Author Archives: Randy Gaudreau

Apr 27, 2022

1337 words | 8 minutes
By: Jessica Murphy

The internet’s overflowing with advice on how to land a job — some of it good, some of it not so good, almost all of it generic.

But what if you’re looking for tips on breaking into tech specifically? Wouldn’t it be great to have some real guidance from people who’ve been where you are, climbed the ladder and now often sit at the other, comfier side of the interview table? 

It would be great, and that’s why we rounded up some of our friends in high places — engineering and innovation leaders from some of Ottawa’s top tech firms — to answer your questions, share their career journeys and offer up some of their best advice on finding work and building a great career in the industry.   

We couldn’t have asked for a better group to share their wisdom. They included: 

  • Samir Ayachi, Head of 5G SW Development Group Ottawa, Ericsson 
  • Catherine Cormier, VP of Engineering, Assent 
  • Noel Murphy, Direct of Simulation Technologies, Field Effect 
  • Taimoor Nawab, Senior Vice President of Strategic Engineering and Business Development, Syntronic 
  • Ronnie Ross, Country Manager, NPO, Canada, Amazon Web Services 
  • Hubert Sugeng, Director of Engineering, Bluwave ai 
  • Lynn Stevens(moderator), Head Facilitator, Impact Ignite HR 

Below, we’ve summarized answers to some of your top burning questions on how to land your first job and gain a foothold in the industry as a new grad or career changer.  


How can I gain work experience in tech if even the most junior jobs call for several years of experience? 

Anyone who’s tried to break into a new industry has experienced the catch-22 of entry-level experience: entry-level jobs are supposed to be a chance to gain a foothold in a field, but many want you to have a pretty significant track record of work already.  

So how can you gain experience in a new industry if even the most junior jobs require several years of experience? 

The panel’s response? Get creative. “Hobby projects, home labs, self-driven projects count as experience — it doesn’t have to all be paid or company-sponsored experience,” said Hubert. Start a data project using open-source resources like AWS’s open data initiative, Ronnie added, or look for opportunities to volunteer, for example at Code for Canada, where you can help build products and services for the public sector.  

The bonus is that this kind of extra-credit work shows you’re passionate and committed to ongoing learning. “I think all the people who have stood out the most are people who’ve applied themselves to doing a home or side project to go deeper,” Hubert noted. 

What’s the panel’s number one, best and most effective job search and career development tip? 

Surprise! It’s networking.  

That was a joke — we know you’ve surely heard this one before. But there’s a reason it’s the top tip of hiring managers and successful people everywhere: having a strong network really is the best way to find good jobs and move up in your field. “Every job that I have had in my career so far has been through a direct contact, versus a cold submission of a resume,” said Noel. 

For one, having a strong network helps you learn about opportunities, many of which are never advertised on websites or job portals. And if you’re applying for a position that was posted, knowing someone on the inside of an organization can help you stand out from the hundreds of other applicants languishing in the HR inbox. “If you know people who have worked in a company that you would like to join, it’s always a huge leg up if you can have them help you out,” said Samir.  

Referrals can also help get you around pre-screening requirements that might otherwise condemn your CV to the slush pile — if you continually find yourself falling short of that maddening entry-level experience threshold, for example.  

So how can you get more connected? “Attend local meetups,” said Noel. “The more you get out and join those meetups, the more you understand what other people in the field are doing, the more you meet other contacts and enhance your network.” 

Crucially, though, networking isn’t just about showing up to events or reaching out to people who might help you — the best way to connect is through giving. “Contribute back,” Noel added. “Don’t be passive when you’re in those communities — don’t be the fly on the wall who’s listening. Be engaging.” 

How can I navigate ever-evolving new technologies to stay current, or even ahead of the curve? 

Things move fast in tech, and keeping up to date with emerging trends can be job in itself. The overarching advice from the panel? Be proactive. Read books and articles, watch videos, take advantage of free or low-cost courses, get involved in communities and generally get excited about what you’re doing. 

“Have a source of information that inspires you to keep pushing yourself, that you find naturally interesting for what you want to do,” said Hubert, adding that as you dive into your specialization, don’t lose sight of the big picture. “Go broad and deep at the same time, and have a network of people you can talk to and bounce silly ideas off of.” 

“Stay abreast and try to keep current,” Noel added. “That means reading books, and there’s tons of free stuff on YouTube or even very low-cost Udemy courses. Even if you don’t need to do a deep dive on any technologies, you definitely need to have an understanding of how the different pieces fit together.” 

“When I’m looking at a candidate, besides just assessing their technical capability, I’m trying to assess their ability to adapt. Things change quickly in technology today, and being able to adapt and be agile in how you get things done is very important.”  – Taimoor Nawab, Syntronic 

How can I really differentiate myself when so many people have the same or better credentials?  

The panel’s resounding answer? It’s not just about tech skills.  

Most hiring managers aren’t just checking boxes of required technical abilities and education — they’re also sizing you up for the more intangible qualities that make for a good employee, like openness to change, communication and teamwork skills, and commitment to continuous learning.  

