Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

    Canada, eh?

    Job interviews are fast becoming a bit of a hobby for me. Usually just over Skype and for a shortish-term freelancing gig. Sometimes in person for a job job.

    Last week I went to Canada to interview with Shopify. This post is about the traveling bit, next post will be about the interview bit. Without revealing too much too soon, I can say it was one of the best interviewing experiences ever.

    Canadian parliament

    Traveling to Canada

    Canadians do say "aboot", they also say _"eh". _But they say eh so much and so often I was unable to figure out what it actually means. It's not always a question, sometimes it's more of a "yes, what I am saying did actually happen literally". It's a confusing little word.

    Canadians are also just as nice as I expected watching american television. The French Canadians are just as nice and friendly as people were in France ... which is to say surprisingly little. Luckily I didn't spend a lot of time in the french parts of Canada. I did take a walk to Quebec though, just to go see the cool Museum of Civilizations.

    On Tuesday morning I awoke to a miserably cold and windy Ottawa. Other than the buildings and the odd car here and there Ottawa, the city of one million, looked like a ghost town. I met about one person every five minutes, despite being in the part of town crowded by bars and pubs.

    It wasn't too cold, just -6 really, but my jeans was nothing against the wind. Like I was walking around half naked ... thank god for the giant scarf I got from mum for Christmas.

    Apparently I visited Ottawa at a rather awkward time. It wasn't winter and it wasn't spring.

    In winter they have a bunch of stuff going on at the frozen Rideau canal. Turns into a 7 kilometer skating rink! In spring, there's a bunch of stuff going on at the Bytown market - daily farmer's market stuff, plenty of events, even a busker's festival!

    Last week ... nothing. Completely dead.

    Weather turned for the better on Thursday and while still a chilly ~3C it was very sunny and the whole city came alive. Their one pedestrian street was full of people and walking around was an absolute pleasure. Suddenly I could see myself living here. It was no European town like I'm used to, but it was alive. A proper city!

    Despite its huge surface area (100x100 km I'm told) and a population about thrice that of Ljubljana, Ottawa feels a lot like Ljubljana really. Minus the ~100,000 students and put on a classic North American grid system ... and younger, much much younger. The oldest parts of Ottawa still standing are from the early 1800's. Just enough to give the city a bit of a flare, a touch of history.

    Strange feeling that, a huge city that's less crowded than my tiny "city". Their museums were awesome though, at least the two I visited. Museum of Civilizations talking about how Canada evolved from the old peoples to the modern mix of people from France, British loyalists and all the old native peoples. Really loved the huge displays where you basically walk around a colonial town at 1:1 scale, then turn a corner and suddenly it's a town in the 19th century.

    The War Museum had a similar design going where you walk from the early native peoples wars all the way to modern peace keeping stuff, but such museums are usually dark and don't take pretty pictures, plus they all look alike. There was an awesome assortment of tanks and artillery though. Even a jet fighter!

    At the only pedestrian street, there was a bear statue

    There's a huge confluence of rivers right on the border of Quebec and Ontario

    Museum of Civilizations reveals that totems are _huge_

    There's also exhibitions built up as old towns

    Voodoo exhibition with real human skulls

    On Thursday I went to the War Museum where there was a jetfighter

    Most displays were too dark to take pics

    On my way back I found a cute housey

    Enhanced by Zemanta

    Did you enjoy this article?

    Published on April 9th, 2013 in Bytown, Canada, Ljubljana, Ottawa, Quebec, Travel + Events

    Learned something new?
    Want to become an expert?

    Here's how it works 👇

    Leave your email and I'll send you thoughtfully written emails every week about React, JavaScript, and your career. Lessons learned over 20 years in the industry working with companies ranging from tiny startups to Fortune5 behemoths.

    Join Swizec's Newsletter

    And get thoughtful letters 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.

    "Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"

    ~ Ashish Kumar

    Join over 14,000 engineers just like you already improving their careers with my letters, workshops, courses, and talks. ✌️

    Have a burning question that you think I can answer? I don't have all of the answers, but I have some! Hit me up on twitter or book a 30min ama for in-depth help.

    Ready to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own?  Learn how to build scalable dataviz components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization

    Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, modern backend for the frontend engineer.

    Ready to learn how it all fits together and build a modern webapp from scratch? Learn how to launch a webapp and make your first 💰 on the side with ServerlessReact.Dev

    Want to brush up on your modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

    By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️

    Created by Swizec with ❤️