The Academy from a parachain team's perspective

Interview with Michael Healy, co-founder at Unit Network

The Polkadot Blockchain Academy helps in realizing the vision of a Web3 future by providing a solid curriculum which not only teaches the principles of crypto, blockchain, and equips developers with the necessary coding tools, but also instructs on the fundamentals of economics, game theory, and governance.

The curriculum is designed to be highly beneficial for both newcomers to the blockchain space, and experienced Web3 developers. In this regard, special efforts are being made for each wave of the Academy to be relevant and useful to the parachain teams in a number of different ways.

Let’s hear from Michael Healy, @michael (co-founder of Unit Network), about his recent experience at the Buenos Aires Polkadot Blockchain Academy.

  • “Why do you think parachain team members should participate in the Academy?”

Participating in the Academy can be highly beneficial even for established parachain teams, since they can get a better understanding of the latest developments and insights from the engineers building the technology. Moreover, you can get instant feedback from the instructors and other students on your work or any related questions.

Looking at the Academy from a different perspective, it brings together an excellent pool of talented candidates who are interested in joining the DOT ecosystem.

  • “We are halfway through the Academy, how have you found the content/lessons/assignments so far?”

The content is well structured, going from first principles to more complicated and technical concepts. Overall the Academy is very intense, and our days are usually very long, running from 9am to 6pm. The assignments are challenging — asking us to apply the content that we learned in the lessons — but this is very helpful in gaining a deeper understanding of the content, ensuring that we have correctly understood and absorbed it.

  • “Can you see some of the students joining the parachain teams?”

Most definitely, since you can be sure that you are getting high quality candidates. They have passed a very challenging entrance exam and are keen on the Substrate framework and DOT ecosystem.

  • “What advice would you give to future academy students?”

My advice to those developers who are new to the blockchain world is to expect and learn to feel comfortable with being overwhelmed with new concepts, and it’ll all fit together nicely.

My recommendation to those experienced in blockchain development is to think of the Academy as a good way of revisiting concepts from a first principle perspective, and getting new ideas and approaches to current and future challenges.

  • “What other content should be included in the Academy curriculum for it to be especially useful for the parachain teams?”

It would be highly helpful to include (1) Case studies of parachain projects; (2) Tutorials going through building projects using substrate as well as developing on existing parachains; and (3) Inviting parachain teams to talk about their projects to participants.

  • “Would you recommend the Academy to other parachain teams?”

Yes most definitely! The Academy is useful to everyone: from experienced to junior engineers. It is very advantageous to get a first principle conclusive understanding of blockchain frameworks, and it can also be considered a recruitment source for engineers to join parachain teams.