The Complete Guide to Full-Stack Web3 Development
Web3 is the next evolution of the digital space we’re already so fond of. And while previous iterations led to social media and online shopping; owned by big mega-companies, Web3 is taking that all apart again. The result is decentralised, cleaner UX and blockchain-powered experiences taking up the forefront with an internet that’s easier (and more private) to navigate than ever before. You’ll find leading web design agency teams and freelancers alike are hailing Web3 as the standard for development and adapting their ways of working in droves. Now you too can learn more about this emerging technology and how to make use of it in this condensed but complete guide to full-stack Web3 development.
What is Web3?
Wired explains it well, “At the most basic level, Web3 refers to a [decentralised] online ecosystem based on the blockchain.” It takes the automatic trust away from websites and portals and brings it back home to the consumer. As such, it demands tangible credibility and doesn’t hand over information to big companies. And before you stamp your feet and demand to stick with the old ways of gathering & managing data, know that customers care more now. TechRepublic reports, in a KPMG survey, “86% of the respondents said they feel a growing concern about data privacy, while 78% expressed fears about the amount of data being collected.”
So, what does full-stack Web3 development look like in practice:
Blockchain as the standard
Forget holding all the keys to the castle. Decentralised data is the future and something that your visitors and customers demand. Users can use Wallets to access and pay for goods and services with near anonymity. And they’ll retain ownership of their data before, during and after the transaction. Repeat business will need to be earned, not coerced. But getting ahead of these requirements can earn you goodwill with consumers. To them, the pandemic has increased a need for privacy and protection while working & living online.
Working in Ethereum
Because the blockchain will grow, its associated technologies will too. One of the most popular blockchain solutions and largest Web3 platforms is Ethereum. And Web3 developers will need to begin working with Solidity and EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) to start building smart contracts for it, sidechains and other platforms like Celo, Avalanche or Fantom. Lastly, you’ll want to give the other smart contract development language ‘Rust’ a go. Combined with Solidarity, it’s one of the most in-demand skills for Web3 full-stack development.
The frontend of Web3
Integrating VR/AR experiences
All the talk about the metaverse is fairly justified. The concept has been around for more than 20 years and we’ve seen evolutions of these AR and VR experiences over time. From small guild weddings in World of Warcraft to multi-million attendee concerts in Fortnite; the metaverse is real but it’s changing. According to ARinsider, “38 percent of global consumers are familiar with the metaverse, defined as the blurring line between digital and physical spaces.” So Web3 development is likely to exist on the edge of this space, pushing the envelope out, for some time. The expertise around creating a digital twin of goods and services is set to boom.
ML/AI for innovation
Machine learning and AI is doing more than automating plants and making sensory decisions. According to Unthinkable, “ML [and AI] gears the programmer and the developer to sift piles of data and present relevant information, which will be used by the marketer to create magical products. With the data that is sought as a result of these processes, the companies anticipate needs and accordingly come up with product ideas.” This means visitors get advancements they never even articulated. But algorithms will still need to be tweaked to accommodate the new standard of decentralisation in Web3 applications.
SEO for all media
Right now, the search space is still pretty dumb. Google and other engines can serve you great results around text-based content. But across web search, videos & photos are served based on alt-tags and structured data still. That’s not going to be the case in Web3 environments. SEO is moving toward an understanding of what is a good image versus a bad image or a video that could go viral versus a draft live. Through a combination of complex ML, AI and algorithms, search is getting smarter. It’s trying to anticipate the user’s requirements while learning from every successful and failed result it serves. This is presenting a more level playing field for new market entrants in the online space.
Managing distributed storage solutions
Lastly, to enable all this advancement, you need to access chains of immutable data. That means coming to grips with new file storage protocols like InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), Filecoin and Arweave. Or you could store data in sidechains, off the blockchain, in a Layer2 configuration. No matter where you store your data, querying and indexing it with fresh tech like The Graph is easier than many think. It makes creating open APIs or subgraphs quick and simple. They state, “Subgraphs can be composed into a global graph of all the world’s public information. This data can be transformed, [organised], and shared across applications for anyone to query with just a few keystrokes.”
In short, it’s easy to see why Web3 is so alluring for tech-savvy consumers. It gives the power back to them and protects their data. And for developers, it’s easy to create decentralised applications and robust user experiences once you become familiar with just a few key players like Solidarity, Arweave, The Graph and so on. As a complete guide to full-stack Web3 development, we’ve highlighted the key trends, dominant platforms and market movement around this emerging internet to help you harness the future today.