Devcon5 is upon us and coincides with Japan Blockchain Week — happening now! We’re sad not to be attending, but for those of you in Osaka for the annual Ethereum gathering, here is a curated list of events, talks and workshops that we would love to attend if we were there. There’s a great mix of programming for developers, researchers, infrastructure operators and more. As a UX Designer I was excited to see several product design and user experience-oriented talks.
Make sure to bookmark the Devcon5 Bible by the Devcon team, which includes tips on transit, registration, venues, basic Japanese etiquette and phrases, as well as details on the meet-and-greet with Kabo-chan, the real-life Shiba face of Doge. The awesome Etherscan team also curated a very comprehensive list of events in spreadsheet format with a map so you can plan your time.
🦄 Official Devcon event
🍭 OFFDevcon event
Tuesday, 8 October
🦄 Ethereum Roadmap 2020: EEA Meets with the Ethereum Community
A workshop that’s intended to provide all members of the Ethereum community a voice with the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.
🦄 WASM and Rust: Building Blocks for Blockchain
We’re fans of Rust! This workshop by Dawn Song and Nikhil Sharma of Oasis Labs will look at how a library layer can work towards code that runs on and off chain and delves into WebAssembly (WASM), a standard for web browsers developed by the W3C workgroup, as well as other work at the runtime interface layer for interacting with blockchains.
🦄 Functional Programming for Ethereum
🦄 How Two Microsoft Engineers Build Blockchain Apps on Ethereum Networks
This hour-long “demo heavy presentation” will reveal how Microsoft engineers architect solutions based on market segment (Enterprise / B2B vs. B2C) and use serverless computing to integrate systems on Ethereum. Topics listed include DevOps, unit testing and VS Code scaffolding.
🦄 Teatime with Doge (yes, that Doge)
Meet Kabo-chan, the original Shiba Inu that started all the memery. Much cuteness, must do.
The description for this “artful and interactive experience exploring the veiled concept with which we mythologize money” is tantalizingly vague, with little details other than how to get to the installation. Visit for free Tues Oct 8 - Thurs Oct 10. (Eventbrite link)
Wednesday, 9 October
🦄 Practical Design Patterns for dApp Developers
If you’re an experienced developer who is new to Ethereum, this talk is for you. Josh Fraser, Co-founder at Origin Protocol, a peer-to-peer marketplace on Ethereum, plans to give developers “practical frameworks for architecting decentralized applications that minimize gas costs, reduce the attack surface and simplify upgrades.” He plans to share templates and walk through Solidity design patterns for developers who want to make the jump to building decentralized applications and share lessons learned from building p2p marketplaces on Ethereum over the past two years.
🦄 From Kitties to Wizards: Building Open Ecosystems with the Community
Who better to learn about building ETH ecosystems than Dieter Shirley, the co-founder of CryptoKitties, the ERC-721 token standard and co-founder/CTO/Lead Architect of Dapper Labs? You know, Dapper Labs, who recently received an $11.2M investment led by Andreessen Horowitz with, Warner Music Group and other to create a public proof-of-stake blockchain called Flow to support decentralized product adoption at scale. This talk will discuss lessons learned in designing for open ecosystems and iterative improvement on smart contracts.
🦄 Opting Into the Surveillance State: The UX of Informed Consent
Product and UX designers interested in the ethics of design around data sharing and driving human behavior should attend this talk by uPort (a Consensys company) Product Designer Jonny Howle. Howle will also share examples and best practices for interacting with user data, gaining informed consent from users, how to design dApps that are GDPR compliant and more.
A casual meetup for those interested in decentralized finance with free drinks, buffet and networking with teams from bZx, 0x, AAVE, Band Protocol, Alice & Matic. Eventbrite link
Thursday, 10 October
🦄 Nuts and Bolts of Cross-Chain Communication
This 2 hour workshop will teach the differences between trusted/custodial and trustless/non-custodial approaches and the challenges of each. The workshop is broken into theory and practice via an interactive coding workshops where you’ll build your own Bitcoin chain relay. Theory will focus on cross-ledger exchanges (atomic swaps and cryptocurrency-backed assets), sharding, chain relays and data availability / fraud proofs.
🦄 Beyond CryptoKitties: Building Tradeable, Interoperable ERC721 Digital Assets
ERC-721 is the token standard for non-fungible tokens popularized by CryptoKitties. Non-fungible tokens are unique, as opposed to ERC-20, where the tokens are interchangeable. In additional to digital collectibles, other use cases include tokenizing event tickets and real estate. This workshop will walk participants through the process of creating an ERC-721 contract from start to finish. In addition to going beyond collection and trading functions, you’ll learn about tools for building useful ERC-721 assets including decentralized file storage systems like IPFS, Truffle and Infura.
🦄 Vulnerability Coordination and Incident Response in a Decentralized World
This talk explores how teams can coordinate vulnerabilities and respond to incidents in decentralized environments using on-chain governance. All companies should have incident response plans prepared in case of emergencies and outages. By Jessy Irwin, Head of Security at Tendermint.
🦄 Beyond Burners - How to Make Web3 Feel Like Web2
How is Impossible Burger an analogy to blockchain-enabled alternatives? In this 20-minute session, James Duncan, one of the builders of the Ethereum Foundation Grants Program, dives into “product development principles needed to make Web3 as usable as Web2”. Duncan will present challenges to crypto product development and what’s needed to overcome the obstacles.
🦄 A Journey to the Center of Eth: How OpenZeppelin Aims to improve UX and DX in Ethereum
If you’ve ever lamented the cluginess of expecting non blockchain or crypto-savvy end users to interact with Metamask when using a blockchain-based app or dApp, check out this talk where OpenZeppelin Software Engineer Juan Bautista Carpanelli discusses how the Gas Station Network aims to improve usability, onboarding, adoption and retention by eliminating transaction and gas costs from dapps.
Ethereum co-founder and Consensys founder Joe Lubin will discuss the state of development on the Ethereum blockchain and benchmarks for 2020. If it’s anything like the State of Ethereum blog posts the Consensys team publishes, 👍👍!
🦄 New Application Design Principles in Ethereum 2.0
Ethereum 2.0 is coming next year! How application design will and will not evolve in the context of DeFi, zero knowledge proofs and layer 2 solutions is the topic of this talk by Software Developer Yutaro Mori. Mori’s goal for this talk is to provide clarity on the mechanics of Ethereum 2.0 for application developers.
Friday, 11 October
🦄 User Research: How to Get Out of Our Bubbles by Talking to Users
Does user research intimidate you? Get past your fears and learn how to identify and find the right users for insights in designing blockchain products or services and what to ask them with Consensys User Researchers Georgia Rakusen and Sasha Tanase.
🍭 Wasm Chains (Near, Polkadot, Spacemesh)
A technical introduction to three blockchain platforms adopting WebAssembly -- under-the-hood technologies that enable the platforms, their virtual machine designs and what they think blockchain smart contract development will look like in the near future.
This OFFdevcon afterparty takes place at Taiko-En, a 100-year-old garden oasis in the middle of Osaka many travelers deem “not to be missed”. Networking, free drinks and conversations around user experience and scaling. Hosted by Torus Labs, Portis, Matic, Authereum, Offchain Labs and OpenZeppelin.