An Interview with NEM Developer Aleix

Part of the Catapult (mijin v.2) Preview Beta Launch Series With Alex Tinsman, Global Director of Communications for NEM

1. What’s your role on the development team?

I have been working in NEM Foundation for the last ten months, my main role has been help in the Catapult RESTful API development as well as develop the NEM2-SDKs.

Also, before join the NEM Foundation, I was involved in NEM as community member and developed the nem-library along with Guillem, I was able to see some weaknesses that NEM has and experimenting the community involvement in the process. It has given me the opportunity to provide better feedback and introduce some improvement in the tools layer.

2. What has been challenging about the development process?

Working alongside the core devs is a day-to-day challenge. They’ve been working together for years. In the past few months, I had to learn how to adapt to their speed and the development procedures quickly so as not to slow down the Catapult development. Almost nothing is assumed as valid until it is discussed and accepted after a good argument, that pushes you to give the best of yourself to keep the quality as high as possible.

3. What are the biggest problems the NEM Blockchain can solve for?

I have seen multiple usages of NEM blockchain, some interesting and some others non-sense.

Unfortunately, I don’t think there is any project that really squeezes NEM yet. The projects that I have seen just touch the surface of things you can do with NEM. I hope Catapult will be a game changer and people create products that push Catapult’s features to its limits, that will be the best thing that could happen to NEM (and not just reaching the maximum transactions per second).

The combination of NEM and mijin, public and private using the same API is powerful. We have to push forward this mix paradigm to expose NEM’s real potential.

“The combination of NEM and mijin, public and private using the same API is powerful.” — Aleix, NEM Developer

Answering biggest problems that the NEM blockchain can solve, leaving aside the fully decentralized systems for a moment, NEM is a technology that fits into current systems due to its architecture.

We all should spend some time finding common pieces shared between systems where a immutable ledger can help businesses reduce their infrastructure/operation costs for example. Blockchain technology has some benefits and some drawbacks. If we consider using Blockchain for everything we will fail and fail hard.

We should start replacing some system pieces, learn the technology, the things that work and don’t work, and then share with others our knowledge. It’s important to share this knowledge as widely as possible. It doesn’t matter the size of contribution —sharing with others is the only way to make NEM grow faster and continue to be better.

4. How can the community team best keep up with the developers?

Most of our work is not published in the social networks yet, but I would definitely recommend people follow @nemtechdev Twitter account as we continue to add new content.

The biggest thing, though, is to check our GitHub at least once a week at https://github.com/nemtech. There are really interesting conversations about the NEM Libraries design happening there that I’m suspect they are just known/reviewed by few people. For me, I find a lot of value from these conversations.

We are doing an effort to move the conversations/discussions into a GitHub/Forum instead of using Telegram/Slack so that should help keep the knowledge available for everyone instead of losing it in long conversations chats. But we still love the discussions that happen in t.me/nemprojects! It’s a great group if you want to talk about NEM development.

Lastly, if someone hasn’t applied for the Private Catapult Developer Preview, here is the link. It takes 12–24 hours to get processed but it’s worth the wait.

5. Can you share with us an inside story that isn’t widely known?

The day of releasing theCatapult SDKs, Guillem, David and I agreed to prepare the last things missing (such as links and references between repositories) a day earlier to make sure that everything was ready and went smooth. Ironically, we didn’t consider the time-zone of release date and in the middle of preparing everything a Telegram message appeared: “guys, are you ready? the release is in 2 hours”.

So OK! We had less hours than we expected but we did it successfully without mishaps. The rule of being ready a day earlier has become a must in the team since then. :-)

6. What kind of talent are you looking for to join the NEM development team now?

We would like to work with pragmatic developers that focus on improving the technology and sharing new perspectives.

NEM has multiple layers and each layer needs talent to be a successful Blockchain, if we ignore or sub-estimate some layer, we lose.

The talent we are looking for doesn’t stop at core or tool layer, so, if some developer thinks that they could help NEM grow in his/her area of expertise, we will more than welcome him/her. :-)


For more information about what the NEM developers are up to, you can follow them on Twitter!

For more information about the NEM Foundation and its mission, you can follow NEM on Twitter, at Inside NEM or visit our website.

For more information on current NEM tech jobs, visit our job postings.

NEM Official

NEM is the world's first Smart Asset blockchain. World class platform for asset management.

Alexandra Tinsman

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Hi, I'm Alex - President of the NEM.io Foundation.

NEM Official

NEM is the world's first Smart Asset blockchain. World class platform for asset management.