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What’s the hottest job on the market? Software engineers, programmers, and designers have been in high demand over the last decade. However, with the rise of blockchain and cryptocurrency, Web3 developers have quickly risen on the list.
Web3 has seen a massive influx of interest over the past two years. The startup scene is on fire as new projects sprout up and innovation flourishes. Even some of the largest companies in the world such as Nike and Adidas have thrown their hats in the ring. All of this has made Web3 developers a hot commodity.
But despite the massive demand, Web3 developers are in short supply. The concept of Web3 is still a relatively new idea and has only existed since 2014. There aren’t too many college courses that incorporate blockchain, let alone material on a concept that’s still taking shape. This was just one of the few reasons that led us to create a full stack geared towards developing in Web3.
It might not be a surprise, then, that Web3 developers can command a pretty hefty price tag. In fact, some put these salaries between $300,000 and $750,000. This may just be one of the big reasons why developers at Meta (formerly Facebook) and Google are making the switch to Web3.
But Silicon Valley isn’t the only space that’s seeing a growing migration of developers. In fact, Web3 is attracting an entirely new wave of talent. Take Redfoo for example. The Billboard artist ditched his music career to pursue his passion for coding. The self-taught celebrity has since learned Solidity and Rust, and now operates as a partner with Radix.
So why can developers demand such high salaries, and why are companies paying it? The answer lies within the potential of Web3.
What is Web3?
Many consider Web3 to be the next step in the evolution of the internet.
Web1 is classified as the initial phase of the internet. Websites were just simple pages with text and the occasional picture. These sites didn’t offer much beyond the information displayed on them.
Web2 came about as websites became more engaging and provided utility. At this stage, the internet is known for its most popular uses: social media, eCommerce, and entertainment. But Web2 also saw the internet become highly contained and controlled by large corporations. Internet users now experience the web through the products and services of companies such as Google, Meta, and Amazon.
Web3 looks to separate itself from the control of these large organizations by utilizing the blockchain as its basis. Due to its decentralized nature, blockchain helps to avoid these types of gatekeepers while also providing more functionality and utility through things such as cryptocurrency.
So what does it take to become a Web3 developer?
Find the right programming language
One of the first steps in Web3 development is becoming accustomed to the many programming languages available. Solidity is one of the most popular languages and is employed by Ethereum and numerous other blockchains.
Choosing the right environment
Because Web3 relies on distributed ledger technology (DLT), it’s beneficial to understand the benefits of building in that environment. DLT is known to create an environment that fosters transparency and traceability, while also increasing the speed of transactions (or in this case, Web searches) and keeping costs low.
For a better understanding of the nitty-gritty of DLT, many Web3 project developers have assumed that a Blockchain is the only-and best- way to go, recommending the reading of the Ethereum and Bitcoin whitepapers. They explain the ins and outs of each respective platform and their various components.
Additionally, every DLT is different and has its own rules and requirements. These differences can range from the primary program language used to specific standards developers must adhere to. Initially sticking to a single DLT environment, Blockchain or otherwise, can allow developers to gain more targeted understanding of the underlying technology. This can prevent spreading oneself too thin by trying to learn the many different nuances.
Deciding on a development stack
A development stack is an integral resource for any software developer, and it’s no different for Web3. A development stack is a plethora of tools that developers use to bring their projects to life. A Web3 stack is typically composed of a Web3 library, smart contracts, nodes, and wallets. Additionally, developers can utilize a purpose-built development stack like Radix to avoid having to find and curate a stack themselves.
Deciding if you are going solo or joining someone else
Learning the ins and out on your own is challenging in and of itself — but creating and implementing what you’ve learned is an entirely new ordeal. The DLT environment can be unforgiving for new and solo programmers. Not only does it cost tokens to upload code, but it can also be difficult (if not impossible) to edit it once it has been deployed.
