I know I promised part two of Blockchains are a big deal where I describe why they are a big deal. That’s still coming! Instead, today I’m giving a quick update on my contracting work.
About two months ago, I left my full-time role at Lambda School to start part-time contract work. This allows me more time to explore my research interests. Ideally, those part-time contracts would also be in line with my research and I’d be able to “kill two birds with one stone.”
The last two months, my contract work has been spearheading a new Blockchain developer program for Lambda School. In the process, I’ve learned how blockchains work, how to write smart contracts, and more importantly, become convinced that blockchains are a fundamental innovation that will progressively reshape vast swaths of society over the next few decades. We’ve successfully validated the demand for the program and the initial design is complete, so I’m handing off to a talented team of instructional designers at Lambda School to build out and launch the program. This leaves me with some time to explore other contracts.
I’m pretty darn pumped for my next contract role: I’m joining the Croquet team to help drive developer adoption of their new real-time collaboration platform.
So what’s Croquet? In short, it’s a platform that simplifies building “shared experiences”. If you want more detail, I’ll let one of the chief architects describe it to you.
If you’ve been following along my research journey for a while, you know that real-time collaboration is one of primary research interests. Croquet is a potential piece of the puzzle that could make building multiplayer apps simple. How simple? That’s what I aim to find out.
One of the things I’m most excited about Croquet is the team. I’ve been friends with David Smith for almost a decade, since we worked together at Lockheed Martin on a now-defunct app framework called virtual world framework. David has been working towards the vision that Croquet enables for a few decades now and I genuinely believe the tech is now good enough to see widespread adoption with the browser as the first platform. We’ve been itching to get to work together on something, so we’re both excited to see where the collaboration could take us!
I have yet to meet the rest of the team, but with Vanessa, Yoshiki, and Brian working on Croquet, I will most certainly be the dumbest guy in the room. Which means I’m in the right room. Also, Alan Kay and Dan Ingalls are advisors to the project.
I’ll be doing a host of things over the next few months: improving the first-time user experience, building some nifty demo apps, and working with developers who are trying to integrate Croquet into their apps. If you’re working on an app that requires real-time collaboration, I’d love to talk with you. In order to build the collaboration protocol for the modern internet, we’re going to need to see lots of real-world use cases.
I couldn’t imagine a better project and team than Croquet as the stone that kills both birds: paid contract work and my personal research. Thankful and excited to get started!
This past week and weekend I spent time in the mountains, getting refreshed and re-connecting with some old friends. I’ll have more glimpses of the future of computing next week.