October 25, 2023

From Construction to Bitcoin Developer in Less Than 18 Months: Tips for Breaking In and Building a Portfolio with Damian Goodenough (DF#120)

From Construction to Bitcoin Developer in Less Than 18 Months: Tips for Breaking In and Building a Portfolio with Damian Goodenough

Building a Career in Bitcoin Development: From Scratch

May 2022: Damian Goodenouh was working in construction and working on a tractor listening to Hannah on Pomp’s podcast…

October 2023: Damian is a guest on the Degree Free podcast and is a Bitcoin dev!

Yup! Your life can change that fast!

In this episode, Damian shares his story about becoming a developer in less than 18 months and talks about his perspective on the value of practical skills and experience over a college degree.

There is something in this episode for everyone! So even if you don’t want to be a dev or work in crypto, tune into this episode and we promise you’ll get something out of it!

What You’ll Learn:

- Advice on learning new skills, networking, and overcoming imposter syndrome
- The value of practical skills and experience over a college degree in the hiring process
- Damian's journey from construction to becoming a Bitcoin developer
- The different areas and opportunities within Bitcoin development
- Providing proof-of-work and building a portfolio in the Bitcoin industry

Don’t miss this week’s episode!

Enjoy the episode!

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Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Summary:

In this podcast episode, Damian Goodenough shares his journey from construction work to becoming a Bitcoin developer, emphasizing the importance of assessing skills based on actual work rather than degrees. He learned coding through online courses, attended a boot camp, and built a simple Bitcoin wallet as a final project. Damian now focuses on being a contractor and seeks to leverage his Bitcoin development skills.

The conversation shifts to Bitcoin, with an overview of its advantages as decentralized, software-based money. The speaker explains the differences between coding on the Bitcoin protocol and building on top of it, highlighting layer 2 solutions like Lightning and the ability to send micro payments. They discuss the open-source nature of Bitcoin and its enforced decentralized consensus.

The discussion also touches on the concept of "value for value" in podcasting, where listeners can contribute Bitcoin payments instead of relying on advertisers or user data. Networking and attending conferences are emphasized for breaking into the Bitcoin industry. Tips for transitioning into a new job or industry are provided, such as attending meetups, embracing an identity shift, gaining confidence, and utilizing resources like books, podcasts, and practical projects for learning about Bitcoin.

About Damian Goodenough:

Damian went from feeling lost in life to becoming a bitcoin developer in 1 year. With the goal of working for a bitcoin company he did a web dev bootcamp, consumed as much bitcoin content as he could, and eventually started getting paid to do something he loves.

Connect With Damian:

Action Steps & Recommendations:

  • Take online courses to learn coding
  • Enroll in a full-stack web development boot camp
  • Build a Bitcoin wallet as a final project
  • Attend Bitcoin conferences to learn about different areas of Bitcoin development
  • Consider joining a boot camp like Parsity for structured learning
  • Document your learning journey and build a portfolio to showcase your skills
  • Attend Bitcoin conferences and networking events to meet people in the industry


  • 00:03:45 - Damian's introduction to Hannah and Bitcoin through a podcast
  • 00:08:45 - Damian's inspiration to learn to code and become a Bitcoin developer
  • 00:06:27 - Damian's experience with a nutrition consulting program
  • 00:12:16 - Realizing the different areas within Bitcoin development
  • 00:12:50 - Current job as a Bitcoin developer and working with an investor
  • 00:19:31 - Choosing a boot camp for learning coding skills
  • 00:22:10 - Recommendation for Parsity boot camp
  • 00:23:33 - The value of curated information in learning coding
  • 00:24:54 - Overview of Bitcoin and its advantages
  • 00:34:22 - Value for value recognizes the importance of compensating content creators for their time and effort.
  • 00:35:58 - Bitcoin is like digital gold, while Lightning is an easier but less secure way to transact.
  • 00:38:04 - To break into the Bitcoin industry, demonstrate proof of work and connect with people at conferences and meetups.
  • 00:45:26 - Importance of Surrounding Yourself with Like-minded People
  • 00:46:47 - Overcoming Identity Shift and Imposter Syndrome
  • 00:51:39 - Tips for Making Meetups and Events Useful
  • 00:57:13 - Recommended books on Bitcoin
  • 00:58:11 - Resources for learning about Bitcoin
  • 01:02:39 - Advice for getting into budding industries

References, Resources Mentioned & Suggested Reading:

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Damian Goodenough [00:00:00]:

It's a lot easier to want to hire someone because if you see what they've actually built rather than just the piece of paper that's their college degree. Like, you don't really know what they're capable of other than that they were able to graduate from college.

Ryan Maruyama [00:00:18]:

Folks, and welcome back to degree free where we teach you how to get hired without a college degree. I'm your host, Ryan Maruyama. Before we get into today's episode, If you would like to receive a short weekly email that has different degree free jobs, different degree free companies, and how you can get hired without a college degree, Then go to degreefree.c0forward/newsletter to sign up for our free weekly newsletter. Today, my guest is Damian Goodenough. He shares his story about how he went from working in construction and doing different types of odd jobs to where he is today as a Bitcoin developer. This episode is awesome. We do spend a little bit of time talking about what Bitcoin is and what layer 1 and layer 2 is. So So for those people that don't know anything about Bitcoin, don't worry.

Ryan Maruyama [00:01:07]:

You won't be lost. And for those people that are already Bitcoiners, it'll be a nice little refresher. We talk about his story About in May 2022, he was sitting on top of a tractor working in construction, listening to none other than Hannah on Anthony Pompliano's podcast. And from then, he is now a Bitcoin developer. We talk about Everything and all the steps that he took to get there. Even if you're not trying to be a Bitcoin developer or a developer at all, there is absolutely something in this episode for everyone. Damian himself is degree free, and he is really passionate about not needing a college degree to succeed, and it really comes out. As usual, show notes can be found at degreefree.coforward/podcast.

Ryan Maruyama [00:01:52]:

And then one final note before we get into the podcast. While I was recording this episode, there was a lot of construction on my side, so there could be a little bit of background noise. We tried to get it out as possible for you. We did our best. I hope you enjoy the episode and my conversation with Damian Goodenough. Aloha, folks, and welcome back to degree free. I am super excited to have on Today's guest, Damien, thank you for taking the time.

Damian Goodenough [00:02:17]:

Yeah. Of course. Thanks for having me on.

Ryan Maruyama [00:02:19]:

I am really excited To talk to you, 1, because you're the 1st person that we've talked to in the Bitcoin space. Definitely Bitcoin at large for me. I do see other crypto out there at large as well. It's been a big part of my life, but it's just something that I don't talk about. And so I'm really excited to have you on, and I know a lot of people that listen to this or at least They have at least heard about crypto. They have at least heard about Bitcoin, and, you know, they're like, how do I get a job in it? And so I am really, really excited to talk to you about that today.

Damian Goodenough [00:02:56]:

Yeah. I'm excited to share about it. And I think there's a lot of interesting intersections between Bitcoin in, like, kind of the low time preference thinking, like saving for your future, and it kinda relates to making other decisions than going to college.

Ryan Maruyama [00:03:10]:

We had the opportunity. We were fortunate enough. Hannah spoke at an event in Austin a while back, and You were in the audience there, and so we were able to meet in person. And you said that you already knew who Hannah was Prior to her being there and her being the speaker, and that was because you heard her on Palm's podcast. Pretty sure it was last year May that she went on. I would love To kinda start there about what you heard from that podcast, what you were doing at the time, and then kind of catching us up to where we are now.

