Support Team Funding Proposal - Q1 2022

Summary

This proposal is for on-chain funding of the Support Team for the period February 22nd, 2022 to May 22nd, 2022.

The goal of this Support Team is to be a first line of defense for users on the Secret Network, and have been present and active during nearly every NFT mint/major event both in the Secret Community Discord and Telegram, and as well as the project’s respective channels.

For this cycle we wish to add another team member to cover hours the rest of us can’t, in addition to increasing the discretionary budget to reward those that are going above and beyond in the various communication channels.

In total, 1336 tickets were closed from November 1st 2021 to January 30th 2022.

Retrospective

The Good

As a coordinated team, we were able to be far more effective at resolving user issues than before the Support team was formed.

This is through a variety of methods, including:

  1. having unified messaging on issues such as an NFT mint
  2. having a central location for answers to common problems
  3. having coordinated time off so we know there isn’t a time when there is no Support available

One of the ways this layer of efficiency showed itself was through Discord tickets. Now that we are able to coordinate and resolve user issues swiftly, there has only been a single instance of the Discord ticket category becoming too full to accept new tickets.

This means the project of utilizing an external system for tickets is unnecessary.

The Bad

A significant amount of time was spent providing technical support, especially with regards to relayers. During a mint or other major network event, IBC relayers have to be all-hands-on-deck for nearly the entire duration of the event to sustain the load between OSMO <> SCRT. In addition, there is still a dearth of dedicated support for developers.

To help fill the gap of having no Developer Committee that provides developer support, I (schultzie) am preparing to help fill the role of Developer Support come March, alongside my current responsibilities.

One major hole we discovered was time zone coverage. Between @MrGarbonzo , @reversesigh , and I, we cover time zones UTC 1pm → 6am UTC daily, which left a gap of 7 hours every day.

In response to this, we spent the discretionary budget of the previous funding round on agents/users who were available during those hours.

Moving forward, we are bringing on Waffle and Ertemann, who can help complete the hour coverage.

The Ugly

The bridges becoming stuck and requiring manual intervention still plagues us, and is one of the only areas we haven’t been able to improve upon as only Secret Labs has sole control over doing so. If a bridge transaction gets stuck on Friday, it commonly remains stuck until Sunday.

Similarly, it’s not uncommon for https://wrap.scrt.network/ to reach its daily api limit and become unusable. Again, this is something only Secret Labs has control over and results in an outpouring of tickets.

We are currently in talks with Secret Labs to find a resolution for both issues.

Target Deliverables for this Funding Period

To see the deliverables for the previous funding period, please go here.

Continuous Deliverables

  • Create, maintain, and organize support documentation across the Secret Network, including the previously mentioned runbook and FAQ [0].
  • Assist platforms on the network with their user support, including but not limited to: Secret Network Discord, Secret Community Telegram, and SecretSwap.
    - IBC Relayer coordination/flushing/etc has fallen under the jurisdiction of the Support team.

Budget Request

The Support Team asks a budget for the compensated leadership roles and a discretionary budget for compensating those who are able to provide extended support.

Compensated Roles

@MrGarbonzo = $8000 / month | 40 hours per week

  • Providing community support for Secret Network since the first block

@reversesigh = $8000 / month | 40 hours per week

  • Customer service specialist with 10 years experience
  • Secret Agent Program on-boarding and coordinator

@TheWaffle = $8000 / month | 40 hours per week

  • 5 years experience in international business management
  • Fluent in English, French and Spanish
  • Secret Agent, IGC member and ecosystem enthusiast

@dylanschultzie = $3000 / month | 10 hours per week

  • Senior Software Engineer with 8 years experience
  • IBC Relayer Coordinator/Lead
  • Secret Infrastructure team member

@ertemann - $2000 / month | 10 hours per week

  • Secret agent/technical support contributor for 5+ months
  • Moderator in several Secret Network discords
  • 4 years experience in (ML) data analysis/remote sensing
  • Documentation/tutorial creator for several scientific data analysis applications and development frameworks (Git/CLI)
  • 6 years of experience in an international E-commerce business, in charge of regulation compliance, European taxes and data security/services
  • Education enthusiast leading/helping the buddy- and introduction programme for new (inter)national students

Discretionary Budget

Discretionary Budget = $2400 / month

The team recognizes we can’t be everywhere at once, and would like to be able to reward and recognize members of the community that are going above and beyond by providing support/help by offering them tips, at the team’s discretion.

This proved highly effective the previous funding round, and we wish to be able to continue providing funding for those going above and beyond. As with the previous funding, the discretionary budget will be split evenly and distributed independently of the other members.

