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Building With The Builders: Smokey and Krypt Interview

Published on 
July 16, 2023
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Table of Contents

Solana has consistently raised the standards in the crypto community, especially when it comes to building apps and tools that enhance customer experience.

In this post, we’ll take you through what Smokey, a project manager at Solana, and Krypt, an app developer are currently working on, what it takes to work together in the building space, and their future plans for Solana. 

But first, let’s look at some of the reasons why developers choose to build on Solana.

  • Good platform speed
  • Allows for cost-effective app management
  • Favorable NFT user experience
  • Overall good customer experience 
  • High-level community engagement

The community here allows for idea exchange and instant feedback, which helps a creator to provide tools that provide an optimal user experience on Solana.

Important Elements That Solidify Developer Collaboration in the Crypto Space

Have a Clear Vision

Understand what your vision is and work towards achieving the best outcome. For this duo, their biggest motivation was the rampant poor project management in the NFT space. To serve this niche, they came up with two solutions. 

First, they committed to developing unique tools that solve diverse community’s challenges. The second one was to provide robust community engagement platforms that would promote learning and feedback sharing. 

Learn your part in the project, whether you’re a developer or a founder, and provide tangible results that will lead to a working product.

Engaging the Community

Part of making a successful product launch is to build hype around the community. Giving product updates and launch deadlines helps to get everyone excited and to build anticipation. The best way they do this, according to Smokey, is to show up in diverse spaces and be ready to answer specific questions on the product and its user experience on Solana. 

Many developers are not willing to engage in face-to-face conversations or any marketing or branding activities. They tend to focus more on their technical skills and collaborate with other people to undertake these activities. 

Are there benefits that developers can get if they put themselves out there? According to Krypt, developers can only find valuable feedback if they learn to engage with the users in different conversational spaces.

Learning to Work Together

In the case of a developer and a co-founder, both of them need to appreciate the different capabilities they bring to the project and allow themselves to learn new things from each other. 

In this case, despite Smokey working mostly in communication, he has also learned code and gained a deeper understanding of how candy machines and transactions work and their benefits to Solana.

Making Time

Developers and founders need to avail time for each other by keeping strict and workable schedules, attending meetings, and maintaining good communication. A good organization allows them to tend to people from different time zones across the globe. 

Qualities Developers Look for in Interns in the Crypto Building Community

Entrepreneurial Spirit

According to Smokey, an intern should possess the entrepreneurial spirit to develop tools that bring value to the community. You’ll want to make people’s lives better by developing products that solve problems and are economically sound.

Passion for the Crypto Space

Being a self-starter with a passion for what you do in this space. A self-starter, as Smokey elaborates, is a person who has taken time to learn what they can on their own and can engage other successful developers to learn more. Creativity and passion motivate a developer to look for better channels to create value.

 If you’re willing to learn how to be successful in this space or to try out new processes, then you turn every setback into an opportunity. Passionate developer requires minimal supervision because they are focused on the set goal, which is a valuable trait in this space.

A True Hobbyist 

A hobbyist deliberately puts in the time to learn systems and does not give up when they don't meet expectations. They are ready to work behind the scenes for as long as is required to make it work. 

This may also include joining groups of like-minded developers, clubs, and showcases where they share their progress to get feedback that will take them to the next level. 

How do you identify a hobbyist? For Krypt, that’s easy. Giving them tasks and watching how they navigate the process and especially how they overcome setbacks and still have the same energy level, is a great way to know you’ve brought a hobbyist on board.

How to Successfully Build on Solana

Talk to Experienced Developers 

Smokey believes that to build a product that gives value to the community, you need to reach out to developers who are already on the platform. Make yourself known to other developers with similar interests and goals. 

Look for Mentors

To implement good ideas in the crypto space, you need good mentors. Mentorship gives you a platform to discuss ideas and get feedback on the already working systems that you can incorporate into your project. 

Joining diverse groups is also helpful as it assists you in gauging what people are doing or gives you the place to share your candy machine project,  or just find many more creative ideas to form collaborations. Developers can enjoy faster success on the platform if they find a mentor to take them through what works best.  

