Since 2015, the number of blockchain jobs has spiked up to 631%, indicative of massive potential in the field. Increased global interest in blockchain technology has led to more job opportunities.
However, the number of blockchain engineers available to fill these job positions is still relatively low — and hiring managers have to be selective about the blockchain engineers they would like to work with.
There may only be a handful of developers with the necessary experience and knowledge to handle your company's most sensitive data.
The talent gap coupled with the rising demand for blockchain developers makes it understandable why many companies face challenges finding blockchain engineers. This guide will discuss how to hire blockchain developers and the relevant skills candidates should have.
Why Hire a Blockchain Developer?
Before diving into how to find blockchain developers, it's important to understand the benefits of a blockchain engineer to a modern organization.
A blockchain developer is a key player in developing and implementing blockchain technology. They are responsible for developing and managing decentralized applications (DApps) and creating new blockchain platforms. They need to have a strong understanding of cryptography, computer science, and mathematics.
Some of the benefits of hiring a blockchain developer include:
- Reduced fraudulent activities: Since blockchain is a distributed database that is immutable, it can reduce fraudulent activities within an organization.
- Enhanced data security: Blockchain provides a high level of security by encrypting data using cryptography. This makes it difficult for hackers to penetrate the system and access sensitive information.
- Streamlined processes: Implementing blockchain technology can streamline business processes and improve efficiency.
- Reduces costs: Eliminating the need for third-party intermediaries can reduce businesses costs considerably.
What to Look For in a Blockchain Engineer
Now that you understand why hiring a blockchain developer is almost imperative in such a tech-forward age, here's a look at the skills your ideal candidate must have.
Basic Programming Ability
When you hire blockchain engineers, make sure they have basic programming ability, as it will be a foundation for them to learn more about the technology. They don't need to be experts, but they should understand the syntax and how to write code.
Blockchain platforms like Ethereum and Bitcoin are constantly evolving, so it's important for blockchain developers to stay up-to-date with the latest changes. They should be familiar with popular blockchain platforms and understand how to develop on them.
Encryption and Security Knowledge
Cryptography is an essential part of blockchain technology. A blockchain developer must have a strong understanding of cryptography to create secure applications and systems.
They must also be familiar with encryption and security protocols such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS). Additionally, they must know how to implement security features like data encryption and multi-factor authentication (MFA).
Blockchain is a distributed database that runs on the internet. Therefore, blockchain developers must know networking concepts such as peer-to-peer networks, transferring packets over the internet, routing, and so forth.
A strong grasp of cryptography and security protocols and an understanding of networking concepts are essential skills for a blockchain developer.
Blockchain engineers must also know data structures, such as trees, graphs, and hash tables. This is because many of the algorithms used in blockchain are data-intensive.
A blockchain engineer must know these data structures:
A linked list is a data structure that allows two nodes to be linked together. The node at the beginning of the list is called the head, while the last node is called the tail.
The advantage of a linked list is that it is easily implemented, which makes it perfect for small data sets. It can also be traversed in any direction, making it ideal for sorting and searching algorithms.
Singly Linked List
A singly linked list is a special type of linked list where each node only has one reference to the next node. This type of list is used when space efficiency is more important than traversing the list in both directions.
A hash table is a data structure that uses a hash function and provides an efficient way to find and access data. It is useful when you need random access or fast retrieval of data.
An acyclic graph is also called bipartite. It is a graph that contains no cycles and can be used to model many real-world problems.
Blockchain engineers must understand these data structures as they are used in many algorithms related to blockchain.
In addition to data structures, blockchain developers should also be familiar with big data concepts such as MapReduce and Hadoop. Understanding big data concepts will help them process large amounts of data quickly and efficiently.
The blockchain developer you hire must also be proficient in the following blockchain fundamentals.
These are digital ledgers distributed across a network of computers. All participants in the network have access to the ledger and can view or edit it.
A consensus mechanism is a process that allows all participants in a network to agree on the state of the ledger. There are many different types of consensus mechanisms, but the most popular ones are proof of work (PoW) and proof of stake (PoS).
A smart contract is a piece of code that runs on the blockchain. It can automate transactions and agreements between parties. Smart contracts help you exchange money, property, shares, or anything of value in a transparent way that can't be edited or changed.
dApps are one of the most important aspects of blockchain technology. A blockchain application (dApp) is an application that runs on a decentralized network. It exists in the Ethereum blockchain network and is executed by nodes on the blockchain.
Blockchain developers should be knowledgeable about existing dApps running on popular blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and so on. They should also know how to write their own smart contracts using Solidity or Truffle.
In a blockchain, immutability refers to something that cannot be changed or edited. Once data is stored on the blockchain, it is permanent and cannot be tampered with.