Total Ask

Mr. Garbonzo = $8000 / month
Reverse Sigh = $8000 / month
schultzie | Lavender.Five Nodes = $3000 / month
Waffle = $8000 / month
Ertemann = $2000 / month
Discretionary Budget = $2400 / month


Total Proposal Spend for 3 Months: $94,200

Any feedback you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Best,
schultzie, Reverse, Mr. Garbonzo, Waffle, and Ertemann


[0]: Discord FAQ: Discord

5 Likes

I don’t know about how I feel lumping together relayer / dev doc updates with discord / telegram support for users. I was under the impression that we as a community decided to review the “salary” going forwards, those numbers seem outrageous to me.

3 Likes

I don’t know about how I feel lumping together relayer / dev doc updates with discord / telegram support for users. I was under the impression that we as a community decided to review the “salary” going forwards, those numbers seem outrageous to me.

Hi! Thanks for your input.

Relaying was not intended to be under the purview of Support, but ultimately that’s what has happened.

Here’s is my previous statement on funding and why I think $50/hr is more than fair: Secret Network Support Team Funding Proposal - #11 by dylanschultzie

I’ll also add, this is in line (or less than) other teams/committees within Secret and without. Can you expand more on why you think $50/hour is too much?

2 Likes

I think we need to really start separating these dual roles it’s difficult to vote otherwise. The relayer/github/etc feels like it should fall under infrastructure. I think this is why the ask feels high. I also just read the education committee charter where it seemed to reference this committee. What is the crossover there? For these reasons it feels very high and overly funded.

2 Likes

This is unfortunately true, Support has a lot of crossover with regards to other areas such as infrastructure. However, given that the infrastructure team hasn’t had a funding round since last September (and doesn’t intend to have another) this makes the most sense.

Ultimately I’ll concede that a large part of what I do, personally, doesn’t exactly fit the “Support” role well because I provide far more to the network than what fits within what is traditionally defined as a “Support” role.

edit:

I can definitely relate to your perspective of the proposal seemingly “very high and overly funded” - but it’s important to note that we’re trying to fill 24/7 support, around the world, across several mediums. Osmosis has the same aim and has a full 10x ask for the same period: Commonwealth, with many more members.

I also don’t see dividing this proposal into 2 - Infra and Support - as being beneficial. I am going to be providing developer support as well, so does that mean it should be divided into 3 committees of Infra/Support/Dev? It’ll still be the same cost regardless.

My perspective is Support makes the most sense to embody these roles as it’s needed to be many-faceted to provide the most holistic and beneficial value-add to the network.

3 Likes

The previous proposal already had some opposition on hour rate, this proposal seems to have increased the rate + added new member to the committee at same rate.
The previous proposal point was that all members were in the US, this proposal seems to imply this is no longer the case.

In all seriousness support is not a $10k/month add on job in my book, and I don’t think anyone - aside from Garbonzo - view this job as their only full time job.

Again relaying / docs is completly separated in my book, I have no qualm against paying for relaying / infra docs & dev docs, it just seemed to be lumped together in a wieird way here.

We’ve created a culture where these rates are normalized, there was a heated discussion end of last year as to when we would draw a line, I think this should be revised

There has been no increase in rate.

That’s absolutely correct! We are trying to go for 24/7 worldwide coverage, so having Support outside the US is extremely desired.

This is absolutely not true. This IS @reversesigh 's full time job, and will be mine come March (the beginning of this proposal period).

I addressed this above.

I still don’t quite follow your complaint about the price? We are asking less per hour than, for example, the Awareness Committee ($60/hr), and Education committee ($70/hr). Are you saying we’re charging too little per hour?

edit:

I’ve checked in with @TheWaffle , and this will also be their full-time role.

2 Likes

I’m saying normalizing your pay by continuously quoting rates from other committees is how we ended up in this conendrum and why we should as a community think about whether we want this to continue or not.

The argument of US or not is a reference to your previous proposal, outsourcing work out of US is cheaper.

The increase in rates is proxied via the increase in total amount asked, again as dev docs / relaying is conflated here with support it is quite hard to isolate what goes to where.

As far as full time job, this is a reference to conflating IGC / Edu / Secret agent etc … There doesn’t seem to be a clear line at least in my mind as to what falls where, I understand there is some great synergy at play but there seems to be a lot of $ going out in this area of the network.

Again I believe your relaying / doc work should be separated from this proposal, you seem to be taking this personally & these are just general comments on the direction of community paid salaries.

3 Likes

Roger! I follow now. I thought you were suggesting we were charging more than other committees. I agree with your view, to an extent, but Support is unique in how it’s structured when compared to committees. The goals of committees isn’t to provide full-time support to the network, they’re to fulfill a role/need. The change in hours from the previous proposal was a recognition of what hours are actually being spent fulfilling these roles (except for myself, who will be adding more hours to provide much-needed Developer support).

I believe relaying and doc work are two separate issues, so I’ll address them separately:

  1. With regards to doc work - originally this was a SNAC (see previous proposal) but was tied into Support as it seemed it made more sense given doc work is a “rolling” need. Sure, we could then spin up a “documentation” committee, but where does it end? If I’m part of infrastructure but want to contribute to the dev docs, should I stay my hand? I don’t believe so.

