Why Code at a DAO? An interview with Josh Shapeshift

As a growing number of engineers look to enter the Web3 and DAO space, many are uncertain as to why they might want to code at a DAO versus anywhere else. The ShapeShift DAO - a previously centralized company - is a shining example of how working in a DAO can be a viable career path - read more about DAOs here

One of the current Engineering Workstream leaders at ShapeShift DAO, Josh Forman, started at ShapeShift in 2017 - before it transitioned into a decentralized organization. His experience as an engineering lead both at centralized ShapeShift and the ShapeShift DAO provides an excellent perspective to speak on the merits of DAO engineering work. We sat down with Josh to discuss how one can get involved as an engineer at ShapeShift DAO and the benefits of contributing - learn more about Josh here.

Low Barriers of Entry

If you are looking to start coding within the crypto space, DAOs by nature are a perfect space to dip your toes in. With the information and structure of a DAO being completely transparent and available in totality online, anyone can come in and start working relatively quickly. Josh stated, “It is incredibly easy for someone to come into ShapeShift DAO’s Discord server or visit our website, learn about the DAO and start contributing to the code. Anyone can - and is encouraged to - ask questions, participate within the DAO and be present in the community.” This link is a great place to get more info on how to start.

ShapeShift is so accessible and transparent even the core code is open-source. This means anyone can build on it and contribute to any number of features. Josh spoke to the benefits of open-source code creation: “If you are working in private repositories, your work isn't seen and is hardly able to be claimed as a resume builder - we see this often in centralized companies. With ShapeShift DAO, any contributions you make to our open-source code is a resume builder and reputation builder within the space.”

Specifically, with ShapeShift working with so many chains and protocols, there are many opportunities for someone to contribute - regardless of a specific skill set to a code language or background. We asked Josh the easiest way to get involved with ShapeShift and he responded, “If you can get the code running locally and demonstrate curiosity in learning more about ShapeShift and the path of the DAO, there almost certainly is a space for you here.” 

If you are worried about your skills potentially not being “up to snuff” with the experts who have been operating within this space for years, have no fear. Josh commented, “The Ethos in mentorship is robust with the core developers. While on-the-job training is the primary method of learning, you are always encouraged to try and ask as many questions as needed.”

Supportive Community

The core contributors within the Engineering workstream spend a large portion of their time and focus on bringing in new contributors and talents. The core code had more contributions from community developers than from core developers last month. This is the first time since becoming a DAO this has been the case, and ShapeShift is not stopping there. The Engineering workstream is actively looking to increase this ratio of community contributors to core developers even more. 

We want to build a dynamic and robust community around a fully open-source system. Community developers are welcome to attend community calls on ShapeShift’s Discord to view demos, discuss enhancements or join general discussions about product engineering topics. 

DAO Life is FUN!

An outsider might see DAO life as inconsistent and stressful, but we can tell you firsthand that it’s pretty fun, consistent, and rewarding! Josh agreed. “I can’t speak for all of the DAOs out there, but for me, coding is enjoyable in this DAO. The people within ShapeShift make all the projects here awesome to work on. We all believe in the idea of promoting financial products within Web3 through ShapeShift, so everyone has a lot of passion and connection that makes working with them a pleasure.” Not only is working in a DAO psychologically rewarding, but it is extremely easy to get rewarded for your work - if you do the work, you get paid; it’s that simple - click here to view active engineering bounties.


With a low barrier to entry and an incredibly supportive community, ShapeShift DAO is an excellent place for people of all skill levels and ranges to collaborate on open-source code within the DeFi space.

Get Involved with the Engineering Workstream Today!