Must have skills to become a blockchain developer
Now, cryptocurrency technologies are used in most of the sectors, they are changing the world. They’re everywhere for sure!
And blockchain makes cryptocurrency so special. Every cryptocurrency is built on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), and blockchain is the most popular form of it.
Now, blockchain-related job postings on LinkedIn increased fourfold in 2017. So, lack of blockchain skills is a top concern and significant inhibitor to blockchain adoption in companies across a variety of industries. The blockchain is open-sourced.
If you are new to blockchain and wonder what it takes to build the skills and habits necessary to be a successful blockchain talent, this post will help you to understand.
At the end of this guide, you will have the tools required to start your blockchain development journey.
The first thing you need to know that the basics of blockchain technology.
A blockchain is a digital database for storing information. Information is stored in groups called ‘blocks’. It's a chain of blocks where each block contains data of value without any central supervision. It is cryptographically secure and immutable. The blockchain is said to be decentralized because there is no central authority supervising anything. The mechanism by which a decentralized network comes to a consensus on certain matters. Users who use their computational power to mine for blocks. A blockchain can record virtually any type of transaction, from shipping information to medical data. The blockchain ledger is append-only, meaning that only new information can be added to it, while previous information is stored in "blocks" and cannot be modified going forward. Any attempt to tamper with the old data would compromise the new the data following it.
How does it work?
From a technical point of view, the blockchain is an innovation relying on three concepts: peer-to-peer networks, public-key cryptography, and distributed consensus based on the resolution of a random mathematical challenge.
Types of Blockchain Developers
Core Blockchain Developers - They are mostly responsible for developing the architecture of a blockchain system, how its protocols should be designed, the design of consensus protocol and other high-level decisions and development related to blockchain technology. Their roles including - Design of blockchain protocols, Design of consensus protocols and security patterns for the network, Design of the network architecture, and Supervision of the entire network.
Blockchain Software Developers - They use the architecture and protocols designed by Core Blockchain developers to build decentralized applications that run on blockchain technology. Their roles include - Development of Smart Contracts, Development of interactive front-end designs for Dapps, Backend development pertaining to Blockchain, and Supervision of the entire stack running their Dapps.
Now that, you have the concept about the different types of blockchain developers and their respective roles.
Let's see the skills required for you to bootstrap your career as a blockchain developer.
The skills for blockchain developer
To be a Developer
The developer always ( but not all time) think about breaking the problem logically and quantifying the data. Have an understanding of fundamental of programming including OOPs, procedural language, flat and relational database. You should also understand the time and resource complexity.
Web development is a core aspect of a blockchain developer. When a person begins his career as a blockchain developer in the industry, a majority of them are employed for the basic designing of decentralized applications. This means you must know the basics of both front-end and back-end development which includes things like creating interactive graphical user interfaces for Dapps, API handling, request handling etc.
A blockchain developer should have an excellent understanding of blockchain, it's working, and its architecture. Concepts like cryptographic hash functions, consensus, distributed ledger technology should be at the tip of their fingers.
An in-depth knowledge and application sense of data structures is a necessity when aiming to become a blockchain developer. Blockchain developers are constantly playing around and tweaking existing data structures like Merkle trees, Patricia trees etc to meet their personal network requirements. Blockchain uses a plethora of data structures in conjunction with advanced cryptography to build a secure and immutable system. A knowledge about blockchain, without any knowledge of data structures, can only be deemed incomplete.
As just mentioned at the starting, Blockchain is a conjunction of data structures and advanced cryptography, hence it is only obvious that a good grasp on cryptography is also required to become a blockchain developer. A lot of cryptographic methods like hash functions are used in blockchain aside from asynchronous cryptography for generating digital signatures. Without understanding how these work, it is difficult to become a blockchain developer.
Smart Contract Development
Smart Contracts have become a huge thing since the release of Ethereum. Now every blockchain tries to incorporate smart contract functionality into its system so that business logic can be easily applied on the blockchain. Hence, developers striving to get into the blockchain field should definitely learn about smart contract development. This generally entails learning network specific languages like Solidity, Viper, Chaincode etc.