Damian Goodenough [00:03:45]:

Yeah. For sure. That's that's good to know that it was in May. I was trying to remember when it was exactly, and, like, it felt like a long time ago. But I kinda started my journey in June is when I started pursuing the goals that I have now. And so I'm sure that that definitely played a big part of it, hearing Hannah. Gonna. What I was doing at the time was I was doing construction, working for my dad.

Damian Goodenough [00:04:05]:

He has an excavation company driving tractors and basically all day long could listen to podcasts. And I listened to a lot of pump and I heard Hannah on there. I can't remember exactly. I think she was sharing something about that she used to kind of just do paperwork and then was pursuing a job as a developer and like her goal was to work in AI. And To me, that was just kind of mind blowing because I had always thought that it would be kind of cool to go into computer science, but it it just seemed like, oh, I'm gonna have to go get a degree and not something that I'm very interested in and seemed like something that kinda had to be a a genius to do. And so to hear her story was inspiring. It was definitely a key piece in my decision to not can go to college. I had graduated high school in 2020.

Damian Goodenough [00:04:52]:

Some friends and I took a gap year, and we spent 6 months in Maui, and then I did some traveling. Got some time to think about what I wanted to do with my life. And then when I heard Hannah, I was in sort of a in between stage. I had done some other online classes. For For a while, I thought I wanted to be a nutrition consultant, and so I did a 15 month online program. So, yeah, I was just exploring my options at that time.

Ryan Maruyama [00:05:17]:

Real quick. What is a nutrition consultant?

Damian Goodenough [00:05:19]:

Yeah. So a nutrition consultant is basically, what my job would have been is I would sit down with someone else that has some sort of health concern or some sort of diet related goal. I was studying holistic took nutrition. And so it was focused not just on like, you have to cut down your calories and eat this food and take these supplements. It was focused on, like your your body as a whole and using food for healing along with other, I don't know, things like exercise and your mindset. And so as a nutrition consultant, I would be essentially coaching people, sit down with them and say like, what do you wanna get out of talking to me. Cool thing about being a nutrition consultant is that you don't have to go and get a college degree to be a doctor or anything like that. Are certain aspects, like if you wanna do blood tests and stuff that you would have to be a doctor for.

Damian Goodenough [00:06:12]:

But I can basically just educate people and recommend certain things, and guide them through their own kind of health journey and discovering how to heal themselves.

Ryan Maruyama [00:06:24]:

So you did this 15 month program? Like, you finished it?

Damian Goodenough [00:06:27]:

Yeah. I finished it.

Ryan Maruyama [00:06:28]:

And then what made you not want to pursue that? I mean, since since you finished it.

Damian Goodenough [00:06:33]:

Yeah. So I actually kind of shifted. I started learning how to code while I was in that course. But I kinda had just started realizing being a nutrition consultant wasn't what I wanted because I don't really know. It just didn't feel like something that I wanted to do. I didn't want to be like sit down and talk to people 1 on 1 and like it's kind of a really slow process. There's like I have a lot of knowledge that I would really like to share with my family and friends to help them become more healthy, but just the process of, like, okay. I think maybe you should try cutting out gluten.

Damian Goodenough [00:07:08]:

Let's talk in 3 months and see how you feel. Just didn't feel that rewarding to me, but I'm sure it would have been if I if I stuck with it.

Ryan Maruyama [00:07:16]:

So during this process, you are doing this 15 month program. During the 15 month program, you start to learn to code. How did you learn to code? So there's a couple of questions here. And then When was this? Like, in the in the timeline, like, month, year?

Damian Goodenough [00:07:34]:

I guess what inspired me or, like, what made me want to learn to code was I wanted to get a job in the Bitcoin space. I was learning a lot about Bitcoin at the time. Like I said, I was listening to a lot of podcasts and listening to a lot of podcasts cast about Bitcoin. Just kept hearing people saying, we need more developers, we need more Bitcoin developers. Like I said, I thought that that was kind of something that I couldn't do, but I was hearing, things like that. Like, there's a lot of jobs open for Bitcoin developers. And then listening to other things like listen to pump. I listen to a lot of Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu, and he put a speech that he gave on his podcast and it was really inspiring.

Damian Goodenough [00:08:14]:

I think it was called like this something that every young person needs to hear. Basically, like He was talking about how you could learn anything if you try. That humans are designed to adapt. We're not adapted to anything specific. It's like our adaptation is, our ability to adapt. All of those things were just sitting in my head while I was driving the tractor around all day. I think it was the Tom Bilyeu podcast that I listened to that really was I remember them on. I was just all of a sudden like, I'm just going to learn how to code and become a Bitcoin developer.

Damian Goodenough [00:08:45]:

So from that time, I just kinda started. I didn't even know really what to do. And so I started exploring what it meant to code, and I did a lot of Khan Academy, which has just JavaScript courses on basic coding concepts. It was a good primer. Got me thinking about it. It made me realize that I really enjoyed coding because it felt just like a skill and a language. You you kind of learn all these building blocks and you can put them together and then you actually can create something on the computer. Also, just have the the power of the computer at your fingertips.

Damian Goodenough [00:09:19]:

Like. It's cool to be able to count to a1000000 in 2 seconds. I started learning that, but realized that it wasn't enough to do it on my own. I don't know how I even like learned the idea of there's like programming boot camps just focused on learning how to code. And the one that I did was a full stack web development boot camp focused on building websites using JavaScript. You can build the the front end, which is the part that everyone sees. You make it look pretty, make the buttons work. And then got to learn the back end too, how to actually build the API and make it so that you can store data and all of that.

Damian Goodenough [00:09:53]:

All of that I was doing with this goal in mind that I wanted to work at a Bitcoin company, but it wasn't until recently that I even kind of realized what it meant. I heard people say the word Bitcoin developer, but guys didn't even really understand what that meant. I just knew I wanted to be a Bitcoin developer.

Ryan Maruyama [00:10:09]:

So at what point did you understand what a Bitcoin developer was? Is it during your 3 month boot camp? But, okay. This is what a Bitcoin developer was, or it was, after your development boot camp That you were like, okay. This is now what a Bitcoin developer actually does. When did that click for you?

Damian Goodenough [00:10:27]:

So I started my boot camp in October of 2022 and ended up being about three and a half months and I finished it at the end of February. I was trying to learn about Bitcoin, But I wasn't able to apply the programming skills to Bitcoin, and so I wasn't exploring what it meant to be a Bitcoin developer much then. For my final final project. I built just a simple Bitcoin wallet. We had to build a full stack project where we kind of built the back end, built the front end. And there's Bitcoin nodes, which is like every anyone can run a Bitcoin node and it's just a piece of software that takes in Bitcoin transactions, validates them, and allows you to send transactions and keeps keeps track of the state of the blockchain. Within my project, I was building just kind of like a simple Bitcoin wallet and I was learn how to deploy a Bitcoin node and interact with it and everything. That's when I started kind of realizing what it meant.

Damian Goodenough [00:11:23]:

But I think it wasn't until Then of April, I went to a conference in Austin called Bitcoin plus plus and it was a developer focused Bitcoin conference. It was focused on teaching people how to build Bitcoin apps. 1 of the guys there that was leading it, he was a really loud guy and he'd stand up on the table and say like, alright, everyone, I need you to say this, repeat after me. I, Damian, am a Bitcoin developer. And he would every couple of hours, he would just have us all kind of like chant that. And that's when I started realizing that because there's sort of 2 different areas in Bitcoin. You can be working on the Bitcoin protocol, which is kinda feels like the the galaxy brain sort of stuff. You need to, like, really understand, the cryptography and the computer science and everything is optimized trying to save every little bit of memory.

