It gives me great pleasure to interview our next Decred developer. VictorGuedes is an active member of Decred, both as a developer and community participant. After several conversations, it’s clear his enthusiasm and willingness to help grow the project comes from a genuine understanding of Decred’s capabilities. So, let’s find out a little more, to start, the community can go to the following links to engage and find out more about Victor’s work.
- GitHub: @victorgcramos (https://github.com/victorgcramos)
- Twitter: @_victorguedes.
Phoenix – Can you tell us a little about your background? For instance, How you became a developer; Your coding languages and how you got involved in Decred.
Victor – Sure! My journey as a software developer began when I was 12 and my dad taught me how computers "think". It changed my thinking, and I started to analyze everything "algorithmically". Since then, I got into "hacking" some computer games, configuring private servers for the online games I played (Ragnarok Online was my best trait 😅).
I started a Computing Engineering degree in mid-2013, and got my first job as a developer in 2017, where I worked for a startup in my town. There I met two friends responsible for showing me the crypto space: Victor (vctt94) and Thiago (thi4go). Keep them in mind.
My first contact with JS on a work environment was on this job, and this is my best skill. I also know how to code in other languages (Go, Java, Python, C/C++…), but if I had to choose one to define my dev profile, it would be JS.
Back in 2017, vctt94 showed me a crypto project called Decred (😁), and its fundamentals. It absolutely blew my mind, nothing else to say. He joined the project first, followed by thi4go, who inspired me to also become a contributor. In 2018, I opened my first pull request on politeiagui repo, and jan 2019 I became a contractor. Since then, I have been actively contributing to Decred, mostly on the Politeia project, but with contributions to other repos as well.
Now, I am working with tiagoalvesdulce on Politeia GUI, backed by Politeia 2022 Q1 proposal.
Phoenix – This is a real eye-opener for me, and I think it’s important for others to hear the steps that have been taken from the first pull request to becoming a paid contractor. As a secondary note, I’m also interested in the direction Politeia has taken over the last few years, and l’m watching this progress very closely.
As a bit of a follow-up question, what development environment would you recommend for people starting out in Decred? And are there any activities someone new to Decred can do to get familiar with the project?
Victor – Oh, that's a good question! I'd recommend PoliteiaGUI, PI-UI and Decrediton. There are some good first issues on their GitHub repo to help newcomers to start actively contributing.
In addition to the good first issue approach, I'd recommend newcomers to read the docs (docs.decred.org) and devdocs (devdocs.decred.org) to get more familiar with some technical terms/jargons the community use.
Phoenix – What interests you about Decred, and how do you feel it differs from other projects in this space?
Victor – When I first heard about Decred, what blew my mind was the hybrid Proof of Work + Proof of Stake consensus.
After reading a bit more I found out that Decred has an exceptional governance system (all related to its hybrid consensus model), and it is the only project truly self-sustainable, autonomous and decentralized, that I've ever heard of. Very different from other ICOs and Web3 VC-oriented projects. It's built by the community, for the community.
Since I started contributing to the project, I had great support from the dev team, and their high quality impressed me. Devs are OG, true Jedis. Furthermore, very supportive and nice people!
My crypto podium currently is: Decred, Bitcoin and Monero, in that order. I'll explain why:
Bitcoin is almost a synonym for "cryptocurrency". It was my entry point to the crypto space, and the first project that I took some extensive time to study. Monero has a good privacy system, which is something bitcoin lacks.
But for me, they both lack the element of "skin in the game". Coin holders have no consensus power on the network, and this is a bad aspect because, objectively speaking, holders are the ones that handle the risks. PoW + PoS consensus fixes this.
Phoenix – Even now, I don’t think the majority understand how important it is to have a say over how your money or investment evolves. Most accept, if a project stops working as expected, they can move on and this is their only opt-out method. Largely, I think this is a hangover from the legacy system where the general user has no say. This has become a social norm and an embodiment of money that I believe Decred has changed for the better.
What are you currently working on for Decred, and how is it progressing?
Victor – I am currently working for Politeia, which currently supports both Decred Proposals System (Pi) and Contractor Management System (CMS). We are on the second stage of development, where we are actually migrating the project plugin-composable architecture, for both Frontend and Backend, where new apps can be created with an addition of a plugin + some additional server configs.
We should be able to create new applications on Decred that rely on transparent and auditable data, where all records have their respective proof of existence, as well as a transparent log of data changes.
Phoenix – How does your work help grow the Decred project? e.g. specific use cases; fixing issues, if you could describe this that would also be great or improving workflows.
Victor – Our current “community” environment is our Matrix server. Most discussions, ideas, thoughts, issues, concerns happen there. Politeia is designed to be the community environment, that will replace Matrix (and other 3rd party services) in some cases. We already have the CMS to handle contractors invoices and proposal payouts, as well as adding/revoking Contractor Clearances (DCC), which in 2019 replaced the primitive e-mail invoice model. We have the known Proposals System, to discuss how the treasury funds will be used…
We are excited to make more “migrations” like that. For example, we have plans to create a discussion platform inspired by reddit, where stakeholders can share their ideas and discuss without spamming on a chat, or needing to open a proposal.
Luke once shared a shower thought that we could make an interface to manage Decred sub-DAOs using the CMS + Multi Sig Wallet combo, where DAO members could use a Pi instance to handle their “sub-governance”. Nothing official yet, just a shower thought, but that would be possible too.
Phoenix – That’s remarkable! I like the idea of being able to replace existing systems with Decred’s own architecture, it demonstrates the depth and flexibility of the project. It also shows that Decred is building its own web stack that will increase the project’s resilience going forward.
What would you like to see Decred work on next, and how might you be able to help with this?
Victor – Well, the development roadmap is actually good for me. We keep delivering like we always do. However, I’d like to see a better branding project, focused on people who don’t even know what Decred is. That’s a mix of Marketing + Design + Communication, but I’d like to see more “user-friendly” instructions and content creation.
I want to see new blood, new ideas, new thoughts, hence more investors and people interested in Decred’s fundamentals!
As a Frontend Developer, I am responsible for providing a good UX on our products, which should improve that entry gate.
Phoenix – I feel the same, consistent communication channels, good user interface design and experience are essential for adoption. Decred generally has very user-friendly products when we consider most of the products are first of kind initiatives, Politeia being a great example of this.
Finally, is there anything else you would like to add that could give the community a better understanding of your work or your ethos.
Victor – Nice! In nov-2021, I took control of Decred Brazil social media accounts, and tried, with other 3 guys (eric_vieira, jpsantanna and edsondecre), to give it a rebirth by opening a proposal. Unfortunately, it got rejected, but this was a good experience. I think Brazil is a great and unexplored crypto space, with many good devs that helped the project’s growth.
Even though the proposal was rejected, the community is still thriving and continues its work. It would be great to hear from people interested in helping to grow the Decred Brazil community, and don’t forget to follow us! https://twitter.com/Decred_BR
Phoenix – It was a great shame to me that the Decred Brazil proposal didn’t pass, this time round, but I think this had more to do with the past ownership than the current. I, for one, would like to see you guys grow the associated channels, especially the Decred Brazil YouTube channel. And hopefully sometime in the future, once re-established as a viable product, we will see a new proposal launched.
Thank you so much for giving up your time to complete this interview. It’s been great finding out more about you, and I’m sure the community has gains some interesting insights into the work you do for Decred and your aims for the project going forward.