Developer outreach and attracting new developers to Factom (core and non-core)

As part of , this thread is about attracting new developers to the protocol. Some distinction is needed between core developers and non-core developers. Currently the core developers come from grants mainly. To be honest I think it is harder to attract outside core developers to Factom at this stage, but for instance work done by @Who is certainly good to inform and attract others. I will defer core-devs for a later post in this thread.

Inform about our use cases
In order to attract new developers, people need to first know what type of solution you can build with Factom instead of just mentioning proofs. We at Sphereon have so many projects we are working on and many more ideas Factom could be used for. I think that for a lot of developers some examples would go a long way into getting them excited about our tech.

First things first. It is probably best to write out some of these use cases into the documentation website and publish these as part of series of blogposts. The benefit is that you reach a lot of people during a really long period. A use case can touch a lot of specifics of the Factom Protocol, meaning you explain a lot of real world details of the protocol.

Resources required. A handful of people working on selecting these use cases and writing the story and some example code. Help of the documentation committee and the marketing committee to spread the word.

Open API, highlevel client functions
Open API is of course a simplification of the low level APIs of FactomD and WalletD. Some clients like Javascript and Java have similar features directly in their client. It would be good to highlight these functions in documentation. Focus on the simplified functionality first and make sure the lowlevel functions are hidden some more on first sight. People get overwhelmed by all the complexity otherwise. Come up with some common functions needed in most projects and focus on documenting these and having these available as highlevel functions in our clients

Open node access
Open node removes the need to setup your own node for development. We need to convey the message that for production in a lot of cases you want to run your own follower node(s), but for development purposes the open node is available. All documentation for clients and HOWTOs need to inform about this, so people will not get lost in setting up nodes first. Just start developing.

Mentioning the grant pool
Although a lot of money from the grant pool goes into core development and functions directly needed by the protocol at this moment. Nothing is more attractive to a large set of developers as money. I think we need to start thinking about marketing our grant pool some more. Let's not forget that work/hours people put and the amount of projects running on top of Factom means the protocol gets more populair and is being used more, which in turn raises the Factom price.

Masterclasses, development sessions
I want to do some online classes this year to get people involved. Basically this is reusing the use cases mentioned above and explaining them in online sessions together with code examples. For the oddyssey hackathon I have been working on a masterclass I will make available as well

Some hackathons have been organized by Factom Inc. The oddysey hackathon has been sponsored by the Factom Protocol and hopefully will be a success. On of the nice things about a hackathon is that you have developers that will certainly get into contact with the Factom blockchain. I believe we need to have a prominent place for hackathons.

Social media
We really need developers pointing out to other developers how easy and different the Factom blockchain is from other projects. As an example both @Who and @Paul Bernier have been creating some great documents, howtos and blog posts. We of course need more of these, but the thing we really need is to get the word out about it. Ideally from the developers itself, but also from the wider community

Open ideas/suggestions
A great way to attract developers is to post a list of (partial) solutions and components missing or needed/beneficial for the protocol. People want to take ownership. What better than to be working on a nice little project to do that ;)

How to start
If you want to onboard developers. First thing is that you need to point them in the right directions. Having a document that points people at the resources to our disposal like the documentation website, support in Discord and on Forums, licensing and how clients/APIs interact with the infrastructure wil help new people a lot.

These were the first things that came to mind. Please discuss and add your examples/thoughts as well.
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I'd be open to managing a grant this upcoming grant round that does this:


But specifically for developers. The devs watch videos or read a page (such as info about what you highlighted above) and then they get paid FCT when they answer a question or two about the video or instructional info. The questions would be randomized and enough where people don't brigade it and provide each other the answers. We'd also require a forum registration and 2FA to reduce gaming a little more and that also builds our newsletter list.

Incentivize devs to learn the important aspects of the protocol.
Thank you for initiating this @Niels Klomp. VBIF would be happy to work with others to move this forward. One thing in particular we have been eyeing is hosting a hackathon with the West Virginia University (not nearly as large-scale as Odyssey) in the coming year. There is potential to bring in many of the government and contractor entities within the state to help build the intellectual pool.
Thx @David Chapman great initiatives. I think we need to create little schedule with things to do. Not so much to hold people to that schedule, but to get a bit of an overview of workitems.

@Nolan Bauer A smaller hackathon dedicated to Factom could work out better than a big one with all kinds of tracks and where Factom isn't a requirement. We really have to see how it will work out next few days. As there are also larger businesses and technology savvy people outside of the participants, it certainly won't do harm for our exposure and name recognition. It also made sure we have a little start of more technical sessions and masterclasses we can (re)use in the future. So excited but at the same time don't really know what to expect out of it :)