Hey everyone! I'm Aaron aka Jesta. I'm a developer, sysadmin, gamer, and lover of new technologies. Let me tell you how I ended up here!

in #introduceyourself4 years ago (edited)

My journey to discover steemit

A little over a week ago, while checking coin prices on coinmarketcap.com, I saw a new coin rising on the list called STEEM. My first stop was the website and I was immediately interested - a cryptocurrency based around content? Yes please. This was a coin that's right up my alley (you'll probably understand why later in this post). So I thought to myself "Hrm, an interesting new coin going? I wonder if I can mine it?". A few google searches later and I ended up here.

That's when I discovered steemit.com. I didn't have to deal with a crappy 2000 page forum thread or an empty phpbb installation, it was a modern discussion platform built right on the blockchain. Wow!

Down the rabbit hole

I'm pretty sure the day I joined was while @roelandp's steemstream was on the top of the homepage. It was awesome! A realtime visualization of the blockchain (which I've seen before), but this one was different. Posts, comments and upvotes were just flying by on my screen. It wasn't just financial information, it was information with personality, from real people.

Inquisitive on what was powering this, I decided to view source on the page. Websockets and javascript connecting to something called piston.rocks (shoutout to @xeroc for providing this). This was sort of a "I know kung-fu" moment for me. After another few hours of reading random posts on steemit by developers about APIs, libraries and projects they were working on, my mind really began racing.

Since that day I haven't haven't thought about much else. My brain has just been filled with the potential opportunities that a technology like this allows.

(... one week later a.k.a. today)

I managed to reschedule(neglect?) most of what I was scheduled to accomplish over the week. Since I started exploring steem I've started two new projects: steemstats and steempress. This post isn't about those projects though, you're free to read about them in their respective threads.

I've learned a whole lot about steem, it's politics, the players and the people within the community. It's exciting stuff, and I think this is a project I'd like to succeed. I'd like to help build and be a part of it.

I figured since it's been about a week now, it's about time to say "Hello!" to the community and introduce myself.

Hello citizens of steem!


(that's me, I call it "the napkin bandit". There may have been alcohol involved.)

I'm either Jesta or Aaron, depending on who you ask. I'm also quite the goofball. I'm a 34 year old developer and systems administrator based out of Southern California - originally from the Chicagoland area. I love great foods, enjoy playing video games into the wee hours and building things (computers, websites, tacos, virtual infrastructure, bird houses, whatever!).

I've been doing professional web development and systems admin work for over 10 years now, and as a hobby for about 20. Over that time I've built dozens (maybe hundreds?) of websites for clients, games I've enjoyed, and communities that I've been a part of. Some of the more interesting applications I've build include:

All of these projects were exploration in combining databases and content. Including reputation systems, badges/achievements, Q&A systems, a variety of voting algorithms, character/build simulators, some machine learning/text analysis, search engines, and my favorite concept: the item database. I could ramble on forever about the concept of an item database, but I'll save that for another time.

My personal website (which is never updated unfortunately) is greymass.com (proof). You can see a list of some of my recent projects there. I'm also on github as aaroncox (proof) if you'd like to browse the code of some of my previous projects.

If I had to pick one thing I'd say I specialize in, it's building software and information resources for online communities.

Work work (in an orc voice)

In 2013 I moved out here to California for a job in the video game industry, met some great people, and about a year ago left gaming to start my own company. Currently I am working with a small 3-man team on a yelp-like website for the vaping industry called JuiceDB.com (proof).

I started JuiceDB 3 years ago because the vaping industry is huge and confusing. There are over 25,000 different products on the market right now. How the hell are you supposed to know what's good and what you should try? JuiceDB helps by curating product information, provides reviews created by the community (with a reputation system), and tells you where you can buy things. Vaping helped me quit smoking 2 years ago and I wanted to help other smokers stop the nasty habit.

If you read into that a little bit, you should get why steem interests me.

Why I took the plunge

I've been out of crypto for a few months because life was busy with the new company. Previously I've built a few blockexplorer and bots for various coins (most of which are gone now), I've done the trading thing (which I suck at), and I've also mined probably 30 different coins for the fun of it (yes, I think figuring out how to setup miners is fun). I really enjoy the concept of open information, cryptography, blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Steem is the first coin to capture my absolute attention because it's more than just finances. It also lines up perfectly with the things that I work with. I build content and statistics based systems and databases, and steem is a blockchain that contains content and statistical information. It's finally a cryptocurrency where my experience comes in handy. It's a blockchain that contains a community as well as a currency! That's incredible!

