2 months ago I started to dive deeper into Ark. I wanted to get more involved in the crypto world by contributing to a great project.

Now is a great time for me to sit back and review this first experience. So how did it go ?

Discovering the Ark project

The first step for me was to discover Ark and understand what it was all about.

The ark.io website is pretty clear and you get the “Point. Click. Blockchain.” idea quickly. So it’s intended to help you create your own blockchain in seconds and connect it to the Ark or potentially any other blockchain (using the SmartBridge technology).

It uses Delegated Proof of Stake (with 51 delegates) which makes it fast (8 seconds block time). It’s an interesting consensus algorithm because it generates a healthy competition between aspiring and existing delegates, who encourage (mainly by sharing forging rewards) every Ark holder to participate to the system by voting.

Besides the tech, I love the project opensource mindset : of course everything is on GitHub, but they also encourage a lot people to contribute to the project. Whether you’re a developer, polyglot, writer, you are more than welcome to contribute through bounty programs. And if you have an idea for Ark, you can describe it to the team so that they can allocate funds allowing you to build it. Pretty cool right ?

Contributing to the mobile app

So I decided to go and start contributing. The mobile app looked good for me (it is based on Ionic, you can code it just like an Angular app which I’m familiar with).

I will not go through the technical details here, but setting up the development environment was easy : I was able quickly to build, run, and debug the mobile app in the browser.

But I needed something to work on 😀 So I checked on GitHub and asked on the Gitter channel what was the best way to start.

Now here is what I would recommend to a “newcomer” :

  • Check the open issues on GitHub. If you feel comfortable working on one, go for it. If you don’t or if there isn’t an issue to work on :
  • Use the app (from your dev environment), understand how it works, try to go through all the use cases. You may find a bug or something that you could improve.
  • Also, you can check the closed issues to see what’s been done, it can give you some ideas about what feature you could implement next.

I, for example, started from an open issue, then working on it I found another thing I could improve, then I found another and another thing… And that’s it ! There is always something you can do.

Finally I got rewarded twice for my GitHub contributions (March and April development bounty) which is cool 😀 It motivates me to do more.

Final words

I’m really happy with this first experience in the Ark world. I felt I was very welcome to contribute, I got help and answers on GitHub, Gitter, Slack.

I’d like to emphasize on the community. Developers, delegates, project holders, businesses, enthusiasts are all pushing Ark forward with their own skills and ideas. It’s a nice, inspiring environment, and I’m glad to be part of it.

Now I will keep going on with the mobile app, and try to diversify a bit : explore other repositories, dive into the delegate and voting system, and write articles here about my journey with Ark and crypto.

Thanks for reading ! I’d love to hear your opinion, what’s your story with Ark ? Leave a comment !