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November 23, 2022

Polymesh’s core developer team expands with two new hires!

Polymesh has expanded its core developer team with two new hires! Joining the Polymesh team are Henrique Nogara as Senior Rust Software Engineer and Toms Veidemanis as Senior Full-Stack Developer.

The Polymesh Association has expanded its core developer team with two new hires!

Joining the Polymesh team are Henrique Nogara as Senior Rust Software Engineer and Toms Veidemanis as Senior Full-Stack Developer.

Henrique will be primarily responsible for implementing modules in Polymesh’s front-end to improve the blockchain’s functionality, while Toms will be primarily responsible for supporting integrations via improvements to Polymesh’s back-end architecture. 

Henrique Nogara, Senior Rust Software Engineer 

Henrique graduated as a Computer Scientist from the Federal University of Parana and has over five years of professional experience as a software engineer. He’s worked on several critical projects within the energy and financial sectors, including the development of an energy distribution management system and the development of a cryptocurrency exchange. With over three years of experience in the Rust programming language and a strong interest in cryptocurrencies, Henrique is well-poised as a developer to enhance the Polymesh ecosystem. 

What is your role at the Polymesh Association? 

Henrique: I joined the Polymesh Association’s core team as Senior Rust Software Engineer to help improve the functionality the blockchain provides within the Polymesh ecosystem. Currently, I’m working on adding the module for NFTs.

I work directly with Adam Dossa (Head of Blockchain), Robert G. Jakabosky (Head of Applied Blockchain Research), and Joel Moore (Junior Full-stack Developer). We’re all developers responsible for adding functionality to the nodes. I’m working on NFTs and they’re working to deliver other features that will enhance the value of the blockchain. 

My team also collaborates a lot with the other developer team (e.g. the Back-end team). It’s a really nice culture where everyone is keen to discuss what we’re doing independently, so that everyone else can keep in touch with what’s happening in the network and how these components of the blockchain will come together comprehensively. 

How much experience do you have with blockchain?

Henrique: Polymesh is the first core blockchain team I’ve been a part of, but I have worked with web3 before as part of the Identity team in the Iota Foundation, which has a lot of overlap with Polymesh as identity is one of the blockchain’s foundational components. Prior to that, I worked for a cryptocurrency exchange, so I also have experience working specifically at the intersection of blockchain technology and the financial sector. 

Why did you want to work for Polymesh?

Henrique: I would say out of a desire to dig deeper into how my existing skills and experience could be utilized for a bespoke blockchain.

From a technical point of view, my skills matched up really well with the requirements of Polymesh’s developer team for two reasons. First, Polymesh uses Rust, a programming language I have a lot of familiarity with having used it for both the crypto exchange and the Iota Foundation. Rust isn’t that easy to use, but it’s an incredibly important technical component of Polymesh, and I really enjoy bringing value to the blockchain through my relevant knowledge of it. 

Another big component of Polymesh is identity. Having known how identity works through my previous work specifically with identity and web3, it was exciting to join a blockchain team where I could leverage this experience, especially as identity forms such a core principle for Polymesh.  

From a non-technical point of view, what drew my attention to Polymesh was largely that Polymesh is a blockchain specifically for securities. That’s not something I’ve seen much of in the space, likely because it’s incredibly hard to focus on that use case and deliver all of the compliance criteria requested for these types of assets. Through my role, I’m beginning to know a lot more about blockchain and securities, so the work is personally interesting as well. 

Can you tell the community more about your current area of focus, NFTs?

Henrique: Currently, I’m working on an internal demo to show the development team the first extrinsic to create and mint NFTs in a collection. I’m also working on adding some more aspects, such as burning NFTs and transferring NFTs between different owners. This work is already in progress; the demo is to show how it’s moving along.

I completed most of this work myself, starting the development from scratch based on a document with a few draft orientations.  

Has anything been challenging for you while working on the NFT implementation? 

Henrique: In general, something new is always a challenge. A specific key challenge for me was that I wasn’t familiar with the Substrate framework. In my first two weeks at Polymesh, I started reading into the documentation and learning about the framework. Luckily, I was able to figure it out pretty quickly and start building with it right away. 

I’d say my experience with Substrate overall was positive and that the framework is easy to learn. The availability of documentation provided by Parity especially helped, as did the readiness of the Polymesh team, particularly Robert, to talk through various aspects of Polymesh. 

What inspires you in this industry? 

Henrique: What drove me to the crypto industry and blockchain technology was its ability to transform the financial instability that developing countries experience. From Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that have been introduced, I could see how important blockchain-based financial instruments could be to the real people who live in these countries. Living in Brazil, a country continually haunted by hyperinflation, this is a cause I really care about and consider incredibly important. 

Because of this, I’d say cryptocurrency is definitely my favorite application of blockchain technology, but there are a lot of other cool use cases too. For example, the way people are shaping new protocols to allow for decentralized voting seems interesting and is something that could be a big gamechanger for many things. Polymesh implements a bit of this decentralized voting in its on-chain governance, but it could find its way to more political structures as a means of mitigating corruption in state government voting as well. 

What book, podcast, or online material about the industry had the most impact on you? 

Henrique: The first book related to the industry that I read, and the one which introduced me to crypto, was Mastering Bitcoin. It’s a classic book for developers; while it’s not advanced at all, it’s really good as an introductory guide to the field. 

Lastly, is there anything you’d like to share with the Polymesh community? 

Henrique: Outside of watching Graeme’s Ask me Anything videos on Youtube, I haven’t had much exposure to our community yet. So, I’d like to formally say hello and share that I’m really looking forward to working with the Polymesh team to improve the ecosystem!

Henrique can be found on Github and on Linkedin.

