Hire DeFi Developers: Everything You Need to Know

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Fred Monnier
By
Fred Monnier
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Chief Staffing Operations Officer
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Decentralized finance is becoming increasingly popular and has increased the demand for hiring DeFi developers. This guide goes over the the technical skills needed when vetting engineers for DApps and how to best find them.
Published on
March 7, 2022
Updated on
April 11, 2024

Decentralized finance (DeFi) popularity is growing across markets, especially in crypto applications. DeFi platforms are becoming synonymous with banks for people who want to borrow or lend funds, earn interest on their traditional savings-like accounts and insure against risks without institutional control.

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the worldwide spending on blockchain solutions like DeFi apps will be nearly $19 billion by 2024. Previously, Bitcoin was the only hype-generating cryptocurrency, but many altcoins and meme coins have started becoming the talk of the town these days.

By 2026, Markets and Markets estimates revenue in the global blockchain technology industry to increase to $70 billion. Thus, it makes sense why companies might want to hire DeFi developers to benefit from the window of opportunity to take some game-changing initiatives.

In this guide, you'll learn how to hire DeFi engineers and which skills decentralized finance developers must have.

What is DeFi?

Decentralized finance is an infrastructure aimed at increasing the number of market participants in the financial sector by eliminating intermediaries and centralized systems. The most appealing part of the DeFi space is the lack of custody or centralization. 

Conventionally, centralized exchanges and banks impose several regulations for people who use their services. Due in part to ongoing blockchain development and machine learning, DeFi is devoid of these regulations, making it a lucrative option for developers who want to explore secure opportunities which are mostly regulated by smart contracts.

Benefits of DeFi

By nature of smart contract regulation, DeFi users typically experience fewer roadblocks when compared to traditional banking services. While regulatory bodies are beginning to develop plans for more stringent cryptocurrency taxing, there are currently several benefits for DeFi users, including the following:

  • No bank fees: Users don't have to pay the bank fees, such as annual ATM charges or expenses for further services.
  • Digital accounts: Your money is safe in a digital wallet rather than a bank account.
  • Ease of use: Users don't have to go through hoops to open an account since your credit history or earnings do not matter in DeFi. Users are able to open an account on DeFi apps as long as they have an internet connection.
  • Quick transfers: Funds transfer takes a few seconds or minutes.
  • Always available: Unlike banks, the DeFi space is never closed for holidays or weekends.
  • Identity protection: Users are able to open anonymous accounts for keeping digital currency or trading.
  • Fintech services: users get access to financial services, such as loans, without going through a long and complicated process as you would with a conventional financial institution, like a bank.

Just like cryptocurrency, DeFi uses blockchain technology. As IBM explains, a blockchain is a "shared, immutable ledger" that tracks and records transactions of assets. Immutable means that the blockchain cannot be changed. All transactions made on the public ledger will remain on it permanently.

In summary, decentralized applications are services built on blockchain projects. dApps offers the same financial services as your bank (savings accounts, lending, borrowing, etc.) but with the benefits mentioned above.

Top DeFi Blockchains and Developer Skills Needed

As mentioned, DeFi apps or projects are built on blockchains, decentralized public ledgers facilitating the recording and processing of transactions in a network. But a blockchain is only as good as its business network. The most successful DeFi projects are built on top of some of the largest blockchains in the world.

When an organization decides to hire decentralized finance developers, they must be sure that developers are able to work with different blockchains or at least the one you plan to use for your project. Ethereum is currently leading the DeFi sector with a significant market share, but it's not the only blockchain developers use for projects.

Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts. Developers use it to host DeFi apps like Augur, MakerDAO, and 0x.

Ethereum is by far the largest blockchain in the DeFi sector due to its fast transaction execution speed and the following reasons:

  • Seamless interconnectivity: All DeFi projects made on Ethereum have the same basis and underlying mechanism. Thus, they integrate seamlessly.
  • Built-in crypto: Ethereum's cryptocurrency, ETH, is built into the network. Meanwhile, the blockchain keeps track of all transactions.
  • Financial freedom: When you create a DeFi product on Ethereum, you have full financial freedom as there's no central governing body involved.

Description

Hiring Ethereum developers helps organizations create apps for many financial products that you normally get from centralized institutions, such as banks. For instance, you can use Ethereum to create a DeFi app for flash lending. Flash loans are decentralized loans, which implies borrowing funds doesn't involve giving personal details or providing collateral. Although they're not accessible for people who're not in the DeFi space, there's a high likelihood these loans will become a norm in the future. The main attraction of flash loans is that users lend money instantly without going through a central authority such as banks.

Apart from this, Ethereum's DeFi capabilities also let you send money to anyone anywhere around the world, access stable currencies, trade tokens, grow your investment portfolio, buy insurance, and create apps. But when you hire DeFi engineers to build all these projects, you must ensure they have the right programming skills.

Programming Skills Required

Firstly, the DeFi developers need to be familiar with programming languages like Python, Ruby, and JavaScript. Apart from that, they must have a grasp of the following:

  • ERC-20: These tokens are built on top of Ethereum, and they work as an intermediary for all DeFi transactions.
  • Solidity: A programming language named Solidity is designed for developing smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • CK2: This token framework allows you to create new tokens on top of Ethereum.

