Photography Alex KinsellaDust off your backpacks for D2L Night School Alex Kinsella March 17, 2017 Columns, Ecosystem, Tech About Town Local education tech leader D2L believes learning is a life-long pursuit. Over its seventeen-plus year history, D2L has seen transformation in technology and in their home of downtown Kitchener. Last year, they asked themselves how they could help the community overcome some of the same challenges that they had faced. The answer was D2L Night School. It’s a monthly series of meetups focused on learning and networking. The sessions are open to anyone in the community – whether you’re in a startup, scale-up or just interested in seeing inside D2L – one of Waterloo Region’s most successful startups. D2L Night School’s instructors are D2L’ers, people who have lived through changes in technology and business and are excited to share what they’ve learned. “This is us giving back to the tech community,” said James Spere, VP, Software Product Development at D2L. “It’s a chance to hear what problems our team have solved and what problems they are working to solve.” If you’re considering a career in tech, the meetups are also a chance to see inside the walls of D2L. The D2L Night School meetups are part of a growing trend in town where local tech companies open their doors to share with others – part of the “collaborative competition” environment we have here in Waterloo Region. “Years ago, you didn’t know what was going on in the community,” Spere said. Today, companies host events like Night School, HackerNest and more. “These are great opportunities to show we’ve got more than just one or two big names in town,” he said. “Communitech has helped drive this community a lot,” said Spere. “Just as open-source coding has become the standard, knowledge sharing has become a tool we all rely on – we love to pick other companies’ brains too.” The next D2L Night School event is “Finding money in the cloud” with D2L’s resident data expert and mathemagician Stephen S. Skrzydlo leading the learning. D2L has recently moved to hosting their services Amazon Web Services (AWS). Stephen will be sharing what they learned along the way and how they found cost optimizations on AWS. D2L Night School is on Monday, March 20 at 6:30 pm and registration is free.