Who is a Blockchain Developer?
A Blockchain developer develops and enhances blockchain-related applications, commonly known as decentralized applications or DApps. They are also equipped to develop and enhance smart contracts, blockchain architecture, and blockchain protocols.
A blockchain developer also secures digital transactions by creating systems and applications to record and store blockchain data. These professionals are also responsible for preventing external changes from being made to those transactions and any hacks that might compromise the security of those transactions.
Types of Blockchain Developers
There are two types of blockchain developers – One type of blockchain developer creates, while the other builds on that creation. Below are more details
Core Blockchain Developers
A core blockchain developer develops blockchain architecture. A blockchain developer is trained to run a successful blockchain solution by designing specific protocols to produce the desired outcomes.
Beyond this, core blockchain developers also must make high-level decisions that impact the development of blockchain-related applications.
Example: Ethereum, which is a level 1 Blockchain.
Blockchain Software Developers
Blockchain software developers implement and maintain a blockchain system already designed and solved by the core blockchain developer.
Example: Sandbox, which is based on Ethereum.
At the start of your blockchain developer career, you are most likely to fall into the latter category: blockchain software developers are the most common professional breed.
How to Become a Blockchain Developer?
Here are steps that help you become a Blockchain Developer:
Step 1) Learn how the blockchain process works
Blockchain is a very intricate process well explained in white papers produced by crypto companies that use Blockchain, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Understanding the basic structure of a blockchain and what it seeks to do is essential for your blockchain developer pathway.
Step 2) You should learn more about how digital currencies work.
While blockchain is not designed explicitly for cryptocurrencies; working with cryptocurrencies is the ideal platform to develop the skills required to do this work.
Step 3) Learn to code
Next, you need to learn to code for that, various coding languages have a specific purpose. So, you should have a clear idea of what you need to code for before signing up for a coding boot camp, certificate program, or associate degree program.
Step 4) Learn about smart contracts
Smart contracts are an increasingly important component of Blockchain. Regardless of the platform that you choose to work with, if you don’t understand how smart contracts work, you’ll have difficulty succeeding as a blockchain developer.
Step 5) Keep Practicing and Learning
Blockchain development as an industry constantly expands while coding, and programming languages constantly evolve. The only way for a blockchain developer to stay ahead of this is by constantly being at the coalface of that evolution.
Step 6) Apply for Jobs
Once you have created your portfolio, it’s time to apply for jobs. You can apply online, in person, through referrals, or through personal networking.
Step 7) Land the Job
After completing all the steps and selecting the job, you have moved on from zero to a highly paid-blockchain developer.
Skills Needed to Become a Blockchain Developer
A blockchain developer needs to understand blockchain technology, its architecture, how it works, and all the critical concepts associated with blockchain development, like hash functions, distributed ledger technology, and consensus protocols. It covers three basic spheres of knowledge, each as important as the other.
A blockchain developer can keep data secure by using hashing and encryption. Encryption protects data on a blockchain at a superficial level, while its internal protection is provided by hashing.
A blockchain developer needs to be competent and comfortable with symmetric and asymmetric cryptography. They use unique series of numbers and letters to facilitate transactions between two parties interacting within the blockchain system.
Sometimes that will involve using the same code or password for both parties, and sometimes using two different codes, each of which requires the other for the transaction to be completed.
A blockchain developer needs to understand hashing because that ultimately makes it near impossible to penetrate data within the blockchain system. Hashing is a very professional coding level, which makes blockchain text almost impossible to read using a particular mathematical algorithm.
A blockchain developer must know how to operate a back-linked record of data transactions within the Blockchain. Understanding data structures for Blockchain serves two functions.
- The first is to make the Blockchain immutable
- The second is to make the Blockchain efficient for those who either develop or use it
Invariably, data structures will include linked lists, binary trees, heap, hashing, and graphs. Blockchain developers must understand how you can store these data structures as flat files and simple databases.
However, the ability to work with data structures is just an extension of understanding cryptography. One knowledge set cannot go without the other.
Smart contracts are mostly associated with the Ethereum blockchain technology, which pioneered this skill and technique. Smart contracts reduce costs, red tape, and risk. While Ethereum is a pioneer here, other cryptocurrencies will become increasingly reliant on people with this set of skills in the future.
You will need to have knowledge of smart contracts when training to become a blockchain developer.
Blockchain Developer Salary and Job Outlook
A blockchain developer can expect to earn as much as $280,000 annually, while some can earn around $60,000 annually. The medium salary for a blockchain developer is about $110,000 per year.
The salary range can be from $85,000 for entry-level and junior positions to $170,000 for seniors and experienced employees.
The salary of a Blockchain Developer can vary greatly depending on experience and other factors. The salary of a blockchain developer will range depending on the company that employs you and the state where you work. The job outlook for software development, of which blockchain development is merely one branch. It is expected to grow by about 22 percent over the decade spanning 2020-30.
The level of growth is faster than anything you will encounter in most other industries. So, there are plenty of employment opportunities for those seeking to enter the industry, even if it is at a lower level.
Which School Should You Attend to Become a Blockchain Developer?
You can become a blockchain developer by attending a school that will prepare you with the essential skills required by the company hiring you.
However, for the sake of this article, we will briefly explore all the options available to you.
Certificate In Blockchain Technology
A typical community college will offer you a certificate in Blockchain Engineering Technology, which takes about one year to complete, depending on your circumstances.
