After the success of public blockchains in the past few years, the world is now witnessing the need for blockchain platforms which is more suitable for businesses. R3 has emerged as a big player in the business blockchain with its product Corda.
Corda is a unique DLT platform fine-tuned to suit business needs. A platform which solves the major problem of public blockchain i.e. privacy, finality and productivity, with its well-thought design. The platform is made open source as we at R3 believe in sharing & collaboration, thus want Corda to be built in collaboration with the community. We believe open source is the future and together we want to build a product of the future.
We went for a road show in India on the 1st week of May conducting a series of bootcamps to connect to the developer community and boost Corda awareness. The road show also had some deep-dive session and advanced training with our partners already building on Corda. We covered four major Indian cities i.e. Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kochi and were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and response from the community. Registrations were received in huge numbers with each of our bootcamps witnessing around 60–70 participants, all of them very excited to get started with Corda. The partner-sessions and advanced training as well were conducted with good participation of around 35–40 people.
The roadshow started in the city of Chennai; the team reached a day before our first bootcamp was scheduled. So, we had a good full day to explore Chennai. We went to Mahabalipuram which was half an hour drive from Chennai city. Mahabalipuram has a collection of some majestic monuments and temples as well as a good seashore. As usual, like in any other part of India, the place was crowded but it never reduced the joy of admiring such historic monuments and get a glimpse of the ancient history of India.
After a day of leisure, it was time to get ready for work. We reached the bootcamp venue well before time and got the logistics setup. People started coming and in no time all seats were occupied, you could hardly find an empty chair, we even had to get a few extra chairs to fit in few more. This was the first experience for me as a member of the developer relations team, I was very excited to see such overwhelming participation. The day started with an awesome introduction by Mike Ward (Head of Product and DevRel) who did a great job of introducing Corda to the folks and address some doubts on how Corda stands out and is a great fit for business. It was followed by explanation of some key concepts of Corda and live-coding by Sneha Damle (Developer Relations), Florian Friemel (Software Engineer) and me; Ashutosh Meher (Developer Relations). The bootcamp was structure in such a way that developers who come in would have developed a complete CordApp (Corda Distributed Application) and deployed it onto a local Corda network by the end of the session. It happened to be a very interactive bootcamp right from the beginning and we had a lot of discussion around the various aspects of Corda platform.
Next day it was time for a partner-session and meet developers already developing on Corda. We were joined by Niki Ariyasinghe (Head of Partner Management APAC), he was the one who planned the entire roadshow. It was a half day session with Intellect Design, who gave us a very warm welcome. We were joined in the room by developers, architects as well as people from the business side. Most of the folks were new to Corda, so we had a good discussion on R3 and how Corda was developed. As the discussion went further, we had some talks on operations and deployment aspects of Corda. The day ended with another short business meeting with TCS BaNCS.
After having a successful run in Chennai, it was time to conquer the beautiful city of Bangalore. We were joined by Vivekdeep Gupta (Country Head — India) in Bangalore to help with Business related queries. After landing in Bangalore on the evening the very next day in the morning Sneha, Florian and I had to travel to Hyderabad to conduct advanced training for Tech Mahindra, while Mike, Vivek and Niki took care of a business meeting with Tech Mahindra in Bangalore. We were joined by developers building on Corda at Tech Mahindra, Hyderabad. These guys were pretty much familiar with Corda, we discussed some node internals, doorman and network map components of Corda. Overall it was a great day, I was happy to meet developers working on Corda and get their views on CordApp development.
The next three days in Bangalore was a series of partner-session with Mindtree, HCL, Infosys and Wipro, an advanced-training with Infosys and a Corda meetup. We got a chance to meet and interact with some experienced CordApp developers from the Blockchain COE of these companies and had some really healthy discussion and comparisons of Corda to other platforms. There were a lot of curious questions around Corda Nodes, Corda Notary, Interoperability and how Corda could solve specific use-cases. These discussions were very useful and gave us an insight on various use cases, development and deployments these guys are working on. It helps us a lot in improving our product by identifying pain areas and making the platform fit for a broad range of use cases.
The full-day advanced training with Infosys was conducted for experienced CordApp developers, which covered various best practice while developing with corda, corda node upgrade process & database migrations and a live coding on setting up a doorman and network map.
The meetup was a great way to meet developers in the blockchain space and discuss about Corda. We showed a demo of a Corda and discussed the roadmap of Corda. The crowd was a mix of developer and business folks. It was an opportunity to meet a lot of new people, exchange business cards and build a good network that could contribute towards the growth of the Corda ecosystem.
The final day in Bangalore was again a bootcamp hosted by Wipro. Wipro did a great job of arranging all the logistics required for the bootcamp, it took great care in making sure that the venue is all set for the bootcamp on the day. We saw similar numbers in participation, developers from different background joined us for the bootcamp. The bootcamp was of a similar structure as in Chennai. It’s focused on the developers in general and guys with knowledge of Java could walk in and walk out as a CorDapp developer by the end of the session.
Overall Bangalore was a great success, we had a chance to interact with people from various background; developers new to Corda, experience Corda developers, architects and people from the business side of things.
Finally, it was time for our last stop, Kochi. The first day in Kochi was scheduled to be another bootcamp hosted by Kerela Blockchain Academy (KBA) at Makers Village, Kochi. KBA was proactive to find a venue for the bootcamp and get the logistics sorted for the day. KBA also circulated the bootcamp invitation in its network which helped us get participation in huge numbers. It was again a very successful bootcamp.
Finally, the last day of our roadshow was a partner-session with TCS. We met and interacted with a lot of developers and other members of TCS Blockchain COE, a few of them already working on developing CordApp, which made the session very interesting.
Roadshows like this help drive adoption of the product as well as identify pain points and fix gaps in the platform. It was a great experience to meet so many new people and interact with people having different viewpoints, there is so much we learned. It was a week very well spent.
— Ashutosh Meher, Developer Relations at R3