- It’s been a while since we’ve interviewed you. Since we’ve last spoken, you’ve helped found the DX team. Can you give us information about what DX is, and what the recently announced Elastos Academy is?
Absolutely! The Developer Experience (DX) team is focused on empowering developers to build next-generation apps on the Elastos platform. Setting up a “decentralize anything” style application is very difficult, and Elastos aims to be the “LEGO” of developer building blocks to make that happen.
The team consists of some fantastic people: First is Donnie Bullers who handles the day to day operations, planning, and is our key liaison to the Elastos foundation. Second is Martin Knight who is a force to be reckoned with in terms of his knowledge of user experience, marketing, and laying out an approach to getting the Elastos Academy off the ground. The third requires no introduction, but he is none other than KP Woods. KP is pivotal in creating the developer content, coordinating when needed with the core developer team in China and really just hustling to get things done.
My role is more of an advisor, but we all hack and hustle together to bring the developer experience team to the world through educational content and strategic partnerships with others building on Elastos.
- In your latest video update, you mentioned that DX team is speaking with universities. What work has already been done, and what relationships have already been established? What are your KPIs?
It has been widely reported in the past that Elastos has an established relationship with George Mason University. GMU has been extremely welcoming of Elastos technology, and we’ve been working with them to stand up a completely siloed test infrastructure for Elastos technology. To elaborate further, this allows researchers and faculty to spin up core components of the Elastos ecosystem on a private and secure network on demand.
This does a couple of things. Mainly, it establishes a quick way for educators to use Elastos as a mechanism for teaching about network security, distributed systems, and software design, thereby allowing students to fold the technology into their own projects. It also allows us to develop and test tools for replicating Elastos infrastructure, making it easier for new developers to set up Elastos tools for development.
- Developers have sometimes remarked that the documentation around Elastos is pretty thin. DX team plans on creating more materials for developers. But making these materials user friendly and accessible is crucial to on-boarding developers. What kind of strategies and methods is DX team going to employ? How will your background lend to this in particular?
Good documentation is a difficult thing for developers to provide (we often never make time for it when we’re knee-deep in the nuts and bolts of developing), yet it is a key element in on-boarding new developers.
Look at other software suites, like the Laravel PHP framework. They have absolutely gorgeous documentation with code snippets you can copy and paste to get going. They also supplement documentation with videos that show you how to achieve what we call a “Minimum Path to Awesome”, which for Elastos is, “How can I build a piece of software that uses Elastos in 30 minutes?”
To solve these types of problems, the DX team is putting out a series of videos with the corresponding blog content that allows developers to get moving and be productive with Elastos quickly. These increase our search footprint, and we use these materials to further educate and inspire.
The framework can’t stand in the way of the visionary; it has to empower them, not enslave them. The team’s mission is to further that ideal within the world-wide developer community.
- Speaking about your background, you’ve certainly worked with extremely talented minds in the space. Have you reached out to any of your colleagues about Elastos? No pressure—it’s a lot to stake your reputation on something enough to encourage your networks to pursue something so new—but given your extensive resources with those who love the cutting-edge, the community would love to hear about any recruitment pathways they should support.
I have indeed worked with some extremely talented individuals in the decentralization space, and some of them are indeed interested in building things on top of Elastos. Some are waiting to see what Elastos DMA does so that they can jump right into the business portions of developing apps, and others are very interested in the high speed decentralized data distribution to solve problems encountered through traditional bandwidth distribution systems. I’m excited to see what they do and will continue to engage these developers through the DX team.
- What’s the relationship between the DX Team and DMA? What are you hoping to achieve together?
The DX team strives to work with players in the space currently developing or that would like to develop technology on top of Elastos. The DMA team is doing some fantastic things to enable commerce on top of the Elastos platform, and DX aims to develop educational content through the academy that utilizes DMA’s features.
We’re trying to work with groups in lock-step so that the day that they launch, there is accompanying content that empowers developers to strike while the iron is hot and get productive immediately. It requires a wealth of communication and planning.
- What are your personal plans in regards to Cyber Republic and Elastos?
I am a huge fan of what Rong, KP, Donnie, Martin and the whole team are doing. I’ve been drawn to Elastos ever since I learned of its early designs as a true operating system rather than “just” a coin. I still have large aspirations as to what the future of computing could look like with something like Elastos at the core. In fact, I still believe that the ideal computing environment (and adoption) is when Elastos is underneath and users have no idea they’re using it.
Cyber Republic and Elastos are the ways to get that vision out into the world, and I’ll do whatever I can to help these two communities.
- Any chance you’re going to participate as a DPoS Supernode Candidate?
I definitely intend to, I’m just looking for the right group of people 🙂
- Finally, where can the community support both the DX team and your personal work, most?
Sure, for DX related activities, and to stay tuned for what is coming up, toss your email on the list at ?http://try.elastos.org/workshop/? and we’ll keep you informed of new content, tutorials, and projects!
For me personally, feel free to reach out on Twitter at @jimmyhacksstuff and let’s collaborate!