“When I’m looking at a candidate, besides just assessing their technical capability, I’m trying to assess their ability to adapt,” said Taimoor. “Things change quickly in technology today, and being able to adapt and be agile in how you get things done is very important.”

“Being part of a team is how you’re going to have a real influence and get things done,” added Catherine. “You can have those specialized skills, but bring them to a team and learn how to engage effectively as part of a team.” 

AWS’s Ronnie agreed. “In 2021, we hired 300,000 people, and many of those individuals hired did not have the skills to work in tech. We hire people who might not have the exact skills because we hire builders.” 

Do my resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile really matter if it’s all about who you know? 

The short answer is yes. Your resume and LinkedIn profile are a hiring manager’s first window into who you are, both professionally and personally. Good write-ups won’t guarantee you a job, but sloppy ones will almost certainly hurt your chances.  

“Your resume is the first impression that you’re making to a hiring manager, so make sure it has no errors in it,” said Samir. “A well-written cover letter can also go a long way.” 

Be prepared to write cover letters that really speak to the organization and job you’re applying for and to tailor your resume to the position’s specific requirements and expectations. “Not everything is of interest to everyone,” Samir added. “Highlight the skills that you think qualify you for the job you’re applying for.”  

This means being specific about what you’ve done. “I work for a very data-driven company. Your CV should be data-driven too,” Ronnie added. “Have specifics, metrics about what you’ve accomplished, not just generalities and open statements. Especially when you’re applying for a job in tech, people like to see data.” 


Want to hear more from our panel? Follow us on LinkedIn and stay tuned for part two of the series, where we’ll share their best advice for growing in your career.  

Apr 26, 2022

1253 words | 7 minutes
By: Randy Gaudreau

For a position with a company to become more than just a job, it takes a combination of elements. The perfect mix might include the opportunity to work on meaningful projects or limitless growth potential, a supportive environment, and a real passion for doing what you do.

What started as a job at CGI 20 years ago for Senior Vice President Marc Campbell, has turned into a rewarding career, because it definitely ticked all the right boxes. When asked what’s kept him with the Canadian-founded multinational company, “It’s our culture,” Marc said.

“It’s the people I get to work with and learn from, it’s the clients we get to support, and it’s the challenges and opportunities that continue to present themselves for career growth and to scratch the three-year itch we all get to do something else.”

The CGI Culture

Supportive growth and mentorship are just part of the cultural equation at CGI.

A profile picture of Marc Campbell - Senior Vice President of CGI

Marc Campbell – Senior Vice President of CGI

For one, CGI employees are offered the opportunity to own shares in the company, and the sense of ownership that comes with that is core to the culture at CGI. As CGI professionals have been given the opportunity to become shareholders of CGI since the beginning, they’ve always been given a seat at the table as members.

“We call ourselves members, not employees, because of that ownership mentality,” Marc said. “The concept is, if you’re an owner you also have a voice and a voice amongst others, and that helps establish the defining elements of CGI and our culture.”

Another cultural plus of being part of the CGI team, is that there are plenty of opportunities to join groups that give you a chance to be yourself and be part of a community.

Marc highlighted, for example, a group heading down to Britannia Beach on the weekend for an environmental clean-up. He says it’s affinity groups like these, that help members feel like they can come to work feeling comfortable with who they are, and what they believe in.

“It’s a culture and environment that when you have an interest, there’s a lot of support around you to come together with that interest and create communities,” Marc said.  “We find people who fit well and promote that inclusivity and allow everyone to feel safe coming to work as their authentic selves.”

A commitment to creating a healthy, happy and supported team of professionals

Judging by the accolades CGI is receiving, the signs are positive that it is on the right track to ensuring member satisfaction. In the first quarter alone, CGI has landed on the lists of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers list for 2022Best Workplaces for Women 2022, and Canada’s Top Employers for Young People 2022.

In addition to his role leading CGI’s operations in the National Capital Region, Marc also wears a number of other hats as part of CGI. But one he highlights with great pride, is Chair of CGI’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council for Canada, which he says gives him the opportunity “to work with some of the most passionate people committed to driving change and providing a diverse, inclusive, and safe workplace.”

Marc acknowledged that there’s work to be done, but he’s thankful that CGI is being recognized for the work being done to ensure a safe, equitable, diverse and inclusive space for the CGI team, and a sign that they’re on the right path.

“We’re proud of that because it demonstrates we’re doing the right things,” he said. “CGI is very focused on is continuous improvement, and we’re always looking for feedback on how we could improve ourselves. So, when you get that recognition, it tells us we’re heading in the right direction.”

CGI in a nutshell

Founded in Québec City in 1976, CGI delivers an end-to-end portfolio of services and capabilities, from high-end IT and business consulting services and systems integration to IT and business process services.

Today, with more than 82,000 consultants and professionals in over 400 locations worldwide, and over 11,000 professionals in Canada, CGI has grown to become one of the largest IT and business consulting service firms in the world, using technology to manage satellite missions, advance government and health services and accelerate the digital journeys of companies.   

Headquartered in Montreal, CGI has a sizeable presence in Ottawa, with three locations and a team of 500 working in the Ottawa Gatineau region.

