How To Become a Web3 Developer, (2023) Guide
Web3 developers are hard to find, and scarcity always drives up the value of something rare.
It's a highly-competitive field, and finding professional web3 blockchain development talent can be harder than finding a needle in a haystack.
Not surprisingly, web3 developers and blockchain development professionals are among the best-paid software development professionals in the business, making bank at approximately $150,000+ a year.
As web3 starts gaining adoption across a wide array of industries, the demand and competition for talent are heating up.
That said, if you’re looking into how to become a web3 developer, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll discuss the fundamentals, prerequisites, skills, and what you need to do to succeed in the web3 development industry.
Prerequisites For Web3 Development
There’s a lot of buzz surrounding web development in the era of web3, and developers are looking for ways to reinvent themselves and reignite their career prospects by retraining as web3 developers in the blockchain space.
Invariably, developers making the switch to web3 will be asking the same question: what are the prerequisites for an aspiring blockchain developer?
Moreover, web3 developers need to have a functional knowledge of data structures and algorithms, as well as a handle on computer science concepts and blockchain basics.
As a web3 developer, you can choose to specialize in front-end or backend development or do both, just as web2 developers can.
The lion’s share of web3 projects is built using React, considering its extensive libraries and robust ecosystem. Knowing these will give you a headstart in web3 application development.
These libraries are the most-used libraries web3 developers use to access and interact with the Ethereum blockchain and have already been used extensively in thousands of dapps.
Most importantly, web3 developers will be expected to understand web3 programming languages like Rust (the programming language of Solana) or Solidity (the language of Ethereum).
Lastly, data structures are core pieces of your project, and a good understanding of them while programming will help you debug, create better code, and develop smart contracts that pop.
Web3 Basic Overview
But before anything else, we need to make a few definitions.
Web2 refers to the internet as we know it today: the social media networks, blogs, online communities, and messaging platforms that allow individuals to interact in real-time.
Web2 technology relies on intermediaries. It’s dominated by corporations and tech giants that provide services they allow you to use in exchange for complete control of your personal data, browsing habits, and preferences.
This includes Facebook, Apple, and Google, to name a few.
On the other hand, web3 is a catch-all term for the new era of the decentralized internet of value.
It is a vision of a decentralized internet where content and data are generated on the blockchain, tokenized, accessible and manageable across peer-to-peer distributed networks, free from omnipresent intermediaries.
Web3 enables decentralized applications (dapps), non-fungible tokens (NFTs)/assets, and cryptocurrencies, powered by blockchain technologies and smart contracts – all based on a distributed, shared, append-only ledger that no centralized entity can arbitrarily modify.
Don’t get us wrong, though: web3 isn’t here to render web2 – the internet as we know it right now – obsolete.
Rather, it was meant to be a complementary alternative or antidote to the problems that users face in web2.
Want to know how to become a web3 developer in 2022?
The first thing you need to have is a good understanding of the most important blockchain fundamentals: namely, blockchain technology, smart contracts, and dapps.
Blockchain technology is one of the fundamentals that every web3 developer needs to have a good grounding in.
Strong knowledge of blockchain will help you create adequate solutions to problems using smart contracts (more on this in just a second).
Blockchain refers to a shared, immutable ledger that can only be accessed by approved users. Blockchain technology enables the process of recording transactions and tracking assets on a distributed ledger.
Transactions are only recorded once on this shared, immutable ledger, removing the typical duplication of effort.
Copies of the entire blockchain are stored on a distributed network of computers all over the world, which are called blockchain nodes, which also reduces the potential for fraud inherent in traditional business networks.
The technology enables the development of dapps and the creation of programs known as smart contracts, all of which run on the blockchain.
Decentralized applications (dapps) are applications that enable blockchain and web3 functionality. This includes popular dapps used in decentralized finance (DeFi) and NFT protocols, to which crypto wallets connect.
