When someone enters the Web3 space, the first thing they do is look for educational content. After all, they want to learn what this new decentralized paradigm is all about. But when they acquire some skills and have built their first smart contract and dApp, they want more.
Building alone is fun for some people, but others need belonging, a crowd they can call their homies, someone they can hang out with and chat about their project ideas, job plans for the future and discuss interesting cutting-edge technologies with. Also, networking is a crucial part of the job market! Knowing and vibing with the right people is as important as being able to create compelling solutions for the decentralized world!
Developer DAO (D_D) hits the sweet spot of the desire to learn and find like-minded people. So, let’s check out what a DAO, in general, and Developer DAO specifically, is and what benefits you get from joining.
What is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization?
DAO stands for decentralized autonomous organization. You can see it as an association, club, cooperative, or company where members are like shareholders. They own (crypto) tokens that give them voting rights for decisions in the DAO.
Many DAOs are small entities that focus on a specific goal; some of them are:
- democratising development processes
- managing bounties and grants
- creating public goods
- educating people
- further social and ecological causes
- buy constitutions
What is Developer DAO?
Developer DAO is a bit of an outlier here. The DAO focuses on accelerating the education and impact of a new wave of Web3 builders and tries to achieve the goals of "onboarding, educating and supporting Web3 developers" and "fostering and building Web3 tools and public goods". But these are rather broad topics. In practice, Developer DAO has many initiatives and doesn’t just have one concrete task.
D_D has multiple thousands of members. It was a grassroots movement started by Nader Dabit in 2021 as an NFT smart contract on the Ethereum Network called Devs 4 Revolution (D4R). Everyone could mint the NFT for free, and at some point, a few NFT holders decided to create a Discord community only the NFT holders could join. From there, everything else was decided. People joined, hung out in the chat, and started initiatives to help other developers out. So, it was never planned to be a DAO in the first place, and the mission and goals grew out of what the community envisioned them to be.
What does Developer DAO’s membership structure look like?
There are three types of D_D memberships, each with different goals and responsibilities. Figure 1 illustrates the structure as a Venn diagram.
This is the basic membership when you join D_D. The goal of a member is to learn, create and meet like-minded people.
It requires holding at least 400 $CODE tokens or a D4R NFT. A member gets access to the Discord community and can participate in Snapshot votes on Developer DAO improvement proposals (DDIP). $CODE tokens are required for voting; with 400 $CODE tokens, you have 400 votes per proposal.
A member's only responsibility is adhering to the D_D code of conduct.
This is a more involved membership. The goal of a contributor is to give back to the community and actively shape and maintain D_D initiatives. Members can become a contributor when they decide to be more involved in an initiative or start one themselves.
To be a contributor means to work for D_D directly or indirectly through D_D’s sub-DAOs. Contributors are paid as freelancers and must adhere to the processes defined by D_D or the sub-DAO they work for.
Stewards consist of elected D_D members and the D_D foundation director. They can be seen as the board of the DAO. The goal of a steward is to ensure the DDIPs follow the mission and goals of D_D and that contributors receive reasonable payment. Any member can become a steward after they have been nominated and elected by Snapshot vote.
How is Developer DAO funded?
The contributors get paid, and the stewards have to decide who gets paid and how much, so the next question is, where does this money come from?
D_D has partnerships with companies or other DAOs in the Web3 space. These partners pay for exposure to D_D members or D_Ds media channels. For example, D_D’s Twitter account has over 84k followers interested in Web3 technologies. D_D also offers its partners workshops, Twitter spaces, and other events. which are hosted and moderated by contributors. These partnerships are usually for one season, which lasts 4 months, so D_D has a changing number of partners that bring money to pay for initiatives.
What initiatives does Developer DAO offer?
As mentioned above, D_D is a big community with thousands of members. As you might expect, this led to several initiatives the community started. An initiative is a project or ongoing effort to produce value for the members. Members who work on an initiative can become contributors and get paid by D_D if the stewards deem the initiative worthwhile for the DAO.
Bigger initiatives can become sub-DAOs, separate entities that act independently while aligned with the mission of D_D.
The women and non-binary members of D_D started D_D Women. It is a broad initiative focusing on marginalized groups in the DAO. Since D_D Women runs multiple projects, it’s transitioning to become a sub-DAO of D_D, giving it more autonomy.
They hold weekly calls and started multiple projects, including:
- D_D Fridays, a weekly social call to promote inclusiveness
- D_D Women Scholarship for people who can’t afford to join D_D
- Providing additional onboarding resources for new members
- Assisting members to find opportunities in the Web3 space
- Creating partnerships with women and non-binary communities
- Providing private safe space for marginalized groups
- Providing career information via office hours
The D_D Academy is an open-source online education platform created and maintained by D_D. The learning material starts from the basics of software development, like learning about a command line interface and integrated development environments, but also offers project-based learning paths.
The whole curriculum is a public good, so everyone, not just D_D members, can use it for free.
