With the crescent popularity of blockchain technology and its developing applications, many new opportunities have opened to software developers. One of the leading job positions the industry created was blockchain developers. But because it is so unique, the position isn’t as defined as other tech professions that have more years in the market. That’s because any software developer that can work with blockchain technologies can be considered a blockchain developer.
Blockchain has become a very coveted skill in the last few years. According to Linkedin, it is the most in-demand hard skill in 2020. It is because of its three main characteristics: blockchain is transparent, decentralized, and immutable. It has grown a lot since the Bitcoin boom, and now cryptocurrency is one of the least important uses of blockchain.
With so few professionals in the field, four out of five positions are left unfilled even with the highest salaries in the tech industry. Blockchain developers have an average salary of $70K for entry-level to $175K for more experienced professionals. So, if you are interested in steering your path into blockchain development, this is the perfect time with many opportunities.
- Back-end or core blockchain developer. In software developments, some developers are dedicated to creating the actual tools and programs while others will develop applications and websites. In blockchain the same occurs; some developers specialize in creating the main architectures of blockchain technologies like the Ethereum platform and cryptocurrency.
Back-end or core blockchain developers design and supervise blockchain protocols and systems that other developers can use later. They must have a deeper understanding of blockchain technology and how it works. They will build the foundations where the blockchain applications will lay. Smart contract engineers and decentralized app developers rely on the technologies core blockchain developers create to do their jobs.
- Smart contract engineer. Smart contracts are agreements that fulfill themselves when the conditions they were programmed with are met. This technology has a lot of potential to change the way we do transactions. Normally, if there are two parties that want to do a deal, an authorized third party has to participate in making sure everything is fair and transparent.
With smart contracts, a third party will no longer be necessary because the contract will only take effect if the pre-agreed conditions are met. Plus, they are programmed with blockchain technology, which makes it available for the participating parties to access and to the network to store. In other words, it’s a contract with iron-clad security.
Smart contracts have many applications, especially in the fintech industry, that’s why they are becoming more popular. Some banks and companies in real estate are already using them for essential transactions.
- Decentralize app developer. The app we use now in all our devices are centralized apps; they are stored in one server, and if it crashes, then the app will too. Decentralized apps (Dapp), on the other hand, are based on blockchain; they don’t have only one source but are stored in different nodes of a network.
Decentralization makes apps very transparent and immutable; if someone changes a variable, then the whole system will know.
When developing a Dapp, developers have to publish the source code for other people in the blockchain to verify it. Also, these apps can’t have one chief administrator, they have to be administered by a community. An example of Dapps is Golem, which is based on Ethereum and is a supercomputer powered by many computers in the world.
Doing a quick search on Glassdoor for the most recent open positions for blockchain developers reveal that the most common qualifications are:
- More than three years of experience in software development
- Some experience in Blockchain platforms like Ethereum
- Computer science degree
- Experience developing smart contracts
- Experience with cryptocurrency
Software developers already have half of the job experience needed to become blockchain professionals. Now they need to change their mindset to learn to program for decentralized systems and learn one or two new skills to make it. They also have the leading roles in developing blockchain technologies, which will open any door they want. With the shortage of blockchain developers, this is the perfect time to enter the industry.
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