Calgary developers had a chance to meet and mingle with several tech companies in a recruiting event named HackerX in Calgary on Oct. 4.
Hacker X, the Silicon Valley-based recruiting event organizer, is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for developers to share ideas over pints of beer, and explore new possibilities with potential employers.
For two hours, approximately 90 invited candidates rotated through 12 enrolled companies’ stations to give a five-minute pitch, with resumés ready to be handed out.
After that, recruiters will decide to reach out to those who are the most likely candidates for employment.
“The speed interview is a quick format of screening the right candidates,” said Hope Lee, organizer of HackerX.
“Your best bet is to impress the person on the other side of the table, and make a case that they should be interested in a follow-up discussion afterwards.
“This event does not only revolve around recruiting, it is also a chance for developers to build quality networks with one another,” said Lee.
“It is very challenging to find a tech job here in Calgary, especially for newcomers like me,” said software developer Puja Saha.
Saha, 30, said that she was actively looking for a job in her field, Information Technology (IT), this time last year but was unable to find one.
“I have attended many job fairs before, but none of these were for developers.
“But this is a great experience because I get to gauge my interest in each company, without having to go in for formal interviews,” she said.
“It is also a great space to practice interviewing,” said Saha.
“If you are wanting to get your foot in the door, this event might be a useful channel to prove yourself.”
Tu Le, a former employee in the energy sector, was laid off three years ago because of the oil crash. He obtained a certificate in IT then made a career pivot as a software developer.
“I hope I made enough of an impression to land a job. I got a good feel for the market in this area, as I did not expect to see that many companies showing up for hiring,” said Le.
“There is surely room to grow for this thriving tech start-up community.”
Calgary is home to the most significant number of technology start-up per capita in the country, and is in the top five tech talent markets in Canada, according to an article on the Calgary Economic Development website.
“We have got a little nice tech scene here in Calgary, thanks to a pool of talent and a strong job growth,” said Shawn Shahnewaz, a software programmer.
Shahnewaz said that for Calgary’s tech to thrive, there must be more dedicated graduates and talented people from the community who can get the place off the ground and evolve into an entrepreneurial tech hub.
“They are the ones who will drive progress because they can vision opportunities and challenges,” he said.
When they realize that they no longer have to look to places like Silicon Valley, and can simply look for choices that are here, the Calgary can become technological hub too, he said.
“HackerX has a good reason to be here.”