A tech startup is transforming this Canadian city into an innovation hub

Apr 19 2021, 7:30 am

A local technology incubator is helping turn Windsor, Ontario into a tech hub with its growing pool of tech talent. The emerging startup, Rocket Innovation Studio, was founded in 2019 with the aim of combining the skills of the best tech professionals in the area to serve a large portfolio of tech companies.

Using the latest tools and methods, the company builds customized IT solutions for specific clients’ business needs. By providing opportunities to both novel and veteran tech professionals of different skill levels, the company is carving space for itself as a career destination and working to establish Windsor as a burgeoning tech hub.

“Rocket Innovation Studio was an opportunity that I didn’t think existed in the city of Windsor,” Halen Whiston, a developer at the company tells us. “I was looking for something that would allow me to steer my career in the same direction as the tech industry, which meant being able to work with growing technologies, learn modern development practices, and work with developers who followed these trends.”

To his surprise, Rocket Innovation Studio checked every box. With Windsor’s long-standing reputation for being an automotive or manufacturing town, Whiston never expected he’d be able to pursue his ideal career path locally. “With the work that we do here, I feel like I’m making an impact not only for our clients but also for the city where I grew up.”

The startup is recruiting all types of experienced technologists to join their first-rate team, narrowing in on candidates with a vested interest in fintech, real estate, and finance. The fast-growing company is an ideal environment for career jumpstarting or advancement no matter if someone has a background in computer science, software development, information technology, data and information science, or database development.

The company operates as a cross-functional team comprised of scrum masters, product owners, and software developers who apply a Scaled Agile Framework. Leveraging the latest cutting-edge technologies, their full-service development team collaborates, designs, builds, tests, and delivers customized solutions for its roster of clients — with plenty of opportunities to build new things along the way.

While Rocket Innovation Studio is passionate about front-end and back-end development, they’re also pioneering the realm of data science and offering services that encompass everything from cloud enablement to data architecture development.

For Whiston, no workday is the same, “and to be honest, I kind of prefer it that way. Being able to pick up new tools and run with them comes with the job of being a software developer.”

Before beginning his career at Rocket Innovation Studio, Whiston was faced with the post-grad dilemma of figuring out where he should settle down. “I was under the impression that the opportunities I wanted were far beyond this city,” he tells us. Eager to return home to his family after a year in London, Ontario, he was intrigued to hear that a software solutions company was making its mark in Windsor.

Walking through the building doors to find “open office spaces, stand-up cubicles, and developers talking about their latest game of ping pong,” Whiston immediately felt that the company was in tune with what he wanted. “It was everything I was looking for in an opportunity as a recent university graduate.”

With an undergrad and master’s degree in computer science from the University of Windsor under his belt, Whiston was looking to put his passion for software development to good use and was up for the challenge of learning new things — “even if it meant falling on my face.”

Described as having the resources and stability of Rocket Companies coupled with the innovation and feel of a startup, Rocket Innovation Studio provides its team members with valuable skills that positively impact the course of their careers. New technologists joining the team can expect to be among some of the top tech experts from around Canada, and with its emphasis on training and mentoring programs, opportunities to move up are aplenty.

Propelled by a desire to help their team members become the best versions of themselves, ongoing training and constant learning mean being in the know when it comes to emerging technologies, networking, and gaining new skills.

Whiston points out, “the coolest thing about Rocket Innovation Studio is the notion that we’re not locked into any one technology for our business.” When he started working at the company as a developer, he didn’t anticipate he’d have a hand in doing everything from web development to cloud services.

“If you have an idea or a specific technology you want to learn, get out there and get your hands dirty with it. Innovation is in the name, and learning new things is 100% encouraged,” he says. 

On top of perks, like a competitive salary and benefits package, the relatively small size of the enterprise means there’s a sense of closeness you can’t find at bigger companies. Leaders are invested in their team members’ career growth, which means there’s a level of openness and encouragement that defines the company culture.

When asked what he enjoys most about the work that he does, “it sounds crazy, but I feel like the work I do here makes an impact on a grander scale because a lot of the time it feels like more than just a job. It feels fulfilling.”

To learn more about Rocket Innovation Studio and the career opportunities that await, you can visit MyRocketCareer.com/WindsorTech.

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