Damian Goodenough [00:12:16]:

And So there's that side of it, but then there's just interacting with the protocol and building software on top of it. And so that's when I started realizing that becoming a Bitcoin developer is you use Bitcoin to kind of make some other app.

Ryan Maruyama [00:12:29]:

Perfect. Awesome. And I definitely want to Get to what Bitcoin is, and we have to define our terms for the audience or at least, I think we do or define the terms for me personally. But before we get there, I'd love to know what do you do now for work and what your title is and what your job looks like.

Damian Goodenough [00:12:50]:

Yeah. So right now, I guess I'd identify as a contractor. I recently, about a month or so ago, got a contract. This guy reached out to me. He's an investor and he'd had some ideas of something that he wanted to get built. And I had been working on after the Bitcoin plus plus hackathon. My hackathon project was this idea called Lightning Prisms, where someone in the Bitcoin space wrote an article on just this concept of lightning prisms. And basically it's a way of you can create a prism, which is just sort of held in my database.

Damian Goodenough [00:13:26]:

It's just like concept of a prism and you send money into the prism and it splits it out. So you could send 1 payment and have 5 people end up receiving money for that 1 payment that you sent. Our hackathon project In April was using that idea, we built something. I'm still learning a lot, but at the time, I hadn't really gotten to build anything that felt real in terms of Bitcoin software. And so that hackathon was a great experience because I got to can actually work with other people who had a lot more experience than me and get into the weeds of building something. Afterwards, no one else had time to really work on it. And there was 1 other guy that I worked on it with, but everyone else had a full time job and like they're there for the hackathon, but afterwards didn't have time. I thought it was an awesome project, and so I just kinda like it didn't totally work when we did the hackathon, and so I rebuilt it and made it work and had more time than 12 hours that we had during the hackathon.

Damian Goodenough [00:14:25]:

So I was able to kind of get into it and get it working and made the project my own and ended up making a video about it that I just like kind of demoed the video and put it out there. This investor ended up seeing it, and he had some ideas around lightning prisms. So he basically just reached out and we set up a call. Since then, I signed a contract with him and he kinda has a lot of different ideas. He's trying to figure out where his ideas fit into the market. It's an interesting job that I wouldn't have actually imagine myself getting. I was trying for a long time to get more traditional job, just like, you know, looking on job boards and applying and trying to get interviews. I was expecting to be working on a a development team with, like, senior engineers and everything.

Damian Goodenough [00:15:11]:

And So this is not what I was expecting, but I actually am really enjoying it. He basically has his ideas and he says, try and build this. So I build it, and then we see if it works and if if it seems like it's gonna fit into the market. And hopefully, we're launching our project next week, and so it's has been exciting kinda just experimenting. So

Ryan Maruyama [00:15:32]:

it's just you and this investor, and you don't have any other people that helping you out with this project or any other project that you're working on?

Damian Goodenough [00:15:40]:

We did decide to hire someone a week or so ago because I've been focusing on the back end of things. That's kind of what the focus of the project is, but we still need a front end website that people can come to and know know what it is and everything. And so we just decided that I could build the front end as well, but it would make more sense for my time to be focused on what I've been working on and then hire someone else. So recently, we we have a new member of our team.

Ryan Maruyama [00:16:04]:

Thank you for sharing your story. The reason why I wanted to lay that out before we kinda define some of these terms that we're talking about is. Because I wanted to highlight for the audience, for the people listening, of how quick you can change your life if you do action. Right? If you Just get up and start doing things, and you start moving in the right direction. Your life can be changed. I mean, it was May of 2022. You and I are having this conversation in September, the middle of September of 2023. This comes out in a month.

Ryan Maruyama [00:16:37]:

That's 18 months. You know? And you were sitting on top of a tractor 18 months ago listening to pump and to Hannah and to everybody else that you were listening to. And I just wanted to point out for the audience of how quickly you can change your life. Right? I mean, I wonder I'm a ask you, I guess. You know, did you think that 18 months ago, here, you would be actually being a Bitcoin developer?

Damian Goodenough [00:17:02]:

I don't know. I was pretty unsure. So I I remember I wrote in my journal, I go back and read that that entry every couple of times and it was June 15th that like I I remember writing in there, like, I I decided I'm going to learn how to code, and that was like the 1st code that I had written was on June 15th. I didn't really know what I was expecting of it at that time. I think I can do this, and so I'm gonna commit to it. But it wasn't until then when I started looking into boot camps, and there's a lot of them that they're more expensive. The one that I did was all online and was a little bit cheaper than most of them, but they all kind of say like, if you don't get a job within the 1st 6 months, will reimburse you. And so just seeing that, and they have their stats on there, like 95% of people end up getting a job.

Damian Goodenough [00:17:45]:

And so that gave me a good amount of confidence that I could get a job, but for a while I was thinking that I would take years to get a Bitcoin job at a company focused on Bitcoin. I thought that I was just going to apply to a ton of jobs, anything that maybe I was slightly qualified for and get one of those and build some experience. So I I did not imagine myself to could be where I am now.

Ryan Maruyama [00:18:08]:

I would love to pull on that thread just a little bit as far as, you know, going to the boot camp and deciding on which one. Because With a lot of people that are listening to this, they're going through major life changes, and they are currently sitting on top of an excavator or, like, for myself, when I was listening to podcast trying to get out of my situation, I was listening to podcasts on my half an hour walk to work. Right. On my half an hour walk to work, I didn't know anybody that was trying to get out of my situation, and I didn't know anybody to talk to or anything like that. So I popped in my earbuds on my walk, and I was like, okay. I'm gonna surround myself with all these people who are seemingly smarter than me, and, hopefully, something will happen, and and I'll get out of it. And Sure enough. I did.

Ryan Maruyama [00:18:51]:

With that same thing in mind, like, how do you vet these educational things, like or how did you because they're trying to get out of their situation, but they're like, okay. Well, I need to learn a skill. Right? I need to learn a skill, but how do I learn that skill? And then the The way that we think about it is there's 3 ways to learn a skill just to make it really easy. You could go the free route and going, like, YouTube University route, Or you can do, like, paid courses, which is, you know, just learn at your own pace, video courses, or then you can go the formal, like, boot camp way. And, you know, the formal boot camp way is the highest risk because it's always the most expensive. So how did you figure out, like, this is the one that I'm going to go to?

Damian Goodenough [00:19:31]:

Yeah. Well, I'll At first, I was just going YouTube University route and there's an insane amount of resources out there. There's MIT OpenCourseWare and Stanford puts out YouTube videos where you can literally just watch college lectures. And kind of when I started discovering that, I was like, why would I pay to go to college when I could watch whatever lecture I want. What made me pick the boot camp that I picked was I wanted To listen to podcasts on how to code, and there's really not any podcasts on What I figured out in learning how to code is the only way to actually learn is to type the code. And like even if you're just literally copying what someone else has already written, just typing it out, you notice the little things and it helps learn a lot more, but I I was had time to listen to podcasts. So I was looking through Spotify trying to find podcasts on how to code. And the boot camp that I did, they had put out 1 episode just kind of like really basic ideas of programming.