Fortunately, Web3 projects and startups are constantly looking for developers. Oftentimes, these companies are willing to take on and train new developers since the demand is so high. This can be a great way to gain experience and learn on the job.
These opportunities can be found in a wide variety of places, including Twitter, Discord, and Web3 job boards. Projects will often post their openings on their social media accounts if they are actively looking. Even if a project isn’t seeking out candidates, there may still be an opportunity to join the team by engaging them on their Discord server.
As with any creative project, when combining your efforts with others, many compromises are made. Some of your ideas may not be realized. If creative freedom and independence are important to you, then creating your own project will be a safer choice.
A recent hackathon during the FooHack event with Redfoo demonstrates just how great collaboration can be. The team at the hackathon was able to put together a full program in a fraction of the time than could be achieved by going solo without guidance.
Web3 development is the place to be
While it may still be a relatively new space to be in, Web3 is the future. There are now more companies looking to hire developers than ever before. Having the resources and foundational knowledge are key to finding success in this burgeoning industry — regardless of whether you’re marketing yourself to employers or creating an independent Web3 project.
Piers Ridyard is CEO at RDX Works.
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NASA Says Hurricane Didn’t Hurt Artemis I Hardware, Sets New Launch Window
NASA’s Artemis I moon mission launch, stalled by Hurricane Ian, has a new target for takeoff. The launch window for step one of NASA’s bold plan to return humans to the lunar surface now opens Nov. 12 and closes Nov. 27, the space agency said Friday.
The news comes after the pending storm caused NASA to scrub the latest Artemis I Iaunch, which had been scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 2. As Hurricane Ian threatened to travel north across Cuba and into Florida, bringing rain and extreme winds to the launch pad’s vicinity, NASA on Monday rolled its monster Space Launch System rocket, and the Orion spacecraft it’ll propel, back indoors to the Vehicle Assembly Building at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.
The hurricane made landfall in Florida on Wednesday, bringing with it a catastrophic storm surge, winds and flooding that left dozens of people dead, caused widespread power outages and ripped buildings from their foundations. Hurricane Ian is “likely to rank among the worst in the nation’s history,” US President Joe Biden said on Friday, adding that it will take “months, years, to rebuild.”
Initial inspections Friday to assess potential impacts of the devastating storm to Artemis I flight hardware showed no damage, NASA said. “Facilities are in good shape with only minor water intrusion identified in a few locations,” the agency said in a statement.
Next up, teams will complete post-storm recovery operations, which will include further inspections and retests of the flight termination system before a more specific launch date can be set. The new November launch window, NASA said, will also give Kennedy employees time to address what their families and homes need post-storm.
Artemis I is set to send instruments to lunar orbit to gather vital information for Artemis II, a crewed mission targeted for 2024 that will carry astronauts around the moon and hopefully pave the way for Artemis III in 2025. Astronauts on that high-stakes mission will, if all goes according to plan, put boots on the lunar ground, collect samples and study the water ice that’s been confirmed at the moon’s South Pole.
The hurricane-related Artemis I rollback follows two other launch delays, the first due to an engine problem and the second because of a hydrogen leak.
Hurricane Ian has been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone but is still bringing heavy rains and gusty winds to the Mid-Atlantic region and the New England coast.
What You Get in McDonalds’ New Happy-Meal-Inspired Box for Adults
You’ve pulled up to McDonald’s as a full-on adult. You absolutely do not need a toy with your meal, right? Joking. Of course you do.
The fast-food chain will soon sell boxed meals geared toward adults, and each one has a cool, odd-looking figurine inside.
The meal has an odd name — the Cactus Plant Flea Market Box — that’s based on the fashion brand collaborating with McDonald’s on this promotion.
According to McDonald’s, the box is inspired by the memory of enjoying a Happy Meal as a kid. The outside of the box is multicolored and features the chain’s familiar golden arches.
