Building the Metaverse: What Are the Opportunities for Developers?
It’s the latest buzzword in tech, and even the inspiration behind Facebook changing its entire brand name, but what is the Metaverse? Is it Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of a Big Tech-monopolised virtual world? Or will it be something entirely more radical and open source?
However you imagine the Metaverse, the opportunities for developers are undeniable. From AR and VR specialists to 3D modellers and Blockchain engineers, a new world is being created — and it needs builders.
What Is the Metaverse?
Contrary to what Zuckerberg and Co. would have you believe, the Metaverse is not a Facebook creation. The term actually originates from Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash and refers to the concept of a 3D virtual internet. Facebook’s iteration isn’t even the first or only kind. Online multiplayer games like Second Life, Fortnite, and Roblox are mini metaverses in their own right. Other tech corporations are creating versions too; Microsoft and Nvidia are both working on metaverse infrastructure stacks, while open-source platforms exist as well.
The Metaverse (with a capital M) refers to the connection of all of these 3D virtual worlds into one. The concept goes hand-in-hand with the idea of Web 3.0, a new decentralised version of the internet based on digital assets and cryptocurrency. The idea is that a new internet will be developed, where we can socialise in 3D virtual reality, and interact with (or purchase) 3D digital assets. Education, work, games, social networks, entertainment and e-commerce will all have their place.
But far from a simple 3D social network or gaming hub, the Metaverse has big implications for “real life” as well. We will be able to access the Metaverse via our current devices, as we do with the internet now, but there will be an increased turn towards merging the physical world and the digital world, via virtual and augmented reality technology. It could change how we buy things IRL, and what ownership even means in the first place.
What Skills Do You Need to Work in the Metaverse?
So what does it take to become a builder of this exciting new world? Here are some vital skill sets for developers in the Metaverse:
- Virtual and Augmented Reality — Virtual experiences will make up a huge part of the Metaverse, so developers must be able to create virtual and augmented content. Tools such as Unreal Engine, Unity, and Amazon’s Sumerian are all vital for creating AR and VR applications.
- 3D modelling — Crafting 3D virtual assets is key to building VR and AR experiences. Developers who are familiar with 3D modelling tools like Maya (Autodesk) and Blender will be in high demand.
- AI and machine learning — Machine learning algorithms and AI frameworks (like PyTorch and TensorFlow) will power many of the processes in the Metaverse. Important data analytics tools include MongoDB and Apache’s suite (Spark, Cassandra, and Hadoop). Data privacy will also have a massive impact on the way information is collected and processed, so it’s beneficial to be familiar with privacy-focused methods like federated learning.
- Distributed network engineering — Technical engineers will have a big role to play on the infrastructure side of the Metaverse. Knowledge of complex networks and distributed data processing will be vital for managing the Metaverse and preventing crashes or downtime.
The Metaverse and The Future
It may sound like the stuff of sci-fi, but the Metaverse is being constructed as we speak. From Nvidia’s Omniverse to The Open Metaverse OS, developers are already working in the virtual sphere both at corporations and independently.
While there are undoubtedly some issues with the concept (proponents have yet to truly counter concerns about the environmental impact of such massive amounts of data processing), it seems the pandemic has only spurred us on in our need to find new and innovative ways to connect.
Of course, all this means increased demand for talent in tech. Learning these key skills now will future-proof your career and cement your place as a vital cog in the Metaverse.
Get Ahead of the Curve in the Metaverse Careers Market
Speak to us today about the current recruitment drives and vacancies within this soon-to-be expanding sector.
Call us on 01473 550780 or email enqu[email protected]. We’ll be happy to hear from you.
James joined us in November 21 as a Recruitment Consultant. He is working within software development, building and maintaining a strong understanding of our candidate needs and the development market across Suffolk and Essex.