my first big developer's conference and why it changed so much for me.
A few months ago, I came across a post on one of the Discord communities I’m part of, about how the Ethereum Foundation (EF) had a Devcon Scholars program, where they’d pick 50 Scholars to attend this year’s Devcon in Bogota, Colombia.
I was curious, and intrigued. As I’d been delving deeper into the web3 space, I started looking into it. A lot of people in the space seemed to be really psyched about it, and this felt like a major event.
As I started digging deeper, I came across EF’s philosophy of long term thinking, subtraction, and stewardship of values, and I instantly knew this was going to be it.
Here they are:
Reading these had me feeling so inspired, and I immediately went to the app to apply. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t make it, but I thought why not give it a shot. It felt like an incredible experience to be around people who believed in the same philosophy and had these values. Long story short, I got chosen.
The Scholars program was pretty incredible. We had different sessions on Ethereum, growing Eth communities globally, and on building our vision of how we’d contribute meaningfully to growing the use of blockchain. There was a lot of emphasis on getting to know other scholars and collaborating. We met virtually a few times before we met IRL. It felt like college times all over, where everyone was new and we were sort of figuring things out. We came from different parts of the world, had different ages, experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives. The two things we all did share: a passion for growing and building, and a genuine, welcoming vibe. I made so many friends, and I was so inspired by everyone’s story, and that’s what led me to deciding what my “Artefact” would be.
Now what’s an artefact? It was one of the requirements of the program. Each of us were asked to create an artefact. It could be digital, or physical, and we could interpret it however we liked.
Thinking through the last two weeks in Bogota, which have been nothing short of glorious and magical (more on this later), since the other Scholars were such a big part of this experience, I decided my artefact would be sharing some of their stories. So here they are, hear more about each of them in their own words.
This photo was taken from the Devcon Scholars Breakfast, the first big Scholars event where we officially met each other IRL.
Starting with Daniela, Albert, Camilo, Narayane, and Anya.
I asked them all the same questions:
Tell me more about you (who you are and what you expected from Devcon)
How your experience was, and anything interesting that you’ll take away from the scholars experience and devcon/web3 as a whole
What you’re looking forward to post devcon, what will you do from now to the next devcon?
Here are their stories, in their own voices and words. This is part I.
My name is Daniela Marotazo and I'm a 22 year-old Peruvian. And, I met crypto this year and I consider myself as a crypto enthusiast, I felt in love with the technology, and its whole potential. So, I got to participate in many communities and activities through social media. And through this, I got to know about Devcon and the hackathons. An experience like the whole hap about though - about Devcon being the World cup for the blockchain community, by the time I realized it, I knew I couldn't miss this opportunity if I wanted to build my life up on it. So when I realized that it was taking place in LATAM, in Colombia, it meant the world to me. Because I'm aware of the impact it has and will have in developing countries. And, how it is an alternative to an unstable and corrupt governments. This was an opportunity for all my fellow Latinos and to me, to shine, to learn, and get the most of it - to build safer economies, to find fairly-paid jobs, get better education programs, and the list could go on. But, especially to build supportive communities that act as a whole and provide solution, not just for Latinos but for all people around the world who go through similar scenarios.
For me, it was realizing that we can be very similar and unique at the same time - no matter country, our beliefs, our backgrounds, we all want to grow in terms of the ecosystem and ourselves, to impact in a positive way. And, the most valuable thing I carry with me is the friends that I made and all of their stories i was lucky to hear. For me, it wasn't just networking but actually connecting with amazing and talented people that are building the future of the world, and of course web3.
I started with the communities, the duty that I have is with them. My goal is to create a local Ethereum community called EthBura to connect this small town with countless opportunities. For the next Devcon, my goal is to come with many more questions, and challenges, of how can I do better, what can I bring to my local community, what can I build next. The thing is I really expect to come with many many questions, so I'll know I'm on the right path. And, of course the one thing I can't miss is to gather with my old friends from the Devcon Scholarhsip.
Hi, my name is Albert. I’m 27 and I’m a blockchain engineer. This was my first Devcon and I was expecting it to be a great, big venue with lots of web3 enthusiasts, some networking and good talks. Probably nothing else.
Devcon itself was an incredible adventure. I met lots of amazing persons with so much talent, so passionate and eager to help grow the community. The venue was so nice and most of the people seemed incredible. Just good vibes everywhere. Now, the Devcon Scholars program was indeed one of the best I have ever been. All of the Scholars are very very great people to talk with. They’re very talented, and yet so humble. I will treasure a lot their friendships. I learned a lot from them, and hopefully I also left something with them. Now, if you add the Scholars project + Devcon itself + beautiful, beautiful Bogota - I really feel like I miss them so so much.
I was talking to a friend and then he heard that for me there’s definitely going to be a before and after Devcon. I can say this in many different areas: from the Developer perspective to the more human and sensible side. After meeting these incredible people and projects, I feel like I don’t want to just sit here and do the same things as before. I don’t want the same things again. I want to help people within the community. I feel that with all the knowledge and potential we have, we are meant for greater things.
Cristian Camilo Ramírez Martínez
[from Colombia, residing in Canada]
My name is Cristian Camilo Ramírez Martínez, from Medellin, Colombia. I’m an industrial designer and I used to work as an Art Director and Assistant for music videos, specifically for Reggaeton videos. Right now, I’m living in Edmonton, Canada and working there as a Technician Installer. And, what I was suspecting about Devcon is learned a lot about Ethereum, Ethereum ecosystem, meet new people, connect, do networking. But, to my surprise it was an amazing experience. Way better than I was imagining. It was incredible because I met so much people and I made new friends from all around the world.
Devcon was one of the most amazing experience that I ever had in my life. It was incredible to be part of the Scholarship program and to have the opportunity to meet 50 people from all around the world and talk to them and know more about them and how they started in the crypto ecosystem. And, for me, it was so nice to know all of this because I never met people from so many countries. That was awesome. I learn a lot, during the Devcon days specifically about the importance of decentralization, zk-proof, privacy, importance of public goods, and ??? All of these topics were very new for me. Because, maybe I heard about them in the past, but I never had the opportunity like to get into or to learn so much about it. I really like it, and I would like to continue learning about these in the future.
After Devcon, I would like to keep studying and learning about Ethereum. This ecosystem is so big, then there are so much things that I would like to learn a little more and understand better. Another thing, this industry always has new releases and new develops. Then, I feel this is important to keep updated about what is happening here. And at the same times, I want to start work in the crypto space, then I am looking the opportunities. I am an Industrial Designer, and I feel its close for me to move as a UX/UI designer. Then, I'm trying to learn more about this role in the last stage. then, I see I like to help understand this, like education. Then, it could be nice if at the same time, I help people in my city in Edmonton to understand Ethereum, and to start to build an Ethereum Edmonton community. Could be nice too. Then, for now, I think this roles could be my goals for the next month, and even until the next Devcon.
Narayane Ribeiro Medeiros
*I’ll be adding transcriptions for the rest of the stories over the next 2 weeks
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