Protocol Labs Culture
Protocol Labs is building the next generation of the internet. We are an open-source Network that spans the research to development pipeline to create new protocols, tools, and services to radically improve the internet. Our products serve thousands of organizations and millions of people.
Many teams in the PL Network are fully distributed and follow a common set of open source practices to grow and flourish together. This distributed, open source philosophy is at the core of how we operate.
We also believe in connection, and bringing people together to inspire innovation. That’s why we have yearly PL Network “Lab Weeks” to gather our community of “labbers” (contributors and members of PL Network teams) together and align on the next year’s opportunities and challenges.
Events & Labweek Recaps – Optional
Watch at least one!
Communication at Protocol Labs
In our mission to drive breakthroughs in computing to push humanity forward, we welcome and listen to every voice. Humanity, after all, is composed of all humans, and learning from each other is key.
To ensure these conversations remain constructive and safe for all, we have developed guidelines for participation:
- We are kind and respectful. We do not insult, or disparage. And we ask questions, seek clarification, and assume we don’t know the full story. We communicate in good faith, meaning that we don’t provoke people intentionally. We help one another grow and assume that we have the best intent.
- We are allies. We stand up for one another. We build the culture and environment we want to see. So, when we see something we say something.
More on How to Interact
Discord, Email, and Zoom are our workplace: in interacting with other Labbers, remember that they are your collaborators and peers.
- Written communication lacks important cues we typically get when speaking to others in person
- Written communication is long-lasting: remember that written communication lasts longer than verbal communications so others will come back to it time and time again.
- Mind the audience: in communicating with others, pause and think about who your message is intended for and whether the medium is appropriate.
Community Facing Teams
The ecosystem team at Protocol Labs focuses on the wider community including efforts involving hackathons, grants, collabs & accelerators, browsers & special projects, growth & client solutions, the Filcoin community, and any other efforts to support and grow the ecosystem of technology built for web3.
Research and Grants
Within Protocol Labs, it is the role of Research to lead idea generation and testing, roadmapping, knowledge sharing, and research collaborations. Additionally, researchers set the tone of technological optimism, sharing with others the belief that scientific or engineering tools can help solve some of the biggest problems facing humanity, and that addressing these problems, indirectly or directly, is the most important work to be done. We also tackle more broadly scoped questions.
- ResNetLab is the hub page for all things research
- Research Groups are labs that focus on specific problems
- Grants are available for a wide range of contributors
At Protocol Labs, in order to enable contributions and collaborations worldwide, we follow principles around working asynchronously.
The benefits of async communication, though this approach might seem non-traditional for some, are numerous:
👩💻The ability to build large stretches of uninterrupted focus time.
🌏The ability to communicate with a remote team, with members in multiple time zones.
📑Having a record of the communication shared that can be referred to later on. Whereas synchronous communication often requires taking notes (creating) while hearing the message (consuming).
🤔The chance to digest and think about a response before responding. (We all know immediate responses are often not your best.)
🚴♂️The freedom to not having to be always “at your desk” in case someone wants to talk to you.
This style benefits your teammates as well. Requesting someone’s time to find a document or pinging someone for something non-urgent are two of the most common productivity killers for deep focus work. As you might be aware, there is a famous meme on how you should “never an interrupt a programmer.” Once you read it, you will quickly realize that this applies to all sorts work.
There will be more on async work in the OS Stewardship Section.