Kelvin from Optimism is looking for an EVM expert in training

About me

Hello, I’m Kelvin aka numbagod aka chief variety show actor @OptimismPBC.

I’ve been working in the Ethereum world for about five years now. My work has been primarily focused on scalability. I did a lot of early research and engineering related to Plasma before Optimistic Rollups took over.

These days I do a little bit of everything over at Optimism. I help to maintain the Optimism smart contracts and L2 client software. I also help to maintain Smock, a low-level hardhat plugin that manipulates the EVM so you can mock smart contracts in JavaScript. Basically, I do a lot of random stuff related to the Ethereum, the EVM, Solidity, and Geth.

About the role

The EVM is a beautiful thing and I want to share that beauty with you. I’m looking for a professional software engineer who wants to become one with the EVM. I’ll help you gain an in-depth knowledge of the EVM, with a focus on applications for the Optimistic Ethereum protocol. You’ll use this knowledge to solve real problems related to Ethereum client software and smart contract design. If you know how the EVM works, you’ll be able to understand Solidity and Ethereum as a whole on a much deeper level. You will be able to write EVM bytecode by hand. Assembly will not scare you, assembly will be scared of you.

Program activities

  • Regular 1-on-1 calls where I’ll teach you all about EVM and Solidity internals. If you don’t already work in the crypto space, I can also help guide you through the crypto waters. I’m guessing this will be about 50% education about Ethereum and 50% Q+A sessions. At the end of the day, this program is about you, so feel free to make it yours.
  • A series of small projects meant to expose you to various technical aspects of Ethereum. You will not be thrown into the deep end without help — we’ll have regular check-ins and a line of communication.

Program details

  • Currently only looking for one trainee.
  • Position will be remote.
  • Program will take place over the course of two months.
  • Expect to spend 2-4 hours per week on mentoring calls.
  • You can pick your own hours for the projects you’ll be working on.
  • You will be compensated for your time.


  • Significant prior software engineering experience a must. You should consider yourself a “senior” software engineer. I won’t slap a specific number of “required years experience” on this but you should understand the process of designing and shipping complex software.
  • Prior Ethereum experience not necessary, but you should have a basic foundational understanding of how blockchains work.
  • You should know how to communicate your ideas effectively and how to ask questions when you need help. People skills are fundamental to being a great software engineer.

Program outcomes

The ideal outcome of this program is for you to become a core member of the Optimism team as a senior software engineer and an EVM generalist. You’ll get a chance to touch every part of the Optimistic Ethereum protocol and you’ll have the opportunity to work alongside the world-class Optimism squad on what might be one of the most important challenges in Ethereum today.

Full-time employee compensation

Optimism pays competitively in cash and equity for top talent.

Application process

If you’re interested in applying for this mentorship program, please drop a comment below with the following information:

  1. A short description of who you are and why you’re interested in this program.
  2. A link to your GitHub profile and/or your resume.
  3. An email address where I can contact you.

Hi there, my name is Mehran Hydary. I’m a full-stack software engineer with experience building Ethereum web applications for Deloitte (3 years) and UNICEF (2.5 years).

I am interested in this program because I have done a lot of work with Ethereum products as a web developer. I think it is time I switch gears a bit and approach Ethereum from under the hood. I’ve got extensive experience working with ethers.js and web3.js, but I always wondered what exactly I’m interacting with.

I also have experience writing and deploying smart contracts. I’ve also worked closely with tools like Remix, Truffle and Hardhat. I know that is going through a bit of a meme phase on Twitter right now and I’m keen on jumping into that next!

I’m a passionate learner and I think that learning about the EVM inside out is the next part of my journey.

Looking forward to hearing back!

My GitHub: mehranhydary (Mehran Hydary) · GitHub


Ahhhh I want to apply so badly…


Hi Kelvin,
I am a self-taught software developer with over 10 years of professional experience. I am motivated by hard but tangible problems. Being a life long learner is an integral part of my healthy self. The possibilities, that arise from p2p architectures have always fascinated me. In high school I wrote a p2p-based VoIP radio flight simulator using C++, Irrlicht, RakNet/UDP (with NAT-punchthrough support, and automatic mesh-connections), and won several prices for it as well, nearly qualifying for the Intel Science Fair. You can check out the source code here. Since then, I have strived into various fields doing DB, backend, frontend enterprise applications, before going back to my first love of game development and VR.
The opportunity to learn firsthand from somebody with deep knowledge of the Ethereum innards sounds amazing! I have been following the Ethereum project since Winter 2016, and have a good understanding of networking protocols, C & C++, system level programming, as well as all aspects of game development. Working with and developing larger scale code bases has taught me the value of readable code, and I am forever on the quest to the keep it simple, even if that is not always possible. The promise of a scalable distributed and trustless backend architecture has me kept motivated to imagine a future of software development that keeps the bedroom hacker dream alive.

