French startup and ICON P-Rep Sharpn wants to expand ICON’s network of developers.

And they’re putting their ICX where their mouths are.

The Sharpn Earn program is an opportunity for would-be developers to learn how to create smart contracts while getting paid at the same time.

Select users who complete the inaugural course of Sharpn’s educational platform Devblockchain.tech will earn US$15 in ICX. Sharpn will conduct several rounds of selection, with preference given to users who are new to the development of SCORE, i.e., Smart Contract on Reliable Environment, ICON’s smart contract format.

There are more than 275 users pre-registered, and they are aiming to increase this number after launch at the end of March.

We wanted to do more than a ‘simple’ code learning solution,” says Sharpn co-founder Lucas Lareginie. “We wanted to work with communication and marketing levers to maximize the number of trained developers and therefore increase our impact.”

ICON smart contract development has a lot of qualities, especially accessibility to beginners because it works with Python,” he adds. “We are in an ultra-competitive niche market with few developers, which is why we need to actively promote our technology and preferably target novice developers.”

Learning SCORE the simple, interactive way

Devblockchain.tech aims to get people started with creating smart contracts. Users gain a basic knowledge of software development, mostly Python and a bit of Javascript. They also discover the basics of blockchain and get introduced to the opportunities available to an ICON developer.

Lucas says, “We designed [the ICON Score Course] to be affordable for beginners and to allow them to go into ICON building after their training.”

Devblockchain.tech value lies in its format. Lucas says the course’s smooth, interactive formula encourages the student to train themselves and directly apply the knowledge learned on the platform’s integrated development environment.

We have also integrated storytelling to gamify and make our content more engaging,” he says. “The first course covers all the main aspects of SCORE development such as structure, types and storages, built-ins, deployment and interaction from a web interface. And we’re already thinking about the next courses we will publish.”

The recent rise of ICX allows Sharpn to put more resources into the Earn campaign. The team is planning to run it for several months, after which it will evaluate the program based on the results.

The ICON Community Grant program in action

Devblockchain.tech is a beneficiary of the ICON Community Grant program, a centralized program run by the ICON Foundation to fund community projects benefiting the ICON community. The program is open to all ICONists, who can submit proposals at forum.icon.community. Recipients receive their ICX grants based on predetermined milestones.

Lucas says taking part in the grant program proved a very smooth experience. “We were glad to see the feedback and enthusiasm of the ICONists and the foundation around our project,” he says. “This grant was the opportunity for us to dedicate three months to pure ICON building without worrying about votes and we are very grateful to the community for their trust.

Lucas is also impressed by the community’s continuing interest in the grant program, as evidenced by the recent emergence of many new grant applications. “We find these results very promising as we will likely find these projects in future EEP and DBP,” he says. “Having funding for these kinds of projects is an essential part of the IISS and will, in our opinion, be one of the driving forces behind the growth of the ICON ecosystem.”