Working in Web3:
🌊 The Preface
Hi there, I'm Scott Sunarto (https://twitter.com/smsunarto) 👋
I'm the founder of Argus Labs, a bleeding-edge crypto gaming company. Before Argus, I was a Software Engineer Intern at Uniswap Labs, a Blockchain Security Engineer at Trail of Bits, and was one of the co-creators of Dark Forest.
Recently, there's a surge in interest of people looking to "break" into web3/crypto; this naturally leads to a lot of people asking for tips on how to get started. This Notion doc aims to do exactly just that. I want it to be a document that cool peops can send to their friends to help them find their place in crypto.
Also, shameless plug...
🔖 How to Use This Doc
This doc serves more as a "handbook" rather than an essay. Feel free to jump around using the content list on the top of the page and read it in sections.
🪐 The Meta Stuff
"The dicussion of 'why' and 'why not' of a crypto career"
Let's address the elephant in the room: there's so much noise in this space. In general, I think it's extremely useful to develop your own conviction on why a career in web3/crypto would make sense for you.
Crypto might be "up only" now, but it has always been an industry that operates closely around a cycle. If you don't develop your own conviction, it's easy to get disillusioned by the FOMO and you just end up churning when the bear market kicks in. Below is some relevant readings that might be useful:
Note: I'm a Paradigm simp if you can't tell already.
🧑🏽🎓 Learning Crypto
If there's one thing you take away from this doc, let it be this:
You want to work in crypto? You should learn crypto.
This is easily the lowest hanging fruit to help you land a cool gig. While companies don't exclusively hire people who have experience in crypto, it's almost always listed as a nice-to-have.
📌 Meta Note - "Learn By Doing"
I can't emphasize a more practical way of learning crypto than by actually getting your feet wet. It's very tempting to just watch a bunch of videos or read a bunch of articles, but I don't think it's comparable to actually using it.
Regardless of what resources you use below, I encourage you to actually go out there and try the various dApps!
At the very least, you should:
- Have a crypto walletUnderstand how to connect your crypto wallet to a dApp (i.e. Uniswap)
- Know how to send ETH & ERC20 tokens to another person using your crypto wallet
- Know how to switch between networks in your crypto wallet (i.e. Polygon, Rinkeby Testnet, etc.)
- Know how to use Uniswap
- Know why giving your private key or seed phrase is an absolute no no
🛫 Stage 1: High Level Overview
🎩 Stage 2: The Rabbithole
At this stage, you can pick-and-choose of what you want to dive deeper in. I generally recommend having some level of understanding on the topics listed below!
One thing I'll point out is that you don't need to "get" or feel excited about all the topics here. I'm personally super excited about DeFi and close to no interest in vanity DAOs. Everyone have their own philosophy and interest!
Resources below are simply places where you can get started! The rabbithole is deep 😵
💸 Finding a Job in Crypto
Congratulations! Now that you've learned the crypto basics, you are on the hunt for a cool job!
Working for Company vs. DAO vs. Grants
In crypto, you have several options on who you can work for. You can work either work for a company like usual, work for a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), or you can work by taking on grants from these companies or DAOs. Here are some high-level observations:
Working for a company
- It's pretty much like working in non-crypto companies.
- You get paid salary + token/equity comp
- You can expect to get the usual benefits
Working for a DAO
- More often than not, it's going to be remote.
- You can work anonymously for DAOs.
- Usually, no benefits like insurance.
- Usually, salary is done fully on-chain with crypto + token vesting.
Taking on grants from companies or DAOs
- This would be the web3 equivalent to "freelancing"
- Flexible hours, work from anywhere, you can do this on top of your main job
- Good way to get started and see whether working in crypto is for you
- Ex: Uniswap Grants, Compound Grants, Aave Grants, etc.
Note: This part assumes that you are already familiar about software engineering and know how to code.
Congratulations, everyone is trying to hire you. Jokes aside, there are several different path ways you can go as a software engineer in crypto.
Common engineering/technical roles and example of who hires them:
- Smart Contract Engineer
- Protocols (i.e. Uniswap, Aave, etc)
- Mobile/Frontend/Backend/Software Engineer (General software engineering)
- Crypto wallet (i.e. Metamask, Rainbow, etc)
- Protocols (i.e. Uniswap, Aave, etc)
- Smart Contract/Blockchain Security Engineer (Auditing)
- Smart contract auditing firm (i.e. Trail fo Bits, Consensys Dilligence, OpenZeppelin, etc)
- Protocols (albeit much rarer)
- Venture capital firm (i.e. Paradigm, Polychain, etc)
- Research-based companies (i.e. Starkware
More jobs to come! If you want to contribute to writing a section on other crypto-native jobs and resources to get started, help me out!
🧑🤝🧑 Network / Stay Up to Date / Friends
Twitter is hands down the best place to be in crypto. Just be yourself on Twitter! If you like shitposting like me, just yolo. If you like making threads or writing essays, you do you.
Here are some good follows to get you started:
- Zefram (88mph, dev related content) - https://twitter.com/boredGenius
- State (DeFi, big brain stuff) - https://twitter.com/statelayer
- Owen (NFT, dev, cool, uwu vibes) - https://twitter.com/0xmons
- Kinnif (funny dog) - https://twitter.com/0xkinnif
- transmissions11 (dev, dapptools shill, amongbus) - https://twitter.com/transmissions11
- Mike Demarais (Rainbow wallet, shitposts, relentless hiring) - https://twitter.com/mikedemarais
- Jackson Dame (Rainbow wallet, NFTs) - https://twitter.com/jacksondame
- 0xtuba (random toxic guy, sometimes funny) - https://twitter.com/0xtuba
- Inversebrah (smolting) - https://twitter.com/inversebrah
- Mewny (couch) - https://twitter.com/mewn21
- Darren Lau (DeFi, investing) - https://twitter.com/Darrenlautf
- Everyone in Paradigm
- Fiskantes (papa fisk, and others capital) - https://twitter.com/Fiskantes
- Sam Trabucco (alameda, trading, "positive EV") - https://twitter.com/AlamedaTrabucco
- "Andy" (NFTs, bad memes) - https://twitter.com/andy8052
- Eden Au (The Block Research, tries to be funny) - https://twitter.com/0xedenau
Hackathons are a great way to explore new tech, test your skills, find new friends, and vibe!
If you are in a university, blockchain clubs can be a good starting point to find your tribe.
Newsletters / Media
I don't really read newsletters, but if you are into that.