Devblockchain.tech is a platform aiming to train "traditionnal" developers to ICON SCORE dev. in a interactive and smooth way.
Jan. 20, 2020 ~ March 31, 2020
As we specified on our 2020 roadmap, we decided to dedicate the first quarter of 2020 to expand the developer community of ICON. Having a large developer community is crucial for a “DApp platform”. We’re in a situation where there are a lot of different platforms and a very small number of developers. Having an active developer community improves the “Developer Experience” (DX): It will allow new developers to have easier access to help, and a larger Q/A history.
More developers also lead to more DApps on ICON network, and therefore more volume. As you know, the ICON network is designed to become deflatory if there is enough volume. It is an ambitious objective but we believe that it’s one of the most important areas of improvement for the future of ICON.
L.21 Our plan
Devblockchain.tech will be a platform aiming to introduce “traditional developers” to ICON and Smart Contract (SCORE) development. We’re designing it to be a launchpad for developer who want to get started with SCORE development.
We will also setup a small incentive to follow that guides ( a system similar as Coinbase Earn )This platform will be structured in 3 parts, all those parts will be composed of videos (motion design, written guides, interactive IDE etc):
[YOU CAN FIND PROTOTYPES OF THE DESIGN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE]
Discover: A section to introduce the concept of decentralization, web3, the opportunities in the world of Blockchain, the role of developers, introduction to DApps, existing platform and introduction to ICON.
This part will take the form of an immersive web-page breaking down the basics of DLT in a simple and efficient way.
Learn: This section will teach the fundamentals of ICON SCORE building, we’ll setup several examples such as basic casino SCORE or Blockchain game.
This part will take the form of an interactive IDE divided into chapters. The guide will be on the left side of the screen (classic markdown documentation) and the user will be able to code on the right side of the screen. This format is widely used in learning other technologies such as Tezos and has been designed to provide the best possible user experience. We have not yet decided which guide we are going to present on this platform, this decision is important and we will work on it after obtaining the grant.
Build: The last part will show our users what are their opportunities on ICON ecosystem. We’ll prenset them the IISS and all programs included such as EEP, DBP, etc. This page will take the form of an immersive web-page as well.
We also plan to make this platform interactive, by organizing competitions (like ICON got talent) for new developers, maybe incorporating a Q/A platform, etc.
Value for ICON:
This service is aiming to reach a new target for ICON. It’s really hard to get started on ICONdev unless you are already active in the ecosystem (investing, following news, etc.). This platform will teach devs who want to get started with Smart Contract development in a smooth and user-centric way.
Devblockchain will be much more than a simple reproduction of the “icondev” documentation. The goal of icondev is to provide tools to developers in a completely exhaustive way and without any user acquisition strategy. Our platform will be designed to actively attract new builders and not just give an alternative to documentation. In other words, it is to use communications and marketing levers to promote and facilitate access to ICON technology for a larger and more active developer community.
Most Smart Contract developers are already invested in other platforms. One of the advantages of developing SCORE is its accessibility through the Python language. This advantage is completely wasted if future developers do not have an affordable and user-centered platform to teach them this.
We have planned many user acquisition techniques. We will start with a reward campaign similar to “Coinbase Earn” that will reward developers who have completed their training. SEO, SEA campaigns and communications through channels specific to traditional developers.
Once again, the developer community is one of the most important asset for an ecosystem like ICON. We can’ expect them to come by themselves. Development also needs its dose of marketing, and we want to solve this with our platform.
This mission will bring together 4 members of our team + freelancers: 4 full-time and 2 part-time (freelance). Among the 4 full time team members, we will have 2 UX/UI designers and a developer (each will be paid at 2750$ per month on a 35 hours per week package). By bringing this team together, we want to do a real quality work in order to make development on the ICON blockchain accessible to everyone. We also rely on video motions design with the presence of 2 freelancers who will work only partially with our team. We foresee a remuneration of about 1200$ per month for his work. Our marketing and communication manager will take care of the SEO and the user acquisition part of the platform (will be paid at 2750$ per month on a 35 hours + per week package). Finally, we estimate that this mission will last a maximum of 3 months to set up everything and the final launch is obviously planned during the first quarter of the year 2020.
Development Update #1
It’s now 25 days since our grant was approved by the ICON Foundation and that we started developing devblockchain.tech. In this report, we will present all the work done to date, what we plan to do next, and what the recent price increase of $ICX will bring to this project.
As a reminder, devblockchain.tech is a platform that aims to provide a 3-part learning experience on SCORE (Smart Contract on Reliable Environment):
Discover: It would be useless to learn how to develop Smart Contracts without knowing the fundamentals of Blockchain technologies, their possible applications and the philosophy of this ecosystem. This short part will aim at educating users about these principles.
Learn: This section is the main part of our platform. It will allow users to learn in an interactive way the development of SCORE in several chapters.
Build: To conclude, we will present all the professional opportunities available for ICON Ecosystem builders. We will present examples of teams and programs such as EEP or DPB.
