The hype around NFTs has grown tremendously in the past few years, creating a wave of interest in these digital assets. In 2021, the market surpassed a whopping $40 billion, making it one of the fastest-growing markets globally.
However, the world of blockchain is a bit complicated for newcomers. In fact, a survey showed that less than a quarter of the American population knows what NFTs are.
Fortunately, you don't have to start from scratch to enter the NFT world. You can hire NFT developers and pay them to create NFTs for you. But before you do that, you need to know what skills to look for in NFT developers.
Where can you hire NFT engineers? The guide below covers all these topics and discusses three major blockchains for NFT development.
What Is an NFT?
An NFT, or a non-fungible token, is a special type of token that cannot be substituted. Each NFT is unique and is owned by a single entity (similar to how you would own a car or house).
Other things, such as cryptocurrency and cash money, are fungible, which means you can exchange them for one another. Meanwhile, an NFT is non-fungible, meaning you cannot trade or exchange it at an equivalent unit.
Every NFT is a unique item and has multiple features that distinguish it from digital currencies:
- Indivisibility: You cannot divide NFTs into smaller denominations as you can with cryptocurrencies.
- Non-Interoperability: This means that NFTs are not equal to one another, because they can neither be traded nor exchanged.
- Authenticity: Every NFT has an owner. Smart contracts govern all NFTs, and the authenticity of every token can be verified through blockchain ledgers.
- Tradability: NFTs can be traded and resold to generate handsome profits.
Considering these properties of NFTs, it's understandable why many people are interested in these tokens. However, before hiring NFT engineers, you need to know which blockchains are the best for NFT development.
Top 3 Blockchains Used by NFT Developers and the Skills Needed
A blockchain is a distributed ledger that stores records of digital transactions. These decentralized ledgers provide a transparent and secure ecosystem for running smart contracts on a decentralized system.
Blockchain development is a hot skill in the market, but not all blockchains are designed to handle NFT transactions. Some blockchains lack the features needed to build NFTs.
Here are the top three blockchains for NFT development and the skills NFT developers must possess to use these platforms.
Ethereum is undeniably the most commonly used blockchain to develop NFTs. It has a massive community of developers, which puts the blockchain at an advantage since bugs can be fixed and new features can be added regularly.
Ethereum also has many technical documents that developers can use to build smart contracts or decentralized apps. The popular token standard on Ethereum used to build NFTs is ERC-721.
Meanwhile, the ERC-1155 token standard is widely used to create semi-fungible tokens. Recently, Ethereum also proposed another standard, EIP-2309. It is expected to facilitate NFT minting, allowing developers to mint an unlimited number of tokens per transaction.
The following reasons make Ethereum a useful platform for NFT development.
- Ethereum allows users to verify token metadata and transaction history publicly. This makes it easy to prove the ownership history of the NFT.
- After confirming a transaction, it's almost impossible for that data to be manipulated. Therefore, it's not possible to steal the NFT ownership.
- Ethereum allows peer-to-peer NFT trading, eliminating the need for platforms that take a massive share of the transaction as compensation.
- The tokens are always available for sale since Ethereum doesn't ever go down.
Required Tech Skills
When you hire NFT engineers to develop NFTs on Ethereum, make sure they have the following skills:
- Understanding of Cryptography: The developer should have a solid understanding of cryptography for creating and verifying digital signatures. Understanding the basics of cryptography will ensure the security of NFT transactions. They should know about ring signatures, encrypted storage, hash functions, zero-knowledge proofs, and private key encryption.
- ERC-721 Token Familiarity: The NFT developer should understand the ERC-721 standard and the various use cases of the token. Since most NFTs on Ethereum are built based on this standard, they must know how to create and implement ERC-721 in their project.
- Solidity: The blockchain and cryptocurrency expert should be familiar with Solidity development and its tools like Truffle for developer workflow.
Flow is a PoS-based blockchain made specifically to mint NFTs and create crypto apps or games. Since its launch 2020, it has become an alternative to Ethereum for NFT development.
