Skills in demand by industry taught at course run by IOHK
September 22, 2017 – Athens, Greece – A first cohort of graduates are ready for work in the blockchain industry after completing intensive training at a summer course run by IOHK, the leading blockchain and research development company. The course in coding for cryptocurrencies focuses on Haskell – a programming language that is in demand in the area of blockchain because of its significant security advantages. The summer course ran from July to September and was offered free of charge to computer science graduates in Athens who had been selected by university professors. Industry demand for developers using Haskell is rapidly growing because of its suitability for blockchain development. Hedge funds and banks often choose the programming language for systems designed to carry huge amounts of value securely, and it is also used in mission critical systems such as in aerospace. IOHK intends to offer selected graduates from the program full-time positions in its newly established Athens Haskell Team.
IOHK Chief Scientist Aggelos Kiayias said: “Corporations and financial institutions are increasingly seeking Haskell developers, but are faced with a shortage of skilled programmers. IOHK is delighted to have trained seven talented students into proficient Haskell developers. Building on IOHK’s growing legacy of sourcing and training high quality programmers and engineers from Greece, we are proud to have made several offers of employment to them.”
The course, led by Dr. Lars Brünjes, Haskell Developer at IOHK, and Dr. Andres Löh, a Partner at boutique Haskell consulting firm Well-Typed, aimed to give on-the-job training to the students, mostly in their fifth year at the National Technical University of Athens School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and some from University of Athens. Brünjes worked very closely with Löh, who was an integral part in developing the intensive curriculum, producing course materials, and providing constructive feedback on the course. Most of the students began with a basic understanding of Haskell but, now graduates of IOHK’s rigorous program, will have the opportunity to establish the company’s Athens Haskell team. The new team will complement IOHK’s global network of blockchain research and development laboratories at University of Edinburgh and Tokyo Institute of Technology that bring together academics and students to collaborate on industry-inspired problems.
While most software engineering graduates entering the job market have only been exposed to theory, IOHK’s course endeavored to strike a balance between a theoretical background of functional programming and practical techniques for solving real-world problems. In addition to lectures, the students had to complete challenging assignments and programming projects, like creating a peer-to-peer network and performing a “handshake” with a Bitcoin node.
Prof. Kiayias said: “By integrating several of IOHK’s internal project goals into the curriculum, students were given practical experience programming code that solved real, relevant industry problems.”
IOHK’s Haskell and Cryptocurrencies course ran from July 17, 2017 to September 22, 2017.
Founded in 2015 by Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood, IOHK is a technology company committed to using peer-to-peer innovations to provide financial services to the three billion people who do not have access to them. IOHK is an engineering company that builds cryptocurrencies and blockchains for academic institutions, government entities and corporations. It is also a research firm with dense academic connections in Europe, America and Asia with many employees holding PhDs in Computer Science, Mathematics or Physics. IOHK focuses on practical, peer-reviewed research to create live protocols, and the technological underpinnings to next-generation cryptocurrencies. To learn more, visit iohk.io