Our Developer Showcase blog series serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s incubated projects. Next up is Julian Vergel de Dios, a software development manager at Gem. Here’s what he had to say about working on blockchain and Hyperledger:

What advice would you offer other technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain?

Read the white papers and get a good understanding of the technologies that are emerging in the space. Get your hands dirty and try them out. Writing these kinds of applications is a different paradigm and it may take time to make the mental switch to building apps this way.

Julian Vergel de Dios, Software Development Manager at Gem

Give a bit of background on what you’re working on, and let us know what was it that made you want to get into blockchain?

I’m currently working on Gem’s core product, GemOS. It’s a platform that enables blockchain agnostic distributed application development and aims to help solve a lot of the data silo problems that plague many non-financial industries.

I was originally brought into the blockchain world by Gem’s founder, Micah Winkelspecht. I was initially skeptical, given that he introduced me to the technology right as the MtGox scandal was becoming public about 4 years ago. Once I realized the applications that were possible beyond Bitcoin, though, I was all in.

What do you think is most important for Hyperledger to focus on in the next year?

Production-level deployments. That is the biggest hurdle for the blockchain world in general this year. We’ve seen a lot of promising proofs of concept come out in the last year or two, but it’s time to focus on pushing real data through these systems.

What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?

Decentralized identity. We trust far too many central parties with what is most valuable to us. I hope that this technology will allow users to take back control over their digital existence.

What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t optimize too early. Make it work first, then figure out how to make it fast, pretty, and reliable.