Should I learn blockchain development?
Why learning blockchain could be a good career path?
Let’s start by listing all the potential upsides to being a blockchain developer.
No matter what your interests are, there might be a blockchain connection to them
Decentralized finance (DeFi) is still a massive part of what blockchain is at the moment, but the number of other new industries and applications that utilize it grows every year. So whether you’re into sports, gaming, finance, politics, real estate, art, media, entertainment, or any other thing, there’s a very high chance that blockchain can be found useful in it.
Sports enthusiasts can participate in NFT sports collectible projects, game developers can build blockchain-based games, and those who want to contribute to the democratic process can help develop blockchain voting systems. The range of opportunities is virtually limitless.
However, that doesn’t mean it always makes sense to use blockchain. Unfortunately, the popularity of blockchain makes many business owners and managers feel like they’re missing out on something if they don’t utilize blockchain in any way. My colleague, Krzysztof Waliński, writes more on the issue in his article “Do I need blockchain for my project?”.
High salaries, even by regular software development standards
Economics 101, if there’s a high demand and low supply, prices go up. That’s exactly what’s happening right now in the blockchain developer job market. If you’re a blockchain developer with some experience, you can easily pick and choose from many attractive, lucrative offers.
The opportunity to work on fascinating, cutting-edge projects
Blockchain technology is still relatively young, and every year there are new trailblazing ideas on how to use it. Some of them have genuinely enormous potential, so if you’re dreaming of working on something massive and meaningful, you’ll definitely have a chance to do so as a blockchain developer.
While individual cryptocurrency prices can be shaky, and some of them occasionally just drop dead, as LUNA did recently, blockchain as a technology is definitely here to stay. The variety of applications and industries involved, besides crypto, guarantee a reliable amount of potential jobs for years to come. Moreover, it should only grow as blockchain is still evolving, and we still expect significant improvements in crucial elements, such as scalability and lowering carbon footprint.
The buzz vs. the truth about blockchain
Just as businesses tend to chase hot new trends in the tech world blindly, developers are prone to precisely the same. Therefore, I highly recommend everyone pay extra attention and do all the necessary research before joining a blockchain project as a developer. And why is that?
- many companies start blockchain projects without the necessary knowledge, expertise, and security measures,
- others plainly don’t need blockchain for what they’re trying to achieve, effectively wasting time and money,
- some projects are morally questionable,
- worst case scenario, they’re purely scams.
Whether it’s a lack of security, knowledge, or simply criminal activity, people lose billions of dollars on blockchain and crypto-related scams, hacks, and bad investments each year. My advice is to stay away from anything that’s even remotely suspicious. You’ll sleep better.
What does it mean to become a blockchain developer?
The answer to this question is more complicated than it seems because it depends on what we consider blockchain development. It’s entirely possible to have two blockchain developers with different skill sets altogether. See, we can divide blockchain devs into two main groups:
- Developers that co-create the actual blockchain architecture
- Developers that write decentralized apps (DApps) within blockchains, such as DeFi platforms and metaverse games.
In the first case, developers need to understand the blockchain structure and language used to build it, such as C++ for Ethereum. They would also have to be familiar with the idea of distributed systems, consensuses, and virtual machines.
In the second case, the required skills depend on a blockchain's specific smart contract language. In the case of Ethereum, that would be Solidity. However, there are many other options, such as Cadence in Flow, Rust in Polkadot and Solana, and even Python in Algorand.
You can read more about those distinctions in the article about necessary blockchain skills.
But there’s also a third option. In large part, blockchain projects don’t need any specific skills, such as Solidity language. You can still participate in blockchain projects as a developer working in the same way as you would with API, but instead of API, you’re working with blockchain nodes.
First steps with blockchain
So, if you’re ready to start learning blockchain development, I would suggest reading those two e-books about Ethereum and Bitcoin.
If you’re interested in decentralized apps, smart contracts, and of course, Solidity, you should definitely check articles by Krzysztof and Karol:
And once you’re ready, you can also try to finish this 16-hour course on YouTube. Just make sure not to watch it all in one sitting.
Are you looking for a blockchain team to join?
Another way to learn blockchain development is to join a team that already has the experience and can help you greatly facilitate the learning process. Just like us. So if you’re a developer who’s interested in blockchain, check our job offers, and maybe we’ll be the right match for each other. You’ll have the opportunity to work on fascinating projects and learn from the best, including our co-founder, Kamil Śliwak, who is one of the top 3 contributors to Ethereum Foundation.