Over the past few years, we all are witnessing the emergence of Blockchain technology and its potential use cases. Industries are looking for real-world solutions based on blockchain networks. The blockchain industry is expected to reach $163.83 billion with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 56.3% by 2029. With each passing day, blockchain is gaining ground by introducing more technological solutions like DeFi, NFT marketplaces, security tokens, crypto exchange development, and more.
However, there is still a gap between the increasing demand for cryptocurrency-based projects and the practical implementation and the reason is a lack of knowledge and talent in blockchain platform development.
If you have also identified the scope and need of blockchain developers in the industry, you might be looking for an all-in-one guide to getting started on your journey. This article helps you understand the prerequisites and steps you need to become a blockchain developer.
Before diving deep into the responsibilities of a blockchain developer, it is important to discuss the prerequisites in which the very first thing is to know what blockchain technology is.
Blockchain is a decentralized distributed ledger technology with key properties of transparency, immutability, security, reduced costs, traceability, and efficiency. Generally, blockchain keeps track of records of all the transactions that take place in the network. Each block in the blockchain holds details of a transaction. All blocks are chained together with strong cryptographic hash functions that ensure security. Blockchain technology works on certain consensus algorithms for example Proof of Work (PoW), Proof of Stake (PoS), Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT), etc.
While developing a blockchain application, a blockchain developer has to choose the suitable blockchain technology, time, and solution based on the project/use case.
Role of a Blockchain Developer
First thing first i.e. strong programming skills. The core of blockchain development is programming on which a blockchain developer should have some hands-on experience. Blockchain applications are built using smart contracts that are run on the network to automate certain tasks. A blockchain developer:
- Should have an understanding of blockchain protocols and architecture
- Knows how 3D models and designs work
- Designs the blockchain protocols
- Develops the backend functionality as per the client's requirements
- Develops interactive frontend
- Writes, monitors, and tests the smart contracts
- Develops operating architecture
- Performs complex software analysis to build an application architecture
The industry categorizes blockchain developers into two; Blockchain Software Developers and Core Blockchain Developers. So let’s discuss the role of each separately. A core blockchain developer, as the name suggests, is responsible for designing the security and blockchain architecture. Whereas a blockchain software developer then starts building functionality on that built infrastructure.
Checklist to Get Started with your Blockchain Development Journey
This section gives a step-by-step guide on how you can start your journey as a blockchain developer.
Strong Academic Background
To become a proficient blockchain developer, one should have a strong academic background in mathematics or computer science. We know blockchain development requires programming skills for which knowledge of information technology, programming techniques, and know-how of blockchain technology is important.
Learn the Basics
Get some theoretical knowledge of blockchain architecture and its functionality. Learn how it is serving industries and what real-world use cases have been implemented. Do the needful research for the latest work and companies adopting blockchain technology in their regular operational workflow. Basics would help you understand the importance and scope of blockchain technology.
Build Technical Skills
Blockchain technology is getting more advanced with each passing day. If we talk about the generic architecture and workflow of blockchain, it is not that simple. One should have a clear knowledge of the components of blockchain, what data it stores, how the blocks are connected, how consensus algorithms work, and how to create and connect smart contracts. For all these requirements, technical skills are critically important for blockchain developers to learn.
Other than this, the technical skills cover knowledge of:
Programming Languages: Each blockchain technology supports a certain programming language. For instance, the Ethereum blockchain platform uses Solidity Programming Language to code smart contracts.
Networking and Data Storage: In blockchain technology, data is stored in nodes/blocks. Therefore, one should know how to store data and connect the nodes.
Security: Blockchain security is an important topic. The blockchain contains confidential information of users which needs to be protected from unauthorized access. For this, blockchain makes use of cryptographic security mechanisms through which data is encrypted to protect it from cyberattacks.
Blockchain Technologies & DApps
In the past few years, many blockchain technologies have been introduced. You might have heard about some popular and open source blockchain platforms such as Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric. There are many more blockchain application platforms gaining ground with real-time and secure blockchain solutions. Some of them include Avalanche, Chainalysis KYT, and Cardano. Get knowledge of other blockchain technologies that are trending and what types of projects have been built already. All these details can help you understand the most appropriate blockchain technology for certain projects.
Similarly, learn about Decentralized Applications (DApps) in which smart contracts are used to automate business functions. DApps or decentralized blockchain platforms eliminate the need for central authorities and intermediaries. The workflow is automated, increases transaction speed, and introduces efficiency. Companies are building DApps to regulate their daily operations without involving any third party.
Learn About Smart Contracts
Blockchain applications are programmed using smart contracts. You might understand the importance of learning smart contracts if you want to become a blockchain developer. Smart contracts execute the functionality in blockchain networks. They simplify the transactions between the participants and reduce the additional cost.
For a better understanding of blockchain development, taking courses or enrolling in blockchain programs is the ultimate solution. You can learn the use cases and their implementation in blockchain networks. The small modules and their execution help you design a blueprint in your mind and you can try and test it yourself. Blockchain Theory 101 and Blockchain Fundamentals are some of the popular blockchain courses. These courses teach you the basic concepts of blockchain-based platforms, their use cases, and technical implementations.
Start Practicing and Building Projects
Getting some hands-on experience is the next step. You have learned all the theoretical concepts and now the most important thing is to start practicing what you've earned. Start with small blockchain development projects to clear your concepts practically. Watch tutorials and learn programming languages and their usage for blockchain technologies. For instance, if you are building a project on Ethereum, learn the Solidity programming language.
So, Are You Ready?
Understanding and upskilling help you build your career. One important thing to note is that blockchain technology is evolving rapidly. Businesses are keen to employ blockchain-based solutions to streamline their operations. Whether it is the healthcare industry, real estate, finance, payments, or supply chain management, blockchain technology turns out to offer state-of-the-art solutions. In this competitive environment, the scope of blockchain technology is clear.
So, plan your career in blockchain development with this guide. I hope the steps discussed in this article would help you identify the gaps and navigate through your goals. Make a checklist with a timeline. Best of luck with your blockchain development journey!
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