What Does A Blockchain Engineer Do?

What Does A Blockchain Engineer Do?

Summary​

 

Introduction

Blockchain technology is an advanced data-sharing mechanism for computer networks. It records every transaction in a ledger named “Distributed Ledger,” where every data transaction gets recorded in a chain block. These blocks represent data shared or communicated between different parties in the form of nodes. Each node represents an individual party/participant on the chain. Now if you want to alter the data entries in DLT (Distributed Ledger), you need consensus from all the chain participants. It is one of Blockchain’s core properties and the primary reason behind the irresistible popularity of Blockchain worldwide. This ledger has become the modern-day narrative of a “decentralized internet” equipped with different applications, all based on the core of a decentralized ecosystem with the potential to alter modern technology infrastructure. 



A Blockchain engineer is a skilled personnel with an understanding of the core concepts of Blockchain with the ability to utilize this understanding in building Blockchain-based decentralized applications. There are vast use-cases of Blockchain, and almost every major industry is stepping into Blockchain considering the practical use-cases of Blockchain, which is why the demand for skilled Blockchain engineers is rising rapidly. The system is suffering from supply and demand issues. 

This article will deliver all the necessary information about a Blockchain engineer, including the roles, responsibilities, and salary of a Blockchain engineer and how one can start a career in Blockchain without any hard comings. 

Also Read- Who is a Blockchain Engineer? Salary, Skills & Career

What is Blockchain? Why is it the most relevant technology today?

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that allows for secure, decentralized, and transparent transactions without intermediaries. A Blockchain is a digital ledger that contains a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, timestamp, and transaction data. Once a block is added to the chain, it cannot be altered or deleted, ensuring the integrity of the data. Blockchain has a decentralized nature, meaning no single entity controls or governs the network. Instead, the network is maintained by nodes that collectively validate and verify transactions. This makes it difficult for any single entity to manipulate or corrupt the data.

Blockchain is most well-known for its role in powering cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, where it provides a secure and transparent way to transfer value. However, it has applications beyond just financial transactions. For example, Blockchain can create secure and tamper-proof voting systems, verify the authenticity of digital assets, and track the supply chain of goods.

Blockchain is the most relevant technology today as it seals the most crucial patches of the Web2 ecosystem. Blockchain technology offers solutions to many issues arising from centralized data control. Blockchain can help to address the problem of lack of transparency and accountability that arises due to centralized control. By decentralizing control, Blockchain can enable greater transparency and accountability since all transactions can be tracked and verified on a public ledger. This can reduce data corruption and ensure organizations are accountable for their actions.

For instance, by leveraging Blockchain, users can have greater control and ownership over their data since they can decide who has access to it and how it is used. The decentralized nature of Blockchain also makes it less susceptible to hacking and cyber attacks, reducing online security loopholes. Blockchain’s transparency and immutability features can also help address data privacy issues since transactions can be verified and audited by anyone on the network, reducing the potential for fraud or abuse.

Also Read- How To Become A Blockchain Specialist?

What does a Blockchain Engineer do?

Now that you understand how Blockchain works and why it is important and growing at such a pace. We will explain the role of a Blockchain engineer in building this system. A Blockchain engineer is a specialized software developer who focuses on designing and implementing Blockchain-based applications, protocols, and systems. Their primary responsibilities include:

  • Designing and Developing Blockchain Solutions

Blockchain engineers design, develop, and implement Blockchain-based solutions, such as smart contracts, distributed applications, and decentralized platforms.

  • Creating and Managing Blockchain Networks

They configure and manage Blockchain networks, ensuring they are secure, scalable, and functional. This involves selecting the appropriate consensus algorithms, encryption methods, and network protocols.

  • Writing Smart Contracts

Blockchain engineers develop smart contracts, which are self-executing computer programs that automatically enforce the terms of a contract. Smart contracts are a critical component of many Blockchain-based systems.

  • Building Cryptocurrency Wallets

They create secure digital wallets that enable users to store, send, and receive cryptocurrencies. These wallets must be highly secure to prevent theft or loss of funds.

