How to Become a Solidity Developer
Why should I become a Solidity developer?
As web3, a term used to describe a more decentralized and democratized version of the internet, and its underlying technology, blockchain, continue to gain momentum, being deeply immersed in the ecosystem could lead to tangible benefits akin to learning how to develop internet applications in the 1990s.
Blockchain technology is what powers well-known decentralized applications and use cases such as NFTs, DeFi, and DAOs. To take part in shaping the future of the internet, becoming a blockchain developer is one of several paths to contribute to the web3 landscape, which could prove to be both impactful and lucrative, especially as the technology becomes more practical in consumer and industrial settings.
Keeping this in mind, you may be wondering which web3 programming languages to learn. One of the best choices is Solidity, an-object oriented programming language for executing smart contracts on blockchains such as the Ethereum.
According to web3 careers, the average annual salary for Solidity developers is $100,000, with some developers earning upwards of $180,000. In addition, developers can find themselves working remotely from anywhere in the world.
Working on a powerful technology in a decentralized, asynchronous, fast-moving, and high-paying environment is tough to beat in today’s increasingly digital world. If you’re still not convinced, here’s a brief summary of why the web3 movement is an attractive option for developers:
- Join 5,000+ other developers who are learning every week
- Answer quizzes on Discord, make new friends on Telegram, win swag
- Learn new programming skills and tools with a project-based curriculum
- Build your reputation as a web3 developer with Proof of Knowledge NFTs
7 Steps to Become a Solidity Developer
Now that we have a more formative understanding of what a Solidity developer is and the benefits of being a part of a burgeoning movement, let’s explore ways to learn more about Solidity:
1. Enroll in a Bootcamp
One effective method to fast-track learning Solidity and becoming an Ethereum developer is by attending a Solidity bootcamp. Through instructor-led bootcamps, developers can acquire core blockchain cryptography skills, gain a deeper understanding of Ethereum, build and deploy decentralized applications, and master smart contract development.
Alchemy University's 7-week Ethereum Developer Bootcamp is an ideal way for developers new to web3 to learn it's most popular programming language. Custom learning tools, interactive coding challenges, and evolving curriculums to match a growing industry are a handful of the benefits of Alchemy University's program.
2. Master Solidity Fundamentals
Nevertheless, to develop smart contract applications, developers have to understand the difference between safe and unsafe practices. Ignoring or overlooking smart contract security best practices is not advised.
Some Solidity fundamental concepts to master include Solidity functions and modifiers. Solidity functions are blocks of code or collections of statements compartmentalized together to execute a particular task. In general, Solidity functions can be defined by using the function keyword, followed by the name of a unique function that does not match any of the reserved keywords. Also, functions can also have a list of parameters containing the name and data type of the parameter.
Solidity modifiers are analog to the decorator pattern, which is used in object-oriented programming. In essence, a modifier can change the behavior of the function to which it is attached. The primary use case of modifiers is to automatically check a function, prior to execution. If the function does not meet the modifier’s requirement, an exception is made known, and immediately, the function execution stops.
3. Learn Complimentary Solidity Tools
Becoming a Solidity developer requires a broad understanding of web3 tools. Complimentary tools like Hardhat, Alchemy, and Remix (online IDE), will elevate your application profile since many companies use similar tech stacks.
Hardhat comes built-in with the Hardhat network, a local Ethereum network designed for development. Deploying contracts, running tests, and debugging code, is feasible all within the confines of your local machine.
When running contracts and tests on the Hardhat network, you can print logging messages and contract variables calling the console.log() function from your Solidity code. Don’t forget that to use this function, you will have to import hardhat/console.sol into your contract’s codebase
Foundry is a blazing fast, portable, and modular toolkit for Ethereum application development written in Rust. Foundry consists of three unique elements: Forge, Cast, and Anvil.
- Forge - an Ethereum testing network, similar to Hardhat and Truffle
- Cast - a feature-rich tool for interacting with EVM-based smart contracts, sending transactions and obtaining chain data
- Anvil - a local Ethereum node on the Hardhat network, similar to Ganache
Furthermore, there are other blockchain developer tools that developers can use. Though not an extensive list, here are a few suggested tools to check out:
- Truffle - a development environment, testing framework, and asset management pipeline for Ethereum
- Brownie - a Python-based development and testing framework for smart contracts targeting the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)
- Echidna - define properties for smart contacts and then use fuzzing to catch security bugs
- Remix- a powerful, open-source IDE to write, compile, and debug Solidity contracts from the browser
4. Gain Hands-on Experience Developing Solidity
Tutorials and courses are the main methods to learn Solidity development, whether you’re looking to create an NFT smart contract, an on-chain DAO, or a decentralized finance application. These web3 tutorials act as guided experiences where participants can asynchronously learn how to complete a specific task by following written documentation and video walkthroughs.
To get started, consider exploring the Solidity tutorials in Alchemy's Road to Web3 series including:
- How to Develop an NFT Smart Contract (ERC721)
- How to Build a "Buy Me a Coffee" DeFi dApp
- How to Make NFTs with On-chain Metadata
- How to Create an NFT Gallery
- How to Create a Dynamic NFT
- How to Build a Staking dApp
- How to Build an NFT Marketplace
- How to Build a Betting Game on Optimism
- How to Build a Token Swap Dapp with 0x API
- How to Create a Decentralized Social Media App
5. Participate in an Ethereum Hackathon
Hackathons are events where people come together from various backgrounds to develop a minimum viable product that solves a real-world problem. Ethereum hackathons are fantastic opportunities to make new connections globally, build your web3 portfolio, get hands-on development experience, and potentially, even land a job with a company sponsoring the event.
If you’re competing virtually or in-person, hackathons can provide you with a platform to delve even further into the web3 rabbit hole. Currently, the gold standards when it comes to web3 hackathons are EthGlobal events and Gitcoin. Both provide comprehensive training and hands-on experience.
6. Audit Smart Contracts for Bounties
Auditing smart contracts for bounties is another way to get hands-on experience, earn rewards, and intimately understand how smart contracts work. Besides bounty programs sponsored by individual companies and decentralized protocols, there are platforms for discovering bounty programs such as:
- Web3 native platforms - Immunefi and HackenProof
- Traditional platforms - Bugcrowd and HackerOne
- Project-managed bounties - Ethereum Foundation, ImmutableSoft, and 0xProject
7. Apply for Solidity Developer Jobs
With fundamentals and hands-on experience, the next step is to consider applying for a full-time Solidity developer role. You’ll find yourself working with teammates across the world building products, services, and infrastructure for the web3 ecosystem and decentralized technologies.
Don’t forget that energy, empathy, and proactive learning are extremely important too!
Update your Resume and LinkedIn
When applying for a Solidity developer role, it’s important to update your resume and LinkedIn to be web3-focused. Certainly highlight your profile, work experience, projects, education, skills, certifications, and a link to your portfolio.
On a final note, it’s also a good idea to include quantitative information, which helps you demonstrate your impact to recruiters and potential employers in a compelling way.
Research Positions on Web3 Job Boards
Researching positions on a web3 job boards is an effective way to explore roles that might be a good fit for you. Sites such as web3.career, cryptocurrencyjobs.co, and web3jobs.so are great places to start.
Large web3 companies like Alchemy, OpenSea, and Coinbase will have internal resources dedicated to sourcing, recruiting, and hiring, which means open positions will likely be hosted on their careers page.
Lastly, aspiring Solidity engineers can explore job boards like Indeed and Monster.com for crypto jobs posted by web2 companies, and large web3 companies cross-posting positions for greater visibility.