Introducing the Tech Fleet Community DAO: Offering Decentralized Tech Apprenticeships and a Participatory Economics Engine for The World
By Morgan Denner
Founder and Head of UX at Tech Fleet Community DAO
Last edited March 8, 2023 (living litepaper)
Go to https://techfleet.org to join our Slack community
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About me: I have over 10 combined years of experience in product management, UX, and software development orchestration. I’ve had careers in sales, IT, product management, and User Experience Design/Product Design. I’ve scaled product teams and launched enterprise-ready products into the world, all while taking a heavy user-centered design and strategic approach. Our group is pioneering applications for Lean UX that I started in my career years ago through Tech Fleet projects, coaching and spreading knowledge along the way. I am a believer of decentralization and a disciple of the Agile Manifesto.
Update March 2023: Tech Fleet has become a decentralized nonprofit corporation in Delaware! Read about it here. https://techfleet.medium.com/a-note-about-tech-fleets-future-as-a-decentralized-nonprofit-dea2c36164db
Not everyone has an equal chance of success in Tech careers today. Where you grew up, your access to premium education, who you and your family know, your work experience, all play roles in your success. Those who are favored get the experience they need to land lucrative jobs. Others end up working a second job for free, just to get the experience they need to get paid for the same job.
I call it the “Experience Firewall”; i.e., “Sorry, you need a year on the job for this entry-level role.” And yet, the world’s supply of experienced Tech talent is shrinking in Tech while the demand for skilled resources grows. Gig economy demand is exploding, millions of people need to be re-skilled from old industries, and there’s a big gap of Tech talent in new industries like blockchain and web3.
Trying to get into that new job can be deflating when hit with the Experience Firewall today. Now we see most entry level jobs in UX, Product, and Development requiring years of experience. Companies offer internships for limited audiences, usually college students only. Schools, bootcamps, and educational platforms can be expensive, don’t provide enough on-the-job training, and don’t evolve their programs as quickly as the industry.
It seems the Tech industry has all but cut out entry-level workers and career changers from paid jobs. By doing this employers are throwing away future talent and future leaders of the industry — all in the name of overhead.
This is the world we’ve built today.
How do we fix this? How do we increase the chances of success equally across the lower class, middle class, AND upper class around the world? How do we give a fair chance to marginalized and under-represented communities around the world? How do we stop the “Experience Firewall” and the exclusion that’s rampant in the industry?
Someone needs to give the newbies a chance.
Introducing the Tech Fleet Community DAO: a community association focused on leveling the playing field for those getting into Tech.
- The first DAO and community-driven re-skilling platform for UX, Product Management, Web/App/Blockchain Development, Marketing, QA, Business Development, and other Tech roles
- A place for unique community-driven Tech apprenticeship programs for anyone trying to get into UX, Product Management, QA, Business, Marketing, or Development
- A place for any company (nonprofit, for-profit, startup) in the world to test and build and validate new business ideas
- A company’s source for global, flexible, and on-demand team building
- A place to earn financial freedom and passive income no matter who you are
- A community educational hub for Tech workers of all levels
- A community freelance hub for Tech workers of all levels
We’ve been running as an online community since 2020 with a powerful mission and an even more powerful impact. Decentralization is Tech Fleet’s ticket to scaling globally.
In this article you can read about the problems we’re solving, the history of Tech Fleet, our vision, tokenomics details, Kadena blockchain information, benefits for DAO members, and our roadmap.
Tech Fleet Overview
Tech Fleet is on a mission to create equal opportunity to anyone pursuing UX, Product Management, Development, and other Tech fields. We want to give anyone in the world the opportunity to learn by doing, closing the education gap as we go. We want to create jobs for the world. We want to build and maintain open source products and services for the world.
In June 2020 we created Tech Fleet to create an opportunity for anyone, no matter who they are, to gain real-world experience in UX and Product while practicing job skills. Over 70 apprentices (counted as of October 2022) from Tech Fleet have found full-time roles in UX and Product after they each took on an 8-week apprenticeship. We’ve been operating with a successful apprenticeship model for close to two years and are scaling from here to sustain operations. Tech Fleet’s unique apprenticeships and leadership opportunities we’ve honed over the last two years provide a way for anyone in the world to gain advantage in the field they want to be in.
