Where to start a beginner
Headhunters have blockchain developers. How to join this new industry?
Regardless of your personal attitude to cryptocurrencies, the fact that blockchain is a serious technology that can change many areas of life is beyond doubt. It is important to understand that digital currencies are just one form that the blockchain can take. Technology protocols can be modified and serve many different purposes, and not only support virtual money.
Bill Gates said blockchain will change the rules of the game in the next decade. Innovative (and even revolutionary) this technology makes precisely its versatility. Blockchain can be applied in almost any industry that is supported by a logical scheme and a technically structured network.
If we talk about the potential of the blockchain, then we have not yet fully seen even the tip of the iceberg. The widespread enthusiasm for cryptocurrency has attracted many talented specialists to the field, while public blockchains like Steem and Verge and their private brothers, such as Hyperledger, constantly need new minds to solve technological problems.
Why become a blockchain developer
Our world is changing at a speed comparable only with the times of the industrial revolution (and this comparison is not in favor of the latter). In the XIX century, the proponents of manual labor lost to competitors who were not afraid to take the equipment into service. Soon, conveyors became the norm, automating production, which people have been doing manually for thousands of years.
Today we see the same thing, only this time a person is replaced by artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. And it happens much faster and larger. Soon the time will come when most of the workers will be replaced by automated computer systems.
Computer skills, especially programming, will be critical to building a career in the coming years. Of course, there will be other career ladders, but the fact that computer experts will be useful to most industries is obvious. Anyone without such skills will be in a losing position in the labor market.
It is also worth noting how communication technology and the power of decentralization have helped many entrepreneurs around the world to create their own businesses and conduct transactions without any unnecessary agreements. Before the Internet, it was hard to imagine. Over time, this becomes a trend.
In addition to the above advantages, there are others.
Blockchain technology is used in almost all areas of activity. A blockchain developer can be roughly compared with a website developer. Any organization – educational, financial, procurement, entertainment, media – needs its own website, but their internal experts often do not have the necessary experience to implement their own ideas. The situation with the implementation of the blockchain is very similar. Applications of this technology can pay dividends to almost any industry, and at some point, any company will need a specialist or team to help implement the technology.
On LinkedIn and UpWork, in recent years, the demand for vacancies in one way or another connected with cryptocurrencies has tremendously increased. Such a job is now sought more than ten times more often than in 2014. According to Computer World, the average salary of a blockchain developer in Silicon Valley is $ 158,000 a year.
The blockchain industry itself, according to experts, will have a capitalization of several hundred billion dollars by 2025. This is a rather crude assumption, given that we do not know how states and international institutions will behave in relation to the blockchain. However, this technology will undoubtedly change many industries and business processes.
Do not go into this area with the thought that cryptocurrencies are the only blockchain application that deserves attention. Do not discount decentralized applications and distributed accounting technologies. This area is so young that even a study of the fundamental principles of the protocol cannot yet be considered fully completed.
Concentrating on cryptocurrencies, we ignore the lion’s share of the potential of technology.
What can a blockchain developer do
There are several development paths for a blockchain developer.
Kernel developers focus on the fundamental principles of technology and protocols – the core of the blockchain. Blockchain developers are working on software integration and decentralization. For someone who is not so seriously involved in the topic, the difference may seem insignificant, but this is a fallacy.
We already mentioned that there are many opportunities to work both in public blockchains and in private ones. The former may seem more familiar: ICOs and public services are associated with them.
STEEM, ICON, and Ethereum are examples of public blockchains. Private blockchains are created for the needs of certain companies. For example, Barclays wants to provide itself with its own blockchain and is engaged in a number of studies in this area. The company’s specialists are experimenting a lot, trying to figure out what will be most useful for the end user.
What skills come in handy
Obviously, this market requires special skills. Blockchain is pure programming, and various blockchains and coins are built in different languages. Bitcoin works in C ++, and Ethereum works in both C ++ and Python. Some blockchains try to help their distribution by using several programming languages (for example, Dragonchain supports Java, Python, NodeJS, and C #). You have a fairly wide choice in terms of language, but the skill in any case should be at a high level.
You will also need the skills of a web developer. They include knowledge of HTML, CSS, NodeJS, and MongoDB. We’ll have to deal with the back end. Networking and security systems skills will also be useful, because blockchain developers are often forced to communicate with representatives of these departments.
The above may seem frighteningly complicated, but you can do your blockchain in less than half an hour. Yes, it will be the simplest blockchain, which has practically no application, but by creating something like this, you will get a general idea of what you will have to do in your new job.
Those who want to read something on this subject should refer to the book Mastering Bitcoin, written by Andreas Antonopulus. This useful electronic book is free.
Summing up the intermediate result, we can say: first you need to hone programming skills in one of the languages. If you are interested in Ethereum smart contracts, you might want to check out the Solidity language. It is also worth considering backend and web development. Once you figure this out, use online resources to create your first blockchain, smart contract, or decentralized application.
How to get a job
First you need to be sure that you have mastered the basic set of skills. Regardless of the requirements for the developer, everyone should have a base.
Next, you will see two main paths: as a developer or as a consultant. In this article, we focus on the first option.
Beginners in the field are accepted quite easily, but a developer with years of experience and experience in drafting smart contracts will no doubt be more welcome than a completely green youth. However, this should not frighten beginners: even the most seasoned programmers were once as green. Learning and real programming is the key to success.
Online recruitment platforms have seen a marked increase in the demand and supply of cryptocurrency related jobs. On LinkedIn and UpWork, more and more resumes of blockchain developers are appearing. Why don’t you add your own? In search of vacancies, you can go to AngelList or Blocktribe, where many requests to blockchain developers are posted. In addition, Ripple is currently looking for specialists.
Thanks to the cohesion of the developer community, you can gain experience as a volunteer. Many projects are happy with an extra pair of hands, if they are accompanied by the proper level of skills. Read about interesting projects on Reddit, Telegram, Slack and Discord, send tweets to team members. And, of course, do not forget to look at their sites: many post vacancies there.
As in any other field, in blockchain development, networking is an important part of career growth. If you want to make a career as a blockchain developer, good dating can do some of the work for you. Adopt the experience of more advanced developers, listen to their advice, prove yourself a good specialist – and, perhaps, you will be invited to a new vacancy.
Now is the time to plunge into the world of blockchain in order to gradually become a true insider. Each representative of this young sphere is still studying technology, and the chances of becoming one of the pioneers are quite high. Even veterans like Vitalik Buterin still find something to learn.
However, the majority of programmers today own the fundamental tools for creating blockchain and software based on it. Sources of skills and knowledge are available on the Internet in the format of video materials and concise text manuals. Nothing stops you from becoming a blockchain developer. If the sphere really attracts you – go for it and believe in yourself!