Damian Goodenough [00:20:32]:

I started listening to their podcast and their whole podcast was focused on They were trying to prepare people's mindset for going into a boot camp, preparing people that it's not necessarily going to just be like, oh, sign up for this boot camp and you're going to get a job. Like, you actually have to put in full time work and try hard, but if you do try hard, then there's a really good chance you're going to get a job. I didn't even really know what their content was for the boot camp itself, but I felt like they were putting in a lot of effort to have their students succeed. That and the lower price. Most boot camps that I was looking at were around 16 to $18,000. To me, I mean, that seemed that seemed worth it because I was starting to realize with the YouTube University route, it's almost like there's too much information out there. I don't even know what I'm doing, so how am I supposed to know what I should focus on learning? I kind of realized I do need some sort of structure. But by having going to a boot camp versus just college, you don't have to take all the nonsense class is that don't relate to what I'm interested in.

Damian Goodenough [00:21:34]:

I knew I wanted to do a boot camp, and then this one, the combination of the lower price because they had kind of recently they recently put themselves on the market and they're all online, whereas all the other boot camps used to be in person. I was talking to the guy that runs this one and so he says he thinks that they should have lowered their prices because the cost was for what it was to be in person. Definitely, they gave me confidence in their product by putting out content that kind of showed that they cared about their students.

Ryan Maruyama [00:22:06]:

And we should we can give them a plug too. Which boot camp did you go to?

Damian Goodenough [00:22:10]:

They're called Parsity. I think their website is parsity. Io, it's parsity. Io, and I I really enjoyed it. They were definitely new. I think I was their 6th cohort, and so there was kind of some kinks in the curriculum, but I would recommend it to anyone that wants to just kinda go down that. Like, you need to take a test. You need to have some basic understanding of JavaScript.

Damian Goodenough [00:22:34]:

But after that, then they kinda teach you everything.

Ryan Maruyama [00:22:37]:

You know, you were talking about the YouTube University route and going that way and just the breadth and depth of information that's out there. Whenever you're learning a new skill, the way that I tell it to people is that, you know, there really is there's, like, 2 things. The first one is curating the information that you have To learn that skill, and then the second one is learning the skill. There really is value in somebody else curating information for you and just being like, hey. All you have to do is this stuff right here. And then so do you eliminate an entire step of the process of learning it, which is curating the information, and then you just all you have to do is is learn it. I know for myself, I have always been skeptical of buying courses or informational products or anything like that, and Understandably so. I mean, there's a lot of, you know, snake oil salesman out there or whatever.

Ryan Maruyama [00:23:33]:

There's a lot of get rich quick schemes. But there really is value in somebody's being like, hey. This is what you have to learn, especially in something as technical as coding. And And I'll speak from my own experience. Like, I've tried to learn how to code multiple different times in in my life. I've never paid for a course, and I would always get stuck in, like, tutorial hell. Like, I like, I made this Instagram clone. Like, oh, look at this.

Ryan Maruyama [00:23:59]:

But then you, like, try to, like, make something of your own, and then you're just like, oh my god. How do I do this? Right? And that's where the value of, like, having feedback and having somebody to be like, this is how it's done Is is really helpful. I I I definitely wanna bring that up.

Damian Goodenough [00:24:12]:

Yeah. Definitely. And also paying for it makes you commit. I put a lot of thought into whether or not I wanted to do this, and I was like, okay. I'm gonna I'm gonna cop up the money to do it, and so now I'm fully committed for the next three and a half months to put all my effort into doing this.

Ryan Maruyama [00:24:27]:

I would love to switch gears and talk about Bitcoin for a second and talk about, 1, if we could just give a very Surface level overview of what Bitcoin is, layer 1 versus layer 2. Kind of go a little bit deeper about what you were talking about When you were saying you could actually work on the protocol or you could build things on top of the protocol. If we could just define those just a little bit more.

Damian Goodenough [00:24:54]:

Yeah. It's a really hard question to answer. What is Bitcoin? There's so many different rabbit holes that you can go down. I think at the most basic level Bitcoin is money. From my view, it's the best money that humanity has ever experienced. When you go back and look at the history of money, which is something that's interesting that I didn't realize until kind of going down the journey of learning about Bitcoin, but I was never really taught about money in school. I feel like school was The whole goal of high school was get good grades So that you can get into this college, you can get this degree and get this paying this job. The whole focus was on sort of a salary, but there was never a focus on what money is and like how do you make smart financial decisions? Like what does it mean to save money versus like go into debt? And we never learned about the actual like history of money.

Damian Goodenough [00:25:50]:

I started learning about that when I was discovering Bitcoin. And when you look at money throughout history. Almost always when you put it or actually every single time, no fiat currency. Fiat means I think it's in Greek. It means by decree. So it's basically like the government says this piece of paper has value and throughout history, no fiat currency has ever lasted. The pound and the US dollar are the longest lasting fiat currencies in human history, and they've only been around for like 50 years or something. Because when you put money in control of humans, they inevitably want to take advantage of it.

Damian Goodenough [00:26:30]:

And whether it's like you can just print more bills or kings have taken you get gold coins and when they collect their taxes, they snip off the gold from around the coin, no one notices really, but over time they end up collecting more gold or like being able to make more coins. And then over time, the coins get smaller and smaller. In Africa, they used to use glass beads for currency because they didn't have the technology to produce glass beads easily, and so they were valuable. Then Europeans came and they realized that they could easily manufacture a lot of glass beads for really cheap. So then they went back, created a bunch, came to Africa, put those on the market, and essentially paid people to do work for them, but the Europeans didn't have to put any energy into getting that money. All of that to say, when you put money in control of humans, It usually goes wrong. Bitcoin takes the control of money out of the hands of humans by putting the rules into software. The rules of money are pretty simple.

Damian Goodenough [00:27:35]:

If I work, if I give you my energy, you want something, you want a task done, and you say, hey, I have this money, I will give it to you. We're basically like exchanging energy because I'm expending my energy to accomplish a task for you, and you've already done the same for someone else, and that's how you got the money. What I want is to get that money and have that money have the same value as the energy that I already expended. And I think my time is the most valuable thing that I have. Time continues on and keeps disappearing. So if I spend my time doing something, which kind of goes back to choosing whether or not you want to go to college or not, Do you want to spend your time going into debt and learning about things that don't actually relate to your goals? That's not what I want to do. You want your money to hold its value over time. What happens when you put it in control of humans and they create more of the currency, then the currency that you hold becomes worth less.

Damian Goodenough [00:28:39]:

And so the time that you spent to get that currency is now worth less. And so what Bitcoin does is it recognizes that money should hold its value. There should be a fixed supply of money. I should be able to send my money to anyone, anywhere in the world. We live in a digital world now, so even though it's hard to debase gold, it doesn't really make much sense for today's world because if I want to buy something from someone in China and I want to hold my own gold, I'd have to mail that gold to them or something. So with Bitcoin, you can instantly send value to someone across the world. It takes all of the rules of money and puts them into software and essentially makes Bitcoin the best money because it's enforced by the rules in the software. And some like a question that I get all the time is, well, can't you just change the software? Like, if anyone's learned how to code, like, it's pretty easy to just go and view the source code and Bitcoin is open source.

Damian Goodenough [00:29:37]:

That's the beautiful thing about it is it's not controlled by any centralized entities. The code is out there. You can go on GitHub to a github.com/ Bitcoin and you can see the software. Because everyone is running that software on their computers, it creates what they call decentralized consensus. So I value these rules of money. Someone else values the same rules and so they're running the same piece of software. But it would be like we're playing a game of Monopoly and everyone is playing by the same rules, so we can all kind of like continue to play together. But when someone decides that they don't like the game anymore because they're losing and they go to play a different They get out another board and they say, I'm going to change the rules.

