The Core of Ethereum - The Daily Gwei #261

Stewarding the protocol is a critical responsibility for core developers.

About ~3 weeks ago Trent Van Epps from the Ethereum Foundation announced that a ‘Core Dev Apprenticeship Program’ was being stood up. The goal of this program is to attract as many people as possible to get engaged with core Ethereum protocol work. Well, as you can see below, around 400 people applied for this program!

Tweet source:

For those unaware, the skills required to become a core developer for something like Ethereum are vast. It requires specialized knowledge of not only things like low-level programming, cryptography, mathematics and computer science but also the Ethereum protocol itself (how it all works under the hood). On top of this, core developers are responsible for developing and researching upgrades for the protocol (whether that be on eth1 or eth2) and making sure any changes made to it are secure and in-line with community consensus - this in of itself is a huge responsibility.

In saying that, I think it’s really awesome that 400 people have signed up for this program because that’s 400 people who believe that they have the necessary skills to become a core developer/researcher (or want to obtain those skills). As I mentioned above, this role is no walk in the park but it can be incredibly rewarding and really fun to work on the bleeding edge of this industry. Sure, you could go work on another smart contract protocol (or even try your luck in Bitcoin land) but I think it’s fair to say that no other chain is as exciting as Ethereum to work on - after all, it’s where all the action is!

Working on core protocol development effects the entire ecosystem building on top of Ethereum - from layer 2’s to DeFi to DAOs - because all changes made can be either good or bad for certain apps and use-cases. For example, there is a proposed change to kill the viability of “gas tokens” (essentially a futures position for gas on Ethereum) and this change would adversely effect those who were speculating on these tokens or using them as part of their transaction flow. Though on the other hand this change would be positive for the Ethereum network as a whole and work to reduce unnecessary bloating of the chain. Core developers have the responsibility to research, develop and consider the trade-offs of changes like these before they get included in the core protocol - not to mention that all of these changes need to get community consensus before they can be safely merged!

I’m excited to see the results of this apprenticeship program once it ends in mid-September. Even if we only get 5-10 new core developers/researchers out of this then that’d still be a huge win for the entire Ethereum ecosystem - I’m sure the existing core developers/researchers would welcome the help too! Anyway, I’ll leave you with this quote from Piper Merriam (a long-time Ethereum core developer):

“My work with Ethereum is the biggest ‘lever’ I have to move the world.”

Have a great day everyone,
Anthony Sassano

Join the Daily Gwei Ecosystem

All information presented above is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.