If you're interested in harnessing blockchain technology, consider hiring smart contract developers.
Smart contract developers can help you test, debug, and create smart contracts — blockchain algorithms that automatically execute, document, or control legally-relevant actions and events according to the terms of an agreement or contract. However, they can also help you develop blockchain projects, protect users from threat actors, and implement automatic transactions.
Read this guide to learn more about smart contract developers, what they do, and how much they make. We'll also cover how to hire a smart contract developer.
What is a Smart Contract Developer?
A smart contract developer is a programmer who writes, tests, and debugs smart contracts — blockchain network algorithms that run when certain conditions are met. Many companies hire them to create and implement blockchain platforms.
Smart contracts play a vital role in blockchain transactions. Every time someone performs an action on a blockchain, the blockchain automatically uses smart contracts to execute an agreement so that every participant immediately knows the outcome, without time loss and intermediary involvement.
Most smart contracts operate based "if/when... then..." statements. However, that doesn't necessarily mean they're simple. Depending on your needs, a smart contract can have as many stipulations as required.
What Can Smart Contracts Be Used For:
You can use smart contracts for many applications, including:
- Personal investor accounts: Smart contract programmers can use smart contracts to create a front-end or user interface (UI) for personal investors' accounts. Users can then use the UI to interact with smart contracts or blockchains directly.
- Fundraising: You can also use smart contracts for crowdfunding projects. Smart contract developers can do this by creating a smart contract and issuing tokens on the blockchain to attract the capital and interest of investors.
- Decentralized applications (dApps): dApps, also stylized as dapps, operate on a blockchain. Like traditional apps, dApps can be created for various purposes, such as social media, finance, and gaming. Because they run on a blockchain, they are free from the interference and control of a single authority. Other benefits of dApps include lack of censorship, flexible development, and the safeguarding of user privacy.
- Cryptoprocessing: Smart contracts can enable the acceptance of cryptocurrency for your personal account or project. Programmers can do this via crypto payment processing, internal billing, and token accrual.
- Insurance apps: If you're running an insurance company, smart contract coders can use smart contracts to automate your services and policies, increase transparency, reduce claims processing and administrative costs, and prevent fraud. They can also use smart contracts to automate claims functions and payments.
How To Develop Smart Contracts
Blockchain participants and smart contract developers develop smart contracts by establishing the terms and stipulations of their smart contract. They accomplish this by:
- Determining how their data and transactions are represented on the blockchain
- Agreeing on the "if/when... then..." statements
- Pinpointing possible exceptions
- Creating a dispute resolution framework
Once the participants have agreed on the contract terms, the smart contract developers can start coding. Many smart contract programmers write their code from scratch, but organizations increasingly provide web interfaces, templates, and other tools to streamline and simplify smart contract creation.
Finally, the smart contract developers test and debug the smart contract to ensure it's working. The main way to debug smart contracts is caveman debugging, where developers print to check the contract flow and inspect variables' values.
What Does a Smart Contract Developer Do?
A smart contract programmer is primarily responsible for creating, testing, debugging, and deploying smart contracts. Additional responsibilities include:
- Creating architecture for newly developed or existing software solutions using smart contracts and blockchain platforms
- Creating nontemplate smart contracts
- Integrating smart contracts into existing solutions
- Establishing smart contract audits using manual and automated tools
- Developing a comprehensive and effective economic model for your cryptocurrency project
What is a Smart Contract Developers Salary
Like other cryptocurrency professionals, smart contract developers typically earn high salaries.
The average smart contract salary depends on location. According to Web3, the average junior or entry-level smart contract developer in North America earns $140,000 to $200,000 annually. Here's the breakdown of smart contract developer salaries in other parts of the world:
- Remote: $150,000 to $250,000 annually
- South America: $112,000 to $150,000 annually
- Europe: $80,000 to $135,000 annually
- Oceania: $75,000 to $100,000 annually
- Asia: $68,000 to $150,000 annually
- Africa: $64,000 to $75,000 annually
The averages also differ significantly within continents due to seniority, with inexperienced coders making less than their experienced counterparts.
Entry-Level Salary for Smart Contract Developers
Junior or entry-level smart contract developers have under three years of working experience. As such, they tend to make less than their senior colleagues. A quick Google search reveals that most junior smart contract engineer salaries range from $80,000 to $120,000.
