Survival Guide

Zerocracy is a great platform to manage a software development project … if you understand how the world of wild animals, also known as pay-by-result freelancing microtaskers, works. If you treat them as you used to treat traditional full-time programmers, you will lose. You will lose your money, your time and will blame Zerocracy. I don’t want this to happen, that’s why this blog post with a short list of important principles/hints.

Proof-of-Concept First. Don’t let the architect invite programmers to the project, until the prototype is ready, build pipeline is configured, and the product is deployed to production, as our Lifecycle suggests. You have to confirm visually that the prototype proves that the key technical objective of the project is achievable. Only then you start adding programmers to the team.

Strict Pipeline. Don’t approve the prototype unless its build pipeline includes 1) unit testing, 2) static analysis, and 3) test coverage control, as this blog post suggests. There could be more elements there, but these three are absolutely mandatory.

Read-Only Master. Never let anybody, including yourself, any third-party experts, your full-timers, or auditors to have write access to the master branch, as this blog post explains. If the architect insists on having it, report this behavior to us, we will crucify him/her.

Don’t Negotiate Rates. Don’t pay less than freelancers are asking. Well, sometimes you can do that, but as a rule I would suggest to agree to what they are asking. Our management system is very strict, demanding, and stressful. You may lose good people if they will be financially unsatisfied. So, don’t be cheap, you will only lose and remain with weak programmers.

Don’t Chat. Most likely you used to communicate with programmers in chats like Slack or Telegram. You will do yourself a bad favor if you continue doing it with Zerocracy architect or, God forbids, programmers. GitHub must be your only communication instrument, as this blog post suggests. You still find phone calls more convenient? Blame yourself when the project falls apart.

Don’t Trust Them. Every week you absolutely must invite an external auditor to your repository and ask them to check what is wrong and what can be done better, as suggested here and here. Demand them to answer at least these questions and provide their feedback in form of GitHub tickets.

Talk to the Community. When you are ready to start a project, submit the RfP. Right after that, join our Telegram chat. Stay there and ask all questions you have about your project, the progress you have, the mistakes you think your architect or your team is making. Don’t be quiet, share your concerns! We will help. If you try to resolve them yourself, blame yourself when the project fails.

Read First. You absolutely must read/watch these articles and videos:

Focus Them. Don’t let them work without focus control. Make sure your architect knows which parts of the scope are the most important and focus the team to work with them first. This video explains how boost factor, milestones, and manual assignments can be used for that.

Hire QA. We have a special role in Zerocracy, known as Quality Assurance (QA). It was invented in order to prevent abuse of our rules of work. It is strongly recommended to hire a QA when you start a project. You may not see why it’s important, but trust us, without QA your project is at a huge risk of losing discipline and money.

Keep Recruiting. Even when you think your team is full and you have enough programmers, don’t rest assured. Hire new people constantly. Publish your project on our board and announce it in our Telegram chat. The larger the team, the more chances for success your project has.

Release Daily. Right after the prototype is ready, make sure your product is being released at least every day. Make sure you can release it yourself, without any assistance of the architect. Insist that the architect configures the delivery pipeline and give it to your control.