Co-op @ Digital Lab

The Purolator Digital Lab employs co-op students every term, from southern Ontario colleges and universities.  We're very proud of our program, and have grown it year to year.

About the Digital Lab

The Digital Lab is an innovation incubator within Purolator IT.  We are a group of ~20 software developers, testers, engineers, and researchers organized into small, close-knit project teams. 

The Digital Lab has a start-up feel, while being supported by a large, ~15,000 employee organization.  Purolator as a whole has been recognized as the #5 top employer in Canada by Forbes magazine.

Our goal is to enable business strategy with innovative technology -- we're an in-house dev team that cranks out technology for proofs-of-concept and pilot programs.

Life at the Lab

The Digital Lab works on 4 - 6 significant projects per term, so the environment is fairly fast paced and dynamic.  We follow agile (manifesto, rather than SCRUM) and Kanban principles in our development projects.

You'd be working with a group of 3 to 4 people regularly, who'd offer mentorship, guidance, and encourage you to contribute the best you can. 

We're a distributed group that works "hybrid remote" -- most of the time people work from home, but we get together for project kickoffs, launches, social department meetings, and hack days.  Our offices are in Kitchener, Mississauga, and North York. We also have a research team working out of Quebec.

At times we work "in the field" -- at Purolator terminals and retail locations, to work with the end-users and stakeholders of our projects.

About the Work

The technology we work with is generally modern, cutting edge (rather than bleeding edge).  In 2022 we focused our software technology stack on C# .Net, Flutter/Dart, and Azure IoT capabilities.  Microsoft Azure is our cloud provider of choice.  We develop Apple iOS and Android applications regularly.

Our Engineering team does everything from research to fabrication of new components out of wood, metal, electrical schematics, PCB manufacturing, dunking things under water, etc.

We also generate and consume memes at a high clip.

Roles Available

Co-op roles at Digital Lab focus on four areas:

  • Software Development -- full-stack roles, writing services, user interfaces, mobile apps, IoT firmware.
  • Product Quality Development -- testing, automating tests, pipelines, releases, and DevOps process.
  • Engineering Specialists -- mechanical and electrical engineering of prototype equipment, new processes.
  • UI / UX Design -- designing and iterating on new products and features for our end-users.

Each role is very hands-on, and you'd be a meaningful contributor to the overall goals of the team and project.

Do you hire your Co-op's?

Yes! Totally!  That's the biggest value of the program -- finding new grads their first permanent role.   We do that whenever we can.

We also encourage people to come back for a 2nd term, or continue for 8 or 12 month terms.

Big thanks to former co-op Victoria Ross who helped collect the information that made this blog post (hopefully) relevant!