Kony, which develops technology for building software apps, recognized this problem in its own community. Its technology was leading the market, but that was creating demand that exceeded the number of designers and developers who had the skills to use the tools. Such a shortage could potentially slow Kony’s own business growth.
So in 2018, the company launched Base Camp, an online community designed to empower both professional and citizen developers to gain the IT skills needed to accelerate delivery of apps built on Kony technology. “Kony Base Camp provides developers with access to a comprehensive ecosystem of experts, tools, and professional resources,” said Wayne McCulloch, Vice President and Global Head of the Customer Success Group at Kony, when the company announced Base Camp. “By bringing together the power of leading-edge technologies and best practices, we are able to equip developers with competitive skills needed to fully unlock the power of today’s modern omni-channel applications.”
Base Camp Bounty
Base Camp is available to anyone who wants to develop the skills to design and build apps based on the Kony Platform and Kony DBX Retail Banking solutions. It offers tutorials, technical documentation, and expert articles; a forum for asking questions and sharing expertise; access to monthly Tech Talks and webinars; Kony announcements; and free components to add to apps.
But arguably the greatest offering of Base Camp is the comprehensive training and certification program, which is built on digital badging. Tailored to business users, designers, front-end and back-end developers, architects, and systems administrators, Base Camp offers technical training “trails” at three levels: associate, professional, and certified expert. The Base Camp Store, with e-commerce capabilities, is the portal to all the training courses. Prices range from free for entry-level courses up to $2,000 at the expert level. A dashboard allows students to track progress.
Base Camp + Badgr
As students successfully complete training and assignments and create increasingly sophisticated apps along each Base Camp trail, Kony assessors award digital badges that represent technical knowledge and proficiency, or even certification, in a particular domain. Each earned badge appears in the student’s Base Camp profile, where it is showcased to others in the community and can be found by companies that seek developers with those skills.
Base Camp integrates with the Badgr badging platform — which is built on the Open Badges framework, the global standard for digital credentialing. Badgr issues and tracks the earned credentials and automatically adds them to each student’s Badgr Backpack, where they can be stored along with Open Badges earned from any source.
Open Badges are encrypted with security details, making them verifiable and non-transferrable. And they are portable, meaning they remain accessible as people move through their lifelong learning journeys. Using Badgr, Kony students can add badges to an online portfolio or resume, display them on LinkedIn, or share them on social media to convey their skills and certifications.
Digital badges are remarkable for their ability to recognize achievement of any type or complexity. In Base Camp, training and certification badges are just a portion of the badges available to the community. As members participate in the Base Camp Forum, they earn reputation points that can unlock badges — from Wanderer (zero points) and Hiker (1,000 points) to Summit Leader (121,000 points) and Sherpa (for the most active Base Camp contributor in a given year). Members also can earn badges for passing quizzes after reading Base Camp articles and for contributing to Kony events such as webinars and user groups.