Indigenous Software Tester Training Program Launches in Calgary

CALGARY, Sept. 9, 2019  – A group of Indigenous students begin training to become software testers in CalgaryMonday, with paid internships at leading companies like Suncor and guaranteed full-time jobs with PLATO Testing awaiting those who complete the program.  

Leroy Big Bull of the Piikani Nation is eager to be a part of the program. “I like that this is a growing field, and that the training is hands-on, relevant and accessible,” he said. “I’m excited to try something where there is opportunity to learn new skills, with room for growth from a junior tester to senior tester and beyond.”  

Big Bull says “I’ve worked in dead-end jobs before that have been dependant on grants and government support. I’m looking for security and a reputable company to work for.” Big Bull is encouraged that “the PLATO Software Tester training will give me that, along with the chance to feed my interest in computing, trouble-shooting and design.”

PLATO President Denis Carignan was impressed with the quality of the applicants for the Calgary course. “We received excellent applicants from the Nations around Calgary and beyond, many with strong interest in technology. Choosing the students was very difficult.” 

The software testing training is comprised of a five-month in-class session delivered by a professional instructor and supported by a software testing expert, followed by a three-month paid internship. At the end of the program, graduates are offered permanent jobs with PLATO Testing.

“Students who successfully complete the eight-month program are offered full-time employment with PLATO,” said Carignan. “We’ve had incredible success in other cities, with an 85% completion rate. Students enter the program with no testing experience and graduate eight months later with the skills they need to succeed as a software tester and begin their career in IT.”

“The launch of a PLATO software tester internship training program here in Calgary is a significant new development in our successful partnership. We are very proud to be playing a small part in building the next generation of specialized, professional software testers in Indigenous communities, and showing the diversity of the digital projects we have underway,” commented Janice Murphy, General Manager Digital Projects at Suncor.

The PLATO Indigenous software testing training is being delivered at the University of Calgary, Downtown Campus.

About PLATO Testing:
PLATO Testing was founded in September of 2015 by Keith McIntosh, technology industry veteran and CEO of testing firm PQA Ltd. PLATO is striving to build a network of 1000 Indigenous software testers in 20 communities across Canadaby 2025. PLATO currently employs more than 50 full-time Indigenous software testers, making a positive impact for clients from coast to coast to coast. PLATO testing has offices on or near Indigenous communities across Canada, in Fredericton and Miramichi New Brunswick, Sault Ste Marie, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

For further information: Media Contacts: Susan Holt, VP, Strategy,, (506) 238-0583; Denis Carignan, President,, (306) 216-9844