CDOT Job Opportunities
CDOT projects employ students as Research Assistants (RAs) for WIL placements, summer jobs, and part-time work while studying at Seneca, and recent graduates on non-renewable contracts.
What You Should Know about Working at CDOT
CDOT Research Assistants have tranditionally been hired in four categories:
- Work-Integrated Learning - Full-time employment as part of the Seneca Student Work-Integrated Learning program (formerly co-op).
- Summer Students - Full-time employment during the summer semester (May-August). To be eligible in this category, candidates must be returning to full-time study at Seneca after the summer.
- Part-time - Part-time employment (up to 24 hours/week depending on study workload). Candidates may be studying at Seneca or be Seneca graduates, or in some cases, candidates not affiliated with Seneca may be considered.
- Graduate Time-Certain Contracts - Full-time non-renewable contracts, up to one year in duration, for positions requiring very specific skills. Graduate time-certain contract positions are generally filled from recent Seneca graduates who have previously worked in CDOT.
Research Assistant contracts are usually aligned with Seneca semesters:
- Winter: January - April
- Summer: May - August
- Fall: September - December
However, the funding or operational requirements of specific projects may lead to contracts that are not fully aligned with a semester.
Each Research Assistant works on a specific applied research project, and requires a specific skill set. RAs work in teams under the technical direction of a faculty lead, and are funded by specific applied research grants and/or industry partners. There are typically 12-40 Research Assistants working in CDOT at any one time; the largest number of RAs is usually hired during the summer semester.
Because there is a limited number of CDOT Research Assistant positions available, competition for these positions is high, and CDOT hires applicants with strong skills. We also recommend that all applicants for Research Assistant positions:
- have experience as an Open Source community contributor, and/or
- have taken a Seneca course in Open Source (OSD600/DPS909, SBR600/DPI908, or SPO600).
The CDOT hiring process follows general industry practices:
- CDOT periodically posts job opportunities (see below)
- Applicants submit a resume and cover letter
- CDOT selects applicants for an interview
- Applicants and CDOT staff meet for one (or more) face-to-face interview(s)
- CDOT makes a job offer to the selected applicant(s)
- Upon acceptance of the job offer, the employee starts work at CDOT on the specified date and time
All CDOT employees must be eligible to work in Canada and must have a Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN).
Preparing to Work at CDOT
If you are considering working in CDOT in a future semester, it is a good idea to develop some experience, open source community connections, and a portfolio of your work. You should be able to demonstrate that you solve problems creatively, work effectively in and with an open source community, have self-initiative, and that you learn new skills and knowledge as necessary.
In order to do this, you will need to go beyond what you can do in the classroom: augment your studies with personal experimentation and self-learning.
Here are some ideas:
- Create a mobile app and the matching server software, based on an open source software stack. Implement the software in a cloud service (Google or Amazon, for example) and make the code available on GitHub.
- Set up your own network of servers, configuring the network and services to interoperate. Use a variety of operating systems and software versions. Set up a multi-tier system with some combination of a web server, application server, database server, file server, and/or print server. Experiment with orchestration software (Ansible/Puppet/Chef), set up redundancy (server failover), try to break into your own systems, or optimize the systems for highest performance. You can buy cheap used computers or create virtual machines on your PC to do this virtually.
- Contribute bug fixes or feature improvements to an open source project.
- Write documentation for an open source project.
- Create a kernel module for a new device.
What to Include in an Application to Work at CDOT
In addition to information normally included in a resume and cover sheet (education, experience, contact information, which job you are applying for, and so forth), we suggest that you include the following information:
- If you are a student:
- Which program you are enrolled in;
- Which semester you are in within that program;
- Whether you will be graduating from the program before you start work at CDOT, or continuing as a student. This information is important to determine which hiring categories may apply to you;
- Which courses you have taken that deal with open source code and technologies; and
- Which courses you have taken that are related to the position for which you are applying.
- If you are applying for a WIL position:
- How many semesters you could work (1, 2, or 3)
- If you are applying for part-time work:
- Your availability, if known; and
- Your course workload (number of courses you will be taking while working at CDOT)
- Projects that you have done:
- In courses, that you have particularly enjoyed and are proud of; and
- Outside school, whether for your own personal interest, learning, as part of a job, or as a freelancer or consultant.
- Your knowledge of and interest in technologies:
- Which technologies you enjoy using the most, and the types of problems you enjoy solving.
- What you would most like to learn while at CDOT - the technologies you want to use and the types of problems you'd like to solve.
Please note that most RA positions in CDOT require independent creative problem solving skills, self-directed learning, and personal initiative. It is strongly recommended that your application include projects which go above and beyond your classwork.
How to Prepare for a Job Interview at CDOT
When interviewing at CDOT, it is a good idea to come prepared with knowledge of:
- open source software - concepts and principles
- what CDOT does
- what the project/team that you are joining does
You should also come prepared with evidence of your skills and self-learning abilities -- for example, be prepared to discuss innovative projects which you have worked on.
OSTEP Research Assistants for Winter 2019 (Sep-Dec)
- See the Seneca Work Integrated Learning (WIL) website for current OSTEP WIL (co-op) positions.
Watch for CDOT job postings:
- In the Seneca WIL listings, and
- On this web page.