Students Train for Blockchain Jobs at Coding and Cryptocurrencies Summer Course in Greece

Skills in demand by industry taught at course run by IOHK

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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.

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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

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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