Today marks a significant moment for the Polkadot Blockchain Academy (PBA) as we officially open a new chapter, transitioning into an independent entity. This journey has been remarkable, and we owe immense gratitude to Parity, the Web3 Foundation, the Polkadot ecosystem teams, and our various partners who provided invaluable support during our incubation.
A Vision Unveiled
Conceived by Gavin Wood and Jimmy Cliff, the Polkadot Blockchain Academy was born from a desire to nurture a new wave of core developers for Parity and the broader Polkadot ecosystem. Back in the spring of 2022, there was a void in comprehensive, in-person, and online blockchain programs. PBA aimed not only to fill this gap but also to be a pioneering force in this educational space.
To turn the vision into reality, we set things into motion in the spring of 2022. A mere four months later, the first group of students was welcomed at The University of Cambridge, UK. The pilot program was a testament to the collaborative efforts of many stakeholders across the Polkadot ecosystem. The journey was filled with improvisations, hard work, and fun, but most importantly, it worked. We successfully graduated a cohort of trained blockchain developers.
Since that pivotal moment, we have replicated the program in different regions, with waves in Argentina and the US. What started as an ambitious idea has evolved into a comprehensive blockchain education program with a global footprint.
Milestones to Celebrate
In our relatively short existence, we take pride in several achievements:
- Training Prowess: Over 200 students have been trained, forming a robust alumni community. Notably, five alumni have even joined the Polkadot Fellowship.
- Project Support: We’ve supported over 20 new projects and grants, contributing to the expanding Polkadot ecosystem.
- Global Operations: Operating in three different markets, we’re set to embrace a fourth in Asia, signaling our commitment to a truly global reach.
- Exceptional Team: Our journey has been enriched by a dedicated team of faculty, instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers. Each one has played a vital role in refining and enhancing our academic standard
Learnings and Experiments
Our journey has been one of continuous experimentation and learning:
- Identifying Gems: We refined our student profile for the Core Developers track, building an admissions process which ensures we identify skilled individuals regardless of their background.
- Teaching Methodology: Departing from conventional educational practices, we engaged industry experts, immersed in the intricacies of Polkadot, to directly interact with students. This distinctive approach has become one of PBA’s most compelling value propositions.
- Adapting to Context: Acknowledging the dynamic nature of the blockchain space, we adjusted our strategies. From adjusting cohort sizes to piloting the innovative Founders track, tailored to support early-stage founders, we remain agile and able to respond to the evolving needs of the ecosystem.
Join Us on the Journey
The road ahead promises more challenges, experiments, and contributions to the ever-evolving blockchain ecosystem. As we embark on this new chapter, we invite you to join us and support the future of blockchain education.
Here’s how you can contribute:
- Spread the Word: Help us reach aspiring talent! Share the story of the Academy, its impact, and the opportunities it offers in the world of Polkadot and blockchain.
- Job Openings Welcome: If your organization has open positions, let us know! Make PBA alumni feel at home by providing opportunities within the Polkadot ecosystem.
- Share Your Knowledge: Are you a blockchain expert with insights to share? We’re all ears! Your wisdom could shape the learning experiences of our students.
We are excited to continue interacting with the Community under this new entity and supporting the developers and founders journey on Polkadot.