They are typically responsible for the following:
- Writing smart contracts in one or more programming languages, typically Rust or Solidity
- Testing and deploying applications across multiple blockchains
- Applying computer science and mathematical concepts to design and implement dApps
Most companies expect junior and entry-level contract programmers to have the following skills:
- Some knowledge of smart contract languages, such as Rust and Solidity
- Strong communication and teamwork skills
- The ability to work remotely
- Some knowledge of cryptography — cryptography is the study and practice of techniques for secure communication in the face of adversarial behavior; it involves analyzing and constructing protocols to prevent the public or third parties from reading private messages
- Some knowledge of security practices
Senior Smart Contract Developers Salary
Senior smart contract programmers have over five years of experience writing code in a major smart contract language and over three years of experience leading a software team.
Accordingly, they enjoy higher salaries than their junior colleagues. Job boards reveal that senior contract engineers typically range from $250,000 to $300,000.
Typical senior smart contract programmer duties include:
- Writing, testing, and deploying smart contracts
- Implementing smart contract designs with a focus on simplicity, security, gas efficiency, and ease of use
- Creating smart contract systems for interacting with and managing smart contracts
- Helping to build, scale, and manage a team of blockchain developers and engineers
- Supporting the rollout, adoption, and scaling of smart contract platforms or apps
- Mentoring and team members through mentoring, feedback, and career guidance
- Actively participating in project report documentation and preparation
- Researching and documenting engineering activities for both internal projects and consulting engagements
Senior smart contract programmers typically have the following skills:
- Over three years of experience working in a smart contract development company
- Experience with mission-critical software and distributed systems in one or more smart contract languages, including SmartPy, Solidity, Clarity, and Michelson
- Excellent communication, teamwork, and leadership skills
- The ability to work remotely
- Familiarity and passion for the latest blockchain and security best practices
- The ability to write secure code and prevent hostile takeovers of smart contracts
- Experience using dApps like Aave, Uniswap, and Maker
- Strong cryptography skills
How To Find and Hire Smart Contract Developers
Now that you know what a smart contract developer is and what they do, here's what you should do to find and hire smart contract programmers:
1. Find the Right Place to Source Smart Contract Developers
First, you need to find the right place for sourcing smart contract developers. Otherwise, you'll have difficulty attracting and retaining suitable talent. The top places for recruiting smart contract programmers are:
Job sites like LinkedIn, Monster, and Indeed can connect you with thousands of qualified smart contract developers. To get started, pick a site(s) and write a project or job description. Interested job seekers will then apply for your job through the site(s).
Job sites often provide many tools for locating suitable hires. Indeed, for instance, offers over 150 skills tests for evaluating potential candidates' knowledge, skills, and abilities. Similarly, LinkedIn offers multiple talent solutions, including:
- Recruiter: An all-encompassing platform for hiring talent, Recruiter gives you up-to-date insights on over 740 million LinkedIn members, recommended matches to prioritize candidates and advanced search filters. You can also see your teammates' communication history with job seekers and track your messages' performance.
- Jobs: LinkedIn Jobs empowers you to reach the right people at the right time. It targets your jobs to relevant members, even if they're not actively looking for jobs. It also lets you manage job posts based on how your hiring needs change throughout the year.
- Talent Insights: A talent intelligence platform that empowers you to make smart hiring and workforce decisions, Talent Insights gives you talent pool data to refine and focus your search. It also gives you:
- Real-time data, including company reports, talent supply and demand, and employer branding metrics
- Over 12 billion data points on companies, skills, talent, jobs, and schools
- On-demand talent intelligence tools with personalized recommendations, actionable insights, and learning resources
- A 360-degree view of your competitors, organization, and the market
If you don't have a steady stream of work and you want to save hiring costs, consider using freelance platforms to source freelance smart contract developers. Freelance workers provide many advantages, including:
- Lower cost of hiring: Freelance programmers are typically less expensive to maintain than full-time employees. Unlike full-time workers, freelance coders charge per hour or project. As such, you only need to pay them when they're actually working. Meanwhile, you would have to pay full-time workers a monthly or yearly salary, even if you have no work for them. Plus, freelancers don't require benefits, while full-time employees do.
- The ability to meet deadlines faster: Freelance employees can set their own schedules, which means they can work on holidays and weekends to meet deadlines faster. In contrast, employees don't work on holidays and weekends.
- Lower overhead expenses: Hiring freelancers can also reduce overhead costs. That's because they can work from anywhere in the world. They also use their own equipment. Accordingly, you don't have to pay for overhead costs like office space, supplies, and equipment.
Examples of popular freelance platforms include Fiverr, Freelancer.com, and Upwork.
