The world of Web3 offers exciting opportunities for young individuals and even those without formal degrees to build a successful career.
In this article, we explore the inspiring journey of Ethan Francis, who started his Web3 journey at the age of 15 with a passion for blockchain.
We recently had a conversation with Ethan who is now the DevRel lead for Chainstack about his journey and how others can also plan and get their first job in web3.
If you like videos more than reading then you can check out our complete conversation with Ethan on YouTube.
We'll discuss his path to becoming DevRel lead at Chainstack, the skills required, and more valuable advice for those looking to learn from his success.
Ethan's Journey into a Web3 Career
In 2020, at the age of 15, Ethan like many others became fascinated by the crypto altcoin bull phase that followed the pandemic.
He was already interested in becoming a software developer and had planned to go the usual web2 software development route. However the blockchain bug bit him and he became highly interested in web3 development.
He actively engaged with various communities which made him realize that there was a disconnect between Web3 enthusiasts and the technical aspects of web3.
This is when he thought of solving this problem and he took 1 year to build a solution to provide a well connected web3 wallet styled experience within Discord, called Amity DeFi.
In 2022 Ethan discovered the role of a developer advocate (DevRel), which perfectly combined his passion for technology and communication.
DevRel involves bridging the gap between developers and projects through technical expertise, community engagement, and content creation.
This is when he started applying for jobs in web3 and after some 200 odd applications he got an interview with Chainstack and got onboarded as a Web3 Developer Relations Manager and later in early 2023 started leading DevRel for Chainstack.
And yes we did not make a typo, he did in fact send hundreds of applications!
The Unique Role of a Web3 DevRel
DevRel is a multifaceted role that encompasses marketing, communications, and business development specifically tailored for developers.
It requires both technical skills and the ability to effectively communicate complex concepts.
DevRel professionals engage with developers, fostering relationships, promoting developer adoption, and bridging the gap between marketing messaging and technical communities.
Skills Required for Web3 DevRel Professionals
To excel in DevRel, individuals need a combination of technical expertise and effective communication skills.
Ethan emphasizes the importance of continuously improving one's skill set, including content creation, engaging with developers, and staying updated with new technologies & development standards.
Confidence in application development, understanding new tech, and the ins and outs of development are crucial for success as a web3 DevRel.
Transitioning to a Web3 DevRel Role
Securing a job as a web3 DevRel, particularly for young individuals or those without formal degrees, may require persistence and dedication.
Ethan applied to hundreds of jobs before he got a shot with Chainstack.
After months of effort, he had his first interview with them in June 2022, which led to a 6-month stint as a Developer Relationship Manager and later transition to the lead position.
The tech for web2 development and web3 development is drastically different and so is the culture. So someone in web2 who wants to move to web3 should definitely spend time and effort learning web3 development and also learn the web3 culture.
Web3 DevRel role is much more community and people oriented as compared to web2 DevRel which tends to be more corporate in nature.
The Importance of Video Content
As a DevRel professional, Ethan believes video content is quite significant in engaging with developers and sharing educational material.
Videos offer a more immersive and engaging experience, allowing developers to connect a face or voice to the content.
Additionally, video tutorials and examples showcasing the process of building applications can be highly effective in conveying technical concepts and fostering developer adoption.
Apart from video, Twitter spaces and Discord conversations are highly beneficial as well.
The Age Aspect in DevRel Career
DevRel is an inclusive field that welcomes individuals of all ages, as long as they provide value and demonstrate competence.
Ethan has worked with DevRel professionals as young as 15 or 16, particularly within the Solana ecosystem but this is common in DevRel across the board.
Age or location is usually not a barrier to entry in DevRel and even web3 in general.
In web3 your expertise and value creation towards the project and the ecosystem are highly regarded.
Building a Career in Web3
Building a successful career in Web3 may involve exploring different roles, projects, and companies to find the right fit.
Even through the bear market there are hundreds of companies hiring for various roles and the demand for professionals who understand web3 development has been pretty consistent over the last couple of years.
It’s important to align with companies that share your values and vision.
Networking, attending events, interacting with people, and understanding the ethos of different projects can help you find a supportive and inspiring environment for growth.
If you are looking for your first job in crypto then we have yet another guide for you!
Gaining Skills and Building a Web3 Career
Ethan advises against rushing through the development of skills required for a technical Web3 career.
A great way to get started is by building projects that solve real-world problems aligned with your passions.
Networking and interacting with people in the Web3 community can also lead to exciting opportunities and collaborations.
Additionally, setting up your social media and web3 specific talent profile where you can get in front of the right people can also play a major role in exposure towards certain opportunities in the space.
Participating in hackathons, contributing to open-source projects, and engaging with online communities can provide valuable learning experiences and help you establish your presence in the Web3 ecosystem.
Continued Learning and Staying Updated
The Web3 landscape is constantly evolving, and it's crucial to stay updated with the latest technologies and trends.
Ethan highlights the importance of continuous learning through online courses, tutorials, documentation, and following industry thought leaders such as Patrick Collins for web3 development and security.
We did a video interview with Patrick on becoming a Smart Contract Auditor which you can check out below if you want to build a security career here.
Being well-versed in new advancements and emerging protocols will enhance your credibility and make you a valuable asset in the Web3 space.
Building an Online Presence
Establishing an online presence is vital to show your skills and attract potential opportunities.
Utilize social media platforms like Twitter, Discord, and GitHub to engage with the Web3 community, share your insights, and network with like-minded individuals.
Building a strong personal brand can also open doors to new opportunities and collaborations.
Contributing to the Web3 Community
Actively contributing to the Web3 community is an excellent way to gain visibility and credibility.
Ethan encourages participating in discussions, answering questions on forums, engaging with people on Discord servers, and sharing knowledge through blog posts or tutorials.
By providing value and helping others in the community, you can establish yourself as a knowledgeable and reliable resource.
Embracing a Growth Mindset
Success in the Web3 industry requires a growth mindset and a willingness to adapt to change.
The ability to test ideas, trying to solve problems and learning from failures and iterating on your ideas is crucial for long-term success in the fast paced Web3 ecosystem.
Overcoming Challenges and Rejections
Building a career in Web3, especially at a young age or without a formal degree, may come with its share of challenges and rejections.
Ethan applied to hundreds of positions with no answer, but he persevered and remained determined.
He advises not to be discouraged by setbacks and to use them as opportunities for growth and self-improvement.
Networking, building a strong portfolio, and continuously learning will eventually lead to the right opportunities.
Career Advice: Replicating Success in Web3
Ethan shared valuable advice for young individuals aspiring to build a career in the Web3 industry.
Building a successful Web3 career may involve trying different roles, projects, and companies to find the right fit.
This may require exploration, interacting with people, attending events, and understanding the ethos of different projects.
Finding a supportive and inspiring environment will fuel your growth and contribute to your long-term success.
Ethan's journey into Web3 as a young individual without a formal degree demonstrates that passion, dedication, and continuous learning can pave the way for a successful career.
By focusing on technical skills, effective communication, and community engagement, aspiring Web3 professionals can position themselves for exciting opportunities in Web3 DevRel.
By building a strong online presence, contributing to the community, and embracing a growth mindset, you can overcome challenges and establish yourself in the dynamic and innovative world of Web3.
As always, we wish you good luck with your web3 career!