Web3 tech stack: 7 technologies you need for Web3 jobs (and how to learn them)
You might have already heard that the demand for skilled Web3 professionals has skyrocketed: Job postings related to Web3 skills jumped nearly 400% in 2021 alone! If you have an eye on this field, you might be wondering: What is the Web3 tech stack you need to master so you can start a Web3 career?
Before you switch from your current job to a high-paying Web3 role, you need more information. The field is new and still evolving, full of unfamiliar tooling and terms even if you already work in the industry. The Web3 tech stack needed to break into these jobs might not ring any bells—yet.
Don’t worry! In this article, we’ll outline all the Web3 tech you need to know to get a head start in your new Web3 career. When you gain these skills and tooling know-how, you’ll become qualified for the kinds of roles that are innovating the leading edge of the internet.
Ready to learn more? Read on for a cheat sheet on the most-used Web3 tech stack.
1. Web3: Blockchain
Do you associate the term “blockchain” with Bitcoin? You’re not alone. However, there’s more to the story. Although it might have all started with Bitcoin, blockchain and Web3 tech have evolved to be much larger than a single project. Blockchain has found use cases in supply chain, healthcare, media and advertising and so much more!
Let’s first understand how it works.
In a nutshell, blockchain is a shared peer-to-peer database (or in other terms, ledger). Data is distributed between all the computers participating in the network. If that doesn’t sound very privacy-friendly to you, worry not, it’s all anonymous and encrypted without any central authority in between.
Each block on a blockchain signifies one or many confirmed transactions, which have been validated by the entire network. After validation, the block is assigned a cryptographic hash which is a function of the hash of the previous block. This maintains the integrity of the blockchain and makes the data entered unchangeable. That means no one can manipulate data or introduce inaccuracies in the chain, making blockchain the single source of truth! In sensitive industries like healthcare or finance, this attribute can make all the difference.
One of the most widely used blockchain technologies in the Web3 tech stack, Ethereum hosts a majority of the decentralized applications that are critical to Web3. These include decentralized protocols, applications, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and major cryptocurrencies. The Ethereum Virtual Machine powers these innovations through smart contracts that execute on ETH’s vast decentralized network of computers.
Currently, Ethereum has the largest user-base and is used as a digital payments system, environment for metaverse development, and anything that is programmable. Let’s learn more about the smart contracts that enable this.
3. Smart Contracts
Smart contracts are pieces of code that automatically execute and perform the actions necessary to complete an agreement between two parties without any intermediaries. You can think of these as binding contracts, but without the hassle of going to court to enforce them.
Once deployed, these contracts are tamper-proof, secure, and immutable. Both parties can view the terms of the open-source agreement at any time. Due to this ability, smart contracts are the backbone of Web3. They enable applications such as decentralized exchanges, NFT marketplaces, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) to run smoothly.
4. Solidity: Web3 programming language
Solidity is the primary programming language for smart contracts in Ethereum, the blockchain tech we talked about earlier. All smart contracts, decentralized applications, integrations, and more—essentially everything that is built on the Ethereum blockchain—involves Solidity. As you can imagine, that translates to Solidity developers being extremely high in demand.
If you’re like many people, you might still be wrapping your head around NFTs. Even if you’re tempted to give up trying to figure them out—and why someone might want to pay $69 million for an NFT that granted ownership of a piece of art you could also see for free—stay with us.
With the metaverse in the picture, the NFT narrative is only going to get bigger. If you want a Web3 career, you definitely need to understand NFTs. Plus this Web3 phenomenon is not as complicated as people make it out to be.
So what are NFTs?
An NFT is a unique token on the blockchain that contains information accessible only to the owner of the NFT. They often represent ownership of a particular asset such as art, music, game items, and so on.
This ownership is assigned when someone mints an NFT from a smart contract deployed on the Ethereum blockchain. Once minted, a new block that conforms to NFT standards is created on the blockchain where information about the asset is stored. That means NFTs can be freely traded on any ETH marketplace or sent to ETH-compatible wallet addresses.
Being able to understand token standards, approve and transfer NFTs, and fluently use NFTs is one skillset you’ll need to start a Web3 career.
As blockchain data is stored on a network of nodes distributed across the world, querying it is understandably complicated. If we were to use traditional REST architectures (aka the query language that the entire internet uses), every node would need to return a response. That’s hundreds of calls across the entire blockchain network! This simply does not work at scale.
GraphQL addresses this problem by providing a unified interface of open-source APIs that can be used to query multiple blockchains. In contrast to REST, these APIs use more scalable architectures such as graphs and objects. It also gives substantial control to the client, which is paramount in client-heavy applications such as decentralized applications (dapps).
Consequently, GraphQL is used in multiple blockchain-specific innovations such as The Graph, BitQuery, and others to make the development of dapps easier.
7. DeFi: Decentralized Finance
As one of blockchain’s real world use cases, decentralized finance (DeFi) aims to revolutionize how we transact with each other. DeFi is powered by smart contract-based decentralized applications that facilitate transactions through blockchain between individuals, without the need for a third party (like a bank).
Almost all major financial functions currently have a decentralized counterpart: stablecoins that are pegged to conventional currencies, decentralized exchanges that enable lending, borrowing, and swapping between two currencies, incentives for depositing your tokens, and more.
The best part? DeFi transactions are all done through algorithms that are transparent, trackable, and secured by the entire blockchain network, rather than just a centralized entity (like a bank).
The implications of DeFi are immense. Naturally, the industry continually scouts for Web3 engineers who can help shape the future of finance.
Keeping up with Web3
As with any new industry, the Web3 tech stack is still evolving. You’ll need time and effort to get familiar with the technology and how to use it.
If you have a foundation in web development and are looking for an exciting new career, Web3 should be on your radar.
In the course, you’ll learn to use the Web3 tech stack we just described. What’s more, you’ll gain hands-on experience building projects that use each of these technologies. You’ll finish the course with the skills and experience to qualify for Web3 jobs such as blockchain developer, NFT developer, and smart contract engineer.