Blockchain technology has heralded a new way the digital world handles data and does business. Initially, developed to support Bitcoin, private and government sectors used blockchain for a range of applications. Looking at the immense potential, many developers are eager to join the blockchain world. Blockchain developers develop decentralized apps (dApps) and smart contracts. In this blog, we discuss how you can become a blockchain developer and the skills you must develop.
What do blockchain developers do?
A blockchain developer is a software professional specializing in blockchain technology. The developer work on the programming, development, and testing of the blockchain. They handle the entire lifecycle of a blockchain application. Blockchain developers typically have two profiles –
- Core blockchain developer – The developer is responsible for the development and maintenance of the blockchain technology. They concentrate on blockchain protocols, and security patterns, and supervise the entire network.
- Blockchain software developer specializes in building applications on the existing blockchain platform. They may handle back-end or front-end development, design, and maintenance.
How to become a blockchain developer?
In this section, we elaborate on the skillset you need to acquire if you want to become a blockchain developer. There are certain skills you need to master if you want to excel in the field and successfully navigate the challenges in blockchain development.
1. Academics in IT or Computer Science
Most blockchain developers have a bachelor’s degree to handle developmental activities. You need to be comfortable using the following programming languages –
A part to the degree they need to have the following skillsets
- Data structure – Blockchain developers need a comprehensive understanding of data structure. Blockchain is a system of distributed databases that stores information in blocks rather than tables. You need to understand concepts like binary search trees, hash maps, binary trees, graphs, and linked lists.
- Network and distributed system – Blockchain is built on a peer-to-peer network. You need a good foundation in computer networks from network topologies to routing.
There are various post-graduate courses in blockchain technologies that can give you the required edge.
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2. Learn how the blockchain works
You need to understand how blockchain technology works. This foundation knowledge is the building block to more advanced technologies and specialization. Blockchain has four key concepts,
- A shared ledger is an append-only system distributed system. This ensures duplication of effort required in a traditional business network.
- Permission ensures that transactions are secure, authenticated, and verifiable.
- Smart contracts are a set of rules that govern the business transactions.
- Consensus is all parties agree to the transaction.
Each blockchain has various participants. The developer needs to ensure the apps meet all the parameters when they build apps.
3. Learn about smart contracts
Ethereum introduced the concept of smart contracts and it has revolutionized blockchain technology. It has become a part of most blockchain solutions offered today.
Two parties can execute a smart contract without needing an intermediary. The contract is self-executing and completed only when the terms and conditions mentioned in the contract are fulfilled successfully. Since the contract is monitored by several users it is unlikely to contain errors or loopholes. Since it has removed the need for a middleman it has helped save money and resources.
Blockchain developers need to learn about smart contracts. You need to learn languages that are used in smart contracts development such as Chaincode and Viper.
4. Learn about Cryptonomics
Cryptography prevents your data from being accessed. Developers need to be familiar with the concept while working on blockchain technology. Blockchain transactions use public-key cryptography.
Users use cryptocurrencies to transact on the blockchain. To make transactions you need to have a wallet and private key. The key proves ownership of the wallet. Users are ensured the transaction is encrypted and safe.
The cryptographic hashtag refers to producing an output of a specific length irrespective of the length of the input.
Blockchain developers need to learn about various aspects of crypto-economics to keep blockchain data safe.
5. Build a Blockchain
You need to become familiar with various blockchain architectures. You should understand concepts like a ledger, consensus, and smart contracts.
Blockchain uses four types of architecture,
- Consortium architecture is not completely decentralized. Members of the consortium have complete authority. Multiple organizations are members of the consortium.
Private architecture has a few people that are part of the system.
- These systems are not decentralized.
- Public architecture is completely decentralized. Anyone can take part in the network by mining or making transactions.
- Hybrid architecture is similar to private blockchain but is open to public scrutiny.
Blockchain developers need to understand the intricacy of each architecture. A large number of applications on the blockchain are web apps. You need to be able to develop robust web apps using blockchain technology.
6. Practice by coding
Practice is essential if you want to master blockchain technology. There are several ways you can go about it. Download and use wallets and dApps to understand how they work. It will help you more about smart contracts, data recording, and transactions. Learn hands-on and interact with the system.
7. Join blockchain developer communities
The blockchain industry is developing quickly. It is important to stay abreast of the latest developments in the field. Blockchain developers join a developer community to learn, ask for help if required, and network. The blockchain developer communities are tightly-knit. Some of the best blockchain developer communities are –
IEEE Blockchain community is one of the best blockchain developer communities. It is a forum where developers discuss various topics and brainstorm on new applications of blockchain technology. You get access to newsletters, publications, and the IEEE portal.
- It is a subscription-based community.
- ETHSecurity is an open and collaborative community to educate developers on the best practices for Ethereum security.
- Solidified is a community of blockchain security experts and smart contract auditors. They specialize in areas like bugging programs and smart contract audits.
- CryptoDevHub Discord is a community for people working in the web3, blockchain, and crypto space.
- CryptoTechnology Subreddit is a community for people interested in blockchain and crypto technologies.
8. Read blockchain development blogs
The internet has become a great source of information. Blogs and websites are an excellent source of knowledge and can help you navigate roadblocks you are likely to encounter while working. Blogs help you stay abreast of the latest news in the blockchain and cryptocurrency world.
- BTC Wires is an online media agency providing the latest news in blockchain and cryptos.
- IBM Blockchain blog hosts news, interviews, stories, and opinions of the
- blockchain community.
- CoinDesk is one of the most popular blockchain blogs in the world.
- CoinTelegraph covers fintech, blockchain, and Bitcoin.
Becoming a blockchain developer is not difficult. You should start by concentrating on getting the required soft and hard skills to excel in this industry. Some certifications and courses can help you gain practical experience and work on real-world projects. Several blockchain projects are open-source follow them, examine the code and try to contribute so you can learn more about the technology.