CV: Alex Demets CV (OneDrive)
gitlab: d_brane
twitter: d_brane
github: ademets

It would be cool if you could also record session or something. I would love to follow along as a silent, no-contact student. I’m probably not at the level of experience you’re looking for but learning slowly on my own.

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Hello Kelvin,

I’m Korede a software developer with experience in JS/TS. I currently work part time as an external core contributor at Synthetix, on front-end code.

I got into crypto and Solidity a while ago, but I’m still getting past the basics. I built this small app to learn some Solidity: GitHub - overthq/Quiz: Crypto-based knowledge quiz game.. Fair warning, it’s quite buggy.

In my free time, I work on Overt (overt dot dev). I’m currently planning to build out Pecunia (GitHub - overthq/Pecunia: Making crypto more accessible) to enable users use NGNT as a means of exchange without high gas fees.

GitHub: koredefashokun
Email: koredefashokungmailcom

Hi Kelvin!

My name is Rajiv and my day job is working on staking at Coinbase (primarily eth2, but also cosmos + tezos). You might recognize me from my relentless attempts to get The Natural Numbers™ verified on Opensea (they must hate me at this point) or some of the smol PRs I’ve made in the Optimism monorepo.

I’m interested in this opportunity because I want to go really really deep into how the EVM works (client + solidity internals) so I can :crossed_fingers: hopefully :crossed_fingers: contribute to Optimism in a more meaningful capacity which is definitely the most exciting and important thing one could do to help scale Ethereum today. TBH never really thought I’d be interested in client development, but that’s changed since interacting more with various ETH2 clients as well as watching some of the recorded talks from the ethcc geth workshop.

As a potential mentee, I can promise to be respectful and hard-working, and to not accept incomplete explanations - if the plan is to go deep, can’t skimp on the details. I will also do my best to help try to teach you something new, but given your expertise, there is a low, but non-zero chance I won’t be able to deliver :upside_down_face:

Github: rajivpo (Rajiv Patel-O'Connor) · GitHub
Can provide a resume if that’d be helpful, but have worked with Typescript, and Go in complex production systems.

email: (new users can only put 2 links so yeah that’s why this is formatted like that)

Full disclaimer: I’m not sure I would consider myself a senior engineer but still gonna shoot my shot because this is one hell of an opportunity.

Hey Kelvin,

I’m going to give it a shot.

Description About Myself

I am Sritanu Chakraborty. I’ve been primarily working as a remote Deep learning engineer/consultant/freelancer for the past few years.

My daily work consists of using deep learning and machine learning models to solve NLP and vision tasks. My interests are Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, Deep Learning, Graph Theory, Algorithms and Data Structures, Machine Learning.

Recently, I worked on distributed deep learning tools using Horovod, building Mixture Density Networks, implementing various probability distributions in PyTorch, and working with heavy zero, right-skewed data.

I have been at the University of Bergen and Alfred Renyi Institute of Mathematics previously. I did my master’s in applied math and informatics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

Apart from consulting, I also work as a freelancer on Upwork. You can take a look at the kind of projects I’ve worked on and my client reviews. Probably, you need an Upwork profile to take a look at all the projects and reviews.

You can find my freelancer profile here : Upwork.

I have been at the University of Bergen and Alfred Renyi Institute of Mathematics previously. I did my master’s in applied math and informatics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

Prior to this, I was a backend engineer (primarily Python but also some vanilla JS) and even before that, I was a QA Engineer. In total, I’ve been a backend engineer for ~3 years and working in the Deep Learning space for ~5 years.

Here’s my LinkedIn. And my resume.

Exposure to Solidity and EVMs

I’m pretty new to this space. Just 2 months old. Completed the cryptozombies tutorial, chainshot tutorial, and Stephen Grider’s Udemy course.

I’ve built some very basic dapps. Nothing majorly complex.

I do have a very basic idea about EVMs.


I’m confident I can pick up things pretty fast and under your guidance, I’m sure I’ll have a great time delving deeper into EVMs.

