With the increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies globally, the demand for blockchain developers is on the rise. More than ever, developers, who can build and design exciting applications and systems using blockchain technology, are much sought after in the market. Interestingly, recent forecasts suggest the blockchains market will climb to over $39 billion by 2025.
Since blockchain development is a rapidly growing field, the supply of developers doesn’t match the ever-increasing demand, and Africa appears to be far behind in the race. This is the problem Polygon, the leading Web3 infrastructure used by some of the world’s biggest companies including Meta, Stripe, and Reddit intends to solve.
In partnership with Xend Finance, the leading global crypto bank, Polygon recently commenced the Polygon Africa Bootcamp, an eight-week intensive certified mentorship program and hackathon for over 2,000 Africans with a prize pool of $60,000.
What’s the motivation behind the Bootcamp?
In an exclusive interview with Technext, Damilare Aregbesola, the Developer Marketing Manager for Africa at Polygon, explained that the motivation behind the Bootcamp was to place the continent on the global blockchain map
“Being an emerging technology, Africans have little or no knowledge about blockchain development. That was a motivation for us at Polygon, we decided to bring the knowledge and resources to the doorsteps of Africans. And since they [Africans] are pretty much interested in learning about tech, we just knew the Bootcamp was necessary,” he said.
He notes that there are a lot of opportunities in the blockchain space, so Africans deserve to have their own share of the pie.
“Currently, there are about 100,000 blockchain developers in the world, with a population of 8 billion people. So we want to ensure that we place Africa on the global map this time,” he said of what Polygon sought to achieve with the project.
He added that the Bootcamp aims to equip Africans with the right knowledge and resources to be part of the blockchain revolution, which he believes, is the only solution to the different financial difficulties being experienced by Africans.
The list of mentors and judges includes big names in the African tech ecosystem such as Iyin Aboyeji, Founder & General Partner at Future Africa, Shodipo Ayomide, Global Head of Developer Advocacy of Polygon, Ugochukwu Aronu, CEO of Xend Finance, Victor Osaretin Asemota, and Yele Bademosi, CEO of Nestcoin, amongst others.
Developers are the target
According to Damilare, the Bootcamp — which is 100% virtual — is mainly targeting developers with proven experience in either web2 or web3, adding that there are two learning tracks: the Beginners Track and the Mastery Track.
While the Beginners Track will be open for developers who are new in the web3 space and don’t have any web3 experience yet, the Mastery Track will focus on advanced web3 learning and is targeted at those who have some experience in the web3 space.
Both tracks, he added, have a designed curriculum.
“Participants of the Mastery track will have practical workshop sessions on how to build on the Polygon blockchain. So we are talking about six weeks of intensive learning and practical workshops for these people, both the beginners and the masters. And after that we have a hackathon where the top three Projects of the Mastery track will be given direct access to Polygon’s incubator/Accelerator program for further mentorship & funding,” he said.
In the Mastery track, the first place will receive $10,000, while the second and third places will get $7,000 and $5,000, respectively. For the Beginners track, the sum of $5,000 will be doled to the first place, followed by $3,000 and $2,000 for the second and third places, respectively.
“At the hackathon level, the participants have to build a project on the polygon blockchain. This will show three things: one, they learnt well. Two, they can actually build their own dApps and finally, they can utilize the blockchain technology in building projects that can literally be used to solve real-life problems,“ he explained.
Speaking on the selection criteria, Damilare disclosed that the applicants must have a GitHub profile and be from an African country.
What happens to the participants after the Bootcamp?
Upon completion of the program, the successful participants will be issued a certificate of participation, according to Damilare.
When asked about how Polygon intends to keep track of their progress after the Bootcamp, Damilare explains that the participants will be added to the Polygon Africa community on Telegram where they will be plugged into different opportunities.
“It’s almost impossible to be a blockchain developer that knows his stuff and not get jobs. And with the knowledge gotten from the Bootcamp, it becomes much easier to access opportunities,” he said confidently.
He adds that the success of the maiden edition of the Bootcamp will determine the plans for the subsequent ones.
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