How to Recruit Blockchain Developers

Demand for Blockchain Developers is white hot! Startup CTOs and corporate recruiters need to adapt to attract the best talent.

In 2017 Blockchain ventures raised 3.7 billion in ICOs and another $0.5 billion in venture capital. But with precious few experienced blockchain developers in existence and even fewer amongst them willing to work on your terms, Blockchain entrepreneurs are left with a curious dilemma… “How do You Recruit Blockchain Developers?”

They’ve come…Now find Blockchain Developers to Build It.

Any lingering doubts that early Blockchain pioneers may have had about the technology’s ability to surpass its abstruse origins were definitively laid to rest in 2017 as professional investors and early adopters acknowledged the importance of the Blockchain—with their fiat wallets. On top of approximately $4 billion in ICOs in 2017, Blockchain startups attracted at least another $0.5 billion from VCs. Established companies pivoted to include or even focus on Blockchain tech, mainstream media and the general public hopped on board as Bitcoin shot to fame, and the runaway Blockchain train now truly seems unstoppable.

The truth is, even some of the most thought-out and best-funded Blockchain projects are still in white paper stage. The process to plan, code, test, integrate and test some more is still months and years in the making for many ventures. And that takes experienced Blockchain engineers. It reminds one of the refrain from Kevin Costner’s’ movie Field of Dreams…”If you build it, they will come.” The debut of Blockchain has left many entrepreneurs with the obverse dilemma…“They’ve come…Now, can you really find Blockchain developers to build it?”

Demand for Blockchain Developers is White Hot!

“The number of job postings including the term Blockchain increased by 115% from 2016 to 2017.”

How many new Blockchain ventures have come onto the scene in the last year or two? How many existing technologycompanies have pivoted into Blockchain or added a Blockchain component to their existing models? While reliable statistics on the number of new ventures to enter the Blockchain fray are hard to come by, an IBM study of 3,000 leading company C-suite executives conducted in mid-2017 revealed that a full third of them were planning to integrate Blockchain in their business operations.

According to employment analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies, the number of job postings including the term “Blockchain” increased by 115% from 2016 to 2017, already making the skillset the second highest in demand, trailing only robotics.

Research like this just serves to support what the empirical evidence on the ground already tells us — the demand for Blockchain developers is white hot!

Finding Blockchain Developers is Hard…

Here’s the dilemma. In 2016, there were believed to be no more than 5,000 developers worldwide dedicated to the Blockchain and cryptocurrency programming. That estimate is downright paltry compared to an estimated 18.5 million general software engineers worldwide. Think about that for a moment … the industry is under rapid development and change, mainstream corporations are jumping on board, and perhaps but a few hundredths of a percentage point of developers worldwide truly understand this technology.

This tremendous shortage of experienced Blockchain engineers in the industry makes it very difficult to recruit the right talent for your venture. The problem is exacerbated by three particularly menacing conditions:

  1. Blockchain-related ventures are growing at an exponential rate, meaning that more and more firms want to hire the same Blockchain engineers that you do.
  2. Blockchain development operates under a different paradigm of software development, demanding that traditional developers pick up challenging new skills before they can really perform. (That takes a commodity none of us really has….time!)
  3. Blockchain based systems are designed to perform autonomously, to inherently reduce risk. But as Ripple CTO Stefan Thomas pointed out, “Blockchain technology lacks a history of secure code,” meaning that inexperienced Blockchain developers, working to meet fast-paced business demands, may inadvertently leave vulnerabilities in the system. (Remind you of The Dao, anyone?) Unlike many other software systems, bad Blockchain code can be very hard to patch.

(For more on this, see our article “Why are Blockchain Developers so Hard to Find?”)

…and Blockchain developers can be very expensive!

With blockchain developers in short supply, it is not surprising that experienced Blockchain developers command high salaries—if they’re willing to work for you at all. In December 2017, Computerworld reported that “The median income for blockchain developers in the U.S. is $130,000 a year, compared to general software developers, whose annual median pay is $105,000.” That median was $120,000-$180,000/year, according to Business Insider, and £200-300,000 ($250,000-$400,000) as reported on Bitcoin.com. (See our feature article “ How Much do Blockchain Developers Cost?” for more details.)

So how DO you recruit a Blockchain developer, anyway?!

“Blockchain developers are NOT searching job boards for your opportunity. To engage with them, you need to fish where the fish are.”

With all of the above context, finding good Blockchain talent is no trifling matter. The good news is — good Blockchain developers of all stripes DO exist, and on the whole, ARE interested in taking this industry forward.To hire a Blockchain developer, first you need to think like a Blockchain developer. After talking to experienced, committed developers every day for quite some time now, we here at Blockchain Developers, Inc. have the following recommendations for attracting and hiring the best Blockchain talent:

Top Five Ways to Recruit Blockchain Developers:

