Small Grant: SiaLearn – UPDATED

Introduction

Project Name: SiaLearn
Name of the organization: Dapp Mentors Ltd.

Project Description:

Problem Statement
A consistent issue across various blockchain networks is the lack of comprehensive developer education, which includes video courses, article-based tutorials, and hands-on training. This deficiency hinders developers from effectively building within the ecosystem. Unfortunately, the Sia network is no exception, with a scarcity of educational resources felt across YouTube and many developer communities. Our team experienced this firsthand when integrating with the Renterd API, struggling to find the guidance we needed.

We initially encountered significant challenges when integrating and interacting with the Renterd API, spending a considerable amount of time to determine the optimal integration approach. The process would have been much smoother with a video tutorial guiding us through the steps. Now, we want to create such a resource to spare new developers the difficulties we faced, making it easier for them to integrate the API into their platforms.

Our Solution
To address this gap, we propose SiaLearn, a developer educational program designed to provide comprehensive, evergreen training courses and resources for building on the Sia network.

Program Features
SiaLearn will offer:

  • A series of long-form and high-impact developer training courses (evergreen content).
  • Freely available video tutorials on YouTube and other developer communities.
  • Hands-on approach with open-sourced real-world example projects.
  • Emphasis on user-owned data and privacy in web3 development.
  • Online learning combined with hands-on development through real-world projects and Hackathon competitions.

Course Projects Scope
The committee requested us to start with the VidTv project as a pilot course, so we have narrowed down this proposal’s scope to one project, with plans to launch SiaLearn with more projects that will enable developers to adequately build upon the Sia ecosystem:

  1. VidTV Project: A video streaming platform that once developed and translated into a course will help developers understand how to integrate an application with Sia Renterd infrastructure.

Curriculum Structure
Our program will follow the structure below:

  • Introduction: This module introduces Sia, highlights its unique features, and emphasizes the importance of user-owned data.
  • Ecosystem Walkthrough: This module will walk developers through the various Sia services, including Hostd and Renterd, and concludes by presenting the Sia Renterd API documentation.
  • Environment Setup: This module will guide Windows and Mac OS users on setting up their development environment for the project, including instructions for running Renterd on Mac, Windows, and Docker-compose.
  • Course 1: This course is based on Project 1, and will guide the learner step-by-step on how to build a video streaming platform where they can both upload and stream videos from their user interface.
  • Conclusion: This module will provide a closing remark for the program series. It will also refer developers to the Sia discord server, enhancing community engagement, collaboration, and promotion.

Target Audience
SiaLearn is designed for developers with basic blockchain knowledge, dApp builders, and those aspiring to build decentralized storage-based applications. The program will provide video courses and written tutorials specifically targeting the Sia ecosystem, catering to developers at various skill levels.

Goals and Impact
By combining online learning with hands-on development through real-world projects and Hackathon competitions, SiaLearn aims to equip developers with the skills to build decentralized storage-based applications that promote user-owned data. By bridging the learning gap in Sia development, SiaLearn will foster a collaborative community driving ecosystem growth, ultimately empowering developers to build innovative solutions on the Sia network.

Project Beneficiaries:

The beneficiaries of this project are multifaceted:

  • Developers: By providing comprehensive training and resources, this program will empower them to acquire new skills, stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, and unlock new growth opportunities.
  • The Sia ecosystem: By bridging the learning gap and fostering a collaborative community, SiaLearn will drive ecosystem growth, increase adoption, and strengthen the Sia network, attracting more users, developers, and partners.
  • Users: As more developers build innovative applications, users will have access to a wider range of decentralized storage solutions, enhancing their overall experience and providing them with more control over their data.
  • Sia: By investing in developer education and ecosystem growth, Sia will further establish itself as a leader in the decentralized storage of the blockchain space, demonstrating its commitment to the community, promoting user-owned data, and setting itself up for long-term success.
  • Sia Marketing Team: The Sia marketing team can always refer to this program’s (SiaLearn) resources as a practical example when engaging with the developer community.

How does our project serve the Foundation’s mission of user-owned data?

The SiaLearn project serves the Sia Foundation’s mission of user-owned data in several ways:

  1. Empowering developers: By providing comprehensive training and resources, SiaLearn enables developers to build innovative decentralized storage-based applications that prioritize user-owned data.
  2. Promoting decentralized storage: SiaLearn focuses on decentralized storage solutions, which allow users to maintain full control over their data, aligning with the Sia Foundation’s mission.
  3. Fostering a community: SiaLearn creates a collaborative community of developers, encouraging the development of user-centric applications that prioritize data ownership and privacy.
  4. Education and awareness: By educating developers about the importance of user-owned data, SiaLearn raises awareness about the significance of data privacy and security, furthering the Sia Foundation’s mission.
  5. Innovative solutions: SiaLearn encourages developers to build innovative solutions that prioritize user-owned data, driving innovation and adoption of decentralized storage solutions.

