We provide samczsun with an offer he can’t refuse to become the first hire of a yEarn auditing academy that attracts and mentors top talent. Survival of the fittest: real contracts are audited, and mentees are expected to follow along and start adding value. Mission: audit yEarn contracts in a collaborative and semi-structured process. Auditors that shine are rewarded, and if they shine even more, are offered permanent position in the academy. The mentees become mentors. Eventually the academy could grow to become a profitable auditing wing of yEarn offering its services to the outside world for hefty premiums.
The yEarn technical community is innovating at a rapid speed. Efforts must be made to mitigate software bugs. Auditing talent is currently scarce and will continue to be for sometime because the pace of innovation in smart-contract products is much faster than that of producing auditors.
The yEarn community already expends a significant amount of time negotiating audit contracts or coordinating one-off informal audits. Planting the seed for an auditing wing of yEarn will bring immense benefits in the short and long term. If structured and run efficiently, we should witness the rise of a new breed of excellent auditors coming out of the academy.
The yEarn community should then incentivise rising stars to stay and continue to work on yEarn contracts full time. As yEarn matures over-time, auditors can begin to offer services to the outside world. At that point, the Academy becomes a self-sufficient, and potentially massively profitable sub-DAO. The yEarn community will of course own part of it, and should get back all the money it invested in the academy, and then some.
- yEarn is innovating at an ever increasing speed
- Software bugs are a matter of “when” and “how bad”, not “if”. We must make mitigation efforts.
- Auditing firms are overbooked, they have financial incentive to speed up audits which can affect quality.
- Negotiating audit contracts with auditing firms is a laborious and clunky analog process.
- yEarn is a hub of innovation and as a result should attract top talent.
- Smart contracts will probably experience an even bigger cambrian explosion once the enterprise starts using permissionless networks such as Ethereum as a settlement layer. Hence, the Adademy will most likely become an highly-profitable organization, thereby paying back all the investment put into it … and then some.
- If done correctly and efficiently, we should soon see mentees graduating to become paid mentors themselves.
This is a rough spec and should not be considered final.
- The academy is governed by YFI holders but not micro-managed.
- Start with two members: samczsun and a support admin that handles the onboarding of new auditors and the maintaining of the collaboration platform.
- Communication between auditors and mentees is kept as efficient as possible. No endless tm discussions, but rather a streamlined lines of communication. A platform of sort. TBD.
- Curriculum is trial-by-fire type of thing: mentees walk along the process of auditing a contract, receiving hints and/or assignments, results are shared in a certain format ect.
- Mentees join by invitation only, and are unpaid.
- Mentees that show merit begin to receive rewards. If they continue shining, they become permanent members with competitive compensation.
- Traditional ways of education and collaboration are obsolete.
- Invitation-only is an efficiency measure, to make sure time and energy is not wasted hand-holding mentees. But anyone who shows interest and meets the basic minimal requirements should get an invitation.
- Merit-based: auditors that stick around and bring value are rewarded.
- Synchronous communication is inefficient.
- Some structure in the collaboration between mentors and mentees is needed to reduce time waste.
- No time is wasted authoring educational materials: this is a trial-by-fire type of situation, mentees learn by walking along the auditing process of real contracts.
We should begin efforts to establish an in-house auditing academy
We should keep the status quo by relying on volunteer auditing, ad-hoc bounties and as-needed contracts with auditing firms.
- Yes, let’s begin efforts to establish an in-house auditing academy
- No, let’s not.
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EDIT: the name yAudits was suggested (h/t @Dogetoshi @CryptoCap and bluekirby) but others also pointed out that the Academy should over-time establish some sort of independence of yEarn so as to not influence the quality of audits (ht @Beepidibop @1A1zP1eP5). My recommendation would be a middle-ground where the Academy is a sub-DAO of yEarn, but with some “board-of-governers”-type power and majority ownership still held by YFI governance, since the Academy is funded by yEarn after all. Minority ownership share of the sub-DAO could go to the auditors that ultimately end up being voted as permanent members … as an incentive for them to stay and work for the Academy (like when startups offer shares to early devs).
EDIT: the name yAcademy sounds good too h/t @Matternhorn