Scarcity of Web3 Developers in the Philippines
Addressing its worldwide shortage and leveraging it to make the Philippines a leader in web3 building.
The 2021 bull market accelerated web3 adoption in the Philippines. According to GWI’s 2021 Q4 broad global survey, the country ranked 2nd in cryptocurrency ownership.
As for Q1 of 2022, the country ranked 4th out of 26 countries in the NFT Gaming Adoption Report of a global fintech platform, Finder. The Philippines also became the top 3 with the highest number of MetaMask users. As for activities within this crypto wallet, the Philippines is Top 6 and 2 in DeFi and NFT Gaming, respectively.
All these data show that the Philippines has significant figures in web3 as a consumer. But how about as a builder?
Many web3 start-ups in the country are entering the space. Each firm has its unique solution that uses blockchain technology to address a problem present in the community. However, one of the dilemmas these web3 start-ups face is the lack of blockchain developers who will help them build their decentralized applications.
The Dearth of Blockchain Developers
This shortage is undeniable, and companies are already experiencing it as a blocker.
According to Forbes, as there is a grand vision and outlook for the future of the internet and global finance through web3, one thing that stands in the way is the lack of people to make it happen. These people pertain to blockchain developers. The scarcity of web3 programmers hinders its growth.
As per Yahoo Finance, blockchain developers remain in short supply globally. A study by LinkedIn and OKX using data collected from 180 countries between January 2019 to June 2022 shows the imbalance in the supply and demand of talent, with qualified candidates short in supply.
These reports show that blockchain developers are limited resources not just in the Philippines but also on a global scale.
Upon interacting with several web3 companies during our trips for web3 events within and outside the country, most have the same problem onboarding blockchain developers on their teams. With this, some web3 start-ups would resort to outsourcing their blockchain developers from countries like Vietnam and India.
Meanwhile, other web3 start-ups do not get the quality of developers they wanted to be part of their team because most programmers still lack the fundamentals of blockchain technology. Furthermore, some companies think that other web3 developers use their organizations as a training ground and eventually leave after a few months.
Initiatives of Onboarding Developers
There is a problem that needs a solution, and the Philippine government and local firms are already taking action.
Upskilling programs like training and bootcamps are needed initiatives to onboard developers in web3.
The scarcity of developers is one of the main problems identified by SparkLearn EdTech. This issue formulated our goal to onboard Filipino developers in web3 and for the country to become a forefront of web3 builders. We continue to deliver compelling content on our massive open online course (MOOC) platform. This platform hosts our very own Blockchain Developer Bootcamp (BDB).
BDB is a 12-week online bootcamp that teaches the fundamental concepts and tools in smart contract and decentralized application (DApp) development. This bootcamp focuses on the Ethereum blockchain, utilizing the Solidity programming language and other libraries.
Ethereum’s ecosystem is highly significant for developers thanks to its community, its developer-founder, Vitalik Buterin, and its wide range of reach on web3 projects because of Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible networks.
Last November 16, 2022, SparkLearn EdTech with SparkPoint Technologies and Web3 Philippines joined as community partners and facilitated the Introduction to Tezos and Smart Contracts workshop, organized by Tezos Philippines and TZAPAC at Draper Startup House Manila, Makati City.
Also, the Philippine government’s Department of Science and Technology (DOST) recently launched a blockchain technology training program for researchers. The main goal of this training was not much on the use cases that tend to focus on financial services, mainly on cryptocurrency, but more on how blockchain can play a role in areas like healthcare, financial support, and emergency aid.
Tech-focused conferences are also perfect avenues to entice and onboard developers. These help them keep up with the rapid pace of the tech industry and be familiar with new emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain.
Q4 of 2022 witnessed a handful of web3 conferences and events in Metro Manila on the same timeline as the Philippine Startup Week. These events include Web3 PH Summit, Philippine Web3 Festival, DevCon Summit 2022, and the Philippine Blockchain Week.
The Department of Information And Communications Technology (DICT) also had initiatives thanks to its ICT Industry Development Bureau headed by Ms. Emmy Lou Delfin. They recently held Global Blockchain Summit last October 26–27, 2022 in Balanga City, Bataan.
Teams on the country-side Bicol are also actively building a tech community in the province. Present are web3 start-ups based in Legazpi and Naga like SparkPoint, SparkLearn EdTech, Ownly, and MetaGaming Guild, non-profit tech organizations like Bicol IT, and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). They held the Bicol Blockchain Conference (BBC) 2022 in Legazpi City, Albay last November 14.
As blockchain and web3 continue to gain traction, the shortage of its developers should also be addressed. The Philippines’ lead in terms of being a consumer is a step to educate the citizens about the underlying technology of the platforms they are using.
Tech start-ups and ICT sectors in the academe, government, and private businesses must continue building communities and organizing conferences to further onboard developers. Students, aspiring developers, career shifters, and enthusiasts must continue to engage in communities, join conferences, upskill, and value continuous learning. Only through these efforts can the industry accelerate as well as recognize the country that has the potential to be at the forefront of builders in new emerging industries like web3.