17 Blockchain experts in 3 days taught me that anything is POSSIBLE ✊ #CordaCon2020

October 22, 2020

Seventeen one-to-ones, in 72 hours, with people smarter than me.
And it was lit! ?

Here’s how I did it.

In the last three days, I’ve had the opportunity to take part in #CordaCon2020, a virtual event celebrating enterprise blockchain/DLT.

FYI: Corda is an enterprise blockchain solution with strong privacy, suitable for regulated industries.

CordaCon brings together an amazing mindshare of developers, managers, executives, and enthusiasts from around the world. This sudden community represents many diverse industries such as digital markets, CBDC, insurance, supply chain, and more!

This was the first year things went 100% digital so I aimed to put together a game-plan to make every moment count by actively learning, teaching, and experiencing. I think one of the most rewarding positions to be in, is not knowing. You start with a question or direction to march toward; then acknowledge there’s SOMEONE out there that can help. From that point, it’s about finding that collaborative space where you can exchange something of value. With that in mind, I posed the question: ‘In this new digital arena, can I recreate those personal moments and insightful engagements?’ I’m happy to say the answer was yes! ?

The digital hosting was flawless — on-demand video of talks (past and present), attendee-matching based on specific interests and expertise, and rock-solid video chat. Getting things in order wasn’t really as hard as I thought it would be. A little bit of initial effort resulted in this blistering agenda: ?

A Loaded Schedule

Step 1 — Discovering Allies:

I looked for people who could make me stronger ? . If you asked me what I knew about trade-finance three days ago, I wouldn’t have had much to say. However, 15-min with a brilliant attendee from Contour open my eyes. You can now ask me how blockchain and Corda, in particular, are revolutionizing this space by drastically streamlining the movement of goods through the automation of complex legal agreements. ?

I found people to dream with ?. With talks from visionaries like R3’s Mike Hearn, or Richard Brown, is there a place where less conspicuous individuals can imagine a world transformed by blockchain? Of course! Getting my 15-min in with some of the vast arrays of PhD researchers in attendance, including a very friendly socio-economic expert, resulted in some vigorous explorations of the potential of blockchain… and, for the record, I still stand behind my assertion that monetary instruments will someday give way to fuzzy-abstractions defined by participant models held in trusted execution environments.

I found people to help ?. As a developer evangelist at R3, I’m in an awesome position where I can make an immediate impact on both a developer’s experience and their understanding of blockchain. Blockchain, as one of its core value propositions, facilitates a transfer of value. So I’m happy to say the conference experience followed this spirit. Some of the most fun 15-min sessions I had were sitting down and discussing designs, opportunities, plans. Sometimes the ‘aha!’ moment came in the form of code — other times it was trading favorite resources and links. And of course, there were times where I was able to introduce and connect the right people at the right time. Hey, it’s a decentralized world ? , and solutions are all around!

Step 2 — Integrating Experiences

I’ll admit some of the past three days have been an information overload. Actually, I’m an introvert. So a few of you reading this may be wondering, how is shuttling through a blistering 1–1 agenda possible? Well, the initial answer could be coffee and energy drinks… ☕️ but moving beyond to something a little more salient, I’d say CordaCon2020 was exciting the WHOLE way through. When you’re part of a great event it just flows. If you didn’t get the chance to attend — the full experience is still available: www.cordacon.com.

From a logistics standpoint, there are a few things I thought really helped keep my engagements on track:

  1. I discovered something about my contact and company before we met.
  2. I smiled (really the world smiles back ?).
  3. I jotted a few after session notes on what I learned and what I taught.
  4. I thanked each and every person ?.

Next time you’re at a conference feel free to give those a try if you like! ?

The friends I made over the last three days and the things I’ve learned have made me a better developer, and improved my understanding of blockchain ?! That’s what I really hoped for from CordaCon2020 and the new Virtual Me.

Step 3 — Keep the Momentum Going

CordaCon may be on its last day — but blockchain and Corda are just getting started. Announcements like Corda 5, Consensual States, a revamped CorDapp Design Language, IBM partnerships… and so many more blew my mind! Am I just going to wait around until next year? Of course not!

Now, is ALWAYS the best time to bring every new innovation out there and create real, tangible change. Whether you have your heart set on a moonshot proof-of-concept or a consortium-based business process, CordaCon2020 proved that it’s GO TIME.

Join me in the community slack.https://corda.net and say hi ?. Look out for quick-tips and demos on the Corda YouTube channel ? .

R3 has an abundance of resources to help each and every developer and project succeed. If you’re new to Corda or need to upskill, Developer Relations is at your service. There are Venture Development resources to kickstart your ISV/startup. If you need a great plan or final push to production Professional Services are at the ready so welcome to the family.

Want to learn more about building awesome blockchain applications on Corda? Be sure to visit https://corda.net, check out our community page to learn how to connect with other Corda developers, and sign up for one of our newsletters for the latest updates.

— Anthony Nixon is a Developer Evangelist at R3, an enterprise blockchain software firm working with a global ecosystem of more than 350 participants across multiple industries from both the private and public sectors to develop on Corda, its open-source blockchain platform, and Corda Enterprise, a commercial version of Corda for enterprise usage.

Follow Anthony on Twitter and Linkedin.