Andrew Kennedy is a Distributed Systems Hacker on Cloudsoft’s engineering team. His latest work has resulted in him not only becoming a maintainer for the open source Hyperledger Sawtooth project but additionally being invited to join the Hyperledger Technical Ambassador program. Andrew specialises in building Cloudsoft blockchain projects on top of our managed AWS offering. Currently, he’s the lead engineer for our ongoing work with Blockchain Technology Partners.
While congratulating Andrew on his stellar progress and catching up his contributions to open source projects during his work with Blockchain Technology Partners, I managed to get some more information out of him about how this all came about.
“Having originally focused on Hyperledger Fabric, we started working with Hyperledger Sawtooth late last year. It’s an interesting blockchain framework because the architecture is extremely flexible, with pluggable consensus models and transaction processors, including a module that handles Ethereum EVM code for smart contracts.”
Cloudsoft has a long history as a significant contributor to open source through Apache Brooklyn and Apache jclouds, and now you’re contributing to projects from the Hyperledger community: what is it you like about open source?
“One of the things I love about open source is that if there is a problem you can go right ahead and fix it, and if your fix works, everyone else using the project gets to take advantage. For example, in the process of building a proof of concept deployment for a customer, I ended up doing a lot of work on the Seth (Sawtooth-Ethereum) transaction processor.
I refactored Seth to be compatible with the latest API changes in the core project and updated features to bring it into line with the Ethereum specifications. This involved interacting with the other Sawtooth developers, from Intel and bitwise.io, who were very helpful in getting me up to speed with the project.
After several of my pull requests had been approved, I was asked to become a maintainer for the Sawtooth project, which allows me to work more closely with the rest of the team on adding new features and improving the software.”
So what’s next as a Technical Ambassador for the Hyperledger Community?
“The Hyperledger community includes not just large entities like IBM and Intel, but also small, agile, specialist companies like Cloudsoft and Blockchain Technology Partners.
The technical ambassador program is a way for people like me who are involved in the development of the projects to share in-depth knowledge about the software with other engineers. from how it works and how its built to ways of using it in an existing software stack.”
I can’t wait to see the outcome of the next stage of Andrew’s work both in terms of customer success and open source contributions: talk about a win-win! We’ll get Andrew to blog more on his progress in a few weeks time. In the meantime, we’ll leave the last word to our customer:
“Andrew is a tremendous software engineer and an outstanding contributor to open source projects having cut his teeth on Apache Qpid while at JP Morgan. We are delighted to see his BTP sponsored contributions to Hyperledger Sawtooth recognized by the Hyperledger community with his appointment as a Technical Ambassador as well as as a Sawtooth committer and Seth maintainer,” Duncan Johnston-Watt, CEO of Blockchain Technology Partners.