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Putting people before profit in Canada’s tech sector

Putting people before profit in Canada’s tech sector


My name is Pablo Listingart and I arrived in Canada in 2015. I noticed that there were a lot of professionals where they had no jobs. I started thinking about how to close that gap. We try to help people who can’t afford to go through university or other types of training, and then we train them in 3 months so that they can be software developers. When we came to Canada I received a phone call and it was a guy who I shared an office with many years ago. He said, “We have to make a proposal to google.org. They are thinking about funding several projects, so we want to propose ComIT as one of them”. He called me back in November saying, “You got the grant”. That allowed us to hire teachers. So my work changed from being a 1-man band to actually hiring the people, and jumped from teaching 40 people per year to 300 in 2015, and over 500 in 2016. Pablo came and I talked to him briefly. I realized he was actually quite a brilliant software developer himself, and so I wanted to hire Pablo. And he told me let’s do a ComIT class. Either we’re going to have some good output from the class, or else he’d agree to come work for us. It turns out that once we got ComIT going, we hired 5 from that first class. He’s out there just trying to help people. He could be making a for-profit school, but ComIT is a non-profit. Every time he’s got more resources, another class opens up, or else he’s paying instructors or hiring people. So his mission is to find people jobs. I’ve been working at SkipTheDishes for about just under a year and a half. Everyone wants to be the best they can be, and it’s just a great place to work at. I started at ComIT by finding a posting in the Information and Communication Technology Association of Manitoba. ComIT was offering a free Java programming course. They’ve helped me build out a good understanding of what it is to be a developer. With the classes you can work together as a team solving problems. The way class is, it’s not just reading from a textbook, it’s more to give you the steps to keep going, in a sense. By the end of the course I got a job lined up. It was insane to think about how fast you can move in your life, it was crazy. It definitely changed my life. I want people to understand that you can manage your own future by making an effort and by being true to your own values. For me to make it free for people, it’s democratizing education. I came here to be able to continue doing what I was doing back in South America, but I didn’t expect to do it this fast. Along with my kids, it’s probably the greatest thing that you can feel, that you’ve helped others change their lives and their family’s lives and that they are going to do something different for the future. So doing that for Canadians and the country that received me and that gave me the opportunity to bring my family here, it’s something that I’ve never dreamed of.

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