Ottawa jobs with global impact

The red, three letter logo for CGI

Working with the team in Ottawa doesn’t mean members are limited to working on locally specific tasks and projects, as experts often get involved in supporting clients nationally and globally.

Take CGI in Ottawa’s work on cyber security as an example: it is led by the regional teams in Canada, and then integrated into a global service offering.

“So, we get to work on some transformational opportunities supporting our local clients,” he said. “But then also clients across industries and across the globe.”

Driving the Canadian digital transformation

In Ottawa, CGI’s primary client focus is the digital journey of the federal government.

With its global scale and experience, CGI is uniquely qualified to support government clients in achieving their digital transformation outcomes. As he points out, as Canada works to keep up with the pace of digital change globally, growth opportunities are created locally for CGI.

“There’s been a lot of talk over the years, but I think it’s becoming real,” he said. “You’re seeing the investments in transforming so, the money is coming. The commitment is coming. Canada is behind some other countries in its transformation journey, and I think there’s commitment to catch up and focus on that. What that means to me, is a lot of opportunity coming up,” he added. “Because that’s what we’re best positioned for.”

Talent skillsets for today and tomorrow

So, what transformative skillsets are in high demand in the eyes of hiring managers at CGI? Marc outlined a few:

  • Organizational change management, cloud expertise, cyber security expertise, data and artificial intelligence, business analytics with an understanding of domain and industry, systems analytics, program and project management, software developers (Java, .NET and Curam)

An image of two women, looking at a two screen display, appearing to review code together.

But aside from the technical skills and requirements highlighted for any position with CGI, Marc is a firm believer that it’s less about the hard skills, and more about being able to adopt the career-focused, CGI mindset.

“I think that’s someone who’s looking for a career, more than a job,” he said. “It’s someone who’s open to a career, not just looking for the next assignment. Someone who’s passionate about helping clients solve the real problems, so it’s not just the work, but the outcome of the work and the impact on Canadians.”

“We’re really focused on career development, and planning for what opportunity is next, he added. “So, when I’m interviewing people, I often say, OK, it’s great that you’re this today, but what do you want to be down the road. And how can we get you there?”

The future is bright

Marc is excited to point out that there are quite a few developments on the horizon, particularly in cloud, data and AI and cybersecurity, that are sure to drive CGI’s growth locally and around the world.

“There’s a lot of great opportunity for talent at CGI,” he said. “Being able to leverage the data we get from space or drive better decisions through AI, are just two examples of how CGI is using cutting edge technology to help shape a better tomorrow.”


Are you looking to join the growing CGI team here in Ottawa? Check out this list for currently open positions with CGI in the Ottawa Gatineau region

For career opportunities with other fast-growing tech companies in Ottawa, sign up to join the Work in Ottawa talent pool, and get on our recruiters’ radars. You never know when the phone might ring!

Apr 25, 2022
8 mins | 1430 words

Are you thinking of planting some seeds of change? This summer you could be following your dreams for a fresh start at one of our Top 10 Companies hiring this month, ranging from electrical manufacturing to imaging technology, to artificial intelligence.

Keep scrolling to find out more on this month’s career opportunities in one of Canada’s most diverse tech hubs.


1. 1VALET 

What it does: 

1VALET delivers a smart building operating system that combines hardware, software and services to make residential buildings a better place to live and work. From the sidewalk to the suite, 1VALET connects residents and managers to their buildings with solutions including amenity bookings, entry access, end to end parking solutions and visitor access, all from a mobile app. Join 1VALET to use your tech skills to bring the future home for residents and building managers around the world.

The perks: 

At 1VALET, employees enjoy unlimited vacation and personal days, a comprehensive benefits package, employee stock option plans, competitive salaries, work from home, flexible work hours and an office shutdown between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Current job openings

iOS Developer, Quality Assurance Engineer, Full Stack Developer, +more jobs  

2. FRAMOS 

What it does: 

Are you fascinated by the unlimited potential of imaging technologies? For over 40 years FRAMOS has been driving innovation in vision technology solutions that help to shape our everyday lives. From sensors to systems, FRAMOS has a deep understanding of the complete value chain for use cases including self-thinking robots, cleaning robots, autonomous vehicles, and fully automated production. Join FRAMOS to combine your technical knowledge with a passion for AI, and get excited to influence the digitization of our society!

The perks: 

Employees of FRAMOS enjoy a comprehensive benefits package, remote working and flexible hours.

Current job openings: 

Content Marketing Manager/Creator, Senior Business Development Manager, Technical Writer, +more jobs 

3. Equispheres 

What it does: 

Equispheres is a materials science innovator that develops, manufactures and markets a unique product line of high-performance metal powders. Equispheres’ patent-pending atomization brings superior control and performance efficiencies to the automotive and aerospace industries by enabling faster production of stronger, lighter and more reliable printed parts. Recently Equispheres was awarded $3.5million to further accelerate the production of its metal powders. Join this fast-growing company to be at the leading edge of materials science innovations!

The perks: 

Employees at Equispheres enjoy competitive salaries, a share option program and a great benefits plan.

