Our Developer Showcase blog series serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s incubated projects. Next up is Piers Casimir-Mrowczynski, head of computer science at BWPS. Let’s see what he has to say!
What advice would you offer other technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain?
The way forward is a combination of the academic and the practical. Buy one of the well regarded Blockchain/Bitcoin books. Dive in and it will reward you with a real sense of blockchain warmth and wellbeing coupled with a solid architectural background. Follow it with a highly accessible and well formed blockchain solution builder such as Hyperledger Composer. You’ll then move from the theory to the practice. It’s a brilliant way to begin your blockchain journey!
Give a bit of background on what you’re working on, and let us know what was it that made you want to get into blockchain?
Aside from a continued assimilation and accumulation of knowledge, I’ve been prototyping a document management and ownership recording system aimed at the Compliance function you would find in a Hedge Fund. Such immutable applications are the bread and butter of what blockchain can achieve and support. Hyperledger Composer, running on a Linux platform, and its associated elements, is ideally suited to such a blockchain application, where ease of development and confidence in the underlining architecture are imperative.
For me, Blockchain is an incredibly exciting new technology. There’s a certain irony though, that when I was 17, back in the late 70’s, studying at college, many blockchain related technologies already existed. I was learning about stacks, arrays, basic cryptography and hash totals. It feels a little like coming back home and taking these old technologies forward in a new and much more sophisticated way. Blockchain is a truly exciting phenomenon just waiting to mature.
What do you think is most important for Hyperledger to focus on in the next year?
For me it’s education, education and education. There needs to be a focus on Hyperledger specific education for its many business application solution builders. Technical infrastructure, business network solution planning as well as supporting the development, testing and implementation project lifecycle are all important.
With sound and accessible education in place, anything is possible. It starts with management understanding and then builds from there. Hyperledger is the future of mainstream blockchain applications and with the plethora of educational tools and resources, both old school as well as new technology based, there are simply now no excuses for not building world class educational resources.
What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?
It’s a non-technical one; that management gain the understanding and confidence needed to champion the development of blockchain applications that provide real world solutions for real world benefit. Once those foundations are in place, great solutions will follow. In addition, the open source mentality will go a long way in supporting eco-friendly, sustainable and ethical resolutions to real first and third world problems.
Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in 5 years?
I see greater acceptance, better understanding and the realisation that blockchain is much more than a Bitcoin facilitation platform. Hyperledger feels like the solid, proven technology that will satisfy both the technical and non-technical innovators and implementers. This business as usual approach will disrupt the traditional applications and their associated corporate users and I hope this will support the very real creation of innovative and positive organic business solutions.
What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?
Plan first, build and test, test and test again. And actually talk to your users about what they want – before development begins. Keep it simple.
What technology could you not live without?
Easy. My Apple Mac. ( And a flushing toilet ).