Web3 developers and crypto startups build dapps on top of distributed P2P blockchain networks.
Aspiring web3 developers need to know the technologies related to building dapps.
Meanwhile, backend development for web3 dapp development requires knowledge of programming languages such as Solidity for Ethereum and other blockchains compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), and/or Rust for Solana.
Dapps are built on blockchain systems to enhance many traditional sectors and services and drive innovative solutions to certain industry-wide problems.
Not surprisingly, if you want to become a web3 developer, you'll need sufficient experience in both fields.
For instance, dapps have been used to maintain recordkeeping integrity (e.g., for medical or government records), enable escrow between buyers and sellers, and facilitate easy and secure payments using cryptocurrencies. Moreover, dapps help add value to ensure proper smart contract execution.
A smart contract is simply a program developed and stored on blockchain systems that is executed when a predetermined condition is achieved.
Smart contracts should contain proper automated rules and logic that execute an agreement to ensure that all parties can be sure of the outcome without needing any third-party or intermediary involvement to enforce such an agreement. Smart contracts are what power all sorts of dapps.
Creating and developing smart contracts is part and parcel of becoming a web3 developer. That’s where your programming language knowledge comes in, particularly Rust and Solidity.
If your smart contract knowledge and coding experience aren’t up to scratch yet, don’t worry. You can still build all sorts of blockchain applications using battle-tested smart contract templates for almost any dapp you can think of using OpenZeppelin.
OpenZeppelin is an open-source framework to develop and deploy smart contracts from secure, verified libraries across different blockchain networks.
Lastly, it must be noted that creating smart contracts from blank templates can be tedious and extremely expensive.
Any errors can throw your entire dapp out of whack, so you should test smart contracts and audit their logic before deploying it on-chain.
How To Become a Web3 Developer
Web3 is in its infancy as a vertical featuring constantly-evolving technology. Therefore, it can be a daunting, esoteric affair for novice blockchain developers on their first steps into a web3 career.
That said, the laundry list of unique, mandatory skills web3 developers need are deserving of the lucrative web3 developer salary scale.
After all, becoming a web3 developer takes serious time, dedication, and effort to build the skills you need to succeed.
But how does one get started in becoming a web3 developer?
Here are some ways to stake your claim, advance your name in the web3 ranks as a real web3 core development professional, and find consistent, long-term career prospects.
Metacrafters had created a course that is the perfect bridge between Web2 and Web3 development. Through video modules recorded by some of the top minds in the industry, we will teach you everything that you need to become a web3 developer.
The released modules are focused on Rust, and in this course, you will create your first NFT, develop smart contracts, and deploy staking apps, just to name a few.
Metacrafters offers a proof-of-learn NFT - a confirmation of your skill and finished modules that will be on the blockchain. Also, the course implements a learn-to-earn model.
Get on Crypto/Web3 Twitter
The first step into becoming a web3 developer is to follow veteran blockchain developers and find out what they’re building, what tools they use, what projects they’re working on, or what books they’re reading.
And since Twitter is where you’ll get the pulse of the crypto industry, beginning your web3 journey is as simple as following web3 developers and influencers on Twitter.
Watch and Follow Web3 Developers on YouTube
YouTube channels can be one of the best resources to learn everything about web3. If you want to learn Solidity, learn programming, or write better Solidity code and become a web3 developer, YouTube might just be your ticket.
It’s an effective visual learning aid for learning key web3 concepts, developer tools, software development kits, and distributed databases, to name a few.
A few examples of good web3-focused YouTube channels include Web3 Foundation, Nader Dabit, Bankless, and Smart Contract Programmer, targeting aspiring core developers and enthusiasts altogether.
Be Part of a Web3 Discord Server.
Discord is one of the primary social community platforms many developers in web3 and crypto use to ask, solve problems, chat, and work with web3 developers to build rapport.
Getting your name out there as a contributor makes it likely that you’ll make connections that can help you further your career in web3.
