Web3 Galaxy Brain 🌌🧠

Web3 Galaxy Brain

DeveloperDAO with Nader Dabit and Kempster

25 August 2022


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Nicholas: Welcome to Web3 Galaxy Brain. My name is Nicholas. At the end of each week, I sit down with some of the brightest people building Web3 to talk about what they're working on right now. Today, I'm joined by Nader Dabit, founder of DeveloperDAO. DeveloperDAO is a decentralized, autonomous organization composed of thousands of Web3 developers. In this episode, author, educator, and developer relations specialist Nader Dabit walks us through discovering his passion for programming in his late 20s, his time at AWS and Edge and Node, creators of the Graph Protocol, and how he created the Devs for Evolution NFT that became the membership token for DeveloperDAO. We're also joined by DevDAO Operations Lead Kempster, who sheds light on the many areas of activity that DAO engages in and what to look forward to in the upcoming Season 1 launch. DeveloperDAO is an exciting, emergent community for experienced and new devs alike. Their expansion into formal education, project incubation, and investment is inspiring. I hope you enjoy the show. Hey, welcome, Nader. How's it going?

Nader Dabit: Hey, going pretty good. Thank you for having me.

Nicholas: Absolutely. Welcome. I'm really excited to talk to you today.

Nader Dabit: Yeah, I'm a couple minutes late. I was, or a minute or two late. I was wrapping up a live stream, actually, with when we built Web3 and 30 Days of Web3. We're giving away some memberships to DeveloperDAO. It's pretty cool. We haven't done that, never done that before.

Nicholas: I saw that. Was it 10 NFTs given away today?

Nader Dabit: Yeah.

Nicholas: That's exciting. Yeah, I was actually reviewing some other interviews with you earlier today, and I was hoping that today we could focus on DeveloperDAO, because I think there's actually not as much content with you talking about DeveloperDAO, and I found it a really exciting project.

Nader Dabit: Yeah, that's a great topic. I'll be happy to talk about that.

Nicholas: Awesome. Well, I guess we might as well dive right in. Before we start, maybe I'll check for folks who are already in the audience, throw up an emoji if you're in DeveloperDAO. Throw up a heart if you're in DevDAO. I don't know. We've got a small audience to start.

Nader Dabit: We have a small audience. We need to convert everyone there.

Nicholas: Yeah, exactly. Actually, so we'll get into that, but I'm excited because I posted, and maybe I'll post it here on the space here, but I found the original video from your blog post on Mirror, where you talk about, or you demonstrate deploying the NFT contract derived from Loot. that is the basis of DevDAO, which is pretty cool. that that's all documented on YouTube.

Nader Dabit: Yeah, that was a video where we launched it. It looks like you linked to it in that tweet that was sent out. And yeah, the idea was there, and the smart contract was deployed during that live stream, kind of put it out there to the world, and was hoping that it would become something, and it did, so that's pretty cool. Didn't know what was going to happen, but the vision was there, and a lot of really great people stepped in and made it what it is today. It was like 1% me and 99% everyone else, I have to say, but I was really happy to kind of see what happened over the last 11 months. So September will be one year, and we're kind of getting to a place now within the community where we have formed a legal entity. We're launching a governance token, and we're kind of done putting all the things in place to make the vision of some of the ideas around education and expanding the surface area and impact of what we're doing to make it actually happen. A lot of the stuff around running a DAO is so messy, and it's so tough to kind of pull off, and I'm just really proud of how everything is like, even though it's taken a lot longer than we maybe would have hoped, I'm just proud of how it's all kind of come together.

Nicholas: Yeah, I'm sure there's tons of lessons, and I feel every experience I've ever had in a DAO is whatever it's about plus the education about starting a DAO or running a DAO. So I'm sure just going through all the steps, as long as it takes, is also educating this whole community about how to launch their own kind of decentralized organizations. So first of all, before we get into DevDAO too much, we both come from a background of starting programming in our later 20s, I guess for me, mid 20s, for you, later 20s, early 30s, and having work experience outside of tech. I was listening to an interview you did where you were talking about how given the experience you had working in retail and service industry, that it was easier for you to appreciate the sort of joys and compensation, et cetera, in tech of being able to do something that you're interested in and be well paid for it sometimes. So I think it's interesting to have that perspective and come all the way from a completely different background into not only tech, but also into Web3 and into creating your own DAO, which then exceeds even your wildest imagination, I'm sure. So I'm curious, do you still feel that way about working in Web3? Yeah, 100%.

Nader Dabit: I mean, just being in tech period, I think I can still remember it like it's yesterday. It was one of the just defining moments of my life. Going from being in the service industry almost for most of my life, and then the first job I actually had in tech was in Los Angeles. I'm from Mississippi, and there wasn't a lot of opportunity here to kind of land tech jobs, especially from someone like me who didn't really have a traditional educational background. I didn't really have a degree in computer science or any of that stuff. So walking into the first day of my job was this startup slash consultancy in Los Angeles in Glendora, which was right off of a really famous highway. I forgot the name of it. Route 66, I think it is. But they have this really nice, big building that was almost like a warehouse. It's just probably like the average tech company, maybe, but it just was new to me. You walk in and people have their pets around. There's this really nice lounge area. There's snacks. People are just sitting around in flip flops on their computers, and they're making six figures. And this is just crazy for me. I'm just like, wow, literally, I'm about to get paid to sit there and write code. I just remember it was just mind blowing to me. Especially when you really compare it, if you're working in Mississippi, there are jobs that pay like $7 an hour still. And these jobs suck really bad. And it's just hard to get ahead and find a way to make enough money to even live a comfortable life, even working in these really tough jobs. So I think just going from seeing that to being able to do stuff that I consider fun, making a lot more money, and it's just night and day. And I think that anyone that's gone through that, if you've been raised in a family where everyone's maybe educated and they're maybe doctors and lawyers, and you're just used to knowing that you can live a comfortable life versus maybe not having that, I think it's also maybe a difference, depending on how you were brought up and the situation that you were brought up in.

Nicholas: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I can definitely relate to this experience. Just before coming into Web3, I was doing a grad degree in art, basically, but also working in a digital fabrication lab in a community center, in a not well-off community center. And a lot of similar themes about helping people build projects, make their imagination into reality, but without the resources. And I mean, a lot of the advantages that working in an information digital environment give you, where trying to build physical things, especially at a grassroots level on the ground, I understand what you mean about the sort of... It seems really idyllic when you enter into the tech space in general. And it's cool that in Web3, we get a lot of those advantages, but also a lot of the kind of weirdness of more like a punk art scene or whatever, cypherpunk scene as well. It's very cool.

Nader Dabit: Yeah, yeah, totally. I think that from transitioning from the startup culture, which is where I started off, and I think like 10 years ago, which is when I started in tech, Google and Facebook and Amazon were kind of still looked at as almost like startup-y. You know, they were like, look at that, like the cool tech companies. Whereas I think like today, maybe Google or some parts of different companies might still hold that, but now they're kind of feel more like corporate-y type of jobs. Whereas I feel like Web3 companies and certain startups like Brazil seem like the new cool, like fun places to work. And especially after having experienced the corporate world and Amazon for a couple of years, it's not a place I would go back. I don't think there's an amount of money that I could be given to go back, but it was a good experience. And I'm not trying to discourage people from like trying that out because the things that you get from working in these large organizations probably can't be learned maybe in other places. And maybe you don't even need that knowledge actually, depending on what you want to do, but it comes with its trade-offs, I guess. But like, but really the point I'm trying to make is that I think 10 years ago, a place like Google was looked at a lot differently maybe than it is today. And not to say that it's not a place that people should aspire to want to go work, but I think that the more like disruptive, innovative spaces now are more like startups and companies maybe doing stuff in blockchain and Web3, at least in my opinion. And Google and Facebook and Amazon are more like bureaucratic type of organizations where if you want to get something done, it takes six months or one year worth of like meetings and stuff just to change like a little tiny button or something. Like, you know, like the innovation there just isn't as rapid, I don't think, as it's happening maybe in other areas.

Nicholas: They're not the rebels anymore. Once you got 50,000, 100,000 employees, you're not the, it's no longer a company in the garage for sure.