  1. Be Interesting.
    Leading Blockchain developers with chops are extremely bright and incredibly passionate. If they’ve been around for a while in the Blockchain world, they got into this field to change the world, not to “punch a clock.” To attract good Blockchain staff, you need them to feel that what you are doing is of genuine importance and a bona-fide intellectual challenge. Blockchain Developers, Inc. can help you craft and share your message in a way that Blockchain developers will appreciate, but the actual “interesting” part is up to you… If your mission is humdrum, we probably can’t help you. (We turn away more new clients than we accept, for more on that, please read our FAQ on “How does it Work? / How much does it cost?.”)
  2. Go Remote.
    Probably around 80% of the Blockchain ecosystem talent is located outside of the United States. There are naturally pros and cons to hiring globally, and most US firms prefer to hire locally. Suffice it to say, however, that firms with “local-only” hiring policies had best start warming up to remote working arrangements, even if that’s only a time zone away. According to Stack Overflow’s 2017 developer survey, respondents consider “office environment” as a key factor in considering a job, and cite “days off” (57%) and “remote options” (53.3%) as the most important factors in compensation benefits packages. However you slice it, Blockchain developers don’t want to live in your cube farm.
  3. Farm It Out.
    If you don’t need hardcore Blockchain development talent long-term, can’t find Blockchain engineers, or don’t think your project is compelling (or well-funded) enough to attract the caliber of talent that you desire, you might consider throwing out the DIY model altogether. Firms like Consensys, Distributed Labs, and Mako Lab focus on turnkey software engineering projects, while Ideas by Nature and Searched.io do Blockchain consulting and branding for ICOs. Go one step further by pairing your own developers with these groups to learn on the job. It will probably cost you more in the end to work this way, but playing the smart long game has a storied history of beating the quick and dirty hack job.

    “Hiring Blockchain developers is not for the faint of heart. But it CAN be done, and done well. The winners and losers of the next few years may well come down to the staffing decisions that are being made on this very day.”

  4. Grow your Own.
    Even Consensys is not immune to the developer shortage. That’s why they have been running all-expenses-paid coding bootcamps for qualifying candidates in Dubai, just to discover a few pearls to hire. While that kind of undertaking seems a bridge too far for most, there are many smaller scale alternatives. Consider sending your most talented developers to a Dev++ Bitcoin Programmer Boot Camp at Stanford University, or through a Blockchain Programming Seminar near you, encourage (and pay for) Blockchain courses on platforms like Udemy or BlockGeeks, or, if you’re lucky enough to have an experienced Blockchain developer on staff already, align your team to bring them up to speed under the master’s tutelage.
  5. Seek, and You Shall Find.
    Maybe this one ought to be filed under: “Things not to do: Post a job opening and wait.”In the same Stack Overflow survey, only 10% of developers said they were “completely satisfied” with their job, 25% spent no time at all searching for new opportunities, and 28% spent only up to an hour per week. Blockchain developers are NOT searching job boards for your opportunity. To engage with them, you need to fish where the fish are. That means trawling Github repositories, joining slack, mattermost and reddit channels dedicated to Ethereum, solidity, bitcoin and smart contracts, attending and chatting it up at Ethereum development conferences, etc… You probably WON’T find what you are looking for with standard HR office practices like LinkedIn searches, so prepare to roll up your sleeves and do the work. (By the way…it’s really a LOT of work. That’s why so many smart Blockchain companies hire us to do it for them.)

Hiring Blockchain developers is not for the faint of heart. But it CAN be done, and done well. The winners and losers of the next few years may well come down to the staffing decisions that are being made on this very day.

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!

When to Hire Bitcoin Developers

If the hiring price of bitcoin developers were to rise in the same way that the bitcoin currency has already risen, many enterprises would be hard-put to recruit them. Rarely has any tradeable asset seen such a dramatic increase as Bitcoin, rocketing upwards by thousands of percentage points.

Since bitcoin engineers are also blockchain developers, their value is in their ability to help their employers ride the wave of bitcoin popularity and leverage the underlying blockchain technology for next-generation applications across sales, finance, supply chain, and more.

What is Driving Bitcoin and Blockchain Popularity?

The exchange rate for a currency goes up because the market is convinced the underlying economy is strong, productive, profitable, sustainable or has some other desirable quality. As currency rates rise, a virtuous spiral develops. More organizations want to deal in that currency for their sales, purchases, rentals, and other transactions.

More and more applications are being developed to handle the currency and to integrate it with existing systems. In the case of Bitcoin, this includes writing programs to use blockchain to support contract management, inventory tracking, and so on. Costs, time to transact, and risk go down. The value of the currency goes up again, and the cycle repeats.

If you think this is wishful thinking, then consider the following example. One of the biggest insurance companies in the world, AXA, has already investigated using Bitcoin to provide micro-insurance services. The trouble is that companies like AXA have also already been snapping up bitcoin engineers to help them further their business aspirations.

What is at Stake for Your Enterprise?

To be fair, no enterprise is obligated to join the bitcoin movement. It is possible to forego on the additional customers that bitcoin transactions might bring your way. You can stick to automated clearing house (ACH) transactions that take days, rather than benefit from bitcoin transactions that take only minutes. And, of course, it’s your choice if you prefer to pay all the intermediaries in a conventional transaction chain for the fees they levy for passing your money along to the next in line.

As Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the renowned expert on quality, reputedly said, “Survival is optional. No one has to change.” These reasons and more are why companies are building up their teams of Bitcoin core developers today, to control their futures rather than have their futures control them.

What Will You Need in Terms of Bitcoin Developer Skills?

Bitcoin coders are software programmers, and basic software skills are a starting point. But you’ll need to add an understanding of cryptography and an appreciation of economics and business transactions, if you want useful, practical results. This combination of skills is already rare enough in most enterprises, but it still isn’t enough.

Bitcoin core developers are also renowned for their passion to discover new technologies, work on transparent, decentralized solutions, and find solutions to problems that leave many others scratching their heads. They often started working on Bitcoin and blockchain as an outside interest, fueled by a desire to change a system that they saw as outdated, inefficient, and even undemocratic.

A bitcoin dev list is their preferred meeting place, rather than a company coffee machine. In short, it’s unlikely that you will find longer-standing employees ready to go with this combination of capabilities and characteristics.

