With a split forming in the RChain community in the last few days, and developers suddenly in high demand, several people have asked me what I might like to work on with them. Rather than making them guess at what offer I might like or explaining it privately multiple times, I figured I'd just write it up and maybe boost community morale at the same time.
Previously on RDrama
Since RCon3 the RChain community has steadily grown increasily tense over the slipped mainnet deadline, the coop's management, and the financial trouble. Last Monday the core devs who were primarily contractors for Pyrofex learned that their contracts would be terminated on Wednesday and they would be invited to the coop. Most of them were invited but not all. Basically no development work was completed between Wednesday and Friday. On Friday the coop's marketing team learned they would be laid off in two weeks leading to several immediate resignations. Over the weekend, news of a fork project involving one or more developers, one project manager, one venture partner associate surfaced. It is possible that more such forkes will surface in the coming days. On Monday many of the developers signed contracts with the coop. The narrative beginning to emerge around the community is that there are now multiple competing projects.
My role as lead of developer education will be terminated along with the rest of the coop's former marketing organization. I've been told there is development work for me at both the coop and Casper Labs. Until I have a better understanding of what everyone's motives are, I don't want to make any final decisions. Really, I feel like having to choose sides at this point is a false dilemna.
Instead of choosing, I plan to spend my time working on what I think is most interesting and most important. That will probably be more studying, learning, and coding than the past few months. Taking after Patrick Maguire, I'm referring to myself as a free agent.
Good Guys and Bad Guys
So here we are with a fork. Yep, I said the f-word*. Several prominent people in the ecosystem have split off to form Casper Labs with the goal of making sure the platform is delivered. Casper Labs, and most of the community, doesn't trust Greg's management and I don't blame them. Meanwhile, many in the coop believe Casper Labs is a quick cash grab by its team.
It is hard to know who to trust in this a situation. With people I respect on both sides of the divide it is not clear who is the bad guy. Maybe there isn't even a bad guy at all. There is sure a lot of suspicion though. But until I have good reason to believe that anyone is acting in bad faith, I will treat them as my friends and colleagues.
The Job I'll Accept
During my #FreeAgency I'll be thinking about what kind of paid work I might take next. I really like the RHours model, and would love to see that happen for me. I may also be open to a more traditional agreement. So here's what I'd like my working experience to be like.
- All my work is open source and publicly available
- No limitations on open collaboration with anyone including coop or Casper Labs, or any other forks that may come about
- Building rhopm, the rholang package manager
- Developing librho, the rholang standard library
- Spending all of December building rholang entheusiasm through the advent of code
- Several hours every week leading tutorials and peer learning sessions
- Several hours each week studying academic work
- Developing consensus games to demonstrate PoS and PoW
- Assurance that rholang formal semantics in k-framework will be supported
Relationships Moving Forward
It would be great if the Casper Labs team could explore ideas outside of rholang, and implement another RNode. Maybe in haskell? Rather than fighting and bickering, what if we have multiple independent teams, each working under their preferred governance style, funded independently from one another. That sounds like a very healthy thing for the ecosystem. What if developers were not ostracized for trading sides and held under non-compete agreements, but rather encouraged to work where they were best fit?
It sure would be great to turn this shit show into an opportunity for cooperating teams to learn and grow together.
* I ripped the f-word joke off of Leah