Welcome Russell & Raul!
As highlighted in the last blog post, the 2021 Roadmap for Radix has some major milestones planned for this year. Building a platform suitable for the future of finance is no small feat, which is why it is always welcome news when more intellectual horsepower is added to the machinery making this all possible!
Two of the recent additions to the team working on Radix are Russell and Raul, and today we sat down to learn a little bit more about their experience, expertise, and critically, what makes them so excited about Radix.
Russell Harvey – CTO – Radix DLT
A veteran of Microsoft and Kaiser Permanente, Russell brings extensive experience with releasing complex products on schedule. Beset by an abiding need to make useful things, Russell distributed his first program at age 7 and hasn’t stopped shipping things since.
Russell joined Radix in August as our Acting CTO, freeing up Dan to completely dedicate his time to research and experimentation without adversely impacting the delivery schedule. We have been subjecting Russell to an arduous series of tests of character and capability for such a critical position, and today we are pleased to confirm him in the CTO role and anoint him a keeper of the Sacred Mysteries of Radix. He still fumbles the secret handshake from time to time, but we’ve decided to let that slide for now.
We asked Russell a little more about his role below:
Radix has always impressed me with its strategic vision. In a space filled with engineers focused on what they’re building rather than why they’re building it, Radix stood out as a group of people tackling a legitimate global problem. It’s the difference between thinking about a feature set and thinking about the whole experience and what benefits it can provide.
There are two things that I am focused on above all others: releasing useful products and finding great hires. If we start from a desire to make mainstream DeFi a reality, there is an enormous set of products we can imagine which could contribute to realizing that vision. I’m here to make sure we’re narrowing that scope down to the most impactful things which are achievable, and then ensuring that we are dedicated to delivering on those items as quickly as possible.
Even selecting for only the most critical products, there’s a ton of work ahead and Radix is entering a period of rapid growth, particularly on the technical side of the house. Radix is a place where everyone is both extremely good at their job and a pleasure to work with, and that’s a standard that we absolutely have to uphold as we continue to hire. Advertising to the world that this is a fantastic place to work, filled with great people and chewy problems to solve, is especially important for us right now.
I will admit to some concern over the fact that we have a number of folks here who don’t share my level of appreciation for great 80s and 90s action movies. This is something I’m in the process of addressing, and I expect that we will make significant strides in this area over the coming year.
Raul Valaz Mayo – DevOps Lead – Radix DLT
Raul started his career as a software developer and then moved to the infrastructure and DevOps areas. During these years, he has worked in different industries, including education, e-commerce and blockchain. Before Radix, Raul was the Lead DevOps for ConsenSys Solutions. He was involved in blockchain projects for trade finance and commodity trading.
We asked Raul a little more about his role below:
In Web 2.0 applications, most of the value and functionality is derived from the application itself more than from the infrastructure used to run it. For example, to develop a payment solution a company will need to develop the functionality that will give direct value to customers, plus run the infrastructure required to run it (networks, databases, disaster recovery plans, etc) .
However, in DeFi applications (or any Web 3.0) that run on distributed ledgers (DLTs), there is a paradigm shift because the infrastructure is distributed and is run by many different parties. This directly implies that developers do not need to worry about running the infrastructure their applications require and can focus on creating functionalities that will add value to customers. Moreover, part of the applications’ functionality now derives directly from the capabilities of the DLT itself.
At Radix, as builders of the first Layer-1 protocol specifically built to serve DeFi, we need to make sure the foundation layer is solid. Leaving the complexity of the consensus protocol aside, there are a number of challenges related to the nature of public DLTs. As anyone can participate in the network by running a node, there is no control over the nodes’ performance, geographical distribution, or unexpected or malicious failures on some or part of the network. Testing all these scenarios can only be achieved with developers, protocol designers, infrastructure engineers and SDETs working together, and this is where DevOps can help.
DevOps refers to a combination of practices, culture and tools to improve the software delivery capability by leveraging cross-functional collaboration. As a DevOps team, we need to be sure that we are defining processes and building tools that enable teams to improve delivery securely and reliably. Moreover, we need to allow teams to iterate fast.
To achieve this, we will continue to work to make sure the right CI/CD pipelines are in place and that we have the flexibility to create networks of validators nodes with different sizes and configuration. This will help with continuing some work that has already been started on Radix regarding Chaos Engineering. We need to build the foundations of a Chaos engineering framework that allows us to increase the complexity of the experiments we are running progressively.
There are lots of interesting challenges coming ahead, and I am very excited to be part of them.
Everyone working on Radix is pleased to welcome both Russell and Raul to the team. If you are interested in joining Radix, you can find open positions on our careers page, where we have multiple positions currently open: https://www.radixdlt.com/careers/.