IOTA Experience Team - The first year recap

Ecosystem May 6, 2021

Celebrate one year of IOTA X-Teams with us!

We launched the IOTA Experience Team initiative one year ago. After one year of extraordinary contributions, it is the right time to celebrate their achievements with the IOTA community!

The IOTA X-Teams is a group of dedicated community members that work together with members of the IOTA Foundation throughout different stages of development. The IOTA Experience Team strengthens collaboration with our passionate community and pave the road for IOTA to have the best developer experience in the DLT and IoT space.

What happened during this year?

Together with IOTA community members, we kicked off ten X-Team initiatives that span from IOTA building blocks like IOTA Streams or Stronghold to 100% community-driven initiatives like IOTA Identity or Simplify IOTA.

Current X-Team initiatives

The framework around the X-Teams enables community members to get together and participate closer with IOTA Foundation members on different projects and topics to share their experience regarding IOTA’s vision. They contribute to the development, adoption, and outreach of individual IOTA projects. Defining goals and contributing to them at their own pace, meet people with similar interests that aim to solve related problems, team building, and being an active part of IOTA’s future.

There are 47 goals distributed over ten X-Team initiatives to contribute to. Some are highly technical, while others are achievable by non-technical community members.

In this post we are going to highlight achievements by a selection of IOTA Experience teams that demonstrate how community members can make the difference to the IOTA vision.

Highlight: GoShimmer X-Team

The GoShimmer node software is where the IOTA Foundation's Research Department tests the Coordicide modules to study and evaluate their performance.
The aim of this open repository is to give the community the opportunity to follow developments, take part in testing, and learn more about Coordicide.

The GoShimmer X-Team members are supporting IOTA Foundation's Researchers by setting up GoShimmer nodes in different parts of the world. This enables the Researchers with real world infrastructure and network topology to gather fundamental information for the research of the coordicide modules.

“The GoShimmer X-Team has been tremendously helpful and instrumental at supporting the development of Pollen, the testnet of our Coordicide research prototype. Their passion and dedication to learn and understand the core components of our solution has resulted in many concrete actions such as educating the rest of the community, championing the setup of the dRNG committee as well as improving the documentation. We are very grateful for their help and I personally am very proud of them!“ - Angelo Capossele, Senior Research Scientist at IF

Thanks to all the GoShimmer X-Team! A special mention goes to Dave [EF] and Dr.Electron who took ownership to arrange all that is necessary to set up a dRNG committee and mentored other community members in the process.

Highlight: Identity X-Team

The IOTA Identity Experience Team is a collaborative effort to provide help, guidance and spotlight to the IOTA Identity Community through offering feedback and introducing consistent workflows around IOTA Identity. Enthusiasts and entrepreneurs gather to ask questions and help each other find success while utilizing IOTA Identity.

IOTA Identity is an implementation of decentralized digital identity, also known as Self Sovereign Identity (SSI), by the IOTA Foundation. It implements standards such as Decentralized Identifiers (DID) and Verifiable Credentials (VC) from W3C as well as other related (proposed) standards.

Sebastian a.k.a. Huhn, a very prolific community member, team member of einfachIOTA launched the Identity X-Team as 100% community initiative before becoming an IOTA Foundation member.

This team is now championed by Aconitin, Managing Director at Filancore, actively developing identity solutions and hosting the regular X-Team meetings on Monday at 20:00 PM CEST. During these meetings different aspects of the IOTA Identity implementation are discussed where the members share and compare approaches and solutions.

“On most Monday evenings the X-Team meets to discuss IOTA Identity, how to utilize it and what their startup ideas are. Everyone feeds from each other's enthusiasm and motivation, creating a relaxed and fun atmosphere. It is amazing to observe and interact with more and more people who are working on or with IOTA Identity.” - Jelle Millenaar, Lead Identity at IF

You can rewatch the Identity X-Team video days meetings on YouTube.
Thanks to all Identity X-Team members!