Maximize on Community

For founders or non-devs, his advice is to join as many groups as possible and to take time to participate in numerous spaces for maximum visibility. Buying NFTs, he has found, is a great way to gain entry into many communities. They all have unique challenges, and talking to them helps you understand what you need to offer them.

Misconceptions About Building in the Crypto Space

Project Founders Make a Lot of Money

Ever heard of project managers talking about how they’ll make big instant money when they start a project? 

According to Smokey, that’s a huge misconception. It hits hard when a founder realizes that it may be impossible to launch a product in a short span of time and make money. 

However, constant self-evaluation can help to shed off projects that are not working so you can focus on creating better ideas.

What if money is coming in?

His advice is to use that money to keep all units functional, including basics such as keeping lights on and hiring new members for the project.

He sums it up as follows, “Money is for the business, and the business is the project and is there to help develop more, expand things, and provide more value to the community.” 

Developers are Always Motivated

As for developers, Krypt thinks the biggest misconception is assuming that once they join a project, they’ll always have the motivation to do the work. The reality is that they do get demotivated at certain levels of a project. 

The most important thing for founders or other advanced developers in the team is not to discount their colleagues’ potential at this stage but help them build up the right foundation, focus, and mental strength so they can take programming as an adventure.

What Challenges Did They Face While Building Web 3.0?

Learning Solano’s Structure 

For Krypt, it was the complexity of the project that stood out, especially since he had to learn the ins and outs of Solana while on the project. 

Although he is an accomplished app developer, he had no cryptocurrency platform experience, and it took him time to master the structure. 

Bear Market and Poor Community Engagement

Starting off a project in a bear market and hardly any community support required ingenious ideas to stay afloat. After some initial product failures, they decided to develop and offer tools for free to gain entry into different projects. 

Fortunately, this strategy has worked, and they now endeavor to provide bespoke tools for each of these communities. 

To put the entrepreneurial spirit into perspective, Smokey and Crypt have had to change paths along the way and come up with new strategies when a big idea fails.

What are the Future Plans?

So, what is this founder-developer duo working on now? This is an exciting space and there is so much to look forward to. These are just some of the highlights that you can expect:

Building Social Connections

The main focus is building social connections in as many spaces as possible. According to their estimates, the market is in bear mode, and this is the best time to build social capital. 

Once the bull market hits off, they can utilize the networks they have created over time.

They may also focus on a singular NFT project when the market opens up but it’s preferable to leave the space open for more grand ideas.

Creating Courses 

They are also working on learning courses that will boost their builders’ capacity on the platform. 

According to Smokey, the existing Solana courses are primarily built for self-starters or people with prior programming knowledge. The introductory course, for instance, primarily touches on Javascript and a bit of Rust.

Javascript is the top programming language in the world, and that's why it features highly in this course. For app developers, Rust is an important programming language that ensures secure and robust applications.

In October, they will be introducing an advanced course that will cover Rust, Anchor, and several other advanced subjects. Additionally, based on some partnerships with other chains, Solana is also looking to launch courses covering aspects like compatible chains, including Polygon, Avalanche, and Cadence Programming Languages for flow blockchains. 

Polygon and Avalanche are steadily setting their pace in the market in terms of setting high speeds and smart contracts, respectively, and are set to rival big market kingpins like Ethereum.

Cadence, while a relatively new programming language, has become a must-know for all app developers due to its high level of safety and ease of use. 

All these programming language outlines show how valuable and high-impacting the courses are to builders looking to make their mark. The overall goal of the course is to provide web developers with the knowledge and tools they need to get started. 

Engaging with Solana’s Tech Community on Discord

As discussed earlier, reviving and maintaining an active community was a major part of the vision. 

That’s why Smokey recommends newbies plug into Discord to link up with other developers (also called peer mentors) for support and guidance on the course, especially if unsure about its suitability. 

Discord is a space for everyone to meet up, have fun, and keep a thriving social aspect at work.



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