Back to our Developer Showcase Series to learn what developers in the real world are doing with Hyperledger technologies. Next up is Daniel Bluhm, Software Engineer at Indicio.
Give a bit of background on what you’re working on and how you got into blockchain
I am currently working on Hyperledger Aries Cloud Agent – Python and other agent implementations. I spend most of my days working on agents and protocols. I first got into blockchain at the Sovrin Foundation where I got my start as an associate software engineer. I was actually around at the founding of the agent ecosystem, back when we all collaborated in the Hyperledger Indy Agent Working Group. I was one of the first implementers and continued working with it as the community grew. Eventually it snowballed into the Hyperledger Aries project.
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 really like where things are going with the Aries Cloud Agent – Python repo, driving towards more pluggability and making it so we can extend functionality without changing the core project itself. I am also excited to get did:indy method support into Hyperledger Indy, as well as multi-ledger support in ACA-Py.We already have reads down, so now we’re just working on the writes.
What do you think is most important for Hyperledger to focus on in the next year?
We have a really diverse and thriving community in the Hyperledger Aries space; what we really need going into 2022 is a push for greater adoption of the technology and getting it into the hands of people who aren’t engineers. I would also really like to see a focus on encouraging more interaction with the Hyperledger Indy project, especially after seeing how positively this affects our work with Hyperledger Aries.
What advice would you offer other technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain?
The biggest piece of advice I could give is to not be afraid to step in, contribute, and break stuff. It doesn’t matter if your pull request isn’t perfect.The maintainers of the project will work with you to get it right.
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?
The technologies that are most interesting to me are the ones that allow us to use multiple different technologies at the same time – which is exactly what we’re striving for in Hyperledger Aries. This enables us to take advantage of the strengths of one technology – be it blockchain, communication, protocol, crypto suite, or something else – and use those strengths to shore up the places where another technology might fall short. Beyond that, anything that makes it easier and more efficient for the end user will be a huge step in the right direction.
What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?
The biggest problem that I would like to see blockchain solve is power imbalances. This applies across the board, to finance, representation in government, data used and collected by big orgs, and other scenarios we just haven’t thought up yet. I’d like to see blockchain enable individuals to have a say in how they are treated and be more self-deterministic – they should have at least some level of control over what’s running their lives.
Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in five years?
I would like to see Hyperledger and blockchain technology in general in the hands of real people. They don’t necessarily need to be aware that they are using a blockchain. In fact, I think there are some really good arguments to the contrary. But it should be a positive influence in their lives as it is used day to day. I would like to see the blockchain space settle down, drop some of the hype, and just be used for what it’s good at.
What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?
No one gets it right on the first try. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, break tests, crash CI/CD pipelines, or push broken code. Don’t do it intentionally, of course, but the faster you can get at shortening the “experience a failure, find the problem, implement the fix” cycle, the faster you’ll learn and master your code. In short, don’t be afraid to break stuff. Just give it a shot and learn from the result.
When a problem or change needs to be made in the future, the developer then can see what your thought processes were for writing the code you did.
What technology could you not live without?
I could not live without Git. Without it it would be nearly impossible to get any code written and submitted. It’s part of my everyday workflow and even crucial in my hobby projects.