Damian Goodenough [00:30:20]:

I'm going to make myself in control of the bank. Then they're all of a sudden playing a different game. I don't want to play the game with them. So you can change the rules, then you're just playing a different game.

Ryan Maruyama [00:30:30]:

So when you're talking about coding onto the main Bitcoin and then on top of Bitcoin. Can we talk about that a little bit? So if you were working on Bitcoin, you would be doing All of that cryptography stuff, all working on all of the things that you talked about already, I'm assuming. And then if you're working on top of coin you'd be doing something completely different.

Damian Goodenough [00:30:55]:

Yeah. So there's the protocol, which is like what I was saying, the rules that are built into the Bitcoin nodes and how how that all works. There's layer 1 and layer 2. Layer 1 is the Bitcoin node. That's the block chain that's like 6.25 bitcoin get mined every 10 minutes. And it's one of the arguments against Bitcoin by a lot of other cryptocurrencies is that it's slow. You can only send a certain amount of transactions every 10 minutes. So dealing with all of those problems is, layer 1.

Damian Goodenough [00:31:30]:

And then there's layer 2, which tries to solve a lot of the problems on layer 1 while making other compromises. So layer 1 is enforced by proof of work. It's really secure. It has downsides to it because of that. And so then there's layer 2, which maybe isn't as secure if you have some Bitcoin on a layer 2 piece of software. There's something called Lightning, which is just you kind of take things that you can do on Layer one and take them up a step so that you can send transactions more quickly, but maybe you're a little bit more likely to lose your funds. And those are both still within the protocol. Like there's protocol engineers that are developing Lightning.

Damian Goodenough [00:32:14]:

There's different implementations of lightning nodes that different companies are building. In my mind is like pretty intense software that requires a lot of knowledge and like, something that I think that I could do, but just not that I want to spend the time learning about. All of those protocol devs are building this protocol that's Bitcoin and Lightning, which essentially all it does is it creates really good money that you can programmatically send and receive and store. I started realizing that when I was thinking about becoming a Bitcoin developer. It's not that exciting because it's just you're sending and receiving money and storing money. So that's what you can do on top of those on the protocol is you can build applications that transfer money. But it starts to get really interesting because there's certain paradigms that don't exist with the traditional banking system. Like if you want to use credit cards, you have to pay a 2% fee and usually like there's a minimum of a $5 transaction.

Damian Goodenough [00:33:20]:

With Bitcoin and then with Lightning specifically, you can send micro payments. Bitcoin is divisible into Satoshis, which go down to There's a 100,000,000 Satoshis in 1 Bitcoin. Right now, if a Bitcoin is worth, what, like $25,000, then a dollar is around 3,000 Satoshis. You can send 1 Satoshi, which is a fraction of a cent. And that gets really interesting with things like the idea like, have you guys gone into value for value on this podcast?

Ryan Maruyama [00:33:49]:

Nope. Never.

Damian Goodenough [00:33:50]:

Value for value is is. Sort of a different way of thinking about monetizing content. Traditionally, if you're not paying for the product, then you are the product. You go on Google, Google offers an amazing set of services. You don't pay for any of them, but they're just farming your data and selling it to advertisers. Same thing with you go on YouTube and you're fed ads. Value for value recognizes that we don't want to can unwillingly give away our data, but people are spending their time to create this content. Like you're taking your time to create this podcast.

Damian Goodenough [00:34:22]:

And if you say like. Hey, I I put a lot of time into creating this podcast. You listen to it. Can you give me a little bit of value for the value that I provided you? And if you pay me, I'm gonna put more time and energy into creating this podcast and make it better so that you enjoy it more. And that's not totally possible or it doesn't make a lot of sense with the traditional banking system because you can't send small amounts and someone has to like set up their bank account and it's just much more difficult. But what Bitcoin allows is there's podcasting apps that are designed for value for value, and you can send micro payments to podcasters. You can send half a cent every 5 minutes that you listen to that podcast. So that's an example of something that's built on top of the protocol is someone has built a podcast app that allows podcasters and listeners to exchange value through Bitcoin.

Ryan Maruyama [00:35:21]:

And I know That's a really tough question, and you did a really good job at it. I wonder, is there a analogy in the real world? Like, you kinda talked about How credit cards right? Like, that's the system that we're using now. We're paying, you know, a fee If you're the merchant, especially, you're paying that fee to these third party providers. Is there an analogy of, like, Bitcoin being layer 1 and then lightning being layer 2 that you can think of that might help illustrate the point a little bit more?

Damian Goodenough [00:35:58]:

Oftentimes Bitcoin is called digital gold because it has a lot of the same properties as gold and that it's hard to like you actually have to expend energy to mine gold out of the earth, and the same thing with Bitcoin. But gold doesn't work that great for transacting day to day because like I said, you have to if you wanna pay someone in China, you have to send it in the mail. And Ideally, you have self custody of that gold so that the bank can't just take the gold from you, but if you hold it at your house, you're it's a lot more secure. And so it's similar to Bitcoin, the layer one of Bitcoin in that like you can self custody your Bitcoin, you can bury your seed phrase outside your house, and if someone wants to steal your Bitcoin, they have to somehow get you to give that knowledge up. That's like storing your long term wealth. You're saving for the future. You're saving for maybe future generations. But then lightning is, like I said, it's less secure.

Damian Goodenough [00:36:57]:

It's not like the gold buried under your house. You're not gonna be able to spend it or layer 1 you're not gonna be able to spend easily, but lightning allows you to easily send payments and they confirm instantly. And so that's almost like then going and taking your gold, depositing it into a bank account that maybe that gold's not quite as secure, but now you get the benefits of a a debit card, and you can go to the grocery store, tap your debit card, and instantly, you've bought your groceries.

Ryan Maruyama [00:37:28]:

Amazing. Now we're looking at the Bitcoin, you know, ecosystem, And we're thinking to ourselves, okay. I wanna work in Bitcoin. I know personally I've had this conversation with many people about wanting to work in Bitcoin, but they don't know where to start. Even for people that are developers, they are going through a very, very similar thing that you've experienced is like, well, I am a web dev, but I wanna work in this industry and be maybe crypto at large. I wanna work in this industry, but I just don't know how to break in. How do you do that?

Damian Goodenough [00:38:04]:

Yeah. So I can only share from my experience, but what I learned is Bitcoiners value proof of work. That proof of work is the basis of what makes Bitcoin work. You have to expend energy in order to mine Bitcoin. And that's kind of something that as you start to learn about Bitcoin, you start to recognize is that there's no such thing as free lunch. There is like now. You can your kids can get free lunch at school, but that's not really free. You're paying for it somehow.

Damian Goodenough [00:38:37]:

And with that idea, proof of work applies to a lot of different aspects of your life. By being able to demonstrate proof of work, What I was doing is as I was learning, I was writing on LinkedIn a lot and demonstrating what I was learning. I was sort of being vulnerable because I didn't really know that much about what I was talking about, but I was just sharing as I was learning. And now there's some people that would read my posts every time, but then also I've just I started keeping track of a link of all of the posts that I made, and that is my proof of work, at least one part of it because it's literally proof that I did the work to get to where I am now, just like a college degree is sort of proof of work. There's proof of work and then another saying that Bitcoiners say is, don't trust, verify. By having that proof of work, you're able to verify that someone is who they say they are. You don't have to just trust them. It's a lot easier to want to hire someone because if you see what they've actually built rather than just the piece of paper that's their college degree.