You need to take the key decision that you want to study blockchain certificate online or complete the program on campus. You also need to consider if you can afford to complete the certificate program full-time or whether you will complete it part time.
Whichever option you pursue, this will only ever be a starter course for you. However, at some point you will advance your blockchain studies, but it can be an essential point for prospective students who might not meet the requirements to study at a higher level than this.
Assuming that you are going to study full time, some of the critical areas of learning you cover will include:
- Basics of Blockchain
- Programming Essentials
- Blockchain Laws
- Blockchain Regulations
- Industry Standards
- Decentralized Applications Development
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Certification Prep
Associate Of Applied Science: Blockchain Major
The associate degree program is for you if you are searching for something a little more sophisticated. You could also enroll in this program, which will take about two years to complete. This helps you to better equip you with the skills you need to become a blockchain developer.
With an associate degree, you will be much better prepared for certification with a relevant body than you ordinarily would be with a mere certificate, even though that is an important starting point.
The benefit of pursuing a program like this is that you will cover meaningful ground on subjects like:
- A+ Certification Preparation
- Basics Of Blockchain
- Programming Essentials
- Decentralized Applications Development
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Smart Contract Development
- Advanced Smart Contract Development
- Blockchain Capstone Project
- Ethical Hacking and Countermeasures
- Arts And Humanities Elective
Blockchain Developer Degrees
To become a blockchain developer, you can either complete a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Technology, or Bachelor of Arts program that offers comprehensive coverage on all computing and computer science subjects over four years.
Usually, it would also be in your best interests to pursue a postgraduate qualification in this field, like a master’s or Doctoral Degree in a computing subject. The subject for an undergraduate program in this field will include things like:
- Mathematics for Computer Science
- Medical Technology (which is a significant component of Blockchain
- Computation Structures
- Software Construction
- Computer Systems Engineering
- Machine Learning
- Artificial Intelligence
- Computer Language Engineering
- Digital Systems Laboratory
Most of these subjects will be more intense, and some might even be unnecessary. Once you are done with them, you will be considerably closer to the finished product, allowing you to hit the ground running when you enter the field.
Blockchain Developer Bootcamps
A typical blockchain developer Bootcamp will take anywhere from a couple of days to several months to complete, depending on how much time you can grasp the relevant concepts. The emphasis with a blockchain developer Bootcamp will invariably be on coding and developing your coding capacity.
The academic ground you will cover with a blockchain developer Bootcamp will include most of the subjects in an associate degree or certificate program. Just like both, there are blockchain developer programs that can be completed at local community colleges.
Top Blockchain Programming Languages
The list of languages you could learn from a blockchain developer Bootcamp program includes:
Blockchain Developer Courses
Blockchain developer courses will be offered by major tech companies like IBM, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Oracle. Most of those courses will also offer you a clear pathway toward certification.
Blockchain Developer Certifications
The Blockchain Council issues this certification. Presenting this certification proves that you are competent with Ethereum, IPFS, Hyperledger, Smart Contracts, Hyperledger Fabric, and R3 Corda.
The certification will remain valid for the rest of your professional career and can be completed at your own pace. The certification coursework should take 15 hours and sitting the examination will only cost you about $230.
This certification will remain valid for the rest of your professional career and will only set you back about $149 if you plan to sit the final examination. This certification proves competence with concepts like blockchain mining, blockchain ecosystems, tokenizing everything, transactions UTXO, account models, security and privacy, and consensus mechanisms in Blockchain.
This block chain certification course will only set you back about $299 to complete the coursework and sit the final examination. The coursework will only demand about four weeks of your time, provided that you dedicate yourself to about four hours per week.
Presenting this certification proves that you are competent with blockchain technology basics, enterprise blockchain platforms, supply chain management, digital transformation, and trade finance.
You will probably pursue this certification if you are already a leader or plan to be the leader of a significant organization that recognizes the significance of Blockchain and the future that it presents beyond just cryptocurrencies and the medical field.
How to Prepare for Your Blockchain Developer Job Interview
Preparing for a blockchain developer interview involves clarifying why specific questions will be asked. You need to genuinely understand why companies hire blockchain developers and how you will be best suited to fulfilling that function.
How much time is needed to become a professional blockchain developer?
The amount of time needed to become a professional blockchain developer can vary significantly depending on your prior experience and how much time you’re able to dedicate to learning.
Here is a estimate of the time investment:
- Understanding Blockchain (1-3 months): Next, you’ll need to learn the basics of blockchain technology itself. This includes understanding how cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin work, what a distributed ledger is, and how smart contracts function.
- Learning a Blockchain Platform (3-6 months): Then, you need to choose a specific blockchain platform to focus on. Ethereum is currently the most popular for developing decentralized applications (dApps), and learning its specific language, Solidity, is essential.
- Building Projects (3-6 months): Finally, you’ll need to spend some time building projects. This could be contributing to open-source projects, creating your own dApps, or even starting an internship. Practical experience is invaluable in solidifying your skills and making you attractive to employers.
So, if you’re starting from scratch, you might expect the process to take anywhere from 1 to 2 years. This could be shorter if you already have some programming knowledge or if you’re able to devote more time to learning. Additionally, keep in mind that technology fields like blockchain are always evolving, so continuous learning will be a part of your career as a blockchain developer.