Unitalk | Charles St. Louis: My Tips for People Getting Started in the Industry
Charels St. Louis, developer and community manager at Polymath
Although it is now in the “cold winter” of the industry, the influx of people into the circle is still increasing unabated.
Many believed in the blockchain and plunged firmly into it. But more of them are hesitant, wandering at the entrance of the space, because they do not knowwhether to step into or not, how to enter the space and what to do after.
Against this backdrop, Unitimes interviewed Charels St. Louis, developer and community manager at Polymath (a platform that uses ST-20 to help companies issue securities on blockchains), hoping that his personal experience and tips would enlighten those who want to get started in the industry.
Unitimes: Hi Charles. Can you tell us your background and experience?
Charles: My familiarity with the blockchain space began in 2012 when I began reading about digital currencies followed by research. And I have been working in the space for approximately two years now. My experience in the blockchain space began at RBC developing private blockchain solutions leveraging Hyperledger Fabric and Composer. The patented project was targeted at digital client identity management for RBC clients to apply to products and services across the bank without having to repeat applications and paperwork.
After RBC, I wanted to dig into public blockchain development so I immersed myself in the Ethereum ecosystem- specifically, Smart contract and DApp development, in addition to obtaining my Ethereum Development Certification from The BlockchainHub at York University.
Eager to put my learnings into action, I quickly dove into the space by working with EVERY where I helped with smart contract development (for both the token sale and the SHOP token), the wallet UI/UX, front end development, and towards the end, open source marketing strategy.
After leaving EVERY, that is about 8 months ago, I joined Polymath where I currently lead the open source development and developer community areas. In my role, I focus on fostering a community among our developers and work on pushing forward two EIPs forward (Security Token Standard (EIP 1411) and Partially Fungible Token Standard (EIP 1410)). I wear a lot of hats at Polymath and often say that half my role is development or documentation and the other half is marketing and building the developer community.
Additionally, I work on documentation of our code base so that developers of all background can easily read and start developing on top of Polymath’s protocol (check out: http://developers.polymath.network). As a part of my role, I also frequently connect with developers and speak publicly about cutting-edge technologies at conferences, within user groups, on blogs and on occasion, with the press. In my spare time, I work on my own research projects and consult/advise a select few blockchain projects for technical documentation and open source development strategy.
Unitimes: What are your hobbies? What do you gain from these hobbies?
Charles: My hobbies include, but are not limited to: keeping active by playing sports and/or exercising (I just completed a half marathon), reading, gaming, finding new restaurants to try, and researching and building POCs for all types of products/industries.
Unitimes: Please list 3 things that you are most proud of:
- My family and friends
- My entrepreneurial mindset/spirit and constant need to build things
- My intellectual curiosity
Unitimes: Who do you appreciate most in the industry? What do they have in common (in terms of personality or character)?
Charles: I truly appreciate the people who make-up the Ethereum Foundation. They are selfless with the work they do and are humble regarding their achievements. It is clear they really just want to change the world for the better and I hope for my work to do the same.
Unitimes: What’s the coolest thing about blockchain in your opinion?
Charles: Despite all of our achievements with governments and society, there still exists a great divide between the “haves” and the “have nots” in society. The developing world continues to be plagued with corruption, limited opportunities, and a steadily growing wealth divide. Blockchain and cryptocurrency are our best chance at liberating money, while also empowering and freeing society. Although not proven, I find the concept and its potential to be very cool.
Unitimes: Now many people ascribe the fluctuation of crypto prices to the blockchain project or the team. Are they really related in your opinion?
Charles: In my opinion, I would say that prices are marginally correlated to the project or the team; however, correlation never means causation. For example, I’d never say that the price of a token reflects the success or performance of a company.
Unitimes: What are some tips for people getting started in the industry?
Charles: Reach out to industry leaders on Twitter or LinkedIn and chat with them about their experiences, join an online class or a workshop, and attend conferences. If you truly enjoy all of that, you will have no problem finding a special spot in the industry.
Unitimes: How do you envision the decentralized world?
Charles: The concept of a decentralized world is not just about blockchains and creating the Web 3.0, it is about creating a better society for everyone. Whether that be by avoiding capitalism from taking over the economy, experiencing a more fair democracy system, or fueling a shared economy where success is shared and the wealth inequality is no longer exists. That’s how I envision the decentralized world.
Like everything else,blockchain is also a matter of opinion and wisdom. There are people who believe that it is the future, and certainly there are some thinking that it is a phantom.
For those who has leaned out and want to jump across the threshold, if you do not make the first move, you would never know what it would be like after you stepped out of your comfort zone — is it a bubble that bursts at one’s touch, or is it an open, inclusive and challenging future?
As Charles puts it, “If you truly enjoy all of that, you will have no problem finding a special spot in the industry.”