Damian Goodenough [00:39:43]:

Like, you don't really know what they're capable of other than that they were able to graduate from college.

Ryan Maruyama [00:39:48]:

Hey there. I hope that you're loving today's conversation. At degree free, we wanna help as many people as we can thrive and succeed without needing a college degree. Having these guests on that share their experiences so that you can learn from their stories and their mistakes is one of the ways that we do that. Genuinely, I'm just grateful that these guests take the time to come on and share their wisdom. And if you're getting value out of this conversation Or you've listened to 2, 3, or 4 plus episodes. I have one quick ask. Please take a moment right now to review this podcast on whatever platform you're tuning in on.

Ryan Maruyama [00:40:22]:

With your review, you're not just supporting us, but you're amplifying the voices of every guest we bring on and ultimately helping more people thrive degree free. Thank you for doing that right now and for being such an important part of degree free. I never thought about it like that, but we encourage people to build a portfolio all the time. And a portfolio can mean Different things to different people and in different industries. Right? I mean, for a web dev, it's gonna be, like, here's the links to all the sites that I've created. Right? I mean, For developers, like, here's my GitHub. But for a graphic designer, it could literally you know, it could be a literal portfolio, you know, if you're in a physical medium. So it's every everything is different, but we definitely encourage people to do that.

Ryan Maruyama [00:41:10]:

I've never heard of it from a Proof of work standpoint. I I love it. I love it. Talking about projects and talking about, you know, documenting your journey on LinkedIn, how Does somebody get their project seen? That's one of the biggest things, right, is you're learning this new skill, and especially for people that are learning to be developers. You're gonna go and take this. Maybe not so much for boot camps because you get a little bit more guidance, and they're gonna tell you, like, this is how you do it. But if you're taking a paid course and it's kind of all do it yourself now you have this project, but, like, how do we get it in front of people?

Damian Goodenough [00:41:46]:

I think as you're learning a lot of the projects that you start with, no one will really care that much about because like there's a 1,000,000 weather apps and a million like basic like, oh, I learned how to draw this. But I think just documenting it still, even if no one cares about those first projects that you do is valuable because there's now a record of it. Just even if you're a graphic designer, if you can show a 100 pictures of things that you've designed and see the progress that you've made over time, then that's when I think that part starts to become valuable. But then Now I've gained the skills over the last year to actually build a project that I think people would be interested in. I've kind of gotten the knowledge to put it all together and come up with my own ideas. And it's hard because when I'm doing that, I want people to know about it, but I'm also mostly just focused on building the project, so I don't have time to go market my project. And so I think with Bitcoin specifically, The best thing to do is to go meet people, go to conferences, go to meetups. Since I went to my 1st Bitcoin conference in April, and since then my whole experience has completely changed because instead of now I'm not just reading things and posting on the Internet, I'm actually going and meeting people that they're the ones doing what I want to be doing, and I get to go just talk to them.

Damian Goodenough [00:43:11]:

Then inevitably, they're curious about what I'm doing, and I can share my project and, like, how I end up getting my contract is I just met a bunch of people and the right person heard it. They were interested in it. It was sort of just chance, but I met enough people that the odds were in my favor.

Ryan Maruyama [00:43:30]:

That's awesome. And that was a perfect segue, actually, because that was gonna be my next question. I was gonna talk about the conference that you went to. I think you said it was Bitcoin plus plus, And it was a conference for developers or Bitcoin developers. I have a couple of questions, but I'll start with Why that conference?

Damian Goodenough [00:43:48]:

Yeah. So I was there's this book called Programming Bitcoin by this guy, Jimmy Song, pretty popular in the Bitcoin space, and he's a developer and a writer. He wrote this amazing book that basically goes through If anyone is looking to can start learning how to become a Bitcoin developer. That's the books more focused on the protocol side of things, but you get to basically code a node from nothing. And so that really helped me understand a lot of it. And I was trying to get myself out into the world. And so every chapter that I read, I would summarize it and kind of try to explain it on LinkedIn. Almost every single post I would tag Jimmy Song and thank him for writing his book or, like, just call him out basically.

Damian Goodenough [00:44:32]:

And after a couple posts, he started liking them and I was like, oh, this is pretty awesome. Jimmy Song's actually liking my posts. And once I was done, I had put in the proof of work. I had read his book, written a post about it. I was pretty motivated too. I was reading 1 chapter and writing 1 post every single day, and at the end of it, I sent him an email and basically, like, I was grateful to him and then asked him for some advice and some help. One of the things that he recommended was to go to Bitcoin plus plus He was like he kinda gave me a bunch of resources and then he's like, if you're really serious about becoming a Bitcoin developer, you should go check out Bitcoin plus plus and I was pretty hesitant because I had to pay for the conference, pay for my flight, pay for my hotel. It was only in like a month and a half and it just seemed like a lot.

Damian Goodenough [00:45:20]:

But I was like, well, looks pretty cool. I'll I'll just go. I'll go because he recommended it, and I'm glad that I did.

Ryan Maruyama [00:45:26]:

One of the things That's difficult when you are trying to transition out of another job or getting into a new industry is Surrounding yourself with those people as we have identified. Right? And going to conferences and going to that conference specifically was huge for you. Whenever I tell people to go to a conference or go to an event. And it's even conference is even too big of a suggestion, actually. I'll just tell tell somebody to, like, go to a local meetup of whatever it is. Like, let's say it's you wanna be, like, a WordPress dev. Right? Like, they have, like, local chapter meetings, like, literally in every city that you can think of. And you could just go to these, you know, Tuesday every 1st Tuesday of the month meetings.

Ryan Maruyama [00:46:09]:

But what's difficult about it is that you don't have that identity shift yet. Right? Like, kind of what you were talking about in that Bitcoin plus plus. Right? So as somebody who's kind of In a life transformation industry myself, like, I know that the biggest thing with having people, You know, have a life change is, like, changing your identity. The reason why, whoever that was, you know, was on the stage that I am a Bitcoin developer. I'm a Bitcoin developer. I'm assuming is to get you that to have to could that identity shift. Right? To to to be like, I am that, and I'm gonna make decisions based off of what that person does. Right? Like, whatever a Bitcoin developer does is is.

Ryan Maruyama [00:46:47]:

I'm gonna do because I'm now a Bitcoin developer. And so the hardest part is, like, you don't have that identity shift yet. Right? Like, when I was a bartender, I didn't think, oh, I'm not a bartender. I was like, I'm a bartender, and I don't know how to get out of it. If I go to these local meetups, I feel like a fraud. I'm just like, I don't belong here. I don't I don't know anybody here. What am I doing here? And so I'm wondering, did you feel any of that, this being your first event? And if you did, do you have any tips for people that are thinking about going to their 1st meetup, their 1st event? How can you Make it useful.

Damian Goodenough [00:47:21]:

Yeah. I mean, I definitely still deal with that. Every time someone asks me what I do, I'm like, oh, I'm trying to become a Bitcoin developer, and I'm not very confident about it. But then afterwards, I'm like, I'm getting paid to build Bitcoin software. Why do I not identify as a Bitcoin developer? Part of it is. I'm comparing myself to all the protocol devs and the people that have been doing it for the last 10 years. I'm not on their level, so I don't feel like I identify as that. And then even more generally, just being a software engineer, I prefer to call myself like a programmer or a developer.