Nader Dabit: There you go.

Nicholas: Yeah. So let's turn to developer doubt because if people want to find other resources on your background, your transition, I think there are valuable lessons in all of that. And from the sounds of it, I think, you know, the experience building coding bootcamps and the developer relations experience you had at Amazon, I'm sure played into your work at edge and node and Celestia now. But I think the part of your career that I at least found the least content on and the one that I find most exciting is this developer doubt stuff. So can you take us back? What was the origin story of developer doubt? and maybe even a little context about loot for people who aren't familiar with the origins of the contract as well?

Nader Dabit: Okay. Without like going into too long of a story, I do want to take another step back and kind of talk about, yeah, like why I think that the culture and the missions and values of developer doubt have like resonated maybe with a lot of people. Hopefully I think that like, again, going back to getting a job in tech for a non-traditional background, I didn't even actually graduate from high school. I don't have a high school diploma or a college degree. So therefore to get into tech, I was leveraging community resources. So I was taking a lot of free online courses. I was actually going on YouTube and watching like Stanford, MIT, Harvard. They all started putting this open courseware on YouTube back in the early 2000s, 2010s, I mean, actually, and also blog posts and open source and stuff were kind of how I got my foot in the door. And I think that the appreciation that I have for those people and those resources have been kind of like a core part of who I am, because I think that, again, the life-changing experience of getting into tech is something that I'll never stop remembering. And I think that the whole experience of like, oh, I'm learning all this stuff and these people are putting it out there for me for free. And once I got a job in tech, I wanted to do the same thing as well. And like, once I became in a position to do that, I started doing that. So I lived in LA for a year, moved back to Mississippi after that, because I was kind of unable to live there because I was making, you know, I think like 50 or 60K at the time, but I had a family and also still had a mortgage back in Mississippi. So I ended up, but at least it was a way to get my foot in the door. But I moved back to Mississippi. And the first thing I missed was there were no meetups and there were no conferences. There was no tech community here. So I was like, okay, I want to put on a meetup. So I started putting on meetups and there was no speakers. So I started just speaking at these meetups because like, you know, it was just a reason to kind of like, you know, get everyone together, like talk about stuff. And then over time we started having speakers and stuff. But anyway, so like I became really, really interested in this whole like community aspect of maybe like helping other people get into tech. And it was a really fulfilling experience to be able to kind of start seeing some of those things play out in like, I would hold a meetup and someone would come and they would somehow get a really great job. And I would feel really good about having been a small part of that. And I think that that experience of getting into tech that way and then giving back is something that always was really fulfilling to me. So over time, I ran that meetup for a little over three years. That's handed off now. Someone is still running it here in Mississippi. I launched the coding school called CodeSouth Labs. that spent about two years and didn't really go anywhere. I ended up losing, you know, pretty much all of the money that I put into it. But it ultimately led to another coding school here called Mississippi Coding Academies. that was someone named Richard Sun approached me early on after hearing about the meetups and also CodeSouth Labs. And I helped kind of like drive the direction to help launch that. I was a small part of that. And now Mississippi Coding Academies is still like a thing and it's actually going pretty strong. And then like this whole experience is like what I would consider like community building, right? So like you're trying to build these different communities. And I took that experience to my DevRel career. I started doing blogging and stuff and creating like an organization at the time called React Native Training. React Native Training was like a YouTube channel. It was a blog publication. And we kind of like, it was my way of like getting into consulting and stuff as well. And that kind of like got me into what you would consider DevRel because I was essentially doing DevRel for my own company, React Native Training. And that landed me a role at AWS doing DevRel there. And this is all like community building type of stuff. And to fast forward to how DeveloperDAO kind of like launched. When I got into Web3, the first thing that kind of stood out to me, like beyond all of the general like crypto type of stuff and Web3 infrastructure type of stuff was obviously like DAOs. And they were really fascinating because like they offered like a new incentive mechanism for community building that didn't really like exist. And that was community ownership or at least the concept or the feel of community ownership, whether or not that's an actual like thing or not depending on what community it is. And building out a community in the traditional tech world is basically like you're going to create a Discord and you're going to like try to incentivize people in the community maybe to like join that Discord. And those people are really kind of just offering free tech support for these billion dollar companies sometimes, right? So you have like Amazon that has their community builders, which are great. You know, it's a great way to maybe get your foot in the door and all that. But there is no financial compensation. Instead, really, these people are kind of working as like unpaid tech support, I would say. You also have like these ambassador programs, which are pretty cool sometimes. But there is no real feeling of like camaraderie, I think, around a lot of that stuff. There's even like pretty good web 2 communities like Reactaflux, which is actually a really great community. But I think like when you look at a DAO versus one of those communities, there is a clear difference around the type of camaraderie that you feel. So like when you go into a city and you're part of like a DAO and other people are part of that DAO, you will automatically be like, oh, let's like get together and like have lunch or let's get together and throw a party or let's get together and just hang out. And you feel like you have something in common with them. So I think like seeing how that was like playing out with DAOs really was like compelling to me as a community like builder, community organizer. And I wanted to be a part of that. So I joined Friends of Benefits. And Friends of Benefits was like the first DAO. that seemed something that I might be like fitting in with. You know, there wasn't a ton of DAOs actually at this point, like in the early 2021, I don't think.

Nicholas: And it seemed like they were more, I feel like what we're talking about when we talk about DAOs is kind of the second generation,

Kempster: more

Nicholas: NFT centric DAOs, whether or like social token era, like FWB versus like the original DAOs, which were more on-chain, maxi, managing a DeFi protocol. Whereas these are more like social organizations that then evolve into, I don't know, business models or whatever kinds of things.

Nader Dabit: Yes, that's exactly right. I read the Infinite Machine and kind of understand like the origination of DAOs, but my only involvement has been in like the 2021, 22 community-ish version of DAOs. And like you could go into kind of this whole like discussion around what a DAO is, and even like a protocol like Ethereum, you know, some people consider a DAO or any protocol that you're, you know, transacting on could be depending on how the protocol is structured.

Nicholas: It's a nice term because it doesn't mean so much. It's so flexible that things that are completely opposite. You might, some people might say like Bitcoin is an actual DAO because it is actually decentralized and autonomous and a kind of organization versus other. people point at things that are more about voting either on-chain or off-chain, even things that are managed by a multi-sig or something where there's a lot of trust in a smaller subset of the population to execute the will of the larger community. When I first got into the scene, I felt DAOs were a total misnomer. And instead of DAO, it should be like centralized bureaucratic organization, because really they centralize all of the decision-making around a particular governance institution rather than genuinely decentralizing and making something autonomous. Like a smart contract that's immutable is truly autonomous. But at the end of the day, the fact that the term doesn't really work is kind of to its advantage because it allows for a lot of experimentation and all these different directions.

Nader Dabit: So like DAO being defined as decentralized autonomous organization, like you just mentioned, and then applying it to just a community. Actually exactly what you're saying. You know, it's not always even close to that. It's more of just like a web three community, I guess would be a better word.

Nicholas: It's cool what you say about the...

Nader Dabit: Or a topicalized community sometimes. Yeah.

Nicholas: Because I think you point to originally about this, like, you know, there's all the people on the Apple support communities who are volunteering their time to diagnose airplay problems or whatever, have no actual on-ramp into the main Apple ladder to start climbing. Really, it's very indirect, the relationship. Whereas like I always think about how when I was a kid, I would get these... In Canada, we have Future Shop or we used to have it. It's like Best Buy. Best Buy ended up buying it, but we had this store called Future Shop and they would send a little flyer out to everybody's house on Saturday. And so you'd go and look at what the new video games are for PlayStation 2 and Xbox or whatever. But there was no... It was actually socially disadvantageous to be an early adopter at that point in time. But these crypto networks made it possible, essentially mobilized this early adopter culture, which had grown through the growth of like Microsoft and Apple becoming consumer brands that people really cared about in the way that people maybe cared about Sony previously, but even more so, more fieldy, more like MKBHD YouTubers talking about this tech stuff. Crypto and ultimately DAOs made it possible for people who were early adopters to not just be like the nerdy kid who knew about video games before they came out at school, but instead to actually have something similar to equity or some kind of token representing your relationship to the thing that could be financially advantageous or socially advantageous, but more than just the knowledge, actually something tangible.

