Remarkable software engineers write remarkable code

When hiring for my software company Lokad, my goal is to identify remarkable software engineers: those who will deliver outsized positive outcomes. The latest addition to my process is asking candidates to exhibit a personal and remarkable piece of software of their own choosing. Anything goes. I don’t mind if it’s COBOL or Rust, or even if it does not compile because it’s just a fragment of a personal project that you’re not willing to disclose1 in full.


作者: Joannes Vermorel (Lokad创始人,Corps Des Mines工程师;业余时间兼职做技术审计;点击查看作者的更多资料)



比特币1生态系统中再一次发生了匪夷所思的事:该系统似乎仍然无法判定在进行一个高技术含量的计划时,技术能力重要与否。几个月前,一个由多年来参与开发比特币软件的老前辈(他们各自的主要贡献是Bitcoin Unlimited和Electron Cash)组成的团队2,为一个名为Bitcoin Cash Node(BCHN)的项目走到了一起。这支团队似乎在一些社交媒体上越来越受欢迎;一些人信任这支团队,给予了他们不菲的资助3

Empirical insights on BCHN

Once more, baffling events are unfolding in the Bitcoin1 ecosystem, which seems to remain undecided whether technical competency matters - at all - for the conduct of a highly technical software initiative. A few months ago, a team of old-timers who had been involved - for years - in developing Bitcoin software, mostly via their respective contributions to Bitcoin Unlimited and Electron Cash, came together with another project named Bitcoin Cash Node (BCHN).

The wrong lessons of a supply chain crisis

Whenever humans are involved, complex systems are never amenable to “easy” models, if only due to second order effects 1. Supply chains are no exception, and yet these models are prevalent 2, leading to all sorts of inefficiencies such as inventory write-offs, waste, delays, unused capacity, poor customer service, etc. Yet, these inefficiencies are not the biggest problem associated with simplistic models, the biggest problem is that they prevent people in charge from even considering what could eventually become proper remedies.

Large scale reuse of FFP2 and N95 masks

The French version of this document. Synthesis: this document proposes the reuse of FFP2 masks on a large scale thanks to the pre-existing sterilization and decontamination infrastructure in France. This initiative aims to avoid the amplification of the Covid-19 health crisis due to a shortage of masks for medical personnel, which would lead to additional contamination from the medical personnel themselves. Within a week, this initiative would allow the reuse of 1 million masks per day for a cost of less than 4€ per mask from the first masks treated.

Réutilisation de masques FFP2 à grande échelle

The English version of this document. Synthèse : ce document propose la réutilisation des masques FFP2 à grande échelle grâce à l’infrastructure pré-existante en France de stérilisation et de décontamination. Cette initiative a pour but d’éviter l’amplification de la crise sanitaire Covid-19 due à une pénurie de masque des personnels médicaux eux-mêmes, qui aboutirait à des contaminations supplémentaires via les personnels médicaux. Cette initiative permet la réutilisation - sous une semaine - de 1 million de masques par jour pour un coût inférieur à 4€ par masque dès les premiers masques.

ABC is Bitcoin's biggest asset, a CEO's perspective

As a follow-up to the article Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin that I published 2.5 years ago, let’s revisit the Bitcoin community’s state of affairs. In particular, let’s have a closer look at the infrastructure players involved, as the future of BCH basically depends on the quality of the people steering this currency. Who am I to do this assessment and why? I am the CEO and main shareholder of a midsize software company (profitable, growing, non-crypto and no VC on board), I have been following Bitcoin since 2011, I have done various technical contributions such as proofreading the Avalanche code.

On choosing the right block size for Bitcoin

The Bitcoin community has been debating the right size of a block for almost its entire existence. Two years ago, these debates lead to the split between Bitcoin Cash - opting for larger blocks - and Bitcoin Core - opting for 1MB-forever blocks 1. Yet, while many members of both communities appear to have firm opinions on the matter of choosing the adequate block size, I have casually observed a lot of misconceptions concerning this topic.

Metadata subtree for Bitcoin

The block header of Bitcoin has a couple of flaws; some of them being in the way of highly desirable innovations such as UTXO commitments. Unfortunately, fixing those flaws isn’t an easy task because most “easy” solutions end up not only breaking backward compatibility with most of the software ecosystem, but also end up bricking most mining devices. Hence, those “easy” solutions aren’t exactly on the table. Yet, a simple solution is needed, because complexity is the enemy of both security and scalability in a project like Bitcoin.

Merklix tree for Bitcoin

Last summer, I had the opportunity to meet with the Bitcoin ABC folks, and we revisited the pain points which needlessly complicate on-chain scaling for Bitcoin. The Merkle tree flavor as originally implemented in the Satoshi’s codebase comes with its own complications, some of them clearly accidental - as they do introduce unintended vulnerabilities. The Merklix tree angle addresses the scalability challenge as well as fixing the unintended complications of the original design.