The first day you can get a Cactus Plant Flea Market Box will be Monday, Oct. 3. Pricing is set by individual restaurants and may vary, according to McDonald’s. It’ll be available in the drive-thru, in-restaurant, by delivery or on the McDonald’s app, while supplies last.
You can choose between a Big Mac or 10-piece Chicken McNuggets. It will also come with fries and a drink.
Now about those toys. The boxes will pack in one of four figurines. Three of the four appear to be artsy takes on the classic McDonald’s characters Grimace, Hamburglar and Birdie the Early Bird, while the fourth is a little yellow guy sporting a McDonald’s shirt called Cactus Buddy.
In other McD news, Halloween buckets could be returning to the chain this fall. So leave some room in your stomach for a return trip.
Why companies like iHeartMedia, NBCU rely on homegrown IP to build metaverse engagements
To avoid potential blowback from a skeptical audience, retailers as well as media and entertainment companies are learning to invest in their homegrown intellectual properties while building virtual brand activations inside Roblox or Fortnite.
Take, for instance, when they get it wrong.
Earlier this week, Walmart launched its own Roblox world — called Walmart Land — and was roundly mocked for it across social media given the announcement’s disjointed brand message and apparent lack of life. In one viral tweet, a Twitter user described a clip of Walmart CMO William White introducing the Roblox space as “one of the saddest videos ever created.”
To some extent, this sort of criticism is to be expected during the early days of the metaverse.
“Walmart is an iconic brand; when you see them coming into a platform like Roblox, people are going to be 10 times more critical of what is being launched,” said Yonatan Raz-Fridman, CEO of the Roblox developer studio Supersocial.
But Walmart’s size is not its only disadvantage as it dips its toes into Roblox. Although Walmart has a widely recognizable brand, it owns few intellectual properties that users are actually interested in experiencing virtually — a shortcoming reflected by the somewhat cavernous emptiness of Roblox’s Walmart Land.
The success of other recent brand activations is evidence that media and entertainment brands are better equipped to build metaverse spaces that can dodge online skepticism, thanks to their wealth of owned IP.
“They are having to reinvent themselves, to a certain degree, but that is in their DNA,” said Jesse Streb, global svp of technology and engineering at the agency DEPT. “So they have a unique advantage over, say, some kludgy company that sells lumber, or a construction company.”
For example, iHeartMedia’s Roblox and Fortnite spaces were inspired by the mass media corporation’s wealth of popular real-life events, such as the Jingle Ball Tour and iHeartRadio Music Festival, with virtual versions of musicians like Charlie Puth performing pre-recorded concerts that allow real-time audience interaction.
“There’s a strong brand association with the IP, down to a station level — you’re in the New York area, you probably know Z100,” said iHeartMedia evp of business development and partnerships Jess Jerrick. “The same is true for the event IP, or the IP that we now have in the podcasting space, and of course our radio broadcast talent. So there’s no shortage of really strong IP we can bring into these spaces.”
Translating real-life properties into the metaverse is also an enticing prospect for brands that view metaverse platforms as an experimental marketing channel, allowing them to bring tried-and-true IP into their virtual activations instead of designing them from the ground level. This was part of the strategy behind the recent Tonight Show activation in Fortnite Creative, which was designed in collaboration between NBCUniversal and Samsung. “We’re looking at it holistically — how do we find fans in new ways, and use IP that fans love in new ways?” said NBCU president of advertising and client partnerships Mark Markshall.
Since opening on Sept. 14, iHeartLand has already enticed over 1.5 million Roblox users to visit. The company aims to retain that attention with a schedule of virtual programming featuring popular musicians and personalities.
“At our core, we are essentially an influencer network; our broadcast talent are some of the most connected, most engaging influencers at work in media today,” said Conal Byrne, CEO of iHeart Digital Audio Group. “That gives us this sort of superpower, to be able to go into new-ish platforms, like Roblox or Fortnite, because we talk to our listeners through those influencers.”
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