Friday, June 25th, 2021 saw the fifth and final Meet the Lindens special events take place for the SL Birthday celebrations, featuring Patch Linden and the Moles of the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW).
Unlike previous summaries in this series, this article does note provide a detailed summary of the session, but instead provides some core information on the Moles – who they are, what they do, how to apply to become a Mole, etc., – before presenting the video recording of the session, which goes into greater detail about the Moles and their work.
Who or What are the Moles?
- Officially called the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW), originally formed in 2008. They are managed by Derrick Linden, the Product Operations Manager for Second Life, together with a team of Linden Lab staffers.
- Moles are residents from all over the world hired by Linden Lab as independent contractors to undertake specific tasks. Their work was originally focused on the Mainland, adding the infrastructure – road, bridges, etc., and the landscaping, as noted in the official LDPW wiki page, although they actually do a lot more than this.
- Notable major projects carried out by the Moles include:
- The infrastructure within Nautilus City.
- The development of Bay City.
- The Linden Homes continent of Bellisseria (including all topography, flora, infrastructure and housing).
- The facilities for events like Shop & Hop, the Second Life Birthday, town hall events, the turn-key regions available for businesses, starter avatars, etc.
- The Lab provided games such as Linden Realms, Paleoquest, Horizons and the grid-wide Tyrah and the Curse of the Magical Glytches – all accessible via the Portal Parks.
- They also provide support / input for / to technical projects (e.g. Project Bento and the avatar skeleton extension), and work with marketing, QA and other LL teams.
- In keeping with their name, Moles were originally given a mole avatar, complete with hard hat. However, over the years, most have moved to having a more individual and personal look, although some say with the Mole avatar.
- As well as being paid for the work they do, Moles also receive and allowance from the Lab, which is primarily intended to go towards the cost of uploads (texture, animations, mesh objects, etc)., but which can also be put towards developing their individual looks.
How to Become a Mole
- Positions in the LDPW are open to application by residents who believe they are qualified to work in the team, and the team may also approach specific residents and ask if they would consider joining them.
- Applications are made by dropping a résumé (note card or email) of qualifications / experience (including links SLurls, Flickr, You Tube, etc.) to Derrick Linden (derrick.linden-at-lindenlab.com) or to Patch Linden (patch.linden-at-lindenlab.com).
- Applicants have to go through a former interview process.
- Successful applicants get to pretty much choose their hours of work – providing agreed tasks are completed on time.
- As they are from around the world, this can allow some projects to move forward on almost a round-the-clock basis.
- Those who are more fully-rounded in skill sets – content creation, scripting, etc., – are encouraged to apply, but LL will also take on specialists.
- Motivated, outgoing, communicative people with a passion for SL and willing to self-teach themselves new skill sets are particularly considered.