Without the People of Utopian, Utopian.io is little more than an ideal and vision. It is the community of contributors, moderators and community managers that make Utopian what it is.
In this weekly series we’ll introduce you to some of these amazing people and this week we begin with one of our most active community managers: @jestemkioskiem
I'm not really much more special than any of you - a young student with a passion for coding. Plenty of our users are far greater open source contributors, others are better developers, you get my point. We at Utopian are just a part of the bigger picture you're in as well. The only difference between us is that we sacrificed everything to be here, and I encourage you all to do the same with your lives. Take risks, do what you love, never stop at good enough. That's how you find places you truly belong to.
How long have you been involved in Open Source projects? Do you own / manage one or more of your own? And where does Utopian.io fit in?
Hmm... Truth be told - I didn't do much in the Open Source space before Utopian. I loved the movement, I used it for learning code, but I hardly ever contributed. I wish I could, but I was not even barely good enough! When Utopian came around and I could suddenly do what I love and help support myself at the same time, my development skills got better and better every day. I would absolutely not be even a junior developer today if not for Utopian.
I do have plenty of projects of my own that you can find on github.com/jestemkioskiem, sadly all of them have been abandoned now due to time constraints, although some are working products even if the code is a little messy (a lot of people message me about SockoBot still). I'm hoping I can go back to my Steem Assistant interface soon, but only time will tell!
What does your professional skill-set offer the Open Source community and what type of contributions do you usually submit?
Back when I was a moderator, I used to contribute a lot. Mostly to my own projects, but I always made sure they were useful to the community of Steemians. As of now, I only ever contribute if I'm already doing something I or my friends need. That's how my latest posts to Utopian, the Alexa JSON generator and EOS tutorial came to be. I already have my next project in mind though, and while it didn't even cross my mind to bring it to Utopian until now, I think you guys will love it!
Which programming languages / platforms do you feel most at home with?
If you ever read the Discord's general chat when I discuss code, you'll know I'm all for Python. I've tried almost every modern language by now, but no other grinds my gears like my good old snake friend. That being said, a lot of people don't know I really enjoy C# too. I learned it as a kid developing simple games and it stuck with me ever since. I love Unity, I'm just not all that about Game Development right now.
How did you discover Utopian? What made you want to take part?
I think I'm in the minority when I say I remember exactly how I discovered Utopian. I came to steem back in late 2016, thanks to @dailydogger (who I can't thank enough). At the time the community was still growing and I was really not all that into blogging - I'm still not! The opportunity to do stuff like we do here was not there, and that made me burn out quickly and leave. I came back in mid 2017 to post my thoughts to #polish, but I was still looking for opportunities.
One day, I saw @steeminator3000, an old friend of mine, post a translation to a project via Utopian. The moment I saw it, I knew this was awesome. My comment is there, you can read it, something along the lines of "Woah, that's awesome, never knew you did this!". I researched Utopian and decided to tag along for the ride. I was always proud of my English skills and I could never utilize them before then, so this was an opportunity to help, earn & feel good about myself!
What made you decide to take on additional roles in the organization itself?
Back when I was still all about translations, I used to see contributions with bad grammar or made with little to no effort to cash in in my language. I've asked around, but there seemed to be no polish moderators at the time. It felt unfair, not to me who put in actual effort, but to the project owners who would later use this and be laughed at. That's why I asked @ruah to join his team, and I couldn't be happier about the fact that I did. I saved dozens of projects from terrible translations and loved every second of it.
How do you see the future of Utopian? What would you want it to be, and where would you like to see yourself in it?
I think Utopian is far too revolutionary, the idea is way too good and the team working here is too passionate for the system to fail. I see Utopian as a future viable alternative for freelancers and a fantastic place for people that are just entry level in their field. This place is great for learning and improving yourself - it's truly an Utopia for young, passionate people.
As per project owners, I can't imagine projects not joining us once we make our systems fool proof and advertise to larger groups of people. It's like hiring a freelancer, but for free (or not if you wish to provide a bounty), and it's all open source. Right now I'm pushing for an option to set beneficiaries to make 100% of your post rewards go to charity. I think this is a very important step for people that want to come to us from Github and continue to do the same, for free, just with their passion.
I would love to see myself in the picture. Internal decision making and researching interesting system implementations (like I did with the Questionnaire) is really my thing! I might get burned out in the PR field, but even then I'll find a place for myself here. I'm not leaving until you guys make me!
What other steem communities / initiatives are you part of?
Lately, not many. I still call myself a "Polish Community Activist" in my profile, which hopefully leads you to believe I browse and curate #polish. Other than that, I unfortunately rarely have time to engage in the other ones.
I know this is going to sound very narcissistic of me, but I think #polish is one of the best communities on the website. These guys chat on daily basis, have their own rules, even started their own SteemCleaners for just our tag. It's structured, shitposts don't make it far, there's a wide range of quality content there. It really melts my heart to look how far we've come since I came back there last year, when only 1 person (huge shoutout to @noisy!) was curating the content.
If I see an opportunity to join a similar community, you'll find me there. Also, expect me on DTube sometimes this summer!
What is the most interesting / weird / inspiring thing to personally happen to you on the Steem blockchain?
The weirdest thing ever was becoming a Supervisor here. I don't think I've ever told this story, so get ready for some exclusive content.
On one of our Bi Weekly meetings, @elear openly admitted that new Supervisors were needed and that the team will need to expand. He said he's taking in the candidates. I was still new on Utopian, maybe 3 or 4 weeks by then, but I messaged him to ask - "How would I go about becoming a Supervisor in the future? I'm still new, but I love it here, I'd love to have more impact.". Innocent question about how the team structure works here and what qualities I should aim for to hopefully get an opportunity later down the line. This lead him to ask on voice if anyone had anything against me becoming a Supervisor. No one spoke up. I changed my life by accident. I've learned to always take the shot. You miss all of the ones you don't take.