Where to Hire Bitcoin Developers

It’s the Wild West as far as Bitcoin development is concerned. If you’re one of the growing number of companies seeking a Bitcoin developer, your job search is reversed. Usually companies have the gargantuan task of sifting through loads of highly qualified programmers to reluctantly decide which ones to hire. With Bitcoin developers, you’ll be lucky if you find some that make the cut.

Three Reasons Why Finding Your Perfect Bitcoin Software Engineer is So Hard

  1. Bitcoin is new
    Bitcoin is a new technology. As such, it is a technology that is constantly evolving. Your perfect Bitcoin engineer would need to have, at least, five years experience in lower-level programming languages (e.g., Java, OCaml, and C#), and be familiar with backend and frontend systems, distributed systems and cryptography.

    He or she would need to be in touch with new and evolving technologies, be open to change and be willing to learn. “You can’t just say, ‘I am a highly specialised blockchain guy,’ because that actually doesn’t really mean anything, nor say, ‘I am really good at Eris’,” explains Seamus Cushley, Director of PwC, blockchain consulting services, “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.”

  1. A Bitcoin developer is not a regular programmer
    Many recruiters make the error of equivocating a Bitcoin software engineer with a software programer. The truth is, there is a world of difference – and this world of difference can make or break your blockchain. First, simple programmers are good at improving your app. That’s it. They don’t have blockchain experience. For that, you need someone who specializes exclusively in cryptocurrency, which is an entirely different, more complex topic. Such Bitcoin developers know how to program high-quality code for Ethereum or Bitcoin blockchains and are familiar with game theory and economic principles. They’ve worked in areas like fixed income instruments, currencies, and commodities (FICC), equities, payments processing, and wholesale credit.
  1. Bitcoin developers are not looking for a job
    Bitcoin engineers tend to be independently wealthy. They’ve already made it big from bitcoin. They don’t need your money. You’ll have to convince them to work for you, and you may find that difficult, especially since most Bitcoin developers are fiercely independent, tend to start or join their own ventures, and avoid the conventional workplace. You’ll have to be innovative, present them with something world-changing, challenging and atypical, and slant your team and your workplace philosophy to suit their tastes.

    Few companies succeed in finding or hiring their dream developers, which is why “There is far more demand than supply of developers,” says ConsenSys Chief Marketing Officer Amanda Gutterman, “who are skilled with blockchains.” Moreover: “With the total market projected to boom, we believe demand will only increase more sharply.”

Where to Hire Bitcoin Developers

That said, over recent years, several services have launched programs to meet the growing need for highly skilled Bitcoin engineers. ConsenSys launched its ConsenSys Academy where it trains some of the top programmers to become top Bitcoin programmers.

Some companies outsource engineers from blockchain development firms. Other companies hire stop-gap solutions from services like Microsoft, ConsenSys, Distributed Labs, or Cardano-Labo. This route works if you want to hire skillsets on a project basis, without committing long-term to particular workers. Job-market platforms that are more “iffy” in their selection include Ethlance, Altoros, and 1.s-pro.io. On the other hand, Coind may have higher-quality Bitcoin programmers.

Other places to find blockchain engineers are on blockchain meetups and in developer conferences like Ethereum Devcon (i.e., Ethereum Foundation Developers Conference). You can also advertise on AngelList and StackOverflow, or browse online blockchain-related forums like Bitcointalk, relevant Reddit subgroups, Gitter, or crypto channels on Slack or Discord.

Finding out where your Bitcoin developers congregate is part of the job. You’d also want to know what makes a great developer — and how to motivate such individuals to join your team.  That’s where other articles on our site can guide you further.

 

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!

What is a Blockchain Developer?

Need to hire Blockchain talent, but new to the industry? Not sure what makes Blockchain developers different from other engineers? Learn the basics here.

 

Back in the early 1990’s, when the Internet had just become “a thing” for most people, connection speed was so slow and html code was so limited that it did not require any significant level of technical basis to understand what a Web Developer did. He or she was the guy who wrote html elements like <strong> and <br>, right?

For talent recruiters within and out of the Blockchain sphere, however, the world has become more complex in the past 25 years. A Blockchain, unlike a website, involves P2P networks, nodes, cryptography, token exchange platforms and other more sophisticated concepts. More importantly, because Blockchain systems for the most part are built not on a single programming language like html but on a diversified technology stack that is partly dependant upon developer preference, there is no single programming language or identifying factor that definitively distinguishes a Blockchain developer from a general web or app developer, making the term “Blockchain developer” a misnomer…almost.

