In the last blog post, I talked about the “Homestead release knowledge gap” which led to think about organise a study group.

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I came up with the study group idea just a few days before London Ethereum Meetup which is very popular meetup and its 150 capacity filled up within a few hours of the meetup announcement.

I was lucky enough to be able to register the event and I also noticed that they were looking for a few ‘flash presentation’. When I contacted the organiser if I can talk about the meetup, the organiser quickly responded saying there is one spot left.

At this point, I actually did not have anything. I quickly created a meetup page, github repo, and gitter chat channel.

During the meetup , I did a flash talk towards the end , asking how many people in the meetup have been coding with Ethereum. I think less than 30% of people raised hands. I also asked how many people have been coding for more than a year, which was a bit silly question because Ethereum itself has only been open to public for last several months, though handful of people raised hands.

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It seems like Ethereum is still a very young ecosystem so you are regarded as “expert” even with 3 months of coding experience.

I also mentioned that our study group is “paid event” because of following reasons.

  • We have limited space so I wanted to restrict to smaller number of motivated people who are willing to pay small amount (£5)
  • I am using the office of my employer(insurance company) as a venue, so it’s easier to get cooperation/permission if this event is to help Whizz-Kids, a UK charity for disabled children which our company supports.
  • I am currently fund raising for my 5 days sahara trekking challenge to support Whizz-Kids, and this will incentivise me to organise the meetup more regularly.

I think I generally had positive responses and several people talked to me afterwords and actually signed up the event.

On the day of the codeup, 7 people turned up. I think it’s a pretty good size to start with. Here is the quick summary of the event.

  • Everybody except I had environment setup on Ubuntu (even people with Mac). Apparently Ethereum tools are mainly developed in Ubuntu and cross compiled into other platform, so it is the most reliable environment.
  • Most people started Ethereum before Homestead release. I had a feedback that it was interesting to see my video walkthrough posts because they haven’t used the Ethereum Wallet yet.
  • 3 of the participants were actually writing Ethereum at work (including Proof Of Concepts), which is great.
  • Steve and Francesco R mentioned that they use their own private test network using genesis blocks rather than using testnet.
  • Andy from London Ethereum meetup helped some of us installing , Bitcoin and Ethereum Wallet. He also donated to the event in Ether!!
  • Francesco C showed us one of his Hackathon projects InsurETH, which lets you insure your flight directly with an ethereum smart contract.
  • Francesco C also showed us his own Blockchain App development micro-framework called bapp

To be honest, I was the one of the newest among participants so I learnt a lot. Also we managed to raise close to £90 for Whizz-kids which exceeded my expectation.

I am hoping to organise this study group more regularly and the next one will be on 21st April. I am looking forward to meeting more people and study together.

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