Boise Startup Week ’18: MVP & Blockchain Workshops

With a massive turnout, Boise Startup Week 2018 is a testament to the tech growth and movement the city has been able to achieve in past years. Coding Dojo was honored to support the event, and teach two workshops over the warm October weekend, whilst establishing a presence in Idaho’s capitol as a stakeholder in their continued development.

“Boise is one of the most contemporary and hip cities I have been to!” exclaims Donovan An, Coding Dojo Seattle’s Captain and Lead Instructor. “And beyond the optics, Boise is a city that is prime for growth and innovation.”

Hundreds of Boise Startup Weekend attendees piled into conference rooms at Jack’s Urban Meeting Place, or JUMP, a “not-for-profit interactive creative center and community gathering place in the heart of downtown Boise,” to hear the workshops Coding Dojo held.

It’s a space that Ketul ‘Jay’ Patel, Head of Operations at Coding Dojo, describes as “state of the art,” with large conference rooms, vintage tractors as museum pieces, remarkably high-speed internet, and sweeping views of downtown Boise. The two conferences room Coding Dojo occupied for their workshops over the weekend were filled to capacity, patrons ready to hear the latest on ‘Scale Beyond MVP’ and ‘Creating Digital Certificates Using Blockchain.

‘Scale Beyond MVP’
Speaking to the interests of entrepreneurs and the like, Jay focussed his workshop on establishing guidelines and ground-rules for attaining success with product development, launches, and longevity.

“The workshop I held basically gave an overview of what Michael [Choi] has coined the four level of a product that range from pre-MVP (Minimum Viable Product) all the way up to to a stability stage,” said Jay. Michael is the CEO of Coding Dojo. “It’s not an industry recognized framework, but it’s what we’ve seen after years of working with these startups.”

In his workshop, Jay mainly focused on these concepts of speed and stability, and spoke on the importance of harnessing those individual levels to meet the desired goal at hand. He also spoke on technical debt and how it’s basically the “delta” between a startup’s speed and stability.

“When you sacrifice stability for speed you’re not doing things as well — and when you’re not doing things as well, all of that debt adds up and eventually you need to pay it back,” explained Jay, referencing how technical debt is similar to building a house with either sticks, or bricks. “You can get into a stage where you can use fake materials to sell a vision of the house — but then once you get to the stage where someone actually needs to live in the house you need to use bricks, you need to use something more stable.”

After his overview of speed, stability, technical debt, and how it relates to the four levels, Jay opened up the room for a question and answer session.  The entrepreneurs in the room asked various questions, depending on the stage and level they are currently at.

‘Creating Digital Certificates Using Blockchain’
For Coding Dojo’s second workshop during BSW ‘18, Donovan took the lead. His workshop focused on blockchain technology and, “how Coding Dojo was using blockchain tech in non traditional and innovative ways.”

Blockchain is a digital ledger system where transactions can be made from one party to another. That transaction is verified through a decentralized distributed network using cryptology so that any data can be verified as true and uncorrupted.

He explained that Coding Dojo initially started researching ways to better support alumni by standardizing the process in which certifications achieved by our bootcamp are distributed. By partnering with MIT and their project called BlockCerts, Coding Dojo now issues decentralized, verifiable graduation certificates on the BitCoin blockchain. Once the certificate has been issued onto the blockchain, it becomes virtually tamper-proof and incorruptible

“The highlight for me was the excitement surrounding the possibilities of blockchain tech that organically sprouted at the end of my presentation,” said Donovan. “When people hear “blockchain”, the immediate thought that comes to mind is BitCoin and Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. And while the valuation rollercoaster of cryptocurrencies like BitCoin are what make mainstream headlines on the news, it is the underlying blockchain technology that cryptocurrency runs on that is the real game changer.”

Donovan believes that if we can store digital data on an incorruptible network with no single point of failure, the possibilities become endless. Digital identity is a topic that has been around for decades but has terrified the public because if your digital identity is stored on some server, it has the potential to be hacked.”

“But with blockchain technology, this becomes a possibility and simple things like carrying around a physical passport booklet when traveling across the world may soon seem archaic and outdated.”

New campus in Boise
Located in the heart of downtown Boise, the ninth Coding Dojo campus is thoughtfully placed within a co-working space called Trailhead.  More specifically, Trailhead North.  

“The space itself is a great combination of techy-hipster and old school classic,” describes Donovan. “The brick walls and exposed ceilings add to the whole character of the space.”

Since it is a co-working space, there are web developers and software engineers that are always present and working on their projects, which An believes “will be incredible for students to see and experience.”

Opening Jan. 2019, Donovan will be an instructor at our ninth campus, and knows the Boise region is ready for our education. To find out more about our registered apprenticeship program, and the Boise campus location, visit our location page.

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