How You Can Move Forward

You might try any of the following possibilities, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. First, is training an option? Be aware that learning curves mean increased lead time, and that competent bitcoin coder instructors may be almost as rare as bitcoin developers themselves.

Second, how about outsourcing? You’ll have to agree to give up part of or all the control of your bitcoin app development, leaving the outsourcer in a potentially dangerous position of strength. If the outsourcer stops working for you, it keeps its skills and know-how, leaving you to scramble to find a replacement.

Third, can you hire bitcoin developers directly? This solution meets the needs for speedy deployment and building skills in-house, although it depends on knowing how to recruit via non-standard channels like a bitcoin dev list.

The Time to Hire Bitcoin Developers is Now

Insurance companies, banks, large corporations – the race for bitcoin talent is on. Once bitcoin engineers are ensconced in these kinds of organizations, it may be hard to tempt them back onto the employment market. Bitcoin coders and blockchain developers in general are also in demand across a range of industry sectors, and bitcoin engineers gravitate towards the top of recruiters’ lists, given their knowledge and experience of bitcoin as a currency and blockchain as an enabling technology. Yet when you know where to look for them and how to attract them – and if you act now – good bitcoin engineers are still available for hire.

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!

Why are Blockchain Developers so Hard to Find?

Where are all the Blockchain developers? 6 reasons companies struggle to recruit Blockchain engineers.

It almost sounds like a corny one-liner: “What’s the difference between the Higgs-Boson particle and a top Blockchain Engineer?” (They actually found the Higgs-Boson.)

If you’re here, you likely already understand the exciting (and yet enormously frustrating) dilemma that the Blockchain startups and Fortune 500 organizations alike are facing…The Blockchain developer shortage. Blockchain is arguably the most important technological development since the World Wide Web. So if it is such a big deal—Why aren’t there any bloody Blockchain developers?

A deeper look reveals a more complex issue. Though Blockchain developers represent but a fraction of a percentage

“Blockchain job posts on LinkedIn have tripled in the last 12 months, and demand is so strong that top developers earn more than half a million dollars per year.”

point of the total software developer population worldwide, highly experienced Blockchain developers are easy to spot contributing to open source repositories, launching a new ICO or speaking at Blockchain conferences held throughout the globe. The vexing aspect of this dilemma is not that Blockchain engineers have all up and done a Satoshi Nakamoto on us…it’s that that most of the aforementioned Blockchain architects and engineers are simply unavailable. Here’s why:

  1. Demand for Blockchain talent is soaring:
    As early as June 2017, Bitcoin magazine reported that  “Blockchain job posts on LinkedIn have tripled in the last 12 months, and demand is so strong that top developers earn more than half a million dollars per year”. Job analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies put more tangible numbers to that in a study, which found a 115% increase in job postings between 2016 and 2017 for smart contract developers.And demand is growing rapidly. CoinDesk reported that posts for Blockchain developers on Indeed.com increased by an astounding 631% between Nov. 2015 to Dec. 2017!  In Dec. 2017, ComputerWorld reported that “Blockchain development is the second-hottest skill in the job market today, growing more than 200% since this time last year.” (Care to have a stab at what was number three? “Cryptocurrency engineers.”)
  2. Blockchain programmers aren’t looking at job postings
    Blockchain Developers Inc’s own review of LinkedIn job postings on December 31, 2017 turned up nearly 4,000 open positions containing the word “Blockchain,” with at least half of those describing “Blockchain Developer” or “Blockchain Engineer.” And yet, top Blockchain programmers aren’t looking for jobs. (They’re far too busy saving the World.) These crypto-anarchist types do not march to the beat of the typical career development drum, and in most cases won’t join (or leave) a project as a way up the career ladder. So using old-school methods to recruit Blockchain talent to your organization is a bit of a fool’s errand.
  3. Blockchain programmers also neglect LinkedIn
    Due to its robust search features and comprehensive career profiles, LinkedIn is the “go-to” resource for HR departments and professional recruiters alike. And it works wonders in other industries. But Blockchain programmers are notoriously unconventional. Something about the “look at me” manner of LinkedIn makes iconoclastic Blockchain engineers draft minimalist profiles that your ten-year-old might have banged out—if they have LinkedIn profiles at all. Typical Blockchain developers are singularly focused on disrupting the world, not on grooming their LinkedIn profiles.  Noted Blockchain investor and speaker Zach Piester put it succinctly: “You won’t find the great candidates through LinkedIn and Google.”
  4. Most Blockchain developers live elsewhere
    A casual search for contractors with Blockchain skills on poplar platforms like Upwork and Guru reveal most available Blockchain developers listed in Ukraine, Russia, Pakistan and India. A search of LinkedIn produces similar results, with developers turning up in India, China, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland. Fintech recruiting industry executives typically agree that a disproportionate share of Blockchain developers come from Eastern Europe and Russia. And why shouldn’t it be that way? The total US population of 325 million is but 4% of the global total, with China and India exceeding a billion each. Such is the nature of Blockchain that no country can claim any significant first mover advantage

    “I don’t know any good Ethereum developer that isn’t a millionaire. There’s a gold rush amongst developers to learn the coding language of money.”

