Blockchain technology is on track to completely transform the way the digital world processes information and conducts business. It was initially developed as an infrastructure for supporting Bitcoin. Blockchain technology, which provides heightened security and flexibility, has led a number of businesses and even governments to look for ways to utilize it. Billions of dollars are pouring into the world of Blockchain in terms of venture capital funding and IPOs. The year 2021 saw a staggering $30 billion in VC funding into crypto start-ups. There are already 65 crypto unicorns (companies valued at least $1 billion).
All these investments are going into developing Decentralized Applications (DApps) and creating infrastructure for the new world of Web3, a blockchain-based decentralized network. This has led to a huge demand for blockchain developers. According to research done by management consulting firm Janco Associates, the median salary for a blockchain developer is now as much as $127,000. Experienced developers can command as much as a staggering $172,000.
Right now, the demand for blockchain developers outstrips the supply, opening a huge opportunity for existing and new software developers to build a career. It is important to mention here that blockchain technology is still in the nascent phase and will grow rapidly, improving demand by multiple times in future.
Benefits of learning blockchain technologies:
Learning blockchain technologies and becoming a blockchain developer not only helps you in employment but also opens the doors for other opportunities. All the benefits of becoming a blockchain developer are highlighted below.
First: You will be able to work as a developer in the highly rewarding and exciting world of Blockchain and DeFi.
Second: The knowledge in Blockchain will help you to become a better investor in Crypto & DeFi, taking advantage of ICO (Initial Coin Offerings), Crypto and DeFi investment opportunities such as staking and liquidity pool.
Third: The knowledge of blockchain technologies helps you to realize your dream of becoming an entrepreneur (if you have) and develop your own DAPP (Decentralized Application), as it is expected that almost all the apps currently available in Web2 will be developed in Web3 with the difference that Web3 apps will be decentralized. So, it’s just a matter of time before you see a decentralized app to book a taxi, an alternative for Uber in Web3.
Fourth: Being a new concept, not many people understand Blockchain and how it works, let alone using the technology to their advantage. This opens a world of opportunity to become an educator and content creator where you could educate people about Blockchain and coding by creating courses.
Blockchain is not the only new-age technology.
There are other technologies such as IoT, which is also playing a key role in the transformation.
If you learn Blockchain, you will have the chance to work on other ground-breaking new-age technologies.
The end goal is to build a safe network with the use of Blockchain and other related technologies.
So, how to become a blockchain developer?
Before you understand the steps to becoming a blockchain developer, it’s important to know the work of a blockchain developer.
Roles and responsibilities of a blockchain developer
Blockchain developers are of two types.
- Core Blockchain Developer
- Blockchain Software Developer
The Core Blockchain Developer creates the Blockchain architecture and the systems around it. Once the foundation and the architecture are built, the Blockchain Software Developer builds the applications called Decentralized Applications (DAPPS) on top of it. There may even be occasions where both the roles are played by the same person.
The day-to-day responsibilities and roles of a Core Blockchain developer are:
· Implementation of blockchain features and functionalities
· Design architecture of the network
· Design the security of the network and protocol
· Design the Blockchain protocols
· Development of backend according to the Blockchain protocols
· Designing the front-end according to client requirements
The Blockchain Software Developer role is different from that of a core blockchain developer. His role is to develop and implement the Blockchain using the designs created by the core blockchain developers.
Blockchain software developers develop Decentralized Applications (DApps). To get a clear understanding, let’s list blockchain software developers’ roles and responsibilities below.
· Understand and deploy the code for Smart Contracts
· Develop the backend and front-end of DApps
· Ensure that DApps are running as intended
· Look after integration with other services and apps
· Testing the code of smart contracts against any potential hacks and loopholes
In general, a blockchain developer’s role is to come up with innovative solutions to various problems that the current Web2 world has. Hence, the developer not only needs to have the technical knowledge of coding, including Etherium based programming language called Solidity but also need to perform complex analysis, design, development, testing, debugging and troubleshooting.
How to become a blockchain developer
There are two different kinds of people who would like to become blockchain developers. One without any experience and knowledge in programming language and the others already having the knowledge of other programming language but not on Solidity.
If you are already in the development field, you have better chances to become a blockchain developer. On the other hand, if you are starting from scratch, you need to be more patient with yourself. Now, let’s go step-by-step to understand how to become a blockchain developer.
