Blockchain development is a fairly new field and so most information about how to build applications in web3 is available on the internet and not in universities and other educational institutions. This might make it a lonely endeavor, but it need not be! There are people all across the world learning how to build cool projects with these technologies and everyone is looking to learn from each other and make friends in the space. As mentioned before, join DAOs and groups like Newt, DeveloperDAO, EthernautDAO, etc, talk about your learning journey on Twitter and try to provide insight into your experience with learning these technologies. You’re bound to find like-minded individuals with whom you can share your interests, it helps a lot with learning the material as when you have to explain a complex topic to a person without former knowledge, it forces you to understand your subject very well in order to explain it simply. Pair-programming or pair-learning is also a good way to cement new learnings. Personally, I found that making friends online that are also into blockchain development is what made it the most fun and engaging for me and is helping me stick with the material for longer periods of time than I otherwise would have.
Twitter is currently the platform where most builders, researchers, and creators share their insights in the realm of blockchain and web3, so it is almost a must if you want to keep up with the newest technologies. I also recommend to not overdoing social media as it can lead to a drastic decrease in productivity. It’s a balance that needs to be achieved over time, a good tip is that whenever you want to check Twitter or Discord you have a clear goal in mind, e.g. goal: I want to learn what new gas optimizations have my friends come up with? I also recommend creating lists with different types of people so you can sort by the type of content you want to see (DeFi, NFTs, MEV, smart contracts, frontend, design, etc). Bookmarking is also a good feature if you want to revisit interesting tweets in the future.
Another great way to meet devs is to go to hackathons and conferences. If you can afford to go to events then definitely do, however, if you don’t have enough funds there are oftentimes grants for first-time attendees through places like PadawanDAO, and others. Usually asking around to volunteer will get you a free entrance and people are usually kind enough to pool funds to sponsor people looking to get into the space that doesn’t have the means to afford to travel by themselves. In-person events like hackathons are a great way to develop your skills and meet people. It’s where many projects that are popular today were started and the place where founders of projects usually meet for the first time. As for events worth going to in 2022, I suggest Devconnect (Amsterdam), ETHPrague, ETHCC/ETHParis and Devcon (Bogota). Here is a good list with Ethereum-related events in 2022, there are also events on pretty much every continent and there are also small local events that different communities organize, so look for events near you that might be related to blockchain development in some way or start one yourself!
I also recently started creating a Twitter list with blockchain devs that I think you should follow if you want to learn blockchain development. It is a running list so feel free to DM me devs I should add and I’ll consider adding them to the list.