AMA with

Preethi Kasireddy

Blockchain engineer, former partner at Andreessen Horowitz, and vet at Coinbase | Currently, founder & CEO of TruStory

May 26th 2018, 8:00 pm

Ask me about:

  • Blockchain
  • Venture Capital
  • Coinbase
  • Initial Coin Offering (ICO)
  • TruStory
  • Programming
  • Open Source

Elsewhere:

Shout out

Tweet

This AMA session is over but you can still ask questions to Preethi Kasireddy on their Hashnode profile.

What’s your average workday like?

I answered it below so I'll copy and paste here:

I used to be a more scheduled person, but I always dreaded following a schedule so I changed my lifestyle quite a bit over the past few years. Now my days are very free-form, and I focus on the 1-3 things that is most important to do that day. And I usually decide these things the night before or morning of.

So typically, my morning routine is that I wake up early and eat a small snack and then go workout. After that, I start my day and I focus on getting the 1-3 most important tasks that I want to get done that day. I am a morning person so I usually like to get my important work done before lunch, and then I take any necessary calls and other interactions after lunch.

I like most of my days to have long blocks of time to think, create and do. I usually just schedule all my in-person meeting on 1 or 2 days of the week, so that I can have the remaining days with more uninterrupted time.

It might seem like I am cranking 24/7, but I am not. In fact, I take very frequent brakes to stretch, go for a walk, eat a snack, day-dream, check what's happening on Twitter, etc. This is how I manage to not burn out -- by letting my mind rest in between short bursts periods of work.

Hi, Preethi!

So nice to see you on Hashnode.

What are your approaches — personal curriculum, pair coding, specific "production" tasks which turn out to be educational — to mentor junior developers in an organisation? What (combination(s)) have you seen which work(s) best, if any?

Are there any anecdotal events which you can share with us, in this regard?

Thank you so much!

Great question. Mentoring junior developers often ends up being a haphazard thing at a lot of organizations, and I think it's super important to build the ethos of mentorship into the culture from early on. In terms of "what works best", I don't think there is a magic bullet answer. This is because everyone learns differently - so it's important that you offer a combination of: Self-taught curriculum, Pair programming, Group discussions on technical learnings/challenges, Paying for education courses (e.g. React training), etc. This way, the junior developer can pick and choose what works best for them. You can survey engineers to see if they want more of X or less of Y. I, for example, love pair programming and self-taught curriculum, but I really dislike in-person educational training courses because I don't learn well in that setting.

Most importantly, I think the most helpful thing you can do is help the junior developer understand their strengths and weaknesses so that he/she knows where to focus their learning efforts the most.

Hi Preethi, What are your professional goals going forward?

Lots! Here's just a few of them...

  • Build a more authentic and trustworthy world with TruStory
  • Help blockchains actually become useful in the real world
  • Build a team with the most passionate, driven, smart and unique individuals in the world
  • Continue to educate and motivate newcomers in programming and blockchain
  • At some later point in my life, I will likely leave the US and focus my education efforts in third world countries, where they need it most

... the list could go on forever. But if I had to summarize, it would be that my only goal is to use my skills, passion and discipline to make a meaningful and lasting positive impact in the world.

What's your advice for the beginner Devs/General public trying to learn Blockchain technologies?

Google.

I know what sounds lame, but that's how I learned. I started to google about blockchains. Then I would keep reading and reading for hours and days. I would google everything I didn't understand. I read it as many times as I needed to in order to grok it. I went down many rabbit-roles and read many whitepapers. Keep reading and eventually, you'll get to a place where things start to make sense and click.

Does Blockchain technology add real value and can it survive a potential bursting of the crypto bubble?

We have yet to see ;)

As a developer working on technologies such as Asp.net, C#, javascript etc, where would one start learning blockchain and understand its use cases?

Google.

I know what sounds lame, but that's how I learned. I started to google about blockchains. Then I would keep reading and reading for hours and days. I would google everything I didn't understand. I read it as many times as I needed to in order to grok it. I went down many rabbit-roles and read many whitepapers. Keep reading and eventually, you'll get to a place where things start to make sense and click.

Hi Preethi !

I want to ask that how one can take positive criticism for his work?

I personally LOVE criticism -- positive or negative. Why? Because I know I'm not perfect, not even close. None of us are, no matter how perfect we seem on the outside. When someone gives you criticism, it should excite you and motivate you. Think of it this way... they are giving you direct feedback on what you could do yo improve or be better. Why not use that to improve yourself? I think it's far worse if someone has some criticism but doesn't share it and keeps it to themselves. Because then you have no clue how you can be a better version of YOU, and they are doing a disservice by hiding it from you.

