Ethernaut Wei series

presents: devtooligan



A place where developers tell their stories of how they became part of web3.

What did you do before getting into web3?

I was a fullstack web2 developer (React/Django) for over 5 years. Before that, I had various non-dev roles in FinTech, and before that, I was a TradFi analyst.

What were the first things you did in web3?

I did a hackathon in 2016. I only worked on the front end, but it was cool and my first intro to the web3 community. Around that time I also worked through CryptoZombies. I didn’t do much with web3 for the next 3–4 years because I was focused on leveling up in my web2 job. Then around the beginning of 2021, I started doing some web3 tutorials again.

When and how did you start to think about quitting your web2 job?

It was August 2021, and I was so burnt out on my web2 job. I knew I wanted a switch but I didn’t think I could get a job in web3 because I did not have the requisite skills. I was interviewing for other web2 jobs but my heart wasn’t in it.

How did you hear about EthernautDAO?

I saw this:

and responded to it. I dm’d him and he directed me to EthernautDAO discord.

Have you applied for a mentorship? How did it feel?

I was intimidated by all the other candidates applying for the Yield mentorship. I felt I was one of the weakest. I tried really hard to make my 1 paragraph description look good and stand out from the rest, emphasizing my non-web3 strengths. I was a little surprised I was chosen for an interview, but even more nervous. How was I going to master Solidity within 1 week before my interview? Fast forward a week and I hadn’t even looked at Solidity once.

My interview was at 8:30 am and there was an all-hands emergency at my current job that just happened. I was getting over a nasty cold and feeling stressed and miserable. At 8:25 am I decided I would not interview. I was sure they wouldn’t choose me because my web3 skills were so poor. I didn’t want to waste my time. At 8:29 am I changed my mind and decided to go through with it. I remember taking a deep breath and thinking to myself, “Just give it your best shot, that’s all you can do.” That decision changed my life.

Did you work and get mentored at the same time?

Yes. It was difficult at times. Especially considering I was starting off well behind my two cohort mates in the mentorship. So I had to work much harder to level up my skills. But everyone was really cool and helpful. Our mentor, Alberto, is extremely kind and patient. He is also a masterful teacher, a world-class programmer, and an all-around great guy. A big source of motivation for me was that I did not want to let him down.

If you have transitioned to web3 full time, how different is it from your previous career?

Night and FUCKING day.

My web2 job experience: 20–30% of my time wasted in useless meetings. “Agile” web2 product dev means they are quick to pull you off of any project you are in the middle of because a key client wants some ridiculous new tweak. Other devs seemed to be happy implementing half-assed bandaid solutions. I guess it means they will still have a job when it breaks in 6 months. No quality standards whatsoever. Poorly documented, barely functioning, spaghetti code is the norm. My mental and physical health were deteriorating — a lot of the stress was from feeling like I was wasting my life.

My web3 experience: I’m constantly amazed at the caliber of people I get to work with. We challenge each other to find new ways to raise the bar. Quality standards are quite high. I guess it’s different when you’ve got full mutability and unlimited resources in web2, meanwhile we’re out here trying to build hyperstructures that run on the EVM. If we don’t go lean we’re too expensive, and if we’re not ultra-secure, we get hacked. Because the stakes are higher, naturally, the quality of the code, the culture, the people, and the integrity all go up. Devs are respected and appreciated. I am given 1–2 days per week to basically work on anything I want. I love every minute of my job, I’m excited to log on in the mornings and interact with my colleagues.

What advice would you give to web3-curious devs?

Follow your heart. Don’t let fear dictate your life. Go down some rabbit holes reading/learning about things. Buidl something. You might think AMM’s are crazy complex, but if you sat down and did a tutorial, I bet you could build one in ½ a day. The same thing with NFTs, you could literally mint your own NFTs within a couple of hours following a tutorial. Find good communities on Twitter or Discord, there are plenty. Or don’t!! Just don’t waste your life and health on a stressful, soul-deteriorating job cuz life is too goddamn shawt.

Anything else you want to add?

I am eternally grateful to EthernautDAO. It has been life-changing for me. I fully support everything you are doing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will continue to give back to the DAO as well as the web3 community for the rest of my life, inspired by you. Thank you.

Follow devtooligan on Twitter

EthernautDAO offers free mentorships to experienced web2 devs trying to break into web3. If this sounds like you, check out the available mentorships in the EthernautDAO Discord and follow us on Twitter to get notified when a new mentorship is available