Nader Dabit: Yeah, that's a good point. And I think that there's also this balance around trying to figure out ways to give value to someone that is helping participate in a DAO or in a community, also enabling accessibility. Because if you create a barrier to entry, then you automatically are affecting the diversity of the people that can participate, unless you have some low barrier to entry that does not involve financial access to get in. So therefore, you have this paradox where you want people to have some type of value, but you don't want to make them spend money to get in. And therefore, you have to have some type of onboarding mechanism that essentially just gives them a token or gives them something that down the road, or even on day one, they can liquidate and sell if they want to. But at the same time, you have to have that because if you don't, you're going to have a community that is just 99% people that have all the same things in common, and that's not what you want. And I think that was another thing that we thought of, that was part of with developer DAO and hopefully maybe other communities that are coming around fun ways. It's really kind of about civil resistance a little bit. You want to have a way to incentivize the right group of people or a group of people to join, but you don't want someone to kind of like civil attack and take advantage of that, and therefore have a large proportion of ownership.

Nicholas: It's a paradox that to build a community, you both... I mean, it sounds... I'm very much on the same page as you. I'm interested in communities that are as accessible as possible to a wide range of people, especially people with different financial means. I don't think that's a particularly interesting way to limit access to something. But at the same time, if the doors are wide open, people maybe don't value it as much, but also it sort of devolves pretty quickly. And so it's kind of a paradox about building these communities that there needs to be some amount of exclusivity in order for there to be a coherent community that has an identity that people want to stay, have some allegiance to and attract new people. But at the same time, you don't want just the doors wide open.

Nader Dabit: Yeah. So early on, to get in DeveloperDAO, you could literally just go to a smart contract. And if you knew how to interact with Etherscan, you could just mint the token for free. And when I say for free, you still had to pay the gas. But there was no charge to mint the token. And I really think like looking back on it, that while that was ultimately caused issues in the sense that we didn't bootstrap a treasury, and I invited Kemp to come up here and speak, because he's actually been the main, literally the main reason that DeveloperDAO is like where it is today and successful. If I had to pick out like one person that literally is like the reason I could say, okay, if it weren't for this person, we wouldn't be here today. I don't know if he wants to speak, but I've invited him up here.

Nicholas: You follow the exact same model as Loot basically. You dropped a contract, there was a fork of Loot and had the same free claim mechanism, obviously pay the gas to do the transaction, but anybody could grab an NFT. And that NFT gave you membership to DevDAO.

Nader Dabit: Yeah, exactly. And the NFT wasn't like that. nice of an NFT in my opinion. It wasn't like, oh, this is like a cool design and I'm going to show it off. It was more just like, if you were a developer, you wouldn't think it was cool. And if you weren't, then you probably wouldn't give it much notice. So therefore, we did kind of, I think, bootstrap a really high quality community early on of people that were just, they wanted to be part of the community. So they would just mint one token. Now we did have a few people that minted like a bunch, but it was like such a small percentage that we did end up with a fairly, I would say, like we did a few tweets where we're like, what part of the world are you in? And literally, we had people from like 100 countries that showed up. So it was like a fairly diverse group of folks kicking off a developer now.

Nicholas: For context, the collection is called Devs for Revolution. And for anyone who hasn't seen it, it looks just like Loot. It's text except it's inverted color. So it's black text on a white background. And the properties, instead of being these kind of RPG properties, Dungeons and Dragons kind of things, they're programming related subjects like operating systems and such.

Nader Dabit: Yeah, exactly. And that's what it was. Like, the idea was in my head for a couple of months after joining Friends of Benefits. I was like, so jazzed on day one to be in Friends of Benefits. There's a developer channel. There was like artists. There were actors. There were like sex workers. There were all types of like people in there. It was so cool to kind of just see all these people like in a community together. But like I noticed in the developer channel, I'm like in there. And I'm trying to kind of like, you know, meet some people and there isn't a lot of action. And my first thought was like, oh, shit, it would be so dope if there was a Friends of Benefits. But everyone was a developer, right? And that was probably like May or June or something like that-ish. And the thought was in my head. And when Loot Project launched and I looked at their smart contract, I was like, oh, shit, this is like a really simple smart contract that could be forked. And we could literally like maybe have this as like a way to build a DAO. And we could just change out these characters to be developer traits as opposed to like traits of a character for the like Loot Project, which was kind of like you might have a cape or a sword or something like that. Instead, with developer DAO, you would have like a computer or an operating system. You would live in a certain city. You would have a text editor, you know, all these things that like a developer would like think are cool, but like probably most people would think we're kind of stupid.

Nicholas: I love that you dropped it. You showed yourself deploying the contract and sort of explaining the contract in this video. It's perfectly like coherent with what your role is in the community to not only create the community, but also to be showing every step along the way how it's done.

Nader Dabit: Yeah, exactly. The live stream happened on a day where gas was probably one of the highest ever.

Nicholas: Oh no.

Nader Dabit: Like literally, like I'm not exaggerating because like I'd set aside at the time like $2,000 or something to launch the contract, which is kind of crazy, right? Even today, like that's kind of expensive. But when I tried to launch it, that wasn't even enough gas. It ended up costing I think like $5,000 to launch, which is what I would consider a fairly basic smart contract that today would probably cost about $200 to launch. But it just happened that day that the gas was like ridiculous. But because I was on a live stream, I wanted to actually like make this work. I ended up transferring more and more ETH into my wallet until it finally went through. And I was like, just fuck it, like YOLO. Because I couldn't like go through all that and have it fail. So I was like, I'll just like do this. And yeah, we finally got it launched. And Kemp, who's right up here as one of the speakers. Yeah, welcome. Like was like very early on. Yeah, Kemp, do you want to kind of give an intro to yourself?

Kempster: Hey guys, nice to meet everyone. Thanks for bringing me up. And like, thanks for the kudos later. But to turn that back on you, like if people don't know you too well, I think he's one of the nicest people I've met and always lays a path behind him for things to be successful. And I think DeveloperDao is an excellent example of that. Helps a lot of people do some really cool stuff. So hey, I hope you take some pride in what you created.

Nader Dabit: Thanks, man. Yeah, we're up here talking about it. So I'm definitely proud of what we've done so far. And we still have, I think, a lot more that's going to happen, especially after the last couple of like weeks of good news. So yeah, I'm excited to kind of see what happens next.

Nicholas: Okay, so I want to get into this. So Kempster, how did you find DevDao? How did you get involved?

Kempster: That's a really good question. It's a pretty common story that you'll hear from many people in the Dao. So Matt has got like a really good track record of being a great educator in the space. So I was like a developer learning how to code, like I followed along a lot of his tutorials. And then I sort of took a sabbatical in like last June, so like a year ago, June. And I was doing some of a lot of the stuff that he put out around AWS and serverless. And then started getting de-jetting into crypto a little bit, losing a lot of money attempting to trade. And then came across Nader's video launching the Dao. And like was kind of like joined Bankless's server and was kind of like looking at different stuff, like opportunities to try and maybe get a bit more actually involved and stuff. But then as soon as Nader launched that, you kind of already built up that like social trust with someone that you don't even know. But it's like, this seems like a really cool idea. I jumped in and like it was pretty chaotic and it's still pretty chaotic. Like it's very interesting to launch the Dao without like any like structure or plan up front. But yeah, I just jumped in, there was a server with loads of amazing people in it, like coming up with loads of really, really cool ideas. And ended up being a moderator and then just kind of evolved into taking some responsibility for some of like the cadence of community calls and stuff like that. And now my role is operations basically. So one big thing that's happened at the moment is we've just created a foundation in the Cayman, which gives us a huge unlock to be able to interface with the real world and provide some like limited liability for members. And we're launching our new governance token on the 22nd of August as well. So yeah, it's really, really cool. Most people will have a very similar journey, I think if you ask them. And yeah, it's been certainly been fun. I haven't coded much since I joined the team. But other than that, it's been great.

Nicholas: So Developer Dao launches and are we immediately in season zero? Or what's the next step after the token dropped?

