Were you unable to attend Transform 2022? Check out all of the summit sessions in our on-demand library now! Watch here.
What’s the hottest job on the market? Software engineers, programmers, and designers have been in high demand over the last decade. However, with the rise of blockchain and cryptocurrency, Web3 developers have quickly risen on the list.
Web3 has seen a massive influx of interest over the past two years. The startup scene is on fire as new projects sprout up and innovation flourishes. Even some of the largest companies in the world such as Nike and Adidas have thrown their hats in the ring. All of this has made Web3 developers a hot commodity.
But despite the massive demand, Web3 developers are in short supply. The concept of Web3 is still a relatively new idea and has only existed since 2014. There aren’t too many college courses that incorporate blockchain, let alone material on a concept that’s still taking shape. This was just one of the few reasons that led us to create a full stack geared towards developing in Web3.
It might not be a surprise, then, that Web3 developers can command a pretty hefty price tag. In fact, some put these salaries between $300,000 and $750,000. This may just be one of the big reasons why developers at Meta (formerly Facebook) and Google are making the switch to Web3.
But Silicon Valley isn’t the only space that’s seeing a growing migration of developers. In fact, Web3 is attracting an entirely new wave of talent. Take Redfoo for example. The Billboard artist ditched his music career to pursue his passion for coding. The self-taught celebrity has since learned Solidity and Rust, and now operates as a partner with Radix.
So why can developers demand such high salaries, and why are companies paying it? The answer lies within the potential of Web3.
What is Web3?
Many consider Web3 to be the next step in the evolution of the internet.
Web1 is classified as the initial phase of the internet. Websites were just simple pages with text and the occasional picture. These sites didn’t offer much beyond the information displayed on them.
Web2 came about as websites became more engaging and provided utility. At this stage, the internet is known for its most popular uses: social media, eCommerce, and entertainment. But Web2 also saw the internet become highly contained and controlled by large corporations. Internet users now experience the web through the products and services of companies such as Google, Meta, and Amazon.
Web3 looks to separate itself from the control of these large organizations by utilizing the blockchain as its basis. Due to its decentralized nature, blockchain helps to avoid these types of gatekeepers while also providing more functionality and utility through things such as cryptocurrency.
So what does it take to become a Web3 developer?
Find the right programming language
One of the first steps in Web3 development is becoming accustomed to the many programming languages available. Solidity is one of the most popular languages and is employed by Ethereum and numerous other blockchains.
Choosing the right environment
Because Web3 relies on distributed ledger technology (DLT), it’s beneficial to understand the benefits of building in that environment. DLT is known to create an environment that fosters transparency and traceability, while also increasing the speed of transactions (or in this case, Web searches) and keeping costs low.
For a better understanding of the nitty-gritty of DLT, many Web3 project developers have assumed that a Blockchain is the only-and best- way to go, recommending the reading of the Ethereum and Bitcoin whitepapers. They explain the ins and outs of each respective platform and their various components.
Additionally, every DLT is different and has its own rules and requirements. These differences can range from the primary program language used to specific standards developers must adhere to. Initially sticking to a single DLT environment, Blockchain or otherwise, can allow developers to gain more targeted understanding of the underlying technology. This can prevent spreading oneself too thin by trying to learn the many different nuances.
Deciding on a development stack
A development stack is an integral resource for any software developer, and it’s no different for Web3. A development stack is a plethora of tools that developers use to bring their projects to life. A Web3 stack is typically composed of a Web3 library, smart contracts, nodes, and wallets. Additionally, developers can utilize a purpose-built development stack like Radix to avoid having to find and curate a stack themselves.
Deciding if you are going solo or joining someone else
Learning the ins and out on your own is challenging in and of itself — but creating and implementing what you’ve learned is an entirely new ordeal. The DLT environment can be unforgiving for new and solo programmers. Not only does it cost tokens to upload code, but it can also be difficult (if not impossible) to edit it once it has been deployed.
Fortunately, Web3 projects and startups are constantly looking for developers. Oftentimes, these companies are willing to take on and train new developers since the demand is so high. This can be a great way to gain experience and learn on the job.
These opportunities can be found in a wide variety of places, including Twitter, Discord, and Web3 job boards. Projects will often post their openings on their social media accounts if they are actively looking. Even if a project isn’t seeking out candidates, there may still be an opportunity to join the team by engaging them on their Discord server.
As with any creative project, when combining your efforts with others, many compromises are made. Some of your ideas may not be realized. If creative freedom and independence are important to you, then creating your own project will be a safer choice.
A recent hackathon during the FooHack event with Redfoo demonstrates just how great collaboration can be. The team at the hackathon was able to put together a full program in a fraction of the time than could be achieved by going solo without guidance.
Web3 development is the place to be
While it may still be a relatively new space to be in, Web3 is the future. There are now more companies looking to hire developers than ever before. Having the resources and foundational knowledge are key to finding success in this burgeoning industry — regardless of whether you’re marketing yourself to employers or creating an independent Web3 project.
Piers Ridyard is CEO at RDX Works.