How I got a job in blockchain
It's been a while since I write about my career. Last time I wrote about my journey after one year as an indie hacker and 15 months after, things are quite different. I'm back to work for a company but this time, in the blockchain & web3 space. But how did I got here? Let's see...
For those that do not know me or my story, here is a quick recap:
- I studied a bachelors degree in software development in Zamora, Spain
- Moved to Madrid and worked for a bank for a year
- Moved to UK to work for the same bank
- Worked in many different projects and transition from a technical to a managing role
- Burned out and decided to start working on my personal projects
- Quit my job in 2020 and try living off my projects
My indie hacker career
I commited the most common indie hacker mistakes: not validating my idea and not launching early. After spending almost one year adding more and more features to the projects, I found myself with two projects with just a few users. So my next step was to focus on maketing instead of coding. For someone as technical as me, it was hard! I was spending more time editing videos and generating content about my products than coding, but I wasn't getting any traction and that sucked. So in July 2021 I decided to stop working on QuickTalks, and took the summer off to decided which would be my next step.
After the summer, I decided to stop working on my projects and focused my time and effort into blockchain.
Learning about blockchain
In 2020 DeFi applications grew exponentially (the so called "DeFi summer") and in 2021, NFTs exploded. The conversations about different blockchain protocols like Solana, Avalanche or Polygon where all over the place, and discussions about smart contracts and how to use blockchains to improve the web, appeared daily in my Twitter feed. Everyone was talking about it and new projects and use cases appeared everywhere so it looked like the perfect opportunity to give it another chance.
In September 2021 I decided to start learning Solidity, the programming language used to write smart contracts in Ethereum. These smart contracts are the applications that power DeFi, NFTs or any app running on Ethereum (or any other compatible blockchain).
I spent a couple of weeks learning the Solidity fundamentals and, even for an experienced developer, it was overwhelming. Everything was new, from the tools used, to the way apps are build, technical infrastructure... it took me a while to understand how all pieces connected together.
To document my learning, I decided to start a blog (yes, another one 😅) in which I'd write specific tips and tutorials about Solidity and web3. That's how SolidityTips.com started.
I spent the next couple of months learning more and more about Solidity, different tools to build apps and created mini games. At the same time, I was using different DeFi protocols, playing blockchain games, and trying to understand how they were built and how they worked behind the scenes.
Getting a job in blockchain
By the end of 2021, I had completed multiple courses, had a couple of projects in my GitHub profile, and multiple articles in my new blog that I was sharing on Twitter and LinkedIn. By this time I started getting messages from different projects. The first one was to build a blockchain games launcher (similar to Steam) with a marketplace for in-game NFTs, and even though I didn't start working in this project, this opened my eyes and made me realize I could get a job in this space.
In February 2022, I got a Twitter DM about a developer advocate role for a blockchain infrastructure company. Up until this point, I never thought this type of role was a fit for me but I decided to talk with the team to see what it was about. In summary, developer advocates evangelize about a product by creating content and working closely with both the users (which are developers as well) and the product team.
It sounded like the perfect role for me as I really enjoy writting technical articles and talking with other devs. I met with the CTO and the team lead and a few weeks later, I started working full time 🎉.
It's been 8 months since then and I couldn't be happier with how things turned up. I've learned a lot, attended multiple conferences, I've done a workshop, a ton of interviews, podcasts, AMAs and helped many projects and devs build amazing apps!
Keys to getting a job in blockchain
Here are a few things that I think were important to help me land a job in blockchain:
This one is pretty obvious. I have more than 15 years of professional experience working in different roles so that helped 😅
I've been writing in this blog for some years now. My idea was that my blog will help me document my learnning process, share my projects, but also that it could be something to share if I ever decided to apply for a job. And that's exactly what happened.
It allowed me to showcase my value as a full-stack developer but also as someone with experience in growing a product.
On top of that, writting blog posts was part of the job description 😉
General knowledge about blockchain
After some months following tutorials and using different decentralized apps (DeFi protocols, games, NFT marketplaces...), I had a solid knowledge about the space. It's important to know about different blockchain protocols and understand why they're different. For example Avalache with its three side chains (C-Chain, P-Chain, X-Chain) and subnets, Solana with its super fast transactions and contracts written in Rust, Optimism as an Ethereum L2 using rollups, Harmony an EVM with sharding, etc.
During the interviews, I talked with the team about different blockchains, and I was able to explain what differenciate some from others and mentioned different projects like DeFi protocols that I was using.
This was a way to proove that I had knowledge about the blockchain space, from both an enthusiast and user's perspective.
SolidityTips definitely helped as well. By the time I did the interviews, I already had more than 25 published articles, including step-by-step guides to build decentralized apps.
This was a good way to proove that I was able to communicate technical concepts, that I had knowledge about blockchains and understood how they worked, and that I was able to write smart contracts and build MVPs.
My personal projects
Having a portfolio of personal projects is always helpful. In my case, I had two that
theLIFEBOARD: is a full fledge web application that I build on my own. It has a website with a blog, a separated web app, an API, tons of backend jobs to send emails and anayse the data. I put a lot of hours into it!
QuickTalks: is a project I started in which I interviewed people that were building products.
My GitHub profile had code examples and MVPs from all the articles in my blogs and from a lot of online courses I did.
That was a long article 😅 well, this is how I got a job in blockchain and all the things that helped me getting it. Do you need to do all of them? Of course not, but every bit helps. And if you're starting your career in software development, I can't recommend you enough to start a blog or work on a side project.
After 8 months working in my first blockchain role, I'm moving to a new company focused on Ethereum scaling using zero-knowledge proofs. It's going to be super challenging but I'm very excited about it. I'll share everyhing I learn on Twitter so follow me there!
And I promise another update here if a few months 🗓
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Apart from writing articles in this blog, I spent most of my time working on my personal projects.
Quicktalks is a place where indie hackers, makers, creators and entrepreneurs share their knowledge, ideas, lessons learned, failures and tactics they use to build successfull online products and businesses. It'll contain recorded short interviews with indie makers.Message me to be part of it