This article explains the details of how to become a Decred contractor. One of the most important questions is: why would you like to work with Decred? In most cases, people dream of financial freedom and see blockchains and digital currencies as their way up. Others want more autonomy in how they schedule their work, or would love to work remotely while traveling the world. Code enthusiast may get excited about Decred’s innovative blockchain, written entirely in Go (golang). Whatever your reason is: consider how you want to contribute, communicate this professionally, and work hard for it!
Developers, designers, marketeers: Everyone is welcome to become a Decred contributor
Decred is a unique and innovative digital currency. We are a community of doers, of people who have taken control of their digital and financial lives. Rather than focusing on resumes, credentials and interviews, we are far more interested in what a prospective contractor can and will do for the project. We obviously find it very encouraging to see individuals or corporate entities with strong resumes or credentials, but as a community of doers, what a contractor does for Decred matters far more than their prior employers or educational background. To encapsulate this in a quote:
“You are what you do. A man is defined by his actions, not his memory.”
–Kuato, ‘Total Recall’
Put another way, we place a higher value on fluid intelligence and hard work, while still acknowledging the value of crystallized intelligence.
Developing the Decred ecosystem
We understand that what Decred needs may not necessarily line up with what a prospective contractor can or wants to do. Therefore, the work is broken down into several different areas. For developers, we have created several independent repositories on our GitHub, each requiring different coding skills and programming languages. For designers, marketeers, and other business related roles, we have several different projects. Examples include organizing events, video production, social media content, establishing partnerships, or managing the multiple (online) Decred communities. In all cases, we expect contributors to have an intrinsic motivation, independent problem solving skills, and a professional and communicative attitude.
In order to become a Decred contractor, it is typical to:
1. Demonstrate an independent interest in Decred.
2. Understand the basics of Decred by using its software and reading our documentation or other educational content.
3. Find a part of the project you feel you have the skills to contribute to.
4. Check with the Decred team before starting work, to avoid duplication.
5. Submit work for review.
Prospective contractors should be able to complete the steps listed above with minimal assistance from existing contributors. While we aim to be as inclusive as possible, it is important to understand that we have to maintain internal standards for work products, meaning not all interested parties will be asked to become Decred contractors.
Part-time versus full-time
Decred is an open source project. However, in contrast to most other open source projects, we have a reliable source of income that we use to pay contractors on an ongoing basis. This allows interested contractors to work on the project full-time. Currently, we have a decent mix of part-time and full-time contractors, with most of the contractors being part-time developers.
In terms of a process for becoming a full-time contractor, the safest way to ensure that we have full-time contractors who are a good fit for the project is to have people ease in to these roles. It is expected that a contributor will start in a part-time capacity and then transition to working full-time after they have demonstrated steady output, good work ethic and an ability to collaborate with other contractors.
In Decred, authority and respect are earned over time through work, rather than granted as a matter of catering to peoples’ egos or status. We welcome participation from all types of people, but it is not reasonable for anyone to expect that they can simply show up and start bossing people around. We encourage ambitious contractors to take the time to earn their fellow contractors’ respect before attempting to manage them.
We have observed that there are a wide array of opinions on what the project should and should not be working on at any given time. Listening to and adapting to feedback from our users is important to us, but there is a vast oversupply of ideas relative to people who can reasonably implement those ideas. Due to this shortage of people, we operate on a “bring your own labor” principle, and this applies to development along with all other areas of the project. If you want to see something implemented, you must either provide the labor yourself or convince other contributors it is worth implementing.
Getting paid for your work
Contractors invoice their hours on a monthly basis. After review, the Decred projects pays them out using its own token, DCR. This creates some logistical challenges. Decred developers must be ready to either hodl, pay their bills in DCR, or deal with the process of exchanging their DCR for other currencies. We are looking for both part- and full-time contractors, and this issue of exchange is especially important in the context of an individual or corporation that derives most of its income from contracting with Decred.
Dealing with pay rates across multiple countries and regions has been an interesting challenge, especially in light of the rampant speculation in real estate in certain markets, e.g. the San Francisco Bay Area or New York City. The rates of pay we offer individual contractors are typically acceptable outside these locations with particularly high living costs. We suggest that prospective contractors from these high living cost areas contact us to discuss pay rates, if it is a potential issue.
Global presence and diversity
Decred’s contributors are spread across many countries: United States, Brazil, Slovenia, Italy, Australia, Germany, Estonia, Hungary, Belgium, Russia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. That said, most contractors are located in the US, and the EU is second place. We would like to see more participation from outside the US, but we are happy to have new contractors from wherever they are located, globally. The only hard requirement is the ability to do written communication in English since we are not large enough to maintain multiple languages in our contractor workflow at this time.
We are excited to expand Decred’s pool of contractors and continue to build out our digital currency ecosystem. We encourage interested parties to reach out to Noah / Haon via social media to inquire further. If you would like to make a comment, feel free to do so using the comment section.
This article was created based on the original blog post:
I also published a development edition, written with developers in mind:
Writing about digital currencies & blockchain governance.