Everything You Need to Know About Blockchain Developers: From Different Types of Blockchain Developers to Required Technical Skills to Their Salary

Blockchain developers have a bright future ahead of them. Learn why now is the right time to get into the sector, either as someone looking to become or hire a developer.

Blockchain & Web3 developmentUPDATED ON March 29, 2024

Developer in a blockchain themed office

Blockchain is reshaping industries with security, transparency, and decentralization. It positions blockchain developers as leading figures in this digital revolution. This guide explores the critical aspects of being a blockchain developer, from the various roles available through the technical skills needed to thrive in the field to the lucrative salary prospects these in-demand professionals can expect.

Blockchain developers are crucial in crafting the infrastructure and applications, covering everything from smart contracts to dApps. The field promises diverse roles, including NFT development and quality assurance, mirroring the sector’s expansion. This guide concisely captures the essentials of the blockchain development career path, serving as a primer for aspiring developers, those hiring in the sector or those curious about the field.

 

Why Blockchain Development?

People pursue blockchain development because it delivers secure, transparent, decentralized solutions. It fundamentally transforms how transactions and data are managed across various industries. By eliminating central points of failure, reducing reliance on intermediaries, and ensuring the immutability of records, blockchain enhances security, efficiency, and trust.

Its applications, ranging from financial services and supply chain management to digital identities and beyond, make it a key driver of technological innovation.

Explore blockchain’s development use cases in our blog, showcasing its role in transforming finance, healthcare, and voting through heightened security, efficiency, and transparency.

 

What Is a Blockchain Developer?

A blockchain developer is an expert professional who focuses on creating and enhancing blockchain technology solutions. This individual possesses a deep understanding of blockchain’s principles and applications, allowing them to innovate and develop systems that leverage blockchain’s unique capabilities, such as decentralization, transparency, and security.

 

Roles and responsibilities of blockchain developers

Blockchain developers are IT specialists and programmers who focus on utilizing blockchain to fulfill the technological needs of businesses aiming to adopt this innovation. Crucially, blockchain developers specialize in data encryption using specific algorithms and codes to secure data on the blockchain, necessitating a deep knowledge of programming languages such as Solidity, C++, Go(lang), and Java. They also require a solid understanding of blockchain fundamentals, cryptography, and mining processes.

These experts are skilled in working with application programming interfaces (APIs) to incorporate diverse software components, manage peer-to-peer networks for decentralized data distribution, and understand various consensus algorithms that enable blockchain decentralization.

Given the critical nature of data and transactions managed on blockchain networks, any mistakes by blockchain developers can lead to significant risks, including unauthorized access to confidential company data. Thus, accuracy, expertise, and a thorough understanding of the technical and security aspects of blockchain technology are crucial for developers.

Their roles and responsibilities are diverse and encompass the following activities:

Develop decentralized exchange protocols: They engineer systems that enable the safe and effective transfer of digital assets without relying on a centralized authority.

The Ajna protocol, highlighted in a Krusche & Company case study, is an example of decentralized exchange protocol development. Ajna leverages Ethereum and Web3 for decentralized crypto lending and borrowing. It is a flawless product that offers secure and efficient financial services without central oversight. Developed by a small K&C team on a budget of USD 475k, it represents a practical and innovative approach to DeFi.

Design and implement blockchain network architecture: These professionals craft and build the infrastructure for blockchain systems, ensuring scalability, security, and the capability to handle transactions and interactions effectively.

Develop and monitor smart contracts: Blockchain developers write smart contracts – automated contracts encoded directly into blockchain – to enable, confirm, or ensure the negotiation or execution of a contract autonomously.

Integrate blockchain solutions with existing software applications: Developers ensure blockchain technologies integrate smoothly with existing software, enhancing traditional systems with blockchain’s benefits.

Test the quality of blockchain solutions: Blockchain developers thoroughly test blockchain systems to ensure their reliability, security, and performance, addressing any issues during development and deployment.

 

Different Types of Blockchain Developers

The blockchain industry offers developers a range of specialized roles, each focusing on different aspects of blockchain technology and its applications. Here’s an overview of the various types of blockchain developers:

Blockchain core developer: This role involves building the core blockchain technology infrastructure, including installing security protocols, developing APIs, creating smart contracts, and understanding blockchain architecture and protocols. Responsibilities include assessing the crypto market, evaluating products, coding, performing code reviews, and supporting new technologies. Constant education on the latest trends is crucial due to frequent updates in protocols and standards.

There are different types of blockchain developers in a Web3 project. Some of them are as follows:

  • Frontend developers work on the user interface of blockchain applications using technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Backend developers manage server-side logic and database interactions and integrate smart contracts in Web3 projects. These developers work with programming languages like Node.js, Python, and Go(lang).
  • Smart contract developers write, test, and execute smart contracts with the conditions of the agreement embedded in the code, using programming languages like Solidity (for Ethereum and other EVM-compatible platforms).
  • Full-stack developers possess a comprehensive skill set covering frontend and backend development and smart contract development. They often act as the leader of a blockchain development team.

