EWG - Request for Funding

Hey all,
We are proposing funding the Engineering Working Group for 3 months ending on September 31st.

Situation

What are you proposing?
We are proposing funding the Engineering Working Group for 3 months ending on September 31st.

What is the core problem(s) you want to solve?
The engineering working group is tasked with servicing all engineering & technical needs of the Index Coop.

The core problems we want to solve today are:

  • Building Index Coop’s independent engineering capabilities
  • Safely transfer control of Index Coop product & org maintenance operations from Set to the Coop
  • Launch products & features requested by the Coop & it’s working group leads.

Why is this worth addressing today?

Ensuring engineering autonomy mitigates a major risk to Index Coop’s success and will allow the Coop to confidently & transparently set it’s own objectives.

How will you address it?

  • Hiring
  • Engineering onboarding & development
  • Technical Operations hand-off

What impact will this project have?

  • 6 product & dao maintenance technical operations handed off to Index Coop/IC pods
    • FLI parameter updates (including multisig execution)
    • Product rebalances
    • Metagovernance vote execution
    • LM Funding
    • Methodologist Payouts
    • Monthly Contributor Reward Payouts
  • 2 smart contracts fully specced & deployed by EWG
  • 8 PRs by EWG members merged into either set-protocol-v2 or index-coop-smart-contract repos
  • Hire at least 2 full time engineers

Working Group Leader(s)

Dylan (@dylan)

Technical contributors (core)

0xModene (@0xModene)
DeFi Jesus (@DefiJesus)
Ncitron (@ncitron)
AlphaGuy (@AlphaGuy)

Non-technical support (hiring/training)*

Pepperoni Joe (@Pepperoni_Joe)
Abel Tedros (external hiring) (@Abel)
Cavalier_Eth (internal capability building) (@Cavalier_Eth)
Afromac (onboarding) (@afromac)

Proposed Budget:
$120,000 USD in INDEX (40,000 USD per month)

Previous engineering working group budgets have historically been anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 USD per month.

Use of Funds:

Funds will be used to compensate EWG core contributors.
Compensation for full time hires will be done via Hiring Guidelines and are not part of this budget.

Funds will also be used to compensate @Abel & others in helping EWG develop a hiring pipeline to source high quality FT contributor candidates. This will be done in coordination with @pepperoni_joe and the POC WG.

Organization - How will it work?

What will you be doing?
A detailed roadmap of Q3 EWG priorities/order of operations has been published here.

The priorities boil down to:

  1. Technical Operations Hand Off
  2. Full Time Hiring
  3. Developing financial product smart contract capabilities (ideally via product launches)
  4. Supporting Org, Growth, BD, Treasury technical efforts

How will you interface with the community?

  • A private weekly planning engineering call to coordinate action.
  • Community updates via Monday morning meetings + an end of quarter retrospective.

Commitments

I am committed to Index Coop principles

I am committed to serving the entire Index Coop with my work.

I am committed to open, rapid communication: I know that clear, constant, public communication lifts up the entire Index Coop community. I am committed to this style of communication.

Shared learnings: I will share my progress, learnings with the entire community. I will ensure that anything I create is accessible beyond my own tenure for future generations of Indexers to access & build on.

Intellectual honesty: I am committed to growth and improvement. I am open to feedback and will use feedback to improve my work for the benefit of the entire Coop community.

I am committed to making Index Coop a welcoming, fun, and engaging community to work in!

12 Likes

Support that this group is expanding and looking to grow further. Also appreciate the commitment and quality of work. Great stuff!

5 Likes

@dylan

Thanks for following up the on-going engineering topic with this detailed post. I am 100% for this WG with you as the lead and cannot wait to see it (hopefully) officially created and executing.

A few questions and/or potential optimizations:

  1. Other WGs have broken down salaries of core contributors: are you able to do so here too?
  2. Budget generally looks totally reasonable for the team you mention, but what about the pool of talent @Pepperoni_Joe and team’s work is bringing in? I heard, perhaps incorrectly, that this new interested, but unproven engineer pool had expanded from 4-5 to closer to >20. Should EWG not retain a specific funding pot for these folks too? I’d be extremely open to this, even if it meant drastically increasing the size of your overall requested budget. Some of this funding also might not get spent
  3. When hiring the two full time engineers who are not in the IC now, where will we be sharing our job description to generate interest? Perhaps you or @Abel would be able to answer this one
  4. Longer-term, and not to block getting this WG stood up now, it would be great to have the leader be in the IC too. This might be something for the Autonomy Group. Would EWG iteration I be a good test period to work out who that should be, etc?
2 Likes
  1. Yeah, I’ll consult with core contributors around a salary and update the proposal if it makes sense.
  2. We’ll see what comes of the engineering pool. I am fairly skeptical that we can onboard 20 engineers in a way that is effective given our org size. I’m happy to be proven wrong, and in such a case EWG will request more funding. Note, as outlined in EWG Q3 Roadmap my priority is in getting a handful of committed core contributors to high context as quickly as possible.
  3. Full time hires may come from the IC (e.g. Noah or 0xModene). We’re still figuring out where to source candidates for other urgent & important roles (e.g. head of smart contracts). If we go after a senior backend dev looking to transition to DeFi we will likely use traditional channels. If we go after sourcing a dev from a smaller DeFi protocol we’ll probably use the expected DeFi channels.
  4. Yeah, definitely agree.
3 Likes

Thanks @dylan

Re 2. I’d agree we can no way onboard 20 of these folks in three months, some won’t be a fit, etc - but if say a few of them are pretty good and committed, having a pot of funds in the EWG for their rewards feels reasonable. You can always request it later.

Re 3. what are ‘traditional channels’ and ‘expected DeFi channels’ here please?

Appreciate the responses here.

2 Likes

Traditional channels: job boards like angel list, linked in, defi newsletters etc…
DeFi channels: twitter, defi newletters, discords, gitcoin

2 Likes

Thanks @dylan this is well thought out, and I like how you tie it back to this.

I feel like I don’t have enough context on some of these issues, and don’t want to vote with my silence, so here goes:

  1. Who actually gets paid what; specifically?
    1.1. What’s the non-salary portion monthly (how much is discretionary)?
    1.2. What are the responsibilities of the other core contributors (one-liners even)?
  2. What does Set provide and what do we provide in terms of engineering resources dedicated to The Coop (what’s the division of responsibility)?
  3. If you had a larger budget, what are some incremental things you’d like to do to eliminate engineering constraints?
  4. I’m looking for you to share your current thinking around how you see your WG specifically gaining autonomy given that it is the most Set-facing WG.
  1. Same format as before. The same people are getting paid roughly similar amounts. Modene & DeFi Jesus may be moved to salaries.
  2. This is a too big of a topic to go into here. I’m working in conjunction with PJ and others to outline what IC Q3 target capabilities should be. The high level overview is in the Q3 roadmap.
  3. In my view budget is not what is fundamentally driving engineering constraints. Onboarding engineers to any organization’s operations takes time. In our industry it must be done carefully & correctly.
  4. I’ve shared my thoughts on how this working group can build autonomy in the Q3 roadmap

Is this call closed to new contributors? If engineers join the Index Coop over the next three months, where should they go to learn more about how to contribute?