Job openings 

Director of Business Development and Sales, Process Operator, Electrical Control, Technician or Technologist, Manufacturing Engineer, + more jobs

4. Irdeto 

What it does: 

Irdeto is at the forefront of cybersecurity, creating the highest level of security standards for a connected world. With 50+ years of expertise and a multitude of acclaimed solutions, Irdeto aims to protect revenue and enable growth for clients in a variety of industries such as entertainment, transport, health and construction. If you want to be the best in in cybersecurity, join Irdeto, which is named one of the Best Cybersecurity Company of the Year 2022. You will also get the opportunity to work with global leading brands including 20 Century Fox, Comcast, CBS Interactive and Hollywood Studios.

https://irdeto.com/news/irdeto-once-again-awarded-as-the-best-cybersecurity-company-by-cybersecurity-excellence-awards/ 

The perks: 

Irdeto ensures its employees are well taken care of with on-the-job coaching, professional education opportunities, development programs, and skills training. Employees also receive competitive benefits like innovation sabbaticals, incentive and assistance programs, flexible work arrangements and more!

Current job openings: 

Fullstack Developer, Technical Manager, Senior QA Software Developer + more jobs

5. Mindbridge.ai 

What it does: 

Mindbridge is redefining the financial audit industry through AI to engage in rapid detection of irregular activities. Mindbridge’s Ensemble AI combines insights from several algorithms to produce a holistic, detailed risk assessment. Mindbridge has helped more than 20,000 accountants and finance professionals in audit and assurance, enterprises, governments, and financial institutions around the world to feel secure in knowing their work is free of errors or fraud. Are you high spirited and dynamic? Join this high-drive culture where your fresh ideas will be valued, supported and primed to succeed.

The perks: 

Employees at Mindbridge enjoy an abundance of benefits, including a robust health and dental package, wellness perks including Stay Fit and Be Well programs, stock options, paid vacation and life leave, “Freedom Fridays” (no standing meetings, half-days all year), and professional development program.

Current job openings 

Data Scientist, Chief Financial Officer, Payrolls and Benefits Administrator, Marketing Manager + more jobs

6. Momentive 

What it does: 

Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey Inc.) combines people-centric solutions with an agile, AI-powered platform to give business leaders the power to make important decisions, take action and achieve tangible results quickly and confidently. The company offers enterprise solutions for agile experience management and insights by three product brands: Momentive, GetFeedback, and SurveyMonkey. Join this global company and help decision-makers around the world create exceptional experiences!

The perks: 

Employees at Momentive enjoy a comprehensive benefits package, generous time off allowance, parental and family leave, sabbatical plan, mental health and wellness programs and delicious meals and snacks.

Current job postings 

Sales Strategy & Execution Specialist, Account Executive, Market Research, Senior Product Manager – Public API & Analytics Integration + more jobs

7. Nuenergy.ai 

What it does: 

Nuenergy is a Canadian Artificial Intelligence management software and professional services firm that helps AI technology developers to build guardrails, mitigate risk and maintain trust. Nuenergy is a leader in Canada’s AI governance in partnership with the Government of Canada, co-creating principles, standards, and integrated solutions using the company’s Machine Trust Platform. Join Nuenergy to help Canada build leadership in AI technology and work with respected organizations including RCMP, Employment and Social Development Canada, FundMore.ai, Envirosoft and many more!

The perks: 

Employees of NuEnergy.ai benefit from a competitive salary, dental and health benefits, and ample room for career growth.

Current job openings: 

Full Stack Developer, UI/UX Developer, ML/Data Scientist + more jobs

8. Superna 

What it does: 

Superna is a global leader in managing, protecting and securing unstructured data. Specializing in disaster recovery automation, ransomware detection, file history and data copy to cloud, Superna helps to alleviate challenges across all aspects of the data life cycle. Superna’s clients depend on the company’s scalable, simple and easy-to-use products (Scale out NAS and Dell EMC Isilon) to protect and secure billions of files everyday. Join Superna at this exciting and critical time for the data storage market!

The perks:  

In addition to competitive salaries and benefits, Superna offers flexible office location, work-life balance,  games rooms, potluck lunches and summer BBQs.

Current job openings: 

Data Center and Cloud Operations Specialist, UI/UX Designer, Software Project Manager, + more jobs

9. Solink  

What it does: 

Solink is a leader in providing cloud video surveillance systems for restaurants retailers and financial organizations. Solink’s video surveillance software connects security footage with POS data and creates a dashboard of analytics and searchable moments. Join Solink to develop and implement business operations, security and loss prevention strategies for global brands including Panasonic, SAP, Shopify, Tyco, Microsoft Dynamics and many more.

The perks: 

Employees at Solink enjoy a great health and leisure benefits package, subsidized gym membership, flexible work hours, employee stock options, team and social events and on-site snacks and games room.

Current job openings: 

Customer Success Manager, Customer Care Hero, Project Manager, DevOps Engineer + more jobs

10. thinkRF 

What it does: 

thinkRF provides leading edge software-defined radio technologies that cover broad frequency range and bandwidth with the best price to performance. thinkRF solutions are the only compact and networkable platforms that can be deployed remotely without a local PC and monitor in multiple locations. Are you a professional in RF, cloud, software or project management? Join thinkRF to revolutionize RF monitoring and intelligence for a future in 5G.

