What’s been happening in the EEA?

I’ve had a number of people asking me recently what has been happening on the technical side of things within the EEA over the last month or so.   The answer to that question is “lots”, but it has mostly been churning under the surface.

[Churning Water by Indi Samarajiva]

The mundane reality of setting up a new organization on the scale of the EEA is that you need a lot of structure, defined operational processes, rules and bureaucracy.   Without that you have lots of talk and nothing much being achieved.

There is also plenty of administrative work to be done, which Virtual, Inc. have recently come on board to help with.   We don’t have an Executive Director.   We don’t have any permanent staff (yet).

In retrospect, our initial efforts at a Technical Working Group were pretty ineffective, so we’ve taken a step back and looked at the broader goals of the EEA.   What are we trying to achieve as an organization?   How are we going to tackle that?  What is a Committee?   What is a Working Group?   How can we decompose the problem space?  What is a rational scope for each of these groups to consider?    Where and how can EEA members best get involved?   How do we avoid stepping on each others toes?   What should happen inside EEA and what is best left to the members outside of the EEA?

We didn’t have good answers on some of these matters.   We’re getting to much better answers now, I think, between the board, Virtual, the governance committee, Alex Batlin and myself.   These new documents are still under review, but should be in a state to be shared with the membership very soon.   They should give us a solid basis on which to proceed, and if they still aren’t feeling quite right then they can be revised further.

The break in momentum for the last few weeks has been quite painful, but was very necessary, I think.   The EEA was brought to life in record time, and the level of interest has been astonishing.   Going from nothing to having a 100+ company organization within a few months is really hard.

The aim of this downtime and seeming inaction has been to ensure that we have the structure in place such that all EEA members can get involved and productive moving forward.   If you have felt unsure, or excluded, or confused by the EEA to this point, I would like to extend my apologies to you.   I will try to blog regularly from this point onwards.

The Technical Steering Committee should be rebooted within a week or two.   We should also have more Working Groups in an active state, and have clear processes for our members to get involved and help driving this cruise-liner towards our mutual goals.

The Technical Mailing List is the best way to communicate between ourselves.    I would still encourage members to introduce themselves and their interests there.   Even in the absence of organizational clarity, please don’t stop talking!

The following technical working groups exist in an early form and will soon be relaunched with clear charters and defined goals:

  • Consensus Algorithms WG
  • Identity WG
  • geth and Quorum WG
  • Python Client WG
  • Integration and Tools WG

We have also identified that we will need to launch working groups on at least the following additional topics:

  • Data Privacy WG
  • Access Controls WG
  • Documentation and Specifications WG

There are plenty of other working group proposals floating around too – though many of them related to specific industry verticals or problem spaces, so I won’t list them all here.

I am always happy to talk to anybody, so if you are an EEA member (or EEA prospective member) with questions, please feel free to contact me at bob@summerwill.net, or https://twitter.com/bobsummerwill or https://linkedin.com/in/bobsummerwill.

Here are links to our Confluence site and to the main website.

4 thoughts on “What’s been happening in the EEA?

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