Seeking Guidance to Become a Polkadot Fellow

Hello Polkadot Community,

I hope this message finds you all in great spirits. I’m writing to seek guidance and support from the Polkadot community in pursuit of a goal very dear to me – becoming a Polkadot Fellow.

While the Polkadot ecosystem is incredibly exciting and promising, I must admit that the path ahead seems a bit daunting, especially for beginners like myself. I’m eager to make meaningful contributions, but I’m not entirely sure where to start.

Here’s a bit about my background: I am currently working as a Rust Substrate Engineer at Ternoa, where I have gained some experience in blockchain development. This experience has sparked my interest in Polkadot, and I’m eager to further explore and contribute to this thriving community.

However, as I dive into the Polkadot development landscape, I’ve found that many of the issues and tasks listed on the Polkadot GitHub repository appear quite advanced and technical. While these challenges are undoubtedly exciting, I believe there must be small, manageable tasks suitable for newcomers like me. These tasks could provide an excellent entry point for us to get involved and start contributing.

That’s why I’m reaching out to the Polkadot community today. I would be immensely grateful for any guidance, advice, or recommendations from those of you who have already navigated this journey. Here are some specific questions I have:

  1. Are there any beginner-friendly tasks, issues, or projects within the Polkadot ecosystem that I can start with?
  2. Are there resources or tutorials available for someone like me who wants to get more involved in Polkadot development?
  3. Could you share your personal experiences and challenges you faced when you began contributing to Polkadot? Any lessons learned would be invaluable.
  4. Are there specific community events, webinars, or workshops that you would recommend attending to gain more insights and network with fellow enthusiasts?
  5. How can I connect with experienced Polkadot developers who might be open to mentorship or providing guidance?

I believe that many others in the community might also benefit from this guidance, and collectively, we can create a roadmap for newcomers to contribute effectively to the Polkadot ecosystem.

I’m genuinely excited about the possibilities that Polkadot offers, and I’m eager to play a role in its growth. With your help and support, I’m confident that I can achieve my goal of becoming a Polkadot Fellow.

Thank you for taking the time to read my message, and I eagerly await your responses and insights.


He Immanuel,

This question answers most of your questions.

However, to add some of my personal experience :slight_smile:

First, the book Rust for Rustaceans really helped me to go to the next level in terms of my Rust understanding. There are many relevant chapters that are important to understand in Substrate. Some of them:

  • traits
  • macros
  • project structures
  • rust without the std library
  • asynchronous / concurrency

Second, to understand how an entire substrate node works in detail is too complex, so smart small. Building a fully fledged pallet, including tests & benchmarks, is a really nice exercise. This already was a challenge to me, especially when you really want to understand everything. A tool that might be useful: cargo expand. This prints out the result of macro expansions and could help you understand what is happening under the hood.

Third, the Polkadot Protocol. In order to become a skillful Polkadot Engineer you need to understand the protocol in depth! Blockchain engineering is complex and in order to make good decisions you better have a good foundation! I studied Smoldot which helped me tremendously and also taught me a lot about the client side of things (I wrote an extensive summary about it here, which could help you go through the code).

Fourth, being active on the Polkadot Forum and Substrate Stackexchange also helped me a lot to learn about things I’ve never taught of before.

Last, there are mentorship issues that can help you start with contributing to the Polkadot SDK!

I hope that helps and I wish you good luck on your journey! Something I need to remind myself as well: It’s not a sprint, it is a marathon :wink: . And just practise, practise, practise!