  • Testing and Debugging

Blockchain engineers test and debug Blockchain-based applications to ensure they function correctly and are free from vulnerabilities or errors.

  • Keeping Up with the Latest Developments

They keep up with the latest developments in Blockchain technology, such as new consensus algorithms, security features, and scalability solutions, to ensure their Blockchain-based solutions are up-to-date and effective.

Prerequisites of a Blockchain Engineer

To become a Blockchain engineer, you must gain proficiency in a set of technologies, including the basics of advanced Blockchain concepts, its functions, architecture, development and deployment, and several others. Apart from that, since Blockchain is a new technology and the research to develop new use cases is still underway, networking is also an opportunity to connect with people having similar interests. So, it’s safe to say that you need to be an expert in a blend of soft and technical skills to become a successful Blockchain engineer. Let’s discuss these skills in detail: 

Technical Skill Set of a Blockchain Engineer  

A Blockchain Engineer is a specialized software developer who deeply understands the underlying Blockchain technology and its various components. They are responsible for designing and implementing Blockchain-based systems, including smart contracts, distributed applications, and decentralized platforms. Some of the technical skills required for a Blockchain Engineer include the following:

  • Proficiency in Blockchain Platforms and Tools

A Blockchain Engineer should thoroughly understand Blockchain platforms and tools, including Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, and Solidity. They should be familiar with the programming languages and frameworks used in Blockchain development, such as Python, JavaScript, and Truffle.

  • Knowledge of Cryptography

Cryptography is a critical component of Blockchain technology. A Blockchain Engineer should be familiar with cryptographic techniques, such as hash functions, public-key cryptography, and digital signatures, and how they are used in Blockchain systems.

  • Understanding of Distributed Systems

A Blockchain Engineer should have a solid understanding of distributed systems, including their design, architecture, and operation. They should be familiar with the different types of consensus algorithms used in Blockchain systems, such as Proof of Work, Proof of Stake, and Byzantine Fault Tolerance.

  • Smart Contract Development

Smart contracts are self-executing computer programs that automatically enforce the terms of a contract. A Blockchain Engineer should be proficient in developing and deploying smart contracts using tools such as Remix and Solidity.

  • Experience with Web3.js

Web3.js is a JavaScript library that provides an interface to interact with the Ethereum Blockchain. A Blockchain Engineer should be familiar with Web3.js and how it can be used to build decentralized applications.

  • Understanding of Databases and Data Structures

A Blockchain Engineer should have a good understanding of databases and data structures. They should be familiar with NoSQL databases like MongoDB and data structures like Merkle Trees, commonly used in Blockchain systems.

  • Knowledge of Security Best Practices

Security is a critical aspect of Blockchain development. A Blockchain Engineer should understand security best practices, such as secure coding practices, encryption techniques, and vulnerability testing.

  • Understanding of DevOps

A Blockchain Engineer should have a good understanding of DevOps, including continuous integration and deployment, and how it can be used to automate the deployment and testing of Blockchain systems.

Also Read- How to Become a Blockchain Developer?

Soft Skills Required to become a Blockchain Engineer 

In addition to technical expertise, soft skills are crucial for a Blockchain Engineer to succeed. Here are some of the key soft skills required to become a successful Blockchain Engineer:

  • Collaboration

One should know how to collaborate with different teams and environments if one plans to adopt Blockchain as a career. Blockchain development often involves working in a team environment, and collaboration is essential to ensure the success of projects. A Blockchain Engineer should be able to work well with others, communicate effectively, and be willing to share knowledge and expertise.

  • Networking

Networking is an important aspect of a career in the Blockchain domain. Blockchain technology is constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date with the latest developments is essential. A Blockchain Engineer should actively participate in industry events, conferences, and online communities as they are a good source to build relationships and stay informed.

  • Project Building

Blockchain Engineers should be able to lead and participate in the development of Blockchain projects from start to finish. This includes identifying requirements, creating project plans, developing code, testing, and deploying the final product.