  5. Blockchain developers don’t need to work
    As the anonymous developer of Blockchain Freedom Streaming, a full live streaming platform, said: “Most crypto experts made it rich years ago. If they’re writing or programming for money, there’s something wrong with them.” Aragon co-founder Luis Cuende agreed: “I don’t know any good Ethereum developer that isn’t a millionaire.” That makes for a bit of a challenge for organizations who would leverage deep pockets to recruit Blockchain developers. Money (whether fiat or crypto-currency) is not enough for this Libertarian-leaning gang. “What got me into Blockchain was my prior search for solutions to world problems,” Bitbay founder David Zimbeck told us in January 2018. “Money means nought to me.”
  6. Blockchain developers have their own companies
    In a similar way, top Blockchain programmers dedicate their energies and skills to follow their own dreams. Says Piester, “Quite a few are likely running their own startups. Therefore, they won’t want to drop all their ongoing projects to come work for your company.” “Everyone,” says Blockchain programmer and instructor Jimmy Song “wants ninja engineers who can pull a rabbit out of a hat, but they are unicorns. The ones I know are either founders, co-founders, CTO’s or in some senior engineering role being paid a ransom.”So, yes— finding a good Blockchain developer is a challenge. They’re busy, they’re rich and they’re idealistic. They neglect their LinkedIn page, stand oblivious to job postings and are head-down obsessed with their own vision and mission. But they DO exist, and they CAN be lured over to your project, if it is a worthy one. You just need to walk an unconventional path. (For more on that, see our article “How to Recruit Blockchain Developers”)

Meanwhile,  take heart—it may have taken 40 years, but even the Higgs-Boson particle was found eventually!

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!

Where to Find Blockchain Developers?

The most skilled developers who can build Blockchain systems are uncommonly talented, and particularly hard-to-find. So can you actually find them?

Blockchain Developers are a hard-to-find commodity today. The meteoric rise to public attention of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and fascinating Blockchain figures like Vitalik Buterin paved the way for the Blockchain revolution to begin in earnest. Daring concepts to change everything from banking to advertising to communications to healthcare have emerged through the power of Blockchain. As of December 31, 2017, Angel List recorded nearly 1500 blockchain startups, but the actual number is no doubt several multiples greater.

Without using hyperbole, the possibilities are truly dizzying.

Of course with every silver lining comes a dark cloud. Despite all of the promise of Blockchain, would-be Blockchain competitors are yet struggling to staff up for the race. A search we conducted of LinkedIn job postings on December 31, 2017 turned up nearly 4,000 open positions Worldwide containing the word “Blockchain,” with at least half of those describing “Blockchain Developer” or “Blockchain Engineer.” However most sources cite fewer than 5,000 genuinely experienced Blockchain developers worldwide. As a “Blockchain developer” is defined by a pretty robust set of skills and experience (for more on that, see our article on “What is a Blockchain Developer?”), it is reasonable to expect this shortage to be with us for some time to come.

If the defining question of 2017 for investors and entrepreneurs was “What do we know about Blockchain?” the sequel in 2018 might just be ”Where can we find good Blockchain developers?”

Talented Blockchain Developers are out there…if you know where to look

Zach Piester, co-founder of Blockchain-focused Venture Capital firm Intrepid Ventures, said it well in August, 2017:You probably believe that there just aren’t that many great blockchain developers out there. You’re wrong. You’re probably looking in the wrong places and or you don’t have a compelling enough value proposition to hire a great Blockchain developer.

“You probably believe that there just aren’t that many great blockchain developers out there. You’re wrong. You’re probably looking in the wrong places and or you don’t have a compelling enough value proposition to hire a great Blockchain developer.”

Before we get too deep into it, let it be said that it MAY be possible to develop your product without actually hiring any Blockchain engineers of your own. Due to lack of time or internal hiring expertise, you might choose to contract one of a very few (but generally reported as very good) Blockchain production studios that specialize in “made for you” Blockchain solutions. (We talked about farming out your development in our feature article “How to Recruit Blockchain Developers.”) Obviously, that does not work for everyone, and you may not be amenable to the lack of control, hands-on knowledge and good old-fashioned face time implied in this kind of situation. So, for the sake of this article, let’s presume that you really must hire your own Blockchain developers, and carry on.

First, here are some ways NOT to find a Blockchain Developer:

  1. Job postings:
    When you post other positions on monster.com, indeed.com, LinkedIn jobs and other popular recruitment portals, you probably get heaps of qualified resumes. It’s been a buyer’s market through the economic recovery of the past decade and you’ve probably been pretty successful finding the right skillset and cultural fit. But when it comes to Blockchain, let’s get real—Blockchain engineers are not looking at job postings. At All. Why would they? Every Blockchain engineer worth his or her salt is busy working on projects already. And don’t think for one minute they are worried about what’s coming next.  Companies like yours contact Blockchain developers with opportunities every single day. If you haven’t already done so, get in line and cry about the fiat money you wasted on that job posting. Blockchain developers are never going to look at it.
  2. LinkedIn:
    Ok, so posting job opportunities on LinkedIn doesn’t work, but what about searching for candidates using LinkedIn’s robust corporate recruiter tools? If you paid the $999 annual fee, you expect to get terrific value back, right? Here you might have slightly more luck than with job postings only…With LinkedIn’s robust boolean search features and 150 InMails, you might be able to reach some Blockchain candidates. And if your mission is compelling enough, you could start a few interesting conversations, perhaps even get referred to someone who is the right fit. But here’s the catch…Blockchain engineers are just not spending a lot of time grooming their LinkedIn profiles and checking messages from random strangers— if they have LinkedIn accounts at all. Your success with this will probably be hit-and-miss.
  3. Traditional Technology Recruiters:
    Now how about that nice recruiter chap who helped you find a senior technologist last year, for a percentage of the employee’s annual salary? He was quite effective in finding developers, why not tap him for this job? If you’ve got the right guy, willing to dive deep and do the serious digging, that might just work. But here’s a sobering statistic—There are over 18.5 million general software engineers worldwide, with deep specializations in every area of software development imaginable. In the Blockchain sphere, most estimates point to 30,000 or fewer engineers with ANY experience in Blockchain, and no more than a few thousand with more than a year in the field. Simply put—the job of recruiting Blockchain Engineers is an entirely different animal than recruiting other developers. A recruiter who understands very well the inputs and outputs of qualifying traditional software developers very likely has no idea what makes a star Blockchain developer tick. There ARE good Blockchain Developers out there. To find them, be a good employer.

