The technology behind blockchains has been heralded as the one that will usher in the subsequent period of technological innovation. It is therefore reasonable to assume that software developers in Africa who are interested in maintaining their level of employment are curious about how to become blockchain developers in Africa.
The survey was conducted in 2022 by SlashData, an analyst company that tracks global software developer trends. The survey found that developers' interest in blockchain technologies as well as their rate of learning about blockchain technologies had increased more than in any other technology.
Despite the recent decline in the value of cryptocurrencies, there is a growing interest among developers in blockchain technology because there is more to blockchain than crypto. Since there is a possibility that blockchain will play a significant part in how the world manages data in the not too distant future, it is anticipated that global spending on blockchain will increase to $19 billion by 2024, up from $6.6 billion in 2021.
How can Africans get a foothold in this rapidly expanding sector? Techpoint Africa talked to Yusuf Kehinde Hussein, a Nigerian working as a Blockchain Solutions Engineer for Polygon, which is the third largest blockchain company in the world and is valued at $20 billion. The purpose of this conversation was to find out more information. He discussed the steps that got him the job, what it means to be a blockchain developer, and the best ways to improve one's development skills.
To avoid any confusion, the blockchain space is also referred to as the Web3 space on occasion. Blockchain technology is the basis for each of the Web3 platforms, even though they do not all perform the same functions.
The Web2 platform is the most effective entry point for developers interested in entering the blockchain industry. These are the words of Hussein, who works for Polygon as a Blockchain Solutions Engineer.
The current state of technology, known as Web2, has nothing to do with blockchain and can be referred to as the tech dispensation. The distinctions between Web1, Web2, and Web3 are discussed in detail in this article.
Hussein entered the Web3 space by way of the Web2 platform. Before he made the decision in late 2021 to transition into the Web3 space, he had been working as a Web2 developer for the previous two and a half years.
According to Hussein, it is simpler to enter the blockchain space as a regular developer due to the fact that the differences in the skills required to be successful in both areas aren't as significant in some cases as they are in others.
In order to be successful in the Web3 space, you will still require the same skills and tools regardless of whether you work as a frontend developer, developer, product manager, or even a product designer. The only thing that sets you apart is your target demographic and the manner in which you present products to them.
However, he does concede that it is not always the same for all of the roles, particularly for backend developers. These developers are now required to work with smart contracts and learn new languages such as Solidity, which are not found in the Web2 space.
The alterations are not nearly as significant for front-end developers as they are for back-end developers.
It's likely that the frontend you're writing for Web2 will be nearly identical to the one you'll be writing for Web3.
Communities offer one of the very best opportunities for blockchain enthusiasts, designers, writers, and developers to learn more about the technology. When Hussein said this, it did not come as a surprise because the majority of blockchain projects and platforms are typically designed with the community in mind.
As a developer, Hussein recommended Developer DAO as one of the best communities to join in order to gain insights and access to resources.
Other communities besides CryptoZombies, buildspace, and LearnWeb3 that you can become a member of. In Nigeria, there are communities such as Web3bridge that not only offer resources but also hands-on workshops and classes on how to become blockchain developers.
If you are someone who, like Hussein, does not particularly enjoy attending lectures and attending classes, then he suggests that you learn through reading articles and searching for answers on Google. And he achieves this by working on his own personal projects and searching for answers to problems he encounters in online articles when he gets stuck.
Hussein got his start in the blockchain space by participating in a hackathon called Web3con by Developer DAO. He believes that participating in hackathons is one of the best ways for people in Africa to learn how to become blockchain developers.
" It is a wonderful opportunity because it gives you the chance to talk to a lot of different people. There are a lot of people on my team who have recently started their careers in the web development industry and are now employed by well-known companies.
Hackathons put you in direct contact with brilliant individuals working for the most prominent blockchain companies. Learning from people like that when you're just starting out and making money off of it at the same time is an invaluable experience."
It is interesting to note that registrations are still being accepted for one of the largest global Web3 hackathons, which goes by the name Polygon BUIDL IT and offers a total of $500,000 in prizes.
After participating in hackathons like this one, Hussein said, "some people have gotten jobs." For instance, interacting with people at Polygon through events such as hackathons is a great way to demonstrate your interest and passion for the field, which may result in them taking a chance on you.
Participating in hackathons such as Polygon's BUIDL IT offers additional benefits, such as access to educational workshops, NFT drops, and investment opportunities.
The Techpoint Africa Blockchain Summit Hackathon, also known as the TABS Web3 Hackathon, is yet another opportunity to earn money while gaining knowledge about Web3. Participants are given the opportunity to gain knowledge about building in Web3 and managing a Web3 business thanks to the format.Winners of the TABS Web3 Hackathon
Participation in blockchain communities is required if you want to find work in the blockchain industry. Communities play an important role in both education and the acquisition of employment opportunities. But being an active member of a community is even more vital than simply being a part of it.
“ Referrals are some of the best ways to land a job in any space. If you are active in blockchain communities where people are aware of your skills, you may receive job offers without even having to submit an application.
Building in public is another piece of advice that Hussein has for individuals who are seeking employment in the Web3 space. He stated that working on projects alone is beneficial, but that keeping others in the space informed of what you are doing can improve your chances of landing that dream Web3 job.
Even though Hussein isn't the type of person to regularly start conversations on Twitter or make inspirational posts on LinkedIn, he makes the most of the communities in which he participates.
I belong to a number of different groups, including Virtual Coffe and Developer DAO. People in these communities and groups know what I do, what I'm capable of, and my employment status because I share this information with them.
According to Hussein, the majority of people who inquire about how to become a blockchain developer do so out of the mistaken belief that blockchain developers earn significantly more. However, Hussein maintained that this assertion could not be more removed from the reality of the situation.
There is no difference in pay between working in the Web2 space and working in the Web3 space. It is dependent upon you, your abilities, and your savvy in the art of negotiation. People working in the Web2 space have earned a considerable amount more than those working in the Web3 space, in my experience.
According to ICOHOLDER, the annual salary of a blockchain developer in the United States is $99,197, whereas the annual salary of a Web2 developer in the same location is $110,140. ICOHOLDER's findings can be found here.
On the other hand, Luka Horvat stated in an interview with The Globe and Mail in 2018 that due to the immaturity of blockchain technology, developers in the space tend to command higher salaries.
Even though four years is a very long time in the tech industry, and there's a good chance that salary structures have undergone major shifts in that time, blockchain is still not exactly a mainstream technology.
The 56 companies that are the most prominent in the blockchain industry globally employ a total of 32,500 people, as stated in the Blockchain Job Report 2022 published by the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship. A software company operating in the Web2 space, such as Adobe, has 25,000 employees, which accounts for 76% of the total blockchain employees working for the largest blockchain companies in the entire world.
In light of Hussein's assertion that a developer's pay is proportional to their level of expertise, it is essential to continue one's education and professional development within the industry.