Joe Stewart discusses helping developers who are new to the Neo ecosystem
COZ Special Projects engineer Joe Stewart, known online as Hal0x2328, helps developers when they first start building on Neo by answering questions and providing useful examples. In episode 55 of the Neo News Today podcast, Stewart discussed how he sees his role in the Neo community. He says:
I want to make it easier for people that are also just beginning developers to get started and become better. I’m always trying to improve. I want to make it as painless as possible for people to get in this ecosystem and build their skills the way that I’m trying to do. So, I’m trying to be an advocate, I guess, for the newbies in that regard.
Visitors to the Neo Discord server and Neo subReddit might recognize Stewart’s handle, as he provides technical community support for the Neo blockchain. His deep knowledge stems from a long and varied participation in the Neo ecosystem.
In 2017, Stewart entered the first COZ dApp competition with Neo Smart IoT, a method of accepting GAS payments to interact with IoT devices. In 2018, his team at Splyse developed and airdropped the MCT token, created to solve limitations in the smart contract functionality of NEO on Neo Legacy. He and the Splyse team have also been building the NFT-based game Hash Puppies on and off since 2018, though the project is currently on hiatus.
Stewart is now a Special Projects engineer at COZ, responsible for providing support to developers, exploring new technologies, and debugging issues with existing projects.
Stewart’s primary language competencies are Python and C#, although he provides support for most tooling and languages found in the Neo ecosystem. The distributed nature of Neo’s global developer community means that the primary expert on any particular language may be unavailable when a support request is made due to time zone differences. Stewart noted, “I want to get them the answer to their question as fast as I can. So, I try to learn about all of the different projects.”
One of the methods in which Stewart provides assistance is through a growing library of templates and examples. The NeoVM is capable of executing code from any language that has been compiled into NeoVM byte code. However, some of its features may not be implemented or clearly documented in the multiple languages available. This can occasionally cause experience issues with new developers. Often, smart contract examples are a recurring theme of requests in the Neo Discord server. Stewart notes:
Somebody comes in and asks, ‘How do you do this in Neo?’ A lot of times, I’ll go and write a custom example, put that into a gist, and share that. So, that I have that for them, and then I can refer back to that later if somebody comes in with the same question again. Until, whatever project incorporates more examples to give people to draw from.
Looking forward, Stewart will lend his expertise and knowledge to new developers participating in the Neo Frontier Launchpad. He anticipates a busy month of researching questions and looking through source code to provide answers and examples. Ultimately, he believes the effort will be worth the time and energy.
Stewart says, “I’m really looking forward to having just a ton of dApps, that are all released and working smoothly on the platform.” Meanwhile, his aims go beyond just an increase of dApps on the platform. He hopes, “People are actually using them, there’s significant traffic, and the blockchain is handling it just fine.”
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