Co-Founder @, Advocate of all things Open Source, Startup Advisor, Entrepreneur. Previously: npm, TELUS, Kong, CBC
Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Massimo Botturi

SaaS (Software as a Service) and Cloud Computing have taken center stage, accelerating all aspects of our lives even more quickly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year alone, it is enabling world wide communication, productivity & education under lockdown, solving complex protein folding challenges and developing new therapies and better understand emerging diseases!

While software technology has been a catalyst for these incredible transformations, the foundational protocols, standards, and systems we rely on to build modern software have not seen the same level of transformation. …

How seemingly “solved problems” in technology keep repeating themselves, and how developers keep falling into the trap of reinventing the wheel

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash

It’s interesting and somewhat frustrating that the challenges I experienced leading small teams in small companies are the same challenges in leading teams of hundreds in large enterprise businesses!

The interesting part is recognizing the patterns shared across all these experiences and creating solutions that scale up and down to accommodate the context. The frustrating part is how seemingly solved problems keep repeating themselves, and developers keep falling into the trap of reinventing the wheel.

No-one actually has a foolproof plan; people that claim they do are either faking it or miscommunicating their ability to identify patterns. This is especially…

Would you erase part of your identity for some peace of mind?

Did you opt to have Damascus appear as your place of birth?

My friend asked me today, He’s also a Syrian-Canada Citizen. We grew up together in Damascus, Syria. He’s now filling a form to renew his Canadian passport.

Just as my parents did, his family immigrated to Canada long before the brutal civil war started in Syria. Back then, it would have never occurred to any of us that one day, we would opt-in to erase our place of birth from our passports.

Up until this afternoon, I didn’t even think that was an option …

You can! You…

We met up with Luke at Full Stack Toronto Conference and invited him to do an AMA with the Tech Masters Community. Luke is a co-founder and partner at He helps build the Elm community. Since Elm is steadily gaining popularity, Luke gave us a proper introduction.

Image for post
Image for post
Luke Westby

How did you get into the Elm project?

Good starting question! I had been doing JavaScript primarily before that and was on, like, day 3 of trying to set up a reasonable build process for my company’s JS programs, and it just wasn’t working … too many tools to put together and connections to keep in my head. …

A startup leadership lesson from the 7th century

In 711, Tariq ibn Ziyad, (for whom Gibraltar is named) crossed the Strait from northern Africa, with his army of about 7,000 and embarked on the conquest of Spain, establishing the foundation for a Kingdom that lasted nearly a millennium!

Facing an army of 100,000 upon landing, he ordered his ships burned, so his troops could not lose heart and flee. In a sermon to his troops in before The Battle of Guadalete, Tariq said:

Oh my warriors, whither would you flee? Behind you is the sea, before you, the enemy. …

An online community tying together a diverse and passionate group of developers, technologists, and entrepreneurs from all around the world

Image for post
Image for post

TechMasters was created in late 2014 as a place where a bunch of friends and co-workers from the Toronto tech scene would come together and share technology news, lessons learned, and help each other debug problems. Since then, after opening its doors to the worldwide developer and tech community, the group has grown to over 3,600 members!

The group today focuses on learning, and sharing experiences across business, technology, and entrepreneurship, and touting strong community ties with local organizations acting as the official online community for DevTO, FullStack Toronto, Fireside Conference, and ProductHuntTO.


We strive to grow a healthy community…

Professional Growth & Experience through time and knowledge in the workplace trenches

Your work life, much like life itself, will take you through a journey of adventures, experiences, successes and failures. Each one will teach you new lessons, expand your knowledge, and in the process make you stronger even though it may not seem that way to you at the time. You will later realize it once you surface on the other end of each experience.

Every setback & hardship you endure translates to skills and knowledge you acquire that will assist you in your march forward to success. Don’t try to avoid the hardships, seek them out.

While we live in…

Breaking new grounds with Canadian OSS influencers ❤

Image for post
Image for post
Tommy & Rami opening remarks

Earlier this month Microsoft Canada hosted an event titled “Open Source Connection” gathering a number of “influencers” from the Canadian development community.

I’ll be the first to admit, the words “Open Source” and “Microsoft” are not ones I’m used to saying in the same sentence, so when the invite arrived in my inbox I was curious:

Join us for a Microsoft Open Source Event focused on bringing together the country’s brightest and best influential Open Source community members to generate inspiration to innovate, share best open source practices and have some geeky fun.

We would love to collaborate with you…

Image for post
Image for post
photo credit: Joshua Sortino

As part of my application to the Founder Institute, I was posed the question: “Why do you want to be an entrepreneur?”

Considering the way I have, and continue to live, the answer for me was simple: “What else can one be?”

This is a retelling of some of my adventures growing up in Syria, up until arriving in Canada.

With the current crisis in Syria, the seemingly endless war, and the refugee dilemma the world is facing, I hope my story can be one of optimism and encouragement for refugees leaving their homes behind and wondering what’s ahead.


Image for post
Image for post
To left: The symbolic Maple Leaf pin I was given at my Canadian Citizenship Ceremony

This is my Syrian passport. To me, it represents the most significant milestone in my life: Leaving home behind and immigrating to Canada; It represents opportunity and the future.

Leaving home behind wasn’t easy, and although I had my immediate family along with me, my full family extends to aunts, uncles, cousins, and nephews. At the time, I was uncertain if I would ever see them again. In the past few years, that certainly became clearer.

In all likelihood, I will never see them again. Even if they do survive the war.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store