Silicon Halton TU20’s Summer Intern: Denys Linkov Part 2

Denys Linkov
Silicon Halton TU20’s Summer Intern: Denys Linkov Part 2
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Denys Linkov

Denys Linkov

Denys is a third year student at the University of Toronto studying computer science and employment relations. He started programming after getting bored of Lego in grade 9 and has worked on number of projects building web and mobile applications. He grew up in Oakville and currently leads Tech Under Twenty.

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We are continuing to share the stories of young people who found summer internships through the Silicon Halton Tech Under 20 (TU20) program. This week will cover Denys Linkov and how he got involved in the TU20 program and landed a job for the summer. You can find the introductory article here.

Denys Linkov’s Story Part 2

“This is the right place…right?”

The large logo on top of the building indicated I was in the right place, It was too large to end up there by accident.

“1:29pm” read my watch. Job shadowing at 1:30.

I walked into the building and headed to the front desk.
“Hi, I’m here to see Neil”
“And your name is?”
“Denys Linkov”
“He’ll be with you in a minute”

I took a seat in the main reception and began reading through a recent Economist article. After reading some interesting unemployment statistics, I was greeted by Neil Cawse, CEO of Geotab.

Geotab is a fast growing technology company found here in Oakville, with more than 300 employees at this moment. They are both a hardware and software company, building devices and software that help companies manage their fleets. These devices can fit in your palm and help pull useful data from cars, such as gps and fuel consumption. This data is then used to show customers’ important trends and helps companies make smart decision.

After working with Silicon Halton TU20 for the past year, Chris Herbert had introduced me to Neil as an important member of the Halton tech community. I was offered an opportunity to shadow Neil and learn more about Geotab, and was now experiencing this unique opportunity.

After some introductions and a warm offering from the kitchen, we headed to Neil’s office. We briefly discussed our respective backgrounds and proceeded to tour the office. The first thing I noticed was the number of dashboards situated around the office. It seemed like a scene from a movie where mission control is trying to determine next steps. Heat maps, graphs, statistics and more surrounded the office and faded in and out as the data was updated.

I was offered an opportunity to shadow Neil and learn more about Geotab, and was now experiencing this unique opportunity.

The Tour

Neil proceeded to explain the value of the dashboards.
“You can’t manage, what you can’t measure” he said
There is no coincidence that management by measurement is Geotab’s slogan.
After staring at the dashboards for a couple of minutes, we proceeded with the tour.

After touring the assembly, hardware and software sections of the office, we returned to Neil’s office and continued our discussion about software development and entrepreneurship. We discussed some of Geotab’s technical challenges and achievements since its founding in 2000, and then shifted to discussing some of my current goals.

“So where are you thinking of heading with your career?”

Where was I headed? At the time I was still set on being a software engineer, but was starting to explore the entrepreneurship space more. Two months earlier I had met with Chris to discuss a possible project that I thought would benefit Silicon Halton. A recruiting application was the original idea, but eventually turned into ComDS, a user management and event management system.

With a thumbs up from the founders of Silicon Halton, I recruited a team and we built an MVP over the summer. You’ve met some of the team already within the series, Mohammed and Griffin who were the back end developers. We also had Brandon who was the front end developer, and Sidra who was our designer. As a refresher, backend developers works on creating the systems that store and process user actions in a piece of software, a front end developer works on allowing the user to do that action, and the designer would pick out the colors, styles and flow of the application. If you think about buying a product online, the checkout button placement and properties would be determined by the designer, the front end developer would allow you to communicate to the website that you indeed want to checkout and display your receipt, and the backend developer would do all the data processing and payments in the background.

I responded to Neil’s question by saying I was still aiming for software engineering, but am looking in the entrepreneurial direction. I proceeded to give a brief demo of ComDS, and we had a discussion regarding the technical side of the project as well as continuing our discussion about what it meant to be an entrepreneur. It was evident that Neil was passionate about the subject and believed in the value of starting and growing a company.

So where are you thinking of heading with your career?


11 months later

“So where are you thinking of heading now?”

“I think I’m leaning more to the entrepreneurial side of things.”

I was back sitting in Neil’s office, this time as a Geotab summer intern. I had been working at Geotab the previous three months on the Software development team. It was a great experience seeing how quickly things were changing within the company; new employees joining every week and the large dashboards continuing to show larger numbers by the day.

Geotab had hired more than 20 students this summer in a number of roles; from sales to software development to operations. I had met a number of new people, but also seen some familiar faces, including Ben Prystawski who attended the TU20 Learn2GetHired event and Ibrahim Irfan, who’s in his second year of being part of the TU20 leadership team. I was also seated next to Mohammed, so I knew it would be a good summer.

After working on some individual projects for my first month at Geotab, I joined the Drive team. Within the team, I worked on preparing a number of mobile applications for releases, fixing bugs and adding new features. I was assigned tasks just like any other member of team, but was provided with lots of guidance for navigating the complex system. The team was very helpful with answering my questions and ensuring I was able to get a great experience working at the company.

What was very similar between Geotab and Silicon Halton as a whole was the genuine care people had within both of these communities. The willingness to help and support each other, yet offer candid feedback when necessary, creates a great environment to learn, grow and live.

As I enter my third year of being part of the Silicon Halton community, and leading the TU20 initiative, I look back and reflect on the personal and communal growth. I’ve worked for two companies in a community where until two years ago, I did not know tech jobs existed. In the past two years, I have met a number of fantastic people who have helped me learn and grow in both a technical and leadership capacity.

Silicon Halton TU20s Summer Internships stories:

And that’s my story on how Silicon Halton has helped me get two summer internships! From the past two years I’ve accumulated a fair number of stories and I am looking forward to the ones in the future. We’re now halfway through our series, don’t forget to check back in next week!

Mohammed Eseifan – Embedded Systems Engineer Intern at Geotab

Mohammed  – Embedded Systems Engineer Intern at Geotab

Griffin – Technical Systems Analyst Intern at RBC

Denys Linkov – Software Engineer Intern at Geotab

Ken – Website Designer/ IT support assistant at Halton Industry Education Council (HIEC)

Celine- Media Assistant at Halton Industry Education Council (HIEC)

Vikram – Web developer Intern at View IT


Silicon Halton TU20

Since it’s founding in 2009, Silicon Halton has brought together over 1400+ members, hosting 90+ events. Cofounded by Chris Herbert, Rick Stomphorst and Reema Duggal, Silicon Halton is going strong 8 years later.

In 2015, Silicon Halton had its first TU20 event called: “Developing Talent, Discovering Opportunities”. Since then, TU20 have hosted a number of programs and in school activities, for more information you can visit our website.


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