Web3 Is Here. Chainlink Labs’ Team Is Ready.

Built In sat down with three members of Chainlink Labs’ tech team to talk about the challenges and joys of shaping Web3.

Written by Jenny Lyons-Cunha
Published on Oct. 06, 2023
 Web3 Is Here. Chainlink Labs’ Team Is Ready.
Chainlink Labs
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Web3 isn’t on the horizon; it’s here.

Every day, roughly $2 billion is exchanged on decentralized finance platforms — a cornerstone of Web3 — McKinsey recently reported. This robust financial activity signals health in the latest iteration of the internet and foretells a continued paradigm shift toward disintermediation in a diverse swath of industries. 

Standing at the bow of the emerging Web3 vehicle is Chainlink Labs, a software development company, and the primary contributing developer to Chainlink, a platform whose services have powered trillions of dollars in transactions across DeFi, insurance, gaming, NFTs and beyond. Being at the fore of an emerging vertical, of course, means that Chainlink Labs faces unique challenges.

“The problems we tackle are challenging and unprecedented, given the industry’s nascency,” said Viktoriya, from the data science and analytics team. “The most exciting aspect of working on the data science team at Chainlink Labs is inventing new solutions and partnering with product, engineering and GTM teams to help them make well-informed, data-driven decisions.” 

The team approaches these budding challenges with a network of positive support, Margaret, from the engineering team, told Built In.

“We are a team of collaborative and supportive people who are passionate about our work — we believe in helping each other succeed and in creating a positive and productive work environment,” Margaret said. 

Makram, from the engineering team, affirmed her sentiments. 

“This team is ultra-committed to collaboration and innovation,” Makram said.  

“Collectively, we continuously raise the bar on collaboration, propelling our processes forward and embodying thought leadership at Chainlink Labs,” he continued. “We pride ourselves on a culture that encourages new ideas, values diverse perspectives and appreciates every team member’s contributions. 

We believe in pushing boundaries and working together to achieve exceptional results,” he added.

 

WHAT CHAINLINK LABS DOES

Chainlink Labs is the leading provider of secure and reliable blockchain oracle solutions for Web3 — enabling trillions of dollars in transaction value across DeFi, insurance, gaming, NFTs and other major industries. Chainlink Web3 services enhance smart contracts by connecting them to real-world data sources and off-chain computation across any blockchain and provide global enterprises with a universal gateway to all blockchains.

 

Calling All Innovators

Makram
Engineering  • Chainlink Labs

Makram seeks one particular quality in all potential colleagues: adaptability.

“We’ve embraced being a fully remote company, which has led us to place a strong emphasis on flexibility, asynchronous communication and the ability to work effectively from different time zones,” he said. “Our team culture now revolves around fostering strong virtual connections, promoting work-life balance and supporting employee well-being.”

The organization elevates the core value of adaptability by leveraging employee feedback.

“Regular surveys and open channels of communication are in place to encourage employees to share their thoughts and experiences,” noted Makram. “This feedback helps us identify areas of improvement and ensure that our teams continue to foster a collaborative and supportive environment.”

 

QUALITIES OF A STRONG CHAINLINK LABS CANDIDATE  

  • “A solid foundation in programming languages such as Solidity.”
  • “Demonstrated proficiency in cryptography — a vital component of our projects.”
  • “A deep understanding of encryption techniques, secure communication and data protection.” 
  • “Attributes such as effective communication, problem-solving ability and a passion for innovation.”

 

The decentralized nature of work at Chainlink Labs calls for not only technical excellence but  collaboration, diversity, agility — and an eye for emerging technologies.

“As technology continues to evolve, we’re keeping a close eye on how AI, automation and other emerging technologies are impacting team dynamics and roles,” Makram said. “We’re prepared to adapt our culture accordingly to stay at the forefront of the industry.” 

 

Unlocking Web3

Viktoriya
Data Science and Analytics  • Chainlink Labs

Within the Chainlink Labs data science and analytics team, a pivotal problem changed the course of its development.

“We had an important problem to solve: find the frictions developers face and identify ways to improve their experience,” said Viktoriya. “The challenge was to rethink and re-engineer the traditional Web2 methods of A/B testing to fit better with the Web3 approach.”

The solution was unearthed with careful cross-collaboration between the product, marketing, design and DevRel teams, who combined insights from Web2 data and on-chain data analytics and followed a step-by-step, data-driven ideation process. 

“This process helped us identify areas where we could make things smoother for developers and decide which improvements to focus on first,” Viktoriya recounted. “We aimed for big, impactful changes in the developer onboarding journey and quick wins that would make a real difference.”

 

HOW CHAINLINK LABS GATHERS EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK

  • Biannual engagement surveys. “These surveys show how employees feel about various aspects of their work experience, including learning and development opportunities, innovation, work-life balance, leadership and more."
  • Informal feedback loops. “These take place through direct managers and skip-level interactions and are fantastic for discussing various topics, from presenting new ideas to suggesting tactical adjustments to enhancing company social connections."

 

In this anecdote, Viktoriya sees the reflection of broader industry trends.

“As tech-focused teams increasingly collaborate with non-technical departments like marketing, design and product management, they require a culture that values interdisciplinary collaboration and effective communication,” she said. “Data science and analytics team members play a more and more influential role at the decision table in data-driven firms.”

The dispersed nature of Web3 calls for reimagined methods for knowledge-sharing. 

“We must create a culture of building a knowledge base that is easily accessible to team members across time zones and one that turbocharges the learning curve for newly onboarded team members,” she said. “At Chainlink Labs, we emphasize open communication and problem-solving culture to get more eyes across a problem.”

 

Specialized Projects, Specialized People

Margaret
Engineering • Chainlink Labs

Navigating the uncharted territory of Web3 necessitates expert pioneers. As a result, teams crafting decentralized tech must be more agile than most — ready to reorganize and recalibrate often. 

“A common challenge we frequently encounter revolves around needing to move engineers to different teams for special projects,” said Margaret. “While building effective collaboration is often gradual, quick adjustments are often necessary due to the highly specialized talent and skills necessary for Web3 projects.”

To rise to the occasion, Chainlink Labs has adopted a proactive strategy that hinges on documentation and open communication. The fruit of this nimble labor is streamlined development, said Margaret. 

“Rather than enforcing strict mandates, we approach this challenge by setting ambitious standards for ourselves,” said Margaret. “This involves transparently documenting the entire project journey, starting from design to architecture and extending all the way to implementation details.”

Another unique hallmark of life as a Web3 trailblazer is seamless remote working models. 

“I’ve been part of several Web2 companies, some of which embodied the classic startup culture, complete with stocked fridges and on-tap kegs,” said Margaret. “Startup 2.0 culture likely contributed to a higher level of contentment than the more traditional 1.0 cubicle environments — as we venture into the realm of 3.0, it’s time to reevaluate our priorities.”

 

“As we venture into the realm of 3.0, it’s time to reevaluate our priorities.”

 

Margaret sees tech culture 3.0 as one rooted in a deep commitment to employees’ holistic well-being.

“It involves fostering a sense of connection across remote teams, promoting mental and physical health and providing avenues for personal and professional growth that transcend geographical boundaries,” she said.

It’s this commitment that bolsters the ties between Chainlink Labs’ teams as they face the unknowns of Web3, together. 

“Our shared values, beliefs and behaviors create a sense of belonging and support among team members,” Margaret said. “It’s about striking a balance between innovation, collaboration and the well-being of our most valuable asset: our people.”

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Chainlink Labs

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