Smart contracts on Flow are powered by Cadence, which is a proprietary programming language the blockchain's developers have made. The platform has multi-role and multi-node architecture that is instrumental in transaction processes, such as verifying NFTs.
One of the significant features of Flow that make it suitable for NFT development is its superior performance. More than 10,000 transactions can be executed on the platform every second.
The features of Flow that make it suitable for building NFTs include:
- Cadence: The easy-to-learn programming language has been made specifically for the platform to develop digital assets and dApps.
- Flow Client Library: The Flow Client Library is a browser-based collection of functions and features that can be used to build NFT projects on the platform.
- Upgradeable Smart Contracts: NFT developers can patch bugs and upgrade some parts of smart contracts securely on the blockchain.
- User-Ready Experience: The blockchain supports ecosystem optimization and has multiple payment onramps that make it ready for consumer applications.
Required Tech Skills
NFT developers that use Flow must be familiar with Cadence, the programming language used by Flow to code transactions, scripts, and smart contracts.
The design of Cadence is inspired by the languages Move and Rust. Developers should know how to write the following three Cadence programs:
- Contracts: A contract is a program deployed to Flow, initiating your NFT's logic. It allows access to all the capabilities and resources your token has. The common constructs of a contract are interfaces and resources. A resource is an item that is stored in the user's account. Resources are accessible based on the access control measures defined by the smart contract. The interface defines the capabilities or behaviors of the resources.
- Transactions: The transaction indicates to the on-chain contract that the state of the chain should be changed. In this regard, Flow is similar to Ethereum since the change is irreversible.
- Scripts: On Cadence, scripts are programs that read the blockchain's state. Developers do not require an account to sign up for scripts, nor do they have to pay gas fees.
Solana has quickly become a competitor for Cardano and Ethereum since it is a comparatively faster programmable blockchain. The blockchain has hundreds of projects, including Web3, DeFi, and NFTs.
The platform can execute 65,000 transactions every second, which makes it a highly attractive blockchain due to fast order execution.
Solana's minting program — Candy Machine — allows NFT developers to focus on their artwork rather than writing new smart contracts. The program provides support across the ecosystem and lets developers customize the program accordingly.
The Solana ecosystem gives developers access to DAOs, artist collectives, marketplaces, and rationalization tools. Launchpad on Solana is a product from Magic Eden that lets creators mint collections even with little technical knowledge.
Solsea, the NFT marketplace on Solana, is so popular that Coachella 7Music Festival struck a deal with FTX to launch Solana NFTs.
Required Tech Skills
Here are the tech skills NFT developers need to use Solana for minting:
- C, C++: Expertise in C and C++ is a prerequisite for the Solana platform since writing on-chain programs is done using C and C++.
- Rust: Rust is an intermediate programming language that enables developers to develop applications and libraries on top of it. The developer must be familiar with data structures, object-oriented programming, and other common constructs of a typical general-purpose language such as package manager, build systems, testing frameworks, etc.
Where to Find Developers for NFT Projects
You can find NFT developers online quite easily through freelancing sites, job boards, and talent marketplaces.
Some of the best places to search for talent include:
Niftyjobs — NFT Job Board
Niftyjobs is a job board specifically designed for jobs in the NFT space. You can create a job post based on your requirements, and a professional will contact you through the platform.
The jobs can be filtered by location, contract type, and role on the platform.
LinkedIn is a great place to find talent for NFT projects. Search for some relevant keywords like "crypto" and "NFT."
People also mention their NFT or blockchain-related experience and skills in their bios. If you want to hire NFT engineers through LinkedIn, follow these steps:
- Set Up a Company Page: If you don't already have a company page, make one. It will add credibility to your company. You can also enable "job postings" on your company page so candidates can apply to your open positions directly through the platform.
- Choose Keywords for Your Job Posting: Use appropriate keywords related to NFTs when creating a post. This way, NFT developers can find your job post on LinkedIn more easily.
