On February 7, 2017 we invited 35 mentors selected by Badir, King AbdulAziz City of Science and Technology (KACST), and IBM, to attend a training session. The session was held in IBM Riyadh to provide an overview of blockchain and the hyperledger fabric to support the blockchain self study materials and to provide hands-on experience. The mentors were researchers and staff from universities, Badir, KACST, King Saud University (KSU), King Khalid University (KKU), Princess Nourah University (PNU), and IBM/. The agenda was full and the audience was energetic. The instructors were global: from Colombia, India, US and UK. Earlier in the week the mentors attended a webinar to outline the main concepts of blockchain, hyperledger and the techniques utilized within the software, e.g., to achieve consensus. A description of how to create a stand-alone version of hyperledger. The webinar instructors were also international with Mihai Gheoghe and Maciez Jedrzejczyk on Hyperledger, Guy Hochstetler on blockchain.
We invited all the mentors to join a slack we set up just for event. The feedback from the mentors on the training day was excellent. Some extracts follow:
- Asmaa Aldrees: Yes, it is a great opportunity for me to be apart of this event. I’m interested with new technologies and I wanna help everyone to get the chance to change the Saudi society to upper levels in tech. I’m so delighted to be here today, its a wonderful experience.
- Alanoud Alidrees: I always like to be part of such events and help spreading new knowledge to others as well as meeting new people in my field helps collaborating in amazing opportunities. My experience has been great.
- Aljohara Alfayez: I’m interested in new web-based technologies that enhance and revolutionize antiquated processes. My experience with the training day has been excellent.
- Alanoud_Alshaalan: I am always looking for help and support the community to be updated with new technologies that’s could allow them to change the world. The training day was Amazing:+1
- Abeer Alsumait: I was very intrigued with the concept of blockchain and the possibilities it can bring to revolutionize the economy! so when I got the opportunity to join as a mentor I was very glad and looked forward to learning more about it and helping spread the knowledge as well. I have learned a lot in such a short time and I am very excited to seeing how the technology will be used in the hackathon.
- Maciej Jedrzejczyk I am passionate about blockchain technology. My impressions are fairly positive.
- Mohammed Fadin: Iâ€™m always interested in trending and bleeding edge technologies. My mission is to make sure our Saudi enterprises and startups are aware of such technologies, and to be one of the pioneers to either adopt or seize the opportunity to solve an existing problem. The training day was great!
- Artemisa Jaramillo: I love everything about high tech and how it is changing the way people behave both online and offline. When I was invited to participate, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to learn about blockchain, given its increasing importance in the international arena, especially with all the digital trust issues. The training was very interesting, intense, and social. I have enjoyed the human element and getting to know mentors from different backgrounds. I see a very good opportunity for collaboration at a Riyadh level, with views of increasing awareness regarding Blockchain use cases in KSA.
- Mani Madhukar: I always remain keen on exploring new cutting edge technologies and understanding how technology as assist us in making a better society. I am glad to be part of the initiative and thoroughly enjoying the event
- Mihai Gheorghe: Blockchain is COOL. The training day was a nice experience.
- Carlos Arturo Quiroga Quirog A universal magical coincidence enabled me to attend the training day. My experience on the training data included cultural aspects, ideas, personalities, knowledge, sharing and colaborative_IT Experience
These are remarks about the skills of some of the mentors:
- Artemisa Jaramillo: I’m trained in design thinking, digital business models
- Carlos Arturo Quiroga Quirog: Design Thinking, Financial Services, Agile, Integration, Distributed solutions
- Mohammed AlHassan: My experience area is in Digital Logistics, SaaS and e-Commerce