We’re thrilled to announce that the Hyperledger team is continuing to grow in 2018. Please join us in welcoming David Boswell as the Director of Ecosystem!
David is a community expert who has worked with Mozilla, Open Networking Foundation, NASA, Sun Microsystems, Nokia and more on their community strategies. Through these past experiences, he has expertise with both launching a new community as well as scaling existing communities.
Now let’s get into some questions to better understand David’s role, what he will be working on and his own aspirations for Hyperledger.
What got you interested in working on Hyperledger and blockchain?
I was fascinated by the ability of blockchain technology to build trust and accountability. In our world today there is a great need for building more trust and accountability so this feels like a very important effort to become a part of.
What are your main goals now that you’re part of the Hyperledger team?
One of my main goals is to bring in my experience of what has worked (and not worked) in other open source communities. When I got involved in an open source project for the first time in the late 1990s there was a lot of trial and error since no one knew what was going to be successful. We’re really lucky now that there is a long history of building successful open source projects we can leverage and I want to take best practices and good ideas from other communities and apply them to the needs of the Hyperledger project.
What do you think is most important for Hyperledger to focus on in the next year in terms of developer traction and community growth?
Scaling a community is a big challenge and I want to make sure that the excitement and enthusiasm around Hyperledger is translated into a growing community that continues to work well for everyone. A major challenge with growth is that processes and dynamics that worked well when the community was smaller can break down as the size of that community grows. It can be hard to realize when it is time to change something that has worked well in the past or when to introduce new things to keep a community running well. I saw this first hand as Mozilla went from a small project to a very large global community and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned about how to scale in an effective way.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A friend of mine who worked with volunteers at the Red Cross told me that the best way she knew to get people to participate was to ask for their help. I’ve found this to be extremely powerful advice for open source communities. There is a tendency to think that people will have ‘an itch to scratch’ and will show up and start working on things that they’re interested in. That is true at times, but there are also many times when people want to help but don’t know what to work on and letting them know where we need help and asking for their support can greatly increase the amount of participation within a community.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
After seeing the total solar eclipse in Wyoming last summer, I’ve become fascinated with those and am figuring out when to see another. I might have to wait a few years for the next opportunity though, so in the meantime I enjoy reading, hiking, diving, seeing live music and exploring the interesting things that the Bay Area offers.