Want to become a blockchain developer and don’t know where to start? Wondering how long it will take to find your first job in a crypto company?
Becoming a blockchain developer does not require a degree but a good knowledge of blockchain technology: regardless of whether you want to develop dapps or blockchains.
Blockchain is by far one of the best industries for developers for many reasons:
- It’s one of the highest-paid skills in computer science
- You can earn passive income using blockchain
- It is a booming industry that offers many exciting projects
Without further ado, let’s begin to understand why knowing how to code in the crypto space is such an in-demand skill.
Why use blockchain?
Most blockchains are public, which means you can go back in time and observe the different transactions since the first block (Genesis block). For example, if we used the blockchain to vote, we could check that our ballot has been taken into account.
Obviously, this would mean that other people also have access to this information but they will not be able to look up your name in the blockchain to see who you voted for, all this information would be encrypted.
The blockchain makes it possible to operate with agents who do not need to trust each other because the transactions are validated by the community.
On a centralized application, people who have certain additional rights could abuse the system and give themselves points or money with their administrator access. The blockchain prevents this kind of abuse.
All the computers that make up the network must agree on the transactions and if a fraudulent transaction appeared, they would reject it or at worst, clone the blockchain to start from the block preceding the transaction that we want to reject (which was the case for Ethereum and Ethereum Classic).
Who uses blockchain?
The use cases for blockchain are always increasing and large companies have understood this well. Nowadays, it is no longer just banks and the world of finance who are interested in the blockchain.
Here are some examples:
Decentralized Finance or DeFi
Decentralized Finance or DeFi is a set of decentralized applications that allow access to financial products such as loans, savings, and the exchange of goods such as other tokens or NFTs.
Want to learn more about NFTs? Then my article How to code your own NFT will surely interest you!
DeFi is intended to replace current finance. Here are some of the DeFi projects, you will find more on the DeFi Pulse site which lists the most popular DeFi projects of the moment.
Compound allows depositing ERC20 Tokens and earning interest rates on them. The decentralized application provides access to cryptocurrency loans. The Dapp works with Smart Contracts and lives on the Ethereum blockchain.
Uniswap is a Liquidity Provider, a decentralized marketplace on which you can trade or “swap” ERC20 tokens, offering liquidity to earn money. Uniswap also has its own token (Uniswap, UNI).
Argent is a mobile application that allows you to invest your crypto-currencies in protocols like Compound or Maker to earn interest. With it, you’ll be able to buy tokens with Google Pay or Apple Pay directly or exchange ERC20 tokens with UniSwap.
The Supply Chain
The Supply Chain or supply chain system involves tracking the movement of goods or services from a source to an end user. The goal is to use the blockchain to have more transparency and to ensure the origin of a product or service.
In the healthcare sector, blockchain can be used to take into account medical histories and validation of patient identities and medications. We could therefore have access to patient files in an anonymous and decentralized way.
The sovereignty of identity
To prove your identity, we currently depend on a third party such as the government or a company that stores our information somewhere on a centralized server. The blockchain makes it possible to anonymously and securely list a person’s identity to connect to sites, for example, but also their diplomas, real estate, birth certificate, etc.
What is the role of blockchain developers?
The term blockchain developer can refer to a person who develops a blockchain or a person who develops decentralized applications or Dapps.
1. Blockchain core developers
Core developers build a blockchain itself: they create the protocols, foundations, and back-ends that will run decentralized applications. Examples of such developers are the bitcoin core team.
Blockchain core developers use programming languages like Python, Go, and Haskell.
2. Decentralized application developers
Dapps developers create Dapps, the web and mobile interfaces with which users interact. When we talk about a blockchain developer, it is more common that it is this kind of developer we are talking about.
How to learn blockchain
Depending on your skills and willingness, there are several paths for you to start your blockchain career.
You may be new to computer programming, so it will be easier to have a plan with intermediate steps to get to your goal.
If, on the contrary, you already know how to code in one or more languages, you can use your current knowledge to start playing with blockchain technologies.
