How to Become a Blockchain Developer? A Step-by-Step Guide [Updated]

Blockchain technology is poised to revolutionize the way the digital world handles data and does business. Initially created as a platform for supporting Bitcoin, Blockchain is demonstrating a level of versatility and security that has made many sectors of business and government take notice and begin putting it to their use.

With that in mind, it makes sense that if you want to jump into a career that has a lot of potential for growth, featuring a dynamic new technology that’s just getting started, then you should consider becoming a Blockchain developer.

If this prospect intrigues you, and you want to know how to become a Blockchain developer, then read on and find out all you need to know about this exciting and intriguing profession.

What Is a Blockchain?

A blockchain is a digital ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions across all peer-to-peer networks. And this blockchain technology is different from any other traditional transactional methods which are centralized and controlled by certain governments and groups. But this blockchain is a decentralized one, which means that this is not subject to the control of any single entity or group.

This technology benefits more businesses around the world because blockchain technology allows businesses to conduct secure transactions without involving third parties. Network nodes verify transactions and record them in a publicly dispersed ledger called a blockchain. Each node in the network updates and preserves the blockchain continuously. That's why Blockchain technology is especially known for its security, as it is very difficult to tamper with data once it has been recorded on the blockchain. Furthermore, the cryptographic hash makes it nearly impossible to alter data without it being detected. 

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What Is Blockchain Development?

Blockchain development is the process of developing and maintaining a blockchain platform. This involves creating the infrastructure that allows for the creation and management of blockchain-based applications and services, such as digital currencies, smart contracts, and distributed applications. It also involves developing the tools and technologies needed to support the platform.

A blockchain application is simply a program or platform that uses the features and benefits of a blockchain, such as security, transparency, and reliability. Blockchain development is a complex process that requires a deep understanding of the underlying technology. It also requires a firm commitment to security and scalability. Developing a blockchain platform is a major undertaking that requires significant resources and expertise.

What Does a Blockchain Developer Do?

A blockchain developer develops decentralized applications (dApps) and smart contracts based on blockchain technology, as well as understanding the architecture and protocols of the technology. They are responsible for developing 3D models, 3D designs, and 3D content such as that used in games.

The wise yet short answer to this is: a Blockchain developer develops Blockchains! Well, that was easy!

Now that we got that out of our system let’s take a serious look at what a Blockchain developer does. To best answer this question, we first need to establish that there are two different types of Blockchain developers; there’s the Core Blockchain Developer and the Blockchain Software Developer. Call them sub-divisions of Blockchain development.

Also Read: Why is Blockchain Important and Why Does it Matters?

A Core Blockchain Developer designs the security and the architecture of the proposed Blockchain system. In essence, the Core Blockchain Developer creates the foundation upon which others will then build upon.

What “others” are we referring to? That would be the Blockchain Software Developers, of course, who use the core web architecture built by the Developer to create apps, specifically the decentralized (dapps) and web varieties.

Perhaps there may be situations where the same person fulfills both roles, most likely in cases where the business is small, and people traditionally wear more than one hat. Whatever the case, the everyday responsibilities and roles of the Blockchain developer are: 

  • Design the Blockchain protocols
  • Design the network architecture that can be used for the centralizing or decentralizing the data
  • Backend development according to the Blockchain protocols
  • Developing front-end designs according to client requirements
  • Developing and monitoring any smart contracts

The Blockchain developer’s responsibility is to develop innovative solutions to challenging problems, including solutions for command and control, and high integrity. The developer also performs complex analysis, design, development, testing, and computer software debugging, specifically for distinct product hardware or for technical service lines of businesses. Develops perform software design, operating architecture integration, and computer system selection. Finally, they operate on multiple systems and apply knowledge of one or more platforms and programming languages.

Of course, obstacles are awaiting the Blockchain developer. For instance, the developer has to work with legacy infrastructure and its limitations, while still meeting the expectations inherent in a Blockchain development project. Also, there are the challenges of understanding the technical practicality of implementing decentralized cryptosystems, processes that fall outside of the traditional IT development skill-set, which means a Blockchain developer needs specialized skills.

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Also Read: Emerging Blockchain Applications Across Industries

How Does One Become a Blockchain Developer?

