How does a DAO Ensure Quality Assurance? An Interview with Tyler Shapeshift

As Web3 gains more mainstream appeal and application, more and more eyes turn to the quality control and reliability of new protocols and services. It is more important now than ever for Web3 DeFi solutions, such as ShapeShift, to continue leading the charge in ensuring a quality, secure, and growing product for users. We spoke with the head of the Operations Workstream - Tyler - to better understand how ShapeShift has continued to ensure product quality and service since ShapeShift metamorphosed from a centralized company to a DAO within the DeFi space - read more about DAOs here.

Flexible Procedure

One of the many benefits of a DAO is the ability to remain completely flexible in its iterative steps and direction - unlike a traditional corporation bound by rigid procedure and bureaucracy. “Especially with the velocity of the crypto and DeFi space, you have to realize that there is not ever going to be an evergreen tried and true process for anything," Tyler said in agreement. One of the elements that have allowed the ShapeShift Operations workstream to be so effective and malleable is their ability to design flexible procedures that carry a collective language between the engineering workstream and their own. “It's all about distilling the technical information down into words that this team can consume because in reality, not everyone here is a master C++ coder, and while that might be nice, it isn't necessary for what we do at the end of the day."

Because of the development of this common language, the Operations workstream is now an excellent place for people to introduce themselves to the ShapeShift DAO and the services it offers. When asked about the ease of entry into the workstream, Tyler responded: "Operations is a good entry point to all the other happenings in the space. Suppose someone comes into the Discord knowing nothing about ShapeShift or the DAO. Through being active with the Operations workstream, they can very easily build a vocabulary and knowledge base to pivot to other workstreams or projects within the DAO that pique their interest." A decent size of now full-time contributors started their ShapeShift career with Operations. 

Are you interested in contributing? Get involved with the ShapeShift DAO here.

Leveraging Decentralized Aspect of the DAO

One of the unique aspects of ShapeShifts is its recent pivot to open-source code for the entirety of the web app. In centralized ShapeShift - simply due to the nature of centralization - the code had fewer redundancies that would benchmark and test code as it was created and implemented. Since decentralizing, the code now exists in an open-source environment and can be viewed by anyone - click here to view the code. "By moving to open-sourced software, we were able to remove many of the complexities, dependencies, and issues incurred from a closed codebase. Decentralizing has allowed further transparency of our non-custodial services. Your keys are safe with ShapeShift, and for the first time, you can now verifiably prove it in the code."

The code is now pushed in smaller "bite-sized" pieces twice a week in the newly developed DAO release process. "These smaller chunks of code allow for more thorough checks and direct feedback, which in turn generates lots of positive velocity to the workstream." Reviewing and tweaking the code as many times as needed before it even gets to the user is exceptionally beneficial for ensuring quality. During the centralized era, attempting to refine the release process - to the extent that ShapeShift DAO currently does - was an endless series of meetings, approvals, and coordination. Those barriers that plagued centralized ShapeShift are long gone with the formation of the DAO. The DAO structure has allowed each workstream - including the Operations workstream - to reshape its processes based on the needs in the ever-changing present.

When code gets pushed, there is a "support and swarm" behaviour to the deployment testing Tyler oversees. One contributor takes the lead on the continued testing and leverages "support" from fellow contributors as needed to double-check and "swarm" unclear areas to confirm bugs and issues found. "There is a lot of redundancy and sanity checks when we go through deployment testing now," Tyler stated. "This added level of redundancy, checks and balances allow us to expand more into bounties where someone can come in not knowing anything about ShapeShift, do work, and get paid” - click here to access current bounties in Operations. There has also been an increase in cross-workstream integration with the Engineering Workstream to make the Operations Workstream process even smoother so that bugs are identified, communicated, and fixed faster and at a higher level.


The ShapeShift DAO leads the charge towards a consistent DAO work structure that ensures and propagates a quality and secure product and service. Although ShapeShift is decentralized, we still maintain a dedicated Operations workstream that is in place to specifically assure and maintain uptime and feature functionality of the DAO and its product suite. ShapeShift continues to provide the security checks and quality you could expect from centralized ShapeShift, but with the agility and thoroughness of a DAO.

Join our Discord server and get involved with the Operations Workstream today!

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