How To Become a Blockchain Developer In 2023

8 min read

To become a blockchain developer in 2023, you must possess basic software development skills and additional talents specific to the workings of blockchain technology. The demand for blockchain developers is high and continues to rise. 

However, there is a need for more qualified developers to fill these niche roles. Blockchain engineers rank among the highest-paid developer jobs, with an average salary of about $125,000. 

To increase your competitiveness, learn to develop on the blockchain.

Read Next: Here’s How To Get Ahead of the Fintech Talent Shortage

How long does it take to become a blockchain developer? The time it takes to become a blockchain developer varies between 3 months and 3 years. If you already have software development skills, it may take as little as 3 months. However, if you are starting from scratch, it could take more than 3 years.

Got top-of-the-market development skills? Apply to join MVP Match as a freelancer. We source the highest-quality freelancers for interesting, challenging, high-paying freelance jobs in FinTech, blockchain, crypto, and so much more.

Software Development vs. Blockchain Development

Software development is a prerequisite for blockchain developers, but blockchain development requires additional technical skills, like Solidity experience.

Typically, blockchain developers use straight software development skills for many of their jobs. Blockchain development might comprise 20% of your job, but about 80% of the day-to-day in blockchain jobs consists of standard software development skills.

It’s easier to transition from a software developer to a blockchain developer than to learn how to develop on the blockchain from scratch.

What are the top skills needed for a blockchain developer?

You need the fundamental skills of a software developer — as well as more advanced development skills — to become a blockchain developer.

1. Blockchain languages

What qualifications do you need to become a blockchain developer? You should have experience or certification in at least one blockchain-specific programming language to qualify for a blockchain development job. Blockchain programming languages include:

  • Solidity — Since 2014, Solidity has established itself as the best blockchain programming language. The Solidity language forms the basis of Ethereum smart contracts and the