Want to be a blockchain developer? Insider tips from an expert
We live in a time of turbulence, and our present is changing at a rate comparable to the Industrial Revolution of the early 19th century. In those days, supporters of manual labor lost out to manufacturers, who weren’t afraid of the transition from manual to technical production and quickly adapted to progress. Today we are seeing a similar situation; with AI and blockchain replacing automation.
Blockchain developer skills are part of a new wave of crucial skills that will make up our tech-focused future in upcoming years. As we stated in our recent blog post, the speed of blockchain technology adoption is overgrowing, but one significant barrier to development is the lack of blockchain development specialists with the necessary skills needed to build blockchain-based solutions confidently. Therefore, if you are thinking about changing your profession to a widely demanded and highly paid one, it’s time to learn blockchain development.
In this article, you will learn how to become a blockchain developer, how to start learning blockchain programming, what skills are required for junior developers, discover the types of blockchain development, and ensure that the salary is worth the time and work spent. After reading, you will see why now is still the best time to become a blockchain developer.
Why become a blockchain developer?
By looking at various media studies and forecasts about global blockchain technology, we can speculate on market development. The recent Reportlinker report predicts market growth hitting $19.9 billion by 2026. Fortune Business Insights in its blockchain report predicts a market size of USD 163.83 billion by 2029. Grand View Research, in its report Blockchain Technology Market Growth & Trends, writes how the market is expected to reach USD 1,431 billion by 2030.
In addition to optimistic forecasts for money flowing into the blockchain network, institutional investors are also showing great interest in this technology. You can read the detailed Institutional Investments Overview in 2022 here.
Based on the above, it’s clear that the demand for blockchain development specialists will only increase over the years; and below we will give convincing reasons becoming a blockchain developer is worth doing today!
Constantly growing demand in the labor market
In addition to the many startups engaged in blockchain development, organizations such as Meta (formerly Facebook), Google, Amazon, IBM, Apple, and others are among the leaders in the development and implementation of blockchain technology. New companies appear every day and are providing huge opportunities for qualified staff in blockchain technology.
On LinkedIn and UpWork (a major international freelancing platform) the demand for professions related to blockchain development has increased in recent years. As blockchain technology is still in its infancy, there is a shortage of professionals worldwide. Even now, it is extremely rare to find people with more than a few years of experience in this field.
Early Adopters Advantage
Despite the fact that much has already been studied in relation to blockchain, there are a number of problems, such as the blockchain trilemma, which experts are working on solving. As a blockchain developer, you have the opportunity to develop and implement solutions that don’t currently exist. If you can successfully solve real problems in this field, you will gain a significant competitive advantage and qualify for higher positions and wages.
Prospects out of development
Understanding the basics of how blockchain technology works and the projects that are built on it, you can build your own company or invest profitably. Blockchain implementation opens up flexibility, process transparency, increased efficiency, and new business opportunities for entrepreneurs. You can become a 19th-century manufacturer today and stand out from the competition by reacting in time to the rapidly changing market dynamics.
Types of blockchain developers
Blockchain developers are often divided into the following types:
- Blockchain software developers can be compared to web developers who use existing protocols and web application design. Developers have the highest entry requirements and are responsible for the interfaces and back end of dApps. They control the technology stack used. They need a good command and experience of practical work in C++, Node.js, Python, and other programming languages.
- Core blockchain developers are creators of client products and web interfaces that use blockchain technologies. Core developers create the consensus protocol, control network security, design its architecture, and make the most strategic decisions. Working as a core developer requires both knowledge of basic programming languages, such as Ruby, and more complex ones, such as Go, Rust, Node.js, or MongoDB.
- Smart contract developers. This group of specialists is directly involved in writing and maintaining smart contracts, as well as fixing problems that arise during their operation. The skill threshold for entry is rated at medium difficulty and requires knowledge of Node.js, React.js, and Python, as well as experience in full-stack web development.
Here is a list of some positions for blockchain developers:
- Blockchain Junior Developer
- Blockchain Developer
- Blockchain Architect
- Blockchain Administrator
- Blockchain Project Manager
- Blockchain Quality Engineer
- Blockchain Engineer
Remember that this is not the whole list of specialties related to blockchain development. As a blockchain developer, you will be able to acquire new knowledge in many areas such as API design/development, security, cryptography, data analysis, UI/UX, blockchain analysis, project management, blockchain architectural design, and much more!
What skills do you need to be a blockchain developer?
For newly practicing developers, specialized, narrowly-focused blockchain courses are suitable to meet the minimum requirements for blockchain developer at the start of their career. However, for those thinking, “Can you become a blockchain developer without a degree?”, the answer is yes, but there is a list of necessary programming skills, without which it is impossible to find success in the field.
What programming languages do you need to get started?
Here are the most commonly used blockchain programming languages:
C++ can be used to solve many blockchain-related problems. This language was used to write the Bitcoin blockchain and is considered one of the basic languages for blockchain development.
Python is a general-purpose programming language that is used for both internal development and front-end development.
In addition to C++, and Python, blockchain development also uses Node.js, React.js, Ruby, and C#.
