Gitcoin Testimonials: Ethereum Foundation (Web3Py + Py-EVM)

How Gitcoin has become a valuable signal in web3 software development hiring

At Gitcoin, we’re grateful for the opportunity to leverage the superpowers of the open source community to build great projects. Recently, we got the chance to speak with Piper Merriam and Christoph Bergdorf about their experience with Gitcoin.

Piper Merriam heads up Python development at the Ethereum Foundation and recently hired Christoph to join his growing team. Because all Ethereum tools are built open source, Gitcoin bounties on Piper’s web3py and py-evm repo’s were valuable indicators in the hiring process.

The Backstory

Christoph is the co-founder of software training company Thoughtram and a machine learning platform called MachineLabs. Earlier this year, he felt he needed to mix it up a bit.

Christoph: I’ve been running a business with my friend Pascal, for about 4 years, which took us on a journey to teach Angular to tons of people around the world. It’s been a fun ride and I wouldn’t want to miss a single day. With that said, over the years I’ve become increasingly tired with this field. I felt like I’ve been moving in circles for far too long and, frankly, it was time for a change.

In search of something new to occupy some time outside of work, Christoph stumbled upon Gitcoin.

Christoph: I heard about Gitcoin through a few tweets and Reddit posts. I liked the concept a lot, not only from a contributors perspective, but also as someone who maintains open source projects. I also like the fact that more and more people are starting to get exposed to crypto by getting paid in crypto first; not because they discovered it as an early investor.

Since Machine Learning is pretty much Python dominated, I found myself doing a lot more Python during that time. I was looking around through the Ethereum Github organization to see what kind of Python projects there were and discovered Py-EVM.

Luckily, Piper Merriam — a frequent Gitcoin funder — was looking for some help with Python development at the time. Some of the bounties posted by Piper caught Christoph’s eye.

Check out all the Ethereum bounties, including some of Piper’s!

Christoph: After briefly chatting with Piper about the project goals I decided to keep an eye on the Github issues to see if there were things coming up that may be well suited to get my feet wet with the code base. I started working on adding support for type hints, which were backed by Gitcoin bounties, as well as some testing stuff.

Some of Christoph’s early work on Gitcoin!

After a working on a few bounties together, Piper offered Christoph a full time role as a developer with the Ethereum Foundation. There’s been great progress since Christoph joined.

Christoph: We’ve just released the first public alpha of our Ethereum client called Trinity. Trinity is a new Ethereum node based on the Py-EVM that aims to be very flexible, well-documented, and support research as well as alternative use cases.

I’m working along the rest of the team to make Trinity catch up with the other existing Ethereum node implementations. There’s still tons of stuff left to be implemented but we’re making great progress. I also plan to contribute to other Python Ethereum projects as I make progress in order to catch up with this exciting field.

We asked Piper about his experiences with Gitcoin, specifically as it related to hiring.

Piper: We’re able to work with developers on an initial pull request and get the opportunity to assess whether the process of working with them is easy and pleasant. After that, we reach out and asked them if this work is interesting and if they’d consider doing it full time. Following that, we typically extend a two month contract for hire.

Piper: To date, we’ve hired two developers through Gitcoin. Although we’ve only hired two, there is no doubt that we could have sourced more. Gitcoin has been the strongest hiring signal in all of the hiring I’ve ever done.

Gitcoin is proud to have played a small part in the development of web3py, py-evm, and other Ethereum infrastructure tools. If you’re interested in posting a bounty at the Ethereum infrastructure layer, we welcome you to try out Gitcoin. We’re happy to discuss and are thankful to have a community that includes people like Piper and Christoph.


To learn more about Gitcoin, click below. We welcome you on our journey to grow open source while changing the way we work.