Kempster: So the original NFT drops, well then I was sort of talking through the video. And then like maybe over the course of like a month or two, like it was just like chaos, there was no structure, there was nothing. And then we started to like have some like regular cadence of meetings and conversations. So just to chat about like, why are we here? What are we doing? And then that kind of evolved into like putting in an initial structure that was based on what we call guilds, which is like grouping people with shared skills and interests together. Just allow them to just kind of like meet each other and figure out interesting stuff to do. And then season zero started. I'm going to say like November time, like all of this stuff is in our governance forum if people want to see. And then the goal of season zero was to lay the foundations for the org to move forward. So that was...

Nicholas: Is that like a mission statement kind of thing?

Kempster: Yeah, so we did the missions, goals and values pretty early on. And that kind of set the direction for everything else. But like foundationally, like just like creating the legal entity, figuring out how our like governance reward and like incentivization system works. And yeah, just putting in kind of like the mechanics of how the DAO would operate.

Nicholas: So it's interesting. I think it's an interesting lesson for people who are curious about DAOs in general, that the token dropped, free NFT, not building any kind of treasury, and a community formed around it, thanks to Natter's reputation, essentially, and people's love for you online for how much they'd learned from you. And that ultimately led to a kind of social organization that decided, we're going to figure out what we can do with this community, even though we don't have like a bunch of money or anything, but we have human power, and that can let us create things in the future. Can you maybe describe a little bit about what the season zero process was? Whoever wants to take this?

Nader Dabit: Yeah, I mean, I'll start it off and then I'll let Kemp continue. So like you mentioned, when I launched this, I actually had no idea how to run it down. And I still, I don't think anyone really knows how to actually run it out. Like we're all just kind of learning. But obviously, I know a lot more than I did a year ago. I think Kemp knows significantly more than I do. Because he's been more involved in actually structure and stuff. But like when we launched, it was more just like, let's put this out there and just see what happens. And we'll kind of like learn along the way. And I think like, as a developer, that's kind of how I've always like just done things. And I think like, it's kind of this idea of shipping, as opposed to like perfecting. Like if you try to make something perfect before you ship something, you're never gonna like anything done. So instead, you just kind of like learn quite as much as you can. And then you kind of like ship something, and then you iterate and you improve it. And I think that that was kind of the idea. With DeveloperDal, I knew that we needed a lot of things to come together to actually make this work. And I wasn't able to do all those things. The only things that I'm good at are like certain things. So like I did those things. And then other people that are good at other things kind of like came in. And we launched without any idea, or without any idea of what was going to happen. And like you mentioned, we kind of started getting together organizing stuff. And you start kind of noticing like maybe a combination of copying things that are successful with other DALs, as well as innovating yourself. And one of the things that you see often is like segmenting work into kind of almost like sprints in the developer world, but in DALs, it would be like seasons. So a season, you might want to accomplish like this set of initiatives. And then you kind of go to your next season. So we decided we want to kind of like start with a season zero, which is kind of an organizational process of like getting all of our eggs, or like all of our things like in place, I guess you could say. And then season one would be where we actually execute stuff. So season zero is something that we did. that is kind of like it's finished, but we're still kind of like finalizing all those things. Like you mentioned, getting the legal entity set up for limited liability for the founding members, as well as the community members, and getting sponsors lined up and like getting people that are going to be doing the work and trying to set up ways to pay everyone. And then season one will be where we start doing even more stuff. But even in season zero, we've done stuff like launched a conference that was successful. Dozen or more organizations have already spun out of developer DAL that are successful. Women Build Lab 3 is one of the most recent and one of the ones that I'm pretty the most proud of, I would say. Actually, I'm proud of all of them for sure. But it's one of the ones that I've been a little bit more involved with lately. And yeah, so Kemp, do you want to kind of talk about like how the seasons work and some of the ideas around that?

Kempster: Yeah, for sure, man. That was a super good intro. And I think something that you said earlier was like really apt about developer DAL. I think we've been very, very lucky about the vibes. And a lot of that comes, I think, with like how you started it. Like seasons for us are like, I guess, like discrete periods of time where we can kind of like align the community around some shared goals and objectives. And like as Nada said, like for us in season zero, like most of that was about laying operational foundations, but like some really cool shit was done in that time as well. The conference that Nada mentioned was called Web Freakon, and that was like super successful. And it was just a random group of people in the DAL that came together that wanted to do it. We just yesterday put up our proposal for sort of the plan for season one. And we're kind of coming together as a community to kind of like really focus on education and like try and funnel as much of our energy and resources into creating free educational resources for people. So we'll be doing lots of stuff around workshops for members of the community, as well as there's a mentorship program internally. And we have a group building like an open source learning platform. There's all sorts of really interesting stuff going on, but it's kind of like the concept of seasons. for us is just a way to try and like align all the community members and try and push in like a in like a similar direction. And that all kicks off on the 22nd of August. So yeah, like we're a week out. It's all very exciting.

Nicholas: Wow, that is exciting. Okay, there's a lot of stuff to get into. Maybe just a high level, we can go through the various activities that DeveloperDao gets up to. So there was this conference. Was that an in-person conference or a digital conference?

Kempster: It was a virtual conference and it was run in Gabber Town. And if anyone is like connected in crypto Twitter, there's like some people that you may know that ran it. There's a guy called Rahat, who's a dev role at Polygon. Another guy called Nav, who's maybe a little less known in the Twitter sphere. And Josh, who's a dev role at Anchor now, I think. But yeah, it was a virtual conference. We had some really great partners. I think we had maybe like 30 speakers across two days or something like that. But yeah, really, really cool, really fun. We were running Gabber Town. It was really good.

Nicholas: Awesome.

Nader Dabit: Yeah, and I think we had like, what was it like 100, 150, 200,000 or something like that in prizes and stuff that were given out. We paid the speakers. A lot of stuff that we're kind of living up to. the values and mission of our community were kind of like exemplified during that conference. I think the thing that really put me off about a lot of DAOs and a lot of crypto, actually, in general, is around the hyper focus around speculation and stuff. And I think that developer DAO and developers in general, and crypto, I guess, are honestly kind of in a position that's fortunate in the sense that we don't, for the most part, obviously, if the market is terrible, people might get laid off. But for the most part, we're going to get paid regardless of market conditions. if we're working for a protocol that has a nice treasury or that has a business model like Aave or Uniswap, for example, that actually is making revenue regardless of market conditions. And therefore, our focus is kind of more around getting people educated and giving them the technical skills to land a job and therefore be not really exposed to the market conditions. So if you become a developer, you can kind of get a job and you can make money and you're not as affected. So therefore, we try not to have any focus on this whole speculative aspect of it. So therefore, I think during this whole bear bull market changes, it doesn't really affect our community as much. You might see a little less excitement around certain things like a few months ago, and it's starting to come back now. But I think compared to communities that are only focused and everything about them is based on the current market conditions, I think that we've separated ourselves maybe a lot from those sorts of people.

Nicholas: Yeah. It seems like it's less about speculating on the membership token and more about what you really get from it is the educational experience. So there's this web3con.dev, if people want to check out the conference recap. So there's sort of this outreach stuff, very similar to what you were doing in Mississippi early on in your career. And then also these educational resources that are being built. I'm curious, do you find the people who are coming into the DAO are people who had a previous career in web2 or people who are fresh to development and want to jump directly into web3.dev?

Nader Dabit: It's definitely a combination of both. There's people that have worked at places like Facebook and Airbnb and Google and stuff that are part of DeveloperDAO. There are people who have never written a lot of code that start by joining DeveloperDAO and it's everything in between. So it's actually a fairly, I would say, good mix of people. I wouldn't say there's a majority of this type of person or that type of person. It's kind of completely just mixed up.

Nicholas: Cool. So there's these educational resources, which it sounds like are being even more formalized through. some of the guilds are going to be building an educational hub during season one?