So, after all of that, the questions present itself: with all of these responsibilities, how does one train someone with the necessary skills to let them rise to the challenge of Blockchain development? There are two different situations at work here. There are the Blockchain hopefuls who are starting completely from scratch, having no background in programming whatsoever, and those who have experience in careers that share similarities with Blockchain.

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How to Make a Successful and Worthwhile Career as a Blockchain Developer?

In the global market, Blockchain has gained popularity due to its salient features. It is an append-only peer-to-peer network that maintains a cryptographically secure distributed ledger and that can only be updated through the consensus mechanisms such as BFT, PBFT, and so on. 

In the market, numerous IT organizations need blockchain developers. So being a blockchain developer is a smart choice because it is the most recent technology that one can master and advance in their career. 

There are two different types of blockchain developers, core and the software blockchain developers. The core blockchain developers design the protocols, maintain the existing blockchains, whereas the blockchain software developer develops new blockchain applications, NFTs, and so on. 

To become a blockchain developer, one must gain knowledge or expertise in a variety of other computer sciences and mathematical domains, such as cryptography, etc. 

1. Start With Academics

To become a blockchain developer, one must first acquire a strong academic background in computer science or mathematics. A Bachelor's or Master's degree with a specialization in a relevant topic is possible since it would be beneficial to have a good grasp of the fields of computer science, information technology, and mathematics. 

2. Get Proficient With Required Tech Skills

One needs to acquire a specific technical skills before becoming a blockchain developer, such as:

a. Programming Languages: 

To become a blockchain developer, in advance one needs to gain expertise in coding. As we have discussed earlier the different roles of a blockchain developer, there is an essential requirement for coding and developing various blockchain applications

b. Data Structures: 

Learning Data Structures strengthen your skill of understanding the problems at a wide level and helps to provide an optimized solution within the constraints. They are also used to store data in an organized and efficient manner. Explore different types of data structures such as arrays, trees, linked lists.

c. Databases and Networking: 

A blockchain network is a distributed peer-to-peer network in which data is shared among all nodes. According to the definition of blockchain, database management and computer networking are essential parts of creating and maintaining a blockchain network.

d. Cryptography: 

It is a method of securing sensitive data from unauthorized users, threats, and attacks. The fundamentals of computer science and mathematics serve as the foundation for developing cryptography protocols. In general, data is encrypted at the sender and decrypted at the receiver using various cryptographic techniques.

3. Understanding the Basics of Blockchain

To train yourself to become a blockchain developer, understanding the basic concepts and terminologies in the field of blockchain is very important. It is a prerequisite skill, without proper domain knowledge, one cannot proceed further in the blockchain industry. So, learn the fundamental concepts of blockchain, gain a deeper and clearer understanding of them, and also learn about real-time blockchain applications, the working mechanism of various consensus protocols. Examine recent advancements in blockchain technology.

4. Learn About Cryptonomics

In blockchain technology, the data is cryptographically secured with the help of various security protocols. Cryptonomics is the combination of economics and cryptography. Strong mathematics and computer science concepts are required to build strong cryptography protocols. There are various cryptographic standards being used in a blockchain network, such as RSA and hash functions. Understanding cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and Ether requires knowledge of both cryptography and economics. 

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5. Get Knowledge of Ethereum and DApps

Ethereum is one of the latest technologies, which is decentralized and built on the basic concepts of blockchain technology. It is an open-source technology used by many industry professionals. It allows the Ethereum blockchain developers to create a special transaction protocol called Smart Contract and other applications known as the Decentralised Applications (the DApps).These are similar to regular mobile-based applications.

6. Learn About Smart Contract and Solidity

This trendy technology enables the Ethereum blockchain developers to code and develops a special type of transaction protocol called Smart Contracts. The objective of a smart contract is to simplify the transaction process between parties, restricting the participation of a third party and also cutting off the additional cost involved in it. Solidity is a programming language, used to develop Smart contracts and execution of business logic. It is similar to OOPS.   

7. Get some Hands-On Experience

Every blockchain developer should also get some hands-on experience in addition to theoretical information.  Implement the subjective things by building various blockchain applications. Learn programming languages such as Solidity, and practice by developing Smart Contracts and DApps. With the gain in knowledge and experience, the blockchain developers can try for some internships at enterprises that are looking to expand more in this domain. Many hands-on tutorials are being provided by many online training and educational institutions for free of cost, paid as well and their certification is valuable in the market.

