Polkadot has announced the launch of the first Polkadot Blockchain Academy, an intensive in-person course at Cambridge University from July 11 to August 7.
The four-week program at Cambridge University’s Corpus Christi College campus will be led by Polkadot founder Dr. Gavin Wood, along with lead engineers from Parity Technologies and the Web3 Foundation. Anyone interested in attending may apply online. The Academy will conduct a webinar on May 25 to provide more details and answer any questions.
A scholarship program is available for all attendees that will cover instruction and accommodation costs. Students will be responsible for travel costs to Cambridge and must be able to obtain a 30-day U.K. visa for the period July 11 - August 7.
Founded by Dr. Wood and other blockchain pioneers, Parity Technologies is now a team of over 260 engineers in 44 countries, and offices in London, Cambridge, Berlin and Lisbon. It oversees the Polkadot blockchain, which was launched by the Web3 Foundation in 2020.
Substrate and Rust
The course is designed to prepare developers, regardless of their current level of experience, to create applications for the Polkadot network. In fact, Parity openly states that the program will “serve as a recruiting platform both for Parity Technologies and Polkadot ecosystem teams.”
The curriculum comprises seven modules, covering technical topics relevant to the Polkadot ecosystem:
- Interdisciplinary Concepts for Decentralised Systems Developers
- Blockchain and Consensus
- Polkadot, Cumulus and Parachains
- Pallet and FRAME
- XCM: Cross Consensus Message Format
As a prerequisite for taking the course, attendees must pass an exam demonstrating a working understanding of the Rust programming language. Fortunately, the Academy will offer an optional one-week “precourse” to get people up to speed. Beginners can also get a head start with the definitive 2019 book, The Rust Programming Language available from multiple online sources.
Module #4 is devoted to Substrate, the framework on which all Polkadot parachains are built. Substrate was developed by blockchain industry veterans who sought to overcome the limitations of previous-generation networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Its software developer kit (SDK) makes it much easier to build a blockchain project than if everything is done from scratch, enabling developers to get their projects up and running sooner and with a more robust platform.
Polkadot’s growing ecosystem
The second round of slot auctions ended in January. Round Three began in March, and so far four projects have been selected:
- Polkadex, non-custodial, peer-to-peer trading platform that merges the benefits of both centralized and decentralized exchanges;
- Litentry, a Decentralized Identity Aggregation (DIA) protocol across multiple networks;
- Unique Network, a scalable blockchain for composable NFTs with advanced economies;
- OriginTrail, the world’s first Decentralized Knowledge Graph, organizing humanity’s most important assets, and making them discoverable, verifiable and valuable.
The remarkable decision by Polkadot’s founders to present and underwrite the cost of such an in-depth course at one of the world’s most prestigious universities underscores their serious need for qualified engineers who can continue to build their fast-growing ecosystem.
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