Another way to find fitting smart contract coders is via tech hubs — regions, suburbs, cities, and buildings that promote innovation for tech companies. To hire emerging and established smart contract programmers in tech hubs, you can:
- Fly to the tech hub: If you don't live or work in a tech hub, you can physically go to a tech hub to hire talent. Tech hubs are full of startup accelerators, co-working spaces, universities, and networking events for entrepreneurs, academics, and developers. Write compelling job ads and hand out flyers and other marketing materials to increase brand awareness.
- Hire remotely: If you don't have the money or time to go to the tech hub in person, you can hire remotely by creating an online job ad. You can then post your ad on job and freelance sites and target your ad to specific tech hubs.
Some of the best tech hubs in the world include:
- Mexico City, Mexico
- São Paulo, Brazil
- Santiago, Chile
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Bogotá, Colombia
- Lima, Peru
Job sites, freelance sites, and tech hubs are great ways to hire smart contract coders. However, they all require you to create job ads and vet and interview candidates. This can be extremely time-consuming, especially if you have limited resources and staff.
Fortunately, talent marketplaces are here to help. Unlike traditional job sites and freelance sites, talent marketplaces provide access to thousands of pre-vetted tech talent. Just tell the hiring team about your business needs, and they will match you with suitable talent within a few days.
2. Write an Appealing Job Description
If you decide to hire smart contract coders through job sites, tech hubs, or freelance platforms, you must write an appealing job description to attract first-rate talent. However, you can skip steps two and three if you're hiring coders through talent marketplaces.
Here's what your smart contract developer job ad could look like:
Senior Smart Contract Developer — Remote, at Revelo
Revelo is Latin America's premier tech talent marketplace. Our mission is to pair first-class tech talent with startups around the world.
What We're Looking For:
We are looking for a Senior Smart Contract Developer to join our multi-disciplinary team of blockchain developers, engineers, and cybersecurity personnel.
- Code, test, and debug smart contracts with an eye for simplicity, security, and efficiency
- Collaborate with the business and product teams to create and test blockchain platforms and features
- Write off-chain code to manage smart contracts
- Research and create protocol upgrades and documentation
- Help create, scale, and manage a team of engineers
- Oversee basic security smart contract components
- At least five years of experience working in a smart contracts development team
- Experienced in writing high-quality and secure Solidity and Rust smart contract code
- Familiar with blockchain technologies, cryptography, encryption, security protocols, consensus mechanisms, and smart contract mechanisms
- Passion for blockchain technology, game theory, and decentralized finance
- Strong leadership and mentorship skills
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Strong understanding of system scaling and performance
- Work with external and internal stakeholders to provide users with the best possible experience
- $290,000 to $300,000 yearly
- State-of-the-art benefits, including subsidized dental and health benefits, free gym memberships, and tuition reimbursement
3. Learn More About Your Candidates
Once you've created your job ad, post it on job and freelance sites. You should then receive a flurry of responses. To save time and money, use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to scan resumes for relevant keywords, such as "Rust programming skills" and "cryptography."
You can then compile a list of candidates to interview. Ask each candidate the following questions to see what they can bring to the table:
- Why did you choose to become a smart contract developer?
- How long have you been a smart contract programmer?
- What do you enjoy the most about being a smart contract developer?
- What do you dislike the most about being a smart contract programmer?
- What blockchain platforms have you worked on?
- Have you worked with cryptocurrencies before? What was your experience like?
- What kind of companies have you worked for before?
- Do you enjoy working in a multi-disciplinary blockchain team?
- Have you mentored other smart contract developers before? If so, how did you find the experience?
- Which portfolio piece are you the most proud of?
- Where did you learn how smart contract development?
- Do you know how to write off-chain code to manage smart contracts?
- What is your favorite programming language?
- Do you follow blockchain and smart contract trends? If so, how do you do it? Are there any influencers you follow?
You can also test candidates' technical skills by conducting technical interviews and live coding challenges.
Hire Contract Developers with Revelo
Smart contracts play a vital role in blockchain technology. Accordingly, you must hire experienced smart contract developers to write, test, and debug smart contracts for you.
Many companies use job and freelance sites and tech hubs to source and hire smart contract developers. However, these methods require you to:
- Write a job ad
- Use an ATS to scan candidates' resumes
- Interview and test candidates for soft and hard skills
All of this can be time-consuming and exhausting, especially if you're a small company.
Luckily, tech talent marketplaces can help. They can match you with some of the best smart contract developers in the world. Unlike job and freelance sites and tech hubs, tech talent marketplaces have already pre-vetted talent for relevant soft and hard skills, so you don't have to.
Interested? Fill in this form to get started, and have a Revelo representative reach out to you.