The year 2017 saw the price of Bitcoin skyrocket before falling back to the Earth. Likewise, other cryptocurrencies – like Ethereum, Dash, and so on – followed a similar trajectory to Bitcoin’s. This led many people to conclude that the entire blockchain business was no more than a fad – a trend that will soon pass. However, as years have passed, blockchain technology has proved its mettle in more domains than just cryptocurrencies. And it’s fair to say that the blockchain market is on fire – with many current and potential use cases to look for.
As per the current state of the blockchain industry, you can easily expect it to grow to $24 billion by 2024 – soaring up from $1.2 billion in 2017. All of this is wonderful for the entire blockchain domain and will definitely open new job avenues for people around the globe – especially those who are motivated by the blockchain. However, this also causes one big problem. The demand for blockchain developers is only increasing alongside the domain’s market share, but there is not enough supply of good blockchain developers. So, if you are reading this article, and want to build a career in blockchain development, let’s help you with a step-by-step guide to get you started and running with blockchain development.
Remember, now is the best time to get head first into the world of blockchain development. Here are the steps that you can follow to get started:
1. Get your basic academics in place
Getting a relevant academic background is the first important step toward building a blockchain development career. Aspirants are required to have an undergraduate degree in Information Technology, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and so on. You can do a bachelor’s, master’s, or both – depending on your interest in the field. Remember, it is not necessary to have the education we mentioned above, but it will definitely help you in the long run, providing you with all the fundamental knowledge and concepts you would need for a successful blockchain development career. Exploring different courses and certifications pertaining specifically to blockchain and blockchain development might also be a good idea. That way, you will be able to couple your Computer Science knowledge with domain-specific knowledge about blockchain and be an asset to companies around the globe.
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2. Master the basic technical skills required
Before becoming a blockchain developer, you will need to ensure that you have a fair understanding and a firm grasp of some technical skills and concepts. Here are some of those skills that you can start brushing up on to be successful as a blockchain developer:
- Working with programming languages: Proficiency with different programming paradigms, especially OOPs, is required to be a successful blockchain developer. It isn’t necessary to be a master of any particular programming language. Still, it will help if you know syntax and important programming constructs for some essential programming languages like Java, Python, C++, and so on.
- Understanding data structure: The next thing you’ll need after getting a hold of some programming languages is an understanding of data structures and their concepts. Data structures are essential for blockchain developers and can be used to create efficient systems. You should acquaint yourself with important data structures that come in handy often, like linked lists, graphs, trees, hash maps, and so on.
- Basics of database and networking: Fundamental knowledge of database and networking concepts can simplify your journey to becoming blockchain personnel. That way, you’ll better understand how these things work on a grassroots level, and you’ll then be able to extend your learnings into your blockchain development career to get the best results.
- Cryptography: This is undoubtedly one of the most important technical skills for all aspiring blockchain developers. The idea should be to acquaint yourself with the basics of different concepts under cryptography like has functions, RSA algorithm, digital signatures, and so on – in order to set solid foundations for your blockchain development career.
Apart from these core skills, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basics of web designing and development, as it is one of those handy tasks that assist you in working better as a blockchain developer to handle APIs, Dapps, and so on.
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3. Get a hold of the basics of blockchain
Once you have covered the foundational knowledge, you should dive into the blockchain world and get acquainted with the basics of blockchain technology. You can start with understanding the blockchain technology in detail, such as how it works, its various applications, and more. You should familiarize yourself with the architecture and working of blockchain and understand concepts like distributed ledger technology, consensus, smart contracts, and more. It might be a good idea to acquaint yourself with essential concepts such as decentralization, public blockchain, private blockchain, and so on. For this, you can opt for various resources or online programs that help you get the basic knowledge required at this level.
4. Understand Cryptonomics
Cryptonomics is derived from two important words – cryptography and economics – and it forms one of the most important aspects you need to take care of while preparing to become a blockchain developer. The process of Cryptonomics is essentially concerned with understanding the economic concepts and various methodologies behind the working of cryptocurrencies. To understand this area, you must acquaint yourself with concepts like mining, transaction fee, transaction lifecycle, and many more. The best way to go about this would be to understand the mechanics of Cryptonomics in detail to understand how different parts move and collaborate.
5. Understand the working of DApps and Ethereum
Ethereum is one of the most important parts you will need to take care of when going for blockchain development. In essence, Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain network that is open-source and used to run smart protocols. This helps develop Distributed Applications (DApps) and smart contracts without facing the usual glitches like downtime, third-party interference, fraud, and others. DApps are the software systems built on the Blockchain platforms like Ethereum, etc.
6. Familiarize yourself with smart contracts and Solidity
7. Explore projects to get hands-on experience
Now that you have all the foundational knowledge required for blockchain development, the next step should be to get your knowledge into action by getting hands-on experience creating blockchain applications. That way, you will not only be able to revise your theoretical learnings quickly, but you will also see your learnings play out in the real world, in the form of different applications. You can look for internships, group projects, or even do your solo project on anything that excites you around blockchain. It could be writing smart contracts, building DApps, and much more. Further, all the information you’ll need during your journey is only a few clicks away, and you can join some relevant discussion boards on platforms like StackOverflow and such for better results. You can also opt for certifications and blockchain courses designed to keep you up-to-date with all the theoretical knowledge while ensuring that your practical skills are nurtured throughout.
At upGrad, we offer Blockchain Certification Program in collaboration with Purdue University. The program’s goal is to help you get hands-on with all the essential knowledge in the world of Blockchain development so that you are ready to begin as soon as possible. Further, you also get to work with industry experts and learn while doing things – so your learning is not just theoretical but also extremely applicative and hands-on. Check out the course page and get yourself registered soon!
If you wish to become a blockchain developer, the path has been laid out for you. The only thing to do now is to learn relevant skills and practice on various projects. Our course is designed to help you do all this and more without difficulty. After the course, you can expect to work as a blockchain developer, smart contract engineer, hyper ledger developer, and much more. Check out the blockchain course details now!
Is there any particular programming language I should learn to become a blockchain developer?
You should have an idea of the OOPS programming paradigm and some working knowledge of programming languages like Java or Python. That will help you with all the foundations that you would require.
What are the career options possible for blockchain developers?
After completing your blockchain development courses, aspirants can work in the following roles: Blockchain Core Developer, Ethereum Developer, DeFi Developer, Blockchain Fronten Developer, Dapp Developer, Solidity Smart Contracts/Smart Contract, and Hyperledger Developer.
Is there any prerequisite degree for becoming a blockchain developer?
While not strictly a prerequisite, it would help if you get a bachelor's or a master's degree in Computer Science or Information Technology in order to understand the basics of software development, databases, networking, and more.