How to Get a Career as a Blockchain Developer

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Considerations for choosing your blockchain engineering career path

Blockchain is transforming the way the world works, changing how start ups are being funded and bringing a whole new set of challenges to developers.

Whether you want to get a junior development job, or to transfer from a deep technical knowledge to a blockchain development job you have some choices to make.  Distributed systems, crypto currency, distributed apps, distributed ledger technology are all subsections of a new world of technical challenges that developers need to navigate.

Your first decision to make is: What kind of technology do you enjoy developing? 

Would you like a career in a large corporate business, using enterprise technology to develop big budget projects, or would you prefer to use cutting edge technology and open source methods to bring together exciting consumer technology?

For developers with a background in deep development languages you may find that you want to work on the complex, transactional systems being built to change the economies of the world. For software engineers with a passion for creating products you may want to join a Fintech business to help create a product that addresses a narrow problem or issue.

How to transfer your technical skills in to a blockchain/DLT position:

  • Meet ups - The blockchain community is a tight knit group of people around the world, many of whom have believed in the opportunities available with blockchain for many years. We were attending meet ups in 2015, and a lot of people had been in the ‘scene’ for a long time even then.

  The great news is that the community is super supportive, there’s tons of really
  knowledgeable people who can help you to make the choices around technology
  and skills. 

  • Books – To understand the impact of cryptography on structuring data, and to be able to stand on the shoulders of the giants that have gone before you we recommend the following book:
  • Training courses – There are some really wonderful training courses for developers and business people popping up all the time. We have a very high opinion of B9lab, who have a very good reputation and have been around for a long time.  Our blog on this topic gives various options and is here.

Which blockchain technology should you work with?

  • Bitcoin – Bitcoin is written in C++, and is the largest crypto currency by far.  DLT technology makes crypto currency possible, but crypto currency is not the only application of blockchain technologies.  Bitcoin development opportunities are wide spread, most companies that currently hire bitcoin killed developers are small-medium, fast growth businesses with cutting edge business models.
  • Ethereum – Ethereum is very interesting as it’s a whole environment, offering a crypto currency, and also the potential for smart contracts, and the development of distributed apps using Ether as “gas” to bring together crypto currency and the ability to build a new class of applications.  Ethereum is a very exciting area for developers and uses Solidity (Similar to JavaScript) to compile code for the Ethereum Virtual Machine.
  • R3 – Corda have developed R3 DLT (which confusingly used to blockchain business, but they now handle distributed Ledger technology in a different way).  Developer job in R3 are best for those with a background in capital markets systems, the business case is entirely focused on financial markets and it would be a steep learning curve for anyone lacking business experience.
  • Hyper Ledger – The Linux foundation created hyper ledger as a project for a specific consortium of members, who are developing various platforms including Burrow, Fabric (IBM), Iroha, Sawtooth (Intel).  Hyper ledger is likely to be a widely used by enterprise  businesses to take advantage of the blockchain revolution.  This is a very interesting space for blockchain developers, as the possibilities are not yet known, but are likely to be as big as any.

Next Steps

Check out our job page here, and see the developer jobs that are being advertised.