Learn More: Hiring Ethereum developers: All you need to know

Solana (SOL)

Solana is a blockchain built for high throughput and scalability. It has a processing speed of 65,000 transactions per second, which is similar to other popular blockchains. Although it's not as popular as Ethereum, Solana is widely used due to its capabilities to process large amounts of transactions per second.

Description

The main attraction of Solana is its speed, but there are some other reasons why it's so popular among DeFi developers:

  • Low Transaction Cost: The transactions on Solana cost much less than on Ethereum. Lower expenses paired with high throughput make Solana an attractive option for DeFi developers.
  • Scalability: Due to the boom in the NFT and DeFi space, there's a growing need for platforms to be scalable. Solana had managed to do this by using Proof of History, an innovative technology that references previous hashes and tells users when exactly a transaction occurred.

Programming Skills Required

Before you hire DeFi developers to build on Solana, make sure they are proficient in the following programming languages:

  • Rust: This is a system programming language used to write on-chain programs on Solana. Since it lies in Solana's core, DeFi developers need to learn Rust and understand its involvement in cross-program invocations.
  • C++: The smart contract language used by Solana is C++. Developers should also be familiar with C.

The developers should also have an excellent grasp of Solana's source code since it defines how the blockchain's technology works. Fortunately, the source code is available for free on Solana Lab Github.

Avalanche (AVAX)

Avalanche is a relatively newer blockchain, but it has become popular in the DeFi field. The platform runs smart contracts and aims to deliver scalability with high-level security and low costs. Another attractive feature of Avalanche is its focus on eco-friendliness as the DeFi gets a lot of critiques on its neglect of sustainability.

Description

Initially, Avalanche was created to solve several problems in the DeFi world, such as:

  • Congestion. Something that's concerningly lacking in older blockchains is scalability. Avalanche was specifically designed with a keen focus on scalability. The platform's Snowman Consensus Protocol and subnet feature enable more seamless transactions than other blockchains.
  • Low Fees. Like Solana, Avalanche has lower fees than Ethereum. Due to this, DeFi developers work with Avalanche without worrying about the financial aspects of their projects.
  • Transaction Speed. With sub-second transaction speed, Avalanche processes nearly 6500 transactions per second.
  • Sustainability. Avalanche uses an energy-efficient consensus algorithm instead of the proof-of-work that most other platforms use.

Programming Skills Required

The DeFi developers you hire to build projects on Avalanche must understand the Consensus Protocol, which is the main factor in understanding and validating transactions. They should also know how the Hashgraph works and what factors affect its outcomes. Knowledge of the Snowman Consensus Protocol (powered by the blockchain's consensus protocol) is also imperative.

Experience writing ETH smart contracts is also valuable since AVAX natively supports Solidity.

Depending on your DeFi needs, the developers must be familiar with one or all of these chains:

  • X-Chain: This is a decentralized platform where developers create and trade digital assets. With the X-Chain API, developers exchange or build assets on the Avalanche Virtual Machine.
  • P-Chain: The Platform Chain or P-Chain helps create blockchains and subnets. Developers also use this to add validators to the subnets they have created.
  • C-Chain: The Contract Chain lets developers make smart contracts.

Related: What to Look For When You Hire IoT Developers

Where to Find DeFi Developers

As DeFi grew over the years, finding experienced professionals to work in the field has become simpler. Hiring teams find and hire DeFi developers on job boards, LinkedIn, talent marketplaces, online competitions, and many other places. However, every recruitment method has its advantages and disadvantages, so it's essential to find the one that works best for you.

DeFi Job Boards

DeFi job boards list jobs for developers where various dApps and projects require specific skills. Specialized sites are a more focused option to find experienced professionals who are already well-versed in the emerging decentralized financial ecosystem.

Websites like Defi.jobs and DeFi Rate operate similarly to general online job boards, but the applicant pool is already optimized for DeFi developers. While these sites have a smaller user base than more popular job boards, hiring teams will likely need to sift through fewer overall applications.

LinkedIn

If using a job board isn't feasible, you can also use LinkedIn to hire DeFi engineers. LinkedIn has several free and paid tools that users employ to find decentralized finance developers for your needs.

The following are some free best practices that hiring teams commonly use on LinkedIn:

  • Share jobs with your network.
  • Search for relevant candidates within your LinkedIn circle.
  • Reach out to eligible developers through the platform.
  • Manage the hiring pipeline and communication through LinkedIn manually.

LinkedIn lets you search for candidates by using six high-level filters, including name, industry, experience, and job title. Alternatively, hiring teams use paid tools to hire DeFi developers from LinkedIn. The paid version gives you access to more than 40 search filters, allowing you to find someone with the exact set of capabilities you need.

Talent Marketplaces

If an organization prefers a highly personalized recruitment experience, hiring teams should opt for talent marketplaces. These platforms match people to opportunities to ensure the best outcomes. Employers and job seekers meet on talent marketplaces and connect through a shared vision, values, experiences, needs, and wants. Moreover, talent marketplaces handle all the hard work, from upskilling to vetting candidates.