What are the Benefits of Becoming a Blockchain Developer?

Becoming a blockchain developer can provide several potent benefits.

  1. Allows developers to build scalable and secure applications: Blockchain allows developers to build scalable and secure applications to help businesses achieve their goals.
  2. Gives you access to an incredibly innovative and exciting field: Blockchain technology is still in its early stages, and many fresh developments are being made daily. As a blockchain developer, you will be at the forefront of this progress!
  3. Career diversity: While most careers focus on specific industries or sectors, blockchain development offers flexibility and opportunity across many fields. If you love working independently and solving complex problems, becoming a blockchain developer may be the perfect path for you!
  4. Control over your data: Unlike traditional databases, developers can store the information how they want. On a blockchain database, everything is publically available and transparently tracked.
  5. Create custom smart contracts: Developers will be able to create custom smart contracts that can handle complex transactions - no other platform can do this quite like blockchain.

Technical Skills Required 

To become a blockchain developer, you must have some technical skills. These may include 

  • Strong programming skills in at least one popular language, such as Java or Python.
  • Knowledge of cryptography and data structures (like linked lists and arrays).
  • Good understanding of networking concepts (like TCP/IP and DNS) and how it works. 
  • Experience with distributed systems (i.e., networks of machines) as well as experience with web application development frameworks (such as Flask or Django).

Blockchain Engineers vs. Blockchain Developers

There needs to be more clarity about the difference between blockchain engineers and blockchain developers. So, what is the difference?

  • At its simplest, a blockchain engineer designs and implements the technology that makes cryptocurrencies work. They are responsible for developing new features and improving existing functionality on Bitcoin, Ethereum, or any other leading cryptocurrency platform. They may also be involved in projects related to regulation or compliance.
  • On the other hand, a blockchain developer creates applications using blockchain technology. These developers build dApps (decentralized applications), develop concepts for new blockchains, and help businesses understand how cryptocurrency works so they can integrate it into their operations. They generally need to gain hands-on experience with building cryptocurrencies from scratch.

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Best Blockchain Programming Languages 

There are several popular blockchain programming languages, like,

  • Solidity on Ethereum, 
  • Python on Bitcoin Cash, 
  • and Java on the NEO platform,
  • C++.

 But choosing the best language will be difficult.

  • If you're new to blockchain technology or programming, consider learning one of the more popular languages, such as Solidity or Ethereum. These languages are general purpose and make it easy to develop decentralized applications (dApps) on top of the blockchain. They also have built-in support for smart contracts and other features that can help increase security and efficiency when building dApps. 
  • However, suppose you're already familiar with some aspects of blockchain technology and want to build custom applications rather than pre-made templates, then consider languages like Java or Python, which allow developers to create traditional desktop apps using coded instructions rather than just coding in code blocks. 

Ultimately, picking the correct language depends on your specific needs and preferences. Just be sure to research each one thoroughly before making a decision!

Advantages of Implementing Blockchain Solutions

There are several advantages to implementing blockchain solutions in your business. Here is a summary: 

  1. Transparency and security: Blockchain technology provides transparency and security for both the sender and the receiver of data. Transactions are verified by multiple nodes, which eliminates the possibility of fraud or mistakes. In addition, because all information is recorded on a public ledger, it becomes challenging to tamper with data once it has been uploaded. 
  2. Ease of use: Blockchain technology can be used with highly automated systems, making them easy to operate and manage. Because transactions are processed directly between users without any third-party involvement, there is little need for reconciliation or validation procedures. For example, when two people sell goods to each other using Bitcoin, they don't need to go through an intermediary (such as PayPal) to complete the transaction. 
  3. Reduced processing time: Because blockchains are decentralized networks that run on distributed computers worldwide, they can process transactions quickly and efficiently – usually much faster than traditional payment systems like Visa or Mastercard. This speed advantage can be significant in situations where time is critical (e.g., financial transactions), medical records management, legal contracts, etc."
  4. Greater Efficiency and Speed: A well-designed blockchain system will allow you to process transactions faster than traditional systems because it is tamper-proof and requires less processing power, making it ideal for businesses that need to operate quickly to keep up with the competition.
  5. Enhanced Customer Loyalty and Brand Reputation: A good blockchain solution can increase customer loyalty and build a brand reputation internationally, far beyond what traditional marketing approaches could achieve alone!

