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Blockchain appeared as a revolutionary technology that changed the world of online payments and introduced new standards of online security. Experts from many industries have quickly noticed the opportunities blockchain gives so this technology started to develop at a rapid pace. The popularity of blockchain is a reason why blockchain developers are in great demand.
However, if you want to become a blockchain developer, you may feel confused about where to start and in what direction you should move. Therefore, we decided to help you with this article so that you can know the main benefits and challenges of becoming a blockchain developer.
Being a Blockchain Developer: The Main Advantages
Blockchain developers create and optimize blockchain protocols. There are two major types of blockchain developers: core developers and software developers. Core developers work on the architecture of a blockchain system. They design blockchain protocols, consensus protocols, and overall architecture. Core developers are also responsible for the security of a blockchain system.
Software developers have different roles because they don’t work with the architecture and the consensus design. Most blockchain software developers create decentralized applications (dApps) using the design structure that was created by core developers. Software developers also work on smart contracts.
No matter whether you decide to be a core developer or a software developer, choosing blockchain as a profession offers you a number of benefits. Here are some of the main advantages of becoming a blockchain developer.
The main reason why you may want to consider blockchain as your profession is high salaries. As the popularity of this technology grows, the salaries also grow.
According to statistics, an average blockchain developer’s salary is comparable with that of an AI developer. In the U.S., blockchain developers have an average yearly wage of
$157,893. Of course, your salary heavily depends on your experience. Junior developers usually perform supportive roles, debugging mobile applications, working on the user interface, and helping with front-end development. Even though a junior blockchain developer’s salary is lower, it’s still impressive. For instance, in the United States, junior blockchain developers get an annual average salary of about
The main reason why blockchain is so popular is that it offers a reliable and secure method of storing information and making transactions.
According to research, about 90% of American and European banks study blockchain or try to adopt it in a certain way. Secure payments, however, are not the only reason why blockchain is such a huge trend.
For instance, as the Internet of Things becomes more and more popular, companies from this niche are also actively adopting blockchain. Given that security is one of the main concerns when it comes to IoT devices, blockchain becomes one of the most promising solutions.
Huge demand on the market
The blockchain industry develops at a rapid pace so the demand for blockchain developers also increases all the time. Besides, blockchain development requires you to possess impressive coding skills and to understand the specifics of this area, which is a reason why experienced blockchain developers have plenty of opportunities to get a job in a successful tech company or promising startup.
It is challenging but interesting
To become a blockchain developer, you should not only be good at coding but also know blockchain architecture, data structures, cryptography, and web development. This area is very challenging but nevertheless interesting because you can learn many skills and get a lot of knowledge in different areas.
You can teach others
Many blockchain developers are self-taught, and if you’re an experienced developer, you can share your knowledge with others. Many beginners will appreciate an opportunity to learn for a professional who can tell them what to focus on and set the right direction for their professional growth.
You may be a partial owner of a cryptocurrency if you are lucky enough to work in a promising startup
Many blockchain startups have their own cryptocurrencies, and if you become a part of a blockchain team at the very beginning, you can also get an opportunity to become a successful cryptocurrency investor or a partial owner.
You may contribute to other trending technologies that are used with blockchain
Not so long ago, blockchain had only been used for financial transactions. Today, it serves as the basis for many decentralized applications. Blockchain helps companies from different industries store data of any kind and make numerous processes safer in terms of digital security. The Internet of Things is just one of many examples of areas where blockchain is expected to become extremely important. For instance,
Steem is the first blockchain-based social media platform.
How to Become a Blockchain Developer?
Although getting a formal education may not be the fastest way to learn blockchain development, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider such an option. Some universities offer courses related to blockchain development. For example, there is a
Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies online course from Princeton, as well as various courses offered by
Blockchain at Berkeley — an off-campus organization created by students.