We are aiming for a release on March 31st, we have 2–3 weeks dedicated to QA and background work on our Earn Campaign or SEO/SEA. So our efforts have been focused to design and build an MVP of the Learn section (the most important part of the project. )
Here are the tasks that have been started and their current progress:
Course Content & Learn section
devblockchain.tech won’t be a static platform. We want to add new courses on a regular basis after the initial release and thus be able to cover more in-depth topics. The tests and user feedback have taught us one thing: the “main” course, the one that 90% of the users will take and therefore the one they need most, is a course that will synthesize all the key concepts of SCORE development. This course will allow a developer with standard Python knowledge to easily transpose his knowledge and be able to start to build a project on ICON.
The first course entitled “ICON SCORE basics” will cover the following aspects:
- Structure & format of a SCORE
- Variables, store, and types
- Méthods & built-in properties
- Score deployment
- Interact with your SCORE from a web interface
This first course will allow the user to have all the keys in hand to start a project. The recent growth of ICON will allow us to finance the writing and integration of new guides in the future (Advanced SCORE dev., IRC tokens, etc.).
We have currently written 3/4 of the initial contents. About the “Learn interface” integration (browser-embedded IDE with a course/doc ), we have completed 75% of the work. Most of the workload lies in the user code verification logic. It is important to create a flexible system to avoid frustrating the user.
We planned to test our course with 3 different types of developers before the official launch (during the QA phase): Neophytes (our target audience), trained developers and SCORE development experts. Their feedback is essential to ensure that our course is effective and enjoyable to follow.
Here is a video of a demo of the Learn part: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrQ1-QHNQ8w
We wanted to design a course that was pleasant to follow and engaging for the user. So we decided to create a storytelling that will guide the user through all the courses. We decided to create the “ICONBOT”, these little robots have the mission to contribute and interact with the ICON ecosystem and will be the common thread of the whole platforms.
The user will have the opportunity to customize his ICONBOT at the beginning of the course and to transcribe it into his contract data. We plan to take the concept one step further in future courses to create real interactions between contracts and ICONBOTs. We are confident that gaming mechanics are an important aspect of education and especially in code education. The biggest effort for the user is to get out of their comfort zone and this storytelling will help them on this aspect.
Our platform also aims to bring new users through marketing and communication levers. That’s why we released the ‘Sharpn Earn’ campaign, this campaign is simple: the concept is to reward selected users who complete our first course with a $15 ICX reward.
We had planned to fund this operation out of our own pocket and to limit the number of selected developers to a maximum of 100 per quarter, but the recent growth of ICON (and thus of our grant) gives us the opportunity to drastically increase this number and thus bring more trained developers on a long term basis.
Pre-registrations have been open for several weeks and we were extremely surprised to see a great interest in this campaign. To date, we count more than 260 unique registrations. These figures allow us to set ourselves the following goals: “Complete the training of 750 ICONist 3 months after the release of the service”.
We will soon close the pre-registration phase, we will select the users with the least knowledge of SCORE development. The goal is to expand the ICON developer community and not to reward already trained devs 😉.
Here is the “Sharpn Earn” link: https://devblockchain.tech/earn
Here is the roadmap of devblockchain.tech until the launch on March 31st. We are currently well advanced to be able to reserve enough QA/user testing time to ensure a successful launch.
Thank you for reading, your feedback is very important to us! Feel free to leave a comment and tell us what you think about it.
devblockchain.tech | Sharpn
A quick recap of what the platform is about
devblockchain.tech is a service that aims to educate developers of all kinds to ICON smart contract (SCORE) development. The challenge we set ourselves was to design an immersive formula that would allow developers who were completely new to Blockchain to quickly assimilate the stakes and features of this technology before being able to train in the development of Smart Contract.
The platform is composed of 3 parts designed for 3 levels of reading:
- Discover: Get started with basic Blockchains notions, decentralization philosophy, the role of developers in those networks, DApps, Smart contract and an introduction to ICON.
- Learn: This part will allow you to learn about SCORE development. The guide will be an interactive experience. You will have at your disposal an IDE on the browser as well as a detailed guide. You’ll have the occasion to meet our mascots, the ICONBOTS 😉
- Build: This section will introduce you to all the opportunities available to you as an ICON builder and will promote the ICON Incentive Score System.
After nearly 3 months of work, we think that we built an efficient formula to efficiently onboard more builders in the ICON ecosystem. We combined the above contents with a Marketing and paid ads strategy to organically boost the number of developers visiting our service.
What’s next and your feedback
This platform is not frozen in time. This is just a V1 that we want to experiment on in order to iterate and bring more content. At the release, there will be a course available: “ICON SCORE basics” but we are already preparing 2 more courses, “Advanced SCORE” and “Learn IRC tokens development”. We will publish a vote on https://icon.vote/ in the following weeks to decide which course will be next!
Sharpn Earn campaign is also starting, we will launch the first wave of selection this week, we will post more details on our socials media.
In the meantime, we need your feedback! Content errors, visual or feature bugs, please report them to us on Telegram or directly in DM on twitter!
These 3 months of building on ICON have been very exciting for the Sharpn team. As you know, our team is focused on one mission: To drive the organic adoption of ICON by providing optimal user experience. This project was focused on the SCORE developer experience, we came away with a very fulfilling experience and lots of ideas on how to effectively contribute to the growth of the ecosystem!
Follow us on Twitter for the latest devblockchain news in real-time!
The project is still 90% achieved because we will add new courses over time ;)