To an outsider or a tech beginner, coding classes seem to be everywhere. Schools, government programs, universities, and YouTube all offer basic to advanced developer courses for kids and adults alike. But these courses often exclude one essential element to becoming a successful developer: new technologies emerging in Web3.
If you wanted to learn disruptive tech — like coding in blockchain or crypto — you’d have to do it mostly as they did in the old days: DIY. Companies are finally catching on to the interest in becoming — and serious demand for — education in coding in Web3.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers is expected to increase by more than 22% this year. The fastest-growing tech sector: Web3. There are 32 million Web2 developers working today — and only half a million Web3 developers. Demand for leveled-up developers is far outpacing supply.
”There is an extreme shortage of blockchain and crypto developers in Web3,” said Sheila Marcelo, co-founder, and CEO of the new Web3 education platform Proof of Learn. Marcelo made her name in Web2 when she founded and led Care.com, the world’s leading online marketplace for at-home caregivers. She sees developers as under-served in a similar way. They want better jobs, and they want to go further in their careers, but they don’t know how to go about doing it.
Proof of Learn’s first project, Metacrafters, is an online academy where developers can upskill from Web2 to Web3 and companies can verify developers’ qualifications. How they do this: Not only do “Crafters” learn to code blockchain, but they also have their qualifications — or Proof of Learn — stored on the blockchain. What’s more, Metacrafters’ “learn-and-earn” model allows students to earn credits they can apply to enroll in more courses or turn to cash or other cryptocurrency.
Marcelo and her team believe Metacrafters.io will naturally appeal to both experienced developers and beginner interested parties; their goal is to educate 1 million Web3 developers. The platform looks and acts like an immersive game, based on the part-true, part-mythical history of blockchain. Metracrafter courses are offered across the Solana, Ethereum, Flow, Avalanche, and Polygon networks, some of the largest and most popular Web3 protocols out there.
Last month, Proof of Learn announced the raising of $4.5M in multichain grants from the Solana, Flow, Avalanche, and Polygon Foundations. Proof of Learn plans to use the grants to reward students with cryptocurrency and other incentives, on top of the minting of course completion NFT credentials, which they earn just by learning.
“The internet-enabled anyone, anywhere to create a company that can change the world,” said Raj Gokal, Co-Founder of Solana, one of the above contributing foundations. “Blockchain developers are in high demand, and projects like Metacrafters will not only teach developers to become fluent in the skills they need to build for blockchain, but also advance the overall growth and development of the Web3 ecosystem.”
Proof of Learn’s mission is to unlock high-quality, yet accessible, education across the world and has also captivated several high-profile investors. Earlier this year in January, the company raised close to a $17 million seed funding round, led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and joined by Animoca Brands, GoldenTree Asset Management, gumi Cryptos Capital, Infinity Ventures Crypto, Arca, Wavemaker Ventures, Learn Capital, and Rethink Education.
Speed bumps aside, Web3, blockchain, and crypto are continuing to become increasingly relevant on the global stage — experts consider Web3and the Metaverse to be a trillion-dollar opportunity. If we want to build a better Web, we’ll need better developers.