Commit engineer Jude Zhu joined blockchain startup Dapper Labs as a senior back-end engineer earlier this year. We sat down with him to talk about his journey to Commit and Dapper Labs.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey to Commit?
I graduated from UBC in 2014 and joined a startup called Simba Technologies. They got acquired and then I worked with a couple more startups. In 2017 I worked with Beier Cai and Cong Ly at First Coin Capital, in the blockchain space. First Coin got acquired too. Then I moved on to my own startup, BleevIn Technologies, and did that for about a year. Then Beier reached out and told me about Commit, and I joined in November 2019. I worked on a couple of projects through Commit before I joined Dapper Labs full-time.
What appealed to you about Commit’s approach?
I was drawn to Commit because I trusted the people there. And also because the startups they work with are attractive and interesting. The startups are usually funded and working on interesting topics and industries. So it was both the culture and the startups Commit works with. Also, I saw that there would be an opportunity to work with Dapper Labs, which really appealed to me.
What attracted you to Dapper Labs?
I knew about Dapper before joining them—they were already a big name in blockchain. I was curious about their process, about how they work on big projects and challenges. I was interested in working with them, and I thought if Commit could help me get connected with them, that would be great. Commit has strong connections with many startups, which can help you get your foot in the door and get working on a project right away—instead of having to send a resume in to apply.
What does Dapper Labs do?
Dapper builds fun projects based on blockchain. The keyword is fun. Most of our products are related to entertainment. Recently I’ve been working on NBA Top Shot, which we partnered with the NBA to develop. It’s an experience platform built using blockchain, where you collect NBA game highlights.
Very cool. What’s the work culture like?
It’s autonomous and self-motivated. The people here are quite young. Everybody likes to learn new things and use new technologies. It’s very dynamic.
How does Commit continue to support you after you joined Dapper Labs?
Even though I’ve joined Dapper Labs full-time, I’m still part of the Commit Community. I join some meetings and events, which is great because you can meet more people and make new friends. Commit is creating profiles for every engineer and partner, so everybody knows who is strong in different areas and we can share knowledge and skills. Commit is a strong dev community. If you have any questions, you can find an expert to help you. I’m still part of Commit’s coaching program too.
What would you say to other Engineers about joining Commit?
Commit is focused on people. They want to know your interests and your skills to help find the best company and role for you. It’s a good way to reduce risk for engineers and startups, to make it easier to find career roles that work well for you without extra upfront work in the interviewing process and technical interviews.
I would recommend Commit to people who are entrepreneurial and looking to connect with an interesting startup. With Commit, you have backup in case the startup doesn’t work out. You learn about how a startup runs, and you are supported by a strong network of friends and mentors.