How to Become
a Blockchain Developer
Education Pathways, Skills, and Certifications
Blockchain is the system in which cryptocurrency transactions are recorded and maintained across different linked computers. The most popular cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, which has made headlines due to its rapidly rising value in the last few years.
Blockchain technology makes it possible for cryptocurrencies to be traded by millions across the world. This industry is expected to grow to about $23 billion in 2023. While it is a relatively new field, many people are studying to become blockchain developers.
The following article addresses how to become a blockchain developer, including education pathways and top skills.
What Is a Blockchain Developer?
A blockchain developer is responsible for developing and optimizing blockchain architecture, blockchain systems, protocols, and web applications using blockchain technology.
There are two types of blockchain developers: core blockchain developers and blockchain software developers. Core blockchain developers work on the architecture and protocols of the blockchain system, including the design and development.
Blockchain software developers use systems designed by core developers to build decentralized apps that take advantage of blockchain technology.
What Does a Blockchain Developer Do?
Blockchain developers are involved with the protocol design, security, and architecture of a blockchain system.
Here are some of the roles, responsibilities, and duties of a blockchain developer.
Designs Blockchain Protocols
Protocols make it possible for information to be shared securely, automatically, and reliably across various cryptocurrency networks. They define the way data should be designed to fit into a system while maintaining security to prevent malicious attacks.
Designs the Network Architecture
Network architecture refers to the design of a computer network. Networks can be developed for centralized or decentralized data use. Users in such a network can then make relevant transactions.
Supervises and Maintains the Entire Network
In addition to designing and developing the blockchain infrastructure, developers are also responsible for maintaining such structures. They also implement and support a distributed blockchain network.
Blockchain Developer Education Pathways
Many different education paths could lead to becoming a professional blockchain developer.
Blockchain developers are software developers who specialize in blockchain engineering and cryptocurrency technology. You’ll need to take courses in computer science and programming languages.
With this in mind, consider the following blockchain education pathways.
Blockchain Developer Degrees
A blockchain developer typically starts by pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, information security, or a related discipline. Some employers might require you to have programming skills, while others might prioritize work experience.
Nonetheless, you should strongly consider pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. Most of these programs are offered by universities and colleges. They typically take four years to complete.
You could choose to start with an associate degree in a related field. However, many employers require a bachelor’s degree as the minimum requirement to work in entry-level positions.
Blockchain Developer Bootcamps
Bootcamps are short and intense programs designed to train students to acquire skills relevant to a career field. They usually take about 12 to 16 weeks to complete. When compared to traditional bachelor’s degrees, coding boot camps have significantly lower tuition costs.
You could attend a computer science boot camp to learn about how computers are designed and how they work. You should also consider boot camps that teach how computer software is created. If you know how these things work, it will be easier to build blockchain apps.
Blockchain Developer Courses
Courses are a fast way to learn a topic or pick up on a new skill. They also give beginners a chance to learn more about the field of study and make an informed decision about their future pursuits. You can complete a course on blockchain development in just a few weeks.
There are many courses available for aspiring blockchain developers. If you are running on a tight budget, you might want to start by looking at free courses offered by MOOC platforms.
Certifications also fall within the courses bracket. They are a great way to demonstrate your skills in a specific field. In acquiring certification, you significantly increase your chances of landing a higher position. Certifications are awarded to professionals who have sat for a series of exams in a related field.
How to Become a Blockchain Developer A Step-by-Step Guide
The best educational pathway for a blockchain developer is a computer science or information security degree. Degrees in related fields or bootcamps designed for aspiring blockchain developers are also good options.
Below is a series of steps that you should consider taking if you want to become a blockchain developer.
Educate yourself on computer science and cryptocurrency
You should begin building a foundation of knowledge on blockchain and basic cryptocurrency concepts. Research more about blockchains and how computer developers are involved.
Complete a bachelor’s degree program in a related field
Now that you have decided to pursue a career as a blockchain developer, you should consider earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field. Most employers require this diploma for candidates to be considered for entry-level positions.
Learn smart contracts
The bachelor’s degree program might cover coding and programming languages. However, you might want to find out more from blockchain tutorials. Smart contract development is a vital blockchain concept.
Read blockchain-related content
Blockchain and cryptocurrency are constantly changing. You should join communities and forums dedicated to blockchain-related content. You could also read from websites offering educational blockchain content.
Work on projects and keep improving
The best way to gain hands-on experience is by working on real-world projects. You could also try and apply to companies hiring blockchain developers or providing internships.
Top Blockchain Developer Skills
Blockchain developers handle several responsibilities. To perform exceptionally well in those responsibilities, these professionals need to possess specific skills.
