When we came up with the title of Season 5 at the beginning of this year, we had no idea how accurate it would turn out to be. We truly live in a new world. Not the one we wanted, but new nonetheless.
If there's one thing these extraordinary times have shown us, it's our incredible ability to adapt. Millions of people started working from home despite never having done so before. Companies changed their production lines to build masks and hand sanitizer. Supermarkets changed their hours to accommodate the elderly and the vulnerable. We found a way because we had to.
New World became the theme of Season 5 not because of the coronavirus, but in spite of it. Many of us dealt with the stress and anxiety by diving deep into areas of life they didn't know much about before. Even in our quarantine lives, new worlds are all around us, and they're more important than ever before.
For those unfamiliar with an X-Team Season: it's a period of multiple months awash with activities designed to energize, motivate, and inspire X-Teamers. Each Season is centered around a particular theme. Here are the reviews for Season 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Season 5: New World
There's something magical about a new world. It's unknown territory within your grasp. They're expansion packs to life, and you only need to put in an ounce of effort to unlock them. Season 5 was designed for X-Teamers to explore those new worlds, to enrich their lives with that tiny bit of effort, and to share it with our community. Here's how Season 5 unfolded.
War of the NeXus
Those of you who read the review of Season 4 will know that X-Team used to be divided into two separate Houses: the Lions and the Wolves. The House of the Wolves perished fighting the Lions and was replaced by two other, ferocious Houses: House Nightclaw and Steelfire. Disagreements between the three quickly ensued and resulted in the War of the NeXus.
The War of the NeXus was a board game played on our Slack channels where the Houses would compete between themselves for territory and resources. The House with the most territory would win. Every week, X-Teamers participated in events to collect resources (such as tanks and soldiers) which they could then use to conquer territory and fight their enemies.
It was an incredibly fun way to engage X-Teamers and incentivize them to collect bounties that would result in extra resources for their House. The battles were intense, as were the weekly events. Most were won by a razor-thin margin. Last-minute upsets were a very common occurrence and only added to the drama.
Ultimately, House Nightclaw (the bears) won the War of the NeXus. They had an equal amount of territory as the Lions, but won the final battle. None of the Houses perished, though, so who knows what the future will hold?
Another big moment during Season 5 was the launch of the X-Team Radio. While it'd been around for a few months as a way for our developers to listen to music while programming or studying, it really came into its own when we opened it up to the world and started using it for more than just music.
Now, X-Team Radio is a hub for both novice and experienced developers to talk about tech (or anything else!) while listening to some music. Additionally, we also used the X-Team Radio to host FwdConf, our asynchronous conference that went over a wide variety of topics, from parenting as a remote worker to the state of serverless in 2020.
Bounties and Collectibles Galore
Season 5 was different from any of the previous Seasons. Collecting a bounty usually meant you'd get coins that you could spend on collectibles from X-Team's Vault. This time, however, collecting bounties meant you'd get coins, but also resources for your House in the War of the NeXus.
This encouraged X-Teamers to collect a record-breaking number of bounties over the course of three months. At times, usually right before or during a War of the NeXus event, our Slack channels would be alight with activity from X-Teamers completing bounties.
Additionally, we also dropped many more collectibles in the Vault, including a
May the 4th T-shirt, a
Matrix hoodie that was designed by X-Teamers for X-Teamers, a
Party From Anywhere T-shirt, and much more.
Going Carbon Neutral
At the beginning of the year, X-Team made a commitment to become a carbon-neutral company by the end of 2020. Measuring our collective footprint opened up a whole new world of converting AWS bills to CO2 output, figuring out how we could accurately measure someone's footprint when they're not in an office, and much more.
We now have a number to beat: 284.07 tonnes of CO2-e. We're already taking steps to both reduce our footprint and offset it by supporting projects that help reduce greenhouse gases. We want to live in a world where can peacefully coexist with nature. Becoming a carbon-neutral company is one of the ways we want to help achieve that goal.
It's never been more crucial to give back and support those who have less than us. This Season, we launched an initiative where X-Teamers could donate meals to their food bank of choice. As a result, over the course of three months, X-Teamers donated over 55,000 meals to food banks around the world.
On top of that, we also had short donation runs to X-Teamers whose family members were struggling with illnesses or to charities such as the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, which protects children from human trafficking.
Finally, in light of going carbon-neutral, we also started our #FightingChance campaign. Apart from all the other projects we'll be supporting as part of our plan to offset our carbon footprint, we will also plant a tree for every day an X-Teamer worked for us during Season 5.
We Too Stayed at Home
All this happened while everyone was at home. As a remote-only company, X-Team saw no hiccups in its operations because of the coronavirus. While these are stressful times, X-Teamers have taken it in their stride and dived deep into new worlds.
Regardless of the circumstances, we remain dedicated to building an inspiring and energizing community for our developers in a way that does not harm our planet and its people, but helps it instead. Season 6, which starts in a few weeks, will be another strong push toward that vision.
Curious about previous X-Team Seasons? Read the reviews of our other Seasons.