Developer Relations at NEAR: Open Sourcery in Context
The NEAR Developer Relations Team, also known as DevRel, is one of the most talented teams at NEAR. On a mission to recruit the developers, entrepreneurs, projects and teams that will build the future of the Open Web, the DevRel team interfaces across events, forums, enterprises, and communities to find the next app to launch on NEAR and the next team of developers to continue building out the protocol.
In this context, DevRel is one of the most important teams at NEAR in relation to the future growth and development of the ecosystem. This brief overview provides an outline of (1) What exactly DevRel does, and why that matters, as well as (2) how they are attempting to crowdsource development on NEAR as Open-Sourcerers.
Developer Relations: Who and How?
Developer Relations at NEAR is a star-team of key players: Team Lead Peter dePaulo, Head of Developer Relations and Technical Lead Matt Lockyer (creator of the ERC–998 NFT Standard), Technical Content from Mally Anderson, Outreach and Engagement by Dani Osario, jack-of-all trades Josh Ford, and Developer Onboarding and Experience by Dorian Crutcher. Together these individuals work to bring the next-generation of Web3 developers and entrepreneurs onto NEAR protocol.
The specific focus of the DevReal Team is the fast-growing market of software developers looking to break into the Web3 space. Or, as Matt puts it, focusing on developer experience and speaking with developers to build on NEAR:
“We focus a lot on developer experience, which we think will lead to good user experience. If you don’t have to worry about your back-end, your database or your contract stuff, you can probably focus a lot more on your product. So we really want to help that next million — the next 100 million people get into crypto, and get access to what is going on. Because it is really important.”
In terms of the actual scope of activities, the DevRel Team is working with the larger NEAR Team to meet the goal of bringing 2,500 developers onto the protocol by the end of the year. Matt added the following about these goals:
“We have very ambitious goals, but also relatively realistic goals. We want to bring apps to the main network and we do that by basically going to events like ETH Denver, to making a bunch of fun example Repos and videos and content that go along with that as Dorian is doing with blockheads. We bring people in that are kind of creating that buzz and that awareness. From our community, we will bring you in, we will find you grants, we will encourage you to submit and we will help to kind of create and support that momentum.”
As the quote above explains, DevRel interfaces between different possible users on the protocol with different content forms: Repositories, Videos, Technical Content, personal project development, team outreach, and engagement with existing projects on other protocols – to name a few. This notably is also the subject of the open-source engagement DevRel is planning to foster in the coming months, known under the title of Open-Sourcerers (and explained in more detail below).
The final area of engagement that the DevReal team engages with, goes above and beyond outreach: Developer and project relations, is all about setting up new projects, applications, and fixes in the NEAR Ecosystem for long term sustainable development. That starts with funding through the NEAR Grants program, the Open Web Collective, as well as the emerging network of DAOs within the NEAR Ecosystem:
“What are my values, as the technical lead of the DevRel team? My values are basically to make people crypto rich. And I want to make people crypto rich. But there is a lot of subtext. I can’t help people, unless they want to help themselves. So unless you find out about NEAR – find out about what we are up to — join our discord, join our telegram groups – go to gov.near.org and make a post and say I want to build this crazy thing, or you make a grant submission — I want to start this app or this project this business…unless you do that we cannot help you. I wanna make people crypto rich but I can’t do it if I don’t know how serious you are, how committed you are or how passionate you are.”
Developers, entrepreneurs and existing projects can get in touch with the NEAR DevRel Team by posting on the governance forum, jumping into telegram or reaching out directly to Matt or Peter (Matt@near.org / Peter@near.org).
Open Sorcery Is Here
NEAR is an Open-Source Protocol. That means, that unlike in a traditional software company (where business development and developer engagement) is built between a centralized entity and a group of individuals, the NEAR DevRel team has the capacity to harness the power of the NEAR community to create positive network effects and feedback loops in growing the developer community on NEAR. This is what Open Sorcery is all about:
“Ideally, our growing community of apprentices will support developers building on NEAR, while recruiting and training others who might have powers.” – Peter DePaulo
In short, the NEAR DevRel Team is starting to ‘open-source’ their engagements so that the larger NEAR community of developers and users can help grow the ecosystem by recruiting developers, and also earn rewards in the process. Some of the listed activities include:
– Writing documentation
– Writing issues in code libraries
– Writing PRs to the code libraries
– Dev chat support
– Presenting workshops
– Supporting hackathons
– Educating new members of the dev community
These activities ultimately align with the larger goals of the Open-Sourcery Project:
Priority One: Increase the number of successful apps running on MainNet.
Priority Two: Increase the number of successful developers deploying and improving their apps on TestNet.
Priority Three: Support the continued maintenance of the material that will allow devs to self-serve and be successful.
In light of the current state of NEAR’s development, the NEAR DevRel team is at the very beginning of it’s journey to expand the NEAR Ecosystem, onboard new developers to the protocol, and jumpstart application development. Among other reasons to start building on NEAR, the easy setup, account structure, and familiar programming languages, make development straightforward and painless. If you are interested in building the future of the Open Web – and a world in line with mission of NEAR (“A world where people have control of their money, data, and power of governance.”) then consider joining the Open Sorcerers as an Apprentice and earning some $NEAR along the way!