Below are a few skills that you need to have to become a successful blockchain developer.
As the name suggests, data structures are used in most programs and software to organize and store data in computers. They are designed in a way that allows developers to efficiently perform operations on the stored data.
Data structures are one of the core fundamentals of computer science, software engineering, and blockchain development. These professionals often work with data structures when building and implementing networks. Blockchain networks consist of data structures. As a result, learning more about data structures will help when building blockchains.
Smart contracts work just like legal contracts in real life, only this time, they let two parties exchange services or goods without the help of an intermediary. A smart contract is finished only when both parties fulfill their obligations to one another. As smart contracts are used by many cryptocurrencies today, it would be in your best interest to learn more about them.
Cryptography refers to a method of developing systems and protocols to prevent a third-party user from accessing data when people are communicating privately. There are two types of cryptographic algorithms as used by blockchain developers: asymmetric-key algorithms and hash functions.
Cryptography plays a crucial role in linking blocks to one another. In doing so, they help maintain the integrity of each block’s data. To become a blockchain developer, you must be skilled in cryptography, as it is used in cryptocurrencies to “approve” transactions.
Blockchain Developer Salary and Job Outlook
Blockchain developers have been growing in numbers over the past decade. According to a survey by Glassdoor in 2018, there was a 300% increase in blockchain-related jobs. This goes to show that blockchain jobs, including developer positions, are high in demand.
This means that you’ll always have numerous employment opportunities. Not only that but blockchain developers are handsomely remunerated. According to Zip Recruiter, the average yearly pay for blockchain developers in the United States is $154,550.
Entry-Level Blockchain Developer Job Requirements
The entry-level requirements for blockchain developer positions depend on the job description, industry, and geographical location. With that said, most entry-level positions require a computer science-related bachelor’s degree.
How to Prepare for Your Blockchain Developer Job Interview
The best way to ace your blockchain interview is by going through a lot of blockchain-related interview questions beforehand.
Here are some interview questions that will help you prepare for your interview.
Blockchain Developer Job Interview Practice Questions
- What is cryptography? Explain its role as used in blockchain.
- Can you write a crowd-sale smart contract code using programming languages?
- What is proof of work in blockchain? How does it differ from proof of stake?
- What happens when deploying a file with multiple contracts?
Blockchain Developer Certifications
Certifications are official documents issued by regulatory boards to professionals who have demonstrated competence and proficiency in a certain field. To earn blockchain developer certifications, you must pass specific examinations.
Unfortunately, there are only a handful of blockchain developer certifications, as this career path is a relatively new one. Here are some certifications you might consider earning to improve your employment prospects.
Holders of this certification have demonstrated an ability to build blockchain-based applications for businesses and related industries. The Blockchain Council also offers blockchain solutions for businesses. The exam costs $129 and is done online.
This certification program equips students with the theoretical basics and practical knowledge to develop real-world blockchain solutions. The course is divided into four major modules: Blockchain Fundamentals, Applications of Blockchain Technology, Blockchain Project Implementation, and Advanced Blockchain Development.
This program is designed to equip professionals with the skills necessary to tailor blockchain systems to clients’ needs. The course features detailed interviews with experts. It is best suited for developers and IT administrators.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Blockchain Developer?
If you haven’t started your Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field, it could take you four to five years. Once you complete your degree, you can enroll in specific blockchain courses or certification exams. Spending five to 10 hours studying every week, you could complete an introductory course in about three or four months.
As you can see, the time it takes to become a blockchain developer really varies depending on where you currently are in your career and education, and how much time you’re willing to commit to learning new skills.
Why You Should Become a Blockchain Developer in 2021
One of the main reasons why you should pursue a career as a blockchain developer is because of the increase in employment opportunities. The salary is also a motivating factor for most aspiring blockchain developers.
Blockchain development is a new and fairly challenging concept. It is a popular career choice among aspiring professionals today that requires dedication and practice to succeed. If you find the field intriguing, now it’s the time to pursue a career as a blockchain developer.
Blockchain Developer FAQ
There is a high demand for blockchain developers. According to a survey by Glassdoor, there was a 300% increase in blockchain job openings between 2017 and 2018.
Blockchain is a radical and revolutionary concept. At first, it might seem tough to grasp. However, it should become more manageable after learning the fundamentals which include decentralization, mining, and the consensus mechanism.
Blockchain development is easily one of the best career options today because of the rise of cryptocurrencies using blockchain technology such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The best way to get started in blockchain is by learning the basics of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Consider joining one of the various communities and forums on YouTube and Coindesk.