Developer showcase series: Christopher Cordi, Splunk

Developer showcase series: Christopher Cordi, Splunk

Back to our Developer Showcase Series to learn what developers in the real world are doing with Hyperledger technologies. Next up is Christopher Cordi, Software Engineer at Splunk.

Give a bit of background on what you’re working on and how you got into blockchain

I’ve always been interested in computer and network security, so I was immediately fascinated with the security properties of Bitcoin and blockchain technology when I learned of them more than a decade ago. For the past five years, I’ve worked as a cybersecurity researcher focused on Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) with the goal of better understanding and improving their security. My experience includes building emulated models to evaluate the performance of different blockchain technologies under various network and adversarial conditions. This has allowed me to gain familiarity with many different permissioned and permissionless, established and prototype DLTs. At Splunk, I’ve been applying what I’ve learned toward making robust infrastructure and security monitoring tools for DLTs like Hyperledger Fabric.

What Hyperledger frameworks or tools are you using in your projects? Any new developments to share? Can you sum up your experience with Hyperledger?

I’ve primarily worked with Hyperledger Fabric, but I also have some experience with Hyperledger Besu and Hyperledger Explorer. I am currently working on the Splunk App for Hyperledger Fabric, which enables the real-time infrastructure and security monitoring of Hyperledger Fabric networks. I’ve found the Hyperledger community to be enthusiastic and helpful.

What do you think is most important for Hyperledger to focus on in the next year?

I think there’s always room for improvement with regard to ease of use/configuration, security, and monitoring

What advice would you offer other technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain? 

It’s certainly helpful to have good motivation before starting work on any new technology. Anyone looking to work in blockchain would benefit from a fundamental understanding of blockchain technology, its security properties, and potential performance tradeoffs. Essentially, make sure you have an understanding of why a given application would benefit from a blockchain. There are plenty of resources available like Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, YouTube, books, and blog posts. Of course, reading and watching videos alone isn’t optimal. Get your hands dirty by running your own blockchain nodes in a test network and writing/deploying/running your own chaincode and smart contracts.

As Hyperledger’s projects continue to mature, what do you see as the most interesting technologies, apps, or use cases coming out as a result?

Some of the more interesting use cases I would expect are supply chain, digital identity, central bank digital currency, and NFTs.

What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?

Generally, I would like to see blockchain helping to bring tamper-evident audit trails to as much data as possible.

Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in five years?

Over the past few years, the mainstream perception of blockchain has shifted away from being just about Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. In the next few years, I would expect to see blockchain represented more in computer science curriculums, not only for its utility in certain decentralized applications, but also as a mechanism to teach security, trust, and decentralization. 

What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?

Be able to articulate why anyone should care about what you’re building.

What technology could you not live without?

The internet.

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