When And How To Hire A Blockchain Developer
Blockchain is a technology which requires proof of work or stake to automatically process transactions through algorithmic validation, in a decentralized manner. It allows for automation of transactions through smart contracts, increased transaction speed as opposed to traditional methods of cross-border payments, which often require multiple intermediaries and can take days to settle, and instant traceability.
Blockchain reduces the opportunities for fraud and unauthorized activity in permission based blockchain and generally disallows the tampering of data because the record it creates is readily available and time stamped, and at the same time encrypted end-to-end and can’t be altered. Furthermore it makes personal data pseudonymous and information is stored across a peer-to-peer network, not a single computer.
When Might You Use Blockchain Technology?
You might use a blockchain when there’s a requirement to keep a long-term, transparent record of assets (e.g. to record property or land rights) or record transactions between multiple parties. It’s particularly useful in financial operations, transportation and logistics.
For instance IBM worked with Maersk to attach sensors that track the location of cargo, transportation and port equipment. This initiative allowed cargo ships to always know what they were carrying and communicate it to ports. The data was then used to automatically fill out documents, pay customs duties, do audits, etc.
As a test case, a single batch of flowers sent from Mombasa to Europe generated more than 200 transit traffic messages between 30 organizations, which would ordinarily create a stack of documents 25 centimeters high. Using this blockchain solution, all this work can be automatically filled out and handled through the TradeLens blockchain.
Other ways blockchain technology has been used include financial and banking services, managing mobile connections, and drug testing.
What Skills Does Blockchain Development Require?
Ideally your candidate for a blockchain developer position will have some knowledge on core blockchain concepts such as smart contracts, decentralized apps (dApps), and blockchain architecture. However, the specific skills you hire for will depend upon the developer role they will be playing in the blockchain development process and what blockchain platform you are using; some companies create new layers on existing blockhains ( Ethereum, Solana, Algorand, etc ).. Will they be working on the development of smart contracts, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), doing front-end development, or will they be handling core blockchain design and architecture?
However, which of these languages you need to hire for will depend upon the blockchain platform you’re using to implement your solution. For instance, Ethereum requires knowledge of Solidity to program its smart contracts whereas Hyperledger Fabric (on which IBM blockchain runs) is written in Golang and they have a Java SDK.
If you’re looking for someone to implement core blockchain code, someone who’ll be making decisions about a blockchain system’s architecture and protocol design, you will need to look for more specialized knowledge.
To start with, they will need to deal more with data structures such as graphs, heaps, and an assortment of tree implementations — these are somewhat lower level programming skills but are still generally applicable in the world of computer engineering.
However, you will also need more specialized skills such as knowledge of cryptography and security principles. This will include using public and private keys, wallets, and digital signatures. Furthermore you will want someone who has dealt with distributed systems and peer-to-peer networks.
Owing to the distributed nature of blockchain computing, developing and testing may be difficult, and this can impact your approach to hiring. It’s relatively tricky to keep data consistent in a distributed database. Testing and debugging software that must coordinate with other software over a buggy network is complicated. Depending upon the resources of your company, it may make sense to hire a development team or contract with a group that specializes with blockchain development.
How Much is a Blockchain Developer Paid?
According to Glassdoor, blockchain developers with 1-3 years of experience earn a total compensation that amounts to $119,469 a year while ZipRecruiter reports the national average salary is $127,146. Talent.com estimates blockchain developer salaries to be quite a bit higher, with the average being $144,889, though it varies with experience. Entry level positions start at $121,875 and more experienced developers earn up to $180,000.
There are also significant regional variations according to Talent.com, with estimates for the following states:
- California: $146,250
- Colorado: $143,000
- Georgia: $175,000
- New York: $160,000
- Texas: $140,000
Where Can I Find Blockchain Developers?
Dedicated Blockchain Development Software Companies
A large number of companies, such as X-team, specialize in doing blockchain and crypto development projects. They are dedicated to working with blockchain technologies and have the skills, experience, and infrastructure to develop and test distributed applications.
To find a partner to help you with your blockchain development needs, look at resources like clutch.co or goodfirms.co with ratings and reviews as well as sorting and filtering options to find firms that fit your needs and budget. These filter options can be based on your overall budget or an hourly rate. The reviews are verified and Clutch also vets the companies they list through a verification process that will check their financial history and open-source background check.
It is true that such firms may have hidden costs and overhead, so you will need to do some vetting yourself. You can start by asking for referrals from within your own professional circle. You will want to get references and evaluate a potential partner’s past projects to ensure that even if they were not successful (as many of their clients may be start ups), it was not the blockchain company that was the point of failure. As part of the vetting process, give potential vendors “test” assignments or milestones that have a finite deliverable.
Freelance Blockchain Developers
It may be easier to find someone with the necessary skills who is involved in multiple, similar projects and is not a dedicated resource on your project. While you can use freelance sites that cater to a broader range of projects such as Upwork, Upstack, and Topttal, there are specialist sites such CryptoJobList.
Job Boards and Aggregators
If you want to hire someone full time, make sure you look at job forums dedicated towards cryptography and related technologies such as crypto.jobs and coinality.com, in addition to more general sites like indeed.com or jooble.org.
Conferences and Hackathons
Another way to find developers with particular skills necessary for blockchain development is attending a related conference or networking event. There are both global and local events you might consider attending, not only to learn more about trending technology and new innovations in the field, but also to network with potential hires.
Blockchain Global Expo and Blockchain Expo North America are examples of some of the larger events that cover the recent developments in the Blockchain ecosystem, but there are many blockchain and cryptocurrency conferences in 2022 and 2023 you should consider attending if you’re serious about learning about the space as well as finding developers with whom to work.
Similarly take a look at what is happening with hackathons on sites like DevPost or hackathon.com.
Finally, you might also consider lurking on online forums and blogs dedicated to blockchain such as Reddit, StackExchange, and Medium to see who is posting there regularly.