Grant Update [BIF-001] Core Development Core Update

mboender

BI Foundation
Here is our update for our Factom Core Development efforts. Finally. As posted before, we apologize for this late update, but as we've reported earlier, we've been very busy these last months. Not an excuse, just an explanation. And I'll repeat our commitment to provide regular updates for any future grant.

Update on BIF-001.
In our original grant request (BIF-001) we expected to fill the position for the first developer for this grant in January 2019 and hire another developer in the same month.

People
We were indeed able to fill the first position in January with the first developer (we leave the name out, for reason you will see later), that started to work full-time on this project from February 1st.

The second position has proven to be much more difficult to fill. Blockchain Innovation Foundation started looking for an experienced Golang developer. This proved to be a problem in two ways. First, experienced Golang developers with a solid math background turn out to be extremely hard to find. The ones that are available all work as a contractor at rates of between $125-$160 per hour. Out of reach for our budget.
The few candidates we found that were willing to switch to a more secure (and lower paid) employment contract were looking for job security and still pretty high pay. And BIF is new, has no other employees, and is fully dependent on income from a crypto coin with Sphereon taking all the risks. You can see the problem here.

Therefor we allocated one of our most senior developers, Sander, to work 50% of his time on Factom Core Development.

Coordination
Earlier this year we had an extended session with Paul Snow and Brian Deery to discuss and coordinate how to best onboard our developers to work on the Factom protocol. Both Paul and Brian provided valuable insights. The conclusion was to have our developers first had to familiarize themselves with the current code base by going through the code in a debugging mode, before arranging an extended trip to Austin.
Also @Who from Factomize has shared very valuable information about Factom and his journey into the depths.

Progress
Our first developer started this process at the beginning of February, but unfortunately fell ill early March. To protect the privacy and by Dutch law an employer cannot publicly post medical conditions and the name without consent on the internet. We will leave it up to [developer] whether he will mention it in a future update. His recovery is going well, and he has slowly started again, studying Golang and the Factom codebase and doing some nice advanced cryptography courses.
Sander started this process in March and has become familiar enough to start looking for and fixing problems. His first fixes are submitted in a Pull Request. This was about fixing the flapping of the Control Panel from 99% to 100% and back. In the process Sander found some other problems in the same code that basically took a lot of CPU power and some loops with guards in the wrong order.

What’s Next
With [developer] coming back and Sander up to speed, we believe we are confident we will be able to contribute to the core code.
Both our developers have reported to be a bit lost, since there is a lot of code and no clear coordination. We believe this needs to be addressed for decentralized development to become more effective.

We believe that Sphereon is in a better position to hire and provide people than BIF. On the one hand we have a running business with customers that is constantly growing. An on the other hand we have a team of 15 developers, ops and technical people working for us that do a lot of blockchain projects: Affan, Ali, Bas, Besart, Ebrar, Ervin, Frits, Gabriel, Joris, Laurens, Lennert, Niels, Sander, Sarika and Scott.

Sphereon has several open positions currently. This should enable us to find another developer and offer him a job in a more mature environment where he can find job security and grow. Until this time we will assign one of our other senior developers to the current team.
 
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