02 Dec Realizing a Dedication for Avionics Through Testing & Software
In 2008, Craig Coté was looking for a company that would allow him to grow as a .NET software developer in the Okanagan region. Coté says when he began his position at SKYTRAC, he did not know that he would follow a career path in aerospace technologies. However, he soon found himself eager to apply his programming skills to advancing aviation systems for the aerospace industry.
“I love learning,” says Coté. “I knew nothing about the aerospace industry when I started at SKYTRAC, and the more experience and knowledge I’ve gained in the industry, the more I’ve come to realize how much there is still to learn.”
Originally, Coté’s roles at SKYTRAC involved software development, but his interest in avionics and their applications rapidly grew. He eventually made the move into testing and supporting systems for primary international operations. Today, Coté creates solutions for SKYTRAC’s global client base and passionately works to integrate SKYTRAC’s systems which support industries such as government, military, air medical, and aerial firefighting operations.
What has been the most important project that you have worked on at SKYTRAC?
My favorite project at SKYTRAC was with the Canadian Coast Guard. This project required an intensive integration between the ISAT-200A, control display unit (CDU), and SkyWeb than we had ever done before. We knew it would require substantial creativity. The goal was to customize the functionality of the flight following system to allow ships and the helicopters they carried to track each other during missions. It was also the first time we partnered with Thales, which now seems like decades ago.
What is your family life like? How was WFH impacted your day-today?
I am a single dad, and my two amazing kiddos live with me for the first half of every week. I worked from home in the spring while my children completed their school year from home, and I got to add “teacher” to my titles. But as disrupting as COVID-19 has been on many levels, it did not stop us from hiking at Cathedral Provincial Park and backpacking the Berg Lake Trail – those memories will last a lifetime.
How were you introduced to your current career?
I was always interested in programming. I bought my first computer, a Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer 2 (like in Ready Player One) in grade six, using the money I earned delivering newspapers. Turns out it was the best decision, or one of the best decisions, of my life.
What do you like most about working at SKYTRAC?
I believe in the value of our products and services, but I like the people at SKYTRAC most.
If you had to choose a fixed-wing or rotor-wing aircraft, which one would you choose?
The Concorde. As an 80’s kid, I grew up with Transformers and Silverbolt, and the leader of the Aerialbots, transformed into a Concorde.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Hiking, backpacking, and snowshoeing – I keep trying to take up salsa dancing. My kiddos and I play a lot of board games. The Okanagan region is such a great place to live, work, and play – it has a little bit of everything.