The third quarter is closing in and I know you are eager for news. We have been rather quiet about UTRUST’s development progress thus far. But, that’s about to change soon as we know our supporters are crucial to our success, so for today we want to give you a sneak peek at the product team structure.
First things first, we are now 3 product managers, 3 designers and 15 developers. Our team has grown steadily over the last few months and so we must adapt our process frequently. At the moment, we use Scrum as a framework through which we employ our own processes and techniques. This ensures that we have the best possible team environment to make a great product.
The product team is distributed into two user-centered areas with one being focused on merchants and the other focused on buyers, this last one is made up of two cross-functional squads with PMs, Designers and Devs. This is how our squads break down:
[Buyers] Wallet Squad
Delivering the UTRUST Wallet, which provides a simpler, quicker and cheaper payment experience. Since we use React Native, we’re able to develop for both iOS and Android simultaneously.
Current Goal: Closed Beta!
[Buyers] Payments Squad
In charge of UTRUST Payment Widget, the tool which will allow secure crypto payments across any e-commerce website. This team also integrates with payment service providers so we can support more merchants quickly.
Be on the lookout: Complete redesign of the widget!
Developing the e-commerce flows for merchants across the world. Such as, transactions, disputes and settlements from the dashboard. Integrations with merchants are obviously in their repertoire.
Incoming: Going live with the first merchants.
Product Knowledge Areas — PKA
By this time you might be wondering: Who is in charge of infrastructure? Or perhaps, how do we integrate with blockchains?
Instead of dividing our team unnecessarily we created Product Knowledge Areas or PKAs. This lets us cut through bureaucracy and allows our squads to work autonomously. For instance, let’s say that we choose to support a new blockchain. No problem! The devs in the blockchain PKA will gather together and look into what must be changed on our platform, then they are able to bring that knowledge directly into the squad they are in. Our PKAs allow knowledge to be brought directly to the squad that needs it. This means that we are flexible and ready to adapt.
Infrastructure Knowledge Area
Nothing happens without a good infrastructure. As such, everyone in this area has to plan and prepare the server structure which will ensure UTRUST is up and running with stability. Moreover, they oversee the technologies used across the platform to maintain scalability. As system administrators, they also provide the needed resources and services that everyone in the team might need for feature development and implementation.
Security & Compliance Knowledge Area
Security and compliance are paramount for UTRUST. This PKA certifies adherence to national legislation. They make sure that both buyers and sellers are protected every step of the way from the point of purchase to receiving their product.
Payment, Blockchain & Core Knowledge Area — PBJ
We call this area PBJ also known as “Peanut Butter Jelly” 😅 for we hope with UTRUST, payments in cryptocurrencies will become as easy as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!
Cryptocurrency integrations happen. But that’s only a portion of what this team is responsible for. Additionally, they also guarantee the entire money flow from receiving to sending transactions as well as internal address management. Therefore, we see this as the core of our product.
APIs Knowledge Area
Our APIs build a bridge between crypto holders, merchants and us. From the wallet to the widget they are integral to the payment experience. This PKA makes certain we have uniformization and documentation.
Tech Support Knowledge Area
Everyone in development takes turns in this area! They answer questions. They solve problems. They protect our users and turn feedback into product improvements.
Design Knowledge Area and Product Management Knowledge Area
Whilst devs have all the PKAs above, Designers and PMs have only one each. For example, recently designers found a solution for a UX issue with a font which was affecting the whole platform. So they sprang into action, documented the problem, figured out an alternative and ensured implementation across three squads. PMs also have several tasks together such as updating the roadmap so we always know the challenges ahead.
Product Initiatives — PIs
For other development pursuits, we have our Product Initiatives. They deal with our low maintenance, outsourced or short-term projects. These are our current Product Initiatives:
It’s been one year since our ICO and so we can direct all of our customers to UTRUST.com. Our website is the face we show the world.
This is where we share our latest news. You may even be reading this on our blog… if so… welcome to our blog! https://blog.utrust.com
Plugins for E-Commerce
Plugins allow us to support several merchants at once. We are currently finishing a new version for WooCommerce (plugin for WordPress)!
A Few Surprises 🎉
So you might already know that we’re preparing the wait list for the UTRUST Wallet’s closed beta, but we’ve got a couple more surprises up our sleeve.
We define goals for a cycle of about 4 weeks then, weekly, we plan out how we will achieve those goals with sprints. Often we have a week in between cycles so we can focus on research. Each cycle has a song to make them feel more personal, the latest one, is Phase II of the album Voyage 34 by Porcupine Tree. Please help us name the next one, as I will be honest, I couldn’t listen to Phase II from beginning to end in one go, despite enjoying Phase I. Although, I wonder what kind of blog post would have been written if I had been listening to it while writing this. Perhaps we will one day create a Spotify Playlist with all the different songs.
We know you’re curious to know what we’re working on and we’d like you to be with us on every part of this journey. So I have good news! This post was just the beginning as we want to keep you updated on our progress. You’ll be able to count on this about every cycle, perhaps with a few extras in between.
P.S. If you are interested in joining us, we have some open positions! Check out at https://careers.utrust.com/.