Before entering Web3, I worked at Tencent and Bilibili for more than ten years; the lines of business in charge were all service developers. In 2022, I will officially switch to Web3, and today I would like to share some experiences on how Web2 developers can better enter Web3 through my own experience.
The content will revolve around the following 3 themes:
- From Web2 Internet company to Web3, my path and thinking;
- What problems may Web3 developers encounter;
- How Chainbase helps developers better enter Web3;
From Web2 to Web3
From wait and see, to speculation, to participation
At first, I also came into contact with Web3 as a user. Like many people, it was based on a speculative mentality, and I had both profits and tuition fees. Later, I gradually realized that in addition to being an ordinary user in the encryption world, we should also be able to cut in from the perspective of technology or business scenarios and participate in the construction of Web3.
At the end of 2021, Tencent airdropped an NFT to each employee at the 23rd anniversary, and there were many employee groups discussing Web3 very active at that time. This shows that there is already some Web3 atmosphere within the Web2 Internet company, and the management has also seen this business direction. However, due to various subjective and objective reasons, Web2 Internet companies are still very conservative about Web3, and it is difficult to actually land at the business level in the end – this is also one of the reasons why I finally left Web2 Internet companies.
When I have decided in my heart to be all in Web3, I still return to the role of the programmer to think about the entry point:
- First of all, some programmers will choose to enter Web3 as scientists (similar to the positioning of hackers but not necessarily traditional Internet security technologies), because scientists can directly use the skills in their hands to do some arbitrage-related things. But I personally do not want to enter the market as a speculator, give up!
- Since Web3 is a new generation of Internet based on blockchain technology, it also needs many evangelists who understand technology. But storytelling isn’t my strong suit, so it’s not my best bet either. give up!
- In the end, I still choose to continue to be a developer in Web3 pragmatically and give full play to my greatest strengths and advantages. Based on my past experience, technology stack, and resistance to purely financial projects, I joined a very promising Web3 infrastructure company, and this is my story with Chainbase.
How to fire the first shot of Web3
Find the niche first, then complement the technology stack.
Technical expertise is not the biggest obstacle when developers enter Web3. Many technology stacks are consistent or similar, and there are also many Web3 developer communities that can systematically learn. For many developers, the difficulty is finding their niche in Web3. For example, individuals enter the circle as scientists or technical writers (Vitalik also entered the circle in the first place), or directly join a Web3 project, whether it is toB or toC.
Here, I personally recommend joining a Web3 team directly, so as to be deeply involved. If you’re starting your own business or joining a startup, a Web3 Hackathon with a product is a great way to complete a cold start. It allows you to quickly validate your product and gain early adoption.
After you have found your niche in Web3, you will naturally know what is lacking in technical expertise, and then targeted learning will be very efficient.
Some of the challenges that Web3 developers may encounter
1. First of all, we must change the concept and embrace the new paradigm of Web3
The word “idea” is very abstract. My understanding is that “idea” is a consensus on what to do and what not to do. When Web2 developers enter Web3, the first conceptual challenge they encounter may be the trade-off between centralization and decentralization.
Almost all Web3 believers will emphasize that decentralization is one of the cores of blockchain. But as a Web3 product that carries user needs and experiences, is decentralization a necessary standard? I think in different scenarios this should at least not be the absolute norm. For example, a
Can an absolutely decentralized product meet the standards of industrial-grade applications? I think it is difficult at this stage, because industrial-grade applications require a clear commitment to product efficiency and stability, which is difficult to guarantee under a decentralized structure. In addition, most applications still require off-chain data. Even if related technologies such as oracles are used to solve the interaction between off-chain data and smart contracts, it is difficult to say that this is a completely decentralized structure (the oracle itself has a shadow of centralization. ). Therefore, regarding the decentralization of Web3 applications, it is more about grasping the degree according to specific scenarios.
There are still many challenges in similar concepts. I suggest that everyone pay more attention to the core and original intention of Web3 when making judgments, and do more independent thinking. When the concept is really changed, you really enter Web3.
2. Consider the developer cost brought by the multi-chain ecosystem
Web3 applications are first developed based on one or more public chains. Choosing a public chain requires the project party to have a deep understanding of the characteristics and ecology of different public chains. At present, the public chain ecology is flourishing, which undoubtedly increases the cost for developers to choose a public chain (and also increases the development cost after selection).
Due to the existence of the impossible triangle of blockchain (that is, decentralization, security, and scalability cannot be satisfied at the same time), different public chains will basically choose two of them as the direction of breakthrough, which will lead to different public chains. The characteristics of the chains are also different. When developers choose a public chain, they should consider whether the application scenario of the product matches the characteristics of the public chain.
For example, Optimism (a layer2 public chain), it can support very high throughput. But for security reasons, Optimism reserves a certain number of the latest blocks, making them a state that can be challenged. That is, if certain conditions are met, transactions that have been packaged can still be called back. This means that there will be a certain delay in the confirmation of assets or information on the chain. Such features may not be suitable for application scenarios such as real-time payment.
The multi-chain ecosystem will definitely exist for a long time, and the development history of many technology stacks including Web2 can also confirm this. Therefore, understanding multi-chain features and matching usage scenarios will be a long-term challenge for Web3 developers.
3. A single front end cannot meet the development needs of Web3 applications
Just looking at the technical implementation principle of Dapp, it seems that there is only one front end that can drive the smart contract to execute the corresponding logic, and then get the data on the chain back to the front end. However, in the actual development process, many Web3 applications will still integrate a server into the system architecture.
