noSQL and scaling solutions).

Photo by <a href=If you’re going to be in the Montreal area. Or better yet, if you want to make your way from Toronto to Montreal. Join Joey and the gang on the DEVTrain. For $50 you get a subsidized train to Montreal starting on Tuesday May 25 at 9:00am and leaving on Friday, May 28 at 11:25am. Nothing like power, wifi, food, a beverage, and NERDS ON A TRAIN. I think Joey will be playing the role of Samuel L. Jackson on this train ride.

“I’ve had enough of these muthaf***in nerds on this muthaf***in train” – VIARail employee

Akoha – Experience Designer

Montreal, QC

Original posting on StandoutJobs

Title: Experience Designer to help design a better world.

Location: Montreal, Canada.

Languages: Must be extremely fluent in written and spoken English. French an bonus.

Compensation: TBD based on experience.

Summary: Akoha, an online social reality game is seeking a User Experience guru

Come and join Akoha as we create the game that will make the world a better place!

About Akoha

Akoha is a funded startup making the world’s first social reality game. We’re a small team of startup veterans from the Internet, venture capital and gaming communities in Montreal. We’ve hit the stage at TechCrunch50 and TED 2009 and are some of the pioneers in using games to make the world a better place. We want to change the way people think about how on-line communities can affect their real-world lives.

What we’re looking for is an Experience Designer who wants to design a better world.

You deeply believe that great design can change the world and you’re just looking for the opportunity to make it a reality.

We’re looking for a key User Experience guru to help the passionate team at Akoha take our design skills to the next level. For the right candidate this is the opportunity of a lifetime to join a well-funded, experienced team with a killer idea on the brink of a break-out success. We believe that creating incredible product design expertise throughout the company will be a key component of Akoha’s success and we’ll stop at nothing to ensure we find the right person to lead the charge.

You know you’re the right candidate if you’re a self-proclaimed design-freak. You notice great design everywhere and anywhere. From the simple pen that writes perfectly to the five-star hotel that provides your every whim before you’re even aware of it, designing these experiences makes you as giddy as a schoolgirl. You have a great combination of practical, theoretical and team management experience and has demonstrated the ability to instill a world-class internal design culture.

Reporting to the VP of Product Development, you and our development team will bring Akoha to the next level. Your primary responsibility is to delight our players in every way imaginable.

The Perfect Candidate

You know you’re the perfect candidate if you:

Push the boundaries: You’re an leader in the UX field (maybe just waiting to be discovered) but despite getting great results you’re constantly looking for ways to push the boundaries. You relish the opportunity to get together with other leaders in the field to trade ideas about how to integrate the new-new thing into your daily practice.

Lead the pack: Everyone says you’re the best at what you do. While your humility prevents you from tooting your own horn too loudly, you secretly know this to be true.

Self-proclaimed Design-Nerd: You own a t-shirt that says "Design will save the world! Just ask me how…" (and you deeply believe that). You see ways of using great design in every aspect of your life and examples of bad design make you feel physically unwell.

You’re Tough but Fair: While you understand that you’re not always right, you’re ready to make the call when necessary and you’re not afraid to ruffle some feathers to make sure that the user gets the experience that they deserve.

Awesome Facilitation Skills: While you’ve done it all before you know that getting the design right requires everyone’s input and creativity. You’ve worked hard to hone your facilitation skills but no-one would know that because you lead design sessions with the aplomb of a orchestra conductor.

You’re Never Satisfied: Your personal matra is the Fine Young Cannibals ’80 hit "I’m Not Satisfied". From your team’s performance to your own personal development, you’re constantly looking for ways to improve the things that you do. For you, "Good" is never good enough and "Great" can always be better.

You’re a Data Junkie: Stepping into do design without the right data just makes you feel dirty. Likewise, when the team has pushed the newest changes you’re stuck to the analytics page like bubble-gum in mop-top. Your know that pushing features without being able to track the results is just plain wrong and your dedication to user testing has been described as "religious".

Have Legendary Energy: Your colleagues wonder where you get all your energy and your team suspects that you may be using illegal substances to provide you with your unfailing pep (it’s not true). Your secret is that you love your work and it’s what gives you the drive to keep up the pace.

Bonus points awarded if:

Have a Love of Games and Game Design: You love games and you’ve designed games in your spare time (or ideally you’re a full-blown game designer!) You love all types of games and you play any type of game you can get your hands on: board-games, soduko, hide-and-seek, you name it. In your spare time and you justify your urge to buy the newest console game by saying that you need to "evaluate it for work".

What the Job Entails

Reporting to the VP of Product Development, your primary responsibility is to delight our players in every way imaginable. Other top-line responsibilities include:

  • Champion the development and evolution of Akoha’s in-house design practice;
  • Ensure that product design supports product and company strategies;
  • Work with players, partners, and teammates to gather and analyze qualitative and quantitative research;
  • Create and collaborate on, clear design documents that support product development;
  • Shape Akoha into a game that is both fun and magical for its players.

