Blockchain development is one of the fastest-growing sectors. Companies are looking for blockchain developers to make new implementations, advance their current systems, and get ahead in the industry.
That’s why it’s the best time to become a blockchain developer. Thinking, how to become a blockchain developer, to start this journey, you should first learn the necessary blockchain developer skills you must have. In this article, we’ll discuss the same. So, let’s get started:
A Brief Look at Blockchain Developers
Today blockchain applications transforming the world of technology. Blockchain developers handle the entire life cycle of a blockchain application. This means you’ll be responsible for the research as well as the execution of the application.
They create the architecture of the system, make smart contracts, and optimize the protocols. As you must’ve guessed by now, they handle a lot of responsibilities, and that’s why they need to learn many blockchain skills.
There are other professionals, too, who help a blockchain developer in their tasks, such as a blockchain engineer.
Types of Blockchain Developers
Blockchain developers are of two kinds:
- Blockchain software developer
- Core blockchain developer
They both are involved in blockchain development but have different responsibilities. We’ll take a look at them to get a brief idea of what they do.
Blockchain software developers build applications based on blockchain architecture and protocol. Their apps run on the blockchain too. You can compare them with web developers, who use the products of a web architect (protocol and design) to develop web applications.
Blockchain software developers create Dapps or decentralized applications. They are responsible for the front-end as well as back-end development of Dapps. They also supervise the stack that runs the Dapps.
These developers focus on the architecture development of a blockchain system. They design their consensus protocol and make most of the vital decisions related to blockchain. They supervise the network and design the architecture of the same. Core blockchain developers are responsible for the security of their blockchain network as well.
Blockchain Developer Skills
As you must’ve noticed, blockchain developers have many responsibilities. To handle those responsibilities well, they need to possess a few skills as well. Here are the primary blockchain developer skills you should have to become one:
Cryptography is the study of protocols that prevent unwanted parties from accessing your data. There are many essential concepts in cryptography you should be familiar with as you’ll need them during blockchain development.
For example, public-key cryptography is a crucial topic of blockchain. It forms the basis for the transactions we make through cryptocurrencies.
To make transactions of cryptocurrencies, you’ll need to have a wallet and the key to that wallet. That key proves your ownership of the wallet, that’s why it’s essential. Save transactions of cryptocurrencies take place through encryption and decryption of public and private keys.
Another essential concept of Cryptography is cryptographic hashing. Hashing refers to producing an output of a specific length from an input of any length. The hash function could have information with 20 characters or 200 characters, but its output would only be of the length you’ve chosen.
Certainly, cryptography is vital for the proper workings of blockchain technology. You should learn about it and its various aspects, including the topics we’ve discussed here. With its knowledge, you’ll be able to keep your blockchain data safe.
Since the day Ethereum entered the market, smart contracts have become a popular term in the blockchain industry. Almost every blockchain solution wants to use smart contracts for their benefit. So you can see how powerful this technology is.
Smart contracts let two parties exchange goods or services without needing an intermediary. You can compare smart contracts with a vending machine. You put in the payment, choose the product you want, get the product along with the remaining change. There isn’t a third party involved in this transaction as it’s just you and the vending machine.
Smart contracts finish only when the involved parties fulfill both of their conditions. It’s so effective because blockchain is decentralized. This means hundreds of users monitor your smart contract, and because they work on an IF-Then basis, there’s a possibility of error.
You can use smart contracts in many areas of different industries, such as law, construction, and many others. It can remove the middlemen from contracts and help in saving money and resources.
To become a blockchain developer, you should make yourself familiar with smart contracts. It is one of the essential blockchain developer skills. Multiple languages specifically focus on smart contract development, such as Chaincode and Viper.
You’ll need to have extensive knowledge of data structures to become a blockchain developer. That’s because blockchain developers work with various data structures regularly as they have to build networks and implement them.
The entire blockchain network is made up of data structures, as even a block is a type of data structure. A block clusters transactions for the public ledger because so it is a container data structure, whereas the public ledger is the blockchain.
A block also contains a header, and the former is around 10,000x larger than the latter. As you can see, data structures are the fundamental concept of blockchain. You’ll need to master this topic to understand blockchain technology effectively.
Learning about data structures will ensure that you know the basics of blockchain. Having a strong foundation helps you in understanding the advanced concepts more quickly. We’ve already mentioned cryptography; you’ll be using both of these technologies to build reliable, useful, and secure solutions.
To become a blockchain developer, you should be familiar with blockchain architecture. You should know what a ledger means in blockchain, what is consensus, and how smart contracts work.
Blockchain architecture has three kinds; they are:
- Consortium architecture
The consortium architecture isn’t wholly decentralized. Here, the members of a group have full authority. In these cases, the group is made up of multiple organizations. The Energy Web Foundation is a stellar example of such blockchain architecture types.
- Private architecture
In a private blockchain architecture, only a few people are part of the system. It’s a popular application within organizations. Sawtooth and Fabric are famous examples of such architecture. Another essential quality of such architecture is that they are not decentralized.
- Public architecture
Public architecture is the most decentralized type of blockchain architecture. Here, you can become a part of the network by mining or by making transactions. The most famous example of public blockchain architecture is Bitcoin, which you must’ve heard of by now.
You should read the whitepaper of bitcoin on blockchain to become familiar with this topic. It requires a little effort, but be sure that it’s worth it because you’ll get familiar with all the fundamentals and the advanced concepts altogether.
As a blockchain developer, you’ll be developing web apps in most cases. Learning web development will make you acquainted with all of its aspects, and you can use this knowledge to create robust web apps that use blockchain technology.
You’ll have to learn web design, development, and programming of apps, all of which will help you in developing better Dapps. Web development is crucial because most organizations require blockchain developers to create apps that people with no or minimal knowledge of blockchain could use. Having a vast experience of design will help you considerably in this purpose.
Languages You Must Know
Apart from the topics we’ve discussed, you should also consider learning a few programming languages. A common question among beginners is, ‘What languages should I learn to become a blockchain developer?’
The following are the main languages you should learn as a part of your blockchain skills:
Java is popular among blockchain developers because of many qualities. It’s easy to learn, but it’s capable of developing many complex solutions. NEM, a popular cryptocurrency is based on Java. Java has more than 9 million developers as a part of its community. Moreover, it’s been present in the industry since 1995.
C++ is a popular language among blockchain developers. You can perform a lot of tasks related to the blockchain with its help. The creators used C++ to create bitcoin core, so it’s certainly a must-have for any aspiring blockchain developer.
Python is among the most popular programming languages on the planet. It’s versatile, and its various libraries enable you to use it for both front-end as well as back-end development. That’s why you should make yourself familiar with Python as well.
Python has a significant community of more than 4 million developers. Such a thriving and supportive community can help you out with many problems and doubts.
Learn Blockchain Developer Skills
Becoming a blockchain developer is quite easy. If you want to learn more about this topic, you can browse through our blog. If you’re going to start a career in this field, you can take a course in blockchain and give yourself a solid head start.
What do you think of blockchain skills? Out of the skills we’ve mentioned above, which one would you learn first? 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.