Blockchain engineers help create and maintain decentralized digital databases, or blockchains, to store and share information, securely, transparently, and without intermediaries. What does a blockchain developer do?
What is Blockchain?
A blockchain system is a data layer for applications of different types. That is, a database on which programs can be executed. However, blockchain is very different from other database technologies.
The storage units in the blockchain are called blocks, which make up chains with each other. In this sense, blockchain differs from other databases because the blocks make up chains with specific characteristics:
- Decentralized network, without intermediaries (peer-to-peer or P2P): each participant in the network has a copy of the information stored in the block chain.
- Transparent: all the operations carried out in the blockchain can be consulted and verified by any participant in the network.
- Secure: The blockchain uses cryptographic methods to protect information so that only authorized users can access it.
- Incorruptible: the data stored on the blockchain cannot be changed. Each block contains information such as a timestamp and links to the previous block, making it possible to follow the blockchain and thus have access to all the information that has been recorded.
- Consensus-based architecture: In order to validate a transaction and add it to the blockchain, network participants (called “nodes”) must reach a consensus on its validity.
- Computational power with distributed ledgers: Network participants (nodes) contribute their processing power to validate transactions and add them to the blockchain.
The common principle behind blockchain technology is that it allows two or more parties to agree on the existence of something without the need for a third party. For this reason, it allows building smart contracts, which are easily verifiable and highly reliable, without intermediaries
This technology has gained a lot of popularity thanks to cryptocurrencies and bitcoin, but the world of blockchain technology goes much further.
The blockchain technologies that will sound familiar to you are as follows:
Which blockchain does Bitcoin use?
Bitcoin’s blockchain is a distributed, public ledger that records bitcoin transactions. The system is reinforced with complex mining processes to ensure the integrity of transactions occurring on it.
Which blockchain do NFTs use?
NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are all the rage right now and are non-interchangeable units of data stored on the Ethereum blockchain.
The Job of a Blockchain Engineer
A blockchain engineer is in charge of designing the security and the architecture of a blockchain system.
Blockchain has a wide range of potential applications, from tracking the provenance of food and other goods to speeding up the processing of financial transactions.
In essence, a blockchain developer will create a foundation for the blockchain system upon which others will then build upon.
Is there a demand for blockchain developers? According to Glassdoor, the demand for blockchain-based jobs showed an increase of almost 300% in 2019 as compared to the previous year. And since Blockchain technologies have surged in popularity, it’s safe to say that there is a growing demand for blockchain developers.
Which blockchain has the most developers? According to a report published by Electric Capital, Ethereum has the most blockchain developers, with a total of 3,920 in 2021.
Responsibilities of a Blockchain developer
The primary job of a blockchain developer is to ensure that the blockchain system is secure and efficient. They work with different stakeholders to ensure that the blockchain system meets their needs.
However, not all Blockchain developers fulfill the same functions. Broadly speaking, there are two types of blockchain developers: the software developer and the core blockchain developer.
A core blockchain developer is responsible for the security and architecture of a blockchain system. These developers create the foundation on which software developers can build decentralized applications (dapps) and web applications. A central developer also handles modeling, design, and 3D content development.
The responsibilities of a blockchain developer depend on the project they are involved in.
However, in general, the most common responsibilities include:
- Formulating blockchain protocols
- Developing the back-end based on established protocols
- Design and implement the Blockchain network architecture
- Develop and monitor smart contracts
- Integrate the Blockchain solution with other solutions
- Coordinate functionality testing and QA of the solution
- Create graphical interface according to customer requirements
Blockchain Engineer Skills
A Blockchain developer is well versed in blockchain technology and how it works. They are also familiar with blockchain development languages like Solidity, C++, Golang, and Java, as well as other protocol development languages.
The handling of application programming interfaces (APIs) is also a very important skill for a Blockchain developer as is the ability to work with P2P networks.
Blockchain developers are experienced in back-end development and data structures and are also familiar with large codebases. Another essential skill that a Blockchain developer has is the management of consensus algorithms. These algorithms are what ensure that all network participants agree on the state of the blockchain. In fact, these algorithms are what allow blockchains to be decentralized and work without intermediaries.
In terms of soft skills, blockchain developers have advanced analytical and problem-solving skills and are exceptionally organized. They also have a good attention to detail and possess strong communication and collaboration skills.
What skills are required to be a blockchain developer?
- Knowledge of blockchain technology
- Familiarity with blockchain development languages like Solidity, C++, Golang, and Java
- Handling of application programming interfaces (APIs)
- Ability to work with P2P networks
- Experience in back-end development and data structures
- Familiarity with large codebases
- Management of consensus algorithms
- Advanced analytical skills
- Good problem-solving skills
- Organizing skills
- Attention to detail
- Strong communication skills
- Good collaboration skills
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How do you become a blockchain engineer?
A Blockchain developer usually has a Bachelor’s degree in systems engineering, computing, or a related field. They also have some form of experience in software programming.
There are now training programs and certifications focused on Blockchain technology that can be very useful for entry-level developers or those who want to transition from another field to Blockchain development.
Some of these programs/courses are as follows:
- Oxford Blockchain Strategy Program
- Become a Blockchain Developer
- Blockchain Specialization
- Ethereum and Solidity: The Complete Developer’s Guide
According to talent.com, a junior blockchain developer can earn around $121,875 whereas a senior developer can earn around $180,000. The national average salary for a developer is $146,250.
In the UK, the salary range of a blockchain developer is £36,000 – £84,000 whereas in Germany, the range is €17,880 – €61,800.
What is the salary range for blockchain developers?
|US||$121,875 – $180,000|
|UK||£36,000 – £84,000|
|Germany||€17,880 – €61,800|
How much do freelance blockchain developers make?
The average freelancer hourly rate of a blockchain developer is $90. Considering an 8-hour working day, the daily rate would be around $720 (freelancermap price index – April 2022).