Highlight: Bee Team

Bee is a project within the IOTA Foundation development teams with a transparent development approach. Their communications channels are on the IOTA Discord where everyone can see what is going on and contribute or participate in the discussions and development. In addition to that the Bee team holds Rust live coding sessions on IOTA Foundation’s YouTube channel.

The Bee X-Team members strongly supported IOTA Foundation’s Bee team at a very early stage of the project by setting up nodes, debugging, sharing their findings and heavily contributing to find and solve issues or define parts of the project through their experience.

"The Bee X-Team has been crucial to Bee’s development since its inception. Their input has been invaluable in speeding up our investigation, testing and debugging phases. Special shout out to Dr. Electron, Dave [EF], Luca, svenger87, Jack Kerouac, Reiloy, rck, SteveK, StormFLIX and all the others for constantly showing interest and involvement. We are extremely grateful and excited to start working on Coordidice with them." - Thibault Martinez, Bee Team Lead at IF

With Chrysalis Bee has reached version 0.1.0 and can be used as an alternative to the community developed HORNET node.

Highlight: Simplify X-Team

The idea behind the Simplify X-Team is straightforward: Make IOTA easier to approach from all angles. To do that, non-developer community members launched this Experience Team as a way to focus their time and energy on contributing to various aspects of IOTA.

Very tangible contributions were the IOTA Discord channel reorganization: here the channels were reorganized in a different and more approachable structure; or the Reddit All-in-one thread: through this goal the content of the thread on Reddit that collects the most important information for newcomers can be updated and managed quickly and almost automatically.

This is the most approachable X-Team initiative for everyone as it does not require deep technical skills and where also newcomers can share their experience of what works and what does not as they approach the IOTA technology and ecosystem.

Thanks to the Simplify X-Team members that take their time to contribute to a simpler IOTA. Here the special mentions go to Phylo, Linus (who also became a Reddit Moderator), Myhrmans and Roy C for their availability and the indeed very valuable sparring discussions all around simplifying IOTA.

Highlight: Cross-initiatives and Firefly

The latest and most important cross-initiative was the closed testing phase of Firefly - The Secure Entrypoint to the IOTA Ecosystem. X-Team members from all initiatives were invited to test the alpha version of Firefly and gave feedback from user experience to technical issues, graphical bugs and new feature requests. Following the initial testing period other community members joined the Firefly closed testing group to look at the project with fresh eyes and gave additional feedback.
In the time period of 46 days the X-Team members together with other testers from the community helped capture and solve over 287 issues which made it possible to share the beta version with the whole IOTA Ecosystem

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with the Firefly closed testing group so far. I have been really impressed by everyone’s willingness to help out, their eagle eyes in finding issues and their astute suggestions and recommendations. Many improvements in Firefly have come from within the X-Team. I am extremely thankful to everyone for taking their free time to work on improving the wallet. And for all the X-Team members who have spent hours (Phylo in particular) helping out the community with questions about Firefly.” - Charlie Varley, Senior Software Engineer at IF

The contributions to Firefly are ongoing, by supporting the community in the #help channel on the IOTA Discord suggesting new features, translations and other tips to make the user experience frictionless.


The final acknowledgement goes to all X-Team members for contributing their skills, time and experience to IOTA. Lest us forget how every X-Team member is contributing in their spare time, according to their availability and using their skills to support the IOTA community and the IOTA vision.

I for one would like to personally thank everyone for their contribution to the X-Team initiatives, for their time, their passion and the many great experiences we are sharing together.

Every contribution counts.

Thank you
Antonio

Everyone is invited to the IOTA Experience Teams to pave the road for IOTA to have the best experience in the DLT and IoT space.
To introduce which initiatives were launched and what was recorded so far, watch the previous X-Team meetings here on the IOTA Foundation YouTube channel.

Read more about the IOTA Experience team in this blog post, discover the IOTA Experience Team on GitHub, explore the IOTA Experience Initiatives and then apply through this form.

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Antonio Nardella

Community Manager @IOTA; Tech Consultant, technology-minded builder with focus on practical solutions. Particular interests in Free Open Source Software (FOSS).

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