Devcon V Recap

October 27, 2019 · Jeff Wentworth

We're still catching our breath a couple of weeks after the Ethereum Devcon conference in Osaka. It was a big event for Curvegrid: the whole team was there as we launched the next version of MultiBaas, three of us gave talks, and we met more people and attended more talks and events (including our own cycling tour of Osaka) than should be possible in four days.

Ethereum Devcon is the annual global Ethereum developers conference. Devcon V was held October 8th through 11th in Osaka at ATC Hall. Approximately 4000 blockchain developers attended from all over the world. 2019 marks the 6th Devcon since Devcon 0 in November 2014. Prior Devcons have been held in Berlin, London, Shanghai, Mexico and Prague.

The constraints of time and space have kept us from attending previous Devcons, but as a Tokyo-based company, Osaka is right in our backyard and we couldn't not attend!

Every conference should open with taiko drumming

One of the great things for our team about a technical blockchain conference is that everyone attending already knows the basics of blockchain and believes in the value of decentralization. We might not know the details of each other's specific area of work, but we're starting from common ground. This allowed for some wonderful conversations and a fast pace of learning! We took a lot of notes and bookmarked a lot of projects for later follow-up.

The afternoon before the main conference, we hosted a bicycle tour of Osaka. It was a great way to catch up with some old friends and get to know some new ones as we bicycles around Osaka Castle, Shinsekai food district, and Kuromon Ichiba market. Our knowledgeable tour guides regaled us with stories about Osaka's past, present and future. We gathered at the open air Café Absinthe for refreshments and lively conversation after our ride.

Cycling tour of Osaka

The first day, our Lead Software Engineer Ann Kilzer presented a 90 minute workshop on Creative Constraints for DApp Development. She took the packed room through a tour of DApps, with a focus on games, and how the features of the Ethereum blockchain and the Solidity smart contract programming language can be used in novel ways to shape inventive DApp experiences. Participants broke off into groups and played a collaborative card game that involved brainstorming DApp ideas. The workshop finished with a code-along tutorial to build a stamp rally game from web front-end to smart contract back-end.

Workshop by Ann Kilzer: Creative Constraints for DApp Development

The next day, Curvegrid full stack engineer Daenam Kim took to the lightning talk stage to present about our work on a web3 mock for automating UI tests of DApps with TestCafé. It's basically a programmable wallet that can be used to emulate the behaviour in web3 browser or browser plugin such as MetaMask or Mist. This allows DApp developers to automatically test DApp UI behaviour across browsers, in an interactive or headless mode. TestCafe supports integration with CI/CD platforms, taking screenshots or even whole movies of tests, and much more. We're planning to open source this in the coming months to help DApp developers build more robust web UIs and iterate on their code faster.

Lightning talk by Daenam Kim: Web3 Mock for Automated UI Testing of DApps

The Devcon organizers opened up a few speaking slots at the outdoor amphitheatre for anyone to soapbox for 20 minutes about a topic of interest to them. I threw my hat in the ring and spoke about blockchain, cryptoassets and Japan in the context of the past, the present, and future.

Stump Speech by Jeff Wentworth: Blockchain, Cryptoassets and Japan

We were also thrilled to showcase our partnership with OmiseGO and support for OmiseGO Plasma alongside Ethereum in MultiBaas from day one. OmiseGO graciously hosted us at their booth for an afternoon, and it was a great opportunity to speak with a number of Devcon attendees and demonstrate how MultiBaas can be used to build on Ethereum and OmiseGO Plasma faster and easier than with traditional tools.

Devcon V was a great milestone for Curvegrid, and we're looking forward to Devcon VI in 2020, wherever it may be!

Team Curvegrid at Devcon V in Osaka