Also, my best wishes to the other participants. Some great replies in the thread. :slight_smile:


Hi Kelvin,

I’m Santiago. I’m a senior full-stack dev & data science engineer. I have 10+ years of experience writing code for different kinds of projects, from tradFi to University research. More recently, I’ve started to contribute to a few projects in the Ethereum ecosystem through bounties, hackathons [0] [1] [2] [3] [4], and involvement in various dev communities such as Raid Guild & DAOHaus. You can check some of the contributions I’ve been working on my Github. I consider myself as an everyday tech curious, always eager to fork & learn more about how new projects are being built in the space. I’m very interested in this mentorship opportunity as it would allow me to take advantage of all the knowledge & experience acquired over the years by the Optimism team and make a deep dive into the EVM and L2 technologies so I can expand my skills in writing secure smart contracts with confidence, so I can become wizard ready to contribute and help BuiDL the next generation of (scalable) dApps on Ethereum.

Below, you can find my email in case you want to contact me for this opportunity.


Email: hernangt12re3 [at] gmail [dot] com

Hey Kelvin,

I’ve participated in the crypto scene in various forms since 2010, from FPGA SHA implementations, to custom hardware and firmware to support Gridseed GC3355 and Innosilicon A1 ASICs in 2013 and 2014. Ethereum development has been on my todo-list for a while now, and this looks like an excellent opportunity to learn from an expert.

My career focus is new product development, specifically custom hardware, software, and applications. I’ve architected multiple platforms and lead teams to implement a dozen product variants in the past 15 years, with over 100k units in the field presently. I fulfilled roles in electrical engineering, software development, project management, R&D, regulatory compliance, design for manufacture, production support, and more. I’m an experienced multi-tool, and I know I can bring value to any product team I join.

My resume is hardware centric, but I’ve been developing in C++ since the 90’s, and I can pick up new software environments quickly. If I have piqued your interest, please review my resume, and get back to me. I would love to work with you.

cheshyr {at} gmail (dot) com

Hello Kelvin and Everyone in the Optimism Thread,

My name is John. Currently, I am a mathematician and professor; I study low-dimensional topology. Over the last five years, my concentration has been in researching fundamental groups of manifolds. Examples of manifolds include objects like tori, Klein bottles, and Seifert fiber spaces. (Curve finance’s logo has a Klein bottle in it!)

Last year, when I began learning how to trade cryptocurrency, I read Vitalik’s “Ethereum Whitepaper”. It shook me awake. The philosophy, “code is law,” permeated my thoughts and resonated with me. The simplicity of this principle seems equivalent to its depth. I began to teach myself how to interact with the EVM to better understand the philosophy in practice.

I started by reading Howard’s (hayeah’s) five part series on the EVM and working on Ethernaut problems. This opened the floodgates to even more questions and topics to research. Now, I have experience with public key encryption, Solidity, and I’ve read uniswap-v2-core/periphery contracts to familiarize myself with FlashSwaps (more like optimistic swaps), and built a prototype API that interacts with Sushi’s RouterV2 on Kovan Testnet. I am knowledgeable in provable security and understand public key encryption schemes like El Gamal Encryption Scheme and RSA. Programming has been part of my life the past 8 years; I grok ideas expressed through code.

I am very interested in all things logic-oriented and decentralized. I am looking to join this community, and I’m hoping to give back by offering my problem solving skills. Below is links to my github/resume.

  1. Github - jhb10c
  2. Resume
  3. Email -

Hey! I’m Solomon and I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to work with Kelvin + Optimism to become a deep expert on the EVM. I’ve spent the past 5 years building tradfi fintech infrastructure products (cards, payment processing, KYC/KYB, ecommerce infra, etc) both directly with banks and card networks and have recently decided to focus all of my attention on learning and building novel crypto products on the infrastructure and protocol side of things.


Hi Kelvin, I’m a big fan of your technical deep dives on Twitter!

Over the last ten years, I have worked on application security, low-level compiler optimizations and I am now a senior software engineer working on distributed systems. I love to get a deep understanding of technologies from the bottom up. I also happen to love bytecode-based platforms, I have previously done some fuzzing on the JVM and LLVM (looking for crashes, parsing errors and non-deterministic behavior). I’m happy to provide more details over DMs or email.

As a result, I felt right at home reading the yellow paper and learning how the EVM works. I have started dabbling a little bit in handwritten Yul/assembly for various CTFs. Just a couple highlights:

Some other things that I am very interested in:

  • the Python EVM spec
  • KEVM formal semantics
  • looking into transaction simulators in the context of MEV
  • the reverse problem: transactions and contracts that try to resist being simulated

Alright this is already too long so I’ll stop here. Thank you so much for offering a mentorship, I’m really looking forward to hearing from you.

Github: karmacoma-eth (karmacoma) · GitHub


This is the best opportunity to work on L2 roll ups… Unfortunately at the moment i am contracted to work for private firm. Can’t breach the contract.

