Community First: Developer Contributions, Community DAO, and the Evolution of the N3 Ecosystem
When I worked on the architecture of the Microsoft .NET and the Azure platforms, I kept three priorities foremost on my mind: delivering a breakthrough platform; providing world-class tools, and supporting the community. Post the release of N3, I want to take this opportunity to share and review my thoughts from these three perspectives.
First, N3 the Platform:
Neo core developers and the Neo ecosystem are breaking new ground on a broad range of functional areas spanning the new technical architecture and an enhanced economic model. Platform-native decentralized storage, native contracts, identity, and the name service are a few of the key capabilities that distinguish the N3 platform. The embedded Oracle and NeoFS are key highlights. Of note, the balance between compliance and permission-less is uniquely enabled by N3 with the new on-chain governance models.
Second, World-Class Tools:
Developers and their teams want tools that enable them to reduce the cycle time from vision to solution and value. With the N3 platform, the Neo ambition is to empower developers to build decentralized applications for the next wave. With the industry’s leading toolkit for developing, debugging, and testing; the ability to seamlessly bridge the main net, test net, and the private net; and the capability to accelerate the dev inner-loop with enabling frameworks, tools, and more, the Neo toolkit leads the industry in leapfrogging and pioneering new capabilities for professional and mainstream development.
Third, and the purpose of this post, our Community:
When we talk about the Neo N3 platform being the most developer-friendly platform, we’re speaking to two aspects: developer-friendly tools AND developer-friendly community. Building on the strong heritage of open-source and community contributions, Neo continues to grow based on a vibrant community that puts heart and soul toward building the protocol, stack, and associated capabilities for the Neo N3 platform, and most of all the set of applications that run on top of N3.
In support of this community, Neo Foundation Eco Support has rolled out a set of development grants to round out its existing initiatives to foster Neo blockchain development. The driver for these new grants is to accelerate and scale our ecosystem that contributes to and builds the most developer-friendly blockchain platform. These grants will further expand support for the broader community and the key project teams that give their time and energy to contributing ideas, recommendations, and more to frame Neo’s guiding principles and baseline practices.
Blockchain platforms are unique because for the first time in history, we have a technology stack that has an innate economic model — incentives, rewards, and penalties “baked” in the architecture; no previous wave of platform technology has had any notion of intrinsic economics. I have said previously that blockchains are the first “economic platform” in the history of computing; with its pioneering new economic model, the new Neo N3 platform bridges developers to the next wave of possibilities bridging innovative new technical and economic capabilities.
Early on, much of the blockchain industry made the error of pigeonholing the so-called “blockchain developer” with special-purpose languages and custom one-off tooling that paradoxically turned away the mainstream developer community and perpetuated an elitist approach. In contrast, with the release of the Neo N3 platform, Neo continues to democratize application development at scale by giving mainstream and professional developers the tooling and developer experience comparable to, if not superior to, that of an AWS or a Microsoft Azure developer experience.
Platforms need to go to where the developers are. One thing I learned from my time building platforms at Microsoft is that you cannot expect the developer community to come to you: You go to where they are. This means supporting them in the languages they know and in the tools that they know and love. This is the ethos of Neo N3 and of the broader Neo community. This ethos is evidenced in the polyglot language support, the world-class toolset, the mainstream developer experience et al. that the new platform provides.
The industry is starting to see emerging patterns take shape and disrupt consumer experiences, business models, and economic value chains. DeFi applications, DAO structures, and NFT asset streams are some of the new patterns that are now mainstream. Magic happens when social trends, economic drivers, and technology capabilities intersect. We are now in one of those magical phases of history where if you can imagine it, then you can build it; and you can build based on the key attributes of individual autonomy, decentralized governance, and permission-less infrastructure.
Speaking of DAOs, the Neo community is building a new DAO called GrantShares for coordination and governance to demonstrate the power of the Neo N3 platform as well as experiment with new models to sustain and scale the developer ecosystem. Driven by the motivation to incent and to invent at the grassroots and to scale ground up, there will not be a central leadership or management structure; the community DAO will have its own set of governance models and structures, voted on and managed by the community. I am eagerly looking forward to the results and to watching how our community evolves this DAO.
It is a fantastic time to be a developer — and especially a developer building on the new Neo N3 stack. As a contributor to some of the most widely used platforms and tools in the world, it gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to see this evolution of the developer grants. A former boss of mine used to say — Developers! Developers! Developers! To that, I want to add — Build! Build! Build!
Neo official website: https://neo.org
Follow Neo on Twitter: @Neo_Blockchain