What is Blockchain Development and How to Become a Blockchain Developer?

What is Blockchain Development and How to Become a Blockchain Developer?

We all know that there are frontend and backend developers in Web2. But Web3 is different. Respectively, these types of developers don’t quite well translate into a decentralized web.

Web3 development is quite different, and we need other terms to refer to the developers who work with Web3 applications and blockchain development. Programmers who work with Web3 are commonly referred to as “Web3 developers” and “blockchain developers.” But these titles seem too cumbersome compared to those for Web2 developers. Recently, however, a new, shorter, and the catchier term was introduced to describe Web3 developers – “blockchain developers”. It may be the first time you have seen this term, but do not worry – we will explain everything you need to know about it and how to become a blockchain developer.

In short, blockchain development or Web3 development consists of the already mentioned frontend and backend development, but it also implies the development of smart contracts. We think that it’s better to start the detailed explanation with front and backend development and then transition to smart contracts. And naturally, we will also explain the roots of the blockchain term.

What is Frontend Development?

Web2 development is traditionally divided into frontend and backend development. The programmers from these groups need different sets of skills. Further, we will explain the differences but first, let’s focus on what frontend development is.

As the name suggests, the frontend development involves everything in front, i.e., what a user sees and interacts with when using a website or an app. The responsibilities of frontend developers include the programming of every visual detail, from the overall layout and logo to buttons, fields, interactive elements, etc.

The task of a frontend developer is to make the interface intuitive and easy to navigate. Thus, the user interface (UI) design and user experience (UX) are the pillars of frontend development.

Now that you know a frontend developer’s tasks and goals, let’s talk about the skills needed to become one.

Frontend Developer Skills

There are three programming languages a frontend developer must be proficient in to create websites or apps – HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Why are these skills essential, and for what exactly are they used? Read further, and we will gladly explain.

  • HTML is short for HyperText Markup Language. It is a standard markup language used by programmers to structure and display the contents, such as buttons, input fields, titles, etc., on a website.
  • CSS is short for Cascading Style Sheets that attribute styles to webpages or apps. CSS is used to add colors, layouts, animations, and other elements for a more appealing UX. CSS is also used to make the web design responsive, i.e., that it would look equally good on different devices. CSS adds to HTML’s basics and helps to make designs more appealing and unique.
  • JavaScript is one of the most popular programming languages that is primarily used for website creation. JavaScript is the language that allows websites to be more interactive. It can alter and update the basic website – JavaScript adds the functions and elements on top of HTML and CSS, which is why it is commonly called the “third layer of Web2”. JavaScript allows the creation of modern and appealing websites that can be navigated intuitively and offer a high degree of interactivity.

If you think about developing games besides or instead of websites and apps, you should also check out the Unity engine, which greatly facilitates the process.

What is Backend Development?

Now that we’ve reviewed frontend development and the skill set needed to become a developer, let’s move on to the question, “what is blockchain development?”

While the frontend is responsible for what is in the front, i.e., what users see, backend development respectively is responsible for the backstage processes that web users do not see. Backend developers work with the server-side part of the website creation, including scripts, databases, website architecture, APIs, libraries, etc. The responsibility of a backend developer is to create code that enables databases and applications or browsers to interact with each other.

In short, the frontend is responsible for visuals, including design, fonts, etc., and the backend ensures rendering from a server and extracting the data from the databases. The backend part also contains sensitive information that must not be seen by users, i.e., private keys and others.

In general, backend development requires much more skills, including several programming languages, managing databases, data structures, web hosting, and others. It is more complex and less exciting. This is why it is commonly outsourced from organizations or services offering specifically backend development and maintenance. Such outsourcing even has a special term – infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or backend as a service (BaaS). This simplifies the backend and makes it more manageable.

The most popular service to date for Web2 is Google Firebase. It is a backend development software application that provides software tools such as SDKs to facilitate backend development.

What is Blockchain Development?

What is Blockchain Development?

Now that we’ve explained traditional frontend and backend development, we can start discussing blockchain development. First of all, we will discuss the differences between Web2 and Web3 frontend and blockchain development. Then, we will explain what other skills are needed to develop for Web3 and become a blockchain developer.

Web2 vs. Web3: Frontend development

Since frontend development is about the visual part of the web products, the skills needed to become a frontend development for Web2 and Web3 do not substantially differ. As a basis, for the Web3 frontend, you will need the same set of skills – HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. However, there is something new you will need to learn – Web3.js, a collection of Web3 JavaScript libraries.

The libraries are needed to connect to remote or local Ethereum nodes using an IPC or HTTP. Interacting with the Ethereum blockchain, Web3.js can retrieve accounts, interact with smart contracts, and send transactions.

Web2 vs. Web3: Backend development

The most significant differences between traditional development and Web3 development lie, namely, in the backend. We have already mentioned before – the traditional backend is difficult and time-consuming. It is also valid for the Web3 backend. But the main difference is due to the decentralized nature of Web3 and its interconnection with blockchain technology.

Backend in the framework of Web3 is about the interconnection of decentralized apps and different blockchains through communications infrastructure. Namely, setting up the proper infrastructure can be quite challenging and unfamiliar for developers coming from the traditional Web2 backend. Setting up infrastructure requires establishing functions, for instance, to authenticate users and obtain on-chain user information.

And of course, like with Web2 backend, Web3 backend development is more complex and tedious than frontend.

Now, after we’ve comprehensively reviewed frontend and backend development differences between Web2 and Web3, we can move on to the final component necessary for Web3 apps development – smart contracts.

Smart Contracts in Blockchain Development

Smart contracts are an essential component of any decentralized dapp on Web3. Their principle is pretty simple – they are like vending machines. If the input is sufficient, the contract releases the product or service to the buyer. This technology greatly contributes to the facilitation of transactions on the blockchain. Even sophisticated dapps operate on smart contracts, which basically are lines of code that mediate the transactions.

To create smart contracts, developers primarily use an object-oriented Solidity programming language. Solidity allows writing EVM-compatible contracts. Other useful tools for smart contract creation are Truffle, Remix, and Ganache.

Now we can make a conclusion that besides standard developing skill sets needed for Web2 – frontend and backend development, Web3 or blockchain development also requires smart contracts development skills. Respectively, a blockchain developer can develop decentralized apps for the Web3 if he can manage on-chain and smart contract development. In other words, we can say that blockchain development comprises everything that a developer needs to create decentralized apps and projects for Web3.

Smart Contracts in Blockchain Development

Blockchain Development – Summary

Traditional or Web2 development is split into frontend and backend development. But for Web3 or decentralized web, this is not enough. To create decentralized apps and projects, developers need an additional set of skills.

Previously, developers working with Web3 projects were called “Web3 developers” or “blockchain developers”, but these names weren’t as catchy as “frontend” and “backend development”. Thus, the new term was introduced – “blockchain development”.

In this guide, we discussed in detail what blockchain development entails. In short, blockchain development is everything that is needed to launch a project on decentralized web – frontend, backend, and smart contract development.

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