We are proud to introduce one of the newest members of Gem’s senior leadership team, Siva Kannan, VP of Engineering.
Fortunately, between meetings and intense white boarding sessions he took the time to sit down and let us get to know what makes him tick.
Siva has been in the technology field for 17 years, working at companies such as Microsoft, Symantec, and Phoenix Technologies. He comes to us most recently from myDevices where he lead the engineering team in a soup-to-nuts build of their IoT platform.
How have your first couple of weeks been?
Siva: Great! I really appreciate the collective attitudes and sense of discovery that the Gem team brings everyday.
What is your professional path that brought you here?
Siva: I started as a software developer for Microsoft, specifically working on the core components of Windows 2000 and XP operating systems. Debugging and security really began to attract my attention so I decided to move to Southern California and work for Symantec. I realized that I wanted to learn more about the strategic management perspective so I enrolled in the MBA program at the University of Southern California. I really enjoyed the technical and leadership challenges at Symantec — I built engineering teams responsible for delivering world class security software to millions of users. After a long stint at large companies, I really wanted the “start-up” experience so I began to work for small and midsize companies. This culminated in me having the opportunity to lead an engineering team in building an IoT platform from the ground up.
What interested you in IoT?
Siva: I knew that there was something really big there. I wanted to build an IoT platform from the ground up, to really be involved in all aspects of architecture and execution. That’s what really attracted me to Gem. Blockchain is such an interesting solution to a wide variety of issues. My professional arc to Gem was from OS to Security, Security to IoT and now from IoT to blockchain tech. I think these experiences compliment each other well.
What brought you to Gem specifically?
Siva: It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to build a blockchain platform using the fundamentals I have learned through my entire career. It is something which is going to revolutionize the inner workings of multiple industries. The understanding of how to use this technology is really just emerging and Gem is at the forefront.
What excites you about blockchain technology from the engineering perspective?
Siva: It is an opportunity to be at the confluence of innovation and efficiency. You need to innovate and move fast, but also utilize the fundamentals you have learned in building a platform for performance, security and scalability. It is a place where bright, young innovative engineers meet experienced engineers and build incredible projects that need to be founded in reality. We are creating the methodologies and philosophy that people will use from now on to address the issues with blockchain solutions.
As you continue to build the engineering team at Gem, what will you be looking for?
Siva: Above all, engineers who have intellectual curiosity. Engineers who think deeply about how systems work instead of just making them work, who are passionate about using technology to revolutionize the inner workings of variety of industries.
What’s your favorite place in the world?
Siva: Places where beauty is expressed in simplicity, freshness and purity. Himalayas or the Amazon forest. I really like the idea of these big, functional ecosystems that just naturally work. You can feel it when you experience those places.
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Siva: I would provide education to the entire world’s population. Can you imagine the innovation that would result from 7 billion people having access to education? That is the world I want to encourage.
Our engineering team is currently hiring! If you’re interested in joining us in Venice Beach, CA, check out our open roles.