Blockchain application developer: Focused on the application layer of the blockchain, these developers create decentralized applications built on blockchain. They need proficiency in various programming languages, including frontend languages like Javascript and smart contract languages such as Solidity or Rust. This role emphasizes the development of user-facing applications rather than the underlying blockchain infrastructure.

NFT developer: Specializing in Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), these developers create NFTs and NFT marketplaces and integrate NFTs into existing platforms. Key responsibilities include understanding the NFT market, creating effective UI/UX designs, and implementing smart contracts for buying, selling, and trading NFTs.

Blockchain architect: This role involves designing and building blockchain systems from scratch or modifying existing blockchains to meet client needs. A blockchain architect must integrate various components of the blockchain ecosystem and collaborate with UX developers, IT professionals, and system administrators. Staying updated with industry developments and having experience in DevOps, cryptography, and blockchain are essential.

Blockchain UX developer: These developers focus on creating intuitive, easy-to-use, and innovative blockchain user interfaces, bridging the gap between familiar Web2 technologies and the newer Web3 technologies. Good communication skills are vital, as this role involves understanding user challenges and interacting with stakeholders to enhance user experience and facilitate mass adoption of blockchain technology.

Blockchain quality engineer: Ensuring the blockchain meets high-quality standards is the primary responsibility of this role. It encompasses various manual and automated testing types, including continuous integration testing, to avoid deploying software with bugs and glitches. Reporting test results, identifying vulnerabilities, and ensuring the software code base is as free from errors as possible are crucial tasks. Considering the significant risks, this role is critical in preserving the integrity and security of blockchain applications.

 

Why Become a Blockchain Developer?

Pursuing a career as a blockchain developer offers significant advantages, distilled into the following key points:

  • Robust job market and high earnings: Due to blockchain’s broad applicability across industries such as finance, healthcare, and technology, developers are in high demand, ensuring job security and lucrative salary prospects. The relative shortage of experienced blockchain developers also contributes to this.
  • Remote work flexibility: The characteristics of blockchain development allow for remote work, offering developers the flexibility to work from anywhere, which is particularly advantageous for those seeking a better work-life balance or those with mobility issues.
  • Entrepreneurial opportunities: With a deep understanding of blockchain technology, developers have the unique opportunity to innovate and start their projects, utilizing the technology’s capability to revolutionize various sectors.
  • Cutting-edge technological involvement: Being part of an evolving field, blockchain developers engage with the latest technological advancements, contributing to and shaping future digital solutions.
  • Diverse career options: Blockchain development goes beyond traditional sector boundaries, allowing professionals to explore a variety of roles and projects, from smart contract creation to blockchain architecture design.
  • Innovation in security and scalability: Developers can leverage blockchain to build secure and scalable applications, addressing two critical challenges in the digital world and enabling businesses to grow and protect user data effectively.

How to Become a Blockchain Developer

Roadmap to become a blockchain developer

Sample roadmap on the different steps to become a blockchain developer

 

To become a blockchain developer, you should first master a typed programming language such as Java, C++, Solidity, or Python, which are critical for developing blockchain applications. A strong foundation in information security, including cryptographic protocols, is essential given blockchain’s focus on security. Understanding object-oriented programming, data structures, and basic design patterns will help manage complex data and create efficient applications.

Web programming skills are also valuable because many blockchain applications feature web interfaces. Knowledge of networking and network protocols is crucial due to blockchain’s reliance on peer-to-peer networks. Familiarize yourself with blockchain architecture, smart contracts, and modern development tools specific to blockchain technology to build and optimize applications.

The blockchain field is rapidly evolving, so continuous learning and adaptability are key. Engage in self-directed projects or contribute to open-source initiatives to gain practical experience and build a portfolio. Participating in blockchain communities and staying updated on new technologies will enhance your skills and offer networking opportunities. Despite the challenges, the path to becoming a blockchain developer is rewarding, offering the chance to work on innovative projects in a high-demand field.

Essential Technical Skills of Blockchain Developers

Blockchain Skills

Overview of the 6 essential technical blockchain skills

 

Blockchain developers need a comprehensive set of technical skills to navigate the complexities of blockchain technology effectively. This skill set encompasses knowledge of programming languages, an understanding of blockchain architecture, experience with smart contracts, and proficiency in information security and cryptography. Here’s a detailed look at the essential technical skills for blockchain developers:

 

Programming languages

A solid understanding of programming languages is vital to excelling in blockchain development. Languages such as Solidity are essential for smart contract development, particularly on platforms like Ethereum, Polygon, and Binance Smart Chain. Go(lang), Rust, and JavaScript are crucial for backend development, while languages like Python benefit platforms like the Tezos blockchain. Understanding the nuances of these languages and their applications within blockchain contexts allows developers to build versatile and robust applications.