- Target Your Audience: You can target your audience based on geography and profession to find the right candidate for the job more easily.
Talent marketplaces are another great way to find developers for your NFT projects. The major benefit of a talent marketplace is that professionals on the platform will be pre-vetted, saving you a lot of time and resources.
Revelo is an ideal talent partner for companies that want to enter the NFT space through the help of experienced, pre-vetted, and ready-for-work NFT engineers. Since Revelo vets the NFT engineers for you, all you have to do is choose the talent and get them on board.
How to Hire an NFT Engineer
When hiring NFT developers, you must make sure they're highly skilled and have relevant experience. Many companies have trouble reaching out to the right talent.
Plus, the interview and job posting process is often difficult. The first NFT came out in 2014, and hiring managers have not yet adapted to a specific hiring process for blockchain developers.
NFT Developer Job Post Example
When posting a job on Niftyjobs or any other platform, you need to make sure that you're adding the required information.
Company Information: Start by introducing your company. What do you do? Why do you want to hire an NFT developer? You can also give an insight into the kind of work environment or culture you have in the workplace.
Job Description: The job description explains the role requirements, responsibilities, and salary. It should include the job title, purpose, start date, hours required per week, potential problems with lack of experience or motivation to learn about blockchain concepts.
Salary Range: The range is also important since it will give people an idea of how much they can earn per month. You can mention the salary range in the job description, although there's no need to specify a particular amount — unless local laws specify otherwise, of course.
Extra Requirements: This section is important for companies looking for NFT developers who have experience with Solidity or TypeScript. Some people prefer seeing specific requirements listed rather than just a general list of skills that the applicant should have.
Job Strategy: The strategy refers to how you handle hiring and what challenges will come up. This section is important since it shows the company's attitude towards hiring needs and expectations from employees.
Responsibilities: Here, you mention the duties you expect the developer to fulfill, such as specific skills that you want the developer to learn and the tasks they will complete.
NFT Job Posting in Action
In this example of Community Manager + Marking (NFT), Cauldron, a newly funded startup, explains why it wants to hire a professional with a background in games and digital products.
Similarly, this Solidity/Website Developer job post shows that the company wants to launch a new NFT project on Ethereum. To attract applicants, the job post mentioned that the company pays in crypto.
If you offer any similar irresistible benefits, it would be good to mention them in the job post to attract strong applicants.
NFT Interview Questions
Here are a few questions to ask NFT developers during the interview process.
- Can you give some examples of industries that have benefitted from blockchain technology? It helps to know how familiar the developer is with the overall scope of blockchain. It will also give you an insight into how knowledgeable they are about the advancements in the NFT space.
- Do you have any experience with NFT minting? If you work with someone who already has experience with NFT minting, you can be confident knowing that the applicant has some of their previous work to show you.
- Which blockchain are you most comfortable using? If you have a blockchain preference, you'd want to make sure the person you hire is skilled in working with that particular blockchain. Some developers are experts in multiple blockchains, which is an asset if you have no preferences.
- How do you see the future of NFTs? If you plan on working with an NFT engineer for a long time, it would be good to know their opinion about the future of NFTs. If your views align, it might be a good sign that they are compatible with your vision for your product or project.
- What kind of projects would interest you in the blockchain space? This question is important to learn how well suited your applicant's interests match your company's plans.
Many developers and blockchain engineers participate in online challenges to practice their skills. You can either organize a challenge to find the right talent or find professionals from websites like Codewars and Edabit, where developers partake in challenges regularly.
Since the winners of these challenges are clearly skilled at what they do, you can expect them to be strong candidates for your project too.
Finding the right NFT developers is indeed essential if you want to successfully build an NFT product or project. Make sure you describe the project well in the job post and specify the developer's responsibilities.
If you don't want to spend your resources and time vetting potential employees, you can find skilled developers from a talent marketplace like Revelo, where NFT developers with substantial experience and impeccable skills are ready for hire.