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What is the best job on the market? Software engineers, programmers and designers have been in high demand over the past decade. However, with the rise of blockchain and cryptocurrency, Web3 developers have quickly moved up the list.
Web3 has seen a huge influx of interest over the past two years. The startup scene is ablaze as new projects sprout and innovation flourish. Even some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Nike and Adidas, have thrown in their hats. All this has made Web3 developers a hot item.
But despite the huge demand, there is a shortage of Web3 developers. The concept of Web3 is still a relatively new idea and has only been around since 2014. There are not many college courses that contain blockchain, let alone material on a concept that is still taking shape. This was just one of the few reasons that led us to create an entire stack focused on develop in Web3.
It may come as no surprise then that Web3 developers can command a pretty hefty price tag. Some even place these salaries between $300,000 and $750,000. This may be one of the big reasons why developers at Meta (formerly Facebook) and Google are making the move to Web3.
But Silicon Valley isn’t the only space seeing a growing migration of developers. In fact, Web3 is attracting a whole new wave of talent. Take Redfoo for example. The Billboard artist retired from his music career to pursue his passion for programming. The self-taught celebrity has since learned Solidity and Rust and now works as a partner with Radix.
So why can developers demand such high salaries, and why do companies pay for it? The answer lies in 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 early stage of the Internet. Websites were just simple pages of text and the occasional photo. These sites offered little more than the information displayed on them.
Web2 came about as websites became more attractive and usable. At this stage, the Internet is known for its most popular uses: social media, e-commerce, and entertainment. But Web2 also saw the Internet heavily constrained 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 seems to be breaking away from the control of these large organizations by using the blockchain as its foundation. Due to its decentralized nature, blockchain helps avoid these kinds of gatekeepers, while also providing more functionality and usability through things like 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 getting used to the many programming languages available. Solidity is one of the most popular languages and is used by Ethereum and many other blockchains.
Choosing the right environment
Because Web3 relies on distributed ledger technology (DLT), it is helpful to understand the benefits of building in that environment. DLT is known to create an environment that promotes 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 core of DLT, many Web3 project developers have assumed that a Blockchain is the only and best way to go, and recommend reading the Ethereum and Bitcoin whitepapers. They explain the ins and outs of each respective platform and their various components.
In addition, each DLT is different and has its own rules and requirements. These differences can range from the primary programming language used to specific standards that developers must adhere to. By initially sticking to a single DLT environment, Blockchain or otherwise, developers can gain more focused insight into the underlying technology. This can prevent you from spreading yourself too thin by trying to learn the many different nuances.
Deciding on a development stack
A development stack is an integral tool for any software developer, and Web3 is no different. A development stack is a plethora of tools developers use to bring their projects to life. A Web3 stack usually consists of a Web3 library, smart contracts, nodes, and wallets. In addition, developers can use a purpose-built development stack such as: Radix to avoid having to find and assemble a stack yourself.
Deciding whether to go alone or with someone else
Learning the ins and outs is a challenge in itself, but creating and implementing what you’ve learned is a whole new ordeal. The DLT environment can be unforgiving for new and solo programmers. Not only does it take tokens to upload code, but it can be difficult (if not impossible) to edit once implemented.
Fortunately, Web3 projects and startups are constantly looking for developers. Often these companies are willing to hire and train new developers because 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 job boards on Twitter, Discord, and Web3. Projects will often post their openings on their social media accounts if they are actively searching. Even if a project isn’t looking for candidates, there may still be an opportunity to join the team by involving them on their Discord server.
As with any creative project, combining your efforts with others involves many compromises. Some of your ideas may not be realized. If creative freedom and independence are important to you, making your own project is a safer choice.
A recent hackathon at the FooHack event with Redfoo shows how great collaboration can be. The hackathon team was able to put together a full program in a fraction of the time than 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 has the future. There are now more companies looking for developers than ever before. Having the resources and fundamental knowledge is key to finding success in this fast-growing industry – whether you’re marketing yourself to employers or setting up an independent Web3 project.
Piers Ridyard is CEO at RDX Works.
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