There has been a massive development in the field of Blockchain technology in the last decade. Many people and companies came to know about 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.
Blockchain is an upcoming field and market which is growing rapidly in the coming years the market size is expected to reach 163.83 billion by 2029. There are many reasons contributing to blockchain’s popularity in today’s time, and the security that it provides in transactions is one of those. Another very important reason is the traceability of the data blockchain provides.
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Blockchain has a very unique way of operating. The term blockchain is a process of recording information in a format that is not comprehendible by anyone easily. This format of recording the information allows the scope of secure transactions, that cannot be hacked or changed.
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Prerequisite Skills Required to be a Blockchain Developer
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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.
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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.
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Distributed systems collect the data in a decentralised manner where the data is collected and distributed among the connected users. The distributed system allows the data to be shared across the networks that are concerned with the data. The major importance of a distributed system would be that it enhances the real-time update of the data, as the data is shared across nodes that has a copy of the blockchain.
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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.
Cryptography is a very important feature of blockchain technology. It helps the blockchain developer to protect the data from any unauthorized access. This is carried forward using two levels namely, the key-encryotion method and another one is hashing. The function of cryptography protects the data from potential hackers. Once the data enters the systems, it gets stored in a block and gets encrypted and all of these blocks get chained together to build a network.
In order to secure the data, cryptography uses an algorithm and key that protects the data from the attacker. The encryption practice is to transform the input (plaintext) into the output that is encrypted (ciphertext). The attacker should not be able to decipher the input (plaintext) for the data to remain protected.
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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.
The data structures facilitate the storage and access of data in a manner that is productive and efficient in its approach. The data structure is a broader term, it basically consists of organised data, data that has a relationship with each other, etc.
The data structure can also be understood in terms of linked lists and stacks. As the name implies the linked lists consist of linear data stored that is connected. These nodes represent a sequence and each node has a sequence for the next code.
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.
In order to learn blockchain knowledge of cryptonomics becomes very important. The concept of cryptonomics is a unique innovation as it removes third-party involvement while receiving the payment. Thai brings more decentralization in the money management, fund management, or investment management systems as it removes the middlemen.
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.
Smart contracts bring more automation and transparency to the processes. It makes sure that once the pre-determined conditions are met it executes the actions.
In a smart contract, the details are put in the form of a code and these codes are not arranged randomly rather there is a method or a sequence to this arrangement. So as and when these arrangements meet the requirements get fulfilled and the contract gets executed. Just like any traditional contract, there is a feature of deadline in these digital contracts as well.
The smart contract enhances the security, transparency, and accuracy of blockchain technology. The feature is advantageous and allows record-keeping, reduction of middlemen, reduction of fraudulent transactions, and many more.
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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:
The main goal of Hyperledger is to develop technologies in the cross-industry Blockchain using an open-source collaborative platform.
It was created by the Linux Foundation in the year 2016. The aim was to increase collaboration between entities across the network. It uses a ledger-based technology framework and blockchain to carry out the needful tasks.
Hyperledger is not to be confused with crytptocurrency, blockchain, or an organization rather it facilitates the building of the ecosystem, environment, or infrastructure for a successful blockchain system, etc.
There are various layers that hyperledger uses, such as-
- Consensus layer
- Communication layer
- Smart layer
EOS stands for Electro-Optical System. 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.
EOS is a platform based on blockchain that facilitates to development, building, or running the business applications. EOS provides secure and authorized access between the DApps. EOS also allows business applications to build secure, authorized applications similar to web-based applications.
EOS.IO and EOS tokens are the other two elements of EOS. The EOS.IO software controls and manages the blockchain software. Whereas, the EOS tokens as the name suggests are the cryptocurrency of the EOS.
EOS has certain features that make the work easier for the developer such as self-describing interfaces, interface development, etc. These features make the application development and management smoother.
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.
NEO is used to fully digitise the assets available on a platform to achieve the goal of a smart economy. In order for this to happen, smart contracts play a big role in the process.
A digital asset is a term that holds a broader perspective. It is not only used for the digital assets buts also for the physical assets that have been tokenized on the blockchain during transfer.
NEO supports transparency and security for digital assets. The assets enjoy protection validated by the digital identity and protection given to them. It has two tokens and NEO gas is used to pay for the transactions happening on the blockchain.
Ethereum is used to create digital and secure technology. It has tokens that can be used on the blockchain technology platform. It allows the functions to be decentralised that are secure to be used. It is one of the reasons why Ethereum is used by blockchain developers.
The platform of Ethereum has a native cryptocurrency that is ETH or ether. Ethereum is a blockchain technology-powered platform where ether is the currency of Ethereum.