“As an advisor to Ethereum, I can personally tell you that people were fighting to get onboard there. They had no problems getting qualified programmers… In my opinion, the best programmers always want to go to the most interesting projects, while others will continue to struggle to hire people.“

If all of the above was discouraging, take heart. In an October 2016 interview with Bitcoin Magazine entitled The Blockchain Developer Shortage: Emerging Trends and Perspectives,” prominent venture capitalist and Ethereum founding team member Steven Nyerhoff, said that “As an advisor to Ethereum, I can personally tell you that people were fighting to get onboard there. They had no problems getting qualified programmers. The same with Lisk. They’re a little younger than Ethereum, but as I’m observing their hiring spree right now, there are lots of people who are excited to go work there in large part because they’re cultivating so many new ideas and fresh approaches. In my opinion, the best programmers always want to go to the most interesting projects, while others will continue to struggle to hire people.”What that tells us is that for interesting projects, there ARE qualified Blockchain developers available in the World, with more growing up in the field every day as training resources and projects proliferate. Part of your job as a company trying to attract top talent is to be worthy enough a venture that pioneering Blockchain engineers will WANT to come work for you. (For more on this, see our feature article “How to Recruit Blockchain Developers.”)

Ok, so you’ve decided to hire your own Blockchain developers, you know what does NOT work to hire Blockchain developers, and you’ve got an interesting project that is likely to attract Blockchain developers. Here are 7 strategies that COULD be successful in helping you find Blockchain developers:

  1. Attend Blockchain exhibitions:
    Remember the expression “Fish where the fish are?” In this case, Blockchain Exhibitions are the very well stocked ponds of Blockchain developers. Avoid the retail cryptocurrency focused events and watch instead for where the developer community is likely to be. The Ethereum Foundation’s Devcon is one such event. Coindesk’s Consensus is another. There are many, many more, throughout the year and throughout the World.
  2. Go deep into Blockchain communities:
    You already know that Open Source is a key way to identify and verify software development talent, and the same is true for Blockchain. Github has areas focused on Blockchain, as do Stack Overflow and Reddit. You’ll have to embed deep, following developers, questions and message strings on topics like hyperledger, ethereum and node.js before you can begin to identify potential champions for your cause. But if you can invest the time to learn and develop relationships, this is a good long-term strategy.
  3. Try freelance marketplaces:
    One thing that we noticed about Blockchain engineers…they tend not to be particularly traditional. The roots of this movement come from cryptography, and anarcho-capitalism. The father of Blockchain, Satoshi Nakamoto is so interested in fame and recognition in “the real World” that nobody is even sure he really exists.  You don’t find a lot of Blockchain developers stewing about how to climb the ol’ corporate ladder. Many of these guys are outsiders and émigrés of the career world, which could be really good for you. Instead of posting your shiny, suited and booted full-time job opportunity on monster.com, consider looking for allies in contractors on forums like Top Tal, Upwork or Gun.io.
  4. Create a hackathon:
    For a few years now, hackathons have been popular ways not only to innovate out of the box solutions, but also to recruit hot new talent. Those same Blockchain developers who don’t give a sniff about your corporate lunch program and company trip to Disneyland might very well be the first in line to solve a truly interesting Blockchain challenge. If you have time to organize and promote such an event, hackathons can be a talent smorgasbord for the long term, with you at the head of the table.
  5. Poach your competitors:
    Yes, we said it! Follow Blockchain media stories and conference speakers in your sector and scour AngelList and Crunchbase to find all the competitors you thought you knew about already (and a few new ones you didn’t) and try to discern where there are good sailors on sinking ships. Where there are people there are politics, and it may just be that your mission and culture are a better fit for some legitimate Blockchain talent currently unhappily attached somewhere else. Be careful, of course, the Blockchain developer community is a fiercely passionate one…while you think you may be probing your target for trouble in paradise, they may actually be probing you for trade secrets.
  6. Acqui-hire:
    If poaching is not an option and you have the coffers for it, talent onboarding through synergistic acquisition is a tried and true expansion play. It’s the lock-stock-and-barrel strategy of Blockchain recruitment and not for the faint of heart or light of pocket, but if you need truly visionary Blockchain pioneers, who as individuals or small teams are likely already at the helm of their own startups, this may be your only move. Just make sure that you find the perfect chemistry and the right long-term value offer for such a big and potentially expensive move.
  7. Hire Blockchain recruitment experts:
    Still reading? You’re probably exhausted just thinking about the challenge of finding Blockchain developers. You should be. It’s challenging. It’s also fascinating, exhilarating, and deeply satisfying to find the perfect hard-to-find Blockchain talent that brings important projects to life. That’s why we do what we do, putting Blockchain Architects, Full Stack developers, Back End developers, Front End developers, Dev Ops Managers, UX/UI Designers and other Blockchain staff together with the companies that need them, every day of the week. It’s all we do, and we do it well.
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!

Searching for Satoshi: How to Hire Bitcoin Developers?

Bitcoin still plays a central role in the Blockchain universe. But how do you find Bitcoin engineers?