The perks: 

Employees at thinkRF enjoy medical, dental and vision benefits, a generous time off program and flexible hours with opportunities to continue learning and development.

Current job openings: 

Senior RF Engineers, Project Managers, AWS Cloud Architect, Software Developer + more jobs

Apr 25, 2022

Welcome to Invest Ottawa’s Taking Root segment. Each month, this reoccurring article will highlight a driven tech or business professional who took advantage of Invest Ottawa’s talent program and successfully landed a role at a star technology company in Canada’s capital city!

Through Taking Root, you’ll learn the ins and outs of their new position and hear firsthand what it’s like to relocate to Ottawa.


1003 words | 6 minutes
By: Jessica Murphy

Kaiwen Xu was already well into a successful career in drone technology when he moved to Ottawa late last year to work as a systems engineer at InDro Robotics, a Canadian company specializing in research and development of remote-piloted air and ground vehicles. Six months later, he’s found there’s nothing like working at an industry-leading R&D firm to shake things up. “I’m still learning new things every day,” he says. “All these things I’ve never done before — I have a chance to learn them and have people teaching me. It’s amazing.”

A dream opportunity to be on the front lines of UAV R&D

Kaiwen Xu holding a drone controller and looking up into the sky

Part of what’s new is the nature of the work he’s doing. Where in his former position he was largely behind the scenes — teaching engineers at other robotics firms how to integrate his company’s hardware and software into their own drones — he’s now right out in front, working with the equipment hands on. “When I moved here, I started doing the hands-on integration work myself, which is incredibly exciting.”

He probably couldn’t ask for a better place to get his hands (metaphorically) dirty.

InDro’s R&D facility is located in Ottawa’s Area X.O, a 1,866-acre, state-of-the-art test environment tucked away on the site of an old government farm in the city’s west end. Powered by one of the most advanced communication test infrastructures in the world — including GPS systems, 4G/LTE, WiFi, TV white space, satellite communications and authentic pre-commercial 5G — the living lab-style compound is essentially a giant sandbox for companies, entrepreneurs and researchers from around the world to develop and validate next-gen technologies like autonomous vehicles, drones and smart agriculture solutions under real-world conditions.

InDro shares the space with other R&D leaders, from small start-ups to global giants like Ericsson, Microsoft and Nokia, and companies often come together as R&D collaborators, contributing their talent and tech to projects.

Established and managed by Invest Ottawa, Area X.O is just one of the ways the city is showing its commitment to attracting the best tech talent and companies — and Kaiwen’s seeing it pay off. “Ottawa right now is a tech centre in Canada. Lots of big companies are moving here, there are lots of local companies — there are just so many opportunities here.”

Making an impact with life-saving tech

An image of InDro Robotics UAV droneInDro’s known for putting UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) technology to positive, potentially life-saving use, with long relationships to the first responder community in Canada and disaster relief agencies and researchers around the world.

As one of only four Canadian companies to be granted Transport Canada’s rare Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) certification — approval to fly beyond the remote pilot’s visual range — they can send their drones places most other companies can’t, like into the dense smoke above a burning building to identify hot spots or over a mountain for a bird’s eye view in a search and rescue mission.

Other potential emergency and medical applications include shuttling blood and medical supplies between hospitals and to hard-to-reach areas — for example, bypassing chaos on the streets in the wake of a natural disaster.

Working on the R&D side of things has not only brought Kaiwen closer to the equipment — it’s also given him better insight into the value of the technology and the difference it can make to people and industries. “I’m able to see people use the things we develop n life-saving scenarios, which motivates me to do more,” he says. “It’s something I never saw in my previous behind-the-scenes role.”

A fresh start for a new family

When Kaiwen and his wife decided to make the move to Ottawa, they weren’t just looking for work — they were looking for a place to put down family roots and raise their young son. The transition was smoother than they could’ve hoped. For one, his wife quickly found a great job of her own — at InDro Robotics. “It’s been amazing,” Kaiwen says. “We can carpool every day.”

The convenient work arrangement also means they can both take advantage of the company’s flexible scheduling to care for their son. “I can come to work early in the morning and leave earlier in the afternoon, or I can start later and leave later. I have a kid, so I need a lot of flexibility. At InDro, I never worry about time and schedule — I just give my manager a heads-up and I can go.”

The city has also made the transition easy for them. Ottawa’s known as an ideal place to raise kids, and Barrhaven, the suburban neighbourhood Kaiwen and his family settled in, is a particular favourite of young families for its good schools and ubiquitous parks and playgrounds. “In a ten-minute walk, I can find six or seven parks — it’s just an amazing place for kids,” he says.

Kaiwen Xu smiling, outside during the winter, with his arms around his wife and son.With one winter down — and, Kaiwen notes, happily mild compared to Winnipeg’s sub-minus-thirty lows — the family’s looking forward to the warm weather. “I’m looking forward to seeing the summer in Ottawa — everyone says it’s beautiful. I’m planning to go fishing, and I want to take my family to the beach, to restaurants, to the national park. There are so many things we want to do — we want to go everywhere.”

