Data from LinkedIn recently confirmed what everyone in tech already knew: that coding is a coveted skill in Canada and beyond.
In a complex and challenging market—from hybrid work to economic tightening—companies are doing everything in their power to attract and retain talented engineers, who remain the essential life-force of many tech organizations.
“Technology plays a critical role in our growth aspirations to [be] a content-driven technology organization,” says Jelena Laketić of Thomson Reuters. Most technology does not advance very far without software.
Startups such as PolicyMe as well as large companies like Thomson Reuters are highly aware of the stiff competition for coders—a pool of talent not as deep as many would prefer.
When TechTalent.ca covers actively hiring firms in Canada, we note a broad spectrum of roles available. But if there’s one position every hiring firm consistently clamours for, it’s undoubtedly software development.
Knowing all this, Thomson Reuters last year launched the Distinguished Engineer program, which Laketić says is an “opportunity to promote a strong engineering culture within our organization while maintaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”
The program establishes a “rewarding technical career path for our top technologists,” recognizing their achievements and strengthening the culture of the technology team at TR, according to Laketić, herself a distinguished engineer.
According to TR, a Distinguished Engineer is an experienced and influential senior technologist with technical knowledge and an understanding of methodologies and best practices. They understand the big picture, can communicate technical ideas effectively, and act as an ambassador “actively promoting tech achievements and best practices, sharing knowledge and influencing, internally and externally.”
“Having the opportunity to build a career as an individual contributor, outside of a manager and architect path, will be a key differentiator for us,” believes Laketić. “Also, having clarity around career pathing for a variety of technical roles will help to foster internal mobility within Thomson Reuters.”
TR’s first cohort of Distinguished Engineers consists of Bob Sturm, Ryan Cosgrove, Palanisamy Ramasamy, and John Duprey.
“A healthy engineering organization automatically brings value to the business,” Laketić stated, which is why the role is always in demand.
As more Canadians become interested in starting an engineering career path, they may be encouraged to learn that today’s software engineers embrace non-traditional education and upskilling.
In fact, the number of software engineers who acquire their skills through non-traditional avenues, such as bootcamps and self-directed learning, has increased over the last two years.
While a relevant degree remains valuable, at least one-third of coders are now either self-taught or bootcamp-trained.
Of course, TR does not only target engineers.
In 2022, the Canadian multinational media conglomerate announced company-wide perks, such as an expanded Work from Anywhere policy. The Toronto-born giant also unveiled a new sabbatical program.
Chief People Officer Mary Alice Vuicic said at the time Thomson Reuters “has always been a leader in work-life balance,” so the company felt compelled to do more for workers.
Such moves are important for any organization, considering the benefits of well-balanced hybrid work models.
Thomson Reuters launched Flex My Way, a supportive workplace policy that Vuicic and her team are building on. Employees can work up to four weeks of their eight-week annual allowance outside of their country of employment. Meanwhile, a sabbatical policy provides established employees an opportunity to take up to six months of unpaid leave every five years.
“There is no one lever to pull to help employees thrive both personally and professionally,” wrote Vuicic. “Employees know this and are looking beyond compensation to seek employers providing flexibility, prioritizing wellbeing and mental health, delivering growth and development opportunities, and creating an opportunity to work towards a higher purpose.”
Within Canada, the company currently employees roughly 1,300 people across multiple offices, including one in Montreal and a major base in Toronto.
Find roles from Thomson Reuters and other companies hiring tech talent in Canada on our Job Board.