Think of criticism as an opportunity to become a better version of yourself -- and who doesn't want that? ;)

What should everyone know about blockchains?

They are still an experiment, and the experiment can fail.

Hi!

I think the idea of working in VC is fascinating yet elusive. What are some skills that helped you land your job at a16z?

What are some of the things you learned while working at a16z? What did your daily work life look like?

Hey Preethi!

There are very few resources on the web for any technology, which would enable an individual to write production ready code. Most of them are snippets or beginner level tutorial. Even every other new intermediate tutorial or even whole courses sneak away by saying

This code is of course not production ready.

What, according to you, can be done to enable production ready collaboration and learning for self learners like myself, who do not necessarily live in cities or have a programming job, but want to work on their own ideas and launch products?

This is a great question. And I know exactly what you are struggling with. Unfortunately, the only answer is "write production code". Meaning, work at some company, any company, where you actually need to ship code to real users. No matter how many toy problems you do, or algorithm puzzles you tackle, it'll never be the same as shipping code to real users.

Getting that first job is ALWAYS the hardest. For some people, it takes weeks. For others, it takes years. Just don't give up. Find some place that is willing to give you a chance -- even if it means contracting or working part-time to prove yourself.

Another great way to get similar experience is to contribute to open source. Go out there and find libraries that you can contribute to -- even if it means just updating / fixing documentation at first. Open-source is a GREAT way to get experience before you have real "Work experience".

how You started blockchain development . I started with ethereum development and then no idea where to end . So can you recommend any stack another than ethereum and solidity and all . . . Would appreciate any kind of help

Hi Preethi, congrats on launching TruStory! Are you interested in partnering with other blockchain initiatives with a similar focus as TruStory has? If so, what's the best way to get in touch about those sorts of discussions?

If you had to put up a billboard in every suburb and city. What would it say to motivate developers/people?

The secret to all power, all achievement and all possession? Your attitude.

How many ICOs have you personally participated in? #JustCurious. ;)

Congrats on launching TruStory. 🎉When can we see the first alpha version of the product?

Q4! We'll be posting frequent updates and blog posts well before then, so keep a look out for those. Also, we'll soon be opening up community channels on Slack and Telegram, so it's a great way to get early access and potentially be part of the early beta user group.

  1. How was it working with some of the best minds at Andreessen Horowitz?

  2. Is it true that Andreessen could clock around 180 wpm on the keyboard?

Hi Preethi,

How do you differentiate between a great programmer and a good programmer?

Thanks for the AMA! 😀

I think this is a very personal answer of what I seek out in a developer:

  • Ability to communicate effectively. This means the ability to communicate his/her ideas through code, ability to communicate his/her ideas to other team members, ability to work well with other team members, etc.

  • Passion for learning and improving

  • Passion for writing good, maintainable and scalable code

  • Ability to learn fast

  • Independent thinking

  • Enjoys tackling problems that he/she has never come across

Hi Preeti ! How to stick to one programming language , if I find another one too distracting for me :) ?

What practices do you follow in order to avoid burn-outs?

Simple:

  • I workout everyday
  • I eat good, nutritious food (I mostly cook at home and only eat out when I'm with friends)
  • I get enough sleep

I would like to learn blockchain and want to implement the blockchain into my existing php application.

I was totally confused and still struck with where to start and how to implement.

Please help me :(

I don't really think you are asking the right question. The point of blockchain is not to simply implement it into an application for the sake of implementing it. I would focus on just learning what a blockchain is, and then only use it if it actually solves a problem in your application somehow.

What are some of the things you learned while working at a16z? What did your daily work life look like?

If you were to build a decentralized social network today, what tools and technologies would you choose?

Hi Preethi,

Thanks for the AMA.

Finding and hiring blockchain engineers is very difficult today. How do you plan to form a team of great blockchain engineers for TruStory? Can you share any resources or methods you would be following?

Honest answer is: I am not seeking "blockchain engineers". I am seeking engineers who are smart and eager to learn. I am seeking engineers who are passionate about coding and tackling tough but interesting problems. I truly believe the blockchain development skill can be learned on the job, as long as you're motivated and hungry to learn, and have demonstrated a passion for writing good quality code.

