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Four tech professionals analyzing data on their notebooks and tablets

This week some of the world’s brightest senior tech talent met with potential future Calgary employers at a LEAP, hosted by Calgary Economic Development and VanHack.

LEAP is a three-day hiring symposium designed to facilitate cultural diversity within Canada’s IT sector. The event gives the world's most talented software developers the opportunity to meet face-to-face with Canada’s top tech-based hiring executives.

The participants who hailed from countries such as Brazil, India, and Nigeria, were joined by Calgary start ups and companies, including White Whale Analytics and Skip the Dishes. Each company was looking to expand their companies with senior tech leader employees – something Canada’s tech sector is in need of as a whole.

“According to the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), by 2021 there will be more than 215,000 open tech jobs and the vast majority of those will be for senior talent,” said Ilya Brotzky, co-founder and CEO of VanHack.

“We need those people to be team leaders – to manage and grow projects, and build the products that will create more jobs for Canadians. By hiring internationally, we’re able to bring some of the smartest minds in the world to come here to help grow our economy and open new jobs for locals.”

Dallas Hockley, director of software engineering with Skip the Dishes, agrees.

“We need to bring in people to augment [local] teams,” Hockley said. “New people can help us grow our local market.”

It’s not just the companies who benefit. Those who come to Calgary looking for work aren’t just looking to advance their careers – they’re also looking forward to enjoying the lifestyle that our city can provide. 

Lais Zagatti Pedro, who works as a web programmer with Kudos, fell in love with Calgary on her first day here. She was living in Saskatoon at the time as an international student at the University of Saskatchewan and had also spent time in Flin Flon, MB, prior to that.

“You know when you’re in a place and you’re like, ‘Yeah, that’s where I want to live.’ That’s how I felt about Calgary."

Zagatti Pedro, who is originally from Brazil, began applying for Calgary postings that matched her skill set and educational background. In June 2018, her opportunity to move here finally arrived.

She flew to Calgary and started her new job in July. Zagatti Pedro says there is no place she’d rather be – and she believes there are many others who would feel the same.

“It’s so worth it,” said Zagatti Pedro. “The city’s amazing. You have everything here. If you’re not sure, come and visit. Spend a week here like I did in 2014. You’ll fall in love with it.”

Some of the LEAP participants will soon have their chance to do just that. To date, half of the participants have received job offers.


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