Developer advocacy has always fascinated me as a career. Since I finished my full stack coding Bootcamp and jumped into my career as a front-end developer, I’ve always thought it would be awesome to make a career out of devrel!
Sometimes it’s called developer relations and, in some cases, developer evangelism. We see a lot of tech Twitter famous folks who go into these types of roles and grow their followers. It is not all likes and follows. Most developer advocates don’t have quite the following as the handful of niche ones you might see popping up on your Twitter feed.
So once we cut through the noise, I’ve found developer advocates on different teams have these types of responsibilities:
Picture this, you’re ready to deploy your next amazing smart contract, maybe it’s a minting contract for an awesome NFT collection, a contract for a Token, or maybe you’re deploying a contract for a Governor DAO. (Don’t worry you don’t need to know what all of this is for this tutorial) Whatever it is, what if you didn’t budget properly for the gas fees needed to deploy said contract? It’s important to understand and account for how much it’s going to cost you to get these Smart Contracts deployed onto the Ethereum Blockchain.
In this tutorial, we’re going to take a look at building a small dashboard that will give us some insights into the gas fees for the most recent blocks on Ethereum. We’re going to get a gas fee history from the 20 latest blocks and display that information in a graph and small chart so our users can get an idea of how the gas fees are at the moment.
Last year I pivoted full time into Web3 and its been an amazing experience so far. I’ve made a lot of friends and new connections in the space that have helped me grow both as a developer and a content creator. I wasn’t going to make any new years resolutions for 2022 but I ate my words when I said ok let me help more people interested in web3 get into the space.
So as I’m writing this it is now January 19th and I’ve been mulling over how best to do this and I’ve come to a couple of plans I’m hoping to execute this year.
First up - Tweeting out referrals to folks who are hiring.
An awesome part of using a dApp is the fact that you can connect your wallet and and be logged in or signed up for the application right away. The problem that this may bring is that wallets are this large string of alphanumeric characters and don't make the best usernames. See example below:
Ew right? This isn't the greatest way of displaying a username. You could do something like create a form and ask for a preferred username or we could leverage the decentralized web and look at using existing ENS usernames in our applications.
Let's take a look at how we can do this using React and the Ethers library.
Note: None of the companies or projects mentioned in this blog post are paying me to write this. Would be cool though lol.
Recently announced my full time dive into the web3 space and a few folks have been asking me what kind of roadmap or resources I used to get into the space. I’ll open with an honest and maybe brutal truth: anyone who tells you there is a definitive list of things you can do to just become a dev in this space is probably feeding you some bullshit. That said, there are a lot of cool resources out there that can help but there is no one size fits all roadmap. That will ultimately depend on you, the journey you want to take, and where you want to end up in this space.
I’m going to share the resources I used along with an explanation of why I feel they are good. Not all of these resources will work for everyone, please keep that in mind. My take on this is going to probably be biased towards front end devs, why? Because I’m a frontend dev and that’s where I can share my expertise. I am learning and teaching blockchain development as well but as I am not someone with a paid job as a solidity or smart contract developer take what I say with a grain of salt.
Warning: Jumbled up thoughts about a product I may or not build. None of this is organized and may or may not make sense!
I did this with an earlier post on a web3 music platform. I’ve been wanting to take any ideas I have for dApps and jot them down in case I move forward in building them or someone else can pick it up and bring it to life. This is a live writing things down as I think about the idea exercise. You aren’t reading it live but I’m thinking of it live and just jotting it down to see if it sounds feasible.
I’ve been thinking a lot about web3 events both in person and virtual and am currently flirting with the idea of putting together a web3 dev conference. Side note: if that’s something you want to collaborate on please do let me know :D. Anyway, so thinking through this I wondered what a token gate streaming platform could potentially look like. An event platform that lets you buy a ticket in the form of minting an NFT and uses authentication via wallet and NFT to allow you access to the event. A fun way of incorporating actual web3 technology in the virtual web3 events that may or may not end up taking place.
Let’s start with the technology that I would want to use to build this:
So in January of this year I started trying to learn more about the Web3 space. I messed around with some solidity and and generally did some reading and lurking, just checking out what other people are doing. I started off just trying to really learn the solidity language but didn’t do much else on that front. As the year went on I started seeing some content from Nader Dabit on web3 and that pushed me to start diving into thing a little bit more.
