Web 3 After the Crypto Crash

Modis Posted 22 July 2022

The term “Web 3” gets bandied around a lot, without much clarity on what it means – and partly because of this lack of clarity, the concept has taken a bit of a battering as collateral damage in the recent crypto crash. But writing off Web 3 on this basis would be a mistake – after all, the technology that underpinned the Web 2.0 concept survived the dotcom crash at the turn of the century and went on to define how we interact with each other online for the 20 years that followed.

Just as the technology behind Web 2.0 persisted beyond the dotcom crash and formed the backbone of the participatory Internet, the technologies that underpin Web 3 will be with us for years to come and will redefine how we use the Internet.

What is Web 3?

Web 3 is the next stage in the evolution of the Internet; its defining characteristic is decentralisation, giving users more control over their online activity and personal data. This is achieved through technologies like distributed ledgers and storage, making use of blockchain, and will eventually supplant Web 2.0’s centralisation, surveillance, and questionable advertising practices. Users will be able to own and control their data, which presents a challenge to the centralised tech giants of the Web 2.0 era.

The other core characteristics of Web 3 are data immutability through distributed ledger technology such as blockchain; security, achieved using cryptography and digital signatures; privacy via encryption; and interoperability through the use of open protocols and standards. While each of these characteristics can be found in some form right now, it’s their use together that forms Web 3.

What hard skills do I need for Web 3?

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way: to successfully develop for Web 3, you first need web development skills. If you’re interested in developing for Web 3, there’s a good chance you have at least some of these skills in place already. So, if you know how to build and deploy web applications and are comfortable with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, you have the foundations in place. And if you feel your skills in these areas need more development, the fact they’re established skills in the industry means there’s a host of appropriate courses to get you up to speed – including at our own Modis Tech Academy.

You’ll also need a good understanding of blockchain technology, as its use as a distributed ledger system underpins the whole Web 3 concept. You need to understand how distributed ledger systems work in order to be able to develop things like smart contracts and decentralised apps (dApps). We expect that the ability to develop dApps will be a particularly sought-after skill as larger organisations seek to capitalise on Web 3 technologies, not least because of the potential cost savings that can be realised from running dApps across distributed technology rather than traditional applications on centralised servers (which are often a major vulnerability from a cybersecurity perspective).

And the soft skills?

The key soft skill is the ability to work collaboratively. This is no departure from traditional web development– even when developing for Web 2.0, it’s important to be able to work with a wide range of stakeholders that includes software engineers, designers, and users. Being able to communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders is a key skill now and will remain so in the future.

Web 3 technology is still very much in its nascent phase. That inevitably means a high degree of volatility, as the recent crypto crash demonstrates. For that reason, people who cope well with unpredictability and sudden change are in high demand among companies with Web 3 aspirations.

You must also be prepared to work differently. The roadmap for a Web 3 platform or protocol is usually the reverse of those for traditional tech platforms like Facebook or Google, in that it begins with a community and then develops a product to serve them. This can be disconcerting for people from a traditional tech background, and the ability to adjust will determine whether you sink or swim.

And lastly, it’s important to remember that most Web 3 opportunities are currently found among young start-ups, with established tech giants only dipping their toes in the water at this stage. If you’ve worked at a start-up before, you’ll already know what that means – not everyone is cut out for long hours or wants equity as part of their compensation package, and you shouldn’t expect the futuristic, campus-like premises that companies like Apple and Google offer.

If not now, when?

Given all this, it’s perfectly understandable if you’d prefer to take a “wait-and-see” approach to Web 3. You may be more comfortable moving into the field once the relevant technologies, standards, and practices are more established. But technologies like blockchain, encryption, and cryptography aren’t going away, so we’d advise all tech professionals (and those with an interest in web development in particular) to ensure they keep their skills and knowledge in these areas up to date. That way, you can future proof your skillset and be ready for the Web 3 wave – whenever it hits.

If you’d like to discuss how Web 3-ready your current skill set is and examine your next steps, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our experts are on hand to help you chart out your skills roadmap.

Would you like to discuss how Web 3-ready your current skill set is and examine your next steps?Don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our experts are on hand to help you chart out your skills roadmap.Contact us
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