Recently my team and I are running a wallet product, we often discuss a problem, how to expand non-national users, or how to expand more users, or how to expand a wider range of Web2 users, when you are running a Crypto product, you must be facing the same problem as me, in our partners, there are many projects that cooperate with the wallet are public chains, I have been doing public chain and permission chain startups for many years in the Crypto field, and I have very deep feelings about the problems faced by public chains. The following are the issues I often discuss with several public chain leaders, they are all responsible for the developer community in China, so our topic is how to expand the huge developer community in China.
Recently there is a project called $XEN, which is a Token type project that can be Minted for free, initially issued on ETH, later there are haircuts on BSC, interestingly , if you research the information behind these participants, you will find that the number one participant is American users, the number two is Chinese users, and among the top ten user groups are Japanese users, but no Korean users.
One of our conclusions was that if a project wanted to run the Korean market, its entry point and methodology must be different from the way it operates in China and the USA, so no matter what business you do, you must find an entry method that fits the local country, it is same for running a technical community.
At the recently concluded ETH Devcon in the Colombia, according to the official ETH community statistics at the end of the conference, there were about 6,000 developers from more than 100 countries participating in the conference, and according to the Chinese developers on site, there were nearly 200-300 Chinese developers attending the conference in Bogota during the whole conference .Because of the Covid-19 epidemic, the Chinese government was still implementing a strict containment strategy, and it was a hassle to travel from China to any country, especially in a Spanish-speaking South American country.
This leads to 3 questions, why is DevCon so attractive to Chinese developers? Where are those Chinese developers who belong to other public chain projects? How can we attract them to join?
I recently opened to a paragraph of YC founder Paul Graham about entrepreneurship:
economic situation has little impact on this matter of entrepreneurship, the success or failure of entrepreneurship depends on the quality of the founder, and there is no direct connection between technological progress and market bulls and bears.
From this DevCon of ETH in Bogota, this is the best time to expand the developer ecosystem, and when the market picks up, the products created by these developers will burst out in the bull market.
Let's go back to that earlier topic, how can public chain projects expand developer ecosystem in China? Before we answer this question, let's think about the following three questions.
Why is the ETH ecosystem so popular in China? What has it done right? What are the success stories?
Why are there so many Chinese development teams in the ecosystem projects on Polkdot? How did these developers cross the development threshold of Rust language and what did Polkdot team do right?
Why EOS project had the widest Chinese developer community in 18/19 years, now lose the trust of developers?
There is a story that may shed some light on the answer to the second question. I remember when Polkdot mainnet was not yet live before 2020, there were tons of articles and technical evangelists discussing Polkdot in Chinese technical plaform, and there was also a Subtrate developer bootcamp organized, and then many Rust developer courses, which is just a footnote of Polkdot's development in the technical community.
For the Algorand & StarkWare & AVAX & Arbitrum & OP & Other L2 Chain, How to introduce the developer ecosystem in China?
Note: Alogrand and StarkWare both have their own separate development languages due to the specificity of their projects. Currently AvAx supports EVM and can be developed with Solidity. In addition, Op and Arbitrum are both L2 projects on ETH, so all three can be developed directly with Solidity.
Since there are many commonalities in the technical community of public chains, you can first read the articles I wrote before to have discussions and answers to these common questions.
In the following sections, i will explore in detail the entry point using Algorand as an example, trying to give the questions that need to be answered and the specific operational tools in the current state.
Algorand Technical Ecosystem's Growth Flywheel - “ Building X ”
One of the most important aspects of a successful Crypto technology ecosystem is developer creativity, which I call “Building X”. In the early stages of a Crypto community's growth, the Algorand Foundation and Core Team act as a coordinator and a glue that allows 3rd Partners, Crypto Users and Members, and the Tech Community to form an organic ecosystem.
