Estimated time to read: 10-20 minutes

Target audience: 1+ year of Software Engineering Experience

Lead Author: Asher DeMadet

Web3athon, is a multi-chain hackathon with over 17 chains to choose from when building your technology. The first stage of the Web3athon requires you to submit your idea to a specific blockchain by August 7th, 2022. This article will help you make that decision.

Developers often change their project’s goal or function to fit certain technical requirements, but for Web3athon, teams should prioritize understanding the problem they want to solve first.  Most hackathons in crypto up until now have been single-chain. But what if the chain isn’t appropriate for your ideas? The Web3athon team believes in the  “people-first, chains second” approach to product development.  The idea behind this approach is that before picking a blockchain to work on, you must first understand what problem you’re solving for the people and communities using your product. This understanding guides how important various features of each chainare to the success of the project. Once you’ve done that, then you’re ready to dive into the technical requirements for your project. With the 17 different sponsors for Web3athon, you’ll find and build on the chain that works for your specific needs.

There are a variety of factors to consider when selecting a chain, but here are seven that every developer should know.

1. Developer Support

If you are using an unfamiliar chain for your project, it's important to have other resources to support you. Each chain provides a variety of tools to support you in your endeavors.

  1. Developer Community: Community is at the core of any chain because it requires a peer-to-peer network to run. Developers often hit a ceiling with tutorials because they are rudimentary. If you know you’ll need a lot of support, look for a chain that has an active community. Most chains have a space on discord or telegram where community members ask questions and share solutions & other helpful information. In most chains ,the community usually consists of developers, not those who maintain the underlying chain itself of validators/miners, but it’s important to note that developers will often talk to validators and miners and treat them as part of the community. You can find each sponsor’s community information on our Technical Resources page.
  2. Documentation: As with any product, it’s easiest to use when it comes with clear instructions. Look for chains with clear documentation on their API and any technical requirements. By understanding the problem you are solving, you may identify what APIs need to be the most mature for your solution.
  3. Guides and Tutorials: These are crucial to learning the syntax and basic functionality.
  4. Blogs: To assess a chain’s developer support look for regularly released educational or cultural literature (by the chain itself and/or a trusted source). Blogs will often publish updates on the chain's vision, major technical changes, partnerships, and upcoming hackathons.
  5. Case Studies: If you find a case study similar to your project, reading it may save you a lot of time and headache. They show how other projects handled some of the challenges you might run into (without wasting your team’s time). A good case study will explain the project, the project's goal, why it chose a particular chain, other technical decisions made, and ultimately how everything resulted.
  6. Accessibility of information: The delivery and accessibility of information are crucial - the information should be easy (and free) to obtain. If you notice a high threshold to information, investigate the reasoning behind that. Is the chain inclusive? Is the chain looking for support? Is this a scam? (Don’t worry, none of the sponsoring chains of Web3athon are scams!)

2. Scalability