How NOT to Get Started With Ethereum Development

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 8.14.18 AM

tl;dr I tried to get started with geth this week and immediately got frustrated with out-of-date docs. Maybe I can save you some time. Relevant github issue.

For future readers, today is September 29th, 2017 CE. Due to the rapidly changing nature of technology, I cannot guarantee that anything I’m about to write will be even close to accurate or in any way relevant in your time period.

Current Version of geth: 1.7.0

My intent was to start a Howto series documenting my progress with Ethereum development, but I figured it would be better to start by issuing a warning about a couple of hazards for the weary traveler. Like any good (old?) developer learning a new technology, I set out to create a Hello World app. That brought me to the official Ethereum docs at https://ethereum.org/greeter. It turns out, though, that the Greeter tutorial was written for geth versions before 1.6. The current version of geth is 1.7.0! It took me a few days to figure out that these docs were at least two major versions behind the code.

Dude, don’t be hypercritical

I’m not! I certainly understand what it’s like to work on a project and have the code outpace the documentation. (Been there; done that.) This is not a referendum on the Ethereum community at all. Rather, it is my attempt to empathetically contribute back to said community. Documentation is tough. No one gets excited about documentation. This is me attempting to improve the developer experience around Ethereum.

So what do you recommend, Matt?

Give up! No, don’t do that. If you want to follow along, my next stop is at Ethereum smart contracts in a nutshell for hackers. Yes, it has the word “hackers” in the title, and yes, you should cringe at that. However, it does outline all our dependencies and how to create a Hello World contract. I’m going to take that info and turn into a more detailed guide, providing an up-to-date Greeter tutorial in an upcoming post.

 

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