How to Become a Web3 Developer

21 May 2023

In my last blog, I wrote about how to become a software engineer and I decided that for this blog, I’ll dive deeper into a growing niche in the tech space: Web3 development. Web3 has been around for more than 10 years now, ever since the birth of Bitcoin and it’s become a very popular field in tech to learn and build. If you are looking to become a Web3 developer, then you are in the right place! In this blog post, I’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to become a Web3 developer.

1. Read crypto whitepapers

Having a solid knowledge foundation is important in becoming a Web3 developer, thus, the first step is to read popular crypto whitepapers. Whitepapers are detailed technical documents that explain the design and implementation of blockchain. Although the content is very technical, there are always hidden gems to be found inside whitepapers such as design tradeoffs, use cases and bad actor mitigation systems. Being aware of the underlying technology helps make see common patterns between cryptocurrencies and will also help you choose which blockchain to use to build your project.

Some popular whitepapers to read include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana. An alternative is to read blogs about blockchain and watch youtube videos. I’d recommend watching this video by 3Blue1Brown where they dive into how bitcoin works and this will provide a template for you to understand how blockchains work.

2. Create a Crypto Wallet

The next step in becoming a Web3 developer is to create a crypto wallet. A crypto wallet is a digital wallet that stores your cryptocurrencies. You will need a crypto wallet to store and manage your cryptocurrencies.

Solana supports multiple wallet providers

There are several crypto wallets to choose from, including Phantom, Solflare, Metamask, and Coinbase. You can choose the wallet that best suits your needs.

My personal favourite is Phantom, which is a crypto wallet for Solana. It has an easy-to-use interface and now supports multi-chain capabilities, which means you can use Phantom for Ethereum apps too!

3. Get Cryptocurrency

The third step in becoming a Web3 developer is to get crypto. You will need some cryptocurrencies to start developing on the blockchain. You can buy cryptocurrencies from crypto exchanges or earn them by participating in crypto-related activities.

Some popular crypto exchanges include Binance and Coinbase. You can also earn cryptocurrencies by participating in airdrops, bounties, and other crypto-related activities.

The most important here is to distinguish between buying crypto for utility and investment purposes. For utility purposes, remember to buy enough crypto for transaction fees or NFT purchases. In Solana, the transaction cost is around 0.000005 SOL, which means you do not need a high number of SOL to get started in Web3. However, for other operations like minting a token, or uploading an NFT, it is recommended to have a couple of SOL ready. It is better to be over budget than under budget when interacting with a blockchain programmatically.

4. Use Web3 SDK

The fourth step in becoming a Web3 developer is to use a Web3 SDK. A Web3 SDK is a software development kit that provides developers with tools to interact with the blockchain. The most popular Web3 SDK is Web3.js, which is a Javascript library for interacting with the Ethereum blockchain. In Solana, they have an SDK called Solana Javascript SDK, which is used to interact with the Solana blockchain.

These SDKs provide developers with functions to read and write data to the blockchain, deploy smart contracts, and interact with decentralised applications. It is essential to master Web3.js if you want to become a Web3 developer.

Always remember that the Web3 community is a big champion of open-source software. There are so many talented developers out there creating amazing dev tools for free so I’d highly recommend showing your support by downloading it and using it.

Here’s a collection of useful tools for NFT dev tools in Solana by ilmoi:

5. Familiarise with Web3 Docs

Documentation is an engineer’s best friend. Ask any great engineer a technical question and they will most likely base their answer for some docs. Thus, the fifth step in becoming a Web3 developer is to familiarise yourself with Web3 docs. Web3 docs provide developers with detailed documentation on how to use Web3.js and other Web3 SDKs.

Web3 docs contain examples, tutorials, and other resources that will help you learn how to interact with the blockchain. It is essential to read Web3 docs regularly to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in Web3 development. For Solana, I’d highly recommend starting with the official Solana docs. There are much useful information like creating a wallet programmatically, transaction structure, open source libraries and more! 

One of the best pieces of documentation I’ve seen for Solana is called the Solana cookbook. It is a more advanced doc for Solana, however, for those who are confident in Web3 development, it offers a deep dive into areas of Solana dev that only come from experience, yet, the contributors compiled it into a succinct and precise doc for open use. Give this a try as you progress into Web3 development.

6. Familiarise with Javascript:

The final step in becoming a Web3 developer is to familiarise yourself with Javascript. Javascript is the most popular programming language used for Web3 development. You will need to have a strong foundation in Javascript to build decentralised applications.

You can start by learning the basics of Javascript, such as variables, functions, and control structures. Once you have a good understanding of Javascript, you can move on to more advanced topics, such as object-oriented programming and functional programming.

Having a good grasp of Javascript widens your ability to use open-source tools for Web3 development. I’d recommend checking out Metaplex. It is a tool for creating NFTs under the Metaplex standard and launching your very own decentralised marketplace.

You can do it!

In conclusion, becoming a Web3 developer requires dedication, hard work, and a willingness to learn. Following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can start your journey to becoming a successful Web3 developer. Remember to read whitepapers, create a crypto wallet, get crypto, use a Web3 SDK, familiarise yourself with Web3 docs, and learn Javascript. Good luck!

Recommended readings and users:

If you want to start a career in Web3, check out this blog by @Miguel about Web3 careers. Miguel's blog dives into who you can provide value to as a Web3 developer

I’d recommend subscribing to @andrewsaul and @Miguel for more Web3 content. Learning via reading is the way to go for becoming a Web3 developer!

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