ABC 009: Blockchain Gotchas
In this episode of Adventures in Blockchain, the panel reveals some of the tough things or “gotchas” to look out for when getting started with blockchain. Gregory McCubbin works with public blockchains while Bruno Duarte Brito works with private blockchains. They both have very different stories of getting into blockchain development, so they wonder what gotchas they will have in common.
To start, Gregory shares his journey getting into blockchain. His first interest in blockchain happened when he began to take notice of the cryptocurrency prices. So Gregory bought some cryptocurrency, he suggests this to anyone getting into the blockchain. He explains that buying cryptocurrency is a great way to learn and eventually understand the fundamentals of how a blockchain works.
After buying some cryptocurrency, Gregory decided he wanted to learn how to start his own projects in the blockchain. That is when he noticed the first “gotcha”, the lack of educational material available to developers and what an opportunity that could be for him. To help solve this problem he started Dapp University, which has free YouTube videos and a boot camp for more in-depth learning.
Next Bruno shares the story of his journey to the blockchain. He explains how his journey was less conventional than Gregory, having never bought cryptocurrency. His story begins when he was hired at a startup that had a blockchain project and no one to run it. Bruno, interested in learning blockchain offered to head the project. This project led him to Hyperledger and private blockchains.
Bruno agrees with Gregory that the lack of educational content available is a “gotcha” in the blockchain world. He also shares another “gotcha”, explaining how hard it was for him to wrap his mind around a decentralized infrastructure after working with apps with centralized infrastructures for his whole career. Bruno explains how hard it was using Hyperledger alone in the beginning and that when they began to use IBM blockchain as well it helped him grasp the concept of decentralization better.
Gregory and Bruno consider the pain of getting set up in the beginning, but they also consider how the tooling has improved in the short time since they started in the blockchain. They discuss the out of the box features that make it easier to get started in the blockchain.
The next “gotcha” the panel discusses is the constant evolution of the blockchain. The panel explains that since the blockchain is still young it is constantly changing, which while it’s exciting and cutting edge it can also be dangerous to your code with possibly breaking changes. The panel warns listeners to keep in mind that you will constantly have to adapt when using blockchain frameworks.
Continuing the discussion about breaking changes, the panel explains how updates work differently than other languages. With the data being immutable, developers can not decide to not update their apps. The panel compares how updates work differently in public and private blockchains. Gregory explains how blockchain frameworks are pretty good at warning developers about changes to the code, seeing as how they don’t want to break anything.
The evolution of the blockchain world isn’t all bad, the panel discusses what they see in the future of blockchain. Bruno thinks that more people will come to the blockchain bring with them great ideas and hopes to see better prediction testing. Gregory explains that tools and frameworks are always being changed and improved. Ethereum 2.0 and the innovation of infrastructures are the examples he references.
The panel ends with advice for those developers new to the blockchains and gives them a few things to remember while getting started.
- Gregory McCubbin
- Bruno Duarte Brito