So who are these Unicorn-like “Blockchain Developers” then?

To state the obvious, first and foremost, a Blockchain developer is a software engineer who solely or in concert with other developers creates or enhances a Blockchain system. If you found your way here, you almost certainly already know what Blockchain itself is, but if not, here’s a cute explainer video that does a pretty good job.

“By the end of 2017, the total number of software engineers with any experience working on Blockchains was estimated at under 30,000 (out of a global population of general software developers numbering more than 18 million.”

There is a substantial gap, of course, between understanding the basics of Blockchain and actually identifying a competent Blockchain developer. By the end of 2017 the total number of software engineers with any experience working on Blockchains was estimated at under 30,000 (out of a global population of general software developers numbering more than 18 million). Of that amount, probably only a few thousand had more than a year or two of experience working on Blockchain development, and of THAT amount, it’s likely that very, very few were highly proficient in the range of skills, programming languages and experience that it takes to create entirely new Blockchain systems.

What DOES define a Blockchain developer is a set of skills and experience in the some or all of the following Blockchain concepts…

  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networking
  • Cryptography and Crypto-currencies
  • Consensus algorithms
  • Risk analysis, data security, anomaly detection
  • Smart contract development
  • Distributed ledger / Distributed application development
  • Distributed storage

Defining the attributes of a Blockchain developer might also involve identification of some of the most popular programming languages that developers are using to build Blockchain systems…

  • C++
  • Javascript
  • Geth/Go
  • Python
  • Solidity
  • React
  • Rust

Some of the most popular existing Blockchain platforms…

  • Augur
  • Bitcoin
  • Corda
  • Eris:db
  • Ethereum
  • HydraChain
  • Hyperledger
  • MultiChain
  • OpenChain
  • Steem
  • Stratis

Or a few of the tools, programs, frameworks, protocols, compilers, libraries, plugins, services and implementations related to Blockchain development…

  • Dapple
  • Embark
  • IPFS
  • Metamask
  • Mist
  • MongoDB
  • Node.js
  • NoSQL
  • Parity
  • Pudding
  • Solc
  • Swarm
  • Tierion
  • Truffle
  • Web3.js
  • Whisper

So a Blockchain Developer is a person who has all of these skill sets and knows all these programming languages and tools?

Not so fast. It is extremely unlikely that any one individual stands in possession of knowledge and experience in ALL of these softwares, protocols and platforms. Blockchain development in specific, and software development in general, do not work like that. The languages and tools used depend upon industry, use case, integration requirements, developer preferences and legacy systems. On an individual basis, what a Blockchain developer knows and does also depends upon that Blockchain engineer’s focus.

“What is important in considering Blockchain candidates is that they DO have a strong understanding of and experience with the basic Blockchain development concepts and protocols and strong experience in at least SOME of the key languages and tools preferred for Blockchain development.”

Is he or she a back end Blockchain developer? front end Blockchain developer? or full stack Blockchain developer? A Blockchain DevOps Engineer? A Blockchain UX Designer? Or the rarest specimen of all—a true Blockchain CTO or Blockchain Senior Architect, who will devise genuinely new innovations, choose the technology stack and guide the entire development team?

What is important in considering Blockchain candidates is that they DO have a strong understanding of and experience with the basic Blockchain development concepts and protocols and strong experience in at least SOME of the key languages and tools preferred for Blockchain development. In most cases, your Blockchain developer should also have a strong track record collaborating in open source communities like Stackoverflow and Github.

Well, then what is the difference between a Blockchain developer, a Bitcoin developer, an Ethereum developer, a Smart Contract developer, a Solidity developer, and a DAPP developer? (And which one do I need?)

In simple terms, a Bitcoin developer works on Blockchain systems using the Bitcoin protocol and platform, an Ethereum developer works on Blockchain systems using the Ethereum protocol and platform, a smart contract developer works on the smart contract creation aspect of Blockchain systems, using a language like Solidity or Simplicity, a Solidity developer specifically uses the Ethereum based Solidity program to create smart contracts, a DAPP developer creates front end applications in any language which operates autonomously on a decentralized network, and all of the above are in one form or another Blockchain developers.

Again, which roles a Blockchain employer needs to fill depends entirely upon the Blockchain company’s project(s), the existing team and skillset, and the preferred development platform technology stack and implementation.

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!