Three types of Bitcoin engineers exist. Those who build program applications that merely happen to interact with your blockchain, those who build applications for your blockchain, and those who make a blockchain from scratch. This third category is the least common, the most skilled, and the hardest to get. As of mid-2016, blockchain thought leader William Mougayar estimated there were only about 5,000 such individuals. They’re supremely rich, so they’re not seeking a job. Most freelance, so you’d want to consider hiring remote. There’s a trick to hiring the best of them. You may have to change your work environment and philosophy to get them. Here’s a peek into their characteristics and interests so you know what to look for and how to motivate them to join your team.

Qualities of Bitcoin Developers

Crypto-anarchists dream of a decentralized industry that has people all over the world functioning without government interference. Peaceful though their philosophy is, it tends to intimidate businesses. Get used to it. It’s part of who they are.

1. Autonomous: Bitcoin engineers worth their salt became extremely rich from Bitcoin early in their careers. They’re not in it for the money. They’re obsessed with the technology. As one Reddit member put it: “I was enamored with Bitcoin when I first learned about it, and wanted to know everything about how it works. I spent hours everyday after work (I was/am a software developer) learning and practicing the tech… researching the tech, writing smart contracts/Dapp prototypes, and more or less evangelizing this technology.” There’s little hope such people will agree to be caged. These are people who prize their personal freedom and tend to hate workplace conventions. They may agree to work for you remotely. You may have to relax your rules.

2. Crypto-Anarchists: Many Bitcoin developers are strong libertarians, or crypto anarchists, who aim to decentralize everything from governments to the monetary system. BitNation’s founder, Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof, summarizes their viewpoint when she stated that she hoped that cryptocurrency could replace the nation state and rid us of bureaucrats, creating “a world of a million competing digital nations.” Crypto-anarchists dream of a decentralized industry that has people all over the world functioning without government interference. Peaceful though their philosophy is, it tends to intimidate businesses. Get used to it. It’s part of who they are.

3. Intelligent: They’re highly intelligent in the areas of technology, science, finance and arithmetics. Blockchain programming is programming of a different order. “In order to get your head around the complexities of Blockchain,” says Opus’ Zeth Couceiro, “you have to be a pretty smart programmer anyway, it is not just like knocking a website together.” Your dream bitcoin engineer knows game theory and economic principles inside out. Bitcoin developers often work with money, and, therefore, have experience in areas like fixed income instruments, currencies, and commodities (FICC), equities, payments processing, and wholesale credit.

4. Passionate about Financial Technology: Your dream Bitcoin engineer frequents blockchain communities, chats on hackathons, and patronizes on- and offline meetings –  as a hobby. You’ll also find them on crypto Subreddits, writing LinkedIn articles, hosting podcasts, and so forth. While some have Ph.Ds in the field, others are self-taught. What they have in common is decades-long experience in the field and a passion for FinTech.

5. Innovative: Many Bitcoin developers have teamed up to work on crypto challenges. The really good ones form and develop their own startups. You’re likely to find them on platforms like Gitter, the preferred chat app for developers, Slack or Discord, or plugging away at blockchain projects on HackerRank or GitHub. They congregate on blockchain-related forums like Bitcointalk, relevant Reddit subgroups, blockchain meetups, and developer conferences like Ethereum Devcon (i.e., Ethereum Foundation Developers Conference).

Other typical characteristics include the following:  They’re natural multi-taskers, juggling many different projects at one time. The best of them are able to solve technical and business problems simultaneously. They know they can resolve all problems, are highly competitive by nature, and crave recognition by and from their peers. They want to change the world – again, that’s where their libertarianism comes into play.

The Cost of Hiring Bitcoin Developers

They know they can resolve all problems, are highly competitive by nature, and crave recognition by and from their peers. They want to change the world

The low supply and huge demand for Bitcoin engineers mean that many companies are willing to pay a premium for this expertise. Opus’ Zeth Couceiro estimates a range of $70-90K for “regular” developers whom startups hire then boostwith training. For full-fledged Bitcoin developers, “expect to pay [between] $400,000 and $600,000” for an annual salary according to former chief information officer at UBS and founder of Bussmann Advisory, Oliver Bussmann. Bussmann believes there are only about 20,000 people worldwide with this kind of talent. “Demand for these skills is high. To get the talent you have to pay,” Bussmann tells the publication Financial News. (For a more comprehensive look at this area, see our Feature article “How much do Blockchain Developers Cost?“)

Bottom Line

In short, demand for Bitcoin software engineers is high and growing. While Russia and Poland have an abundance of developers, the United States has far less. The search is harder, particularly if your project is not viewed as outstanding. Some of the solution lies in your hands, though it’s far from easy:  Walk their walk, master their lingo, speak their speech. Show dream developers how their work will change the world and how they’ll gain visibility. Expect to hire remote devs who cherish independence and who enjoy juggling three or more projects simultaneously.

You’ll want to be resourceful, imaginative, persistent, and flexible. Some buy a whole company only to acqui-hire the right talent. It may be worth it.


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!

How Much do Blockchain Developers Cost?

With Blockchain engineers in high demand, what’s the cost to hire a Blockchain dev?

According to Boston-based job data analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies, the median income for Blockchain developers in the United States was up to 30% higher than that of general software developers in 2017—and specifically, $158,000 in high-tech epicenters like New York and Silicon Valley. In Europe, cryptocurrency wallet company Eidoo’s CEO Thomas Bertani said that Blockchain developers are earning $10,000 to $15,000 monthly, while Crypto-Valley Association founder and former UBS CIO Oliver Bussman put Blockchain developer salaries in mid 2017 at “£200,000 to £300,000” a year. “That’s not a lot,” he added, ”Demand for these skills is high. To get the talent, you have to pay.”

