So you want to hire a blockchain developer. Where do you start? Unlike the endless amount of other types of software developers, blockchain developers are scarce. This is partly because blockchain is a new technology. But the blockchain is also difficult to learn. Its complex nature makes it a valuable skill. Though it can be hard to find the right blockchain developer, this article will teach you how to hire the best one possible.
What is Blockchain?
Before getting into hiring a blockchain developer, what is blockchain anyway? Blockchain is a cryptography technology that links digital records. At the most fundamental level, blockchain consists of a public database (the chain) of digital information (the blocks).
The most popular use of blockchain is in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum. Though the legitimacy of cryptocurrency is sometimes debated, blockchain is gaining popularity among many industries. Companies are on the lookout for blockchain developers to implement blockchain into their business.
Blockchain is on the Rise
Blockchain technology was first developed in 1991, but the technology only came to the forefront in 2009 with the launch of the first blockchain-based cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. Bitcoin remains somewhat mysterious because it was founded anonymously as an open-source software. However, the decentralized nature of bitcoin, and blockchain in general, make it an attractive technology to many people. In 2017, there were several million people using a cryptocurrency wallet, mostly bitcoin.
But blockchain technology remains relatively new. As a result, there is a lack of professional training in blockchain compared to other software technologies. Universities and coding schools have yet to offer widespread support for learning blockchain programming. Very few blockchain curriculums exist.
At the same time, the demand for blockchain developers is on the rise, which creates an unusual dilemma: There is too much demand for blockchain developers and not enough supply. In 2016, there were only 5,000 developers in the world devoted to writing cryptocurrency software. Many blockchain developers are enthusiasts, passionate about the once-fringe technology. But the undeniable rise in demand for them has changed that. Now, more people are learning to program blockchain because it is a promising technology with bright prospects.
In early 2020, LinkedIn included blockchain in its most in-demand hard skills for 2020. This was the first year that blockchain was at the top of the list, let alone on the list at all. The surge in demand for blockchain skills is being felt at the highest levels of networking and recruiting.
Why Invest in Blockchain Technology?
There is huge potential in blockchain technology. The World Economic Forum expects that by 2027, 10% of global GDP will be stored with blockchain technology. Major corporations have already taken steps to implement blockchain, including Microsoft, IBM, and Facebook. Each has established a division within their company dedicated to incorporating blockchain into their business. If some of the largest corporations are investing in blockchain, it may not be a bad idea to follow suit. It could set your business up for the future.
Identify the Right Blockchain Developer
If you are reading this, you are probably looking to hire a blockchain developer. But the shortage of blockchain developers can make finding one especially difficult. To find the right one for you, consider the following preliminary steps:
- What is the scope of the project? First, determine the type of blockchain project you have, its time frame, and its budget. All of these factors will help you narrow down the scope of your project and set limits on what you are looking for. Though blockchain developers are in short supply, you don’t want to hire someone outside the parameters of what you need. So start by defining exactly what you need.
- What is the goal of the project? You want your mission to be clear. Set expectations and be straightforward with project requirements. This will help you attract the right blockchain developer. If you have a mission that others can get behind, all the better. Don’t let your project appear dry and uninteresting. Show how you want to optimize or even revolutionize how finances are handled, for example.
- Do you want to onboard or outsource? There are advantages and disadvantages to either approach. Let’s take a look at some of the main differences.
If you onboard a blockchain developer, you can develop a long-term work relationship with them. This will take the stress out of finding a new blockchain developer when you need one again. At the same time, you may incur more costs from choosing to onboard. Think of HR, work benefits, and even the physical office and work equipment you will need to provide for your new employee.
If you choose to outsource a blockchain developer, you make a short-term work commitment. Whether this is a one-off project or you simply want to test the waters with the developer, outsourcing is the more flexible option. Plus, you will save on most of the costs that come with onboarding. Freelancers have their own equipment and often work from home.
All in all, it is difficult to onboard blockchain developers because they are harder to keep long-term. Their high-demand skills keep them employed with or without a full-time employment agreement. They don’t need to be onboarded to stay busy. Most of the time then, outsourcing is the way to go.
- Do you want to hire a sole developer or a development team? A sole developer is better suited for smaller projects, while larger projects may call for an entire blockchain development team. It really just depends on the size of the project. If you think the job is too big for just one person, search for development firms that specialize in blockchain. But ultimately, it is up to you and how fast you want your project completed whether you go with a single developer or a team of developers.
Attract the Right Blockchain Developer
Blockchain developers are high in demand. To make blockchain developers want to take on your project, consider what you have to offer.