However, you should be ready for the fact that you will have to learn a lot by yourself. As we’ve already mentioned above, blockchain developers should possess different skills and be familiar with different areas, including cryptography, front-end, and back-end development. Fortunately, there are many useful materials on the internet, including tutorials and tools that can help you not only learn the theory of blockchain but also use your knowledge in practice.
First, you should learn the basics of blockchain programming and cryptography. You should understand what decentralization is, the difference between public and private types of blockchain, as well as the specifics of the decision-making, and different types of consensus. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with popular decentralized applications and Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) solutions, like Ethereum Enterprise, Hyperledger, etc.
Even though blockchain now has numerous applications, we recommend that you don’t forget about cryptocurrencies, which still remain the most common use case of blockchain. For example, you may benefit from checking out different crypto exchanges. There’s no need to invest or trade cryptocurrencies, you just have to understand how cryptocurrencies work.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with blockchain, you can start to create your own blockchain-based applications. For example, you can learn
Solidity — an object-oriented language that is used to create smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. There are also many blockchain platforms and applications that are based on the open-source code so you can easily access and study it.
Creating a blockchain is not an easy process, and it requires you to address a number of issues, including resource management, security isolation, and performance. To build your own blockchain, you should follow these six steps:
Obviously, you should also learn smart contracts to be able to develop decentralized applications. Smart contracts help automate numerous tasks, and they can also expand the functionality of blockchain-based solutions.
Why It Is Difficult to Be a Blockchain Developer
First of all, becoming a blockchain developer is difficult because you have to learn a lot and to master completely different skills. While software developers only need to write code, blockchain developers have to deal with a variety of different tasks, including resource management and security. Besides, developing distributed applications is challenging by itself.
“It’s hard to develop and test software that runs on one computer, and it’s even harder to create software that involves a network of computers,”
explains Ann Patterson, a front-end developer at
Pick The Writer. For instance, the way computers operate is a reason why the developers have the term “heisenbug.” Such bugs change their behavior when you try to test them. When developing decentralized applications you may deal with heisenbugs quite often.
The development of distributed applications is also associated with another type of bug, which is called “mandlebug.” Such bugs are so complex that when you observe them, they seem like complete chaos. Such causes are too obscure, and fixing these bugs can take a lot of time. However, mandlebugs are not the only weird challenge associated with blockchain development. You may also experience so-called “schrödinbugs.”
“Just like Schrodinger’s cat that isn’t dead nor alive until you open the box, these bugs also remain unnoticeable until the end-user starts to use the application,”
It’s important to mention that these types of bugs are not blockchain-specific. You can deal with such bugs when developing non-distributed software, as well. However, they become an even bigger problem when creating decentralized applications. Therefore, testing, developing, and supporting such applications becomes an even more difficult and expensive task.
How Fast The Cryptocurrency Trend Will Develop
Although cryptocurrencies appeared not so long ago, they have already made a significant impact on different areas of business and introduced new ways of funding and investment. In late 2017, cryptocurrencies were one of the most discussed topics. After the cost of Bitcoin
reached $20,000, more and more people started to invest in cryptocurrencies and to learn blockchain development.
The main feature of cryptocurrencies that made them so popular is security. Advanced encryption and the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies make them the safest tool for online payments. Blockchain is self-regulated and absolutely independent. There is no third party that could access your sensitive information, steal, or change it. At the same time, cryptocurrency transactions are completely transparent so that everyone can check records without being able to access personal information.
Cryptocurrencies also created many investment opportunities, which is another reason why cryptocurrency projects became so popular and started to grow so quickly. On the one hand, the cryptocurrency market is extremely volatile. On the other hand, if you understand its underlying principles, you can invest in cryptocurrency startups and make cryptocurrency trading your source of income. Besides, the volatility issues may not be so serious in the future, given that the cryptocurrency market is being more regulated now.
Now let’s take a look at the current trends in the blockchain world.
Let’s be honest: cryptocurrencies and blockchain don’t surprise people anymore. Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain used to be buzzwords that needed clear and detailed explanations. Now, there are many sources on the internet that can help you understand what cryptocurrencies are, and even teach you to create your own cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies became a part of our everyday lives so people are not afraid of them anymore, and even governments start to look for opportunities to use cryptocurrencies, instead of simply banning them and considering them a threat to traditional currencies.