This is one of the key advantages of blockchain technology and is something that all blockchain developers should understand. If someone wants to add any new information, a new event forms in the chain, but the previous information is neither removed nor changed.
Permissioned vs. Public Blockchains
The difference between public and permissioned blockchains is that public blockchains are permissionless. This means that anyone can join the network and become a node, while permissioned blockchains have restricted access.
A public blockchain has no central authority or trusted entity controlling it. Anyone can read or write transactions, making them open to manipulation by third parties. However, it is difficult to tamper with because all data is transparent and decentralized across all nodes.
A permissioned blockchain, on the other hand, has a governing body that controls who can join the network and who can write transactions. This makes it more secure than a public blockchain but less decentralized.
In a blockchain, sharding is the process of dividing the network into smaller shards. This helps to improve the performance and scalability of the network by splitting it into smaller parts.
Every shard has its own copy of the blockchain, and all nodes in a shard are connected. Transactions are processed by a subset of nodes in a shard and then broadcast to all nodes in the shard.
This helps improve the network performance by allowing it to handle more transactions at a time.
The blockchain engineer you intend to hire must also be familiar with tokens and their role in blockchain technology.
A token, also known as a digital asset, is a piece of code that is stored on the blockchain and can be used to represent any unit of value, such as money or property.
All tokens are created on top of an existing blockchain like Ethereum. Tokens can be issued by anyone and can hold any type of value.
A public blockchain like Ethereum typically has two types of tokens:
- Fuel: These are used to pay mining fees and can be transferred from one account to another.
- Coins: These represent ownership of a virtual asset or project. The transactions on blockchains involve moving these coins from one address to another.
Blockchain Development Tools
A blockchain developer should also be familiar with the following development tools:
- Blockchain Explorer: This tool is used to view transactions, add new blocks to the blockchain, check pending transactions in a wallet address, and check block details.
- Caliper: This tool measures the performance of blockchain nodes. It can measure the speed at which new blocks are added. It also helps check node synchronization, port connection status, and more.
- Composer: It is a tool used to create and manage blockchain applications. It includes features like Smart Contract development, unit testing, and package management.
- Etherscan: This website allows you to view the blockchain, search for transactions, and check address balances.
- Geth: This tool can run full nodes on the Ethereum network. It serves as a repository of blockchain data and can initiate new transactions using smart contracts or send ether from one account to another.
- MetaMask: This browser extension allows you to run Ethereum applications in the browser. It acts as a digital wallet and allows you to store and send ether and tokens.
- Mist: Mist is a desktop Ethereum wallet that allows you to store, send, and receive ether. It also includes a built-in browser that allows you to browse and deploy decentralized applications.
- Remix IDE: It is a development environment that can be used for writing, testing, and deploying smart contracts.
- Solidity: This programming language is used to write smart contracts on the Ethereum network.
- Solo: Solo is a command-line tool that allows you to run Ethereum nodes.
- Testnets: Testnets lets you test your blockchain applications without using real ether or tokens.
- Truffle: Truffle is a development framework for Ethereum that includes features like contract compilation, testing, and deployment.
- Ganache: Ganache is a personal blockchain for Ethereum. It is used to create and manage test accounts, deploy smart contracts, run automated tests, and more.
- Drizzle: Drizzle is a Python library for building Ethereum applications.
Where to Find Blockchain Programmers
Once you know what type of blockchain developer you want to hire, it becomes easier to find the right person for the job. LinkedIn can be a good starting place to find the right candidate — but you shouldn't rely solely on the platform to find blockchain developers. There are many other platforms with equally worthy talent.
Here are some of the best places to find blockchain developers.
Blockchain Job Boards
Blockchain job boards are an excellent place to start on your search for blockchain developers. You can access most of these job boards using standard search engines like Google and Yahoo.
Some of the most popular blockchain job boards include:
- Crypto.jobs: Crypto.jobs is a portal that lists jobs related to cryptocurrency. The site presents relevant vacancies from around the world, ordered according to location and type of employment contract.
- CryptoJobsList: CryptoJobsList is one of the best places to find blockchain developers as it has different categories, such as intern, DeFi, marketing, developer, NFT, and more. This makes it easy to find the right blockchain engineer for the position you want to fill.
- CryptoCurrencyJobs.co: CryptoCurrencyJobs.co is another job board for cryptocurrency and blockchain jobs. You can search for the right developer based on their geographic location and skills.
You can also hire blockchain developers by looking through online communities of blockchain experts, such as Reddit, BitcoinTalk, and StackExchange.
This way, you can get in touch with developers who are looking for new opportunities and connect with potential candidates directly.
