Edit: while I was writing this Max, the WasabiWallet doco maintainer was writing a post giving more details,
WasabiWallet is experimenting with paying contributors 0.1 BTC a month based on contributions to their docs. This was inspired by the Contribution Game they ran last month, which gave away 1 BTC to contributors to the WasabiWallet repo based on number of lines added/deleted, which resulted in a lot of needed love for the docs. They’re looking into SourceCred to score the contributions on the docs moving forward.
Since I work as a technical writer in cryptocurrency DAO (Decred) and know SourceCred a bit, I thought I’d share my initial thoughts on how this might work, and see if anyone else has ideas.
- I think it should work fairly well out of the box, with default settings. When I run SourceCred on the docs repo I’ve been paid to work in the last year, dcrdocs, the scores seem to reflect reality as I understand it pretty well. Below is a chart of the timeline cred (hosted here).
- The activity is “bursty”. You can see a big spike when the docs were first fleshed out. Then a lull…then some more sustained activity, basically when I join (the green line) and start fleshing out holes in the existing documentation, documenting new features as they came out (many wouldn’t have gotten documented at all if I hadn’t joined), and doing general maintenance and polishing. There is a concern this burstiness may skew rewards, as slow months will cause higher payouts for contributions, regardless of quality. In this post I trip out on the idea of applying the difficulty adjustment in Bitcoin’s PoW algorithm to cred, but that is a bit high concept. A more practical solution could be paying a certain amount per unit of cred, as the amount of cred will go up and down with activity. The $/cred could be based on, for instance, the average cred produced in the last few months.
- While at a high level, the cred scores make sense, I do wonder if lines added/deleted might be better here? While not a robust metric for code, lines added/deleted might be a more robust proxy for documentation? I know SourceCred’s plugin architecture allows you to plug in any heuristic (lines added/deleted, various pattern matching, etc.). Would it be possible to have lines added/deleted be an input to calculating cred scores?
- Manual mode (the ability to adjust weights of contributions manually) may be useful here. Especially since SourceCred has mainly been trained on code, and documentaiton is fairly new territory. It is possible contributors’ are incentivized to game their scores, or just go for a lot of low-hanging fruit, which while valuable, should not be scored as high as high-hanging fruit. Key here I think would to just be transparent about the adjustment, as @nopara73 was with the Contribution Game, posting adjustments to GitHub,
Love that this is being considered for docs btw. Would love to get paid this way!