Cryptocurrency, the first use case of the blockchain application, set the ground rolling for this technology to proliferate into the economy by breaking financial barriers across borders.
Further use of the blockchain technology came with the rise of the play-to-earn model, NFT and the Web3 project. The emergence of new technology applications, especially in the blockchain space is to drive a case for more financial empowerment.
Going back to one of the use cases mentioned above (Web3), it is important to note that, one can’t fully deploy Web3 without a knowledge of the Web2, not just surface knowledge of the technology but its development.
Entry into the Web3 space can prove difficult without the necessary platform to serve as a guide, however, Web3bridge is breaking this entry barrier.
Web3bridge is on a mission to identify Web3 ‘Passions’, train them in a collaborative and supportive remote environment while creating an African web3 community
“Our poll of specialists who have expertise in various blockchain, web and mobile technology are continuously training and grooming talents in Blockchain technologies in Nigeria and across Africa.”
Blockbuild caught up with Ayodeji Awosika, Founder of Web3bridge, who took us through how Web3bridge is creating a sustainable web3 community in Africa while building and supporting web3 developers and startups.
How it all started
Prior to his blockchain journey, Ayodeji’s background was in hospitality and business management. He ventured into the blockchain space on October 15, 2017, as an airdrop bounty hunter. However, he found out he could do more than just being a passer-by, thus Ayodeji began his journey as a Community Moderator with Blockscart.
This engagement further made him discover the great gap between the products which is the dApps, the users and the developers at the time. He left to join Waves blockchain Platform, where he became the firm’s African and Nigerian ambassador.
He eventually left Waves, he joined Project Hydro, a blockchain platform building solutions on identity. All along, while he was the community manager at Waves, he found out that there is a lot more of advocacies to be done, and more projects to be built, however, developers were finding it quite difficult to understand what Waves were doing and this came up as a challenge for the blockchain platform.
“At this point, I was already thinking that one of the ways to get adoption in Africa is actually education. The User, customer, and developer education.”
Up on till October 10, 2019, he was running his community advocacy, when he stumbled on Joseph Lubin’s (ConsenSys) Tweet about Ethereum having one million developers, Ayodeji thought, “If Ethereum is looking for one million developers, Africa has the population, so it’s justifiable that we can make these numbers happen in Africa”.
Ayodeji beyond his thought commented on the tweet, a move that made Ethereum.network reached out to him and eventually earned him a grant to train 500 developers from Africa.
“What we have today has Web3bridge started with 500 Nigerian developers for Ethereum, but the goal was just 500 developers for Ethereum but then it became bigger, and it’s being growing so far, we have had guys from Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa participated in the program”
From Web2 to Web3
According to Ayodeji, web3 language didn’t start in one day as it was created by web2 developers
“And we didn’t start teaching web2 early, we started with web3, but we discovered that quite a number of people entering the space are enthusiasts or those without a background in web2. One can’t transit into web 3 without having fair knowledge of the web2 programming languages because web3 is just an extension of web2 with an additional line of code.”
Ayodeji further explained that quite a number of persons have been talking about decentralization with respect to the power it can give to the people
Ayodeji explained that so many people talk about cryptocurrency, quite a number of people have been making fortune from airdrops and so you wonder, if web3 can do airdrop, why is traditional web2 not doing so.
However, beyond the money part of it, Ayodeji believes that the technology is giving people a voice web3 e makes it’s actually easy to do a lot without the government breathing down your neck without tedious censorship and the likes of it.
Milestones and sustaining the Web3 Community
As of the time of this chat, Web3bridge has taken 6 cohorts and cumulatively, has had over 1200 registration. According to Ayodeji, most of the people that finished the program do well globally as developers.
Web3bridge has a Telegram community where over 4000 persons come together to learn about blockchain and its benefits
“We train developers who will become sustainable, our programs are designed in such a way that we don’t just train in coding, we train manners and morals”
Further explaining, Ayodeji said Web3bridge is a free program operating both online and offsite. The onsite program is a 16-week training class with free accommodation, electricity and internet, all accounted for by Ayodeji and his team of developers.
At the time of granting this chat, Web3bride called on its Telegram community for its website redesign, and with lots of applications coming in, the platform decided to make it an open-source coding for the design, thus giving everybody in its community a level playing ground to express their web development skill.
Web3bridge has also announced a project, a program by developers for developers to help grow other developers. This according to Ayodeji is one of the ways Web3bridge is ensuring a sustainable economy across developers’ networks in Africa.
Web3bridge’s Free Service
According to Ayodeji, the team of mentors taking the training are offering selfless service to the trainees, however, some of the graduates return to make donations to the academy.
“We are sustaining ourselves because we believe in what we are doing, and we are happy to see all the laughter or the joys that come from the participants”
Ayodeji said that a significant number of people who are really interested in being part of our program can’t afford it, thus Web3bridge provides feeding, and accommodation, among other things.
“However, Web3bridge isn’t an NGO and is yet to raise any external funding, the participants are provided with what they require so that they face the program squarely.”
Ayodeji further explained that when he started Web3bridge, he was a long ranger until some other developers who believed in the vision joined him to add more blockchain developers into the ecosystem.
“With what they have learned, these blockchain developers are giving back, however, Web3bridge was also designed to make money at some point.”
What Web3bridge can offer potential web3 developer/founder
“We train developers who are working actively in the space, the 16 weeks program is rigorous enough to get everybody started in this space. Before I can say we have confidence that from the last cohort, we had 13 graduates from the last cohort. Some of these graduates are already working, so it means we are offering value.”
Adedeji stated that startups who are looking to start their web3 foundation can visit Web3bridge where they will get introduced to the developers as long as they can afford their terms and conditions.
Stating further, Adedeji also mentioned that Web3bridge founders who are looking into building dApps and other projects can also consult the web3bridge team.
Simplifying entry barrier
As explained by Ayodeji, entry into the web3 track of Web3bridge’s program is a stringent screening process, such that entrants can also get evicted for poor performance. However, Adedeji assured that the program is designed in a friendly way for learners, as the facilitators take 6 hours of class time each day from Monday to Saturday.
Ayodeji also added that the curriculum is subjected to regular updates due to changes in trends, as this will make the program accommodate the latest changes.
“It’s understandable that at the beginning, the program might appear confusing, however, our mentors are on the ground to walk entrants through seamlessly”
Adedeji further stated that the barrier to entry is not coding only, lack of electricity, internet facility, Lagos traffic and the likes of them are also part of the challenges.
“And that’s where we add the on-site program where we provide accommodation, feeding, internet to make sure you’re not distracted,”
“We are introducing a paid masterclass where our students who have learned from us and already working in the space get to come back to upskill themselves, because we understand why they left the cohort, many things number have changed.”
Adedeji further explained that the masterclass was necessary because their current job may not allow them to learn on their own.
Even after their program, Web3bridge has a community for their graduate developers where they get support from their facilitators. At every point, Web3bridge graduates have a support system that helps them upskill.