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Specialist System Design

Canadian National Railway

This is a Contract position in Toronto, ON posted January 12, 2021.

At CN, we work together to move our company-and North America-forward. Be part of our Information & Technology (I&T) team, a critical piece of the engine that keeps us in motion. From enterprise architecture to operational technology, our teams use the agile methodology to automate and digitize our railroad ensuring our operations run optimally and safely and our employees can focus on value-added tasks. You will be able to develop your skills and career in our close-knit, safety-focused culture working together as ONE TEAM. The careers we offer are meaningful because the work we do matters. Join us!


Job Summary

The role of Specialist System Design is responsible for the production of detailed functional design for solution subsystem components, whether based on a packaged solution or on custom development. This involves working with product management, architecture, business, operations and end users to understand the End-to-End architecture and requirements and flesh out a detailed system design for the specific component or area of expertise. This includes working with the other team’s System Designer to ensure consistency and practices based approach across the entire subsystem design. They will also be involve in the development, testing, integration stages up to the delivery and support to production.


Main Responsibilities

Works with manager, product management, architecture and other members of system design team to drive best practices and a practice based approach towards a delivery of a system up to production with initial production support.


System Design

  • Analyze sub-system component issues and/or business requirements to design effective, high-availability, business-critical solutions

  • Work with architecture to understand high-level proposed architecture and transpose it into writing subsystem requirements and document designs that will meet all functional and non-functional

  • requirements

  • Follow standard and best practices to ensure the systems design is maintainable, sustainable and properly documented with all the associated IP constructs

  • Follow standards and best practices to ensure reliability, safety and cybersecurity standards are imbedded in the design of the sub systems

  • Work with other system designer to adopt and enforce System Design best practices

  • Understand rail subsystems architecture in order to develop specifications on technical design aspects (hardware & software integration)

  • Design and propose enhancements and modifications to the subsystem architecture

  • May be required to work with FRA and CN personnel in the various regulatory inspections to ensure all requirements are properly designed



Delivery & Quality

  • Work with Project managers during the project to identify design, build and quality assurance lab and field testing deliverables with associated estimates including technical risks

  • Work with the development team to ensure system design is fully understood and developed with high quality

  • Define the deployment plan of the software and/or the hardware in the project with the business and support Q&A from engineers from a technical subsystem product owner perspective

  • Ensure compliance with and oversee development, and execution of testing strategies, test plans, and test procedures to validate that the system correctly implements the specifications

  • Work with quality leads, management, and QA to constantly monitor quality KPI’s and implement design improvements

  • Apply, and ensure compliance with, all appropriate CN I&T standards (e .g. Security, Architecture, Project Delivery Methodology, SOX, Telecom, Software Engineering, etc.)

  • Engage external providers and work with Business, Supply Management and Legal teams in the context of procuring delivery and / or support services of existing or new services

  • Manage the roadmap (hardware & software) with the vendor based on CN strategy & I&T technology needs

  • Define, implement and maintain of software and configuration

  • For smaller project, system designer is responsible of development of software

  • For smaller project, system designer is responsible of development of network software and configurations with the knowledge of networking concepts and traffic control

  • Perform unit testing of the software and configuration

  • Establish Pilot test plan, execute pilot testing and test report for newly defined solution

  • Follow the Change and Release Management processes by initiating Change Controls and executing cut-over plans

  • For production issues during project migration or deployment, investigate issues in the lab and determine appropriate resolution/solution through root cause analysis and impact analysis

  • Transition-to-core: update of documentation, systems, training, and presentation





  • Minimum 7-10 year overall work experience

  • Minimum 7 years of system integration of a complex solutions

  • Minimum 7 years in software engineering and design

  • Minimum 2 years in a leadership role of leading developers

  • Proficient in software programming technologies in following area of expertise:

  • Proficient in network software programming and configuration technologies with the knowledge of networking concepts and traffic control in following area of expertise


    • Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or equivalent degree and experience



    • Excellent oral, written and presentation skills

    • Good knowledge of System Engineering and Design Principles

    • Ability to Analyze, Design and document detailed designs

    • Proficient in documentation of complex concepts such as impact analysis, security models, performance and capacity planning, and strategic technical decision




    • Experience in working with Agile and DevOps development organizations

    • Managing Life cycle of delivery of complex software solution

    • Experience with executive presentations

    About CN


    CN is a world-class transportation leader and trade-enabler. Essential to the economy, to the customers, and to the communities it serves, CN safely transports more than 300 million tons of natural resources, manufactured products, and finished goods throughout North America every year. As the only railroad connecting Canada’s Eastern and Western coasts with the Southern tip of the U.S. through a 19,500 mile rail network, CN and its affiliates have been contributing to community prosperity and sustainable trade since 1919. CN is committed to programs supporting social responsibility and environmental stewardship. At CN, we work as ONE TEAM, focused on safety, sustainability and our customers, providing operational and supply chain excellence to deliver results.



    CN is an employment equity employer and we encourage all qualified candidates to apply. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only candidates under consideration will be contacted. Please monitor your email on a regular basis, as communication is primarily made through email.