Cryptocurrency and blockchains, as we know, have taken the world by storm over the past decade with their immense potential and with every other industry across the globe wanting to use it for their businesses. Though the concept of cryptocurrencies came to be noticed first, blockchain is undoubtedly the real star of the show, as it is the basic principle behind the working of cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain has paved the way for a new field of development called blockchain development. This has created an umpteen number of job opportunities for tech enthusiasts and developers. So, who is a blockchain developer, and what does he do? Are there any specific skillsets he needs to have or develop? This article will delve deep into each of these questions to help you get a clear idea.
Who is a Blockchain Developer?
At a basic level, anyone who is involved in developing blockchain technology can be tagged as a blockchain developer. A blockchain developer is who has a strong mix of skills in areas such as cryptography, data structures, algorithms, and computer networking. He may also have experience with a specific type of blockchains such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. A blockchain developer is one who develops smart contracts and web apps and is responsible for developing and optimizing blockchain protocols and crafting the architecture of blockchain systems.
If we look at the salary patterns of a Blockchain Developer, the average salary stands between $150K to $175k every year, and an experienced one can earn up to $200k in the United States every year. If we talk about India, according to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a developer is ₹4,36,423, and according to Payscale, the average salary of developers is ₹801,938. These salaries are quite high compared to other technocrats and professionals.
Now without further delay, let’s understand what skill sets are required to become a successful Blockchain professional.
Basic Skills to Have That Will Help Become a Blockchain Developer
Some of the basic skills that will aid in becoming a successful blockchain developer are:
- Strong background in software development.
- Experience working with open-source projects.
- Experience working with large codebases.
- Strong knowledge of data structures and algorithms.
- Familiarity with the working of peer-to-peer networks.
- Familiarity with basic cryptography.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Blockchain Developer
So, what does a blockchain developer do?
- Developing smart contracts.
- Developing interactive front-end designs for Dapps.
- Supervision of the entire stack that runs the Dapps.
- Backend development pertaining to the blockchain.
- Being involved in the research, design, development, and testing of blockchain technologies.
- Brainstorm and evaluate applications for new tools and technologies.
- Document new solutions and maintain existing ones.
- Maintain and extend client-side and server-side applications that are responsible for business logic and integration.
Top 5 skills a Blockchain Developer Must Have
A blockchain developer must be well-versed in the following areas in order to be a successful blockchain developer.
- Data Structures – An applicative sense and an in-depth knowledge of data structures is a necessity if you want to become a blockchain developer. Blockchain developers are constantly tweaking with existing data structures like Patrecia trees, Merkle trees, etc. for meeting their personal network requirements. Blockchain makes use of a plethora of data structures along with advanced cryptography for building a secure and immutable system. Having knowledge only about blockchain will be considered incomplete. Hence, it is important to understand the data structures properly.
- Blockchain Architecture – It is important that a blockchain developer has an excellent understanding of the working of a blockchain and its architecture. A blockchain must be well-versed with concepts such as cryptographic hash functions, distributed ledger technology, and consensus. The ideal way to understand blockchain is by going through, whitepapers, articles, blogs, and enrolling in a blockchain developer or blockchain expert certification. Going through a complete white paper may be tedious as it may involve a high level of complexity, and hence, it would certainly help to boost the learning curve. Joining blockchain courses that are offered by universities or online learning platforms will help boost your knowledge and provide you with the perfect competitive advantage. Online learning platforms such as Blockchain Council offer courses such as Certified Blockchain Expert, Certified Blockchain Architect, and Certified Blockchain Developer to provide you a clear, concise, and in-depth view about concepts such as the basics of blockchain, peer-to-peer networks, blockchain mining, consensus algorithms, private and public blockchain, smart contracts, and blockchain use cases in industries such as supply chain, healthcare, digital marketing, cybersecurity, finance, and law.
- Smart Contract Development – Smart contracts have gained popularity since the introduction of the Ethereum blockchain. Smart contracts refer to self-executing contracts in which the terms of the agreement between the buyer and the seller are written into lines of code. These agreements exist on a blockchain network as it is decentralized and distributed. Nowadays, all blockchains are trying to incorporate smart contract functionality into their systems in order for business logic to be easily applied to the blockchain. Developers who are striving to get into the blockchain field must definitely learn all about smart contract development. This involves learning network-specific languages such as Viper, Chaincode, Solidity, etc.
- Web Development – Web development is a core aspect that a blockchain developer must learn. Usually, when a person begins his career in blockchain development, a majority of them will be employed for designing basic decentralized applications. This implies that a blockchain developer must know the basics of both front-end and back-end development. This includes API handling, request handling, and creating interactive graphical user interfaces for Dapps.
- Cryptography – Blockchain is a conjunction of advanced cryptography and data structures. Hence, it is important to gain a good grasp of cryptography. Blockchain uses a lot of cryptographic methods such as hash functions like SHA256 and KECCAK256 apart from asynchronous cryptography for generating digital signatures. It is important for a blockchain developer to be aware of the concepts of cryptography as it is a significant concept in blockchain technology.
Now would be the perfect time for you to jump onto the blockchain bandwagon as many businesses have gone past the testing stage and have now started using blockchain technology exclusively. Technology giants such as Amazon, IBM, Facebook, and Microsoft have started utilizing blockchain, and many companies are now beginning to follow their footsteps. Becoming a blockchain expert has become much simpler now, thanks to the tons of learning material you can find online. Now is the perfect time to get into blockchain development.
To know more about blockchain certifications, check out Blockchain Council.