Lies, damned lies, and statistics:

“Former UBS CIO Oliver Bussman put Blockchain developer salaries in mid 2017 at “£200,000 to £300,000” a year. “That’s not a lot,” he added, ”Demand for these skills is high. To get the talent, you have to pay.”

Mark Twain famously popularized the saying (that he himself attributed to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli) “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” What every honest statistician understands is that median figures can be misleading— especially when you consider the chasm between those highly experienced (and highly rare) Blockchain developer veterans and the Satoshi-come-latelies who have slapped Blockchain on their resume in the last 6-12 months. The latter greatly outnumber the former, making the statistical median Blockchain developer salary deceptively low.

Making matters even more opaque, earnings figures for top level Blockchain talent typically do not take into account compensation in the organization’s own tokens nor perhaps in Bitcoin, Ether or other rapidly appreciating crypto-currencies. Hiring a software engineer with a Blockchain project or two under their belt is indeed possible for $80-$150/hour as of the time of this writing, but as demand gets hotter and hotter, and as more developers venture into Blockchain, it is really hard to predict which way the market will go.

As for Senior Architect and CTO level Blockchain engineers, currently the sky is the limit. Job postings for Lead Blockchain Developers were listed at $250,000 on dice.com in January 2018, and we should not be surprised to see base compensation offers of $300-$500k/year for the most important Blockchain roles in 2018. A Financial News story concurs with this target, stating that top Blockchain salaries are already as high as $650,000/year.

Blockchain developers are in short supply.

There are three phenomenon driving the surge in cost for Blockchain developers. The first, of course, is the limited supply of experienced Blockchain Developers. Most estimates put the number of Blockchain developers worldwide in the low tens of thousands, with the truly experienced and talented amongst them numbering no more than 5,000. That amounts to approximately just a couple hundredths of a percentage of all 18.5 million software developers worldwide.

The field is young and the skill set needed to engineer Blockchain systems is complex. It requires knowledge of

Cryptography, Peer-to- peer networking, Distributed storage, Consensus algorithms, Smart Contract development and more relatively recently advanced topics, plus an expert grasp of up to two dozen programming languages, tools, frameworks and platforms. (for more on this, see our article “What is a Blockchain Developer?”) It takes a diverse set of skills to achieve expert status in Blockchain. It is not just hard skills that are important. Would-be Blockchain engineers must also be well rounded and analytical, perseverant and passionate.

As BitBay founder David Zimbeck shared with us in our feature article: “Becoming Blockchain: Interview with BitBay Founder David Zimbeck,” he spent 93 straight sixteen-hour days in a trailer in North Dakota gobbling down Taco Bell burritos and Mountain Dew before he was able to produce his first Blockchain prototype. That kind of single-minded dedication is not for everyone.

Demand for Blockchain developers is sky high…

“With the crypto-coffers of Blockchain competitors filled to the brim, and top Blockchain talent in desperately short supply, there will continue to be upward price pressure on Blockchain developer salaries for some time to come.”

The second condition driving up salaries is of course simply the high demand for Blockchain developers. There are now thousands of Blockchain startups (that we know of), with more coming on the scene every week. A search we conducted for the word “Blockchain” at the end of 2017 turned up nearly 4,000 open job positions worldwide containing the word “Blockchain on LinkedIn, with at least half of those describing “Blockchain Developer” or “Blockchain Engineer.”

Burning Glass Technologies released findings in October 2017 confirming a greater than 115% year-on-year increase in the number of job openings for Blockchain roles, with predictions that this growth would continue to be exponential.

…and the fiat is flowing!

Meanwhile, Blockchain startups are far from cash-strapped. The space is white-hot, with Venture Capitalists shoveling in hundreds of millions to those promising crypto-ventures willing to take it. The real money, though, of course is coming in the recently popularized form of Initial Coin Offerings. Blockchain ventures raised around 4 billion in ICOs in 2017 alone. (That’s to say nothing of the capital gains made from crypto-currency appreciation!) With the crypto-coffers of Blockchain competitors filled to the brim, and top Blockchain talent in desperately short supply, there will continue to be upward price pressure on Blockchain developer salaries for some time to come.

Money really isn’t everything…but ideas might be.

If the adage is true in general that “money isn’t everything,” that appears to be doubly true for largely Libertarian-leaning Blockchain pioneers. If your mission is only to make money, you may find yourself struggling considerably to recruit talented Blockchain engineers, many of whom could already retire several times over on the strength of stupendous growth of crypto-currencies in the past year or so. “I don’t know any good Ethereum developer who isn’t a millionaire” quipped decentralized organization platform Aragon founder Luis Cuende memorably.

Many Blockchain engineers are self-styled crypto-anarchists, who believe the Blockchain will make the world more harmonious, rid traders from government interference, cease corruption, shatter borders, and perhaps even end war. “What got me into Blockchain was my prior search for solutions to world problems,” Bitbay founder David Zimbeck told us in January 2018. “money means nought to me. I want to lead a self-sufficient life. After programming, I want to be a builder or have a farm”.

Whether it’s Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple or fiat currency, money is really only one small piece of the puzzle. Of greater import to many Blockchain developers are the unique challenges of your project, and its potential impact on the World. Prominent venture capitalist and Ethereum founding team member Steven Nyerhoff stated “As an advisor to Ethereum, I can personally tell you that people were fighting to get onboard there. They had no problems getting qualified programmers.” It is a far better thing these days to have an under-funded project with real prospects to positively disrupt the World than a forgettable concept whose best feature is a healthy checkbook.  (For more on what Blockchain ventures can do to attract the best Blockchain talent, see our feature article “How to Recruit Blockchain Developers.”)