Tech Fleet’s platform will be a proving ground for new Tech talent to cut their teeth and practice needed skills, for new products and services to be researched, tested, designed, developed, and launched into the world.
The problems we’re solving
- We’ve got a hiring problem all over the world.
- The wealth gap and Tech skills gap continue to grow all over the world.
- New workers in Tech are not given enough proper chances to succeed.
- We’ve got a UX and Product talent problem in new industries like blockchain/web3, AI, and VR.
- There’s an ever-growing gap between educational knowledge and job requirements as industries evolve.
- Juniors and people transitioning from other fields are struggling the hardest to break into Tech.
- Individual contributors often get very little say in financial or company decisions.
- A decentralized model for Tech apprenticeships; anyone in the world should have a chance to get on-the-job learning opportunities, and level up in key industry skills.
- A global network that incentivizes you to learn from the community, re-skill, and get paid experience.
- New economic and experience opportunities for entry-level workers, junior workers, experts, mentors, and coaches.
- A community-led agency offering UX, Product, Development, and marketing services to nonprofits, startups, for-profits, and blockchain projects.
- A global pool of Tech talent who comes together to solve the world’s problems for any client big or small.
Bringing blockchain and financial freedom to the masses (finally)
You’ve probably heard this before if you’re invested in crypto projects. Teams often say they are trying to “bring blockchain to the masses”. We will never bring crypto to the masses until we design the technology for human behavior and needs. The concepts in blockchain are groundbreaking but our delivery in user experience is mostly poor today. The industry is full of innovative apps that are confusing and (sometimes) frustrating to the lay person. I’ve seen people who are getting into the technology for the first time face a difficult battle. Applications are often built for blockchain without researching user needs, behavior, and desires. They launch quickly without vetting the UX or the built-in logic. These development-first solutions are more suitable to tech savvy people or developers themselves, but not for the masses.
We can do better. Tech Fleet can apply the same User-Centered Design and Agile Design Thinking rigors that we apply to building products in the corporate world to Blockchain because we have the global talent pool. We can introduce global User Experience Design and Product Management talent to Blockchain and other new industries, while incentivizing the community to contribute to these industries for the greater good.
Consider Tech Fleet the first ever Talent DAO, freelance engine, venture fund, and startup incubator that will bring entire communities of UX, Product Management, and Development talent to the world. We’ll have not only web/app/blockchain developers, but product managers, QA specialists, business analysts, Agile coaches, Information Security professionals, legal advisors, Scrum Masters, Google Design Sprint Masters, UX researchers, project managers, UX/UI designers, animators, UX writers, marketers, directors — anyone who plays a role in making products and services happen can be found and hired. We bring them together and create opportunity for novices to learn from experts while doing actual client work.
We’re prepared to bring user-centered design services to the world for the greater good. In Blockchain, in Web3, in AR/VR, in Internet of Things and in voice interfaces — Tech Fleet talent can solve any problem big or small. We’re here to build better things for people through intuitive experiences.
Use cases for Tech Fleet
- For people trying to start a career to UX, Product Management, QA, Development, or other Tech roles: imagine getting mentorship through on-the-job experience; having new opportunities for income and experience that you’ve never had before; being able to observe experts while they work and ask them questions; having a community to lean on when you need help or want to partner up; deciding how our community should run.
- For experienced professionals in Tech: imagine being able to get experience in new job skills on-demand while getting paid; getting incentivized to sponsor and mentor apprentices; being able to contribute to projects that make an impact in the world; having ample opportunity to freelance and level up; running your own services for hire and having a community of Talent to grow your operations; being paid for teaching others in the community.
- For entrepreneurs and startups: imagine sponsoring your employees to be re-skilled in Tech through our on-the-job apprenticeship model; building employee training programs built out of a global community; building a team of ninjas on-demand whenever you need to get something done; getting discounts on freelance work if you’re a member of the DAO; being able to quickly test any idea with users before you build them.
- For corporations and nonprofits: imagine getting discounts on freelance work if you’re a member of the DAO; sponsoring your employees to be re-skilled and level up in Tech through our on-the-job apprenticeship model; having an infinite talent pool of skilled workers on-hand; hiring on-demand teams of experienced people for the work you need now; partnering with a global community pool of talent from novice to expert; hiring junior workers who have work experience in industry skills like Agile, cross-functional teams, and project management.