Damian Goodenough [00:47:55]:

I still have a hard time identifying as a software engineer, even though I am engineering software. Like I come up with an idea and I put the ideas together to make it what it is, but it's just hard to identify as that. I mean, definitely part of it is just building my own skills. I slowly am becoming more confident. Then there is just that identity shift that I don't know exactly how to overcome. There's this guy that I met in Austin, he has a similar background is me. And he went to a boot camp, but only or he did it 3 or so years before I did. Something that he talks about a lot is that imposter syndrome.

Damian Goodenough [00:48:36]:

But what he realized is that he can make his identity. He calls himself the Bitcoin pleb dev and he can make his identity like that he is a developer that's learning, like in Bitcoin, a a common like people call each other plebs or they call themselves plebs, which is just kind of like, I don't know, a plebian, like just a low low hanging citizen. He's said. That by identifying as a pleb dev and saying that he doesn't know everything and that he's learning kinda helps give himself more confidence because he's not trying to live up to who the protocol devs are. He's just a pleb dev learning, building what what he can. So kinda having that shift in mindset is helpful.

Ryan Maruyama [00:49:23]:

For myself, one of the things that has helped me In the past and helps me now to this day because I'll find myself in rooms where I'm just like, I don't belong here. You know what I mean? Like, what am I doing? But, you know, if you do the things that we talk about on degree free on this podcast and with guests like you on, you're gonna find yourself in rooms Where you're just like, yeah. You don't feel that. What has helped for me is exactly what you were saying or very similar to that, which is taking, lesser role and just understanding the reason why having a very clear goal of why you're there. And instead of saying, for me, when I would go to events and I would go to meetups, I would always say that, like, at the beginning Of my entrepreneurial journey. This for me, this is when I was an entrepreneur. When I was first starting, I wanted to be, like, the number 1 person in that room. I wanted to be, Like, everybody can learn something from me, and I wanted to pretend like I was the big dog.

Ryan Maruyama [00:50:24]:

What has helped me Was going the exact opposite of just like, I don't know anything, and I am here. I have a clear goal of letting everybody else talk And then me just soaking it all in and learning. Right? And then that has helped me because then you realize by letting more people speak, A lot of times, you'll be like, wow. You are super far ahead of me, and I have so much to learn. And so thank God I'm standing here talking to you is. I'm just soaking it in. Otherwise, how how else would I have ever met you? You know what I mean? Like, I wouldn't have. And then Secondly, if you let people talk, you'll be like, oh, you're actually not that much further ahead than me.

Ryan Maruyama [00:51:06]:

Like, I'm I'm right there. You know? Like and if I can get a little, nugget out of the conversation, they're like, oh, okay. That's how you did that. And then you can get over your your own, you know, trials or your own tribulations or whatever, your own hump. And so that's what helped me when at these events or in these rooms or on these meetings with people that I don't necessarily identify with yet, and, you know, I'm obviously the lesser is is is what I'll say.

Damian Goodenough [00:51:39]:

Yeah. And there's also like you were saying you wanted to be the best one in the room, but probably so does everyone else. And so what I realized is a lot of times people don't really care that much if I'm working on something interesting, they might be interested in it, but they don't necessarily care about where I'm at. They care about where they're at. And so if you can like listen and then ask questions, almost always it's a little bit harder online because there's just so many people and no one is gonna actually notice you. But if you show up at a meetup and you ask someone a question, they're, in my experience, pretty likely to give you their energy and explain something. And I find the more questions that I ask, the more that people just offer information to me, and that kinda helps helps with the learning process.

Ryan Maruyama [00:52:29]:

Absolutely. And people are surprisingly willing to help. Right? I mean, And it all goes I don't know if you ever heard the book, like, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Have you ever heard of that book? It's like one of those must read type of books. But, Anyway, the I'll sum it up in 2 seconds. This is be likable. You know what I mean? Like, don't be an asshole. And, and surprisingly, if you do those 2 things, Be likable and you're not an ass.

Ryan Maruyama [00:52:55]:

People are surprisingly willing to help. Right? I mean and whatever help means. It could be buying your product. You know? It could be helping you, introducing you to different people. It could be getting on a different podcast, whatever helpful is. You know, thinking back, we're talking about live events and things. And thinking back to the event that you and I met each other at physically, There was a, you know I don't know. At the time that I showed up there, I I I came up there late.

Ryan Maruyama [00:53:21]:

There was dozens and dozens of people there, and I've Shook hands and said hi to a bunch of people there. There was really 1 person that stood out to me that I mean, obviously, you're you're here, so You stand out, but there's only 1 person that really stood out to me, and that was the person who I think his name was Jacob, and he clearly, Like, wasn't sure why he was I mean, he's a Bitcoin guy. He's a Bitcoin fan, but he was kind of awkward, And he was a little hesitant to talk to me, and he was a little hesitant talking to other people. But, you know, I I I took note of it, and I was just like, man, Good for him, like, for being there and being in an obviously uncomfortable position, you know. And we made conversation, and I I remember his name. I remember what he does for a living, and I remember where he lives. And, you know, that's out of, I don't know, 50 plus people that were there. You You know what I mean? Like, that's the guy that I remember be just because he made an effort.

Damian Goodenough [00:54:22]:

Yeah. And, I mean, it's also a skill too. Like, that might have been his first experience doing something like that. And I mean, I've only, like I said in April was the 1st conference I've been to and I felt really uncomfortable there. And then I went to the Bitcoin Miami conference a month later and there I was trying to be forward. It's easy if they're not already talking to people. Like I just look for the person standing in the corner and go introduce myself to them and it's always awkward. But I've been forcing myself to do that for the last 3 or 4 conference I've conferences I've been to, and now in Austin, I felt a lot more comfortable in my own shoes, and, like, I'd been there.

Damian Goodenough [00:55:00]:

I'd done that, and it definitely it got easier.

Ryan Maruyama [00:55:04]:

I would love to switch gears. It seems like you're the perfect person to ask given your background and your meteoric rise to where you are now. Well, let's just say that you're listening to this and, you know, rewind the clock about 18 months, and you're like, okay. This sounds great, Damian. I want to learn more about Bitcoin. I wanna learn more about how to become a Bitcoin dev or even just the basics of Bitcoin. What are some of the best resources out there? Books, podcasts, or, you know, video series, whatever.

Damian Goodenough [00:55:37]:

I'll try to find the link after this, and I can maybe you can leave it in the description to that Tom Bilyeu podcast. I've listened to that a lot of times. I think it's called, like, this is something that every young person should hear or something, but I'll send you the link after this. But that, like, really changed my mindset into thinking that I could do anything basically if I put my mind to it and that I was capable of learning anything. Something like that at least is a good place to start for people because it's really overwhelming with like learning any skill. There's a lot of information, but then Bitcoin and becoming a Bitcoin developer, like just understanding how Bitcoin works and not writing any code is a lot, but then learning how Bitcoin works. And it helps to write the code because you kinda like you're paying more attention, and I've gained a better understanding of how Bitcoin works. But I guess I'm just saying that because it's it's not like an easy task.

Damian Goodenough [00:56:32]:

It definitely takes a lot of motivation and focus and attention day after day. So that podcast kinda like gave me that motivation. If your goal is to become Bitcoin developer, you should understand just how Bitcoin works. You should understand why Bitcoin. Understanding why Bitcoin is another thing that's given me motivation because it's just an idea that I'm passionate about. So there's some books like The Bitcoin Standard by Saif Dean, who writes about sort of hard money and the difference is between fiat and hard money. And that's kind of what one of the things that made me realize Bitcoin is something I want to care about. So there's book like that.

