Bitcoin developers are rare, numbering only a few thousands really skilled ones. If you want to find and retain the best Bitcoin software engineers, you’ll want to know some tricks to get them.
The A-Z of Bitcoin Developers
First, Bitcoin developers fall into three fields.
There are those who….
- Build applications that interact with your blockchain: These are programmers who know web development and popular libraries like ReactJS. They don’t need specialized blockchain knowledge.
- Build on an existing framework (usually in the form of smart contracts): These are smart contract developers, with a background in programming, security and software testing. These developers tend to know IPFS/Filecoin, Oracles, token models, state channels, and the like.
- These developers build a blockchain from scratch: They are full-stack developers with a strong background in lower-level programming languages (e.g., Java, OCaml, and C#), distributed systems and cryptography.
So, essentially your search boils down to what you want your Bitcoin developer to do. Once you know that, the rest is easy.
Where to Find your Bitcoin Developers
- The “regular” Bitcoin engineer who improves your apps
You’ll want programmers who know web development and popular libraries like ReactJS. They don’t need specialized blockchain or Bitcoin knowledge.
- The “smart contract” builders
You’ll want Solidity developers, with a background in programming, security and software testing. These developers should be familiar with IPFS/Filecoin, Oracles, token models, state channels, and the like.
You may want to search LinkedIn for programmers that have these skills, scour relevant subReddits or place a cheap Reddit ad on crypto-subs.
- The highly uncommon Bitcoin blockchain builder
This is the rarest sort of engineer to find. You’ll want a full-stack developer with a strong background in lower-level programming languages (e.g., Java, OCaml, and C#), distributed systems and cryptography.
Here’s How to Motivate Terrific Bitcoin Developers to Work for You
Qualifications for your Bitcoin software engineer include the following:
A solid understanding of code and programming. You’ll want a backend and frontend developer, who knows codebases like Java, C++, Ethereum Solidity, Python and more. You’ll want them to have experience working with these languages in professional settings. Such Bitcoin developers also need to be able to program high-quality code for Ethereum or Bitcoin blockchains (at least), encode smart contracts and digital tokens, and master game theory and economic principles. They’ll need to have experience in areas like fixed income instruments, currencies, and commodities (FICC), equities, payments processing, and wholesale credit.
Your dream Bitcoin developer frequents bitcoin development communities, chats on hackathons, patronizes online and offline meetings, is an excellent multitasker and handles challenges. More so, Bitcoin engineers, as with all blockchain engineers, must be open to change and willing to learn. “You can’t just say ‘I am a highly specialised blockchain guy’ because that actually doesn’t really mean anything, or say ‘I am really good at Eris’,” explains Seamus Cushley, Director of PwC, blockchain consulting services, continuing to explain that, “Eris may not be here tomorrow: It may become the underpinnings of the globe or they may not. So it is the ability to change which is important.”
Places to Look for the Bitcoin Programmer?
Look for full-time Bitcoin software engineers on online blockchain-related forums like Bitcointalk or relevant Reddit subgroups. You may may also want to consider platforms like Gitter, the preferred chat app for developers, or crypto channels on Slack or Discord. You’ll find blockchain engineers on blockchain meetups and in developer conferences like Ethereum Devcon (i.e., Ethereum Foundation Developers Conference).
You’ll need to learn the rudiments of Bitcoin technology to find them. And even then you may fail, especially if you’re hiring a Bitcoin software engineer to build a private ledger for a bank – these individuals believe in decentralizing the system! You have to be extremely creative, resourceful, and almost emphatic.
According to former chief information officer at UBS and founder of Bussmann Advisory, Oliver Bussmann, there are only about 20,000 such individuals in existence. William Mougayar, reckoned that there are even less, estimating that there are approximately “5,000 developers dedicated to writing software for cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, and blockchain in general.”
Then again: Look hard enough and try hard enough, and you may find at least one or two great Bitcoin developers who may consider giving your company a try.