Here are a couple of channels to get you started:
Become a Member of a DAO for Web3 Developers.
DAOs or decentralized autonomous organizations focused towards web3 development is another way to network, discover new and exciting projects and opportunities to collaborate, and grow your portfolio as a web3 developer, considering most communities almost always need volunteers to sustain the community and build the project.
Join Web3 Developer Hackathons.
Hackathons are a great way to gain practical experience using web3 technology, learn the best security and privacy practices, as well as learn the most common mistakes aspiring web3 developers make. Moreover, you can add your own projects to your portfolio.
Rust Vs Solidity: Which Language Should You Start With?
If you want to become a web3 developer and begin writing your own smart contracts, you need to learn two languages: Rust and Solidity.
Both face a shortfall in experienced developers in web3.
In fact, desperate employers in the space find the lack of talent frustrating, considering how Rust, a multi-paradigm language used to create smart contracts on the Solana blockchain, has taken off.
Rust is an expressive yet simple, memory-efficient, reliable language that enables developers to build complex smart contracts. It's a great language to learn, considering its increasing developer mindshare across blockchains, and with additional knowledge of the Anchor framework - you are pretty sure to land some great job offers!
Recently, Rust is experiencing unprecedented demand not only because of Web3, but because the market had discovered it to be very secure! So, when learning Rust you will be highly in demand in both Web2 and Web3!
Another wildly popular web3 language is Solidity, which is Ethereum's go-to language. But it’s not solely used by the Ethereum Virtual Machine – you’ll also be able to create smart contracts on a host of blockchain protocols.
One of the key knowledge areas in Solidity is understanding how gas fees work.
More specifically, how each line affects the gas fees needed to execute your smart contract in Solidity.
Some companies focus solely on aggressively reducing gas consumption through optimized smart contracts on Solidity.
As a web3 developer, you will be expected to know how to tighten up Solidity code, implement proper automated rules, and optimize code to save millions in gas for heavily-rotated smart contracts or apps.
Learning Solidity also allows you to build DeFi apps and work on the local development environment of blockchains like Binance Smart Chain, Avalanche, Polygon, and Cardano.
Portfolio Project Ideas
Finally, your portfolio is one of the necessities through which you can highlight your expertise. A web3 portfolio showcases your mastery of the fundamental tech skills of the emerging discipline.
- Issuing your first ERC-20 token cryptocurrency
- Create your first web3 app
- Mint and launch your first NFT project
- Previously created smart contracts
- Solidity code optimizations
- Previously developed web3 app frontends
Building a portfolio makes it easier for potential employers and professional opportunities to come your way – and make your mark as an experienced web3 developer.
What Do Web3 Employers Look For?
To build Metacrafters, we had to hire a top team. We would like to share a couple of topics that we like to discuss with our candidates.
When we look at a candidate, we try to get an idea of their skillset, but also their attitude and overall approach to problem-solving. We also think it’s important that a candidate is proactive and takes the initiative.
In this phase, we usually look at the GitHub profile to see the submission activity and check the previous Web3 projects that the candidate worked in. Most importantly, we like to see a portfolio or any other kind of track record about the Web3 product that the candidate helped to develop.
The technical part of the interview varies greatly, but here are a couple of topics that we like to discuss:
- Staking programs;
- Recursion of smart contracts;
- Web3 Logins;
- NFT mints and code orientation;
- Metaplex for NFTs;
- NFT marketplace;
- NF dropsites;
The question itself may be related just to the overall theory or a practical task that will be focused on creating something on the spot or making required changes in existing code.
- Web3 is an exciting career path worth exploring for web developers.
- Rust and Solidity are the main web3 languages.
- Not only is it financially rewarding – but it's also a chance to work in a constantly evolving field that is immensely personally and professionally enriching.
- Don't let the complexity dissuade you from pursuing the web3 path – everything eventually becomes clearer the more you learn on the fly. It's all part of the experience.