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Island company helps California town manage historic drought

From his brick walled office in Charlottetown’s historic Connolly Building, Keir Pollard is helping a small town on the opposite end of the continent save water during one of the worst droughts in its history.

Pollard, who hails from Murray Harbour and runs SpryPoint Solutions, made a water-saving pitch to the town of Walnut Valley, California. The town, which is east of Los Angeles (with a population about the size of Charlottetown), wanted to help its residents monitor their own water usage as well as the usage of neighbouring towns. Now, Walnut Valley residents are using Island-made software to conserve water when they need it the most. 

“The droughts in California have led to statewide regulations for water users,” Pollard said. “They have a 25 per cent reduction in sight, and our software is helping them achieve that.”

Pollard oversees nine full-time staff at locations in PEI and Halifax as well as several co-op students and interns. He’s brought his company a long way since its founding in 2011, with just one employee building software.

The key to their burgeoning success is a great product, he said.

“We built really great software for utilities such as electric and water companies. Our products help utilities excel in providing for their customers through cutting-edge field service, improved communications, and better financial accountability and decision-making.”

SpryPoint has partnered locally with the City of Summerside to develop distributed energy storage strategies and customer information portals. They have several other exciting products in the hopper, and their field service products are now in use in over 10 states and provinces. 

“We built really tight partnerships with our customers all over North America,” he said. “Our team is strong, which enables us to have the confidence that we can provide the best service possible to our customers as we continue to grow.”

Pollard travelled 30 to 40 weeks a year in his previous job. All that time on the road made him realize there really was no place like home.

“I appreciate the pace of life, the quiet, the short commute and good quality of life on PEI,” he said. “I am able to live in the country but five minutes from 100-bit Internet in the office.”

Government support has been invaluable to building his business.

“The people at Innovation PEI, from Minister Heath MacDonald right on down, they’re all very interested in seeing Island businesses succeed,” Pollard said. 

“We are extremely proud of our team of Islanders, and we are thrilled to be able to export our products across Canada and the United States from our base right here in PEI. 




Northeast PHP Conference

The Northeast PHP Conference is a community conference intended for networking and collaboration in the developer community.

PHP + UX + WEB = The best low-cost conference in North America!

Two days of talks on topics like: PHP, UX, Composer, Design, REST,Nodejs, Autoloading, Jenkins, Continuous Integration, Usability, HTML5, Architecture, CSS, API,Santize Data, Dependency Management, Javascript, Forms, Mobile, Agile, Laravel,Frameworks, SOA, Collaboration, HHVM, Legacy Code, Content Strategy, Refactoring, Facebook, Http, OSI, UDP, IP, TCP, Raml, RESTful, America, Civic Hacking, Wikipedia, Documentation, Networking, Process, Emails, Responsive, Cinema, Llvm, Hacklang, APIs, Theory, Design Thinking, Strategy, Testing, Selenium, Hack, Functional Testing,Variadics, Splat, Generators, Traits, Closures, PSR-0, PSR-4, Survival, Adventure, Teamwork, Leadership, Namespaces, Unit Testing, FIG, Surgery, DIY, Keynote, PHP The Right Way, Tools,Ad-hoc, Coding Standards, Strategies For Success, OOP, Soft Skills, Management, Code Quality, IOT, PHPUnit, XSS, Web Security, Security, Internet Of Things, Cachegrind, Profiling, Xdebug, Object Oriented, Layout, All Levels, Visual Identity, Brand, Data, Results, CSRF


It all started with a humble conversation between organizers of the Boston PHP, Atlantic Canada PHP, and Burlington, Vermont PHP user groups. Boston PHP was (and still is) the largest and most active PHP community in the world and had long dreamed of starting its own conference. After almost a year of planning and collaboration between organizers throughout the northeast region, this dream was finally realized with the inaugural Northeast PHP Conference in August of 2012.

Starting with no budget and no conference experience, the organizational team overcame many challenges to create an event on par with the big technology conferences. With the event space generously donated by Microsoft’s New England Research and Development (NERD) Center the NEPHP organizers were able to check many large ticket items off their list. Many other sponsors, too numerous to mention here, provided additional resources making it possible to keep the ticket price to an absurdly low price. Most profoundly, all the organizers or speakers not only volunteered their time, but also contributed their own expenses to participate in the conference.

PHP, WEB, and UX.