Nader Dabit: Well, we have a couple of things. One of them is DeveloperDAO School of Code. We have the web3 cons stuff. A lot of the stuff that we do is turning into other communities and orgs like Spending Out, but we also have our own guilds. So maybe Kemp can talk about some of the guilds that are in place that are focused on education. Another thing that I would say though, before Kemp starts talking, is that I think is a little different. is that we really try to focus on highlighting and bringing community members opportunities as opposed to highlighting the DAO. So for instance, instead of us putting together a DeveloperDAO curriculum and that being our main focus, one of the things that we've done is that we have channels where people can share their own content and we try to highlight them. Because if you're a new developer or a new person coming into the community, you don't have a network for the most part. You might have a handful of people that you know, but there's a huge difference between writing a blog and putting it out there to five or ten people as opposed to letting us leverage our platform to shine the spotlight on you. I think that's been a great way for people to land jobs. So if they come into DeveloperDAO and they're good at writing and they're a good programmer and they create an open source project or a blog post, if they share that on their own social media, chances are no one's going to see it. But if they give it to us and then they let us to broadcast it out there, then that's been a great way for people to grow their network, but also land opportunities. And that's been one of the focuses that we've done. So I guess what I'm trying to say is we try to highlight the work that other people have done as opposed to highlighting ourselves.

Nicholas: Yeah. For instance, I just saw today Open Palette by Devin Abbott, I didn't realize, was inspired partly by DeveloperDAO. Devin is the creator of 721.so for people who've used that tool to create their own NFT contracts. So definitely I see this in practice, developer projects being highlighted and lifted up by the DAO.

Nader Dabit: Yeah, Devin's incredible. He actually shipped an IDE that was acquired by Airbnb and he ended up working at Airbnb for like a year or two there. And then I actually was fortunate enough to work with him also at Edge and Node. And I was also actually working with him a little bit when I was running my consultancy with React Native Training. He's probably like top three, top five React Native engineers in the world without even like, yeah, like without a doubt, he's incredible. He actually forked the DeveloperDAO contract, I think, to build out the first version of Open Palette. And I think he even shared publicly that his set of smart contracts and apps that he built with that like ended up resulting in like a few hundred thousand dollars in revenue over the course of like three months.

Nicholas: Yeah, I saw it in your one of your blog posts about this that in just the first few months, $400,000 came through the Open Palette project, I think. Pretty cool.

Nader Dabit: Yeah, yeah, he's amazing. But anyway, I think I kind of derailed this conversation.

Nicholas: Yeah, we were going to talk about education or any other projects, that come to mind as exemplary of what the community can lift up.

Kempster: Yeah, for sure. I think that makes a really, really good point. Like probably the biggest value that DeveloperDAO has created so far is supporting other people to grow themselves. And I think it's really important to highlight that. I think I've lost track of the number of people that have got awesome jobs or made their switch into web-free and would probably attribute some of that to the community and the support and the sort of network effects of the DAO. So yeah, that's probably been our biggest value return up until now for sure. But in terms of like season one, so NANA referenced a project called School of Code. We've actually just realized there's a trademark clash. There's a School of Code that already exists. So we might change the name. But it's basically an open source learning platform. So if you imagine like tracks with lessons in them to learn how to deploy contracts across various networks or how to understand different protocols, the idea is that we create like an open learning platform that people can follow to learn like whatever it is, whatever track that they like. So at the moment that starts off with like EVM basically, but we're looking to expand that across basically any protocol or a domain that we can over time. So it will be mostly focused on smart contract and blockchain development, but we'll also be building in like fundamental web development and computer science skills over time as well. So that's led by some really sort of OG involved members in the community. I give a shout out to this Ropat, Pete Billingsby, who's just got a job at Arweave on the back of some of the stuff that he's done in the DAO. Meowi, Piavolo and a few others that are kind of driving that initiative, which is shaped up really nicely. And then probably the next thing is we hold like workshops every week. So if you go to our YouTube, I think there's a workshops playlist. There were only like three workshops in now, but they've all been great. They'll probably lean mostly towards development because we're a developer DAO, but they're not restricted to that. So the first one was about like personal offset in crypto and how to stay safe. Second one was then about like deploying React apps permanently to Arweave, which was by Daiwat, who's another member who kind of made the leap into web free and got a super good job. I'll probably attribute some of that to kind of like the networks and like network effects of the DAO. And then the most recent one was like this crazy deep dive by a dude called Crooked.eth on Twitter. I don't know if you want me to out him, but this is talking about Ethereum and how it stores data. And like, it's, I don't know how long or how like much he hurt himself going down this rabbit hole to figure out all this stuff. And it's a lot of information packed into like 90 minutes, but it's really, really interesting. So we'll be doing that every week. And then we have an internal mentorship program. And then aside from that sort of outside of education, we have a, like a brand called which like to be quite frank, it's like a, we throw parties at conferences. That's a, this was driven by Cammie who worked with Nada. She's a developer at the graph at the moment and is a absolute legend, but she's the first person I've seen to get developers dance, which is a pretty good achievement, I think.

Nicholas: So we do that. That's part of an understanding of Ethereum. I just wanted to ask for people who are interested in the weekly workshops, how do they go follow up? Is that in the discord?

Kempster: It is at the moment. So they're all recorded and streamed on YouTube, but like in terms of interacting with the speaker right now, it's kind of in the discourse. And so you need to be a member, but over time, we hope to try and open this stuff up a little bit more. It's just operationally a bit of a nightmare if you open up a discord service in the world.

Nicholas: And the vibes IRL events, are they only open to members of developer now, or are they open to anybody?

Kempster: They're open to anyone. Like if you're at a conference and you see one of our parties come along, they can come.

Nicholas: Very cool. And I guess one other thing we didn't talk about yet are all of the projects that have been incubated inside of developer DAO and then have grown even larger. One that comes to mind is Perks. Maybe you could talk a little bit about Perks.

Kempster: Yeah, for sure. So Perks was kind of on my mind for a little while. Its goal is to try and offer DAOs a way to build out kind of like almost like employee benefits for their contributors. So competing with traditional organizations and each other to kind of attract and retain members. And right now the reward model is basically based on the governance token in most cases, or sometimes stables. A lot of the like ancillary

Nader Dabit: benefits

Kempster: that you get from being part of like a traditional org, like, I don't know, but it could even go to healthcare eventually, but like discounted gym membership, whatever, to try

Nader Dabit: and provide

Kempster: DAOs a way to really easily spin up a kind of rewards platform. There's loads of protocols and products and services out there that are looking for distribution. There's loads of DAOs out there have grouped together people with shared skills and interests. So it's kind of like connecting those three groups together. So like products, protocols, services that want to target specific groups of people can offer like unique benefits to people based on the DAOs that they're a part of. So you'd authenticate in a platform, it would check what DAOs you're a part of, and then you would get presented like a list of like discounts at the moment, primarily, but like rewards based on what you're doing in the DAO space and what you're a part of.

Nicholas: So something like, like I know there's like student benefits, GitHub has a package for student benefits for getting you AWS credits and all kinds of different free intro to different services. So the similar kind of thing you could offer to members of a particular DAO. Is that the idea?

Kempster: Yeah, exactly like that. Like almost, yeah, basically exactly. That's a really good metaphor. And then like, hopefully eventually we can provide some flexibility for DAOs to be able to offer custom benefits. So like that might amount to like, if you've attended X many events and got the pro apps, you could get free merch or like. there's a whole different like number of directions that can go in, but we kind of shipped it with as minimal viable product as possible. It doesn't have a backend, it's just a table and hopefully the DAOs and contributors and partners can tell us what they actually want us to build.

Nicholas: Very cool. So that's a Perks P3 RKS, if people want to check it out. And so that's that kind of, I guess, was incubated based on your experience in Developer DAO and with friends from Developer DAO and is now maybe spinning out into its own project eventually.

Kempster: Yeah, so it already is its own project, but Developer DAO is backing it. So like one of the really, I kind of associate with what Madeline and we were saying about one of the benefits of being a member is being able to take advantage of the network effects and the actual network and people that you can meet in the DAO. Like it's a great place to come and build shit. So like I meet people that want to build stuff, that have ideas, that have skills. We're hoping to create pathways for people to be able to come into the DAO, find other folks that are interested in their ideas, build stuff together and the DAO can support them to kind of get that off the ground and go from zero to one. And that can be support financially, that could be support to kind of open doors for them using the kind of brand name, could be all sorts of stuff. But yeah, we're hoping that more projects can kind of replicate that model. There is another one called Soil, which is building this like super interesting kind of like discord onboarding kind of coordination tool, which is looking super promising. It's got loads of excitement around it. But yeah, we want to create like lay down pathways for other people to be able to come into the DAO and be successful. And that might be learning like for the education stuff, or that might be, they've got an idea, they want people to help build it and they want like a support to be able to ship it and get it out to folks to enjoy.