What Kind of Mindset Do You Need to Become a Blockchain Developer?

Before we dive into those two different types of people aspiring to become Blockchain developers, it may help to familiarize ourselves with the kind of mindsets that are best suited for Blockchain developers. After all, the unique challenges of Blockchain development require a certain unique way of thinking.

Whenever you hear the word “hacker” spoken aloud, it’s not usually in a positive light; no self-respecting business wants anything to do with hackers (well, except for ethical hackers, but that’s a different story for a different time). However, it’s precisely the hacker mentality that helps make good Blockchain developers. That’s because hackers tend to think outside the box when faced with problems and obstacles, rather than engage in conventional thinking.

Furthermore, a good Blockchain developer works well with a team and can collaborate. On a related point, the ideal Blockchain developer knows when to ask for help with a problem and when to keep plugging away by themselves until they arrive at the answer.

So the best candidate for Blockchain development works well with others, knows his or her limitations, and can unconventionally approach problems.

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For Those Who Are Completely New to Programming and Development

If you’re someone who wants to become a Blockchain developer but has no related skills or experience to build a foundation on, then frankly, the road is going to be a little tougher for you and will require more work and dedication.

Fortunately, there is hope! Here are some steps that anyone coming from such a place, but yet is interested in a Blockchain developer career can take.

  • Learn Why Blockchain Was Needed in the First Place

    The story of Blockchain is the story of Bitcoin, as the latter is the reason that the former exists. Blockchain was designed as a platform for Bitcoin, allowing it to become a reality. To this end, an aspiring Blockchain developer should become familiar with Bitcoin, including actually purchasing some cryptocurrency to get one’s feet wet. Additionally, check out Bitcoin forums featured on Reddit, stay current on Blockchain news on Coindesk, and take a glance at some cryptocurrency vlogs on YouTube. Any research you can do, any immersion in the world of cryptocurrency you can manage will be to your advantage.
  • Learn about Blockchain Development

    As silly as their names sound, CryptoZombies and Space Doggos are courses that help you learn Solidity Code, which in turn is the code used in writing smart contracts, putting you on the right path to mastering Blockchain development. Space Doggos is particularly useful, as you use actual Solidity code in designing your space dog. These are fun and entertaining ways of getting a grasp on Blockchain’s development, and possibly a bit less intimidating.
  • Understanding Different Programming Languages

    A good Blockchain developer needs to be comfortable with a selection of programming languages. For instance, C++, SQL, JavaScript, and Python languages are good examples. If you are already proficient in a couple of them, then great!
  • Take Blockchain Developer Courses

    When it comes to acquiring relevant, marketable skills, there’s nothing as good as taking courses through an accredited training provider. Keep reading; there is more about this later.

Also Read: Ethereum vs Bitcoin: Which One is Better?

How to Transition to a Blockchain Developer From a Similar Career?

Upskilling is the process of teaching an employee new skills. This process is particularly useful when it comes to creating new Blockchain developers from other, similar positions in the business. Some companies, keenly aware of the growing importance of the Blockchain technology, will upskill individual employees, empowering them to handle the new tech.

If you are someone who’s working at a business that pays for your upskilling costs and wants to put you in the position of Blockchain developer, remember that you will be obliged to stay with that company for at least a specific period. After all, businesses aren’t in the habit of paying from employees’ training, only to make them more marketable elsewhere!

Types of Blockchain Developers

There are various types of blockchain developers, each with unique skills and experience. Here are the most common types: 

  • Core developers: Core developers are responsible for building and maintaining the underlying blockchain protocol.
  • dApp developers- dApp developers build decentralized applications (dApps) on the blockchain.
  • Smart contract developers: Smart contract developers create self-executing contracts that live on the blockchain.
  • Application Developers: They create applications that use blockchain technology to improve the user experience or to increase efficiency within an existing system. 
  • Systems Architects: These developers work with architects to design decentralized systems that meet specific business requirements. 
  • Hardware/Software Engineers: They develop secure and reliable software platforms that integrate with other third-party systems.

Blockchain development is a highly collaborative effort, and developers of all three types often work together on projects. However, each type of developer has a unique role to play in the ecosystem, and each brings their valuable skill set to the table.

