As the advancement of Mina Protocol continues, more and more tools are being developed by the thriving Mina Protocol technical community. Kiev (Kyiv)-based developer, Serhii Pimenov recently released a fantastic new tool, Mina Monitor to help operators monitor the status of Mina nodes. I caught up with him to find out more…
How long have you been interested in Cryptocurrency and Blockchains?
Before November previous year (2020), I had no interest in cryptos. I read news about cryptocurrencies and blockchains, but without a deep understanding, more for general development than for any practical application or participation. It all started when my friend asked me to help him with the installation and running of a Mina node. With the launch of my first Mina node, this is how my immersion into the world of blockchains and cryptocurrency began.
Can you briefly explain the benefits of the Mina Monitor?
Despite all the beauty of Mina, at the moment the Mina nodes are extremely unstable. And since the profit directly depends on how the node works (we do not take into account the size of the stack required to win a slot and try to produce a canonical block in this slot), it is necessary to monitor the status of the node constantly. It is also necessary to monitor whether the node has gone into the fork, whether it hangs on some block, and whether it is generally synchronized with the network or not. If the node is not OK, you must restart one. I would also like to see a lot of other information about Mina – cost, count of delegations to my address, how many blocks I won in the current epoch, and others. The Mina Monitor I created does all this: monitors, collects, and provides for viewing in the browser.
How long did Mina Monitor take to develop and what were the biggest challenges?
The first version took about one month to write. The main difficulty was to understand what was specifically needed, so as not to write extra code to implement the necessary logic. I update the monitor constantly since the first version was launched. During practical use, you begin to understand what needs to be redone here, add here and remove it as necessary or something is suggested by the Monitor users. This is a normal development process for a software product. So the update process is and will continue further because I love to bring everything to perfection.
The User Interface is very well designed, did you get any help with this side of things?
I do everything myself, from design to implementation. I have enough tools that I have personally developed to implement almost all of my ideas. If something is not there, then I write it. For example, I have a Metro 4 library (https://metroui.org.ua), which is designed for building web applications and includes more than 100 different components, styles and icons. There is a library for comfortable work with dates, strings, and there is a library for creating charts. All my libraries are open source and are available on Github in my profile (https://github.com/olton)
Despite what you say, your English is very good, have you been taking lessons/ how did you learn?
I read quite well and write, but speaking and listening skills leave much to be desired. I would like to have a broad vocabulary, better understanding of the grammar of the language. Unfortunately, at school and in the institute, I was not given the necessary education in terms of the English language, now I have to catch up. Now I am studying with an excellent teacher, she recently graduated from a specialized philology institute. We are moving with her to my perfection in English. I hope that soon I will significantly improve my knowledge of English to such an extent that this knowledge will personally satisfy me, now my level is subjectively very low. I prepare each speech in English very carefully, starting from the skeleton in Ukrainian or Russian, then I translate it into English, then together with my teacher we analyze the mistakes that I made when translating into English, then we start to proofread the text to develop the correct pronunciation and only after that I publish the material.
Are there any other blockchains that you think have good potential, apart from Mina?
I’m not ready to answer this question now. Since I’m just starting to go deeper into this. But I believe that those blockchains have a future that will provide maximum practical benefits: Ethereum, Polkadot, Vega, Acala
What else do you like to do when you are not programming (apart from sitting on the sofa drinking beer?)
Although I like to have a glass of good beer from time to time, it’s not my main hobby. I love dogs very much, I have a German shepherd named Don Corleone. I really love weapons, I love shooting and I love fishing.