Grant Specifics

Project Budget:
We request $8,700 $7,000 for 1.5 months to be disbursed in line with the milestones outlined below. This budget will cover the following costs:

  1. Team salary for open-source project development: $4,000
  • This will cover the salaries of developers working on the open-source project, which is the core of the SiaLearn initiative.
  1. Team salary for content production: $3,000
  • This will cover the salaries of the lead course instructor, video production, and editors working on video tutorials, and graphic illustrations.
  • This will also cover the costs of creating written tutorials, including writer fees, editing, and proofreading.
    3. Additional setup items: $1,000
  • This will cover the costs of creating in-studio promotional materials, such as Sia picture frames, T-shirts, Merch, and other swag.
    4. Extra WIndows PC: $700
  • This will cover the cost of an extra Windows computer to illustrate project setups on an operating system other than Mac.

Project Milestones:
The first milestone shall be paid on approval to enable us to begin work. Here are the project’s milestones for the period of June 15th to August 1st, 2024:

Milestone 1: Course Project Development (3 Weeks)

  • This phase covers the design, development, testing, deployment, and hosting of the four projects, which include the VidTv project.

  • The project will progress through the following stages: UI/UX design to match the Sia branding style, full software development, bug testing, deployment to test server for live demonstrations, documentation creation, and open-source release on GitHub.

Milestone 2: Content Production, Release, Promotion, & Ongoing Mentorship (3 Weeks)

  • This encompasses the transformation of the projects into video, including video recording and editing, along with any necessary adjustments and reshoots.

  • This also includes the transformation of the videos & projects into article tutorials, including article writing and editing, along with any necessary adjustments.

  • Promotion is important to us in this program, we want enough developers to see these courses, that’s why we are self-promoting them on X-Twitter and LinkedIn.

  • This phase covers the promotion of the playlist video FREE on our Dapp Mentors YouTube channel.

  • Also, it includes the publishing of article versions on developer communities like Dev.to, Hackernoon, and Medium.

  • The project will refer to Sia’s Discord server for ongoing mentorship, guidance, and support for learners.

Potential risks of the project:
Two potential external risks we consider are:

Risk 1: Inadequate promotion and marketing efforts

  • Potential risk: Inadequate promotion and marketing efforts can lead to a lack of visibility and engagement with the developer community.
  • Mitigation plan: To address this risk, we have allocated a significant time frame for promotion and marketing efforts.

Risk 2: Inadequate support for developers

  • Potential risk: Inadequate support for developers can result in frustration and dissatisfaction with the SiaLearn program.
  • Mitigation plan: To combat this risk, we have already established:
    • A reference to the Sia Discord server for learners to connect, ask questions, and receive support.
    • A responsive dev team is available to address any technical issues or concerns.
    • A comprehensive resource library, including documentation, tutorials, and code samples.
    • Ongoing feedback collection and improvement of support resources to ensure learner satisfaction.

Why Us?

Our core team members include me Darlington Gospel, the Founder and CEO of Dapp Mentors Ltd, a company at the forefront of the Web3 space. With over 8 years of experience in software development, I’ve specialized in blockchain technology since 2020.

My expertise covers Blockchain and Fullstack Software Development, Technical Instruction, and Content Creation. I run a blockchain and web3 channel called Dapp Mentors. I’ve authored over 40 articles, developed premium courses, and published a book on Smart Contracts, web3, and DeFi, significantly contributing to the educational landscape.

I’ve led projects like Dapp Mentors Academy and am spearheading the development of a decentralized educational platform (peoplelearn.io). My passion for education and technology, especially in Blockchain and AI, drives my professional journey.

Additionally, I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with the ICP DFINITY Foundation and The Sia Network, contributing to their ecosystems and furthering my understanding of blockchain technology.

The team is further strengthened by Ebenezer Enietan who is a seasoned tech leader with over 15 years of experience in software development, blockchain consulting, and tech education. His expertise in Solidity, React.js, Node.js, and SQL and his leadership roles at White Creativity and GeNext Logistics positions him to contribute significantly to this program.

Also, Princess Uhiene is a skilled frontend developer, project manager, and technical writer with a strong background in React.js, Next.js, and TypeScript, making her an ideal candidate to help us manage this project and ensure we meet deadlines. Her dedication to our company and experience in project management align well with the project’s goals of creating developers’ empowerment content.

Development Information

Will all of our project’s code be open-source?
Yes, all project code will be open-source and made available on GitHub.

Do we agree to submit monthly progress reports?
Yes, we agree to submit monthly progress reports in the forum.

Contact info:
Email: contact@dappmentors.org

Any other preferred contact methods:

Forum: @DappMentors
Discord: Daltonic
LinkedIn
X-twitter
YouTube
Website

We are confident that your approval will pave the way for a fruitful collaboration between us, leading to the education and empowerment of developers and the expansion of the Sia network ecosystem.

Thanks for the new small grant proposal! After review, the committee is requesting some changes to this version of the proposal to keep in line with what the Foundation is comfortable funding.

  • Remove “Additional setup items” from the budget. The committee does not see value in funding merch.
  • Remove “Extra Windows PC” from the budget. We already have existing setup guides for Windows. A VM can accomplish most of what would be required from a Windows perspective.
  • We don’t love the idea of referring users to a separate Discord server for Sia help. Sia users should be referred to Sia’s Discord server.

We’ll leave this in Proposed for now. If you want to make these changes to your grant, please edit the original post in this thread.

Hi @steve, we’ve made the requested budget adjustments and will direct users to the Sia Discord server for support. The updates have been made to the original proposal. Thanks!