Illustration of a badger with a laptop

Azure Heroes

A new fun way to earn digital collectibles for inclusive behaviour and meaningful impact in the technical community

Collectible badgers as proof of achievement

With our blockchain-based badge(r)s, we are able to award the Azure developer community with verifiably scarce and publicly-visible rewards, giving deeper value to their recognition. European community members that have demonstrated their contributions can be recognised with unique badges across a number of categories, which are tokenised into digital assets on the Ethereum public blockchain and are verifiably scarce.

In the spirit of our mission to empower technical practitioners of all backgrounds, we created Azure Heroes to inspire developers to learn, coach, and build on Azure and promote a healthy, inclusive community. 

Digital badgers take normal badges to a whole new level—they're cute, fun, and demonstrate recognition in a way that can't be faked.

Illustration of a speaker badger

Become an Azure Hero!

Want to be recognised with your very own digital badgers for the contributions you make in the community? Our Azure developer community engagement team will be on the lookout for individuals that volunteer, mentor or teach others and who are contributing to strong and sustainable communities.

Nominate yourself or a friend

How it works:

1. Nominate yourself or a community hero around you. Community members that have demonstrated verifiable impact in one of several categories will be chosen to receive a badge

2. Selected recipients receive a personalised QR code which can be scanned with your phone - follow the simple instructions to claim your digital badger

3. After you become an Azure Hero, be sure to share your digital badger by using the sharing link in your wallet to post to your favourite social media using the hashtag #azureheroes

Meet the Badgers

Illustration of inclusive leader character

VERY RARE: 100

Inclusive Leader

How to qualify?

Recipients of the very rare Inclusive Leader badgers are recognised for working to ensure that the communities and events they are involved in are inclusive and have adopted a code of conduct which promotes a diverse line-up of speakers and audience members.

Illustration of content hero character

VERY RARE: 250

Content Hero

How to qualify?

Content Hero badgers are given out for sharing valuable knowledge at conferences, meetups or other events. Recipients of this rare award have created original content, sample code or learning resources and documented and shared their experiences and lessons to help others to build on Azure.

Illustration of community hero character

RARE: 550

Community Hero

How to qualify?

Community Hero badgers are given out for contributing materially by organising meetups or conferences or by sharing content and being an active member of the community.

Illustration of mentor character

RARE: 800

Mentor

How to qualify?

Mentor badgers are awarded to individuals who routinely share their knowledge and empower the more junior members of the community, guiding and coaching them to acquire more hands-on skills. Mentoring is critical to career development and for building skills and achieving long-term career goals.

Illustration of maker character

VERY LIMITED

Maker

How to qualify?

Recipients of the Maker badger are recognised for being a source of innovation who make meaningful contributions to the community. This badge is given to those who embody the maker spirit and demonstrate tech intensity by using digital tools to create projects for societal improvement that solve problems and inspire new creations and inventions.

Illustration of builder character

LIMITED

Builder

How to qualify?

Builder badgers are given to those who complete specific challenges or for hands-on work with Azure at bootcamps, hackathons and workshops. Collect as many as you can!

Illustration of kudos character

LIMITED

Kudos

How to qualify?

Kudos Badgers are given to those who demonstrate great community spirit, teamwork, passion and more. Collect as many as you can!

Illustration of learner character

FOR EVERYONE

Learner

How to qualify?

Learner Badgers are given to those in pursuit of learning and who seek out ways to increase their technical knowledge! This badge is given to anyone attending Azure technical sessions, seminars, meetups and conferences. Collect as many as you can and be sure to visit MS learn to continue your learning journey!

Under the hood

We collaborated with Enjin to create a blockchain based recognition pilot. The Azure Heroes badgers were created in a number of original and unique designs which have been tokenised into a digital asset on the Ethereum public blockchain. Here are some key things to know:

  • Each season, our badgers will be minted in verifiably limited quantities and recorded on the public blockchain
  • We will continue to issue badgers to the community for various achievements until supplies are depleted
  • Blockchain technology is being used for issuance and transactions which means that as a recipient of a tokenised badger, you take ownership of a digital collectible in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT)
  • Some badgers are more difficult to earn than others and have a verifiably fixed supply
  • Because each badger is scarce with its own transaction hash, and not simply a copiable image stored on a central server, they require a blockchain wallet to safely store them
  • Distribution of badgers is done with a QR code which after scanning will present the recipient with the option to install the wallet
  • After initial receipt of the NFT Badger in the Enjin wallet, the owner can send the token to any public Ethereum address, or destroy it if it's no longer desired

Follow #azureheroes for more information. Available in selected Western European countries.

Background

To deliver these unique properties we chose to use the ERC-1155 (an open source non-fungible token standard on the Ethereum blockchain). Our goal was to create a pilot that would make the distribution and acquisition of tokens an experience that anyone - regardless of their knowledge of blockchain - could participate in. Our main challenge was to create something that shielded the complexities of blockchain from end-users and at the same time delivered on the special benefits that only this tech could provide.

About tokenisation

Tokenisation is a way to convert the rights to a particular asset into a token which is cryptographically secured by the blockchain, guaranteeing transparency, immutability and provable provenance. And it has the incredible potential to reduce our dependence on intermediaries, simplify complex business transactions and at the same time make them more secure. Tokenising real or digital assets involves the use of smart contracts to verify ownership and provide participation rights. More interestingly, these digital assets can be created with provable scarcity, a unique attribute that’s typically been provided only by central banks or other institutional custodians. These self-enforcing, self-auditing contracts are executed by a permission less blockchain without the need for a third party, and are central to governing the issuance caps and verifying badge ownership for Azure Heroes.

Further reading

Solidify your understanding of what blockchain tokens are and how to use them to solve your real-world business challenges: Tokenization: Establishing Digital Representations of Value as the Medium of Exchange.