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TWG’s 2019 Year in Review

2019 was a great year for TWG. We continued to grow, adding another 20+ people to our team, landed a few multi-year projects and built a lot of great software for dozens of clients. Looking back at the events, blog posts and videos we worked on in the past year, it’s hard not to be excited about what lies ahead.

Here’s a few of our favourite things from 2019:

The Future of Fintech

In January of 2019 we released a series of eight videos featuring a few of our favourite people in Fintech, from KOHO CEO Daniel Eberhard to crypto regulation expert Amber Scott and Interac’s Oliver Roque. Revisit some of the world’s brightest minds in the Fintech space as they “Look Forward” to where the industry is heading. Watch the whole series here.

 

Spotify’s Peter Sobot

Friday demos are a tradition at TWG. We wrap up each week with short, casual company-wide demos from our team and special guests. In this demo former TWG engineer Peter Sobot – currently based in New York with Spotify – gives us a fascinating look into the math behind Discover Weekly, Spotify’s song recommendation engine.

 

Proptech Launches at TWG

The property technology industry is frequently described as being five to ten years behind the financial services industry, facing many of the same challenges that Fintech has for the most part solved: legacy infrastructure, analog processes, lack of access and transparency to data. The inaugural ProptechTO event brought together major players in commercial real estate, hot startups and technology leaders in the space for the first of three events we held in 2019. More Reading from TWG: New Entrants Lighting up the Trillion-dollar Proptech Sector

 

Hiring Globally, Living Locally

If you hired senior tech talent in 2019 (or tried to) you know how competitive the market is. Like many companies, we’ve realized that to grow our ecosystem, we can’t continue exchanging the same people from one company to the next. That’s why TWG has invested in Global Skills Hub, a recruiting agency specializing in finding exceptional global tech talent and expediting the immigration process to bring people (and sometimes their families!) to Canada. As TWG’s Senior Recruiter Erica MacDonald writes in this post, what many of us didn’t anticipate was how rewarding it was to see people from all over the world embrace their new lives in Toronto. As the first of several hires in 2019 through GSH, this post features a video that tells the story behind Hafsa Imram’s move from a Tech Lead in Pakistan to a role as a full-stack engineer at TWG.

 

Toronto Mayor John Tory and TWG CEO Chris Eben

TWG’s CEO Chris Eben took some time in May to discuss tech jobs in Toronto and Canada with Mayor John Tory. Toronto’s mayor is definitely bullish on tech and he’s happy to talk about it – and why not, given the city is the 3rd-ranked tech market in North America. Chris and Mayor Tory discuss the hot job market, Toronto’s leadership in AI and how all levels of government play a role in ensuring the Canadian tech sector continues to grow.

 

Dan Mangan – Sidedoor Access Demo @ TWG

It’s not everyday we get to invite a Juno award winner into the office. So when we had the pleasure of talking to Vancouver musician Dan Mangan we jumped at the opportunity. Along with Dan travelling around the world spreading his love of music, he’s also a startup co-founder with Sidedoor, a platform that matches artists with hosts and non-traditional venues, builds direct connections between artists and fans, and simplifies the show-booking process with easy and transparent digital tools.

 

Advocacy Over Apathy in Product Design

When building software for humans it’s inevitable that personal beliefs will sometimes conflict with certain aspects of a project. When it happens, do you speak up? How do you advocate for yourself and others without putting yourself at professional risk? In this important and very personal post, TWG Delivery Manager Jas Der discusses overcoming apathy with advocacy, and how speaking up, building allies and caring about the software we build makes for better products.

 

Hard Thing About Hiring Product Managers

In one of our most popular blog posts of 2019, TWG’s Director of Product Oz Nazilli dives in to one of the biggest challenges in tech: hiring great product managers. Unlike most jobs in tech, there isn’t an established entry level role for product managers. Oz explains the origins of the Toronto Associate Product Managers program – the only one of it’s kind in Canada – and shares personal examples of what TWG has learned about hiring PMs.

 

Uber – Connecting Digital & Physical Worlds

2019 was also a big year for DesignX and it’s founder (and former TWG-er) Preet Singh. After hosting successful events in New York, London and Vancouver, Preet launched the Design Leadership Summit in November, drawing speakers and attendees from around the world. TWG was both a sponsor and host, and we were honored to have two fantastic designers in the studio to explain how Uber develops design libraries to bridge the digital and physical worlds at airports around the world.

 

Shawn Mendes

Uhh… sorry I think that’s all we can say. In fact we may have already said too much.

 

TWG Talks at Elevate Money

The main stage at Toronto’s 2019 Elevate Festival may have landed Michelle Obama, but TWG got to share the stage with Raptors GM Masai Ujiri. Appropriately held in the former Toronto Stock Exchange, Elevate’s Money lineup featured three excellent talks from TWG experts:  Sr. User Researcher Danielle Juneau on What Do Fintech Startups Know That You Don’t?, our VP of Client Services, Alamelu Radhakrishnan on Innovation Success at Scale and TWG’s  VP of Product Tom Walsham on 10 Signs You May Be Performing Innovation Theatre

We’d like to end with a huge thanks for all of our amazing clients – you know who you are – who made all of this possible. And here’s to making 2020 even better!