In addition to the above programming languages, the following basic skills are required for a blockchain developer.
Smart contracts enable transactions for goods, services, or other assets without the need for intermediaries. They are executed only if the parties comply with the contract terms.
Architecture is the fundamental concept of blockchain development. The developer should be fluent in three types of it:
- Public Blockchain;
- Consortium Blockchain;
- Private Blockchain.
The most well-known public blockchain example is Bitcoin.
In most cases, a blockchain programmer will develop decentralized applications. To do this, you will need to learn web design and master other tools for creating high-quality dApps.
Network protocol is another essential component of blockchain technology. They allow network nodes to exchange information securely over the Internet, determine how data is structured, and establish safeguards.
Salary for blockchain developers worldwide
The rapid emergence of many blockchain projects on the market has been accompanied by a shortage of personnel, which is reflected in salary offers for specialists. It is not possible to determine a single rate for a blockchain developer — it all depends on the location of the project, its complexity, and urgency. Below is a table of salaries for the leading countries in blockchain development so that you can compare the salary of a developer and a blockchain developer across different parts of the globe.
As you can see, the salary of a blockchain developer in comparison with that of a simple developer differs significantly. If even after these figures you still have doubts about becoming a blockchain developer, read below our interview with the developer and CEO of INC4, Igor Stadnyk.
Insights from Igor Stadnyk: blockchain developer and CEO of INC4
Why did you become a blockchain developer?
From a young age, I was interested in technology and computers. I was even making attempts to write simple computational programs while still in school, as computer science was my favorite subject. After graduating from secondary education, I entered one of the best Kyiv technical universities “Kyiv Polytechnic Institute” in the Faculty of Computing and Finance.
After graduating, I worked in these areas for about 10 years before switching to blockchain in 2014. At that time, this technology was not so developed, the Ethereum blockchain hadn’t even been launched yet, and smart contracts didn’t exist. However, even in those years, as an experienced programmer, I was simply amazed by this advanced industry and the opportunities that it opens up for any business. In the same year, I founded the INC4 blockchain development company, in which I became the lead developer.
During my time as a blockchain developer, my team and I have had to deal with very difficult tasks many times, but through a mix of expertise, trial and error, and creativity, we have always found the best solutions. We are an experienced team of specialists who are ready to accept any challenge and cope with tasks of any complexity.
What successes have you seen in recent years?
As the head of INC4, I have been proud to oversee our company’s work on over 90 different blockchain projects. We continue to create smart contracts, wallets, mining pools, Dapps, and provide consulting for different blockchain projects.
Personally, I have also been heavily involved with the Ambrosus Ecosystem, taking on the role of CTO. Ambrosus is a decentralized EVM-compatible blockchain with over 600 nodes, and has already made some great partnerships with companies looking to reliably trace products as they move along the supply chain. We have also just announced a $10 million grant for developers to start building DeFi applications on a blockchain that is extremely fast, cheap, and secure.
I have also been doing a lot of work with the talented guys from NEAR. INC4 became a NEAR guild last year, and we have had a hand in some really cool projects that are being built within the ecosystem, and linked to this, I am heading a new project called PembRock Finance. We are really excited as it will be the first leveraged yield farming project launched on the NEAR blockchain. We even got a $75,000 grant from the NEAR team to speed up development!
What are the essential skills to becoming a blockchain developer?
Learning from scratch blockchain development is a task that is almost impossible for a person who is generally unfamiliar with programming. This will take a lot of time and effort. I would advise newbies to start by learning simple and popular programming languages such as Node.js, React.js, and Python. In parallel, study the basic principles of blockchain architecture. It will also be useful to read fundamental books on blockchain development, such as “The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains” by Anthony Lewis, “Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy” by Melanie Swan, and “Mastering Bitcoin: Programming the Open Blockchain” by Andreas M. Antonopoulos.
Which projects do you look up to?
I have many projects that I’m interested in, and every day there is something new to be impressed by. I am really impressed by what the guys at NEAR are doing; creating not just an awesome and reliable blockchain, but also building out a user-friendly ecosystem from there. The Solana guys have also been doing lots of great work, and of course, I look up to my fellow teammates at Ambrosus. This is just the tip of the iceberg — there are just so many different groups of developers who are constantly coming up with fresh ideas and solving different problems. This business is a really dynamic one to be involved in, which is why I am so convinced of blockchain’s bright future.
What do you think will be the top blockchain developments in 2022?
We have already seen some breakthroughs in NFTs, the Metaverse, and GameFi industries in 2021. Blockchain can be almost everywhere, in the gaming, art, or investment sector. I bet on the development of the play-to-earn gaming sector and the inflow of investments into Metaverse projects. In fact, the above three industries are closely interconnected with each other and will evolve and develop simultaneously.
Regarding the financial sector, I expect to see more blockchain technology adoption in public government sectors in 2022. This will contribute to the transparency of economic processes and the reduction of corruption. In addition, I am closely following the development and pilot testing of CBDCs worldwide.
In the development sector of the blockchains themselves, in terms of technology, I expect to see better solutions to the Ethereum blockchain scaling problems and the movement to more environmentally friendly processing.