Mostly, though, Kaiwen and his wife are excited to grow as a family in the city. “Ottawa has provided us with a lot of growth opportunities — living, working, our kid’s education, every aspect,” he says. “I’m excited to see my family adapting to life in Ottawa.


Interested in exploring career opportunities and taking root in Ottawa yourself? Join our talent pool to make yourself discoverable by the hiring managers in our network.  

Mar 29, 2022

Welcome to Invest Ottawa’s Taking Root segment. Each month, this reoccurring article will highlight a driven tech or business professional who took advantage of Invest Ottawa’s talent program and successfully landed a role at a star technology company in Canada’s capital city!

Through Taking Root, you’ll learn the ins and outs of their new position and hear firsthand what it’s like to relocate to Ottawa.


1081 words | 6 minutes
By: Jessica Murphy

When Onat Baş and his wife arrived in Ottawa from Turkey last fall, they quickly faced what is for many newcomers one of the most daunting aspects of the transition to life in Canada: the notorious winter.

But Ottawans have their own style of seasonal coping, and Onat and his wife were quick studies. The trick is to embrace the season in all its cold, frosty glory. Every year, residents and visitors excitedly await the freezing of the Rideau Canal — A UNESCO World Heritage Site that becomes the world’s longest skating rink for two months every winter — and the opening of nearby ski hills, plus winter markets and festivals like Winterlude, an annual ode to the season that transforms downtown into a giant, snowy playground.

“One of the things that surprised me is how many amenities there are in winter,” Onat says, “how many ways there are to make it enjoyable. The first thing we did was try out the canal — it turns out we’re good skaters.”

Working at the forefront of tech innovation 

Onat BAŞ working on site at Ross Video, smiling, wearing a headset on video call

A technical product manager with degrees in mechanical engineering and software engineering, Onat is part of a very welcome wave of skilled immigrants helping to secure Ottawa’s reputation as an international hub of tech research and innovation.

He transitioned from Istanbul to work as a technical product manager at Ross Video, a Canadian company that designs and manufactures live broadcasting equipment.

With its principal R&D facility in Ottawa and offices around the world, Ross Video is one of a growing cohort of Canadian tech companies with a strong Ottawa presence that are global leaders in their industries. Ross’s products are used every day by major broadcast networks like NBC, SKY, CBC, ABC, CTV and ESPN, and their systems and equipment have been used in some of the world’s most recognizable events, including the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards and the Olympics.

For Onat, one of the keys to the company’s long-running success is a supportive culture that invests in people’s potential.

“I think Ross Video is an amazing company to work with,” he says. “We have amazing talent — industry veterans but also new grads. Ross really embraces a culture of mentorship and nurturing.”

Having an open recruitment policy that encourages diversity certainly helps.

“Once we open our horizons, we get access to so many diverse people from across the world,” he adds. “We have customers all across the globe, and we have employees all across the globe. It’s important for us to be a global company.”

A person sits at the controls of a video display, in a room with a view from above the field at a sporting event.

Ross is a local international success story — like e-commerce giant Shopify, they started in the area and expanded outward. But the opposite is also increasingly the case as more and more top global companies choose the city as their expansion home.

Recently, amid the second wave of the pandemic, Silicon Valley IT giant Gigamon, Dutch telecom equipment design house AimValley and New York-based SaaS company Catalyst have joined Ottawa’s vibrant tech scene, drawn by the city’s diverse talent pool, broad research capabilities, business friendliness and high quality of life.

The world is taking notice. In the 2021 CBRE Scoring Tech Talent report, Ottawa ranked as the top momentum market in North America, with the largest jump in positions, and edged out even Silicon Valley tech talent concentration, which calculates tech sector workers as a percentage of total industry occupations. Today, the sector represents 11% of employment in the city, a rate three times the national average.

As the city’s tech scene booms, opportunities abound. When Onat began planning his move to Canada, he knew he wanted to live in Ontario. He zeroed in on Ottawa because of the number of good jobs available in the city. “I felt drawn to Ottawa because there were so many opportunities in tech and in my area, with software and hardware and things like that,” he says. “There are tons of opportunities in the city, and I’m pretty thankful for that.”

Planting roots — and finding work-life balance — in Ottawa

Another pleasant surprise was the freedom Onat’s job offered him to settle in and enjoy the city. “I saw an article the other day that Ottawa is the number one city to find work-life balance,” Onat says, referring to a recent survey by American access control system developer Kisi that compared 50 cities around the world on measures like work intensity, institutional support, legislation and livability. Ottawa placed first in Canada and sixth overall, thanks in large part to its high scores for city livability, including outdoor spaces, air quality, and health and wellness.

“I’m an example of work-life balance,” Onat says. “Working at Ross Video, we have flexible work hours, and we actually encourage people to spend time with their families. It’s important to recharge your batteries before going to work again.”

Onat BAŞ seated indoors at a bench table with his arms crossed over at the wrist, smiling while being interviewed.

He’ll also vouch for the city’s natural beauty and general outdoorsiness. “We arrived in the fall, and the city greeted us with so many colours. Ottawa in the fall is quite scenic, and it was warmer than I anticipated, so that was a nice surprise.”

