What are some of the most exciting opportunities for front-end engineers that are unique in the blockchain sphere? I got this question from a front-end engineer earlier today, on a Monday night (7/27). Thought it was an important question to think about. So I thought, why not ask around and seek insights from the brilliant minds in my professional network?
Here’s a collection of responses I gathered on Twitter and Facebook. Note that these responses have been slightly edited for clarity and length.
In response, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin tweeted:
“Make a general-purpose UI generator for contracts. Something more usable than just a list of textboxes and buttons, one for each contract function. Allow customization but try to make it close to impossible to make a misleading UI.” […]
Vitalik went on and tweeted: “There are ways to improve on etherscan without opening the door to misleadingness. Particularly, extend the contract language to add annotations specifying which functions are important enough to be shown in the UI, default argument values, etc”
I’ve got another Canadian friend Mikerah, founder of HashCloak. She said “There’s a lot. Front-end engineers in this space are getting better because of improved UX. This stuff is still hard to use” She thought Binance is a good example of good UX for a centralized crypto service. Uniswap is a good example of good UX for a decentralized crypto service.
Bitmark CEO Sean Moss-Pultz said, “Wallets. You should check out what Christopher Allen is doing around fully noded.”
Yuren Ju, engineer at Decore’s Strike protocol, former AMIS Technologies engineer, thought there’s a lot of work to do in the space, in particular, building dev tools. For instance, there’s no jump to definition in VS Code Solidity plugin. Truffle/Buildler (https://www.trufflesuite.com/) this layer’s basic dev tools need improvements, etc. He also indicated that ethers.js is probably something worth checking out, especially for a front-end engineer just starting out in the blockchain space.
Yuren’s direct quotations in Mandarin:「覺得開發工具有很多值得改進的地方，從 VS Code Solidity plugin 連 jump to definition 都沒有、Truffle/Buidler 這層的基礎開發工具 (Truffle https://www.trufflesuite.com/、連結 Dapp 的 Web3/ethers 到真的接上 Web 的 Metamask 都有很多可以改…。」、「比如 Metamask 的 UX、Web3、deploy 工具… 有種需要開疆拓土的味道，什麼工具都不太好用。」、「這一路上用起來比較少抱怨的大概就是 ethers.js。」、「最需要的就是 breakpoint 這層的 debug 工具。」
A Taiwan-based Ethereum developer said:「有一堆雷需要踩，對前端來講建立新框架或新套件庫的成名機會很多。」Shih-Yuan Lee, a Debian developer:「往好的方面想就是到處都是洞，別人也不會太容易成功。」
Fred Lin, front-end engineer at Bitfinex, mentioned a few projects that were interesting to him such as Aragon and Zapper. Fred’s direct quotations in Mandarin:「如果要定義的話，就是做一般的產學合作，但拿區塊鏈當 buzzword 的圈。應該很多啊，Etherscan、Gasstation」Fred 說他有在看的 projects 有 Aragon、Zapper。「光鏈圈也分多種，ex: 遊戲，同個 uniswap contract 但不同的交易介面，分析追蹤工具等，看個人喜好。」