With groundbreaking developments emerging within the blockchain industry every day, the potential to join this revolution is greater than ever. Subsequently, the need for blockchain developers is increasing exponentially in order to keep up with the cutting-edge ideas being brought into this growing space. Whether you are looking to upskill within your web development career or considering diving into this field with no prior experience, this guide will break down why becoming a blockchain developer could impact both your career and the future of this industry.
According to ConsenSys, a notable leader in the blockchain industry, there are an estimated 30 million software developers globally, while the number of blockchain developers remains in the several hundred thousands. The demand for more considering that the blockchain market is expected to hit over $39 billion USD by 2025. This evaluation signifies the impending global “boom” across all industries that will adopt blockchain technology into their companies and workflow.
Blockchain developers will be crucial roles during these upcoming years in order to bring companies’ initial ideas into the production phase. This demand is expected to increase in many broader industry sectors such as financial, supply chain management, healthcare, grocery, land rental, and more. The top 5 companies hiring blockchain-related positions in the past year include IBM, Cisco, Accenture, Oracle, and PWC. Additionally, at least 50 of the Forbes’ Global 2,000 are exploring blockchain technology, with all of the top 10 companies partaking in this industry as well (7 of these being banking institutions such as JP Morgan and Bank of America).
“Web 3.0 developers are those ushering in the next evolution of the internet. Web 3.0 developers are merely Web 2.0 developers with an expanded, blockchain-enabled toolkit that comes with an arsenal of powerful new tools”
As a result of this push for production, salaries of blockchain developers are skyrocketing. According to ZipRecruiter, here is a break-down of the average annual salary for different developer roles in the United States:
Blockchain Developers- $154,550
Junior Blockchain Developers- $123,817
Non-Blockchain Web Developers- $75,073
From these statistics, it is overwhelmingly apparent that blockchain technology is becoming a game-changing factor in the industry. Junior blockchain developers consist of roles such as entry-level positions, interns, or assistants. These roles complete more supportive duties such as debugging, handling user interface design, or creating blockchain database APIs. Considering these junior roles have an average higher salary than non-blockchain web developers, they serve as a great jumping point into the world of blockchain.
Freelancing site Upwork released a report in 2018 that ranked blockchain as its top fastest-growing skill out of more than 5,000 in its index. Not only is blockchain a useful skill to possess in the upcoming years, but it is an exciting one to be a part of as well. Blockchain developers must have the ability to view problems in an unconventional manner. A “hacker mentality” helps distinguish great blockchain developers because of the digression from traditional ways of thinking.
Because blockchain technology poses brand new challenges and obstacles, both core blockchain developers and blockchain software developers must be creative in their design solutions that will revolutionize the way people perceive the internet today.
“[Blockchain is] a robust solution that enables advances in 3D printing, AI, digital security, and beyond. And these are not mere words but hard-dollar strategic investments made by individuals and organizations that view the world through a strategic prism.”
With a myriad of technological advancements on the horizon, blockchain technology can help optimize and further the evolution of these inventions. With blockchain developer salaries similarly compared to those of AI developers ($126,472 national average), companies are pushing for these kinds of revolutionary, disruptive technologies to propel innovation.
Blockchain is no longer a distant concept of the future, but rather a current reality that we are being faced with. There is no better time than now to take the leap into the robust world of blockchain and be a part of what is being dubbed the “Internet 3.0”.
With two main types of blockchain developers, you can find your niche in the industry just as you would as a regular web developer. Whether you are more interested in frontend versus backend, or maybe Python versus HTML, you can find your favorite parts within blockchain in order to play to your strengths and further develop your career.
As previously mentioned, the blockchain space is in need of both core blockchain and blockchain software developers. It is also important to note that blockchain developers are not expected to build entire blockchains from scratch. Therefore, learning the necessary languages and understanding the fundamental terminology is enough to set you apart from Web 2.0 developers. The next step is deciding on whether you want to focus on either frontend or backend blockchain development.
The most popular platforms to begin developing on are Neo, Ethereum, and EOS. As a blockchain developer, picking a platform is one of the first steps considering these platforms utilize different programming languages when building dApps.
When choosing a platform, it is important to consider the switching costs. Due to all of the competition right now, some platforms may be thriving today and obsolete later. Because of this, developers should weigh the short versus long term benefits of mastering specific platforms. For instance, a platform like Tezos may be extremely popular for 2-5 years, while Ethereum could become the leading platform over the next decade. Therefore, a factor to highly consider is the programming languages used in order to make switching between blockchain platforms easier with less of a learning curve.
“The first Ethereum a-ha! moment is when you send ether to someone anywhere in the world at any time of day for less than a penny and they receive it instantly. You realize that you can be your own bank and you and your peers can build and run your own alternative global financial system that enables greater economic and political agency for any participant on the planet. In that instant you reclaim the optimism of youth.”
Additionally, knowing the technical basics of web development are important. These fundamentals include data structures, cryptography, and networking and distributed systems. General blockchain terminology that is beneficial to understand includes cryptonomics, smart contracts, and decentralized applications.
Our newsletter covers the latest blockchain news, blockchain roles, career guides in blockchain, and upcoming blockchain sessions. Additionally, signing up for the BlockDriven Academy membership ($19.95/month) gives even more access to a growing community of blockchain enthusiasts, articles from blockchain experts, exclusive webinars with many of the most recognizable companies in blockchain, and more.
Other great sites to stay up-to-date on blockchain news include CoinDesk, CoinTelegraph, The Block, and BTCMANAGER. Subscribing to newsletters and immersing yourself in the current happenings of the industry is the best way to further your knowledge of the space in order to prepare you for a career in blockchain.
Additionally, hackathons are an excellent way to get involved in the space. Not only are they great for joining a community of developers with similar interests, but they provide potential career opportunities. Blockchain projects, such as the three listed before, who have millions of dollars in funding want to allocate it to blockchain developers with innovative ideas. Therefore, hackathons are the perfect place to create small projects that have the potential to be picked up by large players in the blockchain industry. These platforms hope to foster their ecosystem, and this begins with web developers who can bring their ideas to life.
Lastly, networking events are another great resource to join the blockchain community. You can find developers interested in different platforms and hopefully find which platform aligns with your interests and strengths. In such a rapidly evolving space, keeping up with the current news and community will lead you to a much more successful, well-rounded career as a blockchain developer.
Whether you are a seasoned non-blockchain web developer or someone in another field entirely, there is space for you in the blockchain industry. With an overwhelming amount of vacancies in blockchain development positions, companies are urgently looking for developers to bring their projects to life.
Blockchain stands as a game-changer in web development with some of the most recognizable companies looking to adopt blockchain technology into their businesses. Blockchain is revolutionizing the way we view the internet and has the ability to completely alter the way we view traditional web development across every industry sector.
With blockchain technology already a current reality expected to grow exponentially in the next few years, now is the time to join the revolution and become a blockchain developer. With a surge in both job hiring and salaries, now is the perfect opportunity to acquire the necessary skills and fundamentals of understanding the exciting space.