NuCypher Gathers in Seattle — Winter 2018 Homecoming

It was my absolute pleasure to be part of the planning and execution of our Winter 2018 homecoming — our third such gathering as a company.

We gathered in Seattle, Washington, USA for 10 days last month (February 2018). We rented a house on the east side of the city and lived and worked together for each of these days. We ate (and cooked with) local food, eating many meals together, went for walks in the area parks, and spent every early morning and late night together as a team.

Among the team, those in attendance were (alphabetical by handle) Arj, myself (jMyles), KPrasch, Maclane, Michwill, Ryan C, and Tux.
Also, KPrasch’s partner Gabby, my partner Chelsea, and Fibonacci (our 2.5-year-old) attended for parts of the gathering.

The team undertook a wide array of errands — some scientific and scholarly; some sumptuous and splendid (if silly). We built new features for our KMS, discussed and implemented many security and anti-scam measures, moved our team communications to Discord (instead of Slack), and completed the first fully working version of pyUmbral, our reference implementation of the proxy re-encryption on which our entire ecosystem depends.

In tangible, quantitative terms: our codebases saw a total of 268 new commits, including more than 1,200 new lines introduced into our KMS project and, perhaps most importantly, over 3,000 lines removed (“redlines”) by the coordinated efforts of our team.

Some members of the team underwent interviews — these will be available soon on our website or as podcasts (mine is up already — it’s here; the rest are coming soon).

NuCypher was honored by visits to the homecoming house from some leaders in the open source community, including Anthony Johnson, co-founder of Read the Docs, who co-worked with us for an evening and shared stories of the remarkable documentation project.

Having Anthony in the homecoming house gave me a particular sense of stability and rightness. What we’re doing is experimental and well outside the norms of the old internet — and that’s great of course. But it’s also a little scary sometimes.

Hanging out with Anthony reminded me that we’re grounded in a rich community of tradition and that our code is merely a small, smart, superb next step.

Gatherings like these are part of what makes us strong as a team, and we’re happy to have published many of the elements of our progress in real-time as y’all watched. It was an absolute pleasure to watch so many of our followers pour into our new Discord and feel right at home hammering away with questions.

We enjoy doing our work in public and inviting watchers in — it’s a huge part of what makes us different than the paradigms which we believe we can deprecate. If you want to hang out with us daily and help us keep the great vibes we’ve cultivated, you’re invited! Here are some links:

Our KMS codebase:


Our Discord: