Web3 is a relatively new concept, and the demand for web3 developers, be it frontend or backend, grows by the day. Exciting, right? The question now becomes, how to start in web3 as a developer. I’ve got the answer to that – read on.
With web developer salaries averaging $150K/year, web3 has seen a massive boom in adoption by growing developer communities worldwide.
Being a web3 developer comes with a few perks. You get to:
- Learn new technology
- Meet new people in the field
- Have a massive salary boost
Maybe you’re already a web2 developer, or perhaps you’re not a developer at all. Not to worry, because this article will discuss:
- Web3 in general
- Web3 requirements and roadmap
- How to start in web3 as an absolute beginner
Web1 and Web2
Before we get into web3, it’s essential to understand what the predecessors of the current internet are and how they differ from one another.
In the beginning, the world wide web (www) was born. The internet wasn’t as exciting and bloated as it is now. Websites were primarily static HTML content, and users couldn’t interact with the content of these websites in any way.
The majority of these websites were informative. Most of them were sites where businesses advertise their products and services, personal websites, etc.
If you have a Google, Facebook, or Snapchat account, you must have a fair idea of what web2 is. In contrast to web1, web2 allows users to interact with web pages. You can like posts, share your own and other people’s content, and do various other things. This version of the web is said to be more social and interactive.
Web2 is referred to as the read and write web, and it got the name because web2 sites enable people to be content creators.
For example, you can read my articles like you’re doing right now, and you can also choose to comment and tell me if you liked my writing or not 😀
WTF is web anyway?
Before eating from the web3 bowl, it’s good to understand how the food was prepared and what ingredients were used.
First, let’s know this, web3 is not a replacement for web2 (the current web), but rather an addition.
Web3 only exists to counter the problems that we, the people, face in the web2 era.
So wtf is web3? Web3 is simply a decentralized internet where no one has control. Every user has control over their data and content. No platform will track our activity or sell our data to anyone because there is no data to sell.
Apps built on web3, also called decentralized apps/dApps, do not require sensitive user information like username, locations, date of births, favorite foods, and favorite colors. All this is made possible through blockchain technology.
Transitioning from web2 to web3
Web3 development is similar to regular web development, with a few additions or enhancements.
To easily make a smooth transition into web3 action, you should first understand essential web development. Of course, you can jump right into web3 without first learning web2, but that’s not recommended because you’ll almost certainly encounter situations where you’ll need some web2 concepts.
Learning web3 without first knowing web2 will leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused. Often, being confused while learning web development is when most people give up on it and complain about how difficult it is.
So to stay on the safer side, understand the basics of web2 by learning the fundamental programming languages used:
- HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
- CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
There is also a boatload of excellent courses and tutorials available for learning web2. But if you’re like me and prefer free goodies, just go to YouTube and look for some tutorial videos.
How to start in web3 – a learning roadmap
Here’s an outline of the steps you should take to kickstart your journey to becoming a web3 developer. We will delve deeper into every one of these stages in this article to find our answer on how to start in web3.
- Know how blockchain works
- Learn about smart contracts
- Build projects
- Apply for a job
- Understand web3 terms
I must say, web3 comes with some pretty huge terms which you should familiarize yourself with. Let’s talk about a few of these terms.
Terms used in the ecosystem
You should do more research into these terms because there’s more to them, and this article does not go into the more essential details.
Blockchains work to ensure two main things. They essentially:
- ensure that data integrity is preserved.
- data is transparent.
Every single Bitcoin ever transacted can be traced to where they all originated from, even if they’ve been split up and transacted with a million times. Although after 10+ years, this would be a daunting task to achieve.
Security and transparency are the excellent effectiveness of blockchain technology.
Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain with smart contract functionalities.
In fact, the Ethereum blockchain was the first-ever blockchain to introduce smart contracts into the blockchain world.
The introduction of smart contracts started the Web3 era we all hear of today.
Ether ($ETH) is the native currency of the Ethereum protocol.
3. dApps (Decentralized Apps)
4. Cryptocurrencies and Tokens
Crypto tokens are a type of cryptocurrency that represents an asset or specific use and has its own blockchain. Tokens can be used to make investments, store value, or purchase.
