Our Meet the Team series continues this week where we connect with Kevin, one of Blockchain’s software developers.
In this interview, we learn about his journey transitioning from full-time student and intern to full-time Blockchain employee, his experiences representing Blockchain at hackathons and plenty more!
Alyson: When was your first introduction to bitcoin and Blockchain and how did it evolve to its current state today?
Kevin: I heard a classmate mention the word ‘bitcoin’, and instantly I was interested in what this strange thing was. The more research I did on it, the more I feel in love with the cryptography and security of it. I started mining immediately, and looked for more ways I could get involved. I was connected to Blockchain because that was my first wallet, where I set my mining payouts to go.
A: Explain why you left dorm life temporarily to pursue a career with Blockchain full-time?
K: It was a hard decision, but I feel this is the right way to go. I had such a good time during the internship, that it was hard not to want to stay longer. Blockchain has an amazing atmosphere to be around, and some of the brightest people I’ve ever met. As opposed to school, every day I’m doing things that I am deeply interested in, and I’ve never learned so much in such a short amount of time. Also, going the opposite direction of crippling student loan debt is a nice plus.**A: How is it making your income in bitcoin? Are you able to use it on a daily basis?**
K: I try to use it everywhere and anywhere I can. It’s really funny, people thing that it must be more challenging to use bitcoin than cash, but when a merchant accepts bitcoin (especially online), it’s incredibly faster and easier to pay and move on with my life. I’m still working on getting my landlord to accept bitcoin. He’ll give in eventually.
**A: You’ve played a major role for Blockchain at recent hackathons; some have been bitcoin-centered and others not at all. Describe what your role was at these events. What was most challenging **about these experiences?
K: Any company can sponsor a hackathon, but what sets Blockchain apart is that we feel obligated to have boots on the ground. So I go to these hackathons and help the contestants with not only explaining Blockchain’s APIs, but helping them with their code, creating ideas on what to build, and helping them understand bitcoin itself.
A: Was there one particular hackathon that stood out from the others? Why is that?
K: I really thought the hackathon that we sponsored at Money2020 was great. The atmosphere was intense, and the people there were in it to win it. I was blown away by the software developed in just 24 hours. The contestants were awesome, and I enjoyed helping them from start to finish.
A: What do you think is needed to increase bitcoin’s presence at hackathons?
K: Having bitcoin veterans present from the major bitcoin companies plays a huge role in helping the aspiring developers understand bitcoin enough to code with it. For the most part, I think what’s needed is just time. Bitcoin is soaring in popularity right now, and the more attention it gets, the more developers will create applications that utilize it.
A: What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome so far and why was it so challenging?
K: I think the biggest challenge is me having to push my coding abilities to match some of my co-workers. I thought I was a smart kid, but Blockchain put a new perspective on things. The progress I’ve made is significant from when I first started, but there is still a long way to go. I love the challenge, and the expectation that I can always do better is what keeps me going.
A: I understand your culinary talents are limited to making mac and cheese and oatmeal. If you could instantly gain the skill to effortlessly make whatever dish you wanted to eat, what dish would it be?
K: Macaroni & cheese with oatmeal in it.
**A: Well, here’s to hoping you never cater any company dinners. I’ve got one more question for you!
** You’ve had the opportunity to travel as a result of your work with Blockchain. If Blockchain were to host a team retreat, would you prefer to go somewhere tropical, or take a tour through Europe?**
K: I’d say a tour through Europe. I love seeing incredible structures that have been made, meeting and hearing stories from all walks of life from around the world, and tasting all the food!
Find out what hackathon Kevin will be at next and whether he decides to cook something besides macaroni and cheese or oatmeal, by following him on Twitter!