Blockchain Developer Skill Set by George Fironov


Living in today’s world means constantly facing modern technologies. Even if you are not involved in tech, you still can’t avoid the buzz around blockchain. It’s a relatively new technology but the way it came up and how it’s being used has literally changed the world. In case you haven’t done your homework on this topic, I suggest you check out how blockchain was explained previously in this magazine.

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 aside from virtual money. Blockchain can be applied in almost any industry that is supported by a logical scheme and a technically structured network.

You should not choose this field with the thought that cryptocurrencies are the only blockchain implementation that deserves attention. Do not underestimate 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. By concentrating on cryptocurrencies, we ignore the lion's share of the potential of technology.

Who is a Blockchain Developer?

Blockchain technology is used in almost all areas of activity. A blockchain developer can be roughly compared with a web developer. Any organization - educational, financial, procurement, entertainment, media - needs its own website, but their internal specialists 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.

There are several types of specialists in terms of blockchain programming:

  • Blockchain engineers focus on the fundamental principles of technology and protocols - the core of the blockchain. Such an engineer must be fluent in Go, C, C ++ and Java, understand the construction of appropriate networks and algorithms for implementing complex architectures.
  • Blockchain developers are working on software integration and decentralization. The job is to create client applications that use blockchain algorithms to protect sensitive data.
  • Smart contract application developer. This specialization assumes work in Python, JavaScript and other languages.

If we are talking about the development of smart contracts on one of the platforms, for example, Ethereum, then you don’t really have to be much of a coder. You only need the ability to use search engines and a little patience. Smart contracts themselves were conceived precisely so that they could be created by people who are not particularly familiar with coding. The only difficulty that may arise is the lack of training materials because this technology is very young. It would be really helpful to go thoroughly read the White Paper of the cryptocurrency on the basis of which you are going to write smart contracts. 

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.

Blockchain Developer Skills

Well, basically, blockchain engineer and developer have to:

  • be able to write in a native programming language without the use of any frameworks;
  • know the basics of engineering and development, problem analysis and problem-solving;
  • be able to compare the top blockchain systems, their algorithms and protocols;
  • be able to analyze the main types of system vulnerabilities and be able to protect the system from attacks.

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 enhance 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, Angular, and MongoDB. One would also have to deal with back-end development technologies. Networking and security systems skills are very useful here because blockchain developers often communicate with representatives of these departments.

It may seem frighteningly complex but you can create your own 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 at your new job.

Blockchain Developer Salary

Blockchain developers are in great demand among headhunters. How to join this new industry? On LinkedIn and UpWork, in recent years, the demand for vacancies in one way or another connected with cryptocurrencies has tremendously increased. Employees look for such a job 10 times more often than just a few years ago. According to BlockGeeks, the average salary of a blockchain developer in Silicon Valley is $158,000 a year.

How to Get a Job in Blockchain Programming

On the technical path, you will become an all-in-one specialist - the person who will write smart contracts, build decentralized applications and create blockchain code. This will require all the skills that we mentioned before.

Beginners in the field are accepted quite easily, but a developer with years of experience and skills in writing smart contracts will be more welcome without a doubt. However, this should not frighten beginners: even the most seasoned programmers were once as green. Learning and actual programming experience 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. 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 connections 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 project.

Final Words

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.

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 technology really attracts you - go for it and believe in yourself!

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About the Author: 

George Fironov is the Founder and CEO of Talmatic, concierge-type service focused on helping tech companies to hire dedicated remote software engineers. I’m passionate about people, technology and innovation. I dedicated my career to building professional teams that empower our customers with the latest tech expertise they need to be successful.

September 23, 2019


Hakin9 TEAM
Hakin9 is a monthly magazine dedicated to hacking and cybersecurity. In every edition, we try to focus on different approaches to show various techniques - defensive and offensive. This knowledge will help you understand how most popular attacks are performed and how to protect your data from them. Our tutorials, case studies and online courses will prepare you for the upcoming, potential threats in the cyber security world. We collaborate with many individuals and universities and public institutions, but also with companies such as Xento Systems, CATO Networks, EY, CIPHER Intelligence LAB, redBorder, TSG, and others.
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Stacey Roberts
Stacey Roberts
3 years ago

Great Article

Stacey Roberts
Stacey Roberts
3 years ago

Great Article!

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