Another bonus? Ottawa has over 980 kilometres of multi-use pathways, bike lanes, off-road trails and paved shoulders, which make for an easy, scenic commute. “My favourite way to get to the office is actually cycling. Even during winter, it’s not much of a problem,” he says. “We’re big fans of cycling, and I get to enjoy the scenic views when I go to the office or commute around the city.”

For Onat, the move to Ottawa was a smart one, and he encourages other talented tech people abroad to follow his lead. “For those considering a move to Ottawa, I’d definitely say check out the opportunities — there are tons of opportunities for talent in the city, whether you’re working in software, hardware, product verification — all sorts of tech areas. You’ll be glad you did.”


Did you miss out on our last career fair? Join our talent pool to receive an invite straight to your mailbox.  Also, be sure to follow the Work In Ottawa LinkedIn to stay connected.  

Mar 23, 2022
8 mins | 1617 words

Spring has sprung and it’s time for change! April is the month of transformation; a time of rebirth and a time to start thinking about a new career move.

This month we are excited to shine a spotlight on 10 companies offering opportunities that you won’t want to miss. Read on to find out more on this month’s career opportunities in a variety of tech areas, from cybersecurity to 5G in Canada’s capital.


1. Avanade

What it does:

Do you like solving problems and tackling challenges head-on? Are you a ‘boundary breaker’? If so, Avanade might be the next career move for you.

Since emerging in 2000 as a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture, Avanade today has about 52,000 professionals working in 25 countries. Having a wealth of expertise in all things Microsoft has enabled Avanade to evolve and grow as a natural provider for government and crown corporations in the Ottawa area where the global technology provider is experiencing exceptional growth.

One of Avanade’s growth drivers is dubbed “the Hatch”, which aims to help clients tap into any unused potential within Microsoft’s plethora of solutions to solve their toughest challenges.

The perks:

Avanade offers a comprehensive benefits program where employees enjoy a work-life balance, performance with bonus pay, vision and dental benefits, family leave policies and everything in between.

Current job openings:

D365 F&O (ERP) Solution Architect Lead, Cloud & Infrastructure Security Manager, Power Platform Analyst, Talent and Sales Enablement Manager +more jobs

2. Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

What it does:

CIRA helps to shape the internet. The organization’s mandate includes managing more than 3 million .CA domains and helping to improve digital literacy and skills amongst Canadians.

Are you passionate about the future of Cybersecurity? Join CIRA to make an impact by creating programs, products and services that help build a trusted internet for all Canadians.

The perks:

Employees of CIRA benefit from the organization’s commitment to training and development, health and dental benefits, retirement savings plan, performance bonus, health and fitness benefits, monthly transportation allowance, monthly home internet allowance, volunteering and giving opportunities, a work from home reimbursement, top-up parental leave, team building and social events.

Current job openings:

Product Manager – Cybersecurity, Intermediate Software Developer/Dev Ops, IT Support Specialist, Cybersecurity Technical Sales Consultant  + more jobs 

3. CGI

What it does:

One of the largest independent technology and business services firms in the world, CGI brings together industry and technology experts to deliver end-to-end services including consulting, systems integration, and IT outsourcing.  Aiming for excellence, (and clearly achieving it), CGI received awards for being a great place to work for a number of years. Most recently winning Best Workplace 2021, Best Workplace for Women 2021 and Linked in Top Companies Canada.

Join more than 10,000 professionals with CGI Canada to work with clients from many industries including finance, government, telecommunications, and healthcare.

The perks:

As an employee of CGI, you will have access to the company’s share purchase (invest a percentage of your salary in CGI shares, and CGI matches your contribution dollar for dollar) and profit participation plans, awards and recognition plans. In addition, CGI recently deployed several new initiatives including remote working, 24/7 training and webinars, as well as resources to support at-home learning for your children such as [email protected] AT HOME, a program for children ages 6-14.

Current job openings:

Vice President, Consulting Services, Federal Government, Analytics/AI, Project Manager, Cloud Security Solutions Architect +more jobs

4. Ericsson

What it does:

At the forefront of the 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing and cloud network infrastructure era, Ericsson is creating never-before-seen opportunities for people and businesses.

A cornerstone of Ericsson’s global R&D efforts, Ericsson Ottawa continues to lead the charge for innovation in collaboration with the company’s global partners and customers. In 2021, the Ericsson Open Lab was launched to develop architectures and common operating standards that complement existing 5G-ready technology in collaboration with service providers while allowing them to test new use cases and software.

The perks:

Ericsson offers employees a work-life balance, flexible working opportunities, health care and wellness plans and family-friendly policies.

Current job openings:

5G Baseband Infrastructure Developer, 5G end-to-end performance testing professional, Project Manager, Software Developer-UI  + more jobs

5. Giatec Scientific

What it does:

Bringing smart technologies and real-time data collection to the forefront of every construction site, Giatec is revolutionizing the industry with wireless concrete sensors, mobile apps, and advanced non-destructive technologies (NDT). A rising ‘tech star’, Giatec has received many awards for innovation, sustainability, and excellence including being named Top Growing Company by The Globe and Mail in 2021. Are you creative and passionate, with a drive for innovation? Join Giatec, one of Canada’s fastest growing companies, to reshape your future.

