Grant Idea: Decentraland Development Work Co-op
I want to garner feedback on how the community feels about launching grants to fund student co-op work terms. We could plan and develop smaller projects target for students, fund work periods through the grants program, and oversee their development to ensure a successful work term. These grants could provide us with a way to produce new content, introduce young up-coming talent to the platform, and heighten awareness of Decentraland.
Just a little bit about myself before I dig into the meat of the idea: I’ve been through 2 co-op terms and 1 capstone project myself. I’m trying to align the project with what I experienced during the co-op terms, rather than the capstone. Capstones are usually longer-term and work much closer with the Uni, so I think a co-op work term is going to be the best place to start when interacting with students.
This idea has been boiling around my head for a little while now and we are approaching the time when Uni/College students begin looking for their summer co-op positions. There are several campuses within my city (Victoria BC) that offer co-op positions and I’ve reached out to their program representatives to get more precise details for what is required for a business to register a co-op job on their boards.
There are a lot of over-laps between institutions here and the fundamental requirements for a co-op position are as follows:
- the position offers at least 420 hours worth of work
- the work done when employed reflects at least 40% of the student’s targeted field (this means work done must be relevant, ex: an CompSci student can be employed for systems design, software development, etc.)
- most work terms also provide compensation between $18 to $25 an hour in order to attract students to their posting
- job postings are nearly always submitted by a business (not individual)
There are also other deliverable required from the student, such as: documenting their progress/experience through journaling, regular meetings with work supervisor/campus faculty, and a summary of experience (what was learned, how it was applied) of the work term. I was thinking we could request something along these from the student(s) as well to better modify the general process and gain feedback on the entry experience of Decentraland for new developers.
At this point in time, I’m designing a grant (likely going to be posted under In-World Content) which will outline the design and management of a project geared towards a single CompSci student that will take place over a 3-month period (June, July, August), with compensation of $20/h. The current project idea is to get a student to develop a Decentraland scene meant to educate users on electronic components. Essentially the scene would be composed of two parts:
- sandbox simulation where users can play with a breadboard, adding/removing electronic components such as: LEDs, capacitors, switches, logic gates, etc.
- guided educational experience that walks through how each component works with an example orientation of how to make use of that component.
I was also considering the possibility of a puzzle generator that produces layouts that need to be ‘solved’ with the components provided (ex: turn the green LED on, but the red LED remains off), but this may be relegated to a stretch feature to be targeted if the students show a good aptitude for development.
The current budget is looks like this: Total: $12,100
- Management $2,300 (interactions with institutions, instructing/preparing students for development in Decentraland, review/feedback on work, etc.)
- Student $6,800 (Full-Time @ $20 CAD/h for required period)
- Assets $1,900 (producing environment, electronic component assets, etc.)
- Slack/Buffer $1,100 (10% for unforeseen expenditure, ex: more/better assets, additional student hours, etc.)
The resultant repository would be made open-source and available to the community! The scene would also be deployed on DCL Worlds (currently seems to be the best option for deploying low-scale long-term content).
So, yeah! I’d love to start a conversation around this and get some feedback on what everyone things of this idea! To kick things off here are some quick questions to think about:
- Should we be reaching out to students/educational institutions in the first place?
- What projects do you think we should have students develop?
- What deliverables do you think should request from the student?
- What deliverables do you think should be requested from the project manager/supervisor?