Software Developer (Various Levels)

Reference number: RF-6332
Closing Date: 2022-08-08

About the Job

Communications Security Establishment (CSE) is Canada's national cryptologic agency. Unique within Canada's security and intelligence community, CSE employs code-makers, codebreakers, and secure system creators to provide the Government of Canada with cyber security and foreign signals intelligence (SIGINT) services. CSE is the national hub for cyber operations to defend Canada and advance national interests, as well as providing technical and operational assistance to federal law enforcement and security agencies.

CSE is currently looking for software developers of all experience levels to work in a dynamic and innovative operational environment. As a software developer, you will work on critical projects which will have a significant impact on Canada’s security posture (including cyber security and SIGINT) and ensuring the safety of Canadians.

We are looking for entry-level, intermediate, and experienced software developers to constantly strive for better solutions to keep our country safe, seek to learn more about the cyber challenge around us, and collaborate with partners, colleagues, and teams on complex problems. You should be someone who enjoys a challenging career and desires to learn new technology to grow and evolve your expertise.


UNMA-07 level: $91,585 - $106,204 per year
UNMA-08 level: $99,861 - $115,504 per year
UNMA-09 level: $107,432 - $124, 208 per year


All jobs are in Ottawa, Ontario. For more information on location, please visit the following link: These locations meet current accessibility standards.

Language Requirements

English Essential

Required Qualifications

You must clearly demonstrate in your application how you meet these required qualifications:


You must have either one of the following:

  • A University degree in a field related to the position, such as (but not limited to): Computer Science, Engineering (e.g. Computer, Software, Electrical), Mathematics
  • An acceptable combination of education (i.e. college diploma, professional certification) in a field related to the position (as above) and relevant experience.

The educational program must be recognized in Canada and you must be able to provide proof of education credentials. Students graduating within the next twelve (12) months are eligible to apply.


Programming experience (one or more the following: designing, developing, testing, deploying, maintaining, or improving software) with at least one modern language such as but not limited to Java, C, C++, Python, or modern web languages and frameworks.

NOTE: Recent graduates should note that University projects may be considered as relevant experience.


(Competencies is our term for skills and/or knowledge. These required competencies are the skills/knowledge we need to see in your application, interviews, etc., for you to be successful.)

Technical competencies

  1. Application Development

Knowledge and ability to design, define, develop, construct, enhance, support, and maintain application software on one or more platforms.

  1. Knowledge of Information Technology

Possesses a generalist’s knowledge of all areas in IT, including but not limited to:Software application development, data storage systems, IT security, IT architecture, system administration, networking, and telecommunications.

Behavioural competencies

  1. Cognitive Thinking Skills

Responding to challenges with innovative solutions, products, or services by questioning conventional means, using intuition, experimentation & fresh perspectives; understanding, analyzing, synthesizing, and relating complex information and abstract variables.

  1. Working in a Team

Demonstrating effective interpersonal skills & working cooperatively and effectively within & across organizational units to achieve common goals.

Leadership competencies

  1. Change and Innovation

Create a culture where flexibility & openness to new ideas are encouraged. Lead transformation with courage & conviction.


  • Have no criminal record
  • Be a Canadian Citizen (dual citizens included)
  • Be eligible for a Top Secret security clearance
  • Be willing to comply with CSE’s own security policies and standards

Asset Qualifications

(Assets are “nice-to-have” expertise and competencies we are interested in. It is good if you have them, but please don’t let it stop you from applying if you think you don’t.)

You should clearly demonstrate in your application any specialized expertise that apply to you, as it will be used to determine best fit within CSE.

Specialized Expertise

  • Knowledge of Cyber Security
  • Knowledge of Cloud Technologies
  • Knowledge of Modern Software Development Architectures
  • Knowledge of DevOps
  • Knowledge of Databases

Asset Competencies

These are additional asset competencies that may be considered during the assessment. 

Technical competencies

  1. Knowledge of the Software Development Process
  2. Cyber Security
  3. Data Storage Design
  4. Data Administration & Management
  5. Infrastructure / Platforms
  6. Knowledge of Object-Oriented Programming
  7. Knowledge of the Quality Assurance Process
  8. Knowledge of Software Reverse Engineering
  9. Project Management
  10. System Integration
  11. Telecommunications (Data & Voice) Networks
  12. Web Design and Development
  13. Geospatial Systems Technology

Behavioural competencies

  1. Accountability/Autonomy
  2. Interactive Communication
  3. Service

Leadership competencies

  1. Achieving Results
  2. Collaboration
  3. Integrity, Respect & Awareness
  4. Lead & Motivate
  5. Strategy and Vision

Application Process

Who Can Apply

You must be a Canadian citizen, be eligible for a Top Secret security clearance and be willing to comply with CSE’s own security policies and standards.

