Working in Web3: The Handbook

Working in Web3: The Handbook

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🌊 Preface

Hi there, I'm Scott Sunarto (https://twitter.com/smsunarto) πŸ‘‹

I’m the founder of Argus Labs - an experimental crypto gaming company. I'm studying Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at UC Berkeley. Before all of this, I was a a Blockchain Security Engineer at Trail of Bits, Software Engineer Intern at Uniswap Labs, and helped build Dark Forest. Recently, there's a surge in interest of people looking to "break" into web3/crypto; this naturally leads to a lot of people asking for tips on how to get started. This Notion doc aims to do exactly just that. I want it to be a document that cool peops can send to their friends to help them find their place in crypto. This document is highly inspired by Paige Doherty's "Tech & VC: The Foundation", which I recommend checking out as well for more "meta" tech related tips!

[not really sponsored, but lol]

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Come work with my former colleagues!

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Just have to put this up here since it's probably going to be relevant to a lot of people reading this. Cool free program if you are looking to get deep into web3! Check it out :D

Using This Notion

This Notion serves more as a "handbook" rather than an essay. Feel free to jump around using the content list on the top of the page and read it in sections. You can bookmark it for future reading (see guide below if you don't know how to)

πŸͺ The Meta Stuff

"The dicussion of 'why' and 'why not' of a crypto career"

Let's address the elephant in the room: there's so much noise in this space. In general, I think it's extremely useful to develop your own conviction on why a career in web3/crypto would make sense for you. Crypto might be "up only" now, but it has always been an industry that operates closely around a cycle. If you don't develop your own conviction, it's easy to get disillusioned by the FOMO and you just end up churning when the bear market kicks in. Below is some relevant readings that might be useful:

Note: I'm a Paradigm simp if you can't tell already.

πŸ§‘β€πŸŽ“ Learning Crypto

If there's one thing you take away from this doc, let it be this:

You want to work in crypto? You should learn crypto. This is easily the lowest hanging fruit to help you land a cool gig. While companies don't exclusively hire people who have experience in crypto, it's almost always listed as a nice-to-have.

Meta Note - "Learn By Doing"

I can't emphasize a more practical way of learning crypto than by actually getting your feet wet. It's very tempting to just watch a bunch of videos or read a bunch of articles, but I don't think it's comparable to actually using it. Regardless of what resources you use below, I encourage you to actually go out there and try the various dApps!

At the very least, you should:

Have a crypto wallet
Understand how to connect your crypto wallet to a dApp (i.e. Uniswap)
Know how to send ETH & ERC20 tokens to another person using your crypto wallet
Know how to switch between networks in your crypto wallet (i.e. Polygon, Rinkeby testnet, etc.)
Know how to use Uniswap
Know why giving your private key or seed phrase is an absolute no no

Stage 1: High Level Overview

Videos

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This is a playlist! Very cool course from Blockchain@Berkeley. An older iteration of the course is what I used to get started.

Readings

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Note: Lay-of-the-land of various Ethereum applications.

Interactive

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Cool "learning-by-doing" site thing

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This is an Ethereum development tutorial. Very optional for people who is non-technical, but I highly recommend it because it helps you understand how things work in the background. It's pretty fun and approachable too!

Stage 2: The Rabbithole

At this stage, you can pick-and-choose of what you want to dive deeper in. I generally recommend having some level of understanding on the topics listed below! One thing I'll point out is that you don't need to "get" or feel excited about all the topics here. I'm personally super excited about DeFi and close to no interest in vanity DAOs. Everyone have their own philosophy and interest! Resources below are simply places where you can get started! The rabbithole is deep 😡

Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

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Paid book, but it's cool.

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It is in my humble opinion that this entire channel is pure "chef's kiss".

Example of DeFi dApps:

NFTs

NFT Marketplaces

NFT Social

Scaling

πŸ’Έ Finding a Job in Crypto

Congratulations! Now that you've learned the crypto basics, you are on the hunt for a cool job!

Working for Company vs. DAO vs. Grants

In crypto, you have several options on who you can work for. You can work either work for a company like usual, work for a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), or you can work by taking on grants from these companies or DAOs. Here are some high-level observations:

Working for a company

  • It's pretty much like working in non-crypto companies.
  • You get paid salary + token/equity comp
  • You can expect to get the usual benefits

Working for a DAO

  • More often than not, it's going to be remote.
  • You can work anonymously for DAOs.
  • Usually, no benefits like insurance.
  • Usually, Salary is done fully on-chain with crypto + token vesting.

Taking on grants from companies or DAOs

  • This would be the web3 equivalent to "freelancing"
  • Flexible hours, work from anywhere, you can do this on top of your main job
  • Good way to get started and see whether working in crypto is for you
  • Ex: Uniswap Grants, Compound Grants, Aave Grants, etc.

Job Boards

VC Job Boards

These folks just trynna add value

General Job Boards

Specialized Job Boards

Software Engineering

Note: This part assumes that you are already familiar about software engineering and knows how to code.

Congratulations, everyone is trying to hire you. Jokes aside, there are several different path ways you can go as a software engineer in crypto.

Common engineering/technical roles and example of who hires them:

  • Smart Contract Engineer
    • Protocols (i.e. Uniswap, Aave, etc)
  • Mobile/Frontend/Backend/Software Engineer (General software engineering)
    • Crypto wallet (i.e. Metamask, Rainbow, etc)
    • Protocols (i.e. Uniswap, Aave, etc)
  • Smart Contract/Blockchain Security Engineer (Auditing)
    • Smart contract auditing firm (i.e. Trail of Bits, Consensys Dilligence, OpenZeppelin, etc)
    • Protocols (albeit much rarer)
  • Researcher
    • Venture capital firm (i.e. Paradigm, Polychain, etc)
    • Research-based companies (i.e. Starkware, etc)

Resources

General

Smart Contract Development

Libraries

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Industry standard smart contract libraries. You'll see them a lot.

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"its like dappsys + oz + some uni libs but gas golfed af" - transmissions11

Tools

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People will try to shill dapptools, but trust me, just start with hardhat. You can get dapptools pilled later. There is more guide/tutorials/help with hardhat. This is the classic "CS tech bro trying to shill you vim to get started on coding but you end up quitting coding altogether because you cant quit vim" kind of dilemma.

Example Codebases

Learning from people's codebases is often useful to find cool patterns! Here are some to get started; don't worry if it's hard, these protocols are often really complex and highly optimized.

Smart Contract Security

Nightmares

Interactive Learning

Tools

Front-end Development

Libraries

The Graph

Example Codebases

[More jobs to come]

If you want to contribute to writing a section on other crypto-native jobs and resources to get started, help me out!

πŸ§‘β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘ Network / Stay Up to Date / Find Friends

Twitter

Twitter is hands down the best place to be in crypto. Just be yourself in Twitter! If you like shitposting like me, just yolo. If you like making threads or writing essays, you do you.

Here are some good follows to get you started:

Fellowship

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"A curated community of brilliance in web3" Really cool program for those interested in getting deep into web3! Definitely check it out :D

Hackathons

Hackathons are a great way to explore new tech, test your skills, find new friends, and vibe!

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ETHGlobal run the most well-run hackathons that I've participated in. Check them out!

Blockchain Clubs

If you are in a university, blockchain clubs can be a good starting point to find your tribe.

Examples:

Newsletters / Media

I don't really read newsletters, but if you are into that.

πŸ”— Other Cool Resource Collections

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