"I used to be a part of different open-source communities and I tried a lot of different domains. I always felt like the most clueless software engineer, because it has way too big of a menu to choose from. There are so many different subdomains, so many niches - it's difficult to choose from"
He spent enough time exploring some of them. He explored AIML, Mobile App Development, Android Development, etc., and spent at least a couple of months in those domains, and at some point in time all of it became boring for him. Harsh later stumbled upon blockchain, and there has not been a single boring day in his life since.
Read ahead to know more about Harsh, his story, and his accomplishments.
How did you discover blockchain technology? What made you step into this ecosystem?
I was part of some open-source communities. There are so many open source communities, events, and all, which keep on happening in small communities. You can always find those on LinkedIn and Twitter. And later, I started in crypto back when Dogecoin was somewhat controlled by Elon Musk, lol. But, I started by investing my pocket money into Dogecoin and I guess that was my first interaction with crypto.
I later checked out the Summer of Bitcoin, and it was their first year of starting. So it's basically, an open-source event where a lot of students from different domains, participated and then they contribute towards Bitcoin projects. I spent the entire summer understanding Bitcoin to the core. After SoB I found out that there are more blockchain ecosystems and more stuff to learn.
I also found out that multiple chains were hosting their hackathons at that point. And, those hackathons gave me a pressurized, time-constrained environment that you need to build a good project.
I realized you need to build, experiment, fail, and then you need to get back up. Those hackathons became, a good way to learn a lot of things quickly and I used them to learn more and more about new ecosystems.
I guess that's just how I ended up staying in the Web3 ecosystem.
What excites you about the Web3 space?
The one thing which impressed me a lot was, the power to code money. And that's something which attracted me towards it. You can program money, you can stream it, play around with art, and build all kinds of protocols around it.
I also love to study finance. I've studied a lot of financial crises trying to understand how the entire world's financial ecosystem and economics work. So I'm a nerd for that. So I do consider that crypto somewhere helps out a lot and making cross-border payments is very easy.
And, I consider that's the best use case it has right now. The ability to send money from anywhere without having a lot of friction. That's what excites me the most - Web3 & Crypto are the potential solutions to solve a lot of modern-day problems.
How is being a Co-founder at Blocktrain going on for you?
I started this venture a year ago.
Blocktrain is an online learning platform dedicated to empowering individuals and organizations with knowledge and insights into the world of blockchain technology. From beginners seeking a solid foundation to seasoned professionals looking for the latest industry trends, Blocktrain offers a diverse range of educational resources, including articles, tutorials, and industry news.
With its user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation, the website ensures a seamless browsing experience, allowing users to easily explore and access the wealth of information available.
So, back when I started, in 2020-21, there was not a lot of content, about blockchain and and Web3. And, the majority of my time was getting spent on finding the right docs to study. After wasting so much time like that I was like, okay, someone needs to fill up these gaps.
Amidst all this, a friend of mine approached me. He said, 'I have some questions about blockchain. Can you help me out?' So we get on a call, he had tons of questions and I answered them in layman's terms so that he could understand. For a person who's a newbie to crypto, I guess it's essential to not lose to big technical terms.
And at the end of the call, both of us figured out that this call could have been a very awesome podcast. We thought let's create some content around it and, that would help out a lot of people. So we got to it and created the website.
We started writing blogs and created videos for our YouTube channel as well. So, that's all about Blocktrain. It's going good and the feeling when people find it useful and they DM me to say thank you, that feeling is mesmerizing.
Tell us about the projects you are looking forward to working on next.
Oh, I've been exploring the Venom blockchain right now. It's, something new. Their test net got launched a month ago and they're also having a hackathon right now. So, I was checking out their white paper, understanding what new tech they bring to the blockchain world and, it's always fun to explore the blockchain while interacting with its ecosystem.
So I've been doing that. there are a few projects on it that I've been studying. So they have this entirely new concept of concurrency with Solidity, which, makes parallel transactions, easier and, handling them easier at the architectural level. And, that was something fascinating that caught my eye. So I've been, working around it and trying to build something on it.
What was your best hackathon experience?
I remember the experience very vividly to be honest. I just don't remember the name of it, but I remember the Bounty. So basically, Tanmay Bhatt is an awesome, Solana enthusiast. He put up a bounty that, create a Solana wedding registry. A place where people can engrave their marriage certificates and stuff on Solana.
So I was like, this sounds easy, you just need to get some information and store it on the blockchain. It was a month-long hackathon. I got a few friends of mine. I told them, okay, you guys try to do the front end. I'll try to do the backend, and I'll try to write the smart contracts. So, I was able to do that. It took me a lot of time to learn, Solana at first because, Solana at the moment still doesn't have a lot of content, it's getting better day by day. But Solana as an ecosystem, I consider has still very less developer content. So back then it was way too less and, and there were just a few blogs and you had to learn from them. You need to learn from new code bases.
It took me even a week just to get some wallets connected and interact with the application. But, we're able to build the project entirely. We submitted it and we lost, cause it wasn't the best project. It was an open bounty. There were a lot of teams that did the wedding registry and I checked out their project that won and I learned from their code base. I even contacted them that I need help to understand your project. And now, I made friends with them that way. We are still in touch. So, all in all, it was a good experience.
How did you balance building your Web3 knowledge and pursuing your education?
It was, easier cause I had this thing called online classes, lol. I was able to spend more time, studying blockchain and stuff. And I'm sort of a multitasker. I need to get all these things done in one week. I'm also somewhat of a procrastinator, but I'll procrastinate in somewhat of a cooler way that okay, I don't wanna do this right now, but I'll do this other thing. Trying to push as much as I can just to, make the most out of it. So I guess that's what helped me.
What is your most amazing Web3 story?
I guess, the most amazing story is, wherever I am able to provide value to someone else. Those are the moments that are very close to me.
When I was working as a fellow at Solana Labs, there was this guy who just texted me on Discord that, he wanted to learn Solana. Can you help me out? And, I was like, yeah sure. And, this is a conversation we are having at 4:00 AM in the morning. And I helped him out a lot and he is one of my good friends right now. And, he started a year back or something. And now he has been building awesome stuff on Solana.
He was recruited by one of the top firms in Solana and has been building a lot. So basically good things happened and, I was happy that I can be part of his journey a lot of such instances have happened, where I've been able to help out a lot of people to achieve more and to push them forward. Providing value to someone else, I guess, that's the best feeling.
Harsh’s strong technical knowledge, excellent communication skills, empathy, and strategic thinking have made him a remarkable Web3 Dev. He has helped a lot of people on his way and it has truly been an incredible journey.
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