More than 400 attendees and 34 startups came together on 3rd May for the first-ever Bitcoin Job Fair.
The event, held in the auditorium space at the Plug and Play Technology Center in Sunnyvale, California, was an opportunity for job seekers to learn more about the growing digital currency industry and the varied positions the sector now supports.
Scott Robinson, who heads bitcoin projects for Plug and Play and organised the fair, said that the attendance numbers alone show a growing amount of interest in digital currencies, adding:
"The Bitcoin Job Fair exhibited a growing ecosystem with a large contingent of the community present today."
Major bitcoin employers
Many of the companies at the fair were looking for software development talent, but there was also a demonstrated need for marketing and sales skills as well.
Alain Meier, co-founder of automated regulatory compliance solution provider BlockScore, told CoinDesk that his startup was looking for data engineers and developers.
By comparison, Danny Bocanegra of bitcoin wallet and secure storage provider Xapo said that it was searching for business development and marketing people to promote its consumer and investor bitcoin services.
According to Robinson, the gathered employers told him that the job fair would result in the hiring of individuals:
"Many [companies] felt like they would be making a number of hires in the coming weeks as a result of the event."
Many of the job seekers at the fair came equipped with software development experience. But as the industry matures, positions are now available to more than just those with coding expertise.
Sarah Hody, a lawyer from the Washington, DC, area, was an example of someone from outside the coding discipline with an interest in digital currencies. At the fair, Hody spoke with companies about her legal skills and why bitcoin was a good fit for her career goals:
"It's an intersection of my passions, which are business, finance and international law. I see bitcoin technology changing the future of all of that."
Dan Roseman, founder of bitcoin jobs site Coinality and a key figure helping get the job fair off the ground, said that an understanding of bitcoin's potential is key for non-developer jobseekers in the market:
"You should know the basics, you should probably have interacted with bitcoin at some point, so you know how it works and you know what it feels like. Other than that, just be good at whatever your skill or trade is."
Future job fairs
Roseman told CoinDesk that the idea for the job fair came from a tweet to Andreas Antonopoulos, who then put his name behind the effort and spoke briefly at the event.
The organisers are now considering holding a quarterly job fair in Silicon Valley going forward, as well as possible other similar events on the East Coast, and perhaps even in Europe.
Coinality now has more than 280 jobs on its site, many of them technical. But there is significant growth in other roles as well, according to Roseman:
"When I started Coinality, it was almost entirely technical people. [Companies] looking for block chain experience. Now I'm starting to see marketing and sales coming in, and I see legal and regulation experts are needed."
"That's like the last piece of the puzzle, I think. Once you've got developers and legal and then admin, now you've got the full spectrum of services that a company employs," he added.
Resume image via Shutterstock
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