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Roles and Responsibilities of Blockchain Developers

Blockchain developers play a vital role in the success of any digital currency or blockchain project. 

  • Blockchain developers are responsible for designing, building, and maintaining distributed ledger systems that enable trustless collaboration and secure transactions. Then They work to ensure that the blockchain is secure, efficient, and scalable. In doing so, they must solve complex mathematical problems and write efficient and safe code. 
  • And they may also be involved in developing new applications or protocols designed to use the blockchain.
  • Additionally, blockchain developers must communicate effectively with other development team members and business stakeholders to ensure that the blockchain solution meets the needs of the business.

Salary and Future

There is no doubt that blockchain developers are in high demand right now. Companies are searching for developers to help them create and maintain blockchain-based applications and systems. The average salary for a blockchain developer is $1,06,973 per year. And the demand for these developers is only expected to grow.

As the technology behind blockchain becomes more widely adopted, the need for blockchain developers will continue to increase. The future looks bright for these developers, with plenty of opportunities for career growth and high salaries. So if you're considering a career in blockchain, now is the time to start.

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FAQs

1. How long does it take to become a Blockchain developer?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it depends on several factors, such as your prior experience and knowledge, how much time you are willing to dedicate to learning, and which platform you want to develop for. However, with a dedicated effort, it is possible to become a proficient blockchain developer within a few months.

2. Does Blockchain require coding?

Yes, blockchain does require coding. At least you need the most basic form of coding to create the "smart contract" which is the basic thing on a blockchain.

3. What is the salary of a Blockchain developer?

The average salary of a Blockchain developer in the United States is $136,000 per year. However, salaries vary greatly based on experience, location, and other factors. For example, a senior Blockchain developer in New York City may earn a salary of $200,000 per year, while a junior Blockchain developer in a small town may only earn $50,000 per year.

4. Is Blockchain coding hard?

There is no doubt that blockchain coding is not easy. It requires a lot of technical expertise and knowledge to be able to code a blockchain. However, many resources are available to help people learn how to code a blockchain. There are online courses, tutorials, and even books that can help people learn the basics of coding a blockchain. With the right resources, anyone can learn how to code a blockchain.

5. Which language is used for Blockchain?

There is no one specific language that is used for Blockchain. Instead, Blockchain technology is built on top of existing programming languages. The most common languages used for Blockchain development are C++, Java, and Python.

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Here’s the Next Step

If the prospect of getting in on the ground floor of this exciting innovation appeals to you, then you may wonder what the next step is. Fortunately, Simplilearn has you covered by offering its Blockchain Certification Training Course.

Simplilearn’s Blockchain Certification Training has been designed for developers who want to decipher the global craze surrounding Blockchain, Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies. You’ll learn the core structure and technical mechanisms of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, and Multichain Blockchain platforms, use the latest tools to build Blockchain applications, set up your private Blockchain, deploy smart contracts on Ethereum and gain practical experience with real-world projects.

Whether you’re learning on your own or receiving upskilling from your place of employment, Simplilearn has the means best suited for your situation, offering their Online Classroom Flexi-Pass or their Corporate Training solution, respectively. Whichever the method, you will benefit from 32 hours of instructor-led training, over 50 hands-on exercises using Blockchain technology, nine practical projects are covering Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Hyperledger, and 24 x7 assistance and support.

It should be mentioned that the Corporate Training solution is ideal for businesses that want to upskill chosen employees and make them into Blockchain developers. 

Once you complete the course, you will have certification in Blockchain development, and be ready to take on the new challenges of this exciting technology. Simplilearn stands ready to be a valuable resource for you to not only become a Blockchain developer, but also to provide additional training and skills in related topics such as DevOps, Software Development, and Cloud Computing. If you recall the earlier mention of ethical hackers, you’ll be happy to know that Simplilearn even offers a training course in Certified Ethical Hacker v10. Check out Simplilearn and get started on a new, rewarding, and profitable career!

About the Author

John TerraJohn Terra

John Terra lives in Nashua, New Hampshire and has been writing freelance since 1986. Besides his volume of work in the gaming industry, he has written articles for Inc.Magazine and Computer Shopper, as well as software reviews for ZDNet. More recently, he has done extensive work as a professional blogger. His hobbies include running, gaming, and consuming craft beers. His refrigerator is Wi-Fi compliant.

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