Our Full Stack Blockchain Software Development Operations
Code Sport is a volunteer based organization. However, our plan is to carve out our Blockchain operations into a independent profit center focused on launching profitable business.
Our priority has always been building the right culture by attracting a core team of developers who embody our values. If you would like to join us, take a look at our project roadmap and submit a pull request. Regular and consistent contributors who embody our values and mission will be invited to join us officially.
Building a Cohesive Team of Decentralized Software Developers
Code Sport Labs is formalizing its build-out of a core team of Blockchain developers. Herein, we discuss are our findings and lessons-learned on how to best manage a geographically dispersed team.
DAOs are a way to democratize participation in a project, based on the willingness to contribute to an open organization.
— Stake DAO Academy
Thesis: We assert that, under the right incentivization structure, a group of highly motivated developers can self-organize and build robust, production ready code on schedule and with minimal supervision.
Hal Helms has proven that the key to success is managing the system. We add to Hal Helm’s assertions by analyzing what motivates developers. By understanding their needs and motivations, we believe any team leader can promote healthy behaviors and discourage unhealthy ones. As such, this article will outline our compensation structure for a decentralized group of self-motivated developers.
What Motivates Software Developers
Many of us developers contribute to open source projects to incorporate features we ourselves have found useful or to fix bugs we’ve found.
Additional motivations may include receiving public recognition. Last by not least, many developers are motivated by the possibility of receiving a job offer. This may result from their GitHub contributions or by enhancing their CVs by adding interesting projects to their personal portfolios.
The irony is that 99.99% of open source contributors receive no compensation or equity from the sponsors of such projects. Some of these sponsors are well heeled. They include Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and many others.
Below is a summary of our findings from voice conversations and text message exchanges with over 30 developers from January 2022 to May 2022:
- Personal Fulfillment & Community (i.e., Public Recognition & Acceptance by Others + Meaning + Purpose):
- Receiving recognition and positive feedback for their contributions
- Being part of a supportive and cohesive team that shares goals and values to similar to their own
- Contributing to projects that positively impact their own and other’s lives
- Working on projects that give their lives greater meaning and purpose
- Receiving respect from others by being affiliated with a prestigious and respected project or company
- Regular skills training as well as working challenging projects that will help them grow as developers
- Opportunities to be mentored and learn from more experienced developers
- Be fairly compensated for their contributions
- Potential to have an upside in a project’s success
Putting our Findings Into Practice
Our goal is to maintain active membership of developers who add value to Code Sport. Applicants are required to collaborate with us for 3 months before membership is granted. However, those who successfully contribute to an online hackathon project will be fast-tracked. This means if the hackathon is less than 3-months in length, you will be granted Code Sport membership after Hackathon completion (c.f., item 4 of Hackathon Policy).
Membership automatically expires after 3 months of no activity. “Activity” includes any of the following:
- Contributing code to a project or a Hackathon
- Donating your time and talents
- Mentoring other members
- Teaching classes
- Writing blog posts
- Contributing to Investor Presentations
Now that we have an understanding of what motivates developers, we’ll put it to practice.
This is what we offering our Software Engineers:
- Growth and Learning (Self Improvement):
- Developer skill training sessions: held weekly or bi-weekly
- Cross-training to allow all contributors to gain full stack expertise
- Compensation (Financial Security):
- Invites to do paid contract for work for Code Sport clients
- Fiat or USDC compensation in the form of ad hoc stipends, merit-based bonuses, or annual salaries. NB: Monetary compensation is dependent on the project receiving grants or venture capital funding. Annual salaries are only paid to full-time, employee developers.
- Ownership equity in projects after regular contributions and team participation over a 13-month period (in addition to or in lieu of cash payments) to those projects
- Community and Personal Fulfillment (i.e., Acceptance by Others + Meaning + Purpose):
- Invite to officially join the Code Sport Labs Blockchain Team after 3 Months of active participation.