Security Requirements

You must have no criminal record. The screening process involves a

  • security interview
  • polygraph test
  • psychological assessment
  • background investigation covering a minimum of your last 10 years history, including credit and financial verifications.

How to Apply

You may submit your candidacy online by selecting “APPLY” at the bottom of this page.

If you cannot apply online or have a disability preventing you from applying online, please inform us by contacting prior to the closing date of this selection process. CSE offers an assessment process that will accommodate any reasonable measures required to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. Those measures are available to all candidates for further assessment. Related information received will be addressed confidentially. If you may need such accommodation, please advise us.

CSE is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We’re committed to a diverse and representative workforce, an open and inclusive work environment and we encourage candidates to self-declare as members of the following designated employment equity groups: Women, Indigenous peoples, Persons living with disabilities (including learning disabilities, developmental disabilities and all other types of disabilities), and Members of visible minority groups.

What to Expect

  1. The process will be conducted in the official language of your choice.
  2. A test will be administered to candidates who successfully pass the application review. It will be used as a screening tool. Make sure to check your spam/junk mailbox regularly for notification of the test.
  3. Interview(s) will follow for candidates who are successful on the test.
  4. References (2 supervisors) will be requested from candidates who successfully complete the interview stage.
  5. Candidates will be required to complete the security process as part of the global assessment. More information regarding this process can be found on CSE's website.

The entire selection process – tests, interviews, reference check, security investigation – may take more than one year to complete.

If you are deemed to be unsuccessful in the assessment process for this particular selection process, you may reapply in twelve (12) months.

Additional Details

The level of competence demonstrated in the various assessments will be used to determine your qualifications for the UNMA-07, UNMA-08, or UMA-09 level.

You’ll be typically hired into entry level positions though exceptions can be made based on the level of experience and competency you demonstrate during the selection process.

If you do not meet all technical competencies, you could be considered for an underfill appointment (if during the assessment phase of the selection process, a candidate has not demonstrated the required proficiency level for some of the technical competencies of the position but has demonstrated the potential to develop those competencies through specified training and/or development, an underfill appointment could be considered. The candidate would be appointed at one level lower than the substantive level of the position.) In which case, an individual development plan will be established, depending on your qualifications and experience.


Determinate and indeterminate appointments will be used to staff positions of permanent or temporary tenures within CSE.  All appointments have a one (1) year probation period.

(A “determinate appointment” is employment for a specific period of time with a defined end date. An “indeterminate appointment” is permanent employment.)

Operational Requirements

Overtime and standby duty may be required.

Training and Development

At CSE, we are proud to offer an inclusive and supportive working environment that encourages open minds and attitudes. As an organization that values and nurtures talent, we’re committed to helping you fulfill your potential. With comprehensive training and development opportunities, tailored to your needs and the requirements of your work, we’ll enable you to flourish in your role and perform to the best of your abilities.


Determinate and indeterminate appointments will be used to staff positions of permanent or temporary tenures within CSE. All appointments have a one (1) year probation period.

Operational Requirements

Overtime and standby duty may be required.

CSE Employment

CSE is a separate organization and is not subject to the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA). We have our own values-based staffing regime and as such, have the flexibility to determine qualifications for positions and how these qualifications will be assessed in a selection process.  CSE is committed to the principle of equity in employment. We are committed to building a workforce that reflects the diversity of Canadians and to creating an open and inclusive workplace. We encourage you to voluntarily indicate if you are part of one of the groups targeted by employment equity: women, Indigenous people, people with disabilities (including people with learning disabilities, development or any other type of disability) and members of visible minorities.

Covid-19 Update

In our ongoing efforts to keep our workplace and communities healthy, CSE continues to closely follow guidance from provincial and federal public health authorities (Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Public Service and Procurement Canada). While some work has started to resume from the workplace, many of our employees continue to work from home during these unprecedented times.

We thank all applicants for their interest in CSE. However, only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.