Toms Veidemanis, Senior Full-Stack Developer 

Toms Veidemanis graduated in 2008 with a degree in Business Administration from BA School of Business and Finance in Latvia. He got started with developing that year to help his company, an information technologies start-up, when its own developer wasn’t up-to-par. Toms self-taught himself CSS, html, and PHP, eventually building the app himself. In his fourteen-year career in the field, he has added many new technologies and programming tools to his repertoire (including React for front-end and node.js for back-end) and worked skillfully for a handful of companies to deliver elegant and user-friendly solutions. With a strong track record for developing various facets of IT architecture at all stages and an openness to improving his own skills, Toms makes a dynamic and useful addition to Polymesh’s core developer team. 

What is your role at the Polymesh Association? 

Toms: I’m a Senior Full-Stack Developer. Part of my role is to create and fix bugs on the blockchain to improve its security, but otherwise, my work focuses heavily on the middleware for the blockchain. In the day-to-day I’m mostly writing code and reviewing what others do or participating in discussions about the technology, from what should be done next to how we should do it. 

Currently, my focus is on getting to know how the chain works and adding new features to the REST API, which is a nice abstraction layer that the Polymesh team has built to expose instead of the more complicated SDK. This has the added bonus of making the blockchain more accessible to different devices. 

I mostly work with my team, the middleware team, who are responsible for building APIs and the SDK. While remote, we communicate daily and are constantly keeping each other up to date and helping one another. 

How much experience do you have with blockchain?

Toms: I’ve actually worked with blockchain before but in a different role. My original background and degree is in business management, and a couple of years ago, right at the end of an early crypto boom I was hired by an IT company that was developing crypto conversion tools. The role was initially doing project management but turned into more of a split of a front-end developer/project manager. I was  communicating with stakeholders regarding the integrations of cryptocurrency converters, figuring out how to convert fiat to crypto, and building user interfaces for that. It was an interesting experience and also gave me the opportunity to participate in a couple of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), writing whitepapers and doing some of the marketing for them. 

Why did you want to work for Polymesh?

Toms:  The main criteria for me is seeing solid reason, user need, and purpose in a company as well as ensuring the challenges it provides are complex enough to keep my brain exercised every day. I have had the experience of seeing various ICOs from both inside and outside, which has given me a very cautious attitude whenever I was contacted by a recruiter for a crypto company. Actually, Polymesh might be the only one that I did reply to. From what I know the main problem with ICOs and consequently the companies behind them is that they live through multiple stages: first you have a random idea, then you decide to put it on blockchain, you create the ICO, you get some money from it, and then you might build the project. It’s an interesting financial model for a startup where you don’t give out equity but instead finance around the fact that you’ll get enough funds to build the project. In this way, it’s kind of like Kickstarter. 

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of scamming that happens because of this model; many projects fall-through and never become built, or were never intended to actually be built in the first place. A lot of projects also try to benefit from this model even when it doesn’t make sense to build them on the blockchain. 

With securities, it’s different. Polymesh’s goal of transforming the securities industry through tokenization is a lot more related to the initial blockchain concept as an individual, independent finance platform that’s decentralized for everyone. 

In older times, people used a barter system, e.g. “if you give me a sheep, I’ll give you an axe”. This system exchanged value in a decentralized way, much like what’s possible on blockchain. For securities, this kind of trading makes sense because it’s ultimately the value of the security that you want to exchange. 

Polymesh has identity and  compliance solutions which check how and which people are authorized to do certain transactions, so it’s mixed in way; it’s a decentralized blockchain but with some level of authority to help participants mitigate against the risk involved. 

Can you tell the community more about your current area of focus?

Toms: I’m just starting on the Polymesh SDK, an interesting code-based component that makes it easy to interact with the blockchain. The SDK has certain methods to connect to the right APIs in the blockchain for the public to write transactions. It’s an abstraction layer that allows you to work with the blockchain immediately, without needing to know anything about how it was actually built. 

At the moment, I’m using TypeScript, but for tools I’ll use whatever code the rest of the team is using. 

Has anything been challenging for you while working on APIs so far? 

Toms: In the beginning, the most challenging part is understanding the whole scope– a live and operational blockchain is a lot of code, so understanding how it interacts and works as well as the correct ways to use it can be challenging.

What inspires you in this industry? 

Toms: When I discovered blockchain, I was really interested in and thrilled by the concept of decentralization. There’s no authority controlling the blockchain, and in many ways, it’s rogue and chaotic. Independence and privacy both are and aren’t there. 

Next I was interested in how you can actually use it; which parts and products you can create, how you can have both privacy and transparency on what’s happening. 

Regarding the IT industry, I’m interested in creating things that matter: building things, writing code, and doing DIY projects when I have free time. As a developer, if you can interact with the project you’re working on, it has greater meaning and becomes more interesting to work on. Working with blockchain is something that makes me think about how it should be developed and created, so it’s more interesting than just writing code and fixing bugs. It feels like being on a quest, thinking about solutions and how to reach them. 

What book, podcast, or online material about the industry had the most impact on you? 

Toms: One of the things I really like for developers is Uncle Bob, known as Mr. Clean Code. He has many books, articles, talks and tutorials about higher level coding and software development. Something that stood out to me and stays in my memory is one of his talks on Youtube about how to write clean code, which is code that is easily understood and changeable by others.

Lastly, is there anything you’d like to share with the Polymesh community? 

Toms: I’ll go with the usual phrase people say about projects in space: to the moon! I’m really hoping to see success for Polymesh and am excited to contribute to it through my work on the back-end. 

Toms can be found on Github

Please wish our two new hires a happy welcome in Discord!

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