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:
- 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.”)
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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.”
- 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!