Good luck for those who has applied.
Great work kevin for providing opportunities within community

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Hey Kelvin, thanks for doing this. I really liked your thread on the eth chain split. It was super informative and easy to understand.

I don’t have a lot of experience, but I am hungry and willing to work hard. I’m currently working as a Data Scientist at Swiss Reinsurance and have previous experience working as an engineer in startups. (

I’ve built some rudimentary dapps using solidity and js as a frontend (GitHub - spiyer99/auction_dapp_chainlink_v2: Auction Dapp with the Chainlink AggregatorV3Interface for a ETH/USD price feed.).
And I (very recently) contributed to the optimism github repo (Remove L1 contracts from L2 state dump process by spiyer99 · Pull Request #1445 · ethereum-optimism/optimism · GitHub).

Thanks again for doing this. neel.r.iyer[at]

I want to use this opportunity to describe fun projects I worked on that helped grow the startups I was working with at the time.

Matic -

Worked on Connext <> Matic (Integrated State channels for faster deposit and exit on matic)

Implemented Subgraphs for pos and plasma (For tracking events for deposit and withdrawal in plasma and pos chains)

Daohaus <> Matic (Implemented a one-click solution for user to deploy MolochDAO on matic)

MolochDAO on Matic (DAOs <> Matic)(A DAO which allows investors to fund decentralized projects)

Biconomy<> Matic(Network Agnostic tools using meta transaction)

Cartesi <> Matic(Built a poker game that using Cartesi virtual machine for computation and deployed on matic)

Deployed Balancer and Aave on Matic

InsureChain(Infosys <> Matic)(Insurance dapp where policy buyer can move policy from one vendor on one chain to another vendor on a different chain)

SupplyChain(Matic <> Flipcart)( Supply chain management dapp which allows manufacturers,wholesalers, and retailers to track the products)

Contributed to various tools built on matic chain such as Token-mapper, bridge-api, staking-api , web wallet

Also helped in solving tech queries of users for these tools

Era swap -

Real estate dapp – Implemented a decentralized rental application where the renter can list a home, Buyer can select the check-in and check out date book the home

Land registration dapp – Implemented a Land registration dapp where user land

IPFS file uploading system – Implemented file uploading on IPFS

Era swap block explorer –Implemented an Etherscan clone

Computeex – Implemented a crypto change platform that fetches the best price from 5 different exchanges

for current conversion

I am also helping opyn build their ecosystem of products with products like Portfolio manager, etc

I have also won Multiple Hackathons and gitcoin bounties with Aave<>Uniswap, Aave <> Pooltogether, Aave <> 1 inch can check out GitHub for more projects


Hello Kelvin, nice to see you here! I have been following you on Github for a long time and am a big fan of smock (have used quite a lot, and also fork it by float capital team)

I am 19 & pursuing my bachelor’s degree in CS. I am interested in being a mentee because you have very advanced experience and knowledge in the path I want to pursue down the line which will help me to learn things in a better and efficient manner.

I used to work at polygon on fx-portal(permissionless message and asset transfer) and plasma, now I hunt bugs at code423n4 (public auditing). For the past two years, I have been exploring different web3 & scaling protocols like theGraph, oracles, solidity & EIPs, macroeconomics, etc. I have built some stuff at ethereum hackathons and won some cool bounties.

Since the past few months, I have shifted my focus on learning in-depth about ethereum (eth1.0 & eth2.0 specs) and the rationale behind decisions, cosmos SDK, game theory, MEV, client-development, scaling+L2, and security (auditing). I have been exploring zokrates and zinc to learn about maths and cryptography (polynomial commitments) for not too long. I am excited to learn about optimistic rollups and optimism.

Below are some of the achievements I am proud of:

  • I have been in the top 10 in ethereum StackExchange last quarter (User hack3r_0m - Ethereum Stack Exchange) with about 40 high-quality answers.
  • I have won some competitions like GCI (Google Code-In) and some CTFs.
  • I have reported security vulnerabilities in public defi protocol audits in protocols like float capital, yAxis, gravity, sushiswap, etc.

I didn’t have any formal CS learning path, I learned fundamentals (from MIT & Stanford opencourses) and since then I am googling and implementing stuff that interests me. I started about 4 years ago and have been very involved in it (almost all of my time every day). I am open to challenges and learning some cool stuff!

Github: hack3r-0m
email: oparikh113 at gmail dot com

Hi all! I’m now closing applications for this position. I’m going to review every post here and reach out to people individually to schedule 1:1 meetings where we can get to know each other a bit better and see if it’s a good fit!

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