$20K Hackathon winner uses open data to design Career Path app

After 48 hours spent mining government data, designing an app, and writing computer code, this year's Canadian Open Data Experience winners came up with a way to help youth choose a career path.

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The app, called Career Path, lets users search 40,000 job titles and access visualizations of job prospects in those careers. The job projections are based on data available to all Canadians through Employment and Social Development Canada.

The team that developed the app calls it a "two-click career and job search."

"We tried to make it very simple, very intuitive, for young people and students, for example in high school, to search for different professions," one of the four team members, Daniil Shevelev, told CTV's Canada AM on Friday.

"We felt that it would be really nice to give current students, current young people, an opportunity to review different data from the government, from the industry, and be able to make (career decisions) better," he said.

"We really were passionate about solving this problem."

Shevelev and his team of recent University of Toronto engineering graduates developed Career Path during the annual competition dubbed Canadian Open Data Experience, or CODE. The contest challenges the coding community to use data from the Canadian government to develop an app during a 48-hour "hackathon."

This year, Shevelev beat out more than 1,000 competitors to win the $15,000 top prize. He also won an additional $5,000 in a second category.

"This was an idea to get the coding community involved in creating new mobile apps," Treasury Board President Tony Clement said.

"We have over 220,000 open data sets online right now from Government of Canada data, Stats Canada, Environment Canada," Clement said. "We said, 'Take it out to the coding community. They’ll create wonderful apps that we can’t even imagine.' "

Now, Shevelev said his team is considering how to use their prize money.

One option, he said, is investing their prize money to further develop the app. But the Career Path developer said he’s carefully weighing all the options before deciding which direction to take his own career.

"Now we have even more pathways or ideas of what we can do," he said. "There are a lot of options."


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