How to Hire Ethereum Developers?

Ethereum has pole position in the race toward a Blockchain standard. So how do you hire Ethereum developers?

If you’re a human resources officer, startup founder, CTO, or business division executive whose been in the technology game for a while, you’ve almost certainly become adept at hiring software developers. You might have a large LinkedIn network. You might be accustomed to searching competitors movements on angel.co. You might even be an old hand at sifting through Github repositories. There is a constellation of different kinds of software developers out there…and you know how to tell the good ones from the bad ones.

But there are software developers…and there are Ethereum developers. Ethereum has pole position in the race towards a Blockchain standard. But just a few years have slipped by since Vitalik Buterin plunked out his seminal white paper in 2013, and in the interim, just a fraction of the 18.5 million software developers worldwide know how to develop on the Ethereum platform.

If you want to know how to hire Ethereum developers, you first may just want to understand what makes Ethereum development so unique. And why it’s so critical to find Ethereum developers with a few very strong characteristics. Your lead Ethereum engineer makes—or breaks—your business, so you can’t afford to get this wrong.

Last month’s evolution is already today’s dinosaur. That’s part of the excitement. To keep up, an Ethereum developer needs to be a so-called “Super-Learner”— someone who reads voraciously and can master new concepts faster than the average software developer.

1. Ethereum Developers must be Super-Learners
Ethereum is a baby in the tech development world. As such, the possibilities it presents are growing and changing quickly. First Ethereum out-did Bitcoin by creating a more conventional and flexible development standard. Then it sped things up by streamlining transaction time from 10 minutes to just 15 seconds with the Ghost Protocol. At the time of this writing (perhaps already out of date by the time you read it), the Ethereum community is working on the Casper protocol and shift to Proof of Stake (PoS) instead of Proof of Work (PoW). Last month’s evolution is already today’s dinosaur. That’s part of the excitement. It’s fun riding the wave of this incredibly fast-moving technology. On the other hand, as new potential emerges, so do many challenges. Your Ethereum engineer has to be constantly learning. To keep up, an Ethereum developer needs to be a so-called “Super-Learner”— someone who reads voraciously and can master new concepts faster than the average software developer. Ask potential hires about the skills they’ve picked up recently, how long it took them and how they did it. You might find indications as to whether your Ethereum developer will be able to keep up or not.

2. Ethereum Developers must be Extremely Versatile
There isn’t really a singular definition of what an Ethereum developer is, other than “a Blockchain engineer who works on the Ethereum platform.” Likewise, the definition of a Blockchain engineer is somewhat fluid, as we covered in our Feature on “What is a Blockchain Developer?” At a minimum, however, an Ethereum developer needs a few things:

• A strong understanding of Distributed Ledgers and perhaps Distributed Storage
• A solid grasp of cryptography
• Strong skills in designing consensus algorithms
• A background in Peer-to-peer (P2P) networking
• A foundation in risk analysis and data security

In addition to a smattering of important coding languages, Ethereum programmers specifically use Solidity to write smart contracts. Initially, Solidity was designed to work a lot like Javascript, but over time, has come to resemble a mash-up of Javascript and C. As problems surface and requirements diversify, Solidity keeps changing. Many developers mistakenly think of Solidity as an easy, familiar language. Not necessarily so. While Ethereum and Solidity do make Blockchain development much more accessible than initially possible with Bitcoin, the process and language are still particularly challenging to master.

A good Ethereum developer comes to the table with more than one ace up his sleeve. While no Ethereum developer is likely to know every protocol and programming language relevant to Blockchain development, if you want to hire an Ethereum engineer, you need to find a bit of a swiss army knife

3. Ethereum Developers must be Meticulous “Trouble Shooters”

Ethereum developers must be talented trouble-spotters— and shooters. They must have a strong instinct for where things might go wrong, the ability to think like a hacker to determine where weaknesses might be exploited

Once uploaded, Ethereum code can’t be easily changed or removed. Smart contracts and the Blockchain trails they leave behind are are designed by nature to be immutable. Done well, an Ethereum based distributed application is a thing of almost utopian beauty—functioning autonomously and fairly for all constituents.However, to get off the ground, a human must be involved— an Ethereum developer— and as we all know to err is human. It is very easy to make mistakes. And one slight flaw in the system is to hackers as blood in the water is to circling sharks. There are no backdoor options in an Ethereum-based Dapp to take the system down and debug it. You would have to dismantle your entire platform and rebuild it from scratch to fix a bug. Not only can this cost platform owners and users millions, but it is more than enough to ruin a promising venture…like The Dao.

Ethereum developers must be talented trouble-spotters— and shooters. They must have a strong instinct for where things might go wrong, the ability to think like a hacker to determine where weaknesses might be exploited…and they need to test, test and test some more. An Ethereum developer tests code in three stages:

• Local testing within a simulated environment
• Testing on a live test network (called testnet)
• Testing before on the main Ethereum network.

Ethereum is part of the brave new world of Blockchain, one which hasn’t been around long enough to determine all that can go wrong. It is getting better by the day, however, with security philosophies, bug bounty program guidelines, and best-practice procedures emerging as we progress. An outstanding Ethereum developer is meticulous in his work, recognizing and eliminating weak spots in code, so that valuable tokens stay where they belong — not in the pockets of hackers.

 

We here at Blockchain Developers, Inc. are world-class at helping you find and hire the talented Blockchain developers you need to grow. Just fill out our contact form, and we’ll be happy to see if we can help!