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Breakpoint 2023: Youth in Web3

Exploring the journey, challenges, and advice of young professionals in the Web3 ecosystem.

The notes below are AI generated and may not be 100% accurate. Watch the video to be sure!

Summary

At Breakpoint 2023, a panel titled "Youth in Web3" brought together young, vibrant professionals who are carving their own path in the rapidly growing Web3 landscape. Aab Syed Akhtar, a full-stack developer and moderator, led the discussion which included insights from Valentin Madrid, Integrations Lead at Squads Labs, and Elio Jordan Lopes, Cofounder of Intoverse Inc. Throughout the session, they shared personal experiences, tackled the unique challenges young people face in Web3, and offered practical advice for newcomers to the field.

Key Points:

The Draw of Web3 for Young Developers

  • The panel discussed the increasing trend of young individuals being attracted to the Web3 space, particularly within the Solana ecosystem. They cited supportive communities and ample resources as reasons for the surge of interest.
  • The speakers, Valentin and Elio, spoke about their early ventures into technology, like creating Discord bots and game servers, which eventually led them to their current positions in Web3.

Transitioning from Student to Professional

  • Both Valentin and Elio reflected on their personal journeys from being students to working full-time in Web3. They touched on making significant decisions, such as skipping college to work in Web3, or forgoing graduate school to pursue their own startups.
  • These narratives highlighted the atypical career paths that can arise within the emerging technological realms, underscoring the value placed on practical experience over traditional academic credentials.

Challenges Faced by the Youth in Web3

  • The younger age of the panelists sometimes led others to not take them seriously. However, they found that proving their capabilities through their work was the best way to gain respect within the industry.
  • There were mentions of the initial lack of resources when entering Web3, as well as the fast-paced, continually evolving nature of the technology requiring constant learning and adaptability.

Building Proof of Work and the Importance of Community

  • Valentin and Elio stressed the crucial role of participating in the community, advocating for building in public, and joining open source projects. They argued that demonstrating practical skills and sharing one’s work on social platforms like Twitter can lead to unexpected opportunities and growth.
  • Communities like Super Team, Solana University, and hackathon groups were emphasized as valuable platforms for young developers to collaborate, share, and grow together within the Web3 ecosystem.

Facts + Figures

  • Valentin Madrid is 18 years old and works at Squads Labs as the Integrations Lead.
  • Elio Jordan Lopes is a 23-year-old co-founder of Intoverse Inc, which builds mobile games powered by Web3 technologies.
  • Both speakers started with technical hobbies early on, with Valentin beginning with Discord bots at 15 and Elio collecting T-shirts related to tech startups in college.
  • Elio mentioned a shift in his career trajectory after participating in a Chainlink hackathon and later receiving investment for his startup from Flory Ventures.

Top quotes

  1. "You can learn everything on YouTube, on all kind of platforms itself without having to learn or reversing binary trees, stuff like that." - Valentin Madrid
  2. "It's such a democratic ecosystem. And you get to experiment. You get to learn. And the pace of development is so dynamic and so fast." - Elio Jordan Lopes
  3. "When you build along with the community, that's when you have many eyes on what you're building." - Elio Jordan Lopes
  4. "I think, like I mentioned, you should also share what you're building on Twitter and other social platforms because building in public leads you to a lot of opportunities." - Aab Syed Akhtar
  5. "Being part of communities is really crucial when you're building a startup." - Elio Jordan Lopes

Questions Answered

Why are young people attracted to Web3 and the Solana ecosystem?

Young individuals are gravitating toward Web3/Solana because of the supportive communities and diverse resources available. The ecosystem encourages innovative thinking and offers a democratic platform for growth and networking, appealing to those looking to make an impact and learn rapidly in a dynamic field.

What challenges do young professionals face in Web3?

Young professionals in Web3 may find that they are not taken as seriously due to their age, and initially, there may be a lack of resources and guidance. However, as they build and demonstrate their competence, they gain credibility and can overcome these hurdles.

How can students build their proof of work in Web3?

Students can participate in open-source projects or create their projects and share them on social platforms like Twitter. Publicly showcasing their work allows them to build credibility and attract attention from potential collaborators or employers in the Web3 space.

What is the role of communities in the advancement of young developers in Web3?

Communities provide young developers with resources, networking opportunities, mentorship, and a platform to share work and receive feedback. They are essential in fostering growth, collaboration, and learning within the Web3 ecosystem.

How can a young person new to Web3 gain experience and recognition in the field?

Newcomers to Web3 can gain experience by participating in hackathons, contributing to open-source projects, building personal projects, and engaging with the community. Showcasing their work and connecting with others can lead to opportunities and recognition.