The perks:

Giatec promotes a culture that is diverse and inclusive, empowering employees to share ideas and collaborate. Employees at Giatec benefit from flexible health benefits, work-life integration including learning, development and growth opportunities, an outstanding time off package including three weeks of paid vacation, life days, volunteer days and paid birthdays off as well as a comprehensive wellness program.

Current job openings:

Engineering Solutions Support Associate, Human Resources Generalist, Account Manager, Electronics Designer, + more jobs

6. Red Canari

What it does:

Red Canari isn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill security firm. Its research-driven team of information security specialists are capable of identifying some of the most sophisticated, hard-to-find vulnerabilities. You could be working alongside seasoned security professionals, navigating the security landscape, and working with government departments and military command to develop and sustain cyber resiliency. Join an industry leader continuing to redefine excellence in the field of information security and make your mark on the world stage of cybersecurity.

The perks:

As an employee of Red Canari, you will be rewarded with a culture offering flexible hours, work from home/remote, monthly health and wellness initiatives. A benefits package that includes stock options, competitive salary, performance-based incentives and bonuses, access to an annual professional development fund and a comprehensive health and dental plan. In addition, you will receive a generous time off package including public holidays and vacation leave, an annual two-week shutdown in December and the very popular #RedCanariSummerFriYays (Fridays off July and August).

Current job openings:

Red Team Operator, Account Executive, Head of Sales  + more jobs

7. Ross Video

What it does:

Ross Video designs, manufactures and supports a wide range of innovative products for use in live production applications by top broadcasters, production companies, sports stadiums, government agencies and more. Providing an unrivalled range of products and services, the company is growing with a continued commitment to regional employment and keeping manufacturing in Canada wherever possible. In February 2022 Ross Video showcased some of the newest and best technology at the Super Bowl, with the main attraction being a gigantic 80-million-pixel screen making the Super Bowl LVI ‘The most technologically advanced venue on the planet’.

The perks:

Employees at Ross Video benefit from a competitive salary, education assistance development support, professional association fees, employee share ownership option, service and recognition awards, generous paid time off, reading allowance and comprehensive health, dental and vision plan.

Current job openings:

Software Developer, Technical Writer, Senior Hardware Developer, Senior Software Automation Developer + more jobs

8. Signiant

What it does:

Paving the way for cloud computing, Signiant provides the fastest and most secure delivery service for large files over private and public networks.  The organization is trusted by name-brand clientele like the National Hockey League and Disney. Signiant’s SaaS platform connects more than 50,000 companies such as sports leagues, TV stations, and gaming developers. Are you ready to work at a company that is a market leader in cloud-native SaaS has some of the coolest customers in the world, and is both profitable and fast-growing? Signiant would love to speak with you!

The perks:

Signiant celebrates teamwork and excellence. Employees enjoy a competitive compensation package that includes health, dental and wellness benefits, a competitive salary, and work-from-home options.

Current job openings:

Technical Customer Support, Intermediate Full Stack Software Developer, Systems Software Developer (C++, Go)

9. Solace

What it does:

A leader in harnessing the power of data, Solace ensures the seamless flow of data between data centres, mobile devices, and software applications at consistently high speeds as securely as possible. Solace helps enterprises adopt, manage and leverage event-driven architecture, with a complete event streaming and management platform. Trusted by the world’s leading brands such as NASA, Barclays, RBC, SAP, and the London Stock Exchange, Solace’s data movement technology connects 1.5 million vehicles in Singapore and processes more than 500 billion “events” globally per day.

If you have an interest in event-driven integration and architecture, event mesh and middleware, your work at Solace could directly benefit the end user experience of many favourite household brands.

The perks:

Solace’s employees benefit from a diverse and inclusive culture, a competitive employee benefits package, a hybrid work model, top-notch training programmes and a stellar customer lineup.

Current job openings:

Technical Product Manager, Graphic Designer, UX Developer +more jobs

10. Vermont Information Processing (VIP)

What it does:

VIP is the leading technology supplier for brewers, distributors, wineries, soda bottlers, and other companies in the beverage industry. VIP leverages its technology and relationships with hundreds of suppliers and distributors to streamline operations; from helping distributors improve their warehouse, delivery, and sales operations, to empowering suppliers to know where their products are and how they’re selling.

VIP, based in Colchester, Vermont, is building a team in Ottawa. Now is your time to help create this brand in Canada where you will make operations run smoother, smarter and more profitably.

The perks:

Employees at Vermont Information Processing enjoy health insurance, vision and dental reimbursement, employee stock ownership plan, 401k and profit sharing, life and disability insurance, flexible spending account, paid parental leave, flex and hybrid schedules.

Current job openings:

Senior Software Engineer, Mid-level Software Engineer, Database Engineer + more jobs

 

Mar 8, 2022

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.


Career Fairs

Work in Ottawa Tech Career Fair
March 9, 2022
Online

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

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.

iTech
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.

FWD50
November 1–3, 2022
Hybrid

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.

Meetup Groups

OWASP Ottawa

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.

Ottawa Cyber

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!