Given that people know more about blockchain, there are fewer scammers who ask careless users to invest money in fake cryptocurrencies and projects. If you see a new token or coin, you can quickly get all the necessary information about it on the internet, including its origin and market cap.
As cryptocurrencies become more common in our everyday lives, they become a trusted payment method. For instance, many well-known companies allow customers to pay for their products and services with Bitcoins. Bitcoin is already considered a legit payment method by Microsoft, Tesla, Apple, McDonald’s, and more than 75,000 retailers on Shopify.
More and more companies from different industries start to appreciate the benefits of using blockchain. Cryptocurrencies are recognized not only by well-known companies but also by governments. For instance, now Americans have to pay taxes on their cryptocurrency earnings because cryptocurrencies are considered a form of property. Besides, now you can use ATMs to turn your crypto savings into cash. There are more than
8,200 cryptocurrency ATMs in the world, and six new ATMs are installed every day.
Blockchain plus IoT
The Internet of Things makes our lives easier in many ways. Smart houses and smart assembly lines are just two examples of complex systems of interconnected devices that need little to no control from humans. However, many experts emphasize a huge drawback of IoT: if particular devices from the systems are hacked, the whole network can be compromised. This is a reason why
IoT companies explore opportunities to use blockchain as data storage. Thanks to blockchain, IoT ecosystems can become virtually impossible to hack. Besides, blockchain enables automated micro-transactions.
Blockchain plus ML and AI
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are technologies that help us process massive amounts of data. The success of AI-based solutions to a large extent depends on the volume and accuracy of data. Blockchain is the most secure way to store data because no one can change it once it’s been recorded. As a result, blockchain can make AI-based software more reliable.
More blockchain startups (and more failures)
Blockchain evolves quickly but it’s important to keep in mind that this technology is still somewhat immature and it needs more time to become flawless. Not all startups that experiment with blockchain will succeed. People who invest in blockchain startups should manage their expectations because many of such startups will inevitably fail.
Venezuela, Dubai (UAE), the Marshall Islands, and Tunisia already have their national cryptocurrencies. Even though China and some other countries still try to ban cryptocurrencies, the wide adoption of Bitcoin might make them change their minds. Many countries, including
Switzerland, Japan, and Russia already consider using Bitcoin as an official payment method or develop their own cryptocurrencies.
High demand for blockchain specialists
Obviously, the demand for blockchain developers will continue to grow. The freelance database
Upwork reports a quickly increasing demand for developers that have blockchain-related skills. Even though this niche is quite challenging and not easy to enter, you certainly won’t regret becoming a blockchain expert.
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are no longer just buzzwords. Blockchain is already used in different industries, and cryptocurrencies are getting recognition from official institutions. Some countries already have or develop their own cryptocurrencies, and it makes sense to expect even more countries to do the same in the nearest future.
Given that blockchain allows individuals and companies to store data of any kind, it can help us address many security issues, including identity theft. If you store your personal information in a blockchain, nobody will be able to change it. Blockchain also offers countless opportunities for trade because it not only enables easy and secure payments but also helps eliminate third parties and increase transparency thanks to self-executing smart contracts.
Given that cryptocurrency transactions are completely transparent, blockchain can also help fight corruption, which is an especially important issue for developing countries. The advantages of blockchain are hard to overestimate so if you want to become a blockchain developer, you’ll get numerous career opportunities.
Even though learning blockchain is a time-consuming and difficult task, the result certainly won’t disappoint you. Blockchain developers are advanced people in the IT industry, and they are in great demand.
About the author
John Edwards is a writing specialist who works at The Writing Judge and Pick The Writer. He is looking for ways of self-development in the field of writing and blogging. New horizons in his beloved business always attract with their varieties of opportunities. Therefore, it is so important for him to do the writing.
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