NEO DevCon 2019 (https://devcon.neo.org/) has officially started with tickets ready for purchase. To get the community better informed of NEO, we will walk through the events and updates of NEO in 2018 from different perspectives.
The most relevant implication of NEO is its strong developer resources and 2018 has witnessed an increasing number of developer communities taking shape along with the existing ones continuing to focus on technology exploration.
When we analyze a project, the fundamental thing to consider is the community backing the project because how the community starts and grows relies on the developer-friendliness of the project. A project and its communities are pulled towards each other. In the history of NEO, the community kept contributing to NEO ecosystem while NEO gave back by offering a broad development platform for the community, each playing a complementary and indispensable role.
Here below is a map of NEO communities around the globe.
City of Zion
The earliest developer community in NEO ecosystem
It was out of a favorable chance that NEO and CoZ were brought together. When NEO project whitepaper was released pending translation and the team was held back by the technical complexity of the content, they accidentally found that there had already been a fully-translated version online — by CoZ. Afterward, there came more co-operation. CoZ continued to contribute by developing infrastructures within NEO ecosystem, by creating NEON, the most popular wallet, and many other browsers and node monitors. Besides, the Go compiler and Python compiler that went live in 2018 was also created by CoZ.
Apart from infrastructure development, CoZ also contributed by digging and training talents through CoZ dApp competitions and developer tutorial competitions, etc., all designed to seek talented developers and deepen the developers’ understanding of NEO by combining education with competitions. These competitions also gave birth to many projects which were later incubated by CoZ community members that keep making the dApp ecosystem more complete, such as Moonlight, nOS and NEX, to name just a few.
There are now over 50 developers in CoZ developer community.
CoZ:City of Zion
City of Zion is a global, independent group of open source developers, designers and translators which support the NEO…
The first Chinese developer community in NEO ecosystem
NEL was founded by Liu Yongxin and Li Jianying. Liu previously served Law Chain as the product manager and Li is NEO core developer. Both of them were closely related with NEO ecosystem before founding NEL, which put them on a more solid ground to establish a Chinese developer community for NEO. It’s worth mentioning that NEL has already made noteworthy contributions to the NEO ecosystem in less than a year as a project recently established at the end of 2017.
NEL has long held technology evangelization and infrastructure building as its mission. By way of off-line lectures, online streaming courses, community AMA and content communication, it aims to promote the blockchain platform and expand the group of blockchain developers. By undertaking infrastructure building — an indispensable part of the blockchain ecosystem in a non-profit way, such as smart contract online compiler and blockchain explorer development, it offers experienced developers opportunities to join these projects.
Game-SDK is an essential product of NEL, pretty in line with NEO’s roadmap. Actually, it provides the infrastructure for game development of NEO, saving the time and expense of game developers who are willing to join NEO to develop their own blockchain games.
Domain name services, an important infrastructure of the public blockchain, will tremendously save the usage cost. NNS (NEO Name Service), an NEO-based domain name service maps every domain name to a unique address. As NEO Token is becoming more frequently and widely used, domain name service will be applied to a richer set of scenarios, which is why the service is becoming increasingly relevant.
Latin American developer community
NeoResearch is a Latin America-based NEO technology community, led by Vitor and Igor, who are core community members. It was around July 2017 when Vitor and Igor had the first contact with NEO as they were seeking a compiler for an Ethereum-based project. They came across the NEO C# compiler and since became obsessed with NEO.
The two continued to engage themselves in R&D of compilers after joining NEO ecosystem. NeoCompiler, the most popular online compiler was contributed by NeoResearch. This simple smart contract compiler then became an ecosystem for testing and analysis of smart contracts. Now the NeoCompiler ecosystem is becoming more decentralized and complete, consisting of compilers RPC servers, shared private-net and tools for transaction building and basic/didactic converters.
NeoResearch also contributed by hosting meetups and technical workshops in Latin American region to promote NEO and attract developers to NEO community.
St. Petersburg developer community
The NEO St Petersburg Competence Center (NSPCC) was formed by Fabian Wahle in St Petersburg, Russia in 2018 to support the NEO core infrastructure and component development. At an NEO Meetup held in St Petersburg in November, NSPCC announced the forthcoming NEO distributed file storage system as its immediate focus, which is now under development with a tight schedule.
Although NSPCC was recently established, its members are mostly senior developers with strong technical background. Its current focus is NeoFS — NEO Distributed File Storage System and is expected to deliver the outcome in 2019. Besides, many other teams have also expressed their intentions to develop in this area.
A Japan-based NEO community
Miki from NGD overseas takes charge of NEO development in Japan. Led by her, KeyMakers, a Japan-based NEO community was established. KeyMakers functions by participating in local blockchain conferences and events and hosting developer community events to attract more developers to NEO community.
KeyMakers has facilitated NEO localization process by translating NEO developer handbook into Japanese. The handbook works as a beginner’s guide for developers to learn about NEO mechanism and compile smart contract on NEO.
A domestic developer community
As an emerging technical community, the Hangzhou-based NEXT community develops rapidly. Several months after its formation, it has released several high-quality infrastructure facilities, such as Blolys explorer and iwallic wallet.
Apart from its development tasks, NEXT also aims to create a dApp incubator dedicated to integrating blockchain with real economy. It is a dApp explorer based on the NEO ecosystem. The community is a “melting pot” that gets together blockchain developers and practitioners from different sectors.
In the future, the community may extend business to tutorial design and online/offline event hosting to attract more developers to develop and improve their dApps on NEO blockchain.
The communities listed above are backbones of NEO, which are not exhaustive. There are many more distributed around the globe that have been supporting NEO, either working individually or in groups. You may have the chance to meet them at the upcoming NEO DevCon 2019.