The first peer-to-peer transaction system, Bitcoin, was released in 2009 while Ethereum, the first blockchain smart contract platform, only came out in 2015. The word ‘blockchain’ itself was only popularized in 2016.
The industry is barely a decade old. Blockchain developers are still few and far between. Meanwhile, demand has skyrocketed in recent years as both governments and private entities invest in this technology — and it’ll keep growing.
According to the 2023 Blockchain Service Global Market Report, the blockchain industry is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 43.2%, going from a market size of $3.28 billion in 2022 to $4.7 billion in 2023 to $19.76 billion in 2027.
Blockchain development is one of the best career paths you can take in 2023.
Here, you’ll learn what blockchain developers do, how to become one and make money, what the most important programming languages are, and more.
TL;DR — Key Takeaways on How to Make Money as a Blockchain Developer
- Blockchain developers build and maintain blockchain systems’ architecture and applications within existing blockchain platforms.
- There’s high demand for blockchain developers but few professionals, leading to lots of opportunities and high salaries.
- The most important step towards becoming a blockchain developer is to put in the time and effort to learn several tech skills.
- Networking and getting hands-on experience will massively help you land a blockchain developer job in the future.
What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain is an immutable and transparent database that’s shared between the nodes of a computer network and that can be used to track and trade anything.
What Does a Blockchain Developer Do?
Blockchain software developers design, build, and maintain the front and back end of applications within existing blockchain platforms. They also ensure that the blockchain is efficient, secure, and scalable.
Core blockchain developers develop and maintain the architecture of blockchain systems by building protocols, security patterns, and more.
Blockchain engineers can do everything developers do, but they usually have more responsibilities, such as:
- Leading a team
- Building physical infrastructure to host the blockchain
- Maintaining cybersecurity
- Working closely with organizations to build tailor-made solutions
Top 3 Benefits of Becoming a Blockchain Developer
For starters, it’s incredibly rewarding to work in an emerging industry. Plus, some blockchain developers love that they can work remotely.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are the top three benefits of becoming a blockchain developer:
1. Make the Most of First-Mover Advantage
Like other technological innovations in the past, the first ones to move into the space will have an advantage.
This happens because, when a new industry emerges, there’s a lack of specialized professionals and it’s much easier to solve problems, innovate, and be a pioneer.
In 2023, you still have a window of opportunity to get ahead, which leads us to the next benefit — there are still plenty of career opportunities you can snatch.
2. Less Competition in the Job Market = More Career Opportunities for You
The Blockchain Council reported that “The global shortage of blockchain developers has created a huge opportunity for IT professionals” and added that “the demand for skilled developers will only grow.”
There’s already a lack of blockchain developers. On top of that, the industry will grow at an annual compound rate of 43.2% until 2027.
This has created a highly favorable job market for anyone with the skills and eagerness needed to thrive in this fast-evolving industry.
3. You’ll Get a High Salary
Blockchain is a new industry but the good ol’ law of supply and demand still stands — when demand exceeds supply, prices rise.
There’s a shortage of blockchain developers, meaning companies have to pay high salaries to attract qualified employees.
According to Web3.Career, the minimum salary for a blockchain developer is $60,000, the average is $125,000, and the maximum is $250,000.
How to Become a Blockchain Developer and Make Money in 5 Steps
If you have an education or experience in any computer science or information technology field, becoming a blockchain developer isn’t that hard. If you don’t, it’s still doable; just know you’ll have to put in more effort.
Without further ado, here are the five general steps you need to take to become a blockchain developer and make money.
1. Learn Tech Skills
This is the most important step towards becoming a blockchain developer. Here are some of the technical skills you need to master:
- Programming languages (we’ll go over the five most important programming languages for blockchain developers next)
- Data structures
- Databases and networking
- Blockchain architecture
- Cryptography and hashing
- Smart contracts and Solidity
- DApps and Ethereum
Here are some top-rated online courses to learn blockchain tech skills:
- Web3 and Blockchain Fundamentals
- Blockchain Basics
- Blockchain Platforms
- Decentralized Applications (Dapps)
- Smart Contracts
- Data Structures
- Introduction to Applied Cryptography Specialization
2. Work on Your Soft Skills
The collaborative nature of Web3 makes it more important than ever to have soft skills such as good communication and collaboration. Problem-solving and time-management skills are indispensable as well.
Here are some top-rated online courses that’ll help you develop soft skills:
- Teamwork Skills: Communicating Effectively in Groups
- High-Performance Collaboration: Leadership, Teamwork, and Negotiation
- Creative Thinking: Techniques and Tools for Success
- Problem-Solving Using Computational Thinking
- Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity
3. Connect With Others in the Industry & Get a Mentor
Connecting with others in the blockchain sphere will allow you to learn from them, stay motivated, and make vital connections that can help you land a job in the future.
Getting a mentor is optional, but having someone who can guide you through this journey is incredibly helpful.
4. Get Hands-On Experience
Most people find it easier to learn by doing. Once you know the basics, start getting hands-on experience.
If you need help, you can always ask your newfound Web3 friends or find answers on Google.
5. Make Money as a Blockchain Developer
Now that you have the skills needed, connections in the industry, and some hands-on experience, it should be easy to land a job in:
- A mainstream company like Microsoft, PayPal, IBM, or Amazon
- A tech company like Apple, Samsung, or Huawei
- A startup like Kraken, Binance, or Coinbase
- A government agency
Here are some places where you can find blockchain developer jobs:
Top 5 Blockchain Programming Languages
To become a blockchain developer, you need to learn a few programming languages.
Here are the five most important ones and recommended courses to help you get started:
- Solidity — Solidity: Learn the Fundamentals to Become a Smart Contract Developer
- C++ — Programming in C++: A Hands-on Introduction Specialization
- Rust — Ultimate Rust Crash Course
- Clarity — Clarity Camp
Two things to keep in mind before you start learning:
- Take it easy: Learn one programming language at a time.
- Do your research: Before deciding where to start, find out what language you like the most and/or which ones have the most demand.
5 Examples of Projects a Blockchain Developer Can Do
Finally, here are five examples of blockchain projects you might end up working on as a developer:
- Creating an Ether Wallet that allows users to keep, send, and receive Ether tokens.
- Building a multi-send tool so users can send tokens to multiple people at the same time, in a single transaction.
- Setting up a vote chain, an electronic voting system built on blockchain that allows everyone to vote and see how others voted while maintaining anonymity.
- Putting together a to-do list app on the Ethereum blockchain.
- Launching a Digital Asset Marketplace (DAM) where users can invest and trade assets.
Do You Have What It Takes to Make Money as a Blockchain Developer?
To make money as a blockchain developer, you need soft skills like good communication and problem-solving. To easily land a job in the field, you should also network, get a mentor, and get hands-on experience.
But putting in the time and effort to learn several tech skills, including various programming languages, blockchain architecture, and cryptography, is by far the most important step.
No matter if you have a relevant degree or not, there are lots of free and paid online courses to help you get your new career off the ground.
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