The Value of Tech Fleet Community DAO
- Offering apprenticeships in UX, Product, and development with real stake, real experience, real income, and real results.
- Tech Fleet apprenticeships teach in-demand skills that only job experience can teach you.
- User-Centered Design, Business Development, UX Research, Product Strategy, Development, and Marketing services for nonprofits, for-profit companies, blockchain projects, and institutions.
- Income and professional experience opportunities for Tech Fleet apprentices and leads, and for regular freelancers of any level (Even juniors or new grads!).
- Dedicated DAO initiatives to provide financial incentives to members who mentor and teach others in new trades.
A look back at Tech Fleet so far (2020–2022)
Tech Fleet community — It was July 2020 when I had seen enough on LinkedIn around job hiring. I called out to the community on LinkedIn and asked if people were interested in starting projects as a group with clients to gain real experience. The rest, as they say, is history. Tech Fleet online community exists on Slack and LinkedIn today. Our list of clients continues to grow, as well as our repeat clients. Our list of incubated products under our wing is growing too.
Unique UX / Product apprenticeships and leadership training — Tech Fleet’s unique apprenticeship focuses on collaboration between mentors and apprentices. We structure projects with roles akin to product teams so people get the experience of true cross-functional collaboration. Typical projects include a project lead, scrum master, product manager, UX researcher, UX designer, developers, and anyone else we need. We’ve provided environments where teams can come together and try new ways of working while learning their craft and getting taught the Agile framework. Apprentices are held accountable as team members from day 1, and treated as team mates just like a job. This helps them get out of their comfort zone. Anyone in Tech Fleet can observe any project meeting, which gives tons of people opportunity to watch the magic happen and grow their confidence to apply to apprenticeships.
2020–2022 hiring rates for Tech Fleet apprentices and leads — Our hiring rate for apprentices and leads has been astronomical. Since June 2020 over 50 UX apprentices and leads have gotten hired in full-time roles. They now work for companies like State Farm, Answerlab, The Zebra, John Deere, UserZoom, and so many more. These are the people who were pulling hair out getting rejected in interviews after bootcamps. As soon as their projects ended or right before, they were poached by employers.
Industry partnerships — We’ve partnered with Bootcamps who send their graduates our way to give them on-the-job experience. In the future, as we move to the blockchain, we plan to offer premium hiring services for companies, company-sponsored apprenticeships, mentoring partnerships, discounts on goods and services, and more.
How are we different from others in the space?
- vs. Freelance and volunteering platforms —There are lots of freelance and volunteering platforms out there in the world today. None of them focus on helping inexperienced workers like we do. None of them give financial stake in the companies. It’s been said that the Gig economy will need better wages and social support to grow. Tech Fleet Community DAO is exactly that: an ecosystem for social support and better wages while contributing and re-skilling people through the Gig Economy.
- vs. Bootcamps and educational institutions — We are the “Bootcamp of Hard Knocks”. Throw away the books and jump right into the fire. Our group prides itself on teaching the fundamentals of the industry today unlike education. We teach Agile UX, perform Design Sprints, and give project contributors the psychological safety to make project decisions for themselves and fail fast. Design and Development bootcamps are partnering with Tech Fleet today to give grads the chance to bridge the education gap while getting mentored.
- vs. Agencies — Agencies only specialize in the skills they’ve hired for and operationalized. Tech Fleet Community DAO is a decentralized network of talent that any client of ours can use to their advantage, picking and choosing the right roles for their needs.
- vs. other DAOs — DAOs have existed since the early days of Crypto. Our DAO plans to be embedded in a philanthropic mission focused on bettering the communities in Tech. Tech Fleet plans to use a combination of smart contracts and human decision making to operate decentralized.
Our DAO on the Blockchain
Here’s an overview of the blockchain aspects for our DAO
- We plan to host our application through the Flux Network to remain fully decentralized in our technology.
- We plan use the Kadena blockchain to build our apps. Kadena is the only infinitely scalable layer 1 blockchain today. We picked Kadena for its scalability and utility, and are long-term supporters of its blockchain. The Kadena ecosystem is set to grow immensely and Tech Fleet Community DAO will help catalyze its adoption.
- Kadena Blockchain offers opportunities for $0 gas through gas stations. We will incorporate gas stations in our apps so people can avoid paying gas fees.
- We will mint our DAO’s NFT using the Kadena Marmalade or Butter protocols