ArcBlock Interview: CodeBEAM SF

On February 28th, Tyr Chen, VP of Engineering at ArcBlock, and Sun Boshan, a top software engineer, attended the Annual Erlang Global Developer Conference Code BEAM SF and gave a keynote speeches. After the event, ArcBlock discussed the conference with the team to find out how more about the conference? What did the other developers think of their talks? After the two colleagues came back, they shared the following answers to the community.

Q1: Can you briefly describe your the session you gave at Code BEAM 2019?

Tyr: My session at the Code Beam conference was title "Build a decentralized, public verifiable DB with ex_abci and Tendermint. This talk looked at distributed databases and decentralized database from a publicly verifiable perspective including the benefits that a decentralized system has over its traditional counterpart. From a developer perspective, we also looked at how to build a decentralized database including some real-world examples. Lastly, we also gave a brief introduction to ArcBlock's upcoming Forge Framework that really demonstrates how easy it is to construct a decentralized data service.

Boshan: The title of my speech is "About the Erlang kernel". Starting from hello world, I will peel off the Erlang kernel one by one, and introduce the working principle of the Erlang kernel in a simple way, and how to apply it to the Erlang kernel in our actual work.

Q2: How did the audience respond to your speech?

Tyr: Because blockchain is still relatively new technology I don't think most developers at the conference had an in-depth understanding of what blockchain is and what it can do. I deliberately took the time to talk about a lot of introductory concepts. After the talk, I had a lot of folks come up and talk to me about various concepts including Merkle Patricia Trees and the timeline we have for our coming Forge Framework and when they could access it. Regarding the content of the lecture, many developers still feel that blockchain is difficult, which reemphasized for me why we need to continue to focus on creating content, articles, trainings and our continued use of our Technical Learning Series to teach people the concepts of the blockchain and to really help them understand that it isn't as difficult as they think.

Boshan: My lecture had about 100 people, which was a great turn out. There was another talk happening at the same time being done with a big personality in the Erlang community so I expected maybe 40 to 50 people. In my session, I discussed the Erlang Kernal and spent a lot time discussing real-world examples that greatly simplify complex concepts. After the session was over, I talked with quite a few people who were very thankful and appreciative saying that they learned a lot from the session. A great example is a young lady said that after listening to the talk, she was finally able to answer a question that had troubled her for two years.


Q3: What are some unforgettable details of this year's Code BEAM 2019 conference?

Tyr: My biggest surprise was the talk about Partison. I have seen the papers of Partisan: Enabling Cloud-Scale Erlang Applications, so I was interested in learning more and actually quite happy that Code Beam would have a session on this service. Many of the ideas in Partisan, and even Partisan itself, can be utilized with our Forge Framework. Another great moment was when we checked in at Code Beam. A staff member recognized us and asked if we were part of ArcBlock. After receiving a positive response, he commented that ArcBlock had left a great impression from our participation at the ElixirConf held in Bellevue, WA last year. In particular, our T-shirts were of a higher quality than our peers. Definitely a funny moment.

Boshan: Everything pretty much went as expected. The last time I attended the ElixirConf conference, I met two Chinese-speaking foreigners who met at our ArcBlock booth. I met them again and helped us to talk about the great things that ArcBlock is doing. It's great to see that people we meet are becoming evangelists. This conference is the first to announce the establishment of the Erlang Ecosystem Foundation to help the Erlang/Elixir community build a better ecosystem and I think ArcBlock's continued participation will add value to the community at large.

Q4: Why is ArcBlock participating in Code BEAM? What is the connection between this conference and the blockchain?

Tyr: The main language of our ArcBlock platform backend is uses Erlang/Elixir, and Code Beam is closely related to the work we are doing on our own platform. We submitted several talks for this years conference and were happy that both talks we proposed were accepted. While The conference itself doesn't have anything to do with blockchain, the language and approaches are ideal for the work we do. More importantly, we hope that through our efforts, we can awaken the developers and engineers passion for creating great products and can show them what the next generation of technologies will be.

Boshan: ArcBlock uses Elixir to build our back-end system, and because of that we have actually have a lot of experience to share with the community. In addition, it gives us a chance to learn the latest technologies from the community to apply to our products. One of the sponsors of this conference, Aeternity, is another blockchain smart contract project in the Erlang community. I chatted with the organizer, Francesco, and he mentioned that they intend to push blockchain technologies to the community this year and he suggested that ArcBlock join the Erlang Ecosystem Foundation to jointly promote blockchain technology.

Q5: After getting some feedback at the event what do participants think about what ArcBlock is doing?

Tyr: The services provided by ArcBlock are ahead of the industry, and participants are very interested in our upcoming Forge. However, we also need to vigorously educate and promote blockchain technology, so that technology itself rather than hype to evoke the love of engineers.

Boshan: I personally feel that the main interest of the developers of this conference is how to make the existing centralized architecture faster and more efficient, and the discussion of decentralized and publicly verifiable blockchain technology is not so " Fanaticism, but there are still many people interested. After all, the theme of this conference is Erlang and community building. The blockchain is still because of its mysterious and tall appearance, so many developers continue to pay attention to it. I think that ArcBlock is in the position of the industry leader in innovation. It should take responsibility for sending the blockchain into the home of ordinary developers. It is necessary to have tools that can be used by developers to make familiar products. Naturally, there will be more and more products. The developer is involved in the development of the blockchain.