Subreddits like r/cryptodevs are a great way to find developers in the cryptocurrency space. For example, the r/ethdev subreddit is a community of 70k+ developers working on Ethereum-related projects.
BitcoinTalk is another online community that can help you find blockchain developers. The site includes a list of developers who are available for hire and a forum where you can ask questions about specific development issues.
StackExchange is a Q&A site for developers. It includes a section about blockchain that can help you find developers familiar with the technology.
Alternatively, you can hire blockchain developers by attending conferences, such as those discussed below.
Bitcoin Miami is a conference that focuses on the use of Bitcoin and blockchain technology. In 2021, the conference had a sold-out crowd of 12,000 attendees. This is a great opportunity for you to find blockchain developers.
The Blockchain Expo is a series of four conferences held throughout the year. You can attend any of the conferences to hire blockchain developers.
North American Bitcoin Conference
The North American Bitcoin Conference is one of the largest Bitcoin conferences in the world. The next meeting will be held in Miami from January 17-19, 2022.
LA Blockchain Summit
The LA Blockchain Summit is one of the world's leading conferences, focused on mainstream adopting and investments in the blockchain world. Attend the conference to connect with blockchain developers and crypto experts who may be great additions to your company.
GitHub is a website that hosts open-source projects. Blockchain developers create public repositories on GitHub where you can read their code and look through their work history.
If you're an avid GitHub user, you can easily hire blockchain developers from there since their work is already on display for you to see their expertise.
Talent marketplaces are another great place to hire blockchain engineers since you can find pre-vetted talent ready to work.
Revelo is a talent marketplace connecting tech companies in the U.S. with qualified and pre-vetted remote software engineers from Latin America. These software engineers are fully equipped with the knowledge required for working in the practical blockchain field.
Revelo's service matches companies with talent that become full-time employees and valuable assets in blockchain development teams.
How to Hire Blockchain Coders?
If it's the first time you're hiring blockchain developers, you may need some extra assistance. Here are some tips to get started.
Job Post Example
Having the right job posting can be key to attracting the right blockchain developer applicants. When curating the job post for a blockchain developer, make sure to do the following:
- Clearly describe your company's mission and purpose.
- List the problem you're trying to solve.
- Include what skillsets you're looking for.
- State how much experience is required.
- List any other requirements (i.e., travel, background checks) and benefits that come with the job role.
- How will the blockchain developer fit into the team? Be sure to include who they'll be working with, reporting to, and collaborating with daily.
- Share the main responsibilities of this job role.
Here's an example from a job posted at Job Recruiters.
What is uniquely important about your hiring process? Let candidates know if there are any challenges upfront so they aren't wasting their time applying if it is not a good fit.
Apart from the job post, the interview questions should also be tailor-made to the blockchain developer's skills and experience.
Make sure the interview questions you ask align with your company's culture.
The interview is not just about assessing if an applicant is qualified for a job or not, but also about determining how well the two parties will gel together.
While asking questions in an interview can give you insights into your candidate's personality and thought process, it's equally important for them to get a feeling of how friendly and welcoming you are as their future boss.
Some of the questions that could be asked in such an interview are:
- How long have you been in the blockchain field?
- What challenges do you see with implementing or using blockchain technology?
- Have you ever created a blockchain application? If so, can you tell us about it?
- What is your experience with cryptography, and how would that be relevant to working with blockchain?
- Do you have any experience coding in Solidity or other blockchain programming languages?
- Are you familiar with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency? What do you think of them?
- What kind of tools do you use to manage projects?
Blockchain coding comes with some unique challenges as well as opportunities.
This emerging tech is transforming how we conceive of and interact with data on a global scale. As the technology continues to develop and grow more widely used, those who can efficiently leverage it will have a better chance of success than those who do not understand it.
One of these challenges is understanding how blockchain works and what makes it special and superior to other technologies.
This means understanding its core principles: decentralization, security, immutability, consensus, and openness. These characteristics are reflected in both smart contracts (self-executing pieces of code) and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (and Ethereum).
When you hire blockchain engineers, it's important to ensure that they're aware of these challenges and are not reluctant to enhance their skills when required.
Learn More: What Is the Best Blockchain for Smart Contracts, and Why?
Source and Hire Vetted Blockchain Developers with Revelo
Due to the shortage of talent in the global market, it can be hard to find blockchain developers that add value to your organization. Revelo helps you source and hire vetted remote developers in the U.S. time zones, ensuring real-time collaboration with your hires.
Most of Revelo's clients review the candidate in just three days and end up hiring them within a month.
If you want to hire blockchain developers that are not only skilled at their profession but also cost less than hiring locals, Revelo is the talent marketplace for you. Start your 14-day risk-free trial today.