 

Smart contracts development

Developing smart contracts involves writing self-executing contracts with the agreement terms between two or more parties embedded into the code lines. Blockchain developers must be skilled in creating, testing, and deploying smart contracts, often using languages like Solidity or Cairo for Ethereum-based applications. They must also have good knowledge of Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) to develop smart contracts. Practical experience with smart contracts, including testing them on local networks or official testnets and publishing them on platforms like GitHub, is essential.

 

Blockchain architecture and technologies

A deep understanding of blockchain architecture is fundamental. This includes knowledge of how blockchains operate, decentralized data storage principles, and cryptocurrencies’ functionality. Developers should be familiar with the technologies of popular networks such as Ethereum, TON, and Solana to create applications that leverage decentralized storage schemes effectively.

 

Information security and cryptography

Proficiency in information security and cryptography is vital for blockchain developers. They should understand cryptographic protocols and methods for encrypting data at the sender and decrypting it at the recipient. This knowledge is crucial for ensuring the security and integrity of data on the blockchain.

 

Networking and protocols

Skills in networking and familiarity with protocols such as RPC, gRPC, and HTTPS are necessary for blockchain development. Developers must also understand the principles of the REST API architectural style to integrate blockchain applications with other software systems effectively.

 

Data structures and algorithmic skills

Understanding various data structures (like arrays, linked lists, trees, and vectors) and algorithmic skills are crucial for efficiently managing and organizing data on a blockchain. These skills are foundational for developing efficient, scalable blockchain applications.

 

Practical experience and case development

Having hands-on experience in developing smart contracts is highly desirable. Developers should have expertise in developing smart contracts in the language adopted for the network used, applying their knowledge of computer science and mathematics to use cryptographic tools effectively.

Transitioning into blockchain development is most accessible for those with a background in computer science, including mathematics, theoretical computer science, information security, cryptography, and data architecture and algorithms.

For existing developers, adding blockchain to their skill set involves building upon their foundational knowledge with specific blockchain technologies and practices. Continuous learning and staying updated with recent advancements in blockchain technology are imperative for success in this rapidly evolving field.

 

Blockchain Developer Salary

The average monthly salaries for senior Web3 developers are approximately €12,000-€15,000 in Europe, $18,000-$20,000 in the USA, and $7,000-$8,000 in India. These figures translate to annual salaries of €144,000-€180,000, $216,000-$240,000, and $84,000-$96,000, respectively. The final cost to employers varies based on local tax regimes, social security, and pension contributions.

For example, in Germany, the gross cost of employing a senior blockchain developer could be around €234,000 annually when considering a salary multiplier of 1.3 to account for additional costs.

Salaries in specialized roles like smart contract specialists are quoted at $300,000 annually or even up to $1M for smart contract security specialists.

 

Recruiting Blockchain Developers

Finding the right blockchain developers is crucial for the success of your project, given the specialized skills required and the competitive market. Here’s a streamlined approach to securing the talent you need:

Clarify project needs: Identify the specific blockchain skills and experience your project requires. This clear understanding will guide your search and help you communicate effectively with potential candidates.

Engage with online communities: Platforms like GitHub, Stack Overflow, and Reddit are rich with blockchain talent. Participating in discussions and sharing your project can attract interested developers.

Network at events: Blockchain conferences and hackathons are not just for learning; they’re also prime networking opportunities. These events can connect you with developers passionate about new opportunities.

Leverage social networks: Professional networks like LinkedIn and Twitter have active blockchain communities. A well-crafted post or direct outreach can yield surprising results.

While these steps can point you toward the right path, navigating the blockchain hiring landscape can still be challenging. This is where the value of a seasoned partner becomes evident. Companies like Krusche & Company specialize in blockchain development services, offering a blend of expertise and access to a broad network of professionals. Without making it the sole focus, considering a partnership with a firm with a deep understanding of the blockchain space can significantly streamline your recruitment process, ensuring you find the right fit for your project’s needs.

 

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, blockchain developers are crucial in driving blockchain forward. The decentralized world will advance after using their technical skills and innovative solutions. As the blockchain sector expands, the need for these skilled professionals grows.

In addition, blockchain development will be a lucrative career choice. Understanding the responsibilities of a blockchain developer is essential for anyone aspiring to enter or hire in this dynamic field.

 

FAQs

 

How long does it take to become a blockchain developer?

Transitioning into blockchain development takes a few months to over a year for those with software development backgrounds. Beginners might need 1–2 years, depending on learning pace and prior experience.

 

What programming languages should I learn to become a blockchain developer?

Solidity is for smart contracts, JavaScript is for frontend, Go(lang) and Rust is for general blockchain development, and Python is for versatile applications.

 

Do I need a degree to become a blockchain developer?

A degree in computer science is beneficial but optional. Many developers are self-taught or have completed online courses.

 

What are the essential skills of a blockchain developer?

Smart contract development, blockchain principles, programming (Solidity, JavaScript), cryptography, data structures, and familiarity with blockchain platforms.

 

Can blockchain developers work remotely?

Yes, the nature of blockchain work often allows for remote opportunities.