Prerequisites to Learn Blockchain Technology: It’s Not What You Think It Is

There has been a massive development in the field of Blockchain technology in the last decade. Many people and companies came to know about the Blockchain Technology and witnessed the growth of blockchain demand, Thanks to Bitcoin. It is a technology to keep the records that are safest, secured, fast and without any central governing authority. It has completely revolutionized how the industry works and keep track of transactions and records. 

Due to its many benefits, many companies and startups became interested in blockchain technology. This further gave rise to soaring demand for blockchain developers in the market. Blockchain tops the list of emerging jobs according to a report shared by LinkedIn. It is one of the most sought after skills by large companies.

Prerequisite Skills Required to be a Blockchain Developer

1. Fundamental skill and Knowledge in Technical Field

There are a few skills that one should learn to become a blockchain developer. An individual should have a good knowledge of Information technologies, Information security, and computer science. The basic understanding of an aspiring blockchain developer should be clear in distributed systems, networking, cryptography and data structures.

  • Distributed systems and Networking

Blockchain is a distributed ledger that works across the network, and an individual should know how the network and distributed system works. A good understanding of how peer to peer networks work is a must. It helps in creating a good foundation in the network of computers which can range from routing to topologies of the network.

All the connected computers are used for processing in the Blockchain. Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus is an essential key feature in the security of the Blockchain that one should understand. Just a basic understanding of the working and the basic concept will be enough for a beginner to start.

  • Cryptography

The foundation of Blockchain is cryptography and from where the name of the cryptocurrency originated. Hash functions and digital signatures are created by using the public-key cryptography in the Bitcoin blockchain. A good background in mathematics skills can also help in the field of Blockchain for a developer. Block Ciphers, Message Integrity, and Authenticated Encryption are few concepts that one should have a clear understanding. Payments are secured on e-commerce sites by Hash Function.

  • Data Structures

One should also understand the data structure to learn about the complex nature of Blockchain. In the Blockchain, the data is stored in the form of blocks and not in the form of tables. Databases are replicated across the whole network, which is called distributed ledger. The integrity of data in the blocks is maintained by using cryptography.

A blockchain developer should know how Data Structures work such as linked lists, graphs, hash maps, search trees and many more. The skill of building the data structure from scratch is also essential for the blockchain developer. Knowledge of programming languages like C++, C-Sharp, C, Scala, Java, Python is also required. An individual can learn all the necessary knowledge about algorithms and data structures from the repository on GitHub.

  • Cryptonomic Understanding

A good blockchain developer should have a good understanding of the fundamentals of Blockchain. Cryptonomic is a word that is a mix of Cryptocurrency and Economics. Cryptocurrencies are affected by the valuation of currency and many monetary policies. One can also learn about the game theory to be more explicit about the working of cryptocurrency in the market and its valuation.

It will help one to understand how cryptocurrencies are kept in check without being monitored by any central bank. An individual should learn how the economic structure is working around the cryptocurrency.

2. Smart Contracts

The smart contracts are the programs which help in automating the transactions. It helps in increasing the capabilities of Blockchain without any need of middlemen or lawyers to settle the deal. The smarts contracts are made with specific conditions or in particular situations.

When these particular situations or conditions are met, then the transaction will be automatically processed when required. Currently, Auditing and optimizing of smart contracts cannot be done by many developers. A developer should be very well aware of all possibilities of execution of a smart contract. He should be able to ensure that smart contracts are only executed when it is expected.

3. Decentralized Applications

There are some decentralized applications (DApp) that are built on blockchains. There are various platforms for a blockchain developer to build a DApp. Here are some of the popular Decentralized Applications:

  • Hyperledger

The main goal of Hyperledger is to develop technologies in the cross-industry Blockchain using an open-source collaborative platform.

  • EOS

The main goal of the EOS blockchain is to support industrial-scale applications. It is a decentralized operating system that has more scalability and higher transaction speed such as Ethereum.

  • NEO

Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang founded Antshares in 2014, which was renamed NEO in 2017. NEO is not limited to one language, unlike Ethereum. A beginner can use Various programming languages such as Java and C# can be used to build DApps on NEO. It will work as a platform for digital businesses in the future.

  • Ethereum

In 2015, Vitalik Buterin created Ethereum, which is currently the most popular platform for development. The Ethereum is fueled by the cryptocurrency called Ether. The language used in the Ethereum is called Solidity. Solidity is a smart-contract oriented language. Robustness is similar to a programming language like JavaScript and C++.

4. Learn to Simplify

A blockchain developer should be able to innovate using the design thinking methodology. Blockchain is used to simplify the processes in the business, which helps in driving outcomes of companies.

5. Understand Blockchain Security

A developer in Blockchain should have security skills like elliptic curve digital signatures, Merkle proofs, cryptographic hashing, private key, and public-key cryptography and many more. Frameworks in security are getting evolved for regulatory needs, legal needs, and compliance needs.

6. Know the Platforms

There are multiple frameworks in Blockchain and learning all of them can create confusion. One should know how to select the right blockchain platform for particular cases. Different blockchain platforms such as R3 Corda, Ripple, Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric are some of the excellent blockchain platforms that a beginner can start to learn about.

7. Distributed ledger expertise

A developer should be an expert to build distributed ledger technology. It will help in accelerating the development of smart contracts.

8. Master of Interoperability

The mindset of blockchain developers should be open source because there is a risk of deployment in various technology platforms of interconnecting ledgers. Business outcomes can be driven, and latency is reduced by integrating with systems of an enterprise.

9. Embracing Blockchain Expertise as a Service

During the formation of the consortium, skills of negotiation and collaboration are critical. Blockchain as a Service is a new latest thing in the market that a blockchain developer should be able to take benefits from.

10. Learning to Drive Business Outcomes

A developer needs to understand the result expected by a business. One should build direct connections and explore data flow between customers, suppliers and trading partners across the ecosystem.

Conclusion

As we can see how the Blockchain has grown so much in just a few years, no one can deny that the Blockchain is the best technology that many industries will be based on in the future. The skills required to become a blockchain developer ranges from understanding technical knowledge to study fundamentals of working of cryptocurrency and blockchain structures.

Many large companies have already started using the applications of Blockchain in their businesses and reaping its benefits. After almost a decade later, many products and services will be based on blockchain technology only, and it is the right time for anyone to begin their career as a blockchain developer.

There is a rise in careers in blockchain technology and blockchain has tremendously changed the very face of the technology industry forever.  If you’re interested to become a blockchain developer and build smart contracts and chaincodes, checkout IIIT-B & upGrad’s PG Certification in Blockchain Technology.

Mayank Sahu

Master The Technology of the Future - Blockchain

GET A PG CERTIFICATION & ALUMNI STATUS FROM IIIT-BANGALORE.
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