Revelo

Designed to find, recruit, and manage after hire tech talent all from one platform, Revelo helps you hire DeFi developers with ease. As an established talent marketplace, we support companies to build their ideal workforce based on their needs and desires.

Revelo provides access to the broad and the best talent in Latin America for swift communication and real-time collaboration. We partner with you to build efficient tech teams that make a difference.

10 Steps to Hire Decentralized Finance Engineers

Hiring decentralized finance developers is often time consuming and challenging. DeFi is still a relatively novel field, and employers may easily overlook some crucial role requirements. The following steps outline a plan to hire DeFi developers, and while companies must tailor these steps based on resource availability, having an established hiring template allows organizations to repeat the process as needed.

  1. Clarify Project Requirements

It’s vital for hiring teams to gain a comprehensive understanding of ongoing project needs and the specific domain of DeFi development requiring expertise. Defining baseline requirements enhances hiring efficiency and mitigates the risk of making inappropriate hires, which helps conserve valuable time and resources.

  1. Develop a Comprehensive Job Description

Compose a thorough job description that encompasses educational prerequisites, proficiency levels, job responsibilities, and expected compensation. A well-written job description provides insight into the organization and sets clear expectations for the role, though it’s helpful to approach a job description as an advertisement, as experienced candidates have distinct expectations for their roles. A well-crafted listing should be both appealing and informative.

  1. Publish the Job Posting

While platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed have well-established user bases, consider posting the DeFi developer position on more tech-specific platforms like Dice or DeFi Jobs—depending on the organization’s recruiting strategy. Although general job boards often yield higher application volumes, targeted platforms facilitate connections with candidates better suited to the specific role.

  1. Screen Resumes and Schedule Interviews

Establish a systematic approach to resume screening, considering the use of text-skimming software for keyword analysis on resumes, portfolios, and cover letters in cases with a high volume of applications. After narrowing the pool, assign an individual or team to review documents to gain insight into the applicants. While automated systems assist in initial screening, leadership should review applications to create a shortlist of top candidates.

  1. Evaluate Technical Skills

Identify required technical skills through project requirement definition and job description creation. Assessing candidates' technical aptitude strategically establishes the shortlist. Online challenges such as Codewars and Edabit test candidates’ coding aptitude before onboarding.

 If you have an established team, providing the same tests and comparing the results between your team and an applicant provides insight into potential team compatibility. Design the assessment to include existing developer responsibilities and potential future skills required as the team expands or DeFi development projects evolve.

  1. Evaluate Soft Skills and Cultural Fit

Establish thorough criteria for mandated soft skills and cultural compatibility. Candidates with extensive technical knowledge may underperform if they cannot collaborate effectively or align with the organization's culture. Utilize high-validity assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Gallup Test to gain personality insights, but engage directly with candidates before extending an offer.

  1. Conduct Reference Checks

Reference checks enable evidence-based vetting based on past interactions with senior professionals and colleagues. Develop standardized questions to ensure in-depth discussions about a developer's core competencies. While references may not reveal behavioral or soft skill deficiencies, allocate time to explore these aspects to confirm alignment with the soft skill assessment findings.

  1. Extend an Offer

Before contacting the selected candidate, inform other shortlisted applicants who did not meet the criteria. Given the possibility of the top choice declining the offer, maintain a funnel of three to five leading candidates until the preferred choice formally accepts the offer. 

Extend the employment offer within the organizational budget and the long-term talent acquisition plan, aligning with the compensation range outlined in the job listing. Provide the candidate with an appropriate timeframe for review and acceptance before contacting other candidates.

  1. Onboarding and Team Integration

Once the top DeFi developer has accepted the offer and joined the organization, provide the necessary IT and human resources information and initiate the onboarding process. Tailor the onboarding strategy based on the size of the existing team, involving either a traditional orientation or a more personalized approach. 

Team leaders should introduce the new employee to relevant team members, establish daily expectations, and equip the employee with the necessary resources for success in the role.

  1. Foster Engagement and Retention

As the DeFi developer settles into their role, implement strategies for engagement and retention to enhance their skills and cultivate a robust organizational culture. Aside from compensation benefits, strategies such as ongoing education, clear communication, and strategic resource management empower developers to excel in their roles and boost employee engagement.

Hire DeFi Developers With Revelo

DeFi is on its way to creating a new financial system by changing many aspects of banking, such as trading, lending, and account creation. By joining the DeFi movement, organizations capitalize on the growing interest in the field as its value continues to increase.

Before entering the DeFi space, it's essential to hire DeFi developers who can head your team and execute all necessary developments. If you're worried about the demanding and lengthy hiring process, Revelo can help. We’ll assist in sourcing and hiring software engineers at affordable prices. After selecting your candidate, we’ll handle ongoing administrative tasks like benefits administration, payroll, taxes, and local compliance so that you’re able to focus on core business operations. 

Contact us to hire DeFi developers for your upcoming projects.

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