A better way to work

Interested in Joining 508.dev?

Joining a co-op isn't just a good way to get fair pay for work that is challenging enough to meet your skillset - it can also be a great way to grow your professional skills, and work alongside people who share your values.

Why Join a Co-op?

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.dev, our co-op philosophy goes much further than that. We believe that there’s an opportunity for both our engineers and our clients in the fact that all of our competition is overcharging their clients and underpaying their engineers. By organizing ourselves as a co-op, we can get better engineering for our clients, at more competetive rates, while getting more fair pay for our engineers and helping the excellent engineers stand out from the crowds of other offshore engineers, creating a true win-win situation.

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, to see how you can get involved. We also have a wiki article on the subject.

How to Join 508.dev

508.dev is non-traditional. We don’t have any full-time roles (yet). All of our “employees” (revenue-generating co-op members) are contractors for the LLC, and thus subcontractors for our clients.

In order to subcontract through 508.dev, the community needs to understand your skillset and abilities. That means “joining” the co-op, which really just means joining our Matrix server and hanging out. To join our Matrix server, typically you’ll first meet with someone who’s been with the co-op for a while, such as Caleb or Sam, so that your goals can be understood and so that we and you can make sure our values are aligned. Then, you’ll be asked to make a semi-trivial contribution to the co-op, either to one of our FOSS projects, our blog, or in some other way. You can learn more about the contribution requirement on our wiki. If you want to explore this, email hello@508.dev

What Does it Mean to be a Member of 508.dev?

508.dev is a community as well as an actual corporation. To be a “member” means you are known to other members and probably are in our Matrix server. We don’t have membership tiers, hierarchies, etc. We do, however, have consensus authority mechanisms, which for now is as simple as, if you have moved revenue through 508.dev (or are currently subcontracting and will move revenue soon), you have the right to veto 508.dev initiatives. We have roughly adopted the consensus strategy of Food Not Bombs, and our hierarchy is similar to that of Valve’s.

Members are invited to participate in open source projects so as to further develop their portfolio, or, propose their own projects so as to get assistance developing a project that’s too large to work on as an individual. Members are invited to ask questions of other members, especially on topics you may not be that experienced in, but another member is experienced in. A large goal of 508.dev is the professional development of all its members. As we develop eachother further, we open up more client opportunities.


All 508.dev members agree to operate according to our values, which can be viewed on our wiki. Our values are the basis by which members can veto initiatives, members, or even clients, so it’s critical every member understands them deeply.