Nicholas: So it sounds like it's not only a place for people who are interested in web. three to meet a social community of other developers of various skill levels, and then also get access to educational resources that have been developed by people who've gone through the same kind of experience. Also build their projects, talk to other people about the projects they're working on. And then if they have a mind to make them into something more productized, even incubate and then spin out and possibly even take some kind of investment from developer DAO or in some other way, compensate developer DAO for having incubated the project as it goes off to live its own life, both inside and outside of the DAO.

Kempster: Yeah, exactly. Like Nana put together this great post about some of his vision early on, which is on our mirror. If someone could track it down or I can share it afterwards. Like the idea of like kind of elevating other people, kind of more specifically the idea of like creating almost like a web free accelerator within the DAO and taking advantage of like all of the partnerships that we have and network effects and talent that we have to try to create a space for folks to be able to come in and start to chat ideas and ship them and grow them.

Nicholas: Very cool. Okay. So I think we now have a pretty good understanding of what developer DAO has been about. Season one is about to start. What is a few things I want to know specifically about? I'd love to know more about the legal organization that you've set up and why that's necessary and what it gives you as a benefit. And then also how season one is going to allow more people into the DAO and what the tokenomics and mechanics of that are going to be. Yeah, sure.

Kempster: So what we've set up is a Cayman foundation. So we have walked the same path that others have walked in this space and emulated what they've done. So Bitcoin, ENS, MoundsDAO, Ape Foundation, which is like what they got club and a lot of other DAOs have gone through this crazy long discovery process of creating a foundation. And the reason that these Cayman foundations are suitable for DAOs is because you can have an ownerless structure. So there's no shareholders, but then you could also put in place bylaws for the organization, which basically mean the DAO's in charge and the foundation is an entity that represents the DAO's interest and basically has to do whatever the DAO says. So the main benefits of creating that are providing some limited liability for our members. Who knows what the liability is without any legal structure and that's kind of the heart of the problem. So it's like we can provide some liability where the foundation can absorb that liability. We can also comply or at least know what our tax obligations are. So if the DAO's making money, if it's complying with tax obligations in a specific jurisdiction, then that shouldn't flow down to members. And then it allows us to interface with the real world. So there's lots of people that want to partner with us. Some of them are okay not doing KYC and not signing contracts. Most of them are. So like, if they can't do that, it's like, it's, it shouldn't be understated like how much of an unlock that is for the community, but they're kind of the primary motivations for, for why we did it. And there's some, we have a governance proposal up, which kind of breaks down that structure. If people want to check it out on this forum, developerDAO.com, which is probably the latest post on there, which kind of breaks down the kind of what, why, how about that structure.

Nicholas: Very cool. So basically it gives you some security for, or some liability safety for members, participants in developerDAO to feel confident participating in the DAO.

Kempster: Yeah, yeah, exactly. We've had members like, like sell their NFTs because they were worried, rightly so, about like, there's no certainty or no clarity here around what the implications are on them. So like, it allows us like, no legal structure's perfect. And like, this is all evolving and it's different jurisdictions, but it provides us with significantly better protection for folks that are involved in the DAO for sure.

Nicholas: Right. And lets you interact with these other legal entities that want that to be able to, I don't know, sign a contract to rent a location or something like that.

Kempster: Yeah, that shouldn't be understated. Like in order to do some of the stuff, or our role that we've done over the last months, individuals have had to take on personal liability. So that allows us to kind of do away with that and kind of absorb that at the organization level.

Nicholas: And are you able to do that with a Cayman? Is it a non-profit? What is the Cayman organization type?

Nicholas: Very cool. Very cool. So duty bound to an on-chain collection of token holders, whatever kind of entities those might be. That's very cool. And it's okay for dealing in the real world, like a hotel in San Francisco is all right with renting out space to Cayman, whatever kind of organization. you just said that long name.

Kempster: Yeah. So there are some limitations. So opening bank accounts in Cayman as a foundation isn't exactly easy. And the bank accounts that you can open are not exactly modern. So you don't get like an online interface that you can log into. You've got to do it IRL. Unfortunately, it's not a very good place to register IP. So in IP law, basically America is gold, and then beneath America is the UK and European countries. So maybe register IP in the Cayman, it doesn't really mean a huge amount. So there are some things that it doesn't solve for us that we need to kind of explore and maybe evolve the structure. But in terms of solving those primary goals that we had, it does what we need to do. So it's good.

Nicholas: Very cool. And do you consider the creation of the Cayman Foundation and sort of these logistics operations around the DAO part of the maybe more advanced content that you would consider being open about and educating folks about? Or is that very much just operations and not something you're interested in educating others about how to do?

Kempster: So one of the beauties of DAOs is all of this stuff is public, right? So if you go to our governance forum, you can read the breakdown I've shared with the community on how this all works. The bylaws for the organization, which kind of connects the DAO to the foundation and explains how governance and the directors of the foundation interact, all of that stuff is open. And the same thing applies to Gitcoin, API free DAO, and a number of other DAOs. If you're interested in going down this rabbit hole, you can check out the governance proposals that we've put up, Gitcoin's put up, API free DAO's put up. You can see how these kinds of things are structured. And that's one of the beauties of this whole system, I think.

Nicholas: So cool. So cool. This is one thing I was a little bit critical of Nouns when they created their, I believe it's also a Cayman foundation. They're very tight lipped about the details of the documents and such. And I think this is something we really, there's no competitive advantage with, aside from the fact that we're in a positive some era of this technology, there's no competitive advantage to liability limitation. That's something everybody should have access to, and we should make as popular and available as possible. So very cool that you're sharing those documents.

Nader Dabit: Yeah. Seeing them work through this stuff over the last few months has been very, very fascinating to say the least, because it's all kind of such a gray and nuanced undocumented space. And I think that they've just done an incredible job getting us to where we are today by kind of doing all of this research. It's just been, it's been an incredible amount of work that they've done. And just seeing it all kind of come together, I think it would be extremely valuable if someone curated it into some place where someone could easily go and consume it all in one place. I don't think that Kemp or maybe someone that is involved in the day-to-day should do that, just because they have so much other work to do. But if someone wanted to find a way to provide value and do that themselves, that would be cool to see for sure.

Nicholas: Totally. If anybody in the audience wants to come up and ask a question, please just request and I'll bring folks up as we go. So I have one more question and then we can throw it to folks from the audience. I wanted to get into season one. There's new tokenomics. There's a new token, a fungible token that will be equivalent to owning an NFT. If you hold, is it 400 of the fungible? Maybe Kempster, you could explain a little bit.

Kempster: Yeah. So the governance token is called Code, which is a nice sort of hat tip to developers. Although we are, have many people that aren't developers in the organization, but that's our governance token. So it's like a non-financial way of decentralizing governance in the organization and therefore decision making. In order to get access to the Discord, at least at launch of that token, the original NFT that still currently controls governance by one NFT, one vote, that will always maintain access to the organization. And there's already one derivative project of that, which is like a pixel-based avatar project based on the traits in the NFT. And there are ideas around like, how can we give this NFT utility into the future, even though the new governance token is replacing it from a governance point of view. But if you want to join in the future, you can still buy the NFT. And then when you get into the org, although you wouldn't have governance rights, there'll be lots of opportunities to earn code and then therefore have governance rights. Or if you wanted to sort of buy code on the open market, like one of the restrictions of a foundation is we can't sell that token because we'd have to do basically KYC with everyone and no one wants to do that. But it adds like liquidity pools turn up probably maybe in the space. Like obviously you can buy that on the open market and join. But yeah, there's a threshold of 400 to get into the server to begin with, which is like the baseline for our airdrop. But I suspect that will evolve over time. We want to open it up as much as we possibly can. It's just like one day having like that kind of restriction and then the next day opening up to everyone. Like I don't know if anyone's ever been in like an NFT discord or something like that. It's kind of tough to manage.

