992 words | 4 minutes
By: Jessica Murphy
If you’ve been on the job market for more than a minute, you’ve heard it: landing a position is more about who you know than what you know.
But here’s the thing: what if you don’t really know anyone? What if you’re new to tech, or new to Ottawa? What if, like many of us, you just haven’t left the house in two years?
The good news is that you probably couldn’t ask for a better place to meet smart, passionate, like-minded tech folks. In the CBRE 2021 Scoring Tech Talent report, Ottawa ranked as one of the top tech talent markets in North America, edging out even Silicon Valley for tech worker concentration.
It’s no wonder, then, that the city is also a hub for tech-related conferences, job fairs, meetup groups and other communities focused on mutual learning and career support. Read on for some of Ottawa’s top career, networking and educational events of the year.
If you’re Ottawa-curious but not here yet, our list includes virtual events, so you can get to know the city’s thriving tech scene from your home base.
Work in Ottawa Tech Career Fair
March 9, 2022
Looking to be discovered by a top tech firm? Here’s your chance to (virtually) get in front of hiring managers looking to fill vacancies, including remote and hybrid roles. Check out the growing list of participating companies to tailor your pitch and come prepared with any questions. This event will be a recurring one, so follow Work in Ottawa on LinkedIn to stay in the loop.
The event is free but spots are filling up fast, so register soon.
Discover Technata Career Fair and Tech Expo
April 5, 2022
Brookstreet Hotel, 525 Legget Dr., Kanata
If Ottawa is the Silicon Valley of Canada, Kanata North is its Palo Alto. It has the densest concentration of research and technology companies in the country — over 540 in a few square kilometres — in sectors like software, security, life sciences, digital media, wireless and telecom, autonomous vehicles and clean technologies.
Discover Technata is the Kanata North Business Association’s annual recruiting event, and it’s a rare opportunity to connect with some of the city’s most exciting names, from up-and-comers to leading global giants.
Job seekers can register for free.
Conferences and Speaker Events
Tech Tuesday is a popular networking and presentation event for Ottawa’s high-tech community, sponsored by the Wesley Clover Foundation. It’s a great opportunity for young and entering tech industry rookies to mix with and learn from more established professionals.
Before the pandemic, people got together on the first Tuesday of every month. Events are currently on hiatus but will resume when it’s safe, so keep an eye out for updates.
Beer & Analytics
May 4, 2022
Landsdowne Park Horticulture Building, 1525 Princess Way, Ottawa
Beer & Analytics is just what it sounds like — a laid-back gathering of the city’s analytics community to talk data and drink beer. Past events have had attendance in the hundreds, so they’re a great opportunity to connect with fellow data enthusiasts and learn about AI, modern tools and visualization techniques. You’ll rub elbows with local leaders in the field, including sponsors Bronson Consulting, Alteryx, Tableau and Snowflake.
Food and drinks, including wine, pop and, of course, craft beer, are included in the ticket price, which is $13.13 until March 31. Capacity’s limited, so register soon.
May 31, 2022
Ottawa Conference and Event Centre, 200 Coventry Road, Ottawa
iTech is one of Canada’s leading IT conferences, and it’s coming to Ottawa this May. Along with the opportunity to meet new people in the tech world, you’ll get an inside track on new and upcoming trends through educational sessions, keynotes and demonstrations. iTech isn’t a recruiting event, but the exhibition floor is a great chance to connect with company reps — “I saw your awesome product at iTech” is a handy opening line in a job inquiry email or LinkedIn invite and always extra credit in an interview.
Early bird registration is free until May 30, or you can buy your ticket at the event for $20.
November 1–3, 2022
FWD50 gathers some of the world’s leading public sector innovators to explore how technology can make society better for everyone. With more than 3,000 attendees each year and speakers from government and some of the world’s biggest tech companies, it’s a key event for anyone interested in working at the intersection of tech and the civic good.
Ticket sales launch in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more details. You can also apply to volunteer in exchange for a free pass.
The Ottawa Chapter of the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) — an international non-profit working to improve software security — is one of the larger and more active organized tech and developer groups in the city. Before the pandemic, they held monthly in-person meetings and other events like infosec talks, training sessions, discussion groups and the occasional job fair.
Events are free and open to everyone, and for now, they’re happening online. You can check them out on their website, where you can also register to join their Slack channel.
Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence Ottawa
ML & AI Ottawa is another lively group that gets together monthly to connect and learn. Check out their meetings if you have an interest in AI — they welcome everyone from established professionals and academics to high school students, and their speaker series ranges from hyper-technical deep dives to philosophical discussions about AI ethics.
You can join the group on their website.
The Ottawa Cyber Security Meetup is an educational forum hosting monthly speakers from the industry and business community. Talks are followed by smaller breakout discussion groups — a chance to meet and learn from other cybersecurity professionals and local business leaders.
You can request to join on their Meetup page
There you have it — and now that you’re tuned into the wheres of networking, you can read up on the whys and hows on our blog here.
See you around town!