Step-1: Learn the basics
To learn anything, the basics or the foundation has to be clear. Blockchain is no different. There are already plenty of resources available online FREELY for you to learn. Watch and subscribe to various YouTube channels on Bitcoin, Blockchain and DeFi, explaining the basics. Read articles and join different discussion forums in Reddit and Facebook groups on the above topics. Buy some cryptocurrency and create a crypto wallet in one of the service providers like Metamask (Make sure you keep your private key safe). Subscribe to crypto newsletters such as Coindesk to keep yourself updated with the Crypto news.
The basics also include learning about popular blockchain development tools and understanding the different terminologies associated with Blockchain.
Lastly, you should learn about the blockchain ecosystem. Blockchain has grown a lot in the past few years, so has its ecosystem. Having a thorough understanding of the below is desirable.
· Enterprise blockchain platforms such as Ethereum, Hyperledger, Quorum, Corda, Ripple etc.
· Popular DApps such as UniSwap, Raydium, Opensea etc
Step-2: Equip yourself with all the technical skills
- Cryptography: Blockchain protects the user identity and data by using highly effective and complex cryptography algorithms. A deeper understanding of cryptography and all the major cryptographic algorithms such as SHA-256 used by popular blockchain solutions will help you with the development of DApps and other blockchain technologies.
- Blockchain architecture: Understanding blockchain architecture such as Nodes within P2P network, Mining, Distributed ledger technology, Consensus, Proof-of-work, Hash functions help you to become a highly successful developer.
- Smart contract development: Smart contracts are IF and ELSE codes written on the Ethereum blockchain for various protocols. These are written with a programming language called Solidity. Learning Solidity will help you with the development of smart contracts for different DAPPs. There are platforms like Space Doggos and CryptoZombies where you can learn and practise Solidity for FREE.
Step-3: Start a project: Code, test and deploy
Now it’s time to create a project and test. But where can you write the code and simulate or test it? Online Integrated Development Environment (IDE) such as https://remix.ethereum.org gives you the online platform to develop and test your DAPP in Blockchain. After it’s tested, it’s time to deploy. You could deploy in a test network or live Ethereum blockchain network. For deployment, you would need a connection with the Ethereum blockchain. For this, you could use the MetaMask browser extension. Metamask allows you to choose your connection between test blockchain and real Blockchain (live). It is suggested to first test your smart contract on a test network such as Ethereumjs-testrpc or Ropsten. To deploy your code in a real Ethereum blockchain network, you need to get real Ether and pay the gas fee before deploying it.
Step-4: Start applying for jobs
The best way to become a blockchain developer is to work on real projects. That’s why it is recommended to check out companies that are hiring blockchain developers. There are dedicated job boards and recruiters who specialize in blockchain-related job opportunities.
The demand for blockchain developers is quite high, and if you know your craft well, you are bound to get a good start.
Joining a programmer’s communities like Reddit, GitHub, and StackExchange is a very good strategy for not only to get any kind of technical support but also to get hired as a lot of start-up companies look for resources there.
Now that we covered all the steps to become a blockchain developer, the final thing that we need to touch upon is the mindset. It’s of utmost importance to develop the right mindset so that not only you get started but also prosper as a blockchain developer.
The right mindset
Hacker: Whenever you hear the word “hacker” talked out loud, it’s not normally in a positive light; no self-respecting company desires anything to do with hackers (well, with the exception of ethical hackers). Nonetheless, it’s exactly the hacker mentality that helps to make great Blockchain developers. That’s because hackers tend to think outside the box, as opposed to taking part in traditional thinking.
As a blockchain, you will have to think outside the box to make the DAPPs solve the real-world problems in a decentralized way while making sure that the smart contracts are coded foolproof without any scope for exploitation by others.
Collaborative: A good Blockchain developer functions well with a team and collaborates with others. He knows when to ask for assistance and also when to keep drudging by themselves up until they get to the answer.
Solution-oriented: A person who always tries and look for a solution to every problem, he who sees opportunity in every problem is the one who, without a shadow, a doubt, will not only be a great blockchain developer but will also shape the future of the world of Blockchain and Web3.
Conclusion: If you are fascinated by technology and especially the technologies of the future, becoming a blockchain developer helps you to fulfil your dream. Besides being in a highly rewarding career, as a blockchain developer, you always feel proud for your contribution to shaping the future.