The HTML500 was started by Lighthouse Labs in Vancouver in 2013, and in the years since has expanded to Toronto, London, and Calgary. For 2017, the event is coming to 9 cities, with an HTML500 in Vancouver and Toronto, and a smaller-scale HTML150 in Montreal, Saskatoon, Calgary, Victoria, Halifax, London, and Ottawa.
“We started with those 500 people in Vancouver. Then we opened it up to four cities, still running it all ourselves. And this is the first year we’ve actually run it where we have a lot of participants from local communities essentially building it for us in different markets and building it because they want to build it,” HTML500 co-founder Jeremy Shaki told MTLinTECH.
Lionel Regis is the community manager in Montreal, and has been working with both Lighthouse and MTL NewTech to put the event together.
“We’re holding it on the main floor of the [École de Technologie Supérieure] ETS building. And we’re attempting a really interesting layout, where the projectors will be coming down off the ceiling at the central staircase,” Regis told MTLinTECH.
Registration is open until March 17th, but there have already been nearly 450 applications. Once registration is closed, individuals will be selected by random lottery to participate in the free event.
“We have a few contests that we run for a couple of guaranteed seats, but otherwise it’s one big lottery from which we announce, I guess, closer to 140 winners. And then we select a waitlist of around 200 people, who we tell if they want to show up to the event they’re welcome to, and we’ll tell them if there’s space in the order in which they come by,” said Shaki.
Our expectation is we’ll probably get close to 1000 before it’s all said and done.
The huge number of applicants is a symptom of the changing times. There’s no longer a need to raise awareness about coding, it’s now come down to finding the resources to educate all the people who want to learn.
“Our expectation is we’ll probably get close to 1000 before it’s all said and done. That’s kind of the point of this; there’s so many people. It’s not ‘can you get this many people to code’ anymore. It’s now ‘how do you accommodate as many people as possible.'”
There’s still time to register to be entered for the chance to win a spot at Montreal’s first HTML150. And there’s always the possibility of scaling up to an HTML500 event for next year.
— The HTML500 (@TheHTML500) January 18, 2017
“In the first year, we’ve always decided to start with 150 to kind of show people what it’s about and to have the community build it itself. That way, they have the structure to build these kind of things on their own even without Lighthouse Labs. Because we can see there’s so much need of coding education that Lighthouse Labs can’t be one of the few organizations putting this kind of thing together. It’s something that we want to see happening as much as possible.”
The HTML150 is taking place April 1st from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm at École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS), 1100 Rue Notre-Dame O.