How to Become
a Blockchain Developer
Best Education Tracks, Key Skills, and Top Certifications
Blockchain is a decentralized application, which is developed using multiple programming languages. Therefore, the person tasked with developing a blockchain system needs to possess a broad range of technical skills to meet the growing and ever-evolving demands of the industry.
This article will help explain what it is that you need to know about blockchain engineering and blockchain architecture while offering some guidance on how you will use those skills in the real world.
What Is a Blockchain Developer?
A blockchain developer is a software developer or a web developer who has blockchain skills. The most important of those skills are knowledge of smart contract development, data structures, cryptography, computer networking, and algorithms.
What Type of School Should You Attend
to Become a Blockchain Developer?
Just a brief perusal of blockchain developer job dashboards will reveal that you don’t actually need a college education to succeed in what can be a highly lucrative profession. At the very least, having a high school diploma or GED will suffice.
What you will need more are professional certifications that validate your skills as a blockchain developer. You can also learn blockchain through online courses, some of which can be completed at your own pace. The courses themselves will not take you that long to complete, and some are relatively inexpensive.
If you want to attend university for a Bachelor’s Degree in Computing or a related field, that will stand you in good stead. However, you should never feel compelled to complete that level of tertiary education just to learn more about blockchain applications.
Best Blockchain Developer Education Tracks
Classes that are specifically related to blockchain technology can be taken at a local community college. A typical certificate program will develop your grasp of blockchain development whether for blockchain technologies like Ethereum and Hyperledger.
A certificate course like this really helps you to better understand cryptocurrencies, which are currently the biggest beneficiaries of blockchain technology. Community college certificates are a building block, though, and nothing more. You will need to do more study.
Blockchain Developer Degrees
There are several degree programs that a future blockchain developer can enroll in at universities across the United States. Among those are the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science, Bachelor of Computer Science, and a Bachelor of Engineering and Computer Science.
Within all of those degree programs, software development and web development will feature in the curriculum. However, both these disciplines are things that can pretty much be self-taught, at a lower expense and over a shorter period. This is provided that you have a strong level of commitment and discipline.
While you do not need the degree, you can still become a blockchain developer with a degree in one of the related fields. A degree is especially helpful if you require a higher level of guidance and engagement to learn.
Blockchain Developer Bootcamps
When it comes to learning blockchain development, one of the most relevant education tracks is coding bootcamps. Coding bootcamps are ideal training grounds for learning the fundamentals of Python, game development, and web development at a much faster pace than doing the same in college.
Blockchain developers are really just software and web developers with a unique skill set. You too need that development base, before you can move onto learning blockchain.
Blockchain Developer Courses
Several online courses are designed to get you started with blockchain development from scratch. You could take a course that will teach you how to build your first blockchain. The first time developing anything for the web can be the most daunting part but once you are beyond that, building up your skill set will become a lot swifter and easier.
One of the more popular routes after learning about blockchain is learning Bitcoin fundamentals. This is arguably the first and most popular type of cryptocurrency available in the market. Ethereum and DogeCoin also make the list.
There is a gradual progression you can take here, without spending much more than a few hundred dollars or even less per course. Among the popular platforms for learning blockchain are edX, Udacity, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, and Udemy.
How to Become a Blockchain Developer: A Step-by-Step Guide
There are three major components to becoming a blockchain developer. They include understanding why blockchain technology exists, what it is predominantly used for, and building up a solid technical base. Then, the key will be understanding how to merge all of these facets.
Learn how the blockchain process actually works
Learn more about how digital currencies work
Even major economic blocs like the European Union are still learning about cryptocurrencies. This is evidence that this will be the way of the future. Their extensive guide will help you develop your understanding of how it works, and it also offers insights into the legal implications of crypto.
Learn to code
There are numerous online courses and coding bootcamps that are designed for this exact purpose. The latter is readily available online and in person and will suit those looking for skills training and job search support. Just make sure that your coding skills can be applied to blockchain development.
Educate yourself on smart contracts
Smart contracts are at the very core of how blockchains work. Nothing can be achieved without this automated blockchain functionality.
Keep practicing and learning
Blockchain and cryptocurrency are constantly evolving fields, and so the people working in those fields need to constantly evolve with it. As with any kind of technical development, practical experience is worth its weight in gold. Keep reading up on blockchain and keep learning.
Key Blockchain Developer Skills
Below are the essential skills you’ll need to hone to become a successful blockchain developer.
Cryptography protects information in computer systems, like blockchain. A blockchain developer is expected to understand the inner workings of these systems to protect highly valuable data. Blockchains like Bitcoin are built on trust and if that is compromised, the whole system collapses. So, this is a crucial skill for a blockchain developer to possess.
Learning data structures is a little more complicated because it involves knowing a meaningful amount about algorithms. While it is not impossible to learn, you do need to be fairly skilled with numbers.
The good news is that data structures and algorithms are frequently covered by coding bootcamps via their web development and software engineering programs. Online courses also dwell on these areas.
Smart contract development revolves around your capacity to store a series of programs on a blockchain. In essence, smart contracts are the product of an automated agreement or transaction. This is a prominent feature with cryptocurrencies because if there is any compromise of trust, the blockchain will collapse.
Blockchain Developer Salary and Job Outlook
Blockchain developers face a promising job outlook and lucrative salaries. According to Glassdoor, the average blockchain developer salary is about $107,000. However, blockchain developers can earn as little as $70,000 per year. Meanwhile, the highest earners in this industry can make as much as $163,000 per year.