Keep in mind that because their skills are in short supply, blockchain developers can demand big salaries. Top blockchain developers demand annual salaries ranging from £250,000 to up to £500,000. In the US, the average salary for a blockchain senior software engineer is over $117,000. To get a good blockchain developer, you have to match these salaries and stay competitive. Otherwise, blockchain developers will go where the money is.
Other ways to attract blockchain developers include offering plenty of perks and benefits. For example, consider offering a flexible schedule or the option to work from home. Many blockchain developers enjoy a flexible lifestyle, so a strict 9-to-5 may not suit them. If you hire an in-house blockchain developer, create a comfortable work environment with plenty of amenities like recreation areas, snacks, and work parties.
You might also consider offering an attractive compensation package with things like continuing education classes and career advancement opportunities. Software developers want to feel they are progressing in their career, that they are not just cogs in a machine.
Anything you can do to make your job offer more appealing will go a long way. In a market that has ample job opportunities but not enough talent, the little things count. So don’t be stingy and make sure you make the job offer as attractive as possible.
Choose the Right Blockchain Developer
Once you have identified the type of blockchain developer you need and made an attractive job offer, choose a blockchain developer to hire.
To do this, look for proven experience. Experience with a specific blockchain system will help immensely. What blockchain projects has the developer worked on in the past? Get a sense for their past work as this will help determine if you can rely on the them.
Any reviews or testimonials of the blockchain developer will give you a better idea of their work. So be sure to vet them. Read their résumé closely or check out their LinkedIn profile. Ask for referrals.
After vetting the blockchain developer, make sure they have the specific skills required for the job. While project requirements vary, the following programming skills are good to have for any blockchain developer:
- First of all, a blockchain developer needs to have a good knowledge of C++. Java, Python, Ruby, and Solidity are also good languages to know.
- A blockchain developer must have a good understanding of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and Distributed Ledgers.
- Blockchain developers know the principles of encryption and decryption, what an SHA algorithm is, and the difference between private and public keys.
- They have a working knowledge of public vs. private blockchains, hashing algorithms, smart contracts, ICO, dApps, decentralized technologies, P2P networks, and data security.
- Finally, they are familiar with at least one blockchain platform, like Ethereum, Corda, Bitcoin, Hyperledger, etc.
In addition to finding a blockchain developer with the above skill set, you want to choose a blockchain developer whose personality and background will mesh with your company culture. It is okay if they have their own unique way about them, but you don’t want someone who will be difficult to work with, no matter how good they are.
Blockchain developers are different from other software developers. Typically, they have a passion for decentralized systems and even oppose traditional forms of authority. Since bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are newcomers to the financial sector, strong ideological forces are at play sometimes. Just keep that in mind when hiring.
The blockchain community is small and tight-knit. So look outside the traditional job board platforms. Niche communities are the best source for potential workers. Check out online forums and networks specific to blockchain for your best chance at finding the right fit for your project.
Only recently, have developers started learning blockchain because it is a growing industry with a lot of potential. Whereas the first blockchain developers were in it for the passion, many are jumping onboard for the massive potential return on investment (ROI).
Consider looking outside the US for a blockchain developer. You can find many in India and other countries with emerging markets. You may find a good fit in eastern European countries like Ukraine, which has recently become a blockchain development haven. Unlike some countries, Ukranians usually have a good command of the English language. Israel has many blockchain firms, too. Look where you would not look normally, and you might just find the perfect fit.
Retain Your Blockchain Developer
Once you have hired your blockchain developer, you want to retain them as a worker. After all, blockchain developers are hard to come by. So make good on the terms of your job offer and give your blockchain developer plenty of reason to stay. They will have a lot of work opportunities elsewhere, so you need to keep the work fun and attractive.
In addition to retaining blockchain developers because they are in low supply, you want to keep them because your blockchain software will need ongoing maintenance. You might as well have the developer who created the blockchain software also maintain and manage it. Because the technology is so new, blockchain will undoubtedly run into issues over time. So retaining your blockchain developer is doubly important.
Outlook and Market for Blockchain Development
According to a recent report, the market for blockchain is expected to reach $16 billion by 2024. According to other market forecasters, the blockchain market is expected to grow to $39.7 Billion by 2025. This marks an incredible compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 67.3%. Undoubtedly, the market is ripe for exponential growth. So now is the time to invest in blockchain technology. Its future is bright and your potential ROI could be immense.
Don’t fall behind the curve by waiting too long to jump aboard the blockchain trend. There is a lot of cost savings and optimization in blockchain technology that could help your business in the long run. If you have a blockchain project in mind, feel free to contact us. We are excited to help make your blockchain vision a reality.
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