Crypto, Blockchain and Web3 are buzzwords these days and while you might already hold some Bitcoin on Coinbase or Binance, you might also be wondering how you can move your career into this new industry as a developer.
Good blockchain developers are highly sought after and becoming an expert in these new technologies can bring you an exceptionally high income as well as job security.
It’s easy to google “How to become a blockchain developer” to find out what technical skills you will need and what programming languages you will have to learn. You will find lots of helpful information e.g. here and here.
According to the latest State of the Developer Nation Report, blockchain applications, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs have the highest share of developers learning about them.
More specifically with regards to Cryptocurrencies, out of a sample of 13,939 developers, 50% stated they are interested in them, 34% said they are learning about them while 16 % have already adopted the technology.
But what actually is Crypto, Blockchain and Web3? And – once you have the skills – how are you going to get your foot in the door and create long-term success?
If you are a complete newbie, I’d suggest educating yourself on the origins and philosophy of bitcoin and blockchain first, as well as the evolution of Web3. There are some great free courses that will give you a solid foundation and might help you find a niche to focus your efforts on.
UnitMasters.org for example is an engaging 6-week course that will give you a good high-level overview of the Web3 ecosystem. It is very welcoming to participants from all walks of life and underrepresented backgrounds.
The free MOOC on Digital Currencies by the University of Nicosia, which is taught by prominent bitcoin educator Andreas Antonopoulos, is a great place to start if you really want to understand how bitcoin works and why it is here.
There are a number of job boards dedicated to Web3, but simply submitting your CV has never been the best way to go about this, in my opinion. Nevertheless, it’s helpful to know about them, so here are a few you can check out:
The best positions are often filled before they make it to a job board, since candidates are being hired from within the network of the recruiter or the organization hiring. That’s why it is important to connect with others in the space. If the term “networking” makes you cringe or sounds like a chore to you, here are some easy ways to go about that:
Start using some DApps (Decentralized Applications) – whether it’s a simple wallet to send and receive cryptocurrency or blogging platforms like Hive that allow you to earn cryptocurrency for your content. If you’re a gamer, check out games like Splinterlands or Axie Infinity. It’s easiest to start with something you already know.
No matter what your background is, begin using Web3 apps so you gain personal experience as a user. This will help you learn about their challenges or short-comings and you can begin thinking about solutions for them – whether it is UX design or their token economy. You could begin contributing to their improvements, or you could join (or create) a team that will build something better.
Many people get hired by companies because they have proven their knowledge, engagement and contribution in their communities already.
Web3 projects don’t hire staff, they recruit members.
This goes not only for other stakeholders like customers, users, block producers and investors. Crypto projects are win-win-win communities. All stakeholders are equally important in their contributions to help the project succeed.
4. Join Hackathons and coding bootcamps. Stay in touch with the people you meet there. They might all end up in different projects, so this is a great way to build your professional network.
5. Start creating content! Whether it’s your own blog, a Hive account, or your Github account. Begin creating a public track record of your thoughts or technical contributions to the space.
“Don’t trust. Verify.” This famous crypto slogan applies not only to the blockchain but also to you. Creating a verifiable track record is worth so much more than a fancy CV. Your track record will speak for itself and send projects your way, rather than you having to look for them. Project teams don’t care about your CV, they care about your proven experience and contributions to the industry.
6. Join a DAO and see how you can begin contributing. DAO’s – Decentralised Autonomous Organisations – are an essential part of the Web3 space and might just become the way we will all work and organize ourselves in the future. You can submit proposals and get your contributions funded by the DAO’s treasury, if your fellow DAO members vote for it. Check out LobsterDAO or HerDAO (for womxn developers) to get started.
7. Check out Gitcoin where projects post small tasks that you can earn cryptocurrency for. It will help you build a track record, too.
Everything in the crypto and Web3 space revolves around communities. There is very little of the top down structures you may be used to. The value of crypto tokens comes from their community of developers and users, and you will also end up choosing your project by the community it already has, or the potential it has to create one. (Are they building something that you think will be adopted by a large number of people? Is it going to make a difference to anyone?)
You may be highly intelligent, but intellectual intelligence is not the only ingredient for success. You can be a genius, but it will be of little use if nobody likes working with you.
Emotional intelligence is a highly important part in communities. Web3 is all about “we” rather than “me”. People like to surround themselves with people they like and get along with. Even though everyone can code from their bedroom or a hammock on a remote island these days – be kind, be agreeable, be generous in your communication with others. Online and offline. Be a team player. Be someone that CEO’s, investors and HR or customer service staff enjoy working with.
Making interpersonal communication skills just as important as your technical skills will help you become a highly valued and sought-after contributor and create lasting success!
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Anja Schuetz is an Operations Management Consultant who has worked for several crypto wallets and blockchain projects. She also mentors first-time crypto investors and helps newcomers move their careers into Web3. Learn more about Anja at https://linktr.ee/consciouscrypto