· 2 min read

New Survey Reveals Web3 Has a Major Developer Shortage

Disclaimer: The Industry Talk section features insights by crypto industry players and is not a part of the editorial content of Cryptonews.com.

Web3 has a developer problem. That’s the key takeaway from a new survey into blockchain development within the web3 industry. While the caliber of developers currently toiling away in web3 is generally of a high caliber, the sheer number of projects now working with blockchain technology has ensured that decent developers are rarely out of work. The best base layer coders can effectively name their price to projects whose complexity demands rockstar engineers.

Web3 Demands More Developers

While the blockchain industry has experienced some contraction in 2023, as market conditions have slowed investment, there have still been areas of growth. Recruitment is one of them for particular web3 professions, with coding predictably remaining an area where demand outstrips supply. Engineers are to web3 what drummers are to a band: scarce, the good ones especially so, and constantly being poached by rivals intent on utilizing their talent.

In a survey by Versatus Labs, the scarcity of decent developers is highlighted, showing that the industry needs to double down on training if the skills shortfall is to be plugged. More than 1,000 developers were quizzed in an extensive survey examining the current state of web3 development and the impediments to its expansion. The1,056 developers who were surveyed have never built in web3 and were asked for their thoughts on the state of play in the industry. Their responses are instructive.

A whopping 75.4% said the lack of supporting resources was somewhat to extremely influential in preventing them from building in web3, while 79.8% and 77.1% said that the need to retool their stack and the complexity and cost of learning new languages, respectively, were major apprehensions when considering building decentralized applications. These responses provide an idea of the challenges that must be overcome if the crypto industry is to attract fresh talent.

Not Just a People Problem

Although the obvious solution to web3’s developer shortage is to train more blockchain engineers, there are other ways to tackle the problem. One of these is for protocol designers to use VMs that support web2 languages, preventing the need for existing developers to master new ones. The EVM landscape, incorporating the full range of networks that are compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, uses Solidity. Its ubiquity is an impediment to web2 developers, however, who are more accustomed to working in languages like Javascript or Rust.

While better support for popular programming languages will ease the onboarding of web2 developers, these efforts need to be complemented by greater access to training resources. Young students in particular require the training to enter the blockchain industry straight from college and go on to pursue a career in web3. It will take time for these efforts to bear fruit, but combined with an influx of web2 developers, they will ensure that web3 innovation can flourish.