How to become a blockchain developer: our experience and a step-by-step guide

We are increasingly approaching the long-awaited “maturity” of blockchain technology. We hear about it often, we understand its mechanisms better and better, not to mention the countless use cases. PwC said earlier this year that by 2030 the technology will be able to increase global GDP by $1.76 trillion (or 1.4% of global GDP). Staggering numbers, as are the salaries of those who are experts in the field (more on that later, I promise).
For anyone who has tasted and understood this potential, there has surely been a time when they asked themselves the fateful question: “what can I do to become a blockchain developer?”. We do not pretend to give a specific answer to such a question. However, we can give you an indication of the fundamental steps, telling you about our experience (or rather… that of our blockchain developers).

Times have changed

Technology with enormous potential

Our experience

A guide to becoming a blockchain developer

It is clear that you don’t become a blockchain developer in a day or even a month. There are compulsory deadlines to meet (which we will estimate later). It is a demanding path, made up of various steps, many of which are preparatory to tackling the subsequent ones.
Let’s start by saying that there is some prior knowledge to be had. Usually, anyone who decides to become a blockchain developer is already a programmer. Consequently, it is strongly recommended that anyone who does not have a background in programming should attend a basic course, deepening their understanding of at least one programming language (e.g. Golang or Java). Let us now focus on the first real step.

Level of specialization

Generally speaking, it is possible to distinguish between two types of blockchain developers, the core blockchain developer, and the blockchain software developer.
The core developer is responsible for the architecture and security of a blockchain system. Basically, he is responsible for:

  • configuring the consensus protocols and security patterns of the network;
  • supervising the network.
  • the development of front-end design;
  • the development of the back-end related to the blockchain;
  • testing operations to verify the correct functioning of the dApp;
  • integration with other applications or services.

Theoretical aspects

The next step concerns the in-depth study of the theoretical and structural aspects of the chosen technology. In the case of Fabric, it will be necessary to explore in detail all the official documentation, focusing on the fundamental concepts, such as channels, organizations, peers, orderers, CAs (Certificate Authorities), and in particular the typologies, the delivery mechanisms, and those of conservation of the certifications.
On the other hand, in the Ethereum context, it is advisable to focus on the development of smart contracts by studying Solidity, the main programming language used for this purpose, in-depth.
Generally speaking, these are technical and quite specific notions, especially in relation to the chosen infrastructure, but certainly not impossible to learn autonomously with a self-study approach. In any case, we recommend taking one of the many courses available, including online, to benefit from the advantage of obtaining a certificate proving that these skills have been acquired (by way of example, here is a course organized directly by IBM).
At the same time, we recommend adopting a learning-by-doing approach, combining theoretical understanding with the practical experience of creating a blockchain project, using AstraKode Blockchain (AKB), a completely free platform designed to facilitate and speed up the creation of blockchain networks and smart contracts.

Practice

The final step is to put into practice what has been learned in the previous phase.
Blockchain is a relatively complex technology, not so much because of the technical skills required but mainly because of the breadth of the technology stack needed to develop a blockchain solution (especially in the Hyperledger Fabric environment). Moreover, it is not easy to find an environment where one can freely practice notions and operations studied only at a theoretical level.
AKB has been designed to meet this need. It is a low-code platform that simplifies the whole process of creating and configuring a blockchain network using a visual development environment. In addition, the support of an integrated community, an automatic validation system (the platform itself notifies you of any errors), and the fact that it is completely free of charge, make it an ideal tool for making a significant contribution to your blockchain education.

Timeframe

Depending on the level of programming knowledge previously possessed and on the experience of our blockchain developers, we believe that a period between 4 and 6 six months is an acceptable timeframe to acquire the basic skills that will provide the opportunity to start a career within a company, as a junior blockchain developer.
In order to speed up the process and make it easier, the best solution would be to attend a course able to issue an official certification and, at the same time, apply the knowledge acquired by putting it into practice on an intuitive and completely free platform such as AstraKode Blockchain.

Sources

https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/news-room/press-releases/2020/blockchain-boost-global-economy-track-trace-trust.html

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