Damian Goodenough [00:57:13]:

There's one called Bullish Case for Bitcoin, I think 21 Reasons. So those are more of the philosophy of Bitcoin. And then what I started with was in terms of learning more of the technical of Bitcoin was A book called Mastering Bitcoin by Andreas Antonopoulos, and then he also has another one called Mastering the Lightning Network, I think. Those were really good, got into the technical side of how Bitcoin works. Then Jimmy Song's book, Programming Bitcoin, and Those 3 books, Mastering the Lightning Network, Mastering Bitcoin, and Programming Bitcoin, those were great books to understand how Bitcoin works. And I wish that I had read programming Bitcoin a lot sooner because there's exercises in it where you read the concept and then there's programming exercises. So that was really helpful. But then outside of that, it's there's not that many resources.

Damian Goodenough [00:58:11]:

It depends on what aspect you're interested in. There's Base 58. I think their website is base 58base58.info. And, the lady, Nifty, who runs that is really amazing. And she focuses on the protocol side of things, and she has a bunch of different classes and they have in person classes. And and I haven't actually done any of her classes, but I've heard really great things to learn the protocol side of things. And then after that, it's really just about if you have a basic understanding of programming, then just try and build something like try and build a Bitcoin wallet, try to build a podcasting app or it doesn't even need to be like like I was you don't need to be able to upload podcasts to it, but just create some app that allows for value for value that you can send Bitcoin back and forth. From there you'll start to learn how to interact with a Bitcoin node.

Damian Goodenough [00:59:06]:

That's one of the things that I realize being a Bitcoin developer is, is you're sending commands to your Bitcoin nodes so that it can send and receive payments for you. Really, I think just Look at the projects that already exist and see if you can figure out how they work, see if you can rebuild them because there's not a ton of learning resources. But then like what made the biggest difference for me was going to that Bitcoin plus plus conference, doing. The hackathon, the hackathon was like I got to, like I said, work with people that have been being Bitcoin developers for the last 5 years, And we got to come up with some project that we wanted to do and scramble to make it happen in 12 hours. And then I got to meet a bunch of other Bitcoin developers who now I can reach out to and ask questions too. And I think just kinda stay persistent with it and keep keep trying to build stuff, and eventually you'll figure it out.

Ryan Maruyama [00:59:59]:

Yeah. That's awesome. And you really are building the future. Right? I mean, there really isn't a road map For this stuff. I mean, it's a completely new industry. I mean, yeah. Sure. I mean, you know, there's nothing new under the sun, and so we're just we're taking Old concepts and then putting it on onto the lightning network and putting it onto layer 2 and okay.

Ryan Maruyama [01:00:23]:

Sure. But then you still gotta make it happen. Right. Like, you still gotta implement it, and that's what you're doing. And so, that's amazing. My last question for you, Damian, before you go Or a couple of last questions that I ask everybody. 1, for everybody that wants to say hi, where is the best place that I can send them? They wanna follow Along with your career, say hi.

Damian Goodenough [01:00:45]:

Yeah. Probably if they reach out to me on Twitter would be the best place. I'm not super active on there, but my my handle is good enough, d a_goodenough. So that I think is a good place to reach me. And I wanted to say to your point that we're building the future because there is no roadmap. It's kind of the front line of things. There's not a lot of people that know how to could do, what I've learned how to do in the last year. And so just by like putting myself out there that now I have this knowledge and I have these skills like this guy that gave me a contract, he just wanted something to be built, but he needs someone that knows how the technology works.

Damian Goodenough [01:01:27]:

And even if I'm not like a 10 year developer. I at least understand Bitcoin and can can do it for him. And so

Ryan Maruyama [01:01:36]:

Yeah. I was just talking about this with somebody Earlier today, and we were talking about how in these budding industries, the future hasn't been built, And it's these industries are so new, so Bitcoin, crypto being one of those things and then AI being another one of those industries. And just the walls haven't even been put up for gatekeepers to, like, put a gate in. Right? And so The time is now to get into these budding industries, and it doesn't necessarily even have to be in a technical role for those people listening to this that don't want to be technical Or they they don't have the, you know, aptitude for it if that's what they believe. Right? It could just be doing whatever it is that you're doing now For that, let's say that you're in a marketing role, but you just wanna go do that for Bitcoin or for crypto or for an AI for an AI company. Right. Like, you can go and do that. There aren't any experts in these fields, really.

Ryan Maruyama [01:02:39]:

I mean and, okay, maybe there is, but the experts have been doing it for 10 years. That's not that's not as bad as in all these other traditional, and I'm using that in quotes, fields where there have been Incumbents in there for, like, 30 years. Right? They're like, this is how we've always done it. This is how we've always done it. Well, you go to school. You get a degree in this, and then, You know, you go and get your MBA or your, master's or PhD in math, and then you come back and you work for us. But these industries, they don't have those rules established yet. Really, the time is now, and do exactly what you did and strike while the iron's hot.

Damian Goodenough [01:03:14]:

Yeah, that's what really lit the fire under me is I realized that there's not a lot of people now that know how to do this, but there will be, and so the sooner I can build those skills, the more ahead that I'll be and the more valuable that I'll be.

Ryan Maruyama [01:03:30]:

Yeah. Absolutely. And then the last thing I don't wanna take up your whole day, Damien. Last thing that I wanted to ask you is do you have any final thoughts or final words that we didn't already talked about that you wanted to tell the audience?

Damian Goodenough [01:03:44]:

All throughout high school, I, like, I was a good student. I got a 4.4 GPA. I had this goal that I wanted to go to a really good college, and that's what I was focusing on because that seemed like it would yield the best results in my life if I could get into the best college possible. What I've learned since then is that there's a lot more to life than just pursuing that high paying job. And by choosing not to go to college, I was able to kind of explore other aspects of my life. Maybe I'm not getting paid as much as I could be or maybe I'm getting paid more, I don't know, but I'm also enjoying my life along with that process. So I think I would just Encourage people to not put all of their attention like, sure, there is, you need to spend some time. I spent 3 months with the boot camp with my one intention of building that skill.

Damian Goodenough [01:04:37]:

But over the last 2 years, I haven't been one track minded. I've been exploring, doing traveling, learning about other aspects of life, which I didn't really get to do throughout high school because I was just focused on how to get into a good college, and there's something about just moving out and, like, becoming an adult that also creates sort of a mindset shift to realizing that there's more to life. Yeah. That's that's what I have to say.

Ryan Maruyama [01:05:05]:

And, Damien, thank you so much for taking the time. And for everybody listening, you can can show notes at degreefree.c0forward/podcast. Alright, Damon. Thank you.

Damian Goodenough [01:05:15]:

Thanks, Ryan.

Ryan Maruyama [01:05:17]:

I hope you guys liked that episode. Before you take off, If you would like to receive a short weekly email that has different degree free jobs and different degree free companies and how you can get hired without a college degree, Go over to degreefree.c04/newsletter to sign up. You can follow Damian on Twitter. He is d a slash good enough. You can find links to everything that we've talked about at degreefree.c0forward/podcast. If you like this episode, then go over to YouTube and leave us a comment. Let me know what you like. Let me know what you didn't like.

Ryan Maruyama [01:05:49]:

And that's pretty much it for this week. Until next time.

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