‘Wasabikas’ (the term for anyone helping to develop Wasabi Wallet) are given a fair and equal opportunity to contribute to the ever-evolving software. Though it would be an asset to have degrees and years of experience, resumes and job applications mean little to nothing here. All Wasabikas need to contribute to Wasabi Wallet is a genuine interest in developing the Wasabi Wallet software and pure unadulterated skill.
Described as an ‘Actionacrocy’ by free software entrepreneur and Wasabi Wallet contributor Max H., Wasabi Wallet’s contributors willingly prove themselves before officially becoming a part of the team.
Wasabikas are advised to contribute to the wallet’s development based on their skillset. That’s right, you don’t have to be a developer to contribute to the project. And though Wasabi Wallet’s repository is on GitHub, you don’t need to know how to code to use it. Anyone who is anyone (and by that, I mean everyone) can make a contribution since there is free access to browse, review, open pull requests and make commits in the GitHub repository. You can be a wordsmith, a graphic designer, or just someone who thinks something may be lacking across the board, you’ll be welcomed with open arms.
You may be wondering, do I just…go in there and do it - whatever I want? Not really, but it’s still pretty simple. Potential Wasabikas are provided with a technical overview of the inner workings of Wasabi Wallet (say that fast 5 times) that gives a crash course on the nuts and bolts of the project. If you're still interested after reading pages of documentation and familiarizing yourself with how Wasabikas work, you then introduce yourself to the existing team, get familiarized with tasks already underway and then see where you fit in. It’s that simple.
Communications with other Wasabikas are always transparent and are as easy as sending a slack message (trust me, everyone’s there). However, Since Wasabi is open source, Wasabikas are not necessarily obligated to check the contributions of others that are of low priority to them and their time. It is important that developers have meaningful and timely communication.
But then, who’s in charge? Who’s the head honcho? Who do you report to? This is where the weekly meetings come in. Teams work together according to their interests and competency. In these team meetings, they propose changes and pitch ideas. Based on whether everyone else agrees or not, the idea gets the green light or gets tossed out. This has allowed the Wasabi Wallet project to collect a roster of highly-skilled, like-minded individuals from various locations worldwide. Each of the wasabikas have been drawn to the Bitcoin ecosystems for varying reasons and have committed countless hours towards the growth and development of Wasabi Wallet.
But being a wasabika is much more than code and conversations on Slack. It’s about creating meaningful work while interacting and discussing ideas with your peers. Weekly development meetings and the Wasabi Research Club foster camaraderie between the contributors and allow for transparency and clear communication across the board. So even though you may be miles away, you’re still able to work together efficiently, after lining up your time differences, of course.
Lucas O. has no issues with this setup.
You cannot build a great team only with those guys that live near you. Having a diverse team helps you to understand other viewpoints and needs while keeping you flexible regarding time schedules, language, cultures and the necessity for coordination. This is much more productive when you know exactly what to do and can do it alone. ~ Lucas O.
It is a problem when you have dependencies or have to implement something that is not 100% clear.
Jumar M., describes his experience working on the Wasabi Wallet project as nothing but stellar.
The rapport, support and understanding that each of the team members gave me is something I’ve never had within any of my prior working environments. The freedom they give me on my ideas on how to improve things and the unrelenting support they have given me over and over again makes me eternally grateful. ~ Jumar M.
Another element of the Wasabi Wallet World is the physical office space that houses a few local developers and welcomes remote Wasabikas who may need to pop in from time to time. Though not what you would consider a typical office, having a physical office space allows for some semblance of stability for Wasabi Wallet developers as they are able to tailor their schedules to allow for a healthy work-life balance. The day usually begins with developers trickling in throughout the morning. Some grab coffee after completing the new routine of temperature checks and sanitization, while others get straight to work behind their laptops. People leave throughout the afternoon when their tasks are complete while others sometimes stay the night on either the hammock or one of the giant leather couches.
The unconventional nature of the office’s layout allows developers a high degree of flexibility. There are no barriers, no cubicles, or tight spaces - just an open space with high ceilings and cozy corners to sit and collaborate without the occasional barista hinting that you should refill your coffee order. The open layout allows questions to be answered instantly. The company’s culture hinges on transparency so doors, if any, are rarely closed and conversations can be heard wafting through the office.
Everyone congregates around the giant wooden table where they quietly work and sporadically engage in small talk in stretches throughout the day. Conversations may range from new changes to the UI to food orders or random jokes. On not so rare occasions, this routine is broken when a spontaneous issue arises that needs to be explained or sorted out with the use of a visual aid. When this happens, the trusty whiteboard (or a gigantic monitor) is used with these sessions lasting from 10 minutes to a couple of hours depending on the complexity of the issue. These instances often become educational moments where anyone in the room paying attention can learn something. If you’re not a developer and pay attention long enough, you learn something about the software since someone is always ready and willing to explain.
It’s the small talk and random interactions that is one of the major differences between working at home and in the office. Yahia, one of the first wasabikas to officially join the team after being the winner of the first-ever contribution games held in 2019, acknowledges that “Interacting with others and sharing ideas in real life is very important to learn and improve your skills.”
Riccardo M., regular Wasabi Wallet remote contributor and marketing strategist, loved his time working at the office. During his short stint, he welcomed the interaction after spending years creating bonds/friendships online while collaborating on Wasabi Wallet.
It’s good to see fellow developers in their daily routine; have regular conversations, learn their mannerisms and look them in the eyes. ~ Riccardo M.
One thing that can be agreed upon is that, whether at home or in the office, work is meaningful, unpredictable, revolutionary and somewhat of a wild ride. In this sense, it’s just like Bitcoin and it’s worth it.