The bottom line is this: Blockchain developers aren’t cheap. But if you really need a big budget to recruit a Blockchain developer, then you probably can’t afford one, at any cost.

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!

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!

Becoming Blockchain: An Interview with Bitbay Founder David Zimbeck

What do Chess, Acting, burritos and C++ have in common? Bitbay’s founder tells his story.

We sat down with David Zimbeck, early Smart Contract pioneer, and founder of BitBay, BitHalo and BlackHalo with one question on our mind… “What does it take to become a Blockchain Developer?” Zimbeck transitioned to Blockchain development from acting, real estate, film development and chess, among other adventures. He shared with us his thoughts about the paucity of outstanding Blockchain developers and the qualities that make for good ones. Here is what we learned:

Blockchain developers must be well-rounded and analytical

Zimbeck himself appears to be a man of many lives. At one time, he loved Chess—he won the Ohio scholastic state championship three years in a row, becoming Chess Master at age 18 and defeating 10 Grandmasters in a tournament in Europe. Later careers included drilling oil, handling real-estate, producing films and acting. (Watch Zimbeck swashbuckling a minor role in Pirates of the Caribbean 2.) Each experience, he said, contributed to his Blockchain innovations.

“Chess,” for instance, “helped me visualize code. It helped me plan, memorize and problem solve, as well as anticipate problems well in advance. Working in Real Estate was crucial when I was developing BitBay’s double escrow smart contract program, and oil drilling taught me how to press forward through fatigue and discouragement. Being well rounded is critical for perspective and insight.”

Perseverance, self-discipline and willpower are essential

“I was literally a nobody in Cryptography, and I came completely out of nowhere. I’ve been persistent with my goals. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”.

Zimbeck said it took him 93 sixteen-hour days in a trailer to teach himself to program from scratch. This was mid-Winter in North Dakota under minus-13 degree conditions. “I lived on Taco Bell spicy potato burritos, almonds, chocolate, sunflower seeds and Mountain Dew,” shared Zimbeck, “I would wake up, roll out of bed, and code until falling asleep. I developed a cough so bad that I had to fly to Florida after my prototype was done and be nursed back to health by my parents.”

What motivated him? “[This work] was what was needed,” said Zimbeck, “to make the world’s first smart contracting platform. I was literally a nobody in Cryptography, and I came completely out of nowhere. I’ve been persistent with my goals. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Blockchain programmers must be meticulous in their work. Blockchains must be secure enough to protect large amounts of value. Platforms, once built can only be revamped through great expense and risk of disruption to the communities they serve. For these reasons, developers need to be painstakingly careful and thorough in their coding. One mistake may easily cause the platform’s clients to lose hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars. David Schwartz, Chief Cryptographer of Ripple, who developed secure messaging and cloud storage software for government and military applications, compared Blockchain to a fortress. Enemies try to breach crypto infrastructure all the time. It takes a top developer to prevent and withstand these attacks.

Outstanding learning skills are more important than specific language familiarity

Job postings that seek outstanding Blockchain engineers usually specify a shopping list of requirements that include programming languages like LLL, Java, C++, Serpent and Solidity. To Zimbeck, the most important qualities are the abilities to keep on learning and to think “out of the box”.

“Smart contracts aren’t limited to one language. You should be able to deploy in any language you want on a sidechain or in a sandboxed fashion like JavaScript or Python. We engineers have many languages at our disposal,” he told us.

Zimbeck, a high-school dropout who only knew basic QBack and C++ when he first came to Blockchain programming, revealed that he taught himself Blockchain engineering by searching for information on Google. Indeed, Blockchain investor Zach Piester noted that Blockchain engineers need to think creatively, since Blockchain is an evolving technology, and since each usage case has its own unique requirements. The industry is moving at break-neck speed, so Blockchain engineers need to constantly update their skills, and need to have the courage to innovate audaciously.

It takes a great deal of passion to be a Blockchain Developer

“Money means nought to me. I want to lead a self-sufficient life. After programming, I want to be a builder or have a farm.”

Top Blockchain developers are not programming because they need the money, but because they genuinely love the industry, and/or because they see Blockchain technology as a tool for good. Zimbeck told us:

What got me into Blockchain was my prior search for solutions to world problems. Bitcoin didn’t impress me too much, since the decentralization of money won’t stop the media from dictating to people. However, I saw a lot of interesting potential with Blockchain, and this is what eventually lead me to the Halo idea”.

For Zimbeck, it was the drive that he’d had childhood on to make the world a better place. People like he see smart contracts as tools to not only protect cryptocurrency traders, but to make the world more democratic and trusting.

Blockchain engineers are often called “crypto-anarchists.” They believe in the power of Blockchain to remedy injustice, to restore trust, to help individuals escape government interference, to shatter borders, and to end corruption (among other benefits). These kind of individuals are neither grooming their LinkedIn profiles, nor searching for a way up the corporate ladder. “Money means nought to me,” said Zimbeck, “I want to lead a self-sufficient life. After programming, I want to be a builder or have a farm.”

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!

How to find Bitcoin Developers

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….

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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.

Look for such software developers on regular places like TopTal, Guru, Upwork, LinkedIn, ELance, StackExchange, SmashingJobs or maybe even CraigsList.

  1. 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.

  1. 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).

Many work on real-world projects through platforms like HackerRank or GitHub. Others participate in podcasts.

Bottom Line

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.

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!