Considering this, it is not much of a surprise that careers in blockchain are also in great demand, and will be for years to come. According to a study led by global freelancing platform Upwork, “blockchain is the fastest-growing skill out of more than 5,000 on their platform, with growth increasing by more than 6,000 percent during the first three months of 2018.” Follow this link for the full report: https://www.engadget.com/2018-07-04-what-is-a-blockchain-developer.html).
Blockchain developers in particular are among the highest demand in blockchain careers. In order to become a developer, one must have a proficient understanding of blockchain architecture, data structures, cryptography, smart contracts, and web development. However, given that this type of career has not been around for a long time, the majority of people who are not blockchain and crypto geeks may not understand what exactly a blockchain developer does.
In essence, a blockchain developer takes on the responsibility of creating and improving blockchain protocols. This means he or she must utilize the blockchain technology to design the structure of the blockchain networks, and would be able to develop smart contracts and web applications. While this may sound like a fairly straightforward concept, the role of blockchain development can be divided into two categories: core developers and software developers.
Core blockchain developers are responsible for designing numerous facets of the blockchain technology such as the architecture and protocols. They are responsible for creating consensus mechanisms, which essentially address the security aspect of the blockchain. Because blockchain servers do not require authentication for users to write data on, the inevitable question arises of how to prevent the risk of Sybil attacks. For instance, how do we make sure that no single miner can pretend to act under a great number of individual miners? Consensus mechanisms are designed to ensure that every transaction occurring on the network is legitimate and all of its participants follow a set of rules that decide on the contributions by the various participants of the blockchain. Core developers are responsible for the design of these mechanisms and therefore the overall security and legitimacy of the blockchain technology. Given that they are the ones behind the design of blockchain networks, it makes sense that they are also responsible for constantly monitoring the processes which occur on the network.
Decentralized applications, sometimes referred to as dApps, are digital programs that operate on a blockchain or P2P network of computers rather than a single main computer. Imagine a Facebook-like program, where any user had the ability to upload whatever they wished, and no single authority was capable of removing any content or implementing any censorship. A typical decentralized application consists of two parts, a front end that is operated on a centralized service that the user interacts with, and a back-end that manages the computations for the platform, most typically reliant on the Ethereum Virtual Machine.
The front end is developed much like any other web application in the sense that it uses a web stack such as HTML, CSS, or AngularJS to list a few examples. To provide some context, a web stack is a compilation of software applications, often needed for web development, especially for developing web applications and implementing websites. The back-end of the decentralized application is the component that involves blockchains and requires a good understanding of smart contracts.
Smart contracts are fundamental to the development of decentralized applications, and therefore it is necessary for any software blockchain developer to be familiar with them. In essence, smart contracts are automated scripts which may only “execute” or perform under certain conditions. The most common use is for implementing or rendering payment for a service. As opposed to traditional payment methods, smart contracts are automated and therefore objective. Without the need for a digital notary to sign off on the transaction, smart contracts can execute the moment their programmed conditions are met.
Though both types of developers are crucial to any enterprise looking to utilize blockchain technology, there are some notable differences between the two. It is relatively more difficult to “train” or learn all the necessary components a core developer must uphold. If one finds themselves wondering which route to take in the field of blockchain development, they must consider what their underlying interests are: if one is passionate about designing different programs and applications or looking for new challenges, they should considering being a software developer. On the other hand, if one wants to specialize in creating a new architecture and building a network, they might be better suited for being a core blockchain developer.
To learn more about this and other blockchain developer positions go to BlockchainDriven Academy at https://www.blockdriven.com/start.