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VMblog Expert Interview: Dirk Hohndel Explores an Open Source Ecosystem for Cardano and Community Efforts
interview cardano foundation hohndel

Recently, VMblog had the chance to sit down with Dirk Hohndel, the Chief Open Source Officer at Cardano Foundation, to find out why he joined and better understand what an open source ecosystem looks like at Cardano.

VMblog:  Why did you choose to join the Cardano Foundation?

Dirk Hohndel:  Throughout my career, I have consistently enjoyed challenges where I had an opportunity to transform the business of a key industry through open source. After my time at Intel and VMware, I started looking for another opportunity along those lines, and the idea of once again entering an entirely new field intrigued me. Blockchain is a fascinating space at the forefront of cryptography, security, and distributed systems.

The Cardano Foundation's mission of using blockchain to solve real-world problems and fundamentally improve the world is something that I could quickly identify with. And after meeting the amazing team, I knew this was the right next step for me.

VMblog:  What will be your focus in your first six months? What does an open source ecosystem for Cardano look like?

Hohndel:  Whenever you join a new company or take on a new role, you start by spending a lot of time listening and learning. Or, as I would describe it, drinking from a firehose. For the next few months, my focus will be to understand the existing ecosystem and the community and then develop an open source strategy. We are looking to expand the blockchain possibilities and build an open source third party contribution ecosystem around our core technologies.

I'm still unsure what open source for Cardano will look like exactly, but that uncertainty makes this a worthwhile and exciting endeavor for me.

VMblog:  How are open source software and/or methodologies catalysts for the Cardano community?

Hohndel:  That is a question that I really will need a few more weeks to fully understand. Perhaps even a few months. So right now my answer will be necessarily high-level. The Cardano protocol and software stack are based on peer reviewed research and careful, competent engineering. I believe that an open source community can be built around these components that will invite broader participation and that will help accelerate innovation and bring opportunities for many more interesting and transformative use cases. After all, distributed, open governance combined with great engineering has always been the hallmark of successful open source ecosystems.

VMblog:  Why should we be excited about a future built with Cardano?

Hohndel:  An immutable public ledger by itself already has a huge number of interesting use cases. Add to that the robustness of the protocol, the capabilities of the smart contract environment, the advantages of a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism - allowing, for example, significantly lower energy consumption -, and a solid roadmap to outstanding scalability and I think you'll have a combination of strengths very unique in this space.

VMblog:  How can people contribute to the Cardano community?

Hohndel:  There are already many ways to engage with the Cardano community. Tommy Kamerer and his community team do an excellent job engaging with people who are interested in Cardano with regular updates on the Cardano Developer Portal where developers can learn, share, and grow the Cardano ecosystem together. We will be adding to that a specific focus on an open source developer community. 


Published Friday, April 29, 2022 8:40 AM by David Marshall
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