Cardano 2020: delivering on the vision
New roadmap, product demos, and regular updates will highlight progress
7 May 2019 David Esser 4 mins read
Cardano is in an exciting transition stage. The project has long combined thoughtful product vision with research-driven specification and evidence-based development processes. Still committed to that rigor, we’re now making the jump to a new stage of development where first-ever-in-the-world new capabilities are delivered. The rubber is starting to hit the road. As we are making this transition we recognize that we need a better way to communicate how Cardano’s 2020 vision is being delivered, and that we should do a better job keeping the community informed about our status against those goals.
Here is what we are doing to accomplish those things.
We are working on a redesign of the Cardano roadmap website that will do a better job describing our upcoming release phases, with themes and detailed functional components for each. You can expect to see it live in 2-4 weeks, with more content added over time. Aligned with the keynote speech from CEO Charles Hoskinson at the recent IOHK Summit, the new roadmap site will provide a clear definition of delivery phases, how they fit together, and what we’ll deliver when.
Regarding delivery status, Cardano has had an ethos of openness and transparency since the beginning. We want to take that further. Here’s how.
We’ve recently improved our organisational processes to support this phase of development where long-promised functionality becomes reality. One aspect has been a focus on how we share progress against milestones inside the Cardano team, with weekly project updates, live progress demos, and soon a new Shelley testnet.
As a result we have greater visibility and accountability in our work. So as we enter the next stage of development, we need status reporting that properly reflects real progress, setting accurate expectations by showing exactly what we’re working on and highlighting real delivery.
Past versions of our roadmap had feature-level percentage complete indicators. We put a lot of effort into those, but even with all that work they fell victim to the same thing Tom Cargill at Bell Labs described in his famous-and-funny-but-a-bit-painful-if-you-build-software quote:
“The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time. The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time.”
Sigh. But we don’t want to back off on communicating status. The best way to fulfill our ethos of transparency is to push it further and open up the process to you. We are going to record those internal development status demos, where our dev teams show their latest finished working components, and deliver them to the community. So you’ll have a real understanding of our development progress, because that last 10% that sometimes becomes another 90% has to be done, really done, in order to demonstrate working functionality.
At the same time we deliver the recorded progress demos, we will also deliver a status report summarizing the work completed, and I’ll do an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session where I’ll describe the latest results and answer questions from the community. This will happen every month or two based on progress milestones.
Often the news will be awesome with lots of progress, but sometimes you’ll see that there’s a problem we are working through. Because that’s the reality when implementing first-ever new functionality. Solving hard problems is hard. But now you’ll be able to see where we are and how it’s going.
You’ll still be able to access the information sources you had before. Our Githubs are open. We’ll keep sharing weekly technical reports on Cardano.org. Emurgo delivers monthly Cardano reports describing what we’ve been up to. The unstoppable Charles will keep doing his own AMAs. But we want to make it easy for the community to see what we’re delivering, so this is a major redesign of our roadmap and reporting process, starting from our internal processes and extending out to our partners and the community.
The first demos, status update and AMA will come later this month. I’ll be joining the guys from the Cardano Effect within the next few weeks to talk more about our new roadmap and reporting process, so keep an ear out for that. We’ve got lots of exciting stuff in the pipeline, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.
Artwork, Mike Beeple