🧭 Buddy program

We've created the buddy program to facilitate your integration into IFT and our projects as warm and welcoming as possible. A buddy is there to connect new joiners, solve doubts as they appear, and immerse new core contributors into our culture from the lenses of someone who's helped shape it.

Here you'll find helpful information about what you can expect from your buddy and how to become a successful one.

How we match buddies

The buddy system is role and location agnostic. We want folks across the organisation to have the chance to meet and get to know others outside of those they'd work with regularly.

That means that buddies may be paired together from entirely different roles / projects to each other. The buddying conversations don't need to be technical. New core contributors should have a project lead who will get them set up with a project in their first weeks, while the buddy program focuses on the core contributor experience, broader community, ecosystem, culture, vision, and mission.

Suppose a new core contributor still has lots of questions about their work responsibilities or role; in that case, a buddy can help them connect with the right people to solve them.

If the time zone difference makes it hard to pair, please let your People Partner know, and we'll reassign a new buddy in a closer region.

For new core contributors

As a new core contributor, it's not always easy to find a tenured peer to walk you through all things IFT. So, to make your first few months more enjoyable, we’ll match you with a buddy! You can find their username in your BambooHR profile, so shoot them a message to introduce yourself and set up recurring calls during your first 4-6 weeks. There's nothing for you to prepare or do in advance of the weekly buddy calls:

  • Your buddy will be ready to guide you on contributing to IFT.
  • The buddy chats are a safe space for you to ask whatever you'd like about working at IFT - no topic is too trivial.
  • Feel free to note as many questions as you like --you can ask these to your buddy either in your weekly chats or any time via DM.

For buddies

Anyone can sign up as a buddy. Normally, your People Partner will reach out to propose your pairing with a new core contributor prior or during their first days of onboarding.

Offsites are a fantastic way to get to know people, so let's try to give the same vibe remotely!

Time commitment

It depends on you and the person you will be buddying with, but we expect it to be about 1 hour each week, for the first 4-6 weeks.

What makes a good buddy?

A good buddy is someone prepared to be a friendly support, an informal source of information on how the programs and projects works, and someone ready to share their experience.

There's no set amount of time you should have worked with Status before becoming a buddy --everyone is very welcome to volunteer by reaching out to People Ops.

Roles and responsibilities of a buddy

  • As a buddy, you are not 'managing' the core contributor but act as a supportive and friendly face.
  • Helping a new core contributor navigate their way around IFT.
  • Answering questions – often more than once. Buddies need to be patient as new starters take in a lot of information, often in a short time, and may need to re-ask questions in the future as events occur.
  • Provide information, signpost information, and offer informal support.
  • Introducing them to other core contributors who are relevant to their role.
  • Helping them to understand the formal and informal culture and structures at IFT.
  • Getting the core contributor comfortable with IFT projects and principles.
  • Encourage them to ask questions, if unsure, about any aspects of their role.
  • When possible, arrange to meet up for coworking in the area, or introduce them to any other core contributors in their current location.
  • Flag to your People Partner, any topics or situations that seem confusing for new core contributors so we can tackle them better and faster at the onboarding stage!
  • Be a general all-round legend and share your love and passion for the IFT and our projects.

Guidelines for approaching the first meeting

If you haven't been a buddy before, don't panic or feel overwhelmed as the new core contributor may have similar feelings. Remember every bit of knowledge and advice is valuable to the success of the core contributor!

On the new core contributor's first few days, their People Partner will arrange an onboarding call to get them set up and introduce them to high-level information about engaging with IFT. You are not expected to give them details from scratch or contact them immediately on their first day.

The following checklist will help establish your relationship and decide how you will use the time spent together moving forward. It includes some suggestions for you to cover throughout your chats:

  • Establish frequency / duration of calls over a suggested 4-6 week timeframe.
  • Outline your role, experience at IFT, what you're working on, and how that ties in with the organisation.
  • Explain to them what the buddy program is, and your role as their buddy, and the type of topics you'll be covering in the weekly chats.
  • Walk through the Status app, how to contact people, and send each other messages.
  • Find out about their professional background and experience, and what they will be working on/they're excited about contributing.
  • Ask about their experience/comfort level with remote work, decentralised autonomous organisations, open-source, and community-based working.
  • Talk about IFT's mission and objectives -- decentralisation, our Principles, etc.
  • Discuss the working culture at IFT. How is this different from other places the new core contributor has contributed?
  • If relevant, introduce them to key people they may benefit from knowing outside of their immediate project.
  • Suggest what to read and other valuable resources for their role or get to know the org in general.
  • Ask them if they're confused about anything and help them figure out the answers they need. If you don't know the answers to some of their questions, it's okay --point them to someone who does, or ping #people-ops so we can look up a solution together.
  • Share some discord or Status app channels that they may find interesting to follow.
  • Get to know a bit about them as a person, their hobbies etc.
  • Talk about how to dogfood the app, give examples of how they can use it, where to report issues, nightly builds, etc.
  • Ask about their workstation - are they aware of our coworking allowance?

Make sure the core contributor knows they can ask you anything regarding IFT, and you will be happy to help. It's important to stress this as new core contributors can often be afraid to bother people, shy, or reluctant to ask at first!