Onboarding the Next Generation of Web3 Developers
Crypto is a nascent industry and rapidly growing culture, emerging at the intersection of open-source software development and innovative financial modeling. Not only has the space attracted financial professionals and entrepreneurs alike, but also software engineers from the existing world of Web development.
Since the early 2000s the internet has moved towards “user generated content, and the emergence of a social web”. But now crypto has ignited the next chapter of development of the internet, known as Web3 or The Internet of Value. This new domain of software innovation is characterized by open-source and decentralized applications capable of handling and transacting value via digital tokens and smart contracts.
To accommodate increasing interest in well-trained web developers, NEAR has partnered with 101Labs to design and launch NEAR Academy! As an early initiative positioned to recruit, train, and deploy the next generation of Web3 developers, NEAR Academy offers a unique opportunity for web developers to break into the crypto-verse. This comes at a time when both demand and opportunity for quality developers is exponentially increasing:
NEAR Academy: Fast Facts
Who is it For?
NEAR Academy has been designed for web developers globally, provided they speak English and have NPM installed. NEAR Academy is an accelerator for web developers looking to learn more about blockchain technology, how to integrate blockchain functionalities to their Apps, or make the transition into Web3 entirely. It provides an onboarding from zero, and can be completed by any web developer regardless of whether they know anything about blockchain or not.
How Does it Work?
NEAR Academy is an 8-chapter education hub composed of both theory and practice. Each chapter comes with an exercise aimed at giving participants an interactive and hands-on experience.
Participants follow a narrated path through the content; they start at the Meme Museum — one of the many possible inventions of the Web3 space- and gradually get to do more of the work on the smart contracts involved in the management of a decentralized museum for memes with features of social media and community.
By registering and completing the course, a developer is awarded a certificate of completion that can be downloaded and shared with future employers or on social media. Notably, Developers may also just browse through the course without registering, as all of the content is open-source, and fully accessible.
What Future Developments Are In Store For NEAR Academy?
The NEAR Ecosystem is extremely young, but also growing quickly. In the context of the emerging Web3 space, NEAR Academy will not only power the next generation of developers on NEAR, but it will also prepare existing software developers to engage with the larger world of the crypto-verse: Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), Social Tokens, working with Oracles, the Rainbow Bridge, and much more is in store!
What Happens When I Complete The Course?
A course is considered Complete at NEAR Academy when all the chapters within the course have been completed. Registered users are awarded a Certificate of Achievement upon completion of the course. In the future graduates of NEAR Academy will be granted a special category in the Open Web Sandbox, from which projects in the NEAR Ecosystem can source their services either on a contract or bounty basis.
Jumping Into Crypto: Learning About NEAR Protocol
For many people the crypto-verse is a foreign land with its own language, culture, and customs. NEAR Academy is the first step for web developers to enter this new world, and familiarize themselves with its underlying structure, values, and opportunities. The culture of Web3 is highly collaborative, open, and engaging:
NEAR Academy walks prospective Web3 developers through both the theoretical and practical foundations of building in the NEAR Ecosystem. A brief overview of each chapter of the program is outlined below:
Chapter 1: Why Should You Care? An overview of the core values of Web3 Protocols specifically as they relate to Trust, Censorship Resistance, Availability, and Transparency.
Chapter 2: Key Concepts of Web3 An overview of the Web3 stack logic and reason for being. From accounts, to security, to contracts, to key performance and data storage.
Chapter 3: What is NEAR? A look at all facets of NEAR: Native Primitives, the NEAR Token, Metrics of NEAR Protocol, as well as interoperability between products.
Chapter 4: The NEAR Environment. The backend and front-end design of NEAR, across application, protocol, and run-time layers, transaction processing, and gas transactions.
Chapter 5: On NEAR Contracts. The ins and outs of the NEAR account and transaction model including all 8 primitive actions, designing contract functions and deployment to the NEAR network. Contract authors can use either AssemblyScript or Rust for implementation.
Chapter 6: Deploying A NEAR Contract. Creating, defining, and exporting a contract based on the Developer Meme Museum.
Chapter 7: Build Your Interface. All things related to interacting with the contract that you have just deployed from the frontend.
Chapter 8: What’s Next? Integrating with the broader NEAR community. Launching a career in crypto as a contributor, Guild lead, or bounty-hunter on NEAR.
In these eight chapters, developers have the capacity to go from zero-to-familiar with the most important aspects of the NEAR ecosystem. With more modules on the way, any software developer can use NEAR Academy to quickly and easily learn the basics of NEAR Protocol as a way of jump-starting their own journey in the Web3 ecosystem.
The Meme Museum: A First Home For NEAR Developers
The Meme Museum is currently the playground for NEAR Academy participants to interact with NEAR testnet as they start to build their first applications and deploy their own contracts. This home showcases some of the best applications, tooling, and features of NEAR Protocol through the concrete instantiation of different projects and memes created by other developers. While still in its infancy, the Meme Museum is fully open-sourced and deployed on testnet. In this sense, it is open for building and testing new applications and features!
While current developers interact with the Meme Museum as a part of their journey into NEAR, the museum may become a popular Dapp on mainnet, and first-home for new NEAR developers in the future.
Reading the Signs of the Times: Training Web3 Developers for A Decentralized and Permissionless Future
In context, NEAR Academy is both a unique opportunity and fitting vehicle for ecosystem development, that has the potential to expedite a developers’ transition from Web development into Web3 development. In 2020, a Global Developer Study suggested that there are currently 26.9 million developers around the world, with that number set to increase to 45 million by 2030. As the study specifically emphasized:
”We can expect an approximate 75% growth in the number of software developers worldwide in the upcoming decade” (Future Processing Business Blog)
In parallel to this growth, the NEAR Team has set clear goals for bringing developers into the ecosystem over the course of the year:
“We’ve got a shared goal across NEAR to help onboard 2,500 developers and support 10 successful apps in 2021.” (NEAR Marketing Update)
Taking these two projections together, it becomes clear that NEAR Academy is positioned to become the pivotal starting point for any of the existing 27 million web developers looking to transition into the emerging world of Web3 software development. For a future that is decentralized, permissionless, and open to anyone — NEAR Academy is a welcoming home for building the next generation of Dapps, protocols, and contracts.
Get your NEAR Academy certificate visit the Academy today! You can also check out the academies open-source repository on Github, as well as the contract basis of the Meme Museum. With a world of new applications and solutions awaiting development, there is no better time for starting your journey into Web3 through NEAR Academy.