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills

Blockchain Engineers must be able to think critically and solve complex problems that arise during the development process. They should be able to analyze data, identify patterns, and use their problem-solving skills to develop innovative solutions.

  • Analytical and strategic thinking abilities

Blockchain Engineers should have strong analytical and strategic thinking abilities to evaluate and optimize Blockchain systems. They should be able to identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to address them.

  • Flexibility and Adaptability

Blockchain technology constantly evolves, and Blockchain Engineers must be flexible and adaptable to change. They should be able to learn new technologies quickly, stay up-to-date with the latest developments, and be willing to adapt their approach to meet changing requirements.

Some Popular Tools for Blockchain Engineers

Blockchain technology has become increasingly popular in recent years, and several tools are available for Blockchain developers to build decentralized applications and smart contracts. Here are some of the most popular tools for Blockchain developers:

  • Ethereum

Ethereum is an open-source Blockchain platform that enables developers to build decentralized applications and smart contracts. It uses the Solidity programming language, and developers can use tools like Truffle and Remix to create and deploy smart contracts on the Ethereum network.

  • Hyperledger Fabric

Hyperledger Fabric is a permissioned Blockchain platform that enables enterprises to build private Blockchain networks. It is designed to provide high levels of security, scalability, and flexibility, and developers can use tools like Hyperledger Composer and Fabric SDKs to build decentralized applications and smart contracts.

  • Corda

Corda is another permissioned Blockchain platform that is designed for use in enterprise environments. It uses a unique approach to consensus called Notary, which allows for confidential transactions between parties. Developers can use Corda to build decentralized applications and smart contracts using the Kotlin programming language.

  • Ganache

Ganache is a personal Blockchain for Ethereum development that enables developers to create a local Blockchain network for testing and development purposes. It allows developers to simulate the behavior of the Ethereum network without incurring the costs of deploying contracts on the main network.

What is a Blockchain development lifecycle?

The Blockchain development lifecycle involves designing, developing, testing, deploying, and maintaining a Blockchain-based application. Here are the different stages involved in the Blockchain development lifecycle:

  • Idea Generation

In this phase, the initial concept of the Blockchain application is developed, and the purpose of the Blockchain is defined.

  • Requirement Analysis

In this stage, the requirements for the Blockchain application are gathered and analyzed. This includes the necessary features, functionalities, and performance requirements.

  • Design and Architecture

The Blockchain application’s design and architecture are planned based on the requirements. This includes deciding on the appropriate Blockchain platform and consensus mechanism to use and creating the necessary data structures and smart contracts.

  • Development

In this phase, the actual development of the Blockchain application takes place. This includes writing the code for the smart contracts, developing the front-end interface, and implementing the necessary APIs.

  • Testing

After the development phase, the application undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it functions correctly and meets all the requirements. This includes unit testing, integration testing, and end-to-end testing.

  • Deployment

Once the application is tested and deemed ready for production, it is deployed to the network. This includes configuring the necessary nodes, setting up security measures, and launching the application.

  • Maintenance and Upgrades

After deployment, the Blockchain application requires ongoing maintenance and upgrades to ensure its optimal performance. This includes fixing bugs, adding new features, and upgrading to new versions of the underlying Blockchain technology.

What is a Blockchain Framework?

A Blockchain framework is a pre-built software platform providing tools, libraries, and protocols for building decentralized applications. A Blockchain framework typically includes the following components:

  • Consensus mechanism

A Blockchain framework typically provides a consensus mechanism determining how transactions are verified and added to the Blockchain.

  • Smart contract functionality

A Blockchain framework may include support for smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts that automate the execution of agreements between parties.

  • API interfaces

A Blockchain framework may provide APIs that enable developers to interact with the Blockchain and build decentralized applications.

  • Security features

A Blockchain framework may include built-in security features such as encryption, digital signatures, and secure key management.

