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CANDEV Data Challenge

Frequently Asked Questions and Code of Conduct


What is the CANDEV Data Challenge?

The CANDEV Data Challenge gathers students for 24 hours of intensive problem-solving, over the course of a weekend. Students will work in teams to develop prototype solutions to current Government of Canada (GoC) business problems. Data challenge style events have become increasingly popular around the world because they enable students to showcase their capabilities as they tackle real-life challenges and scenarios. Statistics Canada (StatCan) and our partnering departments will be provided with the opportunity to recruit talented individuals, and further the development of partnerships within the federal government and with academia.

Who can participate in the challenge?

Students who are enrolled in any Canadian post-secondary institution with an interest in programming or problem-solving are invited to participate in CANDEV. Participants of the challenge must be 18 years of age or older and must be able to physically attend the event. Students with an interest in acquiring functional programming and data analytics experience from any field are encouraged to participate, as the event is not limited software programmers.

Why should I participate in CANDEV?

The Data Challenge provides students with an opportunity to network with professionals in the data science community and potentially find employment within the federal public service. It is also an excellent activity to develop programming and analytical skills by attending our technical workshops and by developing solutions to real work challenges. All participants are invited to apply to the non-advertised recruitment pool from which StatCan and partner departments can offer permanent, casual or other positions. Participants who are eligible for the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) are also invited to apply for this opportunity.

Can I participate if I don't know how to code?

Yes, for a data challenge to be successful, it needs enthusiastic people with a variety of skills to come together and work as a team. Everyone with an interest in learning and excitement for this type of event can provide expertise that is valuable for this challenge - whether it be conceptualizing ideas, understanding and manipulating datasets, developing a new product, or communicating effectively.

Will food be provided at the event?

Yes, all participants will be offered meal vouchers to be used at the cafeteria in the UCU building for each of the following meals; Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner, and Sunday breakfast. In addition, coffee will be available throughout the event, and there will be a midnight snack of pizza and cookies on Saturday.

What is the theme of the CANDEV Data Challenge?

CANDEV focuses on all aspects of data management and usage, especially changes that are encountered in government departments. StatCan and our partnering departments have each developed business cases outlining current real work challenges surrounding the management and usage of data.

Can I form my own team for the data challenge?

Yes, students are welcome to form their own teams in advance of the event. Should you wish to create your own team, each participant needs to register on the CANDEV application as an individual. Have one of the group members select the option to create a new team on the application, this will generate a Team ID. All of the other team members will then need to use this Team ID to select the option to join a team on the application. All teams must be made up of no more than 4 participants; however, you do not need to have a full team to join the challenge together.

Do I have to be part of a team to register?

No, you have the option to register for the challenge as an individual, a smaller group (less than 4 participants), or a full team (4 participants). Should you register as a smaller team, you will be matched with other participants to form teams of 4 participants. No participants that register as a partial or full team will be split up. Solutions submitted by teams that are larger than 4 participants will be disqualified from the challenge.

Can I participate if I don't live in the host city?

Participants must be able to attend the event in person to ensure that each individual is provided with the best experience. CANDEV offers students the opportunity to network with GoC professionals, attend workshops and mentorship sessions, work with StatCan technical advisors, and more onsite at the event! Any student from any Canadian post-secondary institution is invited to travel to the host school to participate at the event. All travel to CANDEV events will be at the expense of the participant. The Data Challenge plans to visit cities outside of the National Capital Region (NCR) and could be coming to your city next, so stay tuned!

Who is organizing the events?

Each CANDEV Data Challenge is organized by a group of professionals at StatCan. Internal StatCan teams from HR, Finance, IT and Communications have provided extensive support to the Leadership and extended CANDEV team. Each event is also heavily supported and made possible by the events team at the host school, and our federal government parnters. Our first two events would not have been possible without the support and dedication of the staff at the University of Ottawa.

Code of Conduct

Participants in the CANDEV Data Challenge series should adhere to the following code of conduct:

  • Students should conduct themselves professionally, respectfully and with integrity during the challenge.
  • Students should not engage in any verbal or physical behaviour that stigmatizes or victimizes an individual on the basis of race, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion or disability.
  • Students should not engage in any behaviour that threatens or harms any individual involved in the CANDEV Data Challenge.
  • All decisions made by the judges are final; students should not approach the judges with questions, comments or concerns about the judging process, feedback or scoring of teams. Students can direct any questions, comments and concerns to: statcan.candev-candev.statcan@canada.ca where an organizer will address them.

Please note that failure to abide by the code of conduct may result in the immediate disqualification of your team from the CANDEV Data Challenge

Consult the Terms and Conditions.

For more information:

Visit the Statistics Canada website.

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