Hi Preethi! What is your morning routine, workday like and evening routines? Just love to know how you plan out your days and how you keep motivated and focused <3 also been a huge fan of yours on Twitter! :)) congratz on trustory

I used to be a more scheduled person, but I always dreaded following a schedule so I changed my lifestyle quite a bit over the past few years. Now my days are very free-form, and I focus on the 1-3 things that is most important to do that day. And I usually decide these things the night before or morning of.

So typically, my morning routine is that I wake up early and eat a small snack and then go workout. After that, I start my day and I focus on getting the 1-3 most important tasks that I want to get done that day. I am a morning person so I usually like to get my important work done before lunch, and then I take any necessary calls and other interactions after lunch.

I like most of my days to have long blocks of time to think, create and do. I usually just schedule all my in-person meeting on 1 or 2 days of the week, so that I can have the remaining days with more uninterrupted time.

It might seem like I am cranking 24/7, but I am not. In fact, I take very frequent brakes to stretch, go for a walk, eat a snack, day-dream, check what's happening on Twitter, etc. This is how I manage to not burn out -- by letting my mind rest in between short bursts periods of work.

Hi Preethi,

my question is that :

Let say, i created a bunch of smart contract and deployed them on any existing blockchain technology. what if i want to change one of the smart contract due to any flaw/security issue/any addition to it, as i know smart contracts are immutable. So changing them would be not possible, but still, is there a way to update the smart contract.

Thx

There's a way to create "upgradeable contracts". Just google it and I'm sure some links with examples will come up :)

Hi Preethi, were there any specific obstacles you have had to overcome as a woman in technology? Thank you

What do you think is a priority to make a general adoption of the blockchain-related technologies by non-blockchain native businesses ? Do you think that smart contracts are suitable anywhere we wish to formalize economic terms between parts ?

No. I don't think blockchains are the holy grail solution to every problem. Blockchains are most useful where removing trusted intermediaries is beneficial. And there's lots of cases where trusted intermediaries are important to have.

Thank you for the answer.

How do you feel about blockchain journalism? Should big corps start getting serious about it?

How Blockchain technology coexists with banks?

Hi Preethi!

So nice to see you here on Hashnode. Its first AMA I'm contributing to & I'm very glad its about Blockchain.

Do you think DAICO (DAO+ICO) really can save investors in case of project/startup failure? And Don't you think it is a limiting feature for startup owners(Because they may need an unpredicted inflow or similar vague situations)?

And as the last one, Can you name some great communities(Not just ICO listing websites/groups) on ICO or somewhere we can join to participate in fields such as ICO-EP (Enhancement Proposals) or groups with great coding-contribution opportunity?

Thank you in advance!

Hey Preethi,

How do you stay motivated to put out your best each day?

Also, what was it like working at coinbase? Seems like a very innovative and interesting company.

Do you think ICOs present a real threat to the VC ecosystem long term? When will the first unicorn be funded through an ICO?

I think ICOs are one source of funding, but I don't necessarily think they are the holy grail. I don't belive VCs will be completely eliminated... at least not the GOOD ones. I do still believe the good VCs add value.

While ICOs are a way to raise money, there certainly are a lot of tradeoffs you make. For example, you now have 1000s of investors that you have a fiduciary duty to vs. just a handful. You now have 1000s of investors you have to manage and communicate with frequently vs. just a handful. You now have to act like a public company at seed stage vs. being able to stay private until you are ready to be more public about financials, growth, etc.

I agree that VCs add more value than just capital. Why not include those same people in a Private ICO (like arcblock.io did). A PICO would generate liquidity for early employees and investors. Social Capital is trying to solve the same problem using a SPAC, but this forces the company to be public, which may not be desirable. (https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/14/social-capital-to-take-startups-public-without-an-ipo) From a pure technical standpoint it seems simply superior than the standard VC path. Instead of issuing shares in private company that make take 10 years to go public, why not instead issue ETH based tokens? I'm sure there are laws I am unaware of that make all of this far more complicated that I know, and we are still in the early days of crypto currencies.

Preethi Kasireddy's Profile

Preethi Kasireddy is a Blockchain Engineer who recently made her way from San Francisco to Los Angeles. She was previously a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, a banker at Goldman Sachs, and most recently a software engineer at Coinbase. She is currently the Founder & CEO of TruStory, a new blockchain startup. Ask her anything blockchain and programming.

Host your AMA new

Community Sponsors

The all-in-one cloud platform developers & their teams love. Get started free for 60 days.

Learn more

Chat SDK for your web and mobile apps.

Learn more