The whole space was really cool, I loved the concept of a new creator economy. As a former musician (I know I’ve complained about this a lot but I’m still salty) I remember paying way more to keep my music on platforms like Spotify and Itunes than I actually earned from several thousands of plays.
The more I started trying out different things like buying more Eth and then trying to stake it and doing the same for Solana and then minting my first NFT the more I just fell down the web3 rabbit hole. This pun is going to be super fun in a second.
I decided to go all in on web3 in a way that I knew would work for me - I would learn and then teach others what I learned to further solidify the concepts I was taking in. To keep myself accountable I joined one of Joe Previte’s accountability groups. This was definitely a great choice! I was learning web3 concepts alongside a couple other folks and was able to ask questions to people more experienced in the field like Miguel Piedrafita. The group shared a bunch of resources as we learned together and I decided to participate in a hack weekend (Farza hates when we call it a course) on Buildspace. I highly recommend doing any of those hack weekends when they come up, its a project based way of learning web3. Also I think I’m the only one who calls it a hack weekend?
It’s daylight savings time now in a lot of parts of the world. We’re getting a little less sunlight, the days are shorter, and seasonal depression hits you like a fucking truck. The seasonal bit for me is that my depression just kind of gets worse than it is the rest of the year. I actively noticed it this year, I was trying to observe changes and I noticed I felt a bit more down than before. Yet it wasn’t as bad as it normally was. A lot of it is due to me taking my mental health more seriously. I’m privileged to be able to afford a therapist as well as to be able to take medication that helps me through the rough patches. While sitting and thinking through things I realized there was another additional thing aside from all of this and family and friends. The dopamine hits I’ve been getting from participating the the hype that is Web3.
I’ve been in and out of more than a few discords over the past couple of months. Some are just too jam packed to feel like I gain anything from it. But the hype is great isn’t it? When you’re able to ape into a cool looking PFP project or getting that NFT to join some exclusive web3 group. All the FOMO, gas wars, rugs, and loot derivatives get you pumped and you’re thinking , “bear market? I don’t know her!”
I’ve been wondering what happens when some of this hype does die down. When the majority of NFT projects don’t go anywhere. When yields in defi aren’t as wild as they are right now. Thats a ton of dopamine that isn’t going to be there anymore.
A couple of days ago I wrote up a little thread on Twitter about an idea I had on a web3 music project. This is an exercise in fleshing out the idea a little more in case I decide to build it out on a stream or on my own elsewhere. Here is the initial tweet thread if you want to see my first set of thoughts:
So the idea came to me based on some of my own experiences. I was a very mediocre rapper once upon a time and used to pay a third part service an annual fee to keep my music up on places like Spotify, Itunes etc. The thing is as great as this services are for the consumer they don’t really reward the creator very much. In comes web3 however with some power to propel the creator economy, lets take a look at how this could work in one project for musicians.
Ultimately this would be some sort of music discovery platform. You can check out new and upcoming bands, kpop groups, rappers, singers, whatever and take a listen to some of their music. These artists create profiles for you to look through and discover the material they put out. They would also give you the ability to purchase a coin representing their brand or an NFT representing their brand. Holding these assets could give you exclusive access to meet and greets as well as limited edition merch. Exclusives for you as a fan who supported them from the start of their career.
Learning to code can be tough, deciding what to learn while learning to code is tougher. I remember after finishing my bootcamp there were several things I tried to do. I tried learning Python, Java, Go, Rust, AWS, and every new tech that people were talking about on Twitter. I guess I was trying to become that magic unicorn developer that some of these job postings want.
This had a very adverse affect on my interviews. I had things on my resume that were nice flashy keywords but when asked about them I couldn't explain much more than the regurgitated tag line I read at the start of the docs. I couldn't explain what they do, how they work, or why I could choose to use the technologies. I mean I couldn't really say that people were talking about it on Twitter so I used it could I?
The problem here was that I was learning way too many things at the same time and not actually learning a thing. My mind wanders, I get distracted by cool things and sometimes I can't help it. I might be hyper focused on one thing sometimes and then all of a sudden lose interest and focus on something else entirely.
