5 Tips for Becoming a Blockchain Developer
Becoming a blockchain developer is like becoming a doctor: there are a lot of possible fields to pursue, each with its specialist learning requirements and aptitudes. Fortunately, you don’t need four years of academic study and another three on the job to earn your spurs: if you’ve got the skills, blockchain companies will readily hire you. No qualifications necessary – but that’s not to say they won’t assist you in your career.
We’ll consider educational avenues to pursue shortly, but let’s start by examining the possible paths to take in your crypto career. Find your blockchain development niche and then you can master the skills required to maximize your employment prospects and salary.
Learn a Blockchain Programming Language
Different blockchain protocols are of course coded in different languages. Bitcoin is primarily written in C++, Ethereum in Solidity, and EOS uses Web Assembly which enables programming languages such as C, C++, Rust, and Solidity to be used. The language or languages you choose to focus on won’t limit you to one blockchain ecosystem, but it will have a major say in shaping your career path.
The language you select – or are already proficient in – will also dictate whereabouts in the blockchain stack you end up operating. Bitcoin may have been written in C++, but if you wind up working on wallets at the application layer, you’re more likely to be using something like Java or Python. Picking a programming language is ultimately about combining your strengths with the lingua franca of the blockchain vertical and layer where you’d like to ply your trade.
Go Back To School To Learn Blockchain
If you’re already an accomplished developer, you can skip this part. Devs with no prior blockchain experience, however, will wish to fine-tune their skills before firing off their resumé to crypto companies that are recruiting. For autodidacts happy to go it alone, the web is awash with free resources, from YouTube tutorials to blockchain primers that will help level up your knowledge.
However, you may wish to pad out this learning with formal training that will grant you the certification and skillset to moonwalk into a blockchain development job. Online courses include Princeton’s Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies free primer, which takes 18 hours to complete, and Udemy’s miniature modules. More intensive courses can last up to 12 weeks, while numerous universities now offer dedicated blockchain courses, the best known being Blockchain at Berkley, which offers on- and off-campus options.
Build Your Own Blockchain Project
The best way to demonstrate your worth to a future employer is by rolling your sleeves up and building something. Many of the developers at major crypto companies started out by working voluntarily on the Bitcoin protocol, or by spinning up their own dApp, DEX aggregator, or on-chain fee calculator. Whether you’re experimenting with defi, tinkering with Simple Ledger Protocol applications for Bitcoin Cash, or coding simple EOS smart contracts, there’s a wealth of jumping off points. That’s the beauty of blockchain: you don’t need an invitation to get your hands dirty. Build something, no matter how simple, and show that you’ve got the ideas to match your programming chops.
Join Blockchain Industry Networking Groups
It’s possible to find blockchain developer jobs through conventional recruitment sites and LinkedIn, but you’re better consulting dedicated industry portals. These include CryptoJobsList, Crypto Careers, and Proof of Talent. Crypto conferences are also a great place to find work, as there are often companies there who are actively hiring.
Become A Contributor For The Blockchain Community
Working as a blockchain developer, especially remotely, can be a lonely job. Interacting with the developer community will keep you abreast of new developments and opportunities, while establishing your credibility and building your reputation. Share your knowledge with the dev community and they’ll reciprocate, serving as a sounding board for ideas and a repository for solutions when you come unstuck. On gitters such as Solidity and Truffle you’ll find like-minded souls willing to weigh in with solutions.
With more than 8,000 crypto jobs, many in the field of blockchain development, you won’t be short of options when it comes to seeking employment. And with a typical salary of $80,000-$120,000 for a senior dev, the remuneration will justify all those late evenings you spent mastering your craft.
Contributed by White Rabbit