Nicholas: So how does the initial distribution work?

Kempster: So 50% being airdropped, 50% going into the community treasury. So about 50% that's being airdropped, which is basically a flatline airdrop to everyone that holds the NFT, which is 400, which is the threshold that we just spoke about. And then on top of that, there's different ways that people have a larger share of the airdrop. So some of them are about like voting on early proposals in the DAO, holding certain POAPs in the DAO to kind of like signal involvement and contribution. And then we did a big early contributors round. So like a huge, I can't remember the percentage off my head, but like a huge proportion of that, like 50% of the allocation or total amount was put into like a big coordinate round. So anyone that contributed up to the point of that coordinate round all entered into that round and kind of allocated and rewarded each other. It's like a social signal. If anyone doesn't know what coordinate is, it's basically a way of socially signaling to other people in a group, how much value you think they've added. And then we distributed a huge proportion of the tokens to people who were involved in that process proportionally based on the like kudos basically that they got from other people. And then the original founding team have like a percent each. And we have one advisor that has a percentage as well. And then something that hasn't been mentioned is Gitcoin. Hopefully everyone's aware of Gitcoin. If you're not, check them out. Incredibly important organization in the space. They did a governance token swap with us early on, which I think is one of the primary reasons that a lot of the core team and everyone else had the confidence to move forward with developer dial seriously, which has helped fund a lot of our early operations. So they allocated us 50,000 GTC in this swap and we will put 5% of our governance token back to Gitcoin when we launch the token and then they'll become like a delegated governance factor in our governance moving forward as well.

Nicholas: Very cool. I love those.

Kempster: Yeah.

Nader Dabit: They're wanting to call out Gitcoin. Gitcoin heavily influenced like our culture and our missions and our values as well. They're very aligned with like the same things that we care and we are passionate about. But like in addition to them just being like an inspiration, they literally funded in a sense are not really funded. I would say they literally just kind of like gave us that very early, I would say, confidence, like Kent mentioned, to make us feel like we actually had something that was valuable. And I can't say enough about Scott and Kevin and all of the Gitcoin people. We really appreciate everything that they've done. And again, they are a reason that we are like where we are today, for sure.

Nicholas: Awesome. Okay. We have some people who'd like to ask question. Neal Geek, welcome. Are you a member of DeveloperDAO and what would you like to say?

nuelgeek: Hi, Nether. Hi, Nicholas. I'm not a member of DeveloperDAO yet, but I guess if I get that as a better present, I'm so glad for that by the way. So here's my question. I really enjoyed your session when you came around to my, to OscarFest in my country a few months ago. I really enjoyed you speaking there. So my question is how do a web 3 developer get opportunities as a junior role or internship? Because I think that has been one of the things that is lacking in web 3s that joined. It may be able to get from speedrun or take it to challenges like Ethernuts or DemDefy vulnerable. Apart from taking challenges like that, I've not really seen internships that are out there for web 3 developers. Although I've seen one from Nethermind, but they also have, let's say, it's really not easy to get into Nethermind and other web 3 internships. So how do web 3 developers get junior roles and also internship in the web 3 space?

Nader Dabit: So you're kind of asking about putting the door on your first role on ship or some type of thing or just good opportunity to get rid? Got it. Definitely not the traditional tech world in that you're not going to probably go through the process of creating a team. There are a lot of teams who still operate that way, but for the most part, the key is being able to do what you're facing. So you mentioned maybe that you were already doing stuff like taking courses and maybe writing and doing open source. Is that about right? Have you been doing that?

nuelgeek: Yeah, I've also been participating in hackathons. My team have won some gifts, some rewards from the hackathons and also built some projects that are looking for grants and chains like Conflux and other blockchain platforms.

Nader Dabit: And so you've won hackathons already and then you've applied for grants?

nuelgeek: Yeah, I've won hackathons. We're also working on some projects that we look to launch as soon as possible.

Nader Dabit: Have you had any luck getting grants for this?

nuelgeek: Not yet. We are at the final stage of getting a grant from Conflux blockchain. I don't know if you know about that. So like $50,000 grants, but for a couple of months, I think when markets really went bad, things slowed down a bit. But we are still hopeful that everything works out well with our current product views.

Nader Dabit: I mean, to be honest, you sound like you're in a really good position to be able to land a role. I'm surprised that you haven't had any luck yet. Yeah. Yeah.

nuelgeek: What I want to say is that maybe what I feel is pretty difficult for me because I've kind of switched from being a graphic designer eight months ago to becoming a smart contract developer. So I didn't really get basic skills as a web 2 developer. So Solidity was one of the first languages I learned and then I had to learn TypeScript and JavaScript along. And then I think I was taught by some of the developers who worked at Avogadro under Nick Mergen and that. So basically what I see on roles are majorly people who have two or three years from software engineering experience or front end developers. So they are not really asking for just smart contract developer, which is making it pretty hard for me. So I guess that's one of the difficulties I'm finding in getting an opportunity.

Nader Dabit: Yeah. I would say that as far as getting a job as a smart contract developer is concerned, it's a lot tougher than getting a role as a front end developer, to be quite honest. Mainly because when you're dealing with smart contracts, I feel like there is less of like this spread between junior, intermediate and senior level. Because if you're most of the protocols that have smart contracts, like if you have like one tiny mistake, there's going to be often like massive repercussions. Like if you kept up with all the DeFi hacks, what happened with Nomad, one tiny, tiny mistake can often lead to massive losses in that case, almost $200 million. But there are opportunities though, like I would say for beginner to intermediate people with maybe doing stuff like NFTs and stuff. But to be quite honest, like I would say for people looking to get their foot in the door, I would 100% be focusing on JavaScript and front end HTML, CSS, JavaScript, front end frameworks that would build on top of protocols that have more experienced smart contract engineers. And then I would kind of like, say, okay, my goal is to be a smart contract engineer, but I would kind of maybe extend the amount of time expected to kind of land one of those roles to be longer than what it might take to land a front end role. And instead of trying to study and understand everything across the entire stack, from front end to smart contracts to anything else, I would try to kind of like, maybe narrow the scope of the things that I would focus on and try to sell myself as less of a full stack, smart contract developer, and front end developer and say instead, I am like a front end developer. And I think that's probably going to be the easiest way to get your foot in the door. based on just what I've seen. If you're a senior level, smart contract engineer, you could literally land a role today for half a million or so dollars, and you would have people actually lining up to hire you. But the number of people that are like at that skill level are so small. And the amount of work it takes to kind of get there is like quite a bit. Instead, I think the route that I see people taking to get to that point, are they just want to like get their foot in the door. So therefore, I think the easiest way to do that is like to focus on front end stuff. So I would kind of like re-scope my positioning as a candidate to say, okay, I'm a expert front end developer that knows how to integrate well with these smart contracts on the back end. And not try to say that I understand like, and I am good at doing everything unless maybe you are like, there's definitely people out there that are kind of exceptions to this role, you know. But for me, as someone that's been like studying and writing smart contracts for I guess a year and a half now, I still wouldn't kind of like consider myself someone that would probably be someone that would like sell themselves or try to get hired as a smart contract engineer for anything that would be non-trivial. So yeah, I guess what I'm trying to say is like scope down maybe the things that you're trying to focus on to be, you know, mainly probably front end stuff to get your foot in the door. And then from there, you can kind of maybe expand what you're trying to do. And I think a good way. like you're, it sounds like you're doing the right things with hackathons and grants and stuff. Instead of maybe trying to kind of like find a full time role off the bat, you might also apply for grants, or make your way into communities and discords and try to identify opportunities where you can kind of like lend your skill set to solve a problem and then say, okay, I see a problem that can be solved. And I'm going to apply for a grant. And this grant would pay me five or $10,000 a month to kind of like solve this problem. And then once you actually solve that, and you're able to show that team that you can deliver, then they might come back to you and say, I want to hire. I know at the graph, we actually hired a handful of people that way where they would apply for a grant, we would give them the grant. And then we would offer them a full time job because we were able to kind of like work with them over the course of a couple of months and realize that they were someone that we would want to hire.

