WIMTACH and Xello: A Successful Collaboration

Driven by the motivation to help students with choosing a career path, Xello Inc., formerly Career Cruising, developed an architecture for greater learning and self-discovery to make job searching and passion-driven occupations accessible. In early 2020, Xello required a major framework upgrade to continue to serve students so, their team approached WIMTACH about a collaboration with the goal of innovating their existing web applications. For the Xello team, WIMTACH was a valuable resource to find experts and skilled developers needed to undertake an innovative project.

The collaboration with WIMTACH enabled Xello to innovate its web experience for many high school students who were using the website as a first introduction into career planning. For many of these high school students, Xello is their first gateway into understanding that there are job opportunities and pathways for them that can be geared towards their interests. Ben Pierce, the Vice President of Xello, was very happy with the results of the first project and emphasized that the project outcomes surpassed his expectations.

The success of the first project has led to a continued partnership. “You’ve got the [R&D leads] like Majura there who are actually putting students into the best roles for them … normally this is something we would have to do on the Xello side but Majura knows these students, knows where they perform well, and he’s able to match the skills we need on the team to the project and handle quite a bit of the organizational work that would normally have to be done within the company.”

The open source environment at WIMTACH is geared towards enabling students to feel confident to share creative ideas. As a result, Pierce was able to gain insight into the abilities of many of the WIMTACH Student Researchers and he was often impressed by their contributions. One memorable moment for Pierce was when the Xello team was looking to update routing for the front-end of their website, he found that the Student Researchers were quite insightful. “We probably had three or four really great ideas come in just from the student side … things we would never have thought of internally,” he said. “They were able to go away and do [research and development] and experiments on their own and come back to us with good possible solutions.”

In the end, Xello hired several WIMTACH Student Researchers as full-time developers after their graduation in December 2021. Pierce enjoyed working with all the Student Researchers that were involved with each project and reflected fondly on the great energy and communication through slack between his team and the Student Researchers. “Working with all of the students was amazing,” he said. “You’ll see one WIMTACH student post a question and you can see three or four of their colleagues are responding and offering to hop on calls and it’s just really great to see that level of collaboration.”

Based on the success of the first project Xello decided to initiate another innovative project with WIMTACH which is specifically focused on developing user stories for one of the Xello applications. Pierce is confident about the success of that partnership and excited about the learning opportunities that it will offer for both teams. Pierce is hoping to continue a partnership moving forward. “WIMTACH is very popular within Xello right now,” he said. “I almost don’t want other companies to know about WIMTACH because I think it might be Toronto’s best kept technology secret. But things have been fantastic … I am so glad that I reached out to WIMTACH.”

For more student success stories, please visit: https://wimtach.centennialcollege.ca/news/