Become a blockchain developer when you don’t know how to code
Becoming a Blockchain developer when you have no skills or experience in IT or the crypto world can be complicated. It will be overwhelming at times, but no worries, you will just have to put one foot in front of the other again and again.
Before getting into blockchain programming, you will need to understand some blockchain concepts and then practice with easier programming languages.
How long will it take to become a blockchain developer?
For an experienced developer, it will take 1-6 months. For an absolute beginner, it will rather take 6 months to 1 year. The answer to this question obviously depends on your experience in programming and the time you are willing to devote to your learning.
Which blockchain to choose?
If you have explored the blockchain world along with the ecosystem of cryptocurrencies that exist, you will surely be familiar with the two most popular cryptos: Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Let’s see together how to become a developer for each of these two blockchains.
Bitcoin is the most popular blockchain network and with the biggest market capitalization. Its cryptocurrency is bitcoin with the symbol BTC. Bitcoin works in Proof-of-Work and is therefore distributed on different computers around the world.
Accounts of who owns what amount are kept in a sort of directory or ledger.
Becoming a bitcoin blockchain developer, therefore, means creating programs and applications that interact with the Bitcoin protocol or making a copy (a fork) of Bitcoin to create your own cryptocurrency.
Ethereum is a cryptocurrency whose token is Ether with the symbol ETH. Vitalik Buterin, its creator had the ambition to create a blockchain that runs decentralized applications or Dapps on what can be seen as a global computer and we can say that he succeeded very well.
Today Ethereum gives birth to most new crypto-currencies (called ERC-20 tokens). More importantly, when an institution or a group of people thinks of creating a crypto project, it is Ethereum that they turn to. Ethereum has therefore become the industry standard, the default choice.
To work, Ethereum uses so-called Smart Contracts.
Smart Contracts are pieces of code executed when someone uses them. By calling a Smart Contract, the user pays an execution fee, called Gas, based on the power required to execute the code in question.
Ethereum was the most popular, successful, and documented blockchain in 2022. The Ethereum Blockchain has therefore established itself as the default choice for building decentralized applications. Ethereum works with the Solidity language to write Smart Contracts.
Solana is a blockchain competitor to Ethereum which has seen its use (and its price) explode since this summer of 2021. Consequently, many NFTs and DeFi projects have emerged on this blockchain which works with a combination of proof-of-stake and proof-of-history.
Now might be the perfect time to start learning about this blockchain and I tell you all about it in my article How to Learn Solana!
What language for the blockchain?
Several languages are used for the most popular blockchain projects. Here is a list of languages that you will need to learn depending on what you want to do on the blockchain:
Want the language to write Ethereum smart contracts? Then check out my article How to learn Solidity?
For decentralized applications on the Solana blockchain, it is with Rust that it happens. Rust is a very fast and secure system language but a more complicated one to learn than the other languages in this list of blockchain languages.
Python is also an extremely popular language and it is only natural that many libraries and frameworks for interacting with the blockchain have emerged (such as web3.py ).
In addition, Python allows you to code the back end of the site with frameworks like Django or Flask.
Again, if you want to learn Python, you’ll find the best Udemy courses, as well as the best books to learn python and project ideas for beginners.
The C and C++ languages are used for the development of certain blockchains such as that of Bitcoin for which C++ is the majority language ahead of Python!
Haskell has grown in popularity in recent years and is also the programming language used by the core developers of Cardano, one of the most popular cryptocurrencies.
Which Frameworks and Libraries for the Blockchain?
Hardhat also comes with tools such as the possibility to see the Solidity stack trace, a function
This is for me the best way to start developing smart contracts locally on your machine.
Another option is the Truffle Suite with Ganache, here’s that together.
Truffle is a framework for writing Ethereum smart contracts. Truffle is also a suite of tools like Ganache and Drizzle that make Dapps development possible.
Ganache is a library that serves to create a local environment for the development of your decentralized applications with the Ethereum blockchain.
Web3.js is a collection of libraries that allow interacting with an Ethereum node remotely or locally using Websockets or requests. This framework bridges the Ethereum blockchain and your site.