5. DeFi (Decentralized Finance)
DeFi, as the name suggests, is a decentralized peer-to-peer financial system running on the blockchain, primarily the Ethereum blockchain. With DeFi, you can do whatever financial institutions do today, including:
- Lending and borrowing
- Buying insurance
- Earning interests
- Trading assets, and so on
6. DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations)
DAOs are more like the traditional companies or organizations we have today. The only difference is the rules and regulations of the organization are written in an immutable smart contract. Transparency is ensured since the code for the contract is kept on a public ledger.
Also, there is no single authority governing the organization. Instead, the DAO is run by the shareholders. To become a shareholder, you must own the DAOs official token, which gives you the right to vote on decisions in the organization.
Languages and frameworks to learn
The big three. These are the fundamental languages you’ll be using to build the frontend of dApps.
Becoming a blockchain developer or a web3 developer doesn’t mean dropping everything web2. Basic web2 principles are still required to become a full-stack web3 developer.
Here is an excellent tutorial that teaches you the basics of all three
Learning duration: 3 – 6 months
Due to the popularity of React, it is recommended to learn React as your first frontend end framework.
Here is a great tutorial that teaches you the basics of React.
ethers.js currently has 4K+ stars on GitHub and keeps growing while web3.js, the most popular of the two has presently over 13K+ stars on GitHub and is powering thousands of dApps in the Web3 ecosystem.
Suppose you’re more of a backend person, and you do not want to do anything with the frontend. In that case, you can focus on creating smart contracts.
Level up your web3 knowledge
Now that you can understand some web3 dialects, the following steps are to dig deeper into web3 and build your portfolio. Here are some of the ways you can achieve this.
1. Understand how blockchains works
To get started with web3, you must first understand how the blockchain works. Beginning with the Ethereum and the Solidity documentation is good to start. Or just take a bunch of courses on Metaschool, including this one on How Ethereum Works.
These docs will explain everything you need to know about blockchain and terms used in the ecosystem, such as gas fees, consensus protocol, transactions, and so on.
2. Learn about smart contracts
Smart contracts are self-executing computer programs stored on the blockchain. When a set of predetermined conditions on the blockchain are met, the smart contract can execute even without human involvement.
Smart contracts are more like the backend of web3 applications. They can be written into fungible tokens or non-fungible tokens (cryptocurrencies) that can be used to perform blockchain transactions. Smart contracts are typically written in Solidity, but they can also be written in other languages.
Smart contract languages other than Solidity
Many great projects are smart contract oriented and are focused on art and DeFi.
NFTs are by far the most popular use case for smart contracts followed by DeFi contract.
Building both NFT and DeFi contracts will make you an asset in the web3 world.
Some popular NFT projects include
- Bored Ape Yacht Club
- Mutant Ape Yacht Club
- Axie Infinity
- Cool Cats
3. Build projects
Building projects is one of the best ways to learn any programming language/framework. Numerous project ideas range from beginner to intermediate to advanced on the internet.
There are also numerous tutorials on YouTube where instructors build real-world web3 apps. You can create simple or even complex projects to test yourself with what you’ve learned.
Cool web3 beginner project ideas for your portfolio
- Minting dApp.
- How to create your own blockchain
- Make NFTs using different token standards
- Create your own Solana token
Next steps: build your web3 career
By the time you have gotten to this stage, you would already be a web3 maestro!
This point would be the best time for you to start working on the career side of web3 development.
The following few points will guide you how to start in web3 and build a solid career:
1. Work on your resume
You can design your portfolio website to list the projects you’ve worked on; this is super helpful when applying for a job. List down all the development related internships and jobs you’ve done.
Your opening summary on the resume should be like an elevator pitch in 2-3 lines. Include years of experience, what web3 skills you have (this includes tools, languages, protocols) and what you want to pursue as a career path.
You can include any projects you’ve created, including the web3 tutorials on Metaschool.
2. Apply for a job
After learning all the essential tools, sharpening your knowledge, and building web3 projects, you can now try your hands on an actual job.
There are numerous websites where you can find full-time, part-time, and remote web3 jobs today.
You can checkout sites like:
3. Find some freelancing gigs
Freelancing is a great way to make a lot of cash as a developer. You essentially work for yourself and can dictate your own working timelines and live a comfortable life.
Unlike a full-time job where you are paid monthly, you would have to always actively follow up with clients and meet deadlines to make ends meet, which can sometimes feel relatively slow.
From statistics, freelancers can make 3X the amount a salaried work can make, which remains the same in web3.
Thank you for reading! I really hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you know how to start in web3 development as a beginner now. I hope you see where your web3 career progresses in the near future.