While grounded in PHP, the Northeast PHP Conference is not just about PHP. As the organizers know, most PHP developers are working on websites and applications, which means that they need more than just PHP skills to get ahead. The additional Web Technology and User Experience topics help these developers broaden their skill sets and expand their knowledge & experience.

The future points North

As the Northeast PHP team looks to the future there is a strong desire to take the event on the road, traveling throughout the northeast region. With many developers in the northeast region, and not many conferences serving these developers, Northeast PHP can help developers grow and learn, becoming confident and even sharing their own talks. Initially, the team plans to have satellite events in Prince Edward Island with additional locations to be considered in future years.

Non profit

We are entirely non-profit. All money will be used to pay for the conference itself, including food and other expenses required to run a conference of this size. Please show your support and help us create one of the best conferences in the northeast region.

Get involved

We value the participation of each member of the PHP community and want all attendees to have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. The best way to do that is to get involved and move your ideas forward. Volunteer to join the Conference Planning board, contribute talk ideas, and tell your friends and co-workers!  This is YOUR community and YOUR community conference.

Thank you

We value the participation of each member of the PHP community and want all attendees to have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.

Follow @NEPHP on Twitter for updates and don’t miss out on the Northeast PHP Conference 2016 in P.E.I., Canada!

Thank you for being a part of Northeast PHP!

Sensational Speaker Line-up

We’ve got all the rockstars from our industry in one place just for you! With talks ranging from starting to work in the industry to expanding your skill set as an experienced user; we have sessions for everyone!

NOTE: This line up of speakers is subject to change.

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WorkLinks Get’s New Barbados Client



Summerside developer releasing “Rapscallions”


“Avast, me hearties, ye had best practice ye scurvy pirate speak in preparedness o’ “Rapscallions.”

OK, so writing pirate talk is not as easy as it sounds. In case you missed that, Summerside video game company Funky Finger Productions Inc. is ready to release the newest pirate-themed addition to its lineup, “Rapscallions.”

Andy Roberts, director of product development at the studio, explained that the game is his small, but mighty, crew’s most ambitious project since the company was founded in 2012.

“This is the most adventurous game that we’ve done yet and we really want that to be our calling card. This is what a small team can do and this is what we’re capable of as a company,” said Roberts.

The game itself is akin to checkers, with the object being to send your pirate crew from your ship out onto a net grid connecting it to your opponent’s vessel. When two pirates encounter each other the aggressor knocks the defender off the grid. Whichever player completely decimates the other’s crew, wins. There are also various items and bonuses players can use to give their sprightly crew an advantage.

Users can play against an artificial intelligence, locally on the same device with a friend or over the Internet.

The game itself is free, but there are in-game, real money, purchases and advertisements.

Roberts called it a “spiritual successor” to an old Commodore 64 game called “Piracy.”

“Rapscallions” will appear on the Android store by the end of this week, while the iTunes version will appear, hopefully, sometime within the next couple of weeks.

Unfortunately, they can’t be more specific regarding release dates, said Roberts, because once the company submits the game to the distributor even they don’t know exactly when it will work its way through their system and be posted.

This will be Funky Finger’s third title, the others being “Ice Slyder” and “TyRunAsaurus.”

The company currently employs five people and operates out of the Holman Centre. As far as they know, they’re the only company developing video games in the Summerside area.

The fact that they exist might surprise some people, said Roberts, as the company tends to have a low profile. But they try to stay active in the Island’s small game-development community, which has about half a dozen members, take on students when able and generally trying to support the industry.

James Martin, one of the programmers, said he grew up wanting to work in the video game industry but always assumed he’d have to move away. However, an information technology expo he attended in Grade 10 surprised him with the amount of options he had locally.

He ended up being hired by Funky Finger right out of UPEI’s computer science/game programing program and moved to Summerside from Charlottetown.

“Rapscallions” will be the first game Martin has worked on with an actual studio and he’s proud of how it turned out.

“I’ve never released anything through a company yet, so it’s pretty exciting,” he said.

“There’s a lot of stuff that I’ve never done before that I’ve been able to do in this (game) that I think turned out well. So I’m excited for our future projects to be able to integrate that stuff and improve upon it.”

“Rapscallions” credits:

– Andy Roberts, director of product development

– James Martin, programmer

– Evan Doran, artist

– Eva Blacquiere, artist

– Amy MacPherson, programmer

– Matt Arsenault (former employee)