Building-X: The embodiment of the organizational power of the above four roles is "Building-X", Building-X refers to the ecological parties through a number of combinations and cooperation, training a number of creative Builder, Building-X means that the participants in the ecosystem, through a number of combinations and collaborations, cultivate a group of creative Builders, and then these excellent Builders create excellent Products, and then these X-Products/Services serve the Users in the ecosystem, and the continuously expanding Users provide nutrients for the development of the Algorand ecosystem. The rich Algorand ecosystem attract talented third-party partners who will work with the Algorand foundation to foster a creative Tech community and engineers, which will form a growth flywheel.
Regardless of the community, everything is about people, support and collaboration, problem solving and creativity, the vision of the community and life values.
Technical communities are composed of specific people, engineers have their own culture, their own communication language and values, and unique ways of collaboration, all specific to different cultures, different countries, different development languages, and different ways of collaboration will form a special local cummunity, and all DevRel team has to do is to attract them, support them, and serve them.
Let me start with the Tech community in the picture above. Where should Algorand start if it wants to create its own unique Local tech community? I've created a simple brain map to outline how the project can expand the Chinese developer community.
Before implementing Building X, there are three tasks to be done.
First is the basic work: including the translation of technical documentation, the design and operation of local developer courses, and the establishment of local developer communities and communication channels, basic translation and technical content design Grant, and of course the very important EVM SDK support, which can be done by the Core team, and the technical community selects a part of the task to complete with.
Next is Tech Activity: In the current state, it is a pragmatic strategy to find a suitable unified spectrum of partners to co-organize activities. Whether it is Solana or PolkDot, or even Chainlink, they all choose this approach to organize technical activities with their chain ecological partners or other third-party partners. Such technical activities can be long-term, such as the promotion of Pyteal and reach development languages, or short-term technical cooperation, or joint hackathon and incubation bootcamp. For long-term developer evangelism, it takes a lot of effort and time, but there is really no shortcut in this field. However, in terms of specific operations, I suggest a gamification strategy that puts a sense of challenge and accomplishment in developer education is necessary. There have been a number of success stories in the Web2 education space, from Jonathan Lai - The general partner at A6Z , who has written a great article on the mechanics of this, see [The Best App Today Are Game in Disguise] He uses the popular language learning software Duolingo as an example to explain the benefits of doing so, and many free developer education platforms are also using this approach, including what we call Building X is also this logic, the best proof of developer learning is to use the knowledge learned to create new products, which is also the framework I designed in 100 developing task This is also the original intention of the framework I designed 100 developing task champion.
Technology brand: the brand is strongly related to the user's mind, when the user hears ETH what he will think of, when the developer wants to develop smart contracts, he will use which language, what is Algorand's technology stack to convey to the developer? When I first came across AVM, my first reaction was how do I develop a contract, Pyteal, and what is the difference between it and Solidity? What are its advantages? Why should I use this new language? Is my original experience reusable? These questions are all relevant to the technology brand. Differentiation and uniqueness are questions that a brand needs to answer and highlight when promoting Algorand's technology stack to the technical community. If we want developers to know more about Algorand, we need to make our voices heard. The best way to do this is to lay out a lot of technical articles in the corresponding channels, so that when a developer searches for how to write a Dapp in Python, the keywords that catch his eye should be Pyteal and Algorand. This is also a very good way to optimize the technical brand SEO, more discussion about the technical brand we will not start here.
Engineer building is all technical community must go through the process, but also a measure of the community ecological prosperity of the standard, as for X is what? In different stages of the ecology can own different definitions, such as the number of Dapp on the chain? The number of services on the chain? How many users are served by the products created by the developers?
It takes a long time from beginner to mature, which requires the necessary support and incubation services and course, there are some excellent developers who can do this independently. But most of the time, developers need certain support when building a product, such as technical support, marketing support, user needs research support, financial support, etc.
I have prepared an article in this area, which the DevRel team spent effort to study, How To Serve Web2 Developers To Join Public Chains.
When we look back at the successful technical communities, they always start to sow the seeds when the market is cold.They find the right way to operate the technical community for their developers, and take a supportive role to nurture developers, serve developers, motivate developers, encourage developers.