There are many major changes coming to Zilliqa this year, with significant upgrades already deployed to the network and many more under development.
EVM compatibility is now live on the Zilliqa mainnet, which means developers can now experiment with deploying EVM dApps on the network and use popular tools such as Hardhat and Truffle.
This is great news for furthering the adoption and interoperability of the Zilliqa blockchain while also giving developers in the blockchain space a familiar environment in which to deploy the applications crucial to the network’s continued growth.
Development is also progressing on Zilliqa 2.0, a major network refresh that will see the Zilliqa blockchain become faster and cheaper to use, as well as more flexible, reliable and secure.
These core infrastructure changes are the building blocks for delivering a blockchain that is accessible to everyone and that can scale to meet the demands of dApps and services with widespread adoption.
At the heart of the Zilliqa ecosystem are developers. They build the smart contracts, applications, and secondary infrastructure that attract users to the network and deliver real utility.
As we continue to work on the big upgrades coming to the Zilliqa network, we have also begun to improve the way we interact with developers in the ecosystem, bringing new initiatives to offer more support and communication with the Zilliqa team and give builders greater visibility into the network upgrades we will continue making going forward.
Below are a few of the major changes we are making to improve the experience of building on the Zilliqa network.
Better support tickets on Discord
We recently opted to shift our community and developer relations away from the Zilliqa Telegram chat to the Zilliqa Discord, which we have overhauled to offer a more streamlined and efficient experience to everyone from everyday users to large development teams.
The biggest improvement to the Zilliqa Discord is the addition of a new ticketing system, which makes it far easier for developers to get the help they need directly from the Zilliqa technical team.
If you need help with an issue related to the network, such as deploying a Solidity contract, you can create a ticket through the dedicated developer support ticket bot on the Zilliqa Discord.
This will log the issue and relay it to the Zilliqa team, who will provide feedback and guide you through the issue or begin to work on a fix for the problem if it is required.
Tickets can also be merged and used to start discussion threads, allowing developers experiencing the same issues to collaborate and share pertinent feedback in a way that is far easier to understand and more effective to act on.
Channels and roles in the Zilliqa Discord have also been greatly improved, making it easier to discuss updates with like-minded devs, find the latest news on projects in the ecosystem, and chat about everything from Web3 gaming to DeFi.
Regular announcements and office hours
Going forward, the Zilliqa team will issue regular announcements whenever mainnet upgrades are deployed.
These will feature more detailed information that is specifically relevant to developers and those who may be affected by network changes related to everything from smart contract execution to transaction processing.
We will aim to issue these update notes as regularly as possible, depending on the extent of changes being made to the network over a given period, and we will offer a unified portal for developers to peruse the changes that are made in any given mainnet upgrades.
To offer further insight into the changes we are making to the Zilliqa network, the team will also begin to host regular office hours with developers.
The first of these sessions will be hosted by Zilliqa CTO Richard Watts on Thursday, August 3rd at 10:00 UTC. Stay tuned to our socials for updates on how to join.
During office hours, developers building applications on Zilliqa will have the chance to speak directly to the Zilliqa infrastructure team about the rationale behind changes that have been made in mainnet upgrades.
They will also be able to get feedback on the most efficient way to take advantage of the exciting new features launching on the network, such as EVM compatibility.
Developer office hours will be held regularly every month, allowing developers to stay updated about the latest network upgrades and discuss the potential applications of new functionality coming to the network.
Improved testing environments
As we begin to deploy major upgrades to the network on the road to Zilliqa 2.0, it is important that we offer developers the chance to test out these new capabilities in a test environment.
While the Zilliqa testnet is useful for a range of applications and simulating mainnet operations, the team has also begun work on a test environment specifically designed for developers who want to try out the latest functionality being deployed to the Zilliqa network.
This will take the form of a devnet - a pure test environment to experiment with upcoming functionality that may not exhibit reliable behaviour but which will be invaluable for unearthing conflicts and new considerations before changes are deployed to the testnet.
Development on the devnet is currently underway and once deployed together with a faucet for devnet ZIL, it will grant early access to new features and solutions for developers to experiment with.
Developers are the engine of the network, and we hope that by improving the dialogue with those who build on Zilliqa, we can make the exciting and powerful new capabilities coming to the blockchain more accessible to everyone.