Tech Evangelist Rachel Black Joins Lightcurve
Much has changed at Lisk over the last year. What began as a small project with only a handful of developers and visionaries has grown into a movement — a team of over 50 people and a huge, dedicated community. In this spirit, we’d like to welcome Tech Evangelist Rachel Black to the Lightcurve team. With her great expertise in both development and community-building, she will work closely with our technology, developers, and the community to educate and inform individuals around the world about Lisk. You’ll be seeing and hearing a lot from her in the future. To better acquaint you with Rachel, we took the opportunity to sit down and chat with her about her previous experiences, how she feels about blockchain and much more.
Jennifer: Tell me a bit about yourself.
Rachel: I’ve just moved over to Berlin from London, where I grew up. I’ve moved around a fair bit, having lived in a number of places in the UK. I also spent a year in South Korea! I’m really excited to be here in Berlin, especially given its growing reputation as a blockchain hub.
J: When did you begin your journey that led you to tech evangelism?
R: I have a background in web development, having worked with React and Node. On the technical side, I really like finding out how things work and learning about new technologies. I’ve been following blockchain for a while, but after partaking in a hackathon last year with people who were working in blockchain, my interest escalated. Since then, I have been really fascinated with the technology and have certainly bored all my friends back home talking about it nonstop! I also began getting more involved with helping organize, and later speaking at events in London. Stepping into the role of Tech Evangelist feels like a natural progression, one that will combine my interest in technology with my involvement with events and communication. Also, as I already mentioned, I really like talking about blockchain, so it is amazing to find a role where it is actually a part of my job!
J: Why should people care about decentralization and blockchain?
R: For so many reasons! With the rise of ICOs (initial coin offerings), we have already seen the potential power of blockchain to disrupt traditional funding methods. I think that as the technology becomes more established and widely-adopted, we will continue to see this disruption across many different sectors. Decentralization is important, but I also like the term “internet of value” as one of the key differences between the internet as we know it and what blockchain offers is the ability to transmit things of value through the network itself. This really changes the nature of how we interact with the internet, and paves the way for innovation. Currently, we are at the beginning of this journey, so it’s difficult to predict exactly what form this innovation will take, but it will certainly be game-changing.
J: How would you describe Lisk?
R: Lisk is a third generation blockchain, whose goal is to build technologies that are accessible for both developers (to build on) and users. For blockchain technologies to have a real impact, we need an ecosystem that can support quality DAPPs (decentralized apps). Lisk is third generation as it builds on the decentralization of Bitcoin (first generation) and Ethereum’s programmability (second generation). Lisk’s area of innovation is building a blockchain which utilizes sidechains to tackle the problem of scalability.
J: What makes Lisk different from other blockchain projects?
J: Tell me about a day in the life of a Tech Evangelist.
R: I’m new to this role, having transitioned from web development. Currently, I am learning as much as I can about the Lisk products, especially Core. This means a lot of reading Github, attending development meetings and getting familiar with running a node. All of this knowledge is then used to help inform the community via blog posts, events and communication on our social media channels with the Lisk developer community. My role is to bridge the understanding across tech and marketing.
J: What are you currently working on?
R: I’m learning as much as I can about the Lisk blockchain. With the upcoming Lisk Core 1.0.0 release, there is certainly lots going on! I’m also in the process of preparing for some events, blog and vlog posts.
J: What skills and technologies are you the most interested in learning or improving upon?
R: I really want to learn as much as I can about Lisk’s blockchain, from learning the more technical side (how to run a node, its API, the consensus mechanism) to the role crypto economics play in the ecosystem. I am also really keen to be part of the Lisk community, particularly by attending and speaking at events — it’s great to meet people in person! Overall, I feel really excited to be part of the Lisk journey!
J: What industry sites and blogs do you read regularly?
R: For blockchain news, CoinDesk is good. I am also subscribed to the Token Economy, and pretty much all of my Twitter is awash with blockchain content. To keep up with things from a more development-focused perspective, I also look at Hackernews and Hackernoon (in addition to Twitter as well).
J: What do you like to do in your free time?
R: Outside of tech, I really enjoy traveling and visiting new places. I’m also into fitness, in particular yoga and spinning. But I also enjoy my fair amount of nightlife and eating out, to counterbalance that!
J: What is your favorite book and why?
R: My favorite book is The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Oru Brafman, which is a really insightful read on the power of decentralized organizations (interestingly published in 2006, so pre-Bitcoin). Definitely worth a read for anyone who is interested in the space. I’m also getting my teeth into some books on the history of Berlin!