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.
4 mins | 610 words
By: Brooke Harrison
Siddharth Panchal is a passionate web developer with practical experience in development and UX design, and three degrees in Computer Software Engineer, Database Administration and Database Application Development. Any company would be lucky to have his skill set and drive to evolve as part of the team.
But instead of targeting the largest company in the market, he set his sights on working with a startup here in Ottawa. Why? According to Siddharth, Ottawa is an emerging land of Tech opportunity, where innovative startups give their team a chance to learn on the fly, engage in multiple projects and troubleshoot when necessary.
Hear why Siddharth chose to continue his path towards being a full stack developer by joining a startup here in Ottawa.
As a recent graduate were you nervous about finding a job?
No, I’ve always worked extremely hard in my studies and earned the right credentials for the areas that I wanted to work in. I also had a year of experience as a full stack developer before I moved to Canada from India. During my two months of job searching, I received multiple job offers, but at the end of the day, I knew I wanted to work at a startup. An Invest Ottawa talent sourcer passed my resume on to RideShark, and a month later, I was invited for an interview, where the decision became more solidified that a startup like RideShark was the right choice for me.
Firstly, RideShark is a local Ottawa startup that offers ride-sharing services for government, corporate and campus organizations. The organization empowers sustainable travel options by making it easier to access transportation programs that are totally unique and customizable! My current position with the startup is as a front-end developer but I am also interested in back-end development as well and hope to become a full stack developer further on in my career. I am thrilled to be working for this company, my colleagues are nice, and I am constantly learning new skills while enhancing the ones I have.
What do you love most about your job and RideShark?
The people! My interview was with my now lead developer. It made me realize how nice and collaborative the organization is. I’ve noticed since starting that people are helpful and want everyone to succeed. Before the interview, I had a job offer for a tech company in Toronto, but I chose RideShark. Ottawa is where I wanted to be and the company culture fit perfectly with what I was looking for.
Why did you prefer to work for a startup?
I’ve always believed that if you work at a smaller organization or startup you’re going to learn exponentially more. You get to start on the big projects and components right away and try things you might not otherwise have the opportunity for until later on in your career. I always knew I wanted to work at a startup after school because of all the opportunities that arise from working at one!
Why did you choose to work in Ottawa?
Ottawa is a beautiful and fun city. In my view, it is also the perfect place to grow my career and build a life. Developers are very lucky in the sense that we can work remotely in most instances. However, Ottawa’s rent is much cheaper than Toronto, which means I would be able to afford a car and generally have a better quality of life. Ottawa is also becoming the next Silicon Valley so to speak; it is where the tech jobs are. It would be hard to find another place you could move to with all this opportunity.
What is your vision for your tech career?
In the 5-10 years I hope I will still be in the development field but as a full stack developer. It’s what I am most excited about. I also want to constantly keep learning and improving on my skills. One of the best parts about my job is the exciting projects we work on. I hope to take more leadership roles on them in the future. I plan on staying in Ottawa and learning as much as I can in the next few years.
What’s your plan for relocating to Ottawa?
I lived in Ottawa during university and loved the energy of the city. It’s a center of innovation and culture, you really feel like this is where tech is happening. I am looking forward to returning to Ottawa at the beginning of November. I will be renting a house with a couple of friends in Kanata, a community in Ottawa with the most concentration of tech companies.
Want to learn more about the company that Siddharth is so thrilled to work for? Visit the RideShark careers page.