The world has started evolving around Blockchain, and traditional technologies and programming languages, including the popular languages for development like Python and Typescript, have become outdated. Since, Web3 technologies have emerged as a beneficial platform promising ambitious changes in the functioning of the Internet and the financial world, a new version of the internet is on the verge of development. We will see a new generation of internet functioning on the decentralized architecture developed with Blockchain technology very soon. But how does this shift in technical architecture change developers’ requirements, and how can developers cope with this fast-changing internet? This article will discuss how Web3 development still lacks participation from developers worldwide and why there is a sword hanging on Web3 development that could lead us all to a shortage of web developers with proficiency in Web3 development.
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The Underlying Problem
The crypto investment firm EC (Electric Capital) published an industrial survey report where the lack of developers hinders Web3 development on a large scale. In the report, they mentioned that crypto winter had weakened developers’ interest in upskilling in Web3 technologies. At the end of 2020, when various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, were touching their peak prices, there were approximately 18500 developers who participated in open-source Web3 development projects.
The Ambitious Come-back of Rust
In 2020 and 2021, when cryptocurrencies were at their peak, the number was reported to be growing faster than ever and reached its peak, with approximately 60% of global web developers entering the industry in the last year. However, 60% is still a small portion considering that the total number of developers and software engineers worldwide is 31.1 million, per the statistics released by SlashData in the first quarter of 2022. Well, something is better than nothing, and if it’s not enough, the number is still noticeable.
According to industry experts, the primary reason for the shortage of developers participating in Web3 development is the requirement of upskilling and specializing in programming languages used to develop smart contracts like Solana and Ethereum. However, there has been a surge in Ethereum developers considering the pace of increasing popularity of Ethereum in Blockchain development. The change is evident, resulting in the ambitious comeback of numerous programming languages like Rust. As per several reports published by leading analytic providers, Rust registered in the list of the most popular programming languages in 2020. One of the most reputed survey agencies in software development, Stack Overflow, published that Rust was the first pick of more than 85% of developers who chose it over conventional programming languages that were once the first choice of developers, including TypeScript and Python. Rust programming language has been in the industry for more than a decade, with its first glimpse in 2010, and since 2016, it has been at the top of the list of the most popular programming languages worldwide.
Why is Rust the first choice for most programmers?
Besides the software developers developing on conventional technologies, it has also been used as the primary language for Web3 development. However, in Web3 development, every programming language has a specific specialty and should be used in that particular use-case development. Rust has been excellent in high-performance areas and multi-platform environments where security is the first and foremost priority. With the emergence of Blockchain technology, security has become significant nowadays. This is one of the most common reasons for Rust to be the first choice of developers working for Web3 development. Besides Web3 development, Rust has also been the first choice for software developers developing cybersecurity products and operating systems. It also supports developers by allowing them to write lengthy codes with comparatively fewer errors as the compiler of Rust checks everything, unlike other languages. It is believed to be good for writing time-saving, secure abstractions, considered one of the primary rules of OOPS(Object-Oriented Programming). It eliminates the requirement of immutability which is one of the basic elements of foundational programming. Immutability is crucial for developers as it helps write cleaner and safer codes. These are the primary reasons why foundational programming and blockchain are a perfect fit. Among the developers writing codes for Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, Rust has gained popularity considering its help in delivering tools that allow code shipping faster than ever before. It helps in future-proofing a cryptocurrency against sudden crashes. It is also a crucial requirement for cryptocurrencies and blockchains as they have the worst-case scenario of bugs.
The Introduction of New Programming Languages like Solidity and Clarity
Don’t be silly to think that Rust is the only favorite of Web3 developers. New programming languages like Clarity and Solidity have become popular among Web3 developers worldwide. Clarity is specifically designed to be used to develop dApps and smart contracts in a Web3 ecosystem. It also offers similar security against sudden crashes like Rust, and decentralized applications designed and built on Clarity are published on Stacks, a programming layer for Bitcoin.
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On the other hand, Solidity is the first ever web programming language built specifically for Ethereum Blockchain development. It became immensely popular by gaining the first-mover advantage. It was proposed by the co-founder of Ethereum, Gavin Wood, in 2014 and was released in 2018. Solidity is the most popular programming language for Web3 development, and more than 4000 developers are actively using it monthly for Ethereum Blockchain development.