ARK Blockchain School: Students Learn Blockchain Development

Class is in session! This summer ARK worked with the University of Maribor to introduce students to the world of blockchain. From deployment to custom transaction types, we helped students learn blockchain development by teaching them how to build a blockchain application from the ground up. Let’s recap on the university program, our Summer Internship Program, and introduce ARK’s newest contributor, Žan.

School is finally out for ARK’s CTO Kristjan Košič, who went back to college (quite literally) this summer to mentor students from the University of Maribor.

As part of the university’s Practical Course II, which encourages collaboration between students and industry leaders. ARK helped a team of students from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences to learn blockchain development by embarking on a project to build their very own application on top of a custom blockchain. The project, designed by ARK, helped the students to apply their knowledge in a real-life setting, learn key skills, and get valuable experience that will help them lay the foundation for a career in blockchain development.

Kristjan met with the students twice a week, taking a hands-on approach in helping them build a blockchain application. In between sessions, students were coached and supported by the wider ARK development team who offered feedback on all areas of their project and helped them to learn blockchain development by getting to grips with ARK’s technology.

PARKAnywhere Project

Using ARK’s technology stack, ARK Deployer and a multitude of other resources the students were able to build a blockchain application on an ARK bridgechain in just a few sessions.

Their **PARKAnywhere **application allows for the payment of parking on the user/driver side and the booking and management of car park operations for service providers. The benefits being independence from the parking service provider for the user, and the ability for parking providers to add blockchain payment systems as an alternative to existing machines. The application utilizes ARK core, ARK Logic, and custom transaction types.

(Students from University of Maribor present the project they undertook with ARK)

The student’s Professor, Luka Pavlič PhD, was incredibly impressed with the ARK program; describing the collaboration as “one of the best so far.

“The students were really able to get a valuable and enriching learning experience, and for some, a long-term collaboration that will help them to continue to broaden their knowledge and experience for years to come — all while working with cutting-edge blockchain technology, principles and practices.” — Luka Pavlič PhD

(Students from the University of Maribor, alongside Kristjan *Košič*, ARK’s CTO)

Working with ARK was an equally rewarding experience for the group. Žan Kovač, a student on the program loved the ease-of-use built into the very core of everything that ARK does.

“With ARK’s technology it was love at first sight! Starting the project just before the ARK Deployer release, we saw the difference it made in terms of creating a custom blockchain and it was huge! It meant that we could create and customize the blockchain for our project incredibly quickly. Most of all though I liked the well designed and easy to use core code. In the past I had used Hyperledger Iroha which was hard to use and deploy, but with ARK, that was not the case!” — Žan Kovač

“For me, ARK’s resources are the best way to learn blockchain development.” — Žan Kovač

Developer-friendly tools

Mentoring the student team through the program was an incredibly useful experience for us, especially when it came to generating all-important user feedback. With the students using an early iteration of the ARK Deployer for their project, we were able to test the product fit and documentation from a user point of view — enabling us to see any hurdles or areas where additional support, instructions or documentation was needed.

Our CTO, Kristjan Košič (a former Teaching Assistant at the university himself) agrees:

“The feedback from the students meant that we were able to test, optimize and simplify aspects of the ARK Deployer even before the launch. It’s this kind of real-world insight that’s invaluable when it comes to helping us deliver tools for developers of all skill levels. So a big thanks to all the students and staff at the University of Maribor for all their help, you guys were amazing!”

ARK Interns

But completing the PARKChain project wasn’t the end of the story! After completing the ARK’s practical blockchain course with the University, two of the students volunteered to continue working with ARK throughout the summer as interns.

The ARK team worked with the students (Žan and Luka) to help continue their education; offering advice, support, mentoring and even giving them projects to help build their knowledge of everything from front-end and vue.js to backend and core development.

Introducing Žan!

(Žan will continue to contribute to ARK alongside his studies)

Having enjoyed working with the ARK team so much over the past few months, Žan was determined to continue his learning, spending the summer brushing up his knowledge and learning blockchain development skills as an ARK Intern.

“The biggest motivation to continue working with ARK is definitely the people. Their motivation and commitment to the work they do is inspiring. Plus the support they give me means I’m able to learn blockchain development easily, something I’ve wanted to learn for a long time.”

Now, Žan will be continuing to work alongside ARK as a contributor while he continues his studies. He’s already getting his hands dirty contributing to our Java SDK, implementing AIPs and working with ARK’s core team on the development of new transaction (tx) types (he did most of the new core-magistrate implementation). We’re very excited to have him on board!

Catch Žan on an upcoming Developer Roundtable soon, where he explains more about the project and his experience of working with ARK.

School’s Out!

After such a successful first program, we’ll be continuing to mentor students at the University of Maribor next year, helping the next class of future blockchain developers to learn their craft with ARK’s technology stack. Look out for our updates regarding the new program in 2020.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about blockchain technology, learn blockchain development, or even how to build a blockchain application; ARK has a ton of free resources, guides, and documents to help. Head on over to to get started.

Or, if you’re an educator looking to introduce ARK’s Blockchain courses to your college or university, get in touch. We’re always happy to help others learn more about blockchain development. You can let us know more about what you’re looking for by contacting us here:

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