Centre for Development of Open Technology - Samantha Yao

When I first received the offer for an interview at CDOT, I was completely confused. What is CDOT? Isn’t that the in-game name of one of my friends? I met two other SHADs at my interview on a late Friday afternoon. My first encounter with the SHAD community enlightened me, as I somehow managed to strike up an engaging conversation with one of the interviewees, with whom I would end up working with for the entirety of August.

I learned that CDOT (Centre for Development of Open Technology) was a place for teams to work on various projects and develop open-source software. As Ethan Childerhose (SHAD Waterloo ‘17) and I were introduced to CDOT, we encountered the wonders of new technology including a machine that could create 3D models of people for measurements in fashion design. Our own project, called Peapod, is a small device that our supervisor wants to create for an event held yearly by CDOT called Free Software and Open Source Symposium (FSOSS) where around 300 attendees listen to presenters at different locations around the building. Our job is to develop this device that attendees can use to rate the presenters. It will also send the attendees’ locations to us periodically so CDOT will be able to identify which presenters received which ratings. So far, we have managed to prove that the concept works using Java. Currently, we are working on programming ESP8266 (a Wifi module) with Arduino to perform the same functions.

Ethan Childerhose at CDOT with the ESP8266 modules

Truly, being an intern at CDOT has been an extraordinary learning experience for me; never have I needed to use all the coding skills I possess in one piece of work. Being in charge of our own project has taught us so much and for the next few weeks, CDOT will continue to be one of the greatest learning opportunities of my life.


Samantha Yao
North York, Ontario

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