The D_D mentorship initiative is a recurring matchmaking service for members needing career guidance. Each season, mentors and mentees can sign up, get introduced to each other, and have regular calls where the mentor helps their mentees proceed in their careers. This is not limited to developer jobs; designers, product managers, community managers, and more are welcome.
What would a developer-focused DAO be without building actual software? Right now, D_D has several teams working on projects, and some of them don’t even know of each other, or the development efforts have stopped because nobody felt responsible. A good example is web3-ui, a component library for React that started with good intentions but lost traction after some major rewrites.
Other projects that worked out better are P3rks, which allows organizations to give DAO members freebies like subscriptions or token allocations, and Eden Protocol, which wants to improve DAO onboarding with automatic member-project-matchmaking. But they got so much traction that they built their own management infrastructure around them.
D_D Agency is the plan to consolidate them into a sub-DAO. It’s a professional space for building public goods and tools for D_D and Web3 in general. The agency will provide management and guidance for product managers, designers, and developers, to build products under the D_D brand.
D_D Job Board
D_D manages a job board on Pallet where Web3 companies can publish roles they’re currently hiring for. D_D has thousands of members and over 80,000 followers on social media, all very Web3-focused, so a post on this board will reach the right people.
Since organizations pay to post their jobs, D_D makes some money while fulfilling its mission to onboard the next wave of builders to Web3.
Dev & Tell
This is a weekly live stream where members can share projects they’re working on or are passionate about. Max Howell, D_D member and original author of the MacOS package manager Homebrew, presented his new package manager tea on Dev & Tell.
Over 60 Dev & Tell recordings are on YouTube, so check them out.
D_D Workshops are live streams where members or partners educate people. Topics range from building an NFT contract, over integrating crypto wallets into your dApp, to the basics of crypto security. Nader Dabit, D_D founder and Lens Protocol’s DevRel director, explained how to build social media apps on Lens.
Right now, there are 18 recordings available on YouTube.
Humans of D_D
Humans of D_D is a recurrent podcast where D_D members are interviewed about their life, Web3 work, and what they do in D_D. If you want to know about the people behind the names and profile pictures or what motivates people to contribute, Humans of D_D is the way.
You can find the interviews on YouTube.
VibesIRL is the name of the parties D_D hosts at different Web3 conferences worldwide. The goal is to meet D_D members you only see online. It is a party, with music, dancing, and everything. So, having a good time with your fellow Web3 friends is the focus, and classical networking is more of an extra.
Usually, these parties are sponsored by organizations from the Web3 space.
The DevRel team
The DevRel team is responsible for fulfilling the promises D_D made to its partners, like hosting workshops, writing articles, posting tweets, and coordinating these tasks.
Another project planned by the team is the DevRel Incubator, where members can learn DevRel skills in a guided program over the course of a month.
The partnership team
The Partnership team is responsible for identifying organizations that could become season partners for D_D. Right now, they’re the closest D_D has to a sales department.
You can fill out the partnership inquiry form if your organization wants to partner with D_D.
The community managers
D_D recently elected 3 part-time community managers. They are paid members responsible for improving communication between initiatives, planning and hosting community events, and ensuring everyone feels safe in the DAO.
The onboarding team
The onboarding team helps new members to find their way in D_D. They host recurring group onboarding calls, listening to new members' wants and explaining where they can do it.
The fundraising team
The fundraising operators help D_D members in their journey to fund their projects with grants. They know what organisations in Web3 have grant programs and have calls with them to get good deals for D_D projects.
They even recorded a 5 part onboarding workshop as a public good, where they taught how to create a grant proposal for their projects. You can find the workshop on YouTube.
The server architecture Team
This team manages D_D’s Discord server. With thousands of members, we ended up with many channels on the server, which made navigating the DAO quite hard. The server architecture helps structure this mess so users can easily find what they need.
The wellness team
This team hosts a 1 hour long wellness call every other week. Web3 is a fast-moving industry; many suffer from burnout and other issues. The wellness team provides D_D members with guidance for a healthy lifestyle.
The D_D Conference
D_D hosts a virtual conference called "web3con" once a year. Here organizations around the Web3 industry can rent a space to present their solutions, and live-streamed talks educate conference guests about the latest trends in Web3.
The D_D Newsletter
D_D’s newsletter, "Probably Nothing", is about keeping members and everyone else updated on D_D. Not everyone has time to hang out in Discord, and there are so many initiatives that you can easily miss out on.
The D_D Blog
The D_D blog lets members tell their stories or show off their writing skills. Every Wednesday is WAGMI-Wednesday, where members write about their experience in Web3, or D_D, how they got a job in the industry, or how the DAO changed their life.
Besides that, members post technical articles, like tutorials and guides, or their opinion on a specific topic. The blog also publishes sponsored articles created by D_D for its partners.
D_D is a massive community filled with talented Web3 builders. It’s one of the biggest DAOs with members from all over the world.
This led to many projects and initiatives, which can be confusing, especially from the outside. If you’re not sure if you want to become a member, that’s understandable. But a lot of the value that has been created through Developer DAO is freely available to the public. Sign up for the newsletter, follow the Twitter account, or subscribe to the YouTube channel, and you’ll get something out of it!