You have:

  • Years of UX design experience, working with a team that produced amazing results;
  • Designed web software that people love;
  • Design experience in other fields: game, print, landscape, fashion, etc.;
  • Lead a design process in another organization;
  • Amazing facilitation skills;
  • Fluent oral and written English, with French as a great asset;
  • A tendency to work hard and get stuff done, on-time, without breaking a sweat.

You like:

  • Free snack food, drinks, and pulling delicious shots of espresso.
  • Passionate co-workers who are as smart and enthusiastic as you are.
  • Optional Dress-Up Fridays. Every day is casual day, but sometimes you just have to rock out.
  • TEDtalks (especially the design ones)
  • Working with some of the leading change makers in the world who are fighting for the environment, battling poverty, funding education, improving health-care, and nurturing the arts.

Want to work with us? We want to talk to you.

Note: This is a full-time position, available immediately and based in Montreal (A beautiful city that we are happy to help you relocate to if you are not local)

How To Apply

We will not begin setup interviews with candidates until May 4th.

Please have your application submitted before that date.  We want to give all applicants the time to put together a great application with all the trimmings.  If you have another opportunity you are considering and need to hear from us please let us know and we’ll try to accomodate your schedule.

Required elements for your application:

  • Cover letter explaining why you would be perfect for this role
  • Your CV and portfolio
  • Links to any blog posts you’ve written on user experience design
  • Links to any talks you’ve presented
  • Any examples of your work you are free to share (stuff like User Mental Model Diagrams, Navigation Patterns Documents, Paper Prototype Documents, Storyboards or Sketchboards, Wireframes)
  • Something to surprise us and show us your personality

Apply for this Job

Palm Communication – Information Architect

Montreal, PQ

Montreal-based PALM Communication is looking for a creative, passionate and meticulous digital information architect who will play a fundamental role in user experience development, oversee information architecture development, and organize content for digital (interactive) agency projects (online campaigns, Web 2.0 initiatives, site design and building, e-CRM projects, search engine marketing, etc.), principally for the Volkswagen account. .


  • Develop the information architecture for all Web projects
  • Develop tree structures, user-interface scenarios, navigation principles, prototypes, functional specifications
  • Work in synergy with the strategy, creation and production teams to find effective solutions and create an effective user experience
  • Analyse the competition from an ergonomic, communicational, strategic and conceptual point of view
  • Participate in the continual improvement of best practices in usability, and ensure quality control in the production process


  • Proven track record with several major Web projects
  • Understanding of users’ behaviours, needs, motivations and objectives to create functional communications components
  • Good communication skills in English and French (written and spoken)
  • Keen interest in new technology and new developments in social media
  • Comfortable in a rapidly changing, multi-tasking environment
  • High-energy, roll-up-your sleeves attitude
  • 5 to 7 years of experience in digital information architecture
  • Knowledge of the automobile sector is a serious asset

PALM is a big family of more than 70 professionals who recognize that inspiration can come from everywhere and who believe that digital technology is an essential part of a strong integrated approach. PALM is part of the Havas Group, a world leader in the communications industry with its head office in Paris. Decentralized and multicultural, the Group has offices in more than 100 countries with a vast network of agencies linked by affiliation agreements. PALM benefits from this network by sharing best industry practices.

Send your résumé via e-mail to Diane Labelle, VP Operations and Interactive, PALM Communication:

Akoha – Community Gardener

Montreal, QC

Originally from

You are the friendliest, happiest, smiliest person on the face of this Earth.

When you walk past, crying babies begin to burble. You call people and they hear a smile over the phone. Your emails cause people to forget their troubles. When friends ask for help, you’re always willing to lighten their load and brighten their day. You make the sun shine and the grass green and the birds sing.

Akoha is a funded startup in Montreal developing a new type of social game. We’re a team of startup veterans from the Internet, venture capital and gaming communities in Montreal. Right now, we’re getting ready to launch a online and offline social game designed to make the world a better place. Although we’re in stealth mode, we’ve still garnered press coverage on TechCrunch, Mashable, VentureBeat, Worlds In Motion and Virtual Worlds News. We’ve also been awarded the 1st Runner Up Selection Prize for Canada’s Most Innovative Startup at the Canadian Innovation Exchange 2008.

We’re looking for a Community Gardener who will help us grow and nurture a community of players, fans, and supporters of our game. You’re someone who lives and breathes the Internet. You’re creative. You’re influential. You use Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and Google Talk every day. You’re active in the blogosphere, producing your own blogs, videos, and podcasts. You love writing, listening, and learning.

You think that communities, web applications, and the social web are powerful things. You’re passionate about giving people the tools to work together, online and offline, to build something greater than they could ever do individually.

You want to change the world.