During on specific interview I was told to bring in a project that I worked on and present it and talk about the tech that I had used to build it. Looking at their tech stack I decided to bring a project that I was working on based on a tutorial all about Postgres, GraphQL, and React. I had a decent understanding of React at this point and not a great understanding of either Postgres or GraphQL.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning about web3 but one thing that has caught me off guard a little about it is the cost associated with deploying something on the Ethereum main network. Scaling Ethereum at first glance seemed almost impossible! High gas prices start being an issue when the network is getting busier since many are hoping to outbid others when sending transactions.
Some awesome tools like Polygon which is a framework for creating blockchain solutions that is compatible with Ethereum have brought in some great fast, low cost transactions into the space making it easier to scale. This type of solution is called a sidechain. These solutions are awesome but let’s take a look at other new ways for scaling data on Ethereum.
There is an Ethereum 2.0, also known as Serenity which is being worked on which is meant to be more scalable, sustainable, and secure. This upgrade cuts down on the large amounts of computing power and energy needed. Estimates show that Ethereum will use 99% less power on Serenity. This is amazing, it will cost less, be quicker, more secure and scalable but the thing is, the work to get this up and running won’t be done until later in 2022. In the meantime however, according to Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin ETH2 scaling for data will be available much sooner.
It's fun to listen for clicks and whenever we press a key but it's even more fun when we can listen for events that happen somewhere else completely. This allows us to create real time applications and if you're building on the blockchain it can be done with just a few lines of code!
The code we're going to be discussing below was built while I was taking a course all about building Smart Contracts at BuildSpace. If you're interested in really diving into the things I'm going to discuss I highly recommend checking out their courses which are all cohort based and free!
Earlier this year I wrote about effective learning with tutorials. You can view that here:
Now I wanted to map out a way to use tutorials and other resources to help folks interested in learning about Web3 and the Crypto space. A lot of this is what I've been doing and different resources I've been using so far will be mentioned below!
In January of 2021 I got this idea in my head about looking further into the blockchain space. I had been seeing some chatter online about it had poked around with Solidity here and there to see what I could do about it. I didn’t share anything I built at the time and wish I had started right then and there to start learning about web3 in a more public format.
The past is the past but since then a lot of things have changed. I knew I really wanted to get into web3 when I realized what it could do for creators, artists, musicians. All three of those are interchangeable in many cases. Creatives might be a good way to just refer to us all. I used to be a hip hop artist and although I occasionally get the urge to spit a couple bars that time has come to pass and I’m now just a nerd who googles things for a living (software engineer). Earlier this year I stopped paying for my music to be kept up on places like Spotify and Apple Music. It took thousands of plays just to break even and honestly it just wasn’t worth the novelty of having music on Spotify anymore. It made me wonder how many other musicians came to this same place, how many were probably way better than I was but just couldn’t continue because they needed to make money for a living.
In came the world of NFT’s and specifically while they aren’t as well known as the apes, punks, or kittens of the crypto space the music that started coming up and the way musicians could make actual money off their art became apparent to me, especially when I saw Crypto Rapper, Spottie Wifi, make 200k in 60 seconds for his music. People who got ownership of the NFT’s that were associated to his music could now use them for commercial purposes in movies, videos, wherever. Instant new revenue stream for a musician.
Now I really needed to dig in to the underlying technology further. I had seen Nader Dabit sharing introduction tutorials about the web3 space and started consuming all the content I could.
Cryptocurrency, NFT, and gm seem to have become common knowledge among most folks interested in Web3 at the moment. There is a lot of growing chatter now about Decentralized Autonomous Organizations or DAO for short.
Let's imagine for a second that you, your neighbor, random people across town or across the country you have never met all had the ability to actually make decisions about what a specific organization can do. Maybe you all have an interest in video games and want to decide on what new video game gets the funding to be completed. Maybe you're all investors and want to decide who the next big web3 startup to invest in will be.
The point is you all have some similar interests and without needed to know each other can work together in determining what creators in the space you're interested should be funded or what proposals the organization has brought needs to be focused on. You all even help decide who works for the organization!