How to become a blockchain developer

This article covers a few common blockchain developer questions such as: How do I become a blockchain developer? What skills do I need to become a blockchain developer? Where do I start? and What is the best blockchain for me?

So, you want to become a blockchain developer? Why not. Blockchain developer is one of the highest paid jobs in the software industry. The demand for blockchain engineers has increased by 400 percent since 2017. The average annual salary of an experienced blockchain engineer is between $150,000 and $175,000, according to CNBC.
This article covers a few common blockchain developer questions such as: How do I become a blockchain developer? What skills do I need to become a blockchain developer? Where do I start? and What is the best blockchain for me?
Become a blockchain developer
Blockchain is one of the Top 5 In-Demand Technologies Of 2018. In simplified terms, blockchain is a secure, shared, distributed ledger. That means, the data stored on a blockchain is secure using cryptographic algorithms, shared among multiple contributors and participants, and distributed on a peer-to-peer network among multiple nodes. Each participating node has a full copy of code and database.
Blockchain is expected to become a major component of Web 3.0. Not only are blockchain developers in high demand but they are also getting paid more. San Francisco and New York are the two top cities followed by Chicago, LA, and Boston that are hiring blockchain developers. 

Blockchain engineers vs blockchain developers

There are two types of blockchain developers, the developers who build blockchain products (blockchain creators) and the developers who use a blockchain (blockchain app developers) in their applications.
Blockchain creators need to understand several underlying technologies of blockchain including low-level programming, network programming, understanding of cryptographic algorithms, mathematical consensus algorithms, database technologies, decentralization, console development, and high-level expertise in code debugging, testing, and performance optimization. This kind of job is usually performed by software engineers and low-level programmers. There are a limited number of jobs in this area.
Blockchain engineer skills 
The blockchain ecosystem is more than just a blockchain project. The blockchain company also needs general purpose software developers, websites, and databases. A blockchain may be built in C++ but the company may use Angular or React to build its website. In the cryptocurrency space, wallets are popular. Wallets are apps and websites to hold and transfer cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain app developers need high level understanding of underlying blockchain technologies but mostly knowledge of a certain blockchain specific programming language and how to integrate and implement it in their applications. For example, to implement Ethereum smart contracts in a Website, the app developers need to understand Solidity programming language and how to write smart contracts to build Corda blockchain apps in Java, Python, or Node.js.
The number of jobs for blockchain app developers is growing each week and the demand will continue to grow for several years.

Skills required to become a blockchain developer

The companies that are building a blockchain require you to understand low-level programming, console debugging, network programming, cryptographic algorithms, and databases. Before you can become a good blockchain developer, you need to be a good programmer.
Each blockchain is written using a specific programming language. Ethereum and its derivatives are the only blockchain that use a new programming language, Solidity, but the rest of the blockchains use common programming languages such as C++, Java, Python, Ruby, C#, Go, Solidity, and JavaScript.
The most popular public blockchain, Bitcoin, is written in C++.
Ethereum blockchain that is open source is written in Go, C++, and Rust, but Solidity programming language is used to develop Ethereum smart contracts. So, if you want to become a contributor to the Ethereum blockchain, you will need to code in Go, C++, or Rust, depending on the module you work on. But if you want to use Ethereum blockchain to store your smart contracts, you will need to write smart contracts in Solidity.

Best blockchain programming languages

Each blockchain is created with a specific need and built on a protocol. You may pick a blockchain based on your need and skillset. For example, if you’re a Java developer, you may want to pick a blockchain that uses Java. If you want to create smart contracts for Ethereum blockchain, then you’ve no choice but to use Solidity.
C#, C++, Go, Java, Python, and JavaScript are some of the most popular programming languages for blockchain.
The following table lists some of the projects and their programming language support.
Blockchain Programming Languages

Where do I start learning blockchain?

Here is what you can start with right away:
Step 1: Learning basic understanding of cryptographic algorithms, networking programming, and basics of blockchain
Step 2: Find a right blockchain for you based on your current skills. If you’re a Python developer, find a blockchain that supports Python. If you’re a C++/C# developer, find blockchains that require C++/C#.
Step 3: Most of the blockchains have a good documentation on their products websites.
C# and .NET Core Developers? Start here: Building a Basic Blockchain in .NET Core 
There are online courses on blockchain. You can find courses on any online training website such as Coursera, Pluralsight, and even LinkedIn. C# Corner has also launched a blockchain training portal here:  

Where can I find blockchain jobs 

There are several blockchain jobs available including smart contract developer, blockchain platform engineer, Golang blockchain developer, and cryptocurrency developer.
Check out more blockchain jobs here on Jobs portal.
LinkedIn also has several blockchain jobs. Go to LinkedIn and search for blockchain jobs. You will see hundreds of job listings.

Further Readings