  2. Relaying - I’m not sure where I stand on this. During an event such as an NFT mint, relayers have to be constantly present to address IBC blockages. Reverse and I both are constantly flushing packets to ensure smooth transactions. In addition, Support is the first to be made aware when there is a relaying issue. To that end, yes, it could fall under the purview of Infrastructure, but Support is the only funded team with an expectation of hours provided.

Are you referring to their credentials? As far as I’m aware, the only member receiving funding from a committee external to this is Reverse due to all help he provided to Awareness outside of his normal Support hours.

Thanks again for your input!

3 Likes

@apudhd I don’t want to belabor the point, but here’s an example support ticket we receive frequently.

Osmosis has to deal with this as well, but because nobody on Support has crossover with relayers, they send a message into the IBC chat and then… wait. Note the times there: 4 hours. We dealt with the ticket above in under 5 minutes.

2 Likes

I agree with most of what @apudhd has said above.

I think a paid support team is absolutely critical for network growth. In terms of this proposal, I’d like to see more detail around plans for organizing and scaling support as the network continues to grow.

As opposed to going to the pool for funding, I think it is worth having a conversation with Secret Foundation on if they would be interested in funding these types of roles. It seems to me like it fits under their scope.

2 Likes

This isn’t a support funding proposal.

This is a mix of varying activities mashed together in a single proposal. How are we as a community ever to keep track of costs if our proposals are opaque like this?

Split these proposals up, have a support proposal, and a documentation proposal that as cow.level suggested, can be discussed with SCRT Labs. SCRT Labs has already indicated in a network leaders call they are willing to pay for it.

I have to vote no if this proposal goes to chain in the current form. Not because I don’t support the efforts, but it unnecessary uses network funds while alternative funding sources have already presented themselves.

2 Likes

Could you please expand on how you see this proposal as opaque? This proposal covers providing personnel support for Discord and Telegram, in addition to continuously updating projects that fall under the jurisdiction of Support, such as the FAQ.

Documentation, aside from the Support Runbook and FAQ, don’t fall under the jurisdiction of this proposal. The previous proposal did have the documentation SNAC folded into it, but this one does not.

In terms of this proposal, I’d like to see more detail around plans for organizing and scaling support as the network continues to grow.

This is great feedback, can you provide examples of what you’d like to see?

As opposed to going to the pool for funding, I think it is worth having a conversation with Secret Foundation on if they would be interested in funding these types of roles. It seems to me like it fits under their scope.

I don’t agree with this - Support, in my mind, should be funded by the community as it is for the express benefit of the community.

Big supporter of this in general. If doing separate funding proposals/teams/defining better terms makes community visibility higher I support that as well. But I know with this group of people that they work much more than 40 hours and do a smattering of what needs to be done to support the community and make secret network function much better.

4 Likes

I would add to the feedback provided that funding per user should not exceed 40 hours per week.

Adding overtime funding (assuming the standard 40 hrs full time baseline) will create a slippery slope in the future.

1 Like

This is good feedback. We were also having conversations about how to deal with it, but even at 52 we’re underestimating how much dedicated time Reverse is spending on Support. “Forcibly” reducing their hours would necessitate including another to fill their hours. Do you see that as more tenable?

Thanks again.

Thanks!

My confusion here is that the only thing listed in Continuous Deliverables that falls outside of Support is coordinating and leading the Relaying team. Everything else directly falls under the purview of Support.

The previous funding round had, for lack of a better word, “extra curriculars.” However, those aren’t related to this one. I simply listed them as an example of work completed.

1 Like

No I think I would only support the current number of people, adjusting the 52 to 40.

I understand you say that this is not enough, and this isn’t to force people to work extra for free (should not happen ever), but presumably as time goes by issues should get better, not worse, and the extra person already being added is for the uncovered timezone then I think this is already enough additional expenditure for this quarter.

My followup question is what timezone should be cut in that case? @ertemann has also been providing support to help timezone coverage, in addition to @SecretSkrillah , partially funded through the discretionary budget.

@ertemann (and @SecretSkrillah ) has gone on to become a committee lead, but will still be providing Support help for much-needed timezone coverage. Traditionally on Secret, community-funded teams/committees don’t “cross-pollinate”, so @ertemann was left off of this proposal in favor of increasing their hours as an Education Lead.

This will absolutely not be the case, as a good portion of our time is spent helping with dApp-specific issues. I consider this a feature, not a bug. We’ve had the discussion about each dApp providing its own support, which I am in favor of, but that doesn’t mean if people come to us we should turn them away.

Truly, thank you for your feedback. What do you think would be the best path forward wrt @ertemann ? Ultimately we’re trying to be as clear as possible, while still working within the normal bounds of governance.