Also read, Blockchain career and its future growth
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.
The blockchain contains data that is huge in amount and should not be compromised. The blockchain has an inherent feature that is secure, decentralized, and transparent.
There are various types of blockchain that are private, public, permissioned, or permissionless. A blockchain engineer needs to be aware of various types of existing blockchains and the potential threats to them.
There are various types of attacks that blockchain technology is prone to. The following are potential threats to blockchain technology-
- Phishing attack
- Sybil attacks
- Routing attacks
- 51% attacks
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 XDC Network, Stellar, Quorum, OpenChain, R3 Corda, Ripple, Ethereum, and Hyperledger Fabric are some of the excellent blockchain platforms that a beginner can start to learn about.
The companies choose which type of blockchain platform they require depending upon various factors such as the development platform, the type of platform that is required, languages required to develop the platform, scalability solution required, smart contracts usability, etc.
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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.
Blockchain can impact businesses’ growth by providing more secure, transparent, and traceable data. Blockchain technology cuts the cost by removing the intermediaries.
In today’s times, blockchain technology is rising and giving opportunities to professionals to grow. Due to the demand for technology, there are many resources to get oneself educated, so the age-old question of how to learn blockchain technology seems to be fazing away.
The professionals are paid very high in this field for the skills, expertise, and scientific mind they bring. The blockchain developer salary ranges from 2.4 LPA to 20.7 LPA and the average salary is 6.5LPA (Source). The figures may vary depending on the skills, experience, and upskilling history.
There are various career opportunities available in the blockchain field, such as-
- Blockchain Developer
- Blockchain Solutions Architect
- Blockchain Project Manager
- Blockchain Legal Consultant
- Blockchain Quality Engineer
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 Advanced certificate program in blockchain technology.
Which is the best cryptocurrency and why?
Choosing the best might be subjective, but the cryptocurrency with the largest market share is Bitcoin. On January 3, 2022, it had a market value of over 900 billion dollars. The main reason for its success is that it was the first to implement and enjoy all the benefits of blockchain technology. It has become a strong currency comparable to real national currencies. It is more flexible than any other currency and is easier to trade. The accepted places are also innumerable with a higher market share, making it easier to spend and trade.
Why should I become a blockchain developer?
Blockchain is in its earlier stages of development, so you have more opportunities to succeed in this field. The blockchain sector of the market is snowballing and has more potential than most other sectors. It is more reliable than other technologies, and its innovative technology allows developers to create creative applications. Similarly, with how different and new blockchain technology is, it has not been explored thoroughly, letting most developers be a part of the initial discovery stage.
How does blockchain work?
Blockchain is a distributed database that gives you secure, transparent, and tamper-proof transactions. It is built on the principles of cryptography and provides for participants to track information without the need for a central authority. The blockchain database is maintained by a network of computers connected to the internet. These computers are known as nodes. The blockchain database is split into blocks containing several transactions. When a new block is created, it is added to the end of the blockchain and is verified by the other nodes in the network. This verification process is known as consensus. Once a block is confirmed, it can't be tampered with or changed. This secure and transparent system allows for participants to track information without the need for a central authority. Transactions are verified by the network of nodes, which prevents any single party from controlling the blockchain.
Is blockchain coding hard?
Is it too late to learn blockchain?
No, it is not at all late to learn blockchain. The technology has already made its way into the system and there is still so much growth that this technology will be seeing in the coming years. The possibilities of blockchain applications are renewing with each passing day and with the professional growth in this field is also reaching new heights.
Are blockchain skills in demand?
Yes definitely, the skills required in blockchain are in demand and because of multiple applications, the skills are not confined to blockchain only rather they are of use in various fields as well.
Do you need programming knowledge for blockchain?
What is the salary of a blockchain developer?
The blockchain developer salary ranges from 2.4 LPA to 20.7 LPA and the average salary is 6.5LPA
Is blockchain difficult to learn?
The technology appears to be as very tough and not easily understandable but it is not the case. It may not be the easiest technology to learn but it is not the hardest as well. With the right attitude and aptitude, technology can be learned. The aspirants would require proper guidance and foundations for them to work upon. Also, with the right amount of skillsets and experience the technology becomes easier to learn.
Is blockchain development a good career?
Yes, blockchain development is a very good career to make in today’s times. There is a huge demand globally and nationally. The developers with good skills and experience are paid high. There are good employers in the market who are giving competitive salaries to blockchain professionals. Also, this field is not confined to one country so the developers can make a career anywhere in the world they find good opportunities.