Just two years ago, there were some doubts about the future of blockchain technology and the people who develop those blockchains. However, there has been a dramatic shift in 2021 as the world has become increasingly dependent on this technology.
Prominent financial news organization Bloomberg News even went so far as predicting that “everything will be on blockchain soon.” This would indicate that the demand for blockchain developers will also increase dramatically in the foreseeable future.
In short, if you become a blockchain developer now, you are likely to earn a competitive salary. You are also likely to enjoy considerable job security. It is a good profession for you to try and get into, not just in the United States but also around the world.
Entry-Level Blockchain Developer Job Requirements
A blockchain developer working at this job level is also expected to have a sound knowledge of web development or web applications. As with most technology-related job listings, employers are more interested in blockchain developers who exhibit the skills required to perform the task at hand. Qualifications are important but not always vital for first roles.
On that score, an entry-level blockchain developer should be able to demonstrate that they have three years of meaningful experience. This should include working with various programming languages, open-source remote procedure calls like gRPC, and software products like PaaS and SaaS. They should also be able to use tools like Git and Travis CI.
What Does a Blockchain Developer Do?
A blockchain developer is responsible for the creation, maintenance, and upgrade of a functional blockchain without compromising on the data and information of the clients using that blockchain.
Develops and Supports Blockchain-Based Products
Examples of already existing blockchain-based products include, but are not limited to, music royalties tracking, NFT marketplaces, IoT Operating Systems, voting mechanisms, and real estate processing platforms. This is not just about performing cryptocurrency transactions, although that is what blockchain has become famous for.
Builds, Tests, and Deploys Blockchain Components
Together with other elements, blockchain components make up the blockchain architecture for a specific platform. As mentioned, this is not necessarily confined to cryptocurrency or financial services.
Research the Latest Public Blockchains
When you are working in an industry as fast-paced as tech, you need to keep up with the speed of change. If you are not up to snuff, you risk falling behind completely and producing mediocre outcomes for your clients or employers.
Blockchain Developer Certifications
Blockchain Council is the main certification body for developers working in this field. However, other certification options are also linked to established and credible online academic institutions. There are just three of those below.
Certified Blockchain Developer
This blockchain certification, offered by Blockchain Council, is evidence that you have mastered the core concepts of blockchain development. Sitting on the certification exam will only set you back $129, and you will only need about eight hours of course training to prepare for the exam. All of this can be achieved online, too.
Certified Enterprise Blockchain Professional
The completion of this blockchain certification will require about 16 hours of coursework, which is usually conducted over four weeks. To enroll for the exam, you will need to fork out about $397. On passing the test, you will be able to prove that you have a working knowledge of blockchain technology and its ecosystems.
Professional Certificate in Blockchain Fundamentals
This is a very compelling certification program because of its close association with the University of California, Berkeley, one of the top technical universities in the world. To complete this certification, you will need to commit yourself to about five hours of course work and preparation per week, over about five months.
To sit the certification exam, you will have to pay about $178. A lot of blockchain development has to do with cryptocurrency. There is tremendous emphasis on that with this certification.
How to Prepare for Your Blockchain Developer Job Interview
Throughout the job interview, you can expect to be tested on your blockchain knowledge. Make sure you’re confident about your product knowledge to ace your job interview. Below are several blockchain developer interview questions to expect.
Blockchain Developer Job Interview Practice Questions
- Explain, in general terms, what blockchain is.
- What is an individual block in a blockchain and how do you recognize it?
- Break down the blockchain architecture into its core components.
- What role does encryption play in a blockchain?
- Why do you feel blockchain is a trusted approach to financial transactions?
How Long Does It Take to Become a Blockchain Developer?
The length of time it will take you to become a blockchain developer can hinge on your answer to several questions. How much free time do you have available to learn and gain meaningful practical experience? How much experience do you already have with development? How much can you afford to spend on resources required for learning?
If you teach yourself software development, without attending a coding bootcamp or college, it can take you about six months to land your first blockchain developer job. You could conceivably achieve similar results within just three months if you have a solid base to work off.
Some will choose to attend university, and a standard computing degree will take at least three years to complete. However, note that a standard computing degree program does not typically focus on blockchain development.
Should You Become a Blockchain Developer in 2021?
Absolutely. There is a general acknowledgment that cryptocurrency is here to stay, and economic experts are bullish about its immediate future. That is going to spill over into traditional financial services like banking.
The success of crypto is an example of just one area in which the demand for blockchain developers is expected to explode in 2021 and beyond. All of the evidence on job dashboards also points to a profession that will pay well if you apply yourself and get a little lucky with the right employment opportunities.
Blockchain Developer FAQs
What is a blockchain?
A blockchain is a system of blocks that function as a list of basic data structures. Through a form of secure communication, those blocks are then linked together. These blockchains are managed by a peer-to-peer network.
How is blockchain used in business?
The most notable use of blockchains is for the management of cryptocurrencies. However, perhaps a little less known is that blockchains feature strongly in the banking sector’s plans to implement their own distributed ledgers. Blockchains are also a common feature in video gaming, energy trading, healthcare services, and other forms of supply chain management.
What are the different types of blockchain?
There are currently four dominant types of blockchain networks. First, you have public blockchain networks, which are predominant in crypto transactions. Then, you also have private blockchains, hybrid blockchains, and sidechains. All three of the latter have some limits as to who can participate in the transaction.
What is BaaS?
This simply stands for Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS). It is used by companies that build blockchain applications as a service, a third party in the blockchain. That is going to become increasingly common as the industry evolves.