Distributed ledger expertise
Not all blockchain frameworks support smart contracts. Build distributed ledger technology expertise to accelerate smart contracts development.
Know the platforms
Selecting the right blockchain platform is a key challenge for the firms today because the multitude of frameworks often creates confusion. Deep understanding of various blockchain platforms including The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum, Ripple and R3 Corda, will enable you to identify the right use case for the right blockchain platform and articulate their differences.
Concept about security
Security frameworks are still evolving for compliance, legal and regulatory needs. Security skills such as public and private key cryptography, cryptographic hashing, Merkle proofs, and elliptic curve digital signatures are great assets. Learn to explain how a blockchain-based solution is more efficient, secure, and cheaper than any of the available alternatives. Using alternative architecture skills, review the technical designs of your blockchain partners and assist in the selection and planning processes.
Knowledge of Solidity language
Guided by Consensus
This means that before new information is added to the blockchain, more than half of the nodes have to agree that it is valid before it is added. It protects the blockchain from fraud. Once information is added it can’t be changed or removed. Information on a blockchain is protected by This means that it is encrypted and nearly impossible to hack.
Strong willingness to learn
The more you understand about Blockchain and its many current uses, the better prepared you will be. You probably don’t need to become a cryptocurrency day trader, but at least look at a range of crypto coins and understand some of their differences. Same applies to mine: you don’t need to build your own mining rigs, but you should understand what is involved. Same with cryptography and all the other bits and pieces that go into Blockchain.
Understand the Ethereum platform
Ethereum platform is the most common one for ICOs. To become a successful developer, you need to be experienced with it. The first thing you will need as a programmer to start working with Ethereum is the Ethereum client itself.
Though Ethereum is probably the most popular platform so far, it would be beneficial to get some experience with other platforms as well. Your best bet would be Hyperledger or Multichain.
Learn about DLP
A deep understanding of distributed ledger protocols is among the most desired skills for blockchain developers. To learn about it if you want to get a job in the industry.
Familiar with Bitcoin source code
Bitcoin is open source, so you can contribute to the project at any stage. Familiarize yourself with the code (note: it’s written in C++) and contribute to it or just play around with it on your own. If you actually end up contributing to Bitcoin, it will give you credentials to work on almost any other project in the blockchain industry.
The concept of Wallets, Transactions, and Exchanges
You should know how to build a wallet, wallet APIs, generate keys, use mnemonics and send transactions. You should be familiar with side chains and off-chain transactions, as well as blockchain and wallet security, cold wallets and smart contract security.
Understanding of Decentralization
Decentralization is at the heart of all blockchain applications. All the information and protocols required for a program to run are held in a huge number of locations. Rather than a single server or database, everything is distributed among everyone interacting with the blockchain. This is the ledger than that holds all parties accountable. Because data is distributed this way it is impossible for a single party to modify any part of the ledger without it being discovered.
Knowledge of DApps
Beware of DApps, Including DApps Architecture, Use cases, Learn to build an app that acts as a bridge between the Web application and Smart Contracts.
Knowledge of mining
Qualified engineers need an understanding of the mining process, including core mining, mining software, mining pools, and mining hardware and software.
Who’s Hiring Blockchain Developers?
Beyond the world of cryptocurrencies, blockchain is showing promise in a number of industries. A few examples follow.
In the music industry, blockchains are creating new possibilities by creating direct relationships between artists and fans and putting power back into the hands of those who create the art.
In manufacturing and distribution, blockchain is enforcing greater transparency into the supply chain, making it easier to audit and verify the provenance of goods and the true cost of production.
In the gaming industry, blockchain can support the virtual economies that have emerged in the past decade, giving players more control over their assets inside and outside games. It is also making it easier for indie developers to compete in an environment that is becoming increasingly polarized and controlled by bigger players.
A number of institutions that handle sensitive information, such as the military and healthcare organizations, are considering blockchain as the key to maintaining the integrity of their information and infrastructure.
Whereas the blockchain is still a relatively new technology, so implementation always requires a new set of skills and capabilities. Which type of capabilities have you used for blockchain skill development? Please join the conversation and let us know what you think. Share your experiences in the comment section. Thank you!