My goal within this community is to really explore what kinds of things I can build around steem technology and possibly get involved in it's evolution. I've built two small projects already and I have a bunch of ideas for more. I'd love to try my hand at building a forum interface, CMS, a Q&A engine, or hell maybe even some sort of game. Steem seems like the logical choice for a platform to attempt all of this with.

But all of that may take some time. I plan on being around here for awhile, contributing as best as I can, but I do still need to work other things that pay the bills. But as much as I can I plan on trying to weave technology and platforms like steam into the products I build. I'm excited to learn more about sidechains and the other crazy things the dev team has in store.


A proper introduction, finally ;)

Three keywords pop up from your intro - exciting, absolute attention, community. Looks like you and Steemit are the perfect fit. No wonder that you've done so much excellent work in just a week. Congrats and respect!

They're all absolute truth! I'm not the best writer in the world, so I hope I captured even a fraction of the excitement I have for where everything's heading.

Thanks much!

It was a good intro, don't underestimate yourself as a writer...

Welcome aboard...

Great introduction! Looking forward to seeing your apps and games on this blockchain.

Support my pushup challenge https://steemit.com/introduceyourself/@cryptofunk/1-up-vote-1-push-up-d

By the way I found the number I was on about for steemstats.com thread "registered_accounts 34,620" another great number I would be interested in would be active users

Nice introduction dude! Welcome aboard @jesta — you are the official napkin bandit of Steemit! We look forward to your exploits! haha! :)

Now all they've gotta do is add "titles" for users on the site so I can claim it :)

Hey Jesta. Thanks for making steemstats.com, it is very handy. Cheers.

wow! nice to see you @jesta
were very few without presentation!

We have chatted before but I wanted to say welcome in your introduceyourself post. Thanks for the work you did on steemstats.com It makes a world of difference for me.

Great to hear from the man behind SteamStats! Loving the new version.

Look forward to seeing more awesome Steemit tools from you. :)

Glad you're finding it useful! I've really enjoyed working on it, and there's a lot more to do to make it even better.

I'm sure. I have been amazed at the development pace. Can't wait to see where you go next.

Welcome to steemit !!!

Sounds like you are a Blizzard fan...whoot! and welcome :D

I am indeed, I grew up playing the original Warcraft series and I played a lot of Diablo 1 through high school. After I got into web development, I became an even bigger fan after seeing how much they supported their fans/communities. They do a lot of things right and have good people there :)

Steem ahead!

It's great to have you here on steemit!

Steemstats is pretty cool.

I've played around with the steem code a bit but don't have anything to show yet. I look forward to see what else you do here!

Definitely share when you do come up with something! I love seeing what creative things people come up with :)

Welcome Aaron, we are in a very deep rabbit hole. I haven't slept much in 3 days :D

Thanks! We really are, I haven't been getting much either. Too many ideas floating around for awesome stuff to build!

Hello jesta! Thanks for your contributions to the community. They will not go unnoticed! Keep creating:)

Hi @jesta Very good way of introducing yourself but we already knew who you were LOL! Congratulations on your success!

In the middle of so much information out there, your tools work perfectly! Id love to pitch in and help you just let me know and we can chat.

Can't wait for your next releases!


wow! i also do web dev. congrats on steempress and steemstats, very useful!

Can someone please explain me why this post get more than 2000 bucks?

I think I can. This is a guy who built a really great tool for steemit and people want to know the person behind the app. I think he has brought at least that much value to steemit and problably is on his way to having a killer app. He has moved quickly to make a tool that leverages your productivity. I noticed early that we needed a dashboard that aggregated information better. I posted this https://steemit.com/steemit/@iamwne/steem-killer-app and he not only reponded to my post in a comment but then went and did it. That is why it is worth it.

thank you for the explanation, then he deserve it

Loving the steemstats :) Content, social media, blockchain, and cryptocurrency all meshed together. awesome So happy you are continuing to work on these projects making the community great and steem even more awesome.

I enjoyed reading this. Very impressive. Keep up the awesome work!

Another amazing steemian. Hi @jesta

I'm so glad you're here contributing such awesome stuff! Where about in Southern California are you? I grew up in Huntington Beach.

Welcome to Steemit!

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." -- Bernard M. Baruch