I've been reading quite a few witnesses respond to the following prompt by @rishi556. It's a bunch of really good questions that any serious witness should be able to answer so I thought that as part of this witness update, I'd answer them.
Rishi's post is here
Please note, this is not the view of the @curie witness, which I am the operator of. All of the views in this post are my own and in line with why I run my personal witness under my @markangeltrueman account.
1. Why did you decide to become a witness?
I guess the reasons are twofold.
Firstly, of course, there is the financial side of things. I have a lot of ideas and existing projects for various Steem communities that I would like to run or currently run. Of course, running these projects on servers costs money and I am trying to stick to a plan that witness earnings should pay for these projects and that other earnings from posts and my curie work will be powered up and invested in the platform.
Secondly, I believe that I make a great custodian of the Steem blockchain. Not only do I have 20 years experience in developing enterprise systems, I have spent the last 5 years running third line support for one of the largest online payments companies in the world. That involves being responsible for over 200 individual Linux machines running on virtualized environments along with all of the network, application and os support that comes with it. I am ITIL certified so know how to handle and manage incidents and change, something I do on a daily basis.
2. Have you made any contributions that have been accepted into the STEEM codebase? If so, what was it?
Not yet. However, there are only a handful of witnesses that have. It is something that needs to change however and I fully intend to brush up on my C++ skills and start making PRs for both blockchain code and possibly condenser (even though it appears that condenser isn't high on the priority list for Steemit Inc)
3. HF20 started out with a ton of bugs. What do you plan on doing in order to make sure that we don't suffer a repeat of that?
Learning about the codebase and being able to run nodes on the Testnet has come to the forefront of witness requirements post HF20. I have recently started to get a personal testing node built on my iMac (a post will be forthcoming on this) in order to facilitate my interest in pre-production testing.
Bugs are always going to slip through the net, that's just part of development (I'd be out of a job if they didn't), but ensuring a higher level of unit test code coverage (I'm not sure what level of unit testing/coverage Steem currently has), as well as possibly implementing some kind of Selenium-based front end testing seems like a good place to start. A lot of the issues would have been found by just having something automated that just clicks around on steemit.com for a while.
4. What have you done to promote the STEEM blockchain outside of the blockchain itself?
Other than continuing to tell my close friends how awesome it is and getting some of them on board, not a lot. I'm not a social person in that respect, so doing things like conferences and presentations is not my thing at all.
5. Communities have become a very big thing in the STEEM ecosystem recently. Have you done anything to promote communities and help them out?
Yes, this is where my passion lies. I voluntarily run the Curie witness and am an active member of that community. I am a co-founder of c-squared, one of the fastest growing curation communities on the blockchain. I have written numerous discord bots for both of these communities, as well as developing becquerel.io for curie which replaced Streemian as their post submission platform just under 6 months ago.
I am also in the process of starting my own photography tag, under the @photomag account for which I reward great photographers with a small curie "direct-follow vote". I've also started hanging out in Helpie a bit, but I have so much going on with the others to really make that stick at the moment.
6. Do you understand enough of the STEEM codebase and C++ to be able to tell what changes are being made when they are committed?
Not yet, but I am going on the learning experience as we speak. I used to code in C++, and the codebases that I'm used to are much larger and more complicated than Steem, so I should be on a good footing.
7. Have you developed anything for STEEM? It doesn't need to be software, a community that utilizes STEEM counts too.
Yeah, as above, I co-founded @c-squared, have written discord bots to aid that community in upvoting and commenting on posts directly from our discord server. I have created feeds of posts within discord and my bot posts the @c-cubed daily curation post. My biggest project is becquerel.io for curie which is used daily by all the curators and reviewers in curie.
8. Communication was a major problem for STEEMIT INC. Many people want the public to be able to read what's happening in the private witness channel that STEEMIT INC has created. What do you think about that?
To be perfectly honest, you aren't missing much :) When the shit hits the fan though (like it did at times during HF20) all you want are the witnesses who are responsible for producing 95% of the blocks to be working on getting things fixed without any interruption or outside influences. You put your trust in the top 20 by voting for them, so trust them to get the work done by communicating with each other in the "private witness channel". There is plenty of public witness information in steem.chat and in the witness updates.
9. STEEMIT INC has done a major part of the development for the STEEM blockchain. Who should be doing more of the development for the blockchain, them or the witnesses? Or is it a shared responsibility where the witnesses do one part and STEEMIT INC does the rest?
I think that top 20 witnesses who are being compensated and not putting all of their producer rewards back into the platform (ie, are taking some as a "paycheck") should be able to find the time to get more involved in this side of things. For me, as a witness at around position 100 and a full-time job that takes up 90 hours of my week at times, I just get involved as much as I can with not just the witnessing side of things, but the community and general Steem development.
10. Why do you deserve to become the top witness?
I don't think it's a case of deserving. You have to earn it. It's not currently my main goal to become a top 20 witness (not that I'd have a chance), just to be able to make my blocks count by providing a reliable node and use any SP that I receive in producer rewards to support my own personal infrastructure, other communities and my own development.
Hopefully, that gives you a bit of insight into what i've been spending my time doing. I'm not normally at the forefront when it comes to shouting about what im doing, but maybe I should change that.
Thanks for reading
Please vote for me as one of your witness choices if you appreciate what I do for the STEEM blockchain. We all have 30 votes to cast and this determines who has the responsibility to keep this blockchain going.
You can vote for me here
Or go to https://steemit.com/~witnesses
and enter my name and vote