Ethers.js is an alternative to Web3.js that also allows interaction with the Ethereum blockchain.
Metamask is a browser extension that serves as a wallet and allows interaction with web3 applications. This application allows you to interact with Dapps, whether to buy and sell ERC20 tokens or to interact with other decentralized applications such as games on the blockchain.
What are the steps to becoming a blockchain developer?
Having fully understood what a blockchain developer is, their types of roles, responsibilities, and technical skills, now is the time to go through the steps to becoming a blockchain developer.
Step 1: Learn the basics
If you are starting from scratch in the world of programming, you will need to choose a language that will ideally serve you in the type of blockchain you want to use.
If you want to become a blockchain developer, you are probably already familiar with the cryptocurrency space. If not, you’ll definitely need to learn the basics.
These basic concepts consist of familiarizing yourself with the most popular cryptocurrencies and terms and familiarizing yourself with the market and the various crypto hot topics of the moment.
Step 2: Understand the blockchain
With the basics of programming acquired along with a few cryptocurrency concepts, you can now begin to tackle real-world implementations of blockchain.
The blockchain is not just a protocol for exchanging money, it is much more than that.
How does this decentralized “database” work? What is an exchange? How to use a wallet?
You will need to know how to answer these questions before getting to the heart of the matter.
Stage 3: See forms
After having acquired the basics of programming and a correct understanding of blockchain technology, it will be the right time to get your hands dirty and start coding.
But do not panic!
The best books to learn blockchain
Computer books allow you to learn a language at your own pace and are often full of concrete examples. When it comes to blockchain, Andreas M. Antonopoulos is the best trainer I know, so I recommend his books:
The best courses to learn blockchain
Paid courses are also a good way to take your first steps in learning blockchain development:
The best YouTube videos to learn blockchain
If it’s more on YouTube that you want to learn, I recommend these two excellent tutorials, unfortunately in English:
Step 4: Create your first project
Once you have mastered the fundamentals, you can start designing your first project. Set a goal, no matter what, and start coding on your own. Even if the project seems too ambitious, you will find solution after solution to your problems until you reach the end of your crypto project.
Consider putting your code on GitHub to start building your Dapps portfolio!
How to find a job as a blockchain developer?
Whether you are already a developer or starting from scratch, it is good to know that being a blockchain developer is very lucrative. And that’s normal, the industry is in great search of talent and few developers have seriously taken up the blockchain, it’s the law of supply and demand.
The demand is so great that some companies hire junior developers knowing that they will need to be trained for the first few weeks before they are up and running.
To find work in the blockchain world, you can go to traditional job search sites. In addition, there are specialized sites for offers in the blockchain world.
- Find blockchain jobs on Indeed
- Find a blockchain job on Jooble
- Find a blockchain job on LinkedIn
- Find a blockchain job on RemoteOK
- Find a blockchain job on Cryptocurrency Jobs
- Find a blockchain job on Crypto Jobs List
How to become a freelance blockchain developer?
Becoming a freelance blockchain developer means that you can choose your clients and change projects regularly. To get an idea of developer jobs and salaries in the blockchain industry, you can:
Want to become a freelancer? I’ve written a step-by-step guide to becoming a freelance developer.
Work in web3
We could say that to work in web3, you have to be a brute in these new blockchain technologies. Either by being able to code Smart Contracts or by writing code that interfaces with the blockchain.
Web3 needs all trades and it is very difficult to find people competent in their field with a good knowledge of the blockchain and the world of cryptos.
Working in web3 simply means taking your web2 skills and applying them to web3.
Web3 projects also desperately need designers, product managers, marketers, community managers …
Start your blockchain career!
Congratulations, you now know why blockchain is useful, what types of blockchain developers are, how to become one, and how to get your first job in the cryptocurrency world.
As you have also seen, it is not because you do not know how to code yet that the world of blockchain is not for you. The industry is sorely lacking in talent and you can train yourself over time to become an expert in blockchain development.
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