Although the existence of the server side will be criticized by many people for being too centralized (we also discussed the issue of absolute centralization just now), due to the high cost of state storage on the chain, the limited throughput that can be supported, and the consideration of the user’s sense of experience ( If you need to wake up the wallet to sign for each interaction, the experience will be greatly reduced) and so on – the partially centralized design of Web3 applications is still the best choice. This is similar to adding a layer of cache space between the blockchain and the front end.
Due to the particularity of the data structure on the chain (ie linked list structure), the readability of the data on the chain is very poor. Many common Web2 operations such as indexing, sorting, filtering, paging, and searching data are very difficult to perform. Therefore, how to read the data on the chain more conveniently is also a very painful point that Web3 developers will encounter.
How does Chainbase solve the pain points of Web3 developers?
1. Excessive self-built infrastructure can lead to project failure
We believe that in the long run, more developers will enter Web3 to build all kinds of highly creative applications. Developers should not waste too much R&D resources on repetitive self-built nodes, maintaining node clusters, decoding data on the chain and other infrastructure levels, because these self-built infrastructures hardly play any direct role in promoting the business itself. .
Future users will not be classified as Web2 users or Web3 users. They will not use a self-built node of a Web3 application because it is very stable. Users will only care about whether your application can solve one of their needs. Web3 project teams should focus their limited resources and energy on the business itself as much as possible: such as product features, user experience, economic models, community building, and so on.
Certain infrastructures—such as building nodes—have many problems even if you build them yourself. For example, long-term human resource cost consumption, server consumption, test of operation and maintenance capabilities, lack of stability, security, and various bugs that emerge one after another. It is difficult to solve these problems unless one has strong resources and technical capabilities.
The cycle of the Web3 world is very short, users are easy to forget, and capital is easy to lose patience – the success of a project is often only a few months away. In such a market environment, we imagine that if a team allocates valuable resources to the construction of infrastructure, it will definitely reduce the probability of project success.
2. What services can Chainbase provide to Web3 developers?
Chainbase is positioned as a Web3 developer platform. By providing cloud-based API services, we help developers quickly access encrypted networks and easily build Web3 native applications.
At this stage, we provide infrastructure services including multi-chain nodes, data indexing, application monitoring and debugging. Specifically include:
- Chain API Service: This is a secure and stable multi-chain node JSONRPC cluster that supports developers to easily access multi-chain networks
- Web3 API Service: This is an API matrix that supports multiple protocol indexes and quickly supports data query in business application scenarios (such as Token, NFT, DeFi, Domain…)
- All-In-One Dashboard：
- Developers can create, debug, monitor, and operate Web3 applications through a one-stop console
3. What are the specific usage scenarios of Chainbase’s API services?
The first is the most basic Chain API, which supports the stable operation of the multi-chain node cluster we built. We know that becoming a node is the most basic step to realize interaction with the chain. Here we have built a very powerful and stable node cluster for developers, and it supports multiple chains. (At this stage, ETH, Polygon and BSC have been supported, and more public chains are gradually being connected). Developers do not need to build their own nodes, they can use our API directly.
Using the Chain API, developers can easily obtain basic data on the chain such as current block height, current gas fee, specified address balance, etc., and can also send new transactions to the blockchain network.
We also provide highly usable Web3 API, which is a set of APIs that support data indexing of multiple protocols, which can quickly support data queries in most common business application scenarios.
For example, in the NFT business scenario, obtain the list of NFTs owned by the specified account, the transaction records of the specified NFT, the floor price of the specified NFT series, the historical owner of the specified NFT, and so on. Similarly, we also provide various data indexing APIs in other common business scenarios such as Token and domain name.
Coupled with the Dashboard we provide, Web3 developers can monitor and manage the running status of their various data interfaces very intuitively, which is very convenient.
4. Chainbase is ready to launch the next generation of on-chain data indexing products
Chain API provides the most basic node services, and Web3 API provides point-to-point data indexing services in common business scenarios. But we don’t think this is the best solution, especially for the increasingly innovative applications that are emerging.
Due to the uniqueness of the business, an innovative application may have various data indexing requirements, and it is obvious that the existing API is difficult to meet these requirements. Although peer-to-peer API services can gradually cover more mainstream business scenarios through new functions, such iterations that lag behind market changes will never catch up with the speed of application innovation.
Therefore, when designing a new generation of data indexing products, we abandoned the point-to-point solution and adopted a concept similar to the Web2 data warehouse – an on-chain data cloud warehouse that supports custom SQL statements! The data cloud warehouse on the chain decodes the data on the chain through real-time calculation; developers can freely index the data on the chain using the most mainstream SQL statements according to their own needs.
What’s even cooler is that we support developers to generate their own SQL into an API that can continuously return data, so that any innovative data indexing requirements can be supported at the first time.
5. Imagine the future and focus on Web3 developer services
Chainbase firmly believes that Web3 is the new paradigm of the Internet that can change the world. Technological innovation will also greatly promote business development and even affect social changes. In this wave, developers are taking center stage, setting off a huge storm of innovation.
Chainbase is positioned as a Web3 developer platform, and the API service that solves “interaction with the chain” is our current product incision. In the future, we will focus on the pain points of Web3 developers at different stages, and launch more products and services that lower the development threshold and improve development efficiency.
We hope to help more Web3 projects go through all stages of development, testing, landing and growth. We believe that as long as we can help one of these projects succeed, Chainbase will directly or indirectly change the world!
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/how-can-web2-developers-better-access-web3/
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