A. I love the idea of the Factom Boot Camp. With a 30% efficiency for one Authority Node and your expected expenses (included those associated with the Boot Camp) at what price does FCT need to be for you to break even on a monthly basis?
All of our calculations were based on FCT = $30 to cover expected expenses including the development of the boot camp for breakeven. If the opportunity to submit boot camp curriculum development & roll out as a potential grant, we can increase the efficiency to 50% for one Authority Node but given our understanding of the hardcoded grants at launch plus the time delay for when new grants would be able to be submitted and considered, we submitted at 30% to allow us to begin development of the boot camp immediately.
I want to also note for the sake of transparency that we are also currently applying for grants (traditional Foundation grant $$) to cover the expenses of developing a new course & curriculum should we not be selected to run an Authority Node(s). We intend to move forward with a blockchain boot camp with a focus on Factom regardless of the outcome of this campaign. That pathway is identical with the only difference being how the boot camp course development is funded.
Thank you for the response. If FCT goes down to $20 and stays there awhile, how will that impact your operations and ability to create the boot camp (especially if your grant mentioned above doesn't materialize).
That being said, at FCT = $0, we would still be able to develop the boot camp course, launch the course and also sustain Node operations for up to 24 months if needed but that would be a very different business model obviously.
I suspect we will end up with a 2 part course (like our Data Science course) where Part 1 will be about blockchain development and Part 2 will be Factom specific. I'm guessing here since we are in the very early days of looking at this and talking to Factom about it but that's what my gut tells me.
Our training hours target is usually between 240 - 480 hours depending on the complexity of the curriculum and desired outcomes of the course.
In the past, our courses have ranged from $4,500USD to $11,500USD depending on duration, cost of instructors, etc. Everything is taught online in a synchronous video based environment which allows us to reach students across the US (and the globe depending on time zone differences) and also keep tuition lower than most boot camps since we don't have big classroom infrastructure to support.
For every course, we always offer full time (M - F 9 - 5 aka 40 hrs/week) and part time (usually 3 nights a week for 3 to 4 hours) options and so far every course we have created has also been GI Bill certified which helps US veterans but not our global veteran friends who might be interested.
If we started May 1, it would take about 3 to 4 months to develop the curriculum given the current workload (we're teaching a full stack JS class and have another starting in June) so August/September 2018 launch would be the target.
We are not 100% dependent on Factom and would prefer not to develop this in a vacuum. Having Factom and the community involvedin any form (curriculum development, curriculum feedback, providing feedback on class structure/duration, etc) would give the boot camp legitimacy in the community and help with recruitment as well as improve the quality and relevance of the curriculum. Outside of the Factom community, we do have access to senior developers with 20+ years experience, PhD's in curriculum development as well as instructors who can all be called upon to help develop the course. I would see that a similar process to soliciting feedback on the Governance document would be used as we put this together.
Paul Snow was supportive of the idea and he indicated that Factom would "really like to support" us so I am optimistic, knowing how busy they are, that we can squeeze out a few hours of their time to help develop this.
I've known Jay for a few years now and he is a former Big Sky Code Academy instructor as well as Digital Impact developer. I introduced him to Matt O (we both live in Missoula) and Jay has been supporting both Matt O and myself as to set up Testnet nodes. He is one of the people on my team that would help support Authority nodes in addition to two outside firms we are contracting for 24x7 monitoring, restarts, etc.
You mention 2 team members able to operate the servers with a combined experience of 70 years. Could you break this down into the respective members, and only list direct system administration on production servers (not oversight)
NK01) Both the outside firms that we mention in our application are IT Services companies. They provide a range of services including
networks and server monitoring to ensure 24x7x365 availability. Since we have proposed running servers in 5 different data centers and, depending on the outcome of our application, that proposal entails 2 Authority Nodes, 3 Followers on Mainnet plus 5 Testnet servers, we decided to engage 2 different companies and split the work in two. (e.g. Company 1 is responsible for Authority Node 1. Company 2 is responsible for Authority Node 2. etc etc). Since both these companies specialize in providing these types of services and have staff dedicated to it, we felt it was a better approach to leverage them for our monitoring. This would allow our internal staff to be available in reboot/restart situations on an as needed basis but primarily focus on such things like curriculum development for the boot camp, app development on the protocol, etc.
NK02) Your question brings together several answers from the application and I may have interpreted it differently. I'll do my best to answer:
For the question: "How may years of combined experience does your team have on running production servers" I assumed this question referenced any production server that included direct sys admin activities and I answered in the following manner:
- Entity Member 1, 2 & 3 (Devin, Drew, Jay) each have over 20+ years of experience and over the course those years (on and off) we have all acted as sys admin's for servers
- Entity Member 4 (Giovanni) has 15+ years and he primarily has done sys admin on servers during the course of those years
Adding these 4 individuals together is how I came up with the 70+ years. If we add in the staff from the companies mentioned above, it's over 100 hence why I picked "Other" when answer the question of combined experience running production servers.
In answering the question, "How many people in your team are able to operate the servers (including direct hired personnel, but excluding hired fallback companies", I interpreted the part of the question that reads "OPERATE THE SERVERS" as specifically meaning operating authority node or follower servers, not just any servers. Hence the answer of 2 people currently. The COO of Estenda Solutions (who was not specifically named in the application, I only listed Drew the CEO) and Jay Cheroske both have the knowledge, skills and capability to operate/sys admin Authority Node/Follower servers as well as TestNet servers today. There are other direct hired staff that could be brought up to speed quickly but as noted above, we would like to delegate most of the work to the outside contracted firms so direct staff can focus their efforts elsewhere.
NK04) Our operating assumption is that while grants might be an opportunity in the future, they are not currently nor will they be in the near term months ahead (see my post to DChapman up at #6) so we did not consider that grants would be a viable source of revenue to fund projects in 2018.
The approach then is to use a) Node income to fund the projects and the development of the boot camp and b) client contracts (as mentioned above) to fund the projects. Additionally, tuition income from the boot camp (once launched) can be used in the future to fund projects.
@DChapman@Niels - I'm hearing that there might be a greater concern amongst the Guides than maybe we have realized about the same individual being listed on 2 different applications. If we need to lay out in more clarity how this would work in the short/long term, happy to answer any questions you have about it.