  • Scalability features

A Blockchain framework may provide features that improve scalabilities, such as sharding, sidechains, and off-chain processing.

Popular Blockchain frameworks and languages

  • Bitcoin Core

Bitcoin Core is the reference implementation of the Bitcoin protocol and supports the C++ programming language for development.

  • NEO

NEO is a Blockchain platform that uses smart contracts and supports various programming languages, including C#, Java, and Python.

  • EOS Studio

EOS Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for EOSIO-based decentralized applications that supports the C++ and JavaScript programming languages.

  • Quorum

Quorum is an enterprise-focused Blockchain platform built on Ethereum and supports the Solidity programming language.

  • Stellar

Stellar is a Blockchain-based payment protocol supporting the Stellar programming language, a subset of JavaScript.

  • R3 Corda

R3 Corda is a distributed ledger platform using Kotlin programming language to develop smart contracts.

  • Substrate

The substrate is a Blockchain development framework that supports multiple programming languages, including Rust, C++, and AssemblyScript.

Industries looking for Blockchain Engineers

Here are some of the most promising industries for Blockchain engineers:

  • Financial Services

Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the financial industry by enabling faster and more secure transactions, reducing fraud, and improving transparency. Banks, payment processors, and other financial institutions are actively exploring Blockchain solutions, creating a high demand for Blockchain engineers.

  • Healthcare

Blockchain technology can be used to securely store and share patient health data, reduce healthcare fraud, and improve the efficiency of clinical trials. Healthcare organizations are increasingly adopting Blockchain solutions, creating a growing need for Blockchain engineers with expertise in healthcare.

  • Supply Chain Management

Blockchain technology can improve the transparency and efficiency of supply chain management by enabling real-time tracking of goods, reducing counterfeiting, and increasing trust between participants. Supply chain management companies and logistics providers are actively exploring Blockchain solutions, creating a need for Blockchain engineers.

  • Government

Governments are exploring Blockchain technology for various use cases, including voting, identity management, and supply chain traceability. Blockchain engineers with expertise in government regulations and compliance are in high demand.

  • Energy

Blockchain technology can improve the efficiency and transparency of energy markets, enabling the creation of peer-to-peer energy trading platforms and reducing the need for intermediaries. Energy companies and startups are exploring Blockchain solutions, creating a need for Blockchain engineers with expertise in energy markets and regulations.

These are just a few examples of industries actively exploring and adopting Blockchain technology. As Blockchain continues to gain momentum and adoption and become mainstream, there will also be a growing demand for Blockchain engineers in other business sectors.

Conclusion

A Blockchain engineer plays a critical role in developing and implementing Blockchain solutions. Their responsibilities include designing and developing Blockchain applications, integrating Blockchain technology with existing systems, and ensuring the security and scalability of the Blockchain network. As Blockchain technology continues to evolve and gain mainstream adoption, the demand for skilled Blockchain engineers will only increase. The importance of Blockchain engineering in the technology industry cannot be overstated, and individuals interested in pursuing this career path should consider the potential benefits and opportunities available. Pursuing a career in Blockchain engineering with a Blockchain Council Certification can provide individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in this growing field. You should check out Blockchain Council certification for different dedicated roles in Blockchain technology. 

 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS​​

Blockchain engineering can be challenging, requiring a strong understanding of Blockchain technology, cryptography, and programming languages. However, with dedication and the right training, individuals can develop the necessary skills to become successful Blockchain engineers.

 

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Blockchain engineer in the United States is around $110,000 annually. However, salaries can vary depending on location, experience, and industry.

 

Blockchain engineering requires coding skills, as Blockchain applications are built using programming languages such as Solidity, C++, and Java. A strong understanding of data structures, algorithms, and cryptography is also important.

 

Yes, Blockchain is a promising and growing industry with many career opportunities. As more industries adopt Blockchain technology, the demand for skilled Blockchain engineers is expected to increase. Additionally, the potential for innovation and impact in finance, healthcare, and supply chain management makes Blockchain a compelling career choice.

 

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