Techopia Live: Ottawa blockchain talent pipeline running dry, says Leonovus CTO

For an Ottawa company building its comeback on blockchain, Leonovus’s chief technical officer admitted to Techopia Live this week that it’s not easy to find talent in the capital.

It’s tough to find blockchain developers anywhere, Dan Willis says. The technology’s most fervent developers are typically cryptocurrency enthusiasts, whereas Leonovus is using it to power security applications. That makes for a mismatch in skillsets, he says, and universities are filling the gap too slowly.

“Frankly, I don’t think there are many institutions that are teaching blockchain yet, so new grads aren’t even something you can tap into,” he told Techopia Live.

“The Ottawa market, you have a lot of mature talent coming out of the optic space, but not a lot of depth on the blockchain side.”

CEO Michael Gaffney expressed similar sentiments in December. He said then that Leonovus is “hiring like mad,” but that the firm also had ambitions to feed its own talent pipeline by nurturing homegrown blockchain developers.

“We need to build local blockchain infrastructure here in Ottawa,” Gaffney said.

To hear more about how Leonovus is finding opportunities in between the demand for data and the security of blockchain, watch the video above, filmed at Ottawa’s Women in Data Science conference earlier this week.