Fund 8

Infrastructure Contributors category proposal

Category Title

Infrastructure Contributors

Category question

What full time contributors can be funded to help support and improve the Cardano ecosystem?

Why is it important?

Cardano needs full time contributors to help improve the development ecosystem in Cardano and stake pool ecosystem

How does success look like?

Cardano community members solving important problems are funded so they can continue providing high impact

Key Metrics to measure

Tracking success for this category will mean:

  • Number of contributions to support Cardano - Code commits, events organised, coordination support between teams, documentation improvements etc

  • Community support - Conversations with existing development projects and community members and any contributions that help support them

Part of tracking success for contributors will include improving the reporting and understanding of what a given contributor has worked on to support the ecosystem whilst they have been funded. Reporting will be a requirement for contributors however the tools that are used to log and present that data will evolve over time so that the community can easily track what is happening within the contributor community.

Category brief

Infrastructure Contributors is a community voted group of full time contributors in the Cardano ecosystem that are funded to help support and drive the ecosystem forward. Contributor roles within the Cardano ecosystem currently include developers, coordinators and analysts that focus on the development ecosystem and stake poo operation. The contributors can be seen as a glue that helps bring the Cardano ecosystem together and maximise collaboration and outcomes within the community.

To read the full background, analysis and current documentation for Infrastructure Contributors please visit -

Why is this category needed?

There is a benefit to consider other funding models rather than idea based funding. Strong ecosystems are built on good ideas that are well executed however the ecosystem also relies on impactful community contributors. The future of Catalyst funding could include funding community contributors as well as just ideas.

The analysis behind how this category brief was constructed can be found here -

It details the tradeoffs of funding types, the decision to use duration and salary caps and how the category total requested budget was decided.

What roles can I apply for?

Cardano contributors candidate - What should be included in the proposal?

A guide for Infrastructure contributor candidate proposals can be found here -

Infrastructure contributors budget guidelines - What budget should a contributor request?

Guidance for Infrastructure contributors for setting their budget has been researched. Candidates are not forced to follow this guidance however the guidance can be found here -

Infrastructure contributors minimum thresholds - Is there a minimum number of contributors for each role?

Minimum thresholds have been added to make sure there is enough skills across the cohort of contributors for where help is needed most. The minimum thresholds for fund 8 can be found here -

What is expected from successful candidates?

  • Support the ecosystem - Contributors should focus on returning the highest value to the ecosystem and look to solve the largest problems the community is facing at the time. Those problem areas could include support for improving or creating tools, coordination, resolving governance issues, improving user experience etc.

  • Support the community - Contributors should understand the ecosystem and be able to help the community where it's needed. That could be answering questions, pointing people to the right resources or bringing more awareness to different areas of the ecosystem that need support.

  • High collaboration - Contributors have the power to be the glue that brings the community together and identifies overlapping or duplicated efforts. The community benefits by contributors spending time understanding different related projects and bringing those together where it would be a benefit to them and the ecosystem.

  • High participation - To be highly effective contributors will need to understand what is happening across the ecosystem to the best of their ability. Contributors may sensibly focus on one or a few areas within the ecosystem where they ensure they are up to date and are aware of the problems, projects, teams and roadmap.

  • Flexible - Contributors will be most impactful if they are able to be flexible in a fast moving environment and move to where they can have a high impact.

What should contributors report?

  • Progress reports - Contributors will report weekly progress reports on what they have been working on in the community, any blockers they have and anything else they feel is relevant.

  • KPI reports - Contributors would not need to report KPI reports like normal idea focussed proposals do. Instead they would focus on increased regularity of progress reports that keep the community up to date on how they are contributing to the ecosystem.

What sort of candidates are most suitable?

  • Approachable - You understand the community will reach out to you regularly and will need to be friendly and supportive to community members.

  • Outcome focussed - You understand that the problems within any ecosystem are complex and take time to overcome but are able to communicate and collaborate on finding solutions.

  • Open minded - You have insights but are always open to new ideas on how to solve a problem. You look to include all perspectives when solving problems.

  • Pragmatic - You understand solving problems often doesn't start with the perfect solution. You understand the difference between short and long term thinking and how to prioritise what is most important and achievable.

What candidates may be less suitable?

  • Idea focussed - You have a great idea and want to work on it full time. This candidate is less suitable as contributors should not be tied to a single idea. Instead contributors are a collaborative force that helps pull ideas and teams together. This person can make a proposal for their idea if that's where they want to focus their time where contributors could help them instead!

  • Wanting full autonomy and independence - Candidates will need to communicate and collaborate with many community members, ideas and projects regularly. If a candidate wants full autonomy and independence to solve problems then they are more suited to idea focussed proposals rather than joining as a full time contributor.

Community advisors - How candidates should be assessed

Community advisors should use the following guide when assessing a Cardano contributor candidate proposal -

Community efforts that will support success

  • Proposal support - Help candidates propose a fair budget and salary expectations for their application. Guide candidates to add more proof of existing contributions or professional background where necessary.

  • Progress report reviews - Check on execution of reported progress by candidates to ensure it meets the standards and expectations of the community. Flag and report candidates where necessary for wider community review.

Future ideas to consider with this category

  • Reputation building - Full time contributors could become a vital part of the Cardano ecosystem where the community could issue credentials or vote on people to help work with them in certain areas. Some examples could be for high impact help in areas such as development, coordination, design or planning.

  • Bonuses - The most impactful contributors could be voted for in a governance process and be given a bonus reward for the impact of their contributions. This could make being a contributor very lucrative and align financial incentives well towards those that make large effort contributions that positively benefit the ecosystem.

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