Sharing about the March online developer training and student experiences.
This March the Holochain Foundation, collaborating with our education partner Mythosthesia, hosted a four day, online developer training. This training focused on giving developers the skills needed to develop Holochain applications in a clean, simple, and robust manner; and it taught them to reason about distributed systems from an agent-centric perspective.
The weekend following the training we held a two day build event where the newly minted Holochain devs could test their skills and demo their projects.
To provide world-class instruction to our community, Holochain partnered with Mythosthesia, a new venture by Marcus Philips, co-founder of the coding bootcamp Hack Reactor. Mythosthesia's veteran educator and Program Manager Muhammad Meigooni oversaw end-to-end delivery of the program. The passion of everyone on the Mythosthesia team has made it a pleasure to work with them developing this course.
Attending the event was an experienced cohort of 18 developers, which ranged from folks who had been developing on Holochain for years to those totally new to the community. Preparing for this training we conducted extensive tech checks (including a solid grasp of the Rust programming language) and culture interviews to ensure that everyone taking the course would be able to get the most from it and that they could grow into valuable community members.
What Was Built
Our build weekend was short. With only a day and a half of build time before the demo, none of the projects demonstrated had reached an MVP status. However, this is only partially due to the limited time. The developers also chose large and potentially impactful projects that were never meant to be completed in a weekend, ones they all seem dedicated to continuing work on. Their thinking and progress on these projects is inspiring.
While we could gush about how incredible this cohort of developers is, we would prefer to simply show you. The following are some highlights from the demo.
Short Demo Descriptions
Harlan Wood has been working on the TrustGraph technology for Holochain over the last year, but at the build days he got it working with a live application. TrustGraph is a reputation system built for platform interoperability that leans into peer-to-peer networks through its transitive trust algorithm which can be used for things like feed filtering.
Watch this quick video to learn more about how TrustGraph might be used:
John Hopkins started mapping out a DID implementation for Holochain. We won’t speak about this too much right now because identity is such a huge topic and we have separate updates about that coming, but it was encouraging to see a dev, new to the framework, who was thinking about a lot of the same things we have been.
Matt Gabrenya started creating a registry of composable app elements that developers could use to create unique arrangements, easily pulling these elements together. This reminded us of the composable applets of We but for the development layer rather than the user layer.
Without there being a direct connection between the two projects, we can already imagine how this might interface with Generative Objects (GO) founder Walter Almeida’s work. He came to this training with the express intent of integrating Holochain into GO’s Meta Modeler so that it is possible to generate custom Holochain applications in a low code environment. Customizable Holochain applications that anyone can build and publish without needing years of developer experience? Yes please. We’ll definitely keep you up to date as these projects progress.
There was also a crop of projects focused on financial applications.
Joshua Vial and Nicholas Stebbings designed the fundamentals of an app that would make it easy to bootstrap an authority list, based on social trust structures, that would serve to authenticate cross chain and cross DHT transactions, ensuring that ledgers on both sides of an exchange were updated appropriately. Meanwhile Julien Lucca, Ross Eyre, Ché Coelho, and Leo Proechel worked on a credit clearing algorithm that uses agent-centric methods to find debt cycles in B2B contexts and cancel them out. Even the course instructor Marcus Philips spent time refining the design for a protocol he started for a Transitive Favor Network. This would be a radically peer-to-peer currency protocol where each individual would only need agreed-on systems of value exchange with their direct neighbors, but which would allow strangers to still exchange with each other by finding connections through the social graph.
Watch this video of Julian, Ross, Che, and Leo describing their Credit Clearing Algorithm:
How did the course turn out? Rather then trying to explain a group’s shared experience, we’ll just quote a few of the responses from the students’ course feedback forms:
“I thought this was a really excellent way to gain an introduction to Holochain, and it definitely left me with a thirst to learn more. I think the curriculum is well thought out and gives the perfect HDK 101.” —John Hopkins
“A very cohesive bunch of minds gathered with a yearning for more knowledge and discovery — which makes for a refreshing classroom experience. It is clear that the choice of cohort and instructors was very well considered and this has led to a wealth of knowledge in the room, and excellent coordination throughout.” —Nicholas Stebbings
“I can't think of another class or training I've been in where I enjoy the community as much as I have in this class. I have learned so much from the questions and side conversations.” —Patrick Winfield
“This course has been invaluable and incredibly empowering. It has also been a super-collision of incredibly competent and fascinating folk.” —Ché Coelho
“Super fun and useful! Definitely exceeded my expectations. The course is super grounding and down to earth — getting all the way down to DHT ops and all the way up to capability claims.” —Anon
“The course is great. It provides a thorough grounding in the conceptual building blocks of Holochain, along with the practical tools and experience to build working apps. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how Holochain works, what it can do, and how to make it do those things.” —Anon
“The Holochain developer immersive has been exceptionally stimulating. It's helped to solidify my understanding of distributed systems in general and has led to a deeper appreciation of the HC architecture and its potentially integral role in bringing digital technologies into alignment with the human-social organism. Our studio intends to become active developers and supporters of the ecosystem.” —Ross Eyre
“This is an excellent technical deep-dive for developers who wish to write Rust code based directly on the HDK. It is well-constructed, descriptive, paced excellently, and presented by very knowledgeable and passionate people.” —Acea Spades Black
A Self-Paced Online Course
We expect to have more dev training sessions in the future, but in the meantime we are producing a self-paced, online course available to anyone who wants to learn to develop on Holochain.
This course will consist of recordings from the March dev training so that you get the same information and education that we provided to this past cohort. You’ll need to know some Rust, and there won’t be the hands-on element, but by supplementing your experience with online build events, Discord office hours, and the support of our thriving developer community, we think that this course will help you grow as a Holochain developer.
Fill out this interest form and we’ll let you know when the course is live.