You’ll make sure our community is in the loop:

  • Welcome new players.
  • Respond promptly to players’ complaints and suggestions. Seek out answers and provide constant updates.
  • Voice the community’s opinions inside of Akoha. You’ll be their advocate for their wants, needs, and concerns.
  • Help players when they have questions. Give them the answers they need, in a prompt and friendly way.
  • Gather, train, and encourage a community of enthusiastic players helping them in answering questions, solving problems, and advocating Akoha.
  • Post regularly to our blog and forums. You’ll highlight player activity, help introduce new features, and comment on the powerful stories that our community creates.
  • Communicate our roadmap, our plans, and our changes to the game as we introduce new features and bugfixes.

You’re responsible for growing a strong and vibrant community:

  • Develop, maintain, and enforce a code of conduct that our users should adhere to.
  • Create new in-game events. Organize virtual or real world player meetups.
  • Identify and reward key players who are our power-users.
  • Reach out and promote Akoha with key bloggers, influential personalities, and aid our players in spreading the Akoha message.
  • Plan, produce, and develop social media campaigns to increase visibility with the public. You’ll use videos, podcasts, Skype teleconferences, and player meetups.
  • Be the go-to girl or guy for our social media and grassroots marketing campaigns.

You’ll know the pulse of the game and our players:

  • Track the performance of our online activities.
  • Report metrics on blog and forum activity, customer acquisition, web analytics tools, and other measurement tools.
  • Work with developers and testers to raise, track and follow up on customer support issues.
  • Work with public relations and marketing to develop an Akoha voice that resonates with players.

What you’ll need to succeed:

  • Funny, smart, and industrious personality.
  • Outstanding oral and written English.
  • Serious, bordering on obsessive, passion for all things related to the Web.
  • Web presence: a blog, YouTube channel, etc. WordPress skills are a bonus. Even better if you like take photos, upload videos, or make music.
  • Experience developing an audience for your online profile gives you brownie points.
  • Experience building online communities is a huge plus.
  • Strong interest in social change, social games, Facebook games.

What Akoha offers you:

  • Competitive compensation, including an incentive plan, benefits, and stock options.
  • Playing arcade games with us on the company MAME machine.
  • Free snack food and an introduction to our espresso machine. (Her name is Monica.)
  • Optional Dress-Up Fridays. Every day is casual day, but sometimes you just have to rock out.
  • Incredible co-workers who are fun and passionate about their jobs, just like you.
  • Work with some of the leading change makers in the world who are fighting for the environment, battling poverty, funding education, improving health-care, and nurturing the arts.
  • Rub shoulders with Internet media gurus, rock stars, and movie celebrities who will be working with our community.

Does this sound like the perfect job? Apply now. – Director of Experience

Montreal, QC

Here are some of the things the director of experience will be responsible for.

  • Manage the Site Team and ensure its performance in line with the company goals (increased customer satisfaction, optimized usability, increased conversion rates).
  • Ensure the execution of the daily, weekly and monthly Site production calendar.
  • Understand the content management processes and systems and ensure its efficiency.
  • Understanding of web-site optimization strategies and techniques while being the customer advocate and asking how will the customer react to this change on the site……
  • Proficiency in web analytics and leveraging the data to affect improvements in site design.
  • Propose new processes to improve the management of the sites.
  • Understand the structure of the company’s Web Sites and make sound recommendations to improve functionality and usability.
  • Work with the Marketing Team to develop the usability and functionality wireframe of the campaign landing pages and make recommendations on existing ones.
  • Partner with the Marketing Managers to create actionable, relevant and measurable tests to improve key web metrics on target pages or specific conversion paths.
  • Collaborate with the IS Department toward implementing new Site initiatives.
  • Work with the ice SEO team to implement all the new initiatives.
  • Provide actionable results and recommendations to the senior management on how to achieve goals and improve online results and conversion rates.
  • Detect, analyze and improve performance on specific problem areas and track changes.
  • Assist Marketing Director with site related initiatives.
  • Stay informed of new Internet technologies and changes in existing technologies with a keen eye on how to leverage them to add value to the business.


Email your resume to


The Montreal gang (Embrase, Austin Hill, Sylvain Carle and Heri Rakotomalala)  have been busy getting StartupCampMontreal2 organized.


What: StartupCampMontreal2
This is the second edition of Startup Camp Montreal, an event dedicated to everything Startup. It is the forum where early stage companies, investors and on-lookers alike can share information and validate pitches live. Join us as we learn from each other about the ins and outs of starting up. This event is not just for Montrealers, all are welcome.
When: Thursday, May 15, 2008 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Where: Society for Arts and Technology (SAT)

1195 Saint-Laurent Blvd
Montreal, Quebec H5B 1C2   Canada

Format of the Event

Five companies will be selected by the organizers to give a brief 5 minute presentation on their startup. Following which the audience will ask questions and give 5-10 minutes of feedback in an open forum.


You need to register to attend. I’m planning on attending and as the wiki says “this event is not just for Montrealers, all are welcome“. Consider making the trip to Montreal, now if was at the same time at the Grand Prix du Canada and someone could hook me up with tickets or a press pass.