Nicholas: Yeah, that's great advice. A couple other things I might add to that. if you're really dead set on not doing front end, you can possibly work on sub graphs, and focus on being a sub graph developer without being, you know, doing important work. that's not front end work, and is also not mission critical, solidity work. And if you're really dead set on being a solidity dev, or a smart contract dev in general, you might start by doing code arena challenges as a warden and finding bugs in those. And if you can rise in the ranks of that, then you can build experience, being aware of all the possible vulnerabilities, maybe that can get you closer. Also, as Nader mentioned, doing NFT contracts, sort of less dangerous, generally simpler contracts, not handling as much money could be a good way as a kind of part time gig, but not so much like a full time thing. We also have Narahari. Hey, Narahari, how's it going? You're a developer now member, right?

narahari: Hey, yes, that is correct. Yeah, so I had a question for Nader. And one thing that you mentioned earlier in the space was that a lot of people putting out educational resources for free. And that was something that, you know, you really appreciated. And therefore, you kind of wanted to become something similar when you kind of got into tech as well. And so this is something that resonated with me as well, because having like, YouTube videos from people like you, and more recently, like in the last month, when I've joined developer now having all these resources, like at my disposal, definitely helped me get into web3, like coming from a more traditional, like, web2 tech background. But then my question is, like, at the same time, like you mentioned that it costs you like 5k to deploy this like Desperate Revolution contract. Obviously, you're putting a lot of like, time resources into the process of creating resources for others. And there's a lot of people in developer now, I think that are kind of in a similar boat, putting out really amazing content for a lot of people. So my question, I guess, is, do you see any ways that crypto can kind of help, you know, educators like yourself and the others in developer now, they're putting out awesome content, like capture some of this value. And I guess for me, like I've kind of been getting into the web3 music space a little bit more recently, building tools for creators. And one thing that we've kind of learned is like, with crypto, you can do this kind of free to consume valuable to own kind of model. And with this, they're able to capture some of the value that they previously weren't able to capture using, you know, traditional distribution methods. So I'm kind of curious to kind of hear your thoughts on this and how you can kind of potentially, you know, generate more value for yourself as well as a creator.

Nader Dabit: Sure. So I would say I would recommend first of all, if you're going to launch a DAO or a smart contract today, it's going to be a lot less expensive than then because gas has gone down. But also, you might choose to instead launch on L2 or even a sidechain like Polygon. I've launched contracts late on Polygon that have cost me like less than a dollar, which is kind of cool. And so like, I would just throw that out there as well. Because that sounds kind of daunting, like hearing that it did cost a few thousand on L1 Ethereum. And I think like a year from now, we will probably never hear of anyone really deploying to L1. I think L2s have started to obviously become like, you know, more of the use case for most applications and stuff. But like, as far as like getting value as a creator in this space, I think developers hold, again, kind of like a unique position in that if we kind of like create content and we create code, we put it out there to the world, we can often land a job that just pays us consistently. And we kind of have a more traditional like income flow. that would be kind of just like having a job anywhere else. So if you are someone that wants to get hired as an engineer or a dev rel, or if you want to get hired as like a content creator, maybe even someone that's kind of like a community organizer, and you kind of have shown that you're able to communicate and write well, you can often just land a job that just pays you a monthly salary or something, which is great. But for more like web 3d monetization, like use cases and strategies that are a little different. I think what Lens Protocol is offering is actually kind of really interesting, and that you're able to kind of build out a social like media following that is transferable across different networks. So you can build your following on like a Twitter like app and then have that follow you to YouTube. And you can add that value to like a TikTok type of like application. And then within that platform, you can actually monetize by doing things like creating NFTs and creating collectible posts that do fundraising types of mechanisms. So, you know, in the past, we might have thought of like someone that wants to monetize their audience like doing an NFT, like, or something like that NFT drop. But I think that we've seen that start to maybe die off a little bit, because it's not really a sustainable thing. And I think it's not really something that makes sense for most people. But if you are on a platform like Lens Protocol, and you have like 1000 followers, for example, and you spend like a few days creating like a really, really interesting like blog post or something, you can actually share that on Lens and then have a module that's like configure that says you can collect this for like five or $10. And all you really need is like a handful of people to kind of collect that to kind of like have some type of return on your work that is at least somewhat meaningful. I don't think though that we've figured out true, I would say, fair monetization. yet on anything web three, I think what you see is like hyper hyper monetization for certain people like, oh, like this person just knows kind of what they're doing and launches something and they make a million dollars or something. And then you have someone else that's much more talented, that launches something and they don't get anything. So I don't think that we've figured it out yet, to be quite honest. And I think that the most practical way right now is just to like land a job at a protocol and like get paid. And like continue improving your skill set, improving your network. And then hopefully we'll continue figuring this out. But I think the approach that Lens is taking is kind of the most interesting right now. I think we're going to see more of that type of innovation happening with social graphs, mainly because the accessibility of these applications is actually going to open up to the entire world because you don't need to have tokens to interact on Lens. And then in the future, you've seen Arbitrum launch Nova, which is like a low cost transaction chain that is being integrated with Reddit. But I think what you're going to see is that instead of the approach that we think that we in the past, we're going to take to onboard users through fiat on ramps and stuff. Instead, we're going to like onboard them with wallets on these social graph applications. And then from there, they now have a wallet and we can now find ways to kind of like let them interact on these different protocols and stuff. I hope that wasn't too much of a rant.

narahari: No, awesome. That was very helpful. Thank you so much.

Nicholas: Great. Well, we're about to hit the hour and a half, so I don't want to go too long. Nader Kempster, thank you so much for coming through and explaining DeveloperDAO. I definitely learned a lot and it's very exciting. When does season one start? How long do we have and where should people catch up with DeveloperDAO?

Kempster: Season one starts on the 22nd. To be honest, it's the best place to catch up. If you want to see a feed of what we're doing, it's probably Twitter. And if you want to lean more into some of the depths of what we're doing, feel free to troll our server. Sorry, not server, forum. And that kind of does the deep dive into a lot of the stuff that we're doing at the moment.

Nicholas: Very exciting. So 10 days until the start of season one, the launch of the code token and the expansion of DeveloperDAO to an even broader audience of people. I guess it'll be, what is it, around 7,000 people now. So above that, closer to 10K, even more. Pretty exciting.

Nader Dabit: Hopefully.

Kempster: There's still an economic barrier to joining, but during season one, we'll be trying to create ways for people to earn their way into the community and also programs to try and gift memberships to various different organizations and different stuff. So keep an eye out for that stuff. If for whatever reason you're unable to join at the moment, we'll be working hard to try and break down those barriers during season one as well.

Nader Dabit: One mechanism that I want to take is that how Alchemy has Road to Web 3 and Women Build. Web 3 has 30 days of Web 3 where people take these educational resources and they complete them. And then once they complete them, they get a proof of knowledge, like what they can use maybe on their resume. I think that one area that I want to really dive into is how we can use education onboarding as a way to get into the DAO. So you don't have to do anything other than just learn something. And then not only do you get that as a positive result of having gone through that, you might be able to land a job or something, but then you also get entry into the DAO and you don't have to spend anything. So I think that's kind of like what I see is probably the most thing that makes the most sense for us to kind of now onboard more people now that we have a lot more room to bring more people in. So like the idea would be you take a course, when you finish the course, we verify that you completed it with some type of like, you know, manual verification process, to be quite honest, because there isn't really a civil resistant way to kind of do that, automate that. And then once you finish that, then you get access to the DAO. And that would be to me a really like, very aligned, like values aligned way for us to start onboarding new people.

Nicholas: Yeah, it makes a lot of sense.

Nader Dabit: But thanks for having us, by the way. It's been a really cool conversation.

Nicholas: Yeah, this has been awesome. I hope we get to do it again. And I'll see you both in the Discord, no doubt. Hey, thanks for listening to this episode of Web3 Galaxy Brain. To keep up with everything Web3, follow me on Twitter at Nicholas with four leading ends. You can find links to the topics discussed on today's episode in the show notes. Podcast feed links are available at web3galaxybrain.com. Web3 Galaxy Brain airs live most Friday afternoons at 5pm Eastern Time, 2200 UTC on Twitter Spaces. I look forward to seeing you there. Transcribed by https://otter.ai.

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