NB: Those who participate with one us in a hackathon from start to finish by consistently contributing to any of our projects will be fast-tracked invited. We will waive the 3-month waiting period. And, you will receive an official invite after the Hackathon
- Professional work references
- Online community to connect with other developers
- Code Sport (and/or spinoff entity) Email Address
- Profile Page on Code Sport (and/or spinoff entity website)
- In-person and Online Meetups
- Membership on LinkedIn
- Discounts from the Code Sport Team Store to Buy Gear & Swag
- Clear Project Goals, Milestones, and Direction:
- Project Roadmap with Due Dates!
- Functional Requirements
- Test Driven Development & Adherence Industry Best Practices
- At minimum, weekly Team Status Meetings
- Our Values:
- Lead With Empathy
- Honesty Coupled With Clear, Respectful, and Consistent Communication
- Culture of Learning, Teaching, Innovation, and Measured Risk Taking
- Understand the Clients’ Needs
- Create an Environment that promotes Mental and Physical Well-being
- Automate Complex Processes
- Privacy & Confidentially: Many of our members choose to stay anonymous and not share their personal identifiable information online. We respect their right to privacy and their desire to remain anonymous!
- Who We Are: Our Mission Statement
- We Are a Business that Focuses on Profitability and Creating Jobs. But, Without Compromising our Values
- We are a Professional and Business Network of Friends and Entrepreneurs who Collaborate to Build Companies
- We Establish Goals, Projects, and Milestones that are S.M.A.R.T
- Measurable (Mechanisms are in place to monitor and benchmark progress)
- Actionable (Can be achieved and completed by the person to whom it is assigned)
- Responsible (Responsibility assigned to someone that takes ownership)
- Time-Bounded (a hard deadline for completion)
- Identify Toxic Behaviors and Impose Consequences:
- Call Out Unhealthy Behaviors via 1-on-1 Conversations. Emails and Texts are Not Always the Best Ways to Communicate
- Communicate Clear Consequences for Each Toxic Behavior Incident
- Give Offenders the Opportunity to Course-correct. Many of us are not aware of how our behaviors may negatively impact others
- Impose a 3 Strikes “You’re Off the Team” Policy
Avoiding Chaos: The Cause of Dysfunctional Dev Teams
In the software development world, Project Managers, Product Managers, and Team Leaders are highly compensated. These are Directly Responsible Individuals. They are responsible for building a developer team and ensuring quality and on-time delivery of a product. If the something goes wrong, it’s not the dev’s fault, but a failure of the project manager to execute. This failure is usually do to a lack of leadership. Specifically, failure to:
- Have a clear product roadmap (Communication & Goals & Expectations)
- Understand the end user. Build with a user-first design process (Empathy)
- Communicate clear, honest, and realistic expectations to all stakeholders (Communication)
- Aggressively use version control and unit testing (Quality Assurance)
- Build a dev team with the right skills OR who can easily learn the right skills for the job (Team Building)
- Coach and provide the dev team with the resources they need to succeed (Empathy, Communication & Team Building)
- Earn the trust and respect of the team (Empathy, Communication & Team Building)
These issues have already be solved. It’s called managing the system.
In closing, below we heavily paraphrase an insight offered by 0xjustice.eth from his post called Rethinking the DAO Contributor Funnel. We’ve replaced team with dev team and developer team, DAO with startup and tech startup, and community with customers!
The [dev] team enables the [tech startup] to execute and create value. They are the [startup’s] engine. Their ongoing development will define the efficacy and sustainability of a [startup’s] product offering.
A [tech startup] cannot produce sustainable revenue without the [developer] team. [Customers] gather around successful products, and enthusiastic [customers (fans and influencers)] make successful products possible. This symbiotic relationship is the lifeblood of successful [startups].
The [developer] team at a [startup] can’t deliver without stability. Therefore it’s necessary to define, a-priori, a formal onboarding process.
— Rethinking the DAO Contributor Funnel by 0xjustice.eth