SAFE DevCon 2018: A Hive of Industry

Apr 26, 2018 · 6 min read

What a day!

We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who joined us — both in person and online — at SAFE DevCon 2018. It was a unique occasion, as the entire global MaidSafe team joined developers who travelled from all around the world to take part in the SAFE Network’s first ever European developer conference in Ayr.

SAFE DevCon 2018, Ayr, Scotland

With most of the attendees checked staying in the same hotel, everyone was at the venue and ready to go nice and early for a day that was packed with talks from both the core MaidSafe team and members of high-profile community projects on the SAFE Network. And, of course, the evening saw conversations continuing long into the night for the second night in a row.

Preparations for SAFE DevCon 2018…
Dug Campbell (MaidSafe) kicking off SAFE DevCon 2018

All talks were streamed live online and you can check out each of the videos below:-

SAFE DevCon 2018 Video Playlist
Founder David Irvine & CTO Viv Rajkumar with the opening keynote of SAFE DevCon 2018

As expected, it was a packed room that settled down early in the morning to see founder David Irvine kick off the conference by outlining the vision behind the SAFE Network. Explaining why the SAFE platform is critical for the future of data and communications, David also made some key announcements that support the building of the SAFE Network and making it easier for new developers to get involved, including:

  • Locking the core SAFE Network libraries open by removing the MaidSafe Commercial Licence from all libraries
  • Increasing flexibility for app developers by relicensing the APIs and bindings to either MIT or BSD licenses
  • The launch of the SAFE Developer Hub, a new online resource for SAFE developers to find out more about key concepts, APIs, tutorials and more
  • Release of a new video explaining Safecoin, the world’s currency for security and privacy

CTO Viv Rajkumar then joined him on stage to talk about recent progress in development towards a live network, and provided a great insight into the up-and-coming Alpha 3 network and beyond.

Discussions then moved to SAFE Network app development, where front-end lead Krishna Kumar unveiled the plans for new platform support as well as further new features.

Krishna Kumar of MaidSafe running through life at the front end of the SAFE Network

Next up back-end lead Spandan Sharma ran the delegates through an overview of the SAFE Network backend and the recent enhancements made to the network’s networking libraries Crust and Routing.

Back end team lead Spandan Sharma (MaidSafe) updating SAFE DevCon 2018 on progress

After a well-earned coffee break, Nikita Baksalyar took the first talk of the next session in which he explained his team’s focus on expanding language support, enabling apps to be built in many more languages and the approach toward expanding the language bindings.

Nikita Baksalyar (MaidSafe) explaining the libraries and bindings of the SAFE Network

Gabriel Viganotti then took to the stage to explain the newly-launched SAFE DevHub in more detail as well as the various additional tools available to developers which include the various test network options, web API playground and demo applications.

Gabriel Viganotti (MaidSafe) runs through how a newcomer Dev can start developing on the SAFE Network

After lunch, COO Nick Lambert and Sarah Pentland discussed community building and marketing, with Nick confirmed that two additional exchanges will be listing MaidSafeCoin in the coming weeks while Sarah provided an in-depth look at the state of the SAFE Network by summarising the growth of the global SAFE community.

Nick Lambert (COO, MaidSafe) discussing community building
Sarah Pentland, MaidSafe reviews the State of the SAFE Network

The stage was then turned over to some of the hugely impressive projects and developers that are being built independently on the SAFE Network. Clearly the current Alpha 2 status of the Network wasn’t holding back these projects as they showed off their respective applications in a range of presentations, including:-

James Littlejohn discussing SAFEflow for decentralised health science
Harmen Klink, Founder of Project Decorum discussing decentralised SAFE social platforms
David Brown explaining his work on archiving Wikipedia on the SAFE Network
Joseph Meagher talks about The Safey Project
Josh Wilson (MaidSafe) introduces Mark Hughes’ work integrating the SOLID Project and the SAFE Network

With each of these community projects representing the culmination of many hours of work by the teams, the general feedback from delegates was that the afternoon session left two strong impressions:

  1. each of these projects has immense potential as we get closer to the full launch of the Network; and
  2. there’s an immense amount of work going on here within the community. It might be beneath the radar of those who aren’t checking into the forums regularly. But it only takes a cursory glance at the activity here before you start to get a feel for the hive of activity that is actually taking place.

This is a community that was represented by folk from countries all over the world — in a number of cases, people who had flown for more than 24 hours to spend no more than 48 hours in Scotland, just to get the opportunity to meet others working on the SAFE Network. The SAFE Network will be a global solution — and that was highlighted by the fact that SAFE DevCon attracted delegates from all over the world, including Australia, New Zealand, the Canary Islands, Japan, Holland, Slovakia, Ireland, Canada, the US, Czech Republic, Indonesia and Argentina, amongst many others.

Coffee break at SAFE DevCon 2018
More coffee and chat at SAFE DevCon 2018

So once again, thank you to everyone who made the trip and to those who watched online. We can’t wait to hear the first stories about people who either have been inspired by the talks, or will be motivated by the videos, to head along to the DevHub and start building their own decentralised applications for the SAFE Network. And we’ve started planning SAFE DevCon 2019 already….

So the only question is…who’s up for it?

Note: a special shout-out must go to Mark Hughes (@happybeing on the Forum) whose talk at SAFE DevCon 2018 explaining his work integrating SOLID with the SAFE Network has now attracted the support of Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Watch this space…

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