508. dev

Software Engineering Co-op

Software Engineering


Software Engineering Co-op

Engineering for 508.dev

Working with an engineering co-op can be a good fit for an engineer in any stage of their career, depending on their goals. With a co-op, statistically you're more likely to have your job, should you want still want it, after five years, because co-ops are both more likely than "traditional" businesses to survive over any length of time, and also co-ops are less likely to lay off staff than "traditional" businesses over any length of time.

For 508, our co-op philosophy goes much further than that. The business was started when the founding engineer, Caleb, was frustrated at the terminally low salaries available to engineers in Taiwan. It's the value of 508 that good engineering ability can be found anywhere on earth, and good engineering ability deserves to be paid a good engineering rate.

What we've found is that this philosophy leads to much greater quality of life for our team, as well as much faster project delivery at much higher product quality.

Delivering for clients isn't enough. Our goal is also to grow our engineers, with the long term objective of developing our own software products in-house, so as to build a stable platform of income that allows us to experiment even further.

Regardless of your skill level, or even if you have no project experience at all and are just interested in becoming an engineer, we'd like to talk. Take a look at our values, and if they match with yours, send us an email at hello@508.dev. Or, take a look at some of our open source projects below, to see how you can get involved.



508 members aim to share all things 508 related with eachother. That furthers our goal of helping all members always improve their abilities and knowledge. Transparency leads to better communication and less conflict. Transparency can help avoid project catastrophes. Everyone should feel comfortable sharing all things within the context of 508. This could manifest as follows:

Free Software

508 software should always be Free as in Freedom. Prefer GPLv3 license or GPLv3 Affero license. How will we make money? That's for us to figure out and champion. See prior research. TLDR even if we make an iphone game and the codebase is gpl3, we can still just sell it on the apple store and people might still pay for it. If a client doesn't want their application to be Free Software, that's fine. We have to pay the bills.


A core value we have for 508 is that its existence progresses the abilities of its members. We feel very strongly that juniors should be able to join 508 and transition to higher skilled engineers while they're here. At the same time, senior engineers should be learning how to be leaders and trainers for juniors. We should all of us be challenging eachother at all times to be improving.

Take a second to consider the true implications of this value: everyone always wants to improve, or at least everyone knows it's good advice to always be advancing in your career, but at 508 this is a core value. That means the level of progression required will take work, and be hard. The "normal" kind of progression that happens at a typical company by just existing there as an engineer isn't good enough, we want to be pushing our boundaries, always.


Flexibility means many things. Here it means being flexible in mind, expectation, and action.

Flexibility in mind means, basically, being open-minded. If you think next.js is the hottest thing since melted butter, try being flexible and experimenting with a new platform. If you think the only way to monetize an app is to close the source and license the code or sell an API, flex your imagination and experiment with new ways of doing business.

Flexibility in expectation is important for leaders. Leaders at 508 have learned quickly what the rest of the industry is starting to realize: engineers get more done when you let them work at their own pace. New studies show possible genetic flags for being a morning or night person, for example. With that in mind, and in the new COVID-era of global remote work, does it still make sense to want everyone online and working the same time each day? We don't think so, and that's not just idle speculation: during our SaaS build project with Ycombinator startup Cofactr, we had maximum flexibility for all engineers in three timezones with a total displacement of 16 hours. Despite this once-assumed obstacle, we delivered a complete SaaS frontend in under nine months, at tightly efficient billed hours, and with almost no day to day downtime. Flexibility of expectations of how our engineers work allowed for this outcome.

Flexibility of action means not just thinking differently, but doing differently. We transform our flexibility of mind into experiments in monetization schemes, we transform our flexibility of expectation into experiments in working styles. It's not enough to think of new ideas, we need to action them.

Internal Projects

Later, the various projects we're working on internally and are open to contribution from anyone on, will be listed here.

This will also be a good place for budding engineers to come and explore how they can get their hands dirty on production-quality software.

The 508.dev team

Caleb Rogers

Software engineering lead and founder with over six years of experience building software in San Francisco for companies such as Curative and Google.

Morgan Elliot

Software engineer with extensive frontend experience on React and Next.js projects for Ycombinator startups such as Cofactr and for the United Nations.

Someone New

508.dev's unique structure and civic hacktivism means we have an extensive network of engineers in all disciplines. This means that at the drop of the hat we can pull from a global talent pool of engineers.