Between the Blocks: Randy Daal

Between the Blocks: Randy Daal


October 19, 2022

Welcome to Kadena’ Personnel Series, where we showcase some of the most brilliant and talented minds behind Kadena! Since its inception in 2016, Kadena has continuously pushed the boundaries of innovation, being the only Layer 1 Proof-of-Work blockchain that has solved the Blockchain Trilemma. Kadena’s extraordinary achievements would not be possible without the hard work, visions and talent of its team members.

Today, we will be taking a deep dive with Randy Daal, Kadena’s Developer Experience Lead. We will be exploring his past experience, his passions and hobbies, and his journey with Kadena.

Can you give a brief overview about your career experience prior to Kadena?

I started my career as a Java developer for a large Dutch Airline company. After 3 years, I found my passion in front-end development. I began working for several large companies in the Netherlands and built many large-scale applications in different domains. I also started a new front-end consultancy company called Up-Front, which later merged with Frontmen, where my team and I grew the company to over 120 front-end developers over the course of a few years. Frontmen became the leading front-end consultancy company in the Netherlands and was featured as “The Top 10 Start-Ups to Work for in the Netherlands 2019.”

How did you get into the world of web3 and crypto?

I started trading crypto in 2017, but I was originally introduced to the concept in 2015 when a couple of friends started mining several altcoins. I also have friends who always wanted me to do more in this industry and help them build their projects, but they could never convince me…that is, until I met and spoke with Will.

Who introduced you to Kadena?

Much to my surprise (and delight), Will reached out to me on Discord and informed me that he was looking for someone who could help Kadena with its front-end development and its community. When WIll explained to me the vision of Kadena, the tech behind it, as well as the team members working here, he triggered my interest.

After the call with Will, I spoke to several other bright minds working at Kadena, including Doug, Anastasia, and Stuart. Suffice to say, talking to the team sealed the deal for me. I always want to work with intelligent people, and there is no shortage of intelligent minds at Kadena.

What has your journey at Kadena been like and what have you learned?

My first two months were mainly getting up to speed and addressing what the pain points are when developing apps on Kadena. I also spent a lot of time talking to the community to understand their needs.

We are currently in the making of an incredible dream team and are working hard to build the best developer experience for Kadena, especially Kadena.js. We have Hee Kyun, who is really bright and thoroughly understands our smart contract language Pact. There’s Linda, our full-stack developer who comes from a Haskell background and brings a lot of domain knowledge to the team. Then we have Albert, who leads our core Kadena.js functionality and is a TypeScript wizard. Lastly, we have our new hires Tasos and Ashwin. Tasos brings a wealth of lead developer knowledge to Kadena and provides fresh new insights into experiences from other platforms, while Ashwin is a senior engineer who has worked in several large companies and has extensive experience in building top-notch applications.

As you can imagine, I am pretty proud of this all-star team, and they make me highly bullish.

I also learned the importance of listening and communicating with the community; in the end, we are building for the community and they teach us how to be better. We need them to help us as much as we need to help them.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

For sure, I’ll stay in cryptography and blockchain as I genuinely believe in the technology and the solutions it can offer. My colleague, John Wiegley, CTO of Kadena, came up with a mission statement: “Making crypto and blockchain technology useful for society.”

This is a mission statement that I can genuinely connect with, and see myself pursuing this mission for the next 5 years.

What is your vision for the future of Kadena?

A really secure blockchain that is easy to build upon with the safest smart contract language in the industry. Pact will play a huge role in the future of our company in getting mainstream adoption.

What other fun and exciting things do you do when you aren’t architecting front-end magic?

I have 3 kids, so being a dad is a massive part of my life. Doing fun stuff with them and my girlfriend is maybe what I enjoy most.

I also play sports, particularly baseball and basketball. I have played baseball for a significant part of my life, and being part of several dutch national youth teams is what formed my competitiveness. I still have yet to play ball with my fellow Kadenians.

I also enjoy watching movies, TV series, and documentaries.

However, perhaps the one thing I’m most passionate about is traveling with my girlfriend and kids. I can’t go without seeing the wonders of the world, so I always try to go to places I haven’t been to before. This is something I’m pretty infamous for in my time at Kadena. So if you have some tips on places we Kadenians should definitely travel to, please reach out to me.

We hope that you enjoyed getting to know Randy on a more personal level, and be sure to keep up with Randy by following his Twitter and LinkedIn!