PLATO Testing Celebrates its First Class of Indigenous Software Testers in Calgary
CALGARY, Alberta, May 14, 2020– Amidst the impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic, PLATO Testing, the world’s first Indigenous-staffed and led software testing company, is celebrating the graduation of its first students in Calgary, Alberta. PLATO Testing’s Indigenous Software Tester Training Program has trained more than 170 students since launching in 2015. The students graduating today bring the company one step closer toward reaching its mission of building a network of 1,000 Indigenous software testers in 20 communities across Canada.
In collaboration with industry leaders PQA Testing, Suncor, and Deloitte, PLATO Testing recruited and trained 12 students in the fundamentals of software testing during a five-month in-class session. The students then embarked on 3-month internships that allowed them to gain firsthand experience and learn about the role of a software tester working alongside testing teams at WestJet, Suncor, Cenovus and TC Energy. While the internships were intended to be in person, students transitioned to working from home in an effort to flatten the nation-wide curve of COVID-19.
“We are so grateful to all of our partners and internship sponsors for their enthusiastic support of our Calgary class. While this may have been our most challenging class logistically due to COVID-19, everyone, including the students, has stepped up to make the internships meaningful, even while working from home,” said PLATO Testing Founder, Keith McIntosh.
“Suncor was honoured to be part of this first Indigenous software testing class in Calgary in close collaboration with PLATO. We see a bright future for the graduates since the value of technical skills will remain high as the world becomes more digital,” said Janice Murphy, General Manager of Digital Project Execution, Suncor. “The five interns we hosted demonstrated not only tremendous growth in their time with us, but also tremendous agility in adapting to remote learning due to the pandemic.”
“Deloitte is proud to have formed a national exclusive alliance with PLATO Testing, working together to deliver testing solutions for complex business transformations at Canada’s largest commercial and public sector organizations, by developing a national team of experienced Indigenous software testers. Deloitte is also very pleased to congratulate PLATO Testing’s inaugural graduating class in Calgary! This accomplishment demonstrates the students’ perseverance and commitment to completing the program despite the unexpected shift to remote work that happened around the world during their internships. We are excited to continue to work with both new and future graduates at PLATO Testing serving our clients in Alberta and across Canada,” states Dana Ursulescu, Consulting Mid-West Managing Partner, Deloitte.
“I never knew this program would have a tremendous impact on my life and change the way I look at corporate Canada from an Indigenous lens. The level of confidence I have now, compared to eight months ago, is a direct result of the efforts of our instructor, PLATO partners and sponsors,” said graduating student Alyssa North Peigan.
To celebrate the outstanding achievements of the graduating class, PLATO Testing, along with their partners, will be hosting a virtual graduation ceremony on May 14.
About PLATO Testing
PLATO Testing is the world’s first Indigenous-staffed and led software testing company. Since being launched in 2015, PLATO Testing has trained more than 170 members of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities in software testing, making an impact in more than 50 communities across the country, and injecting more than $7 million directly into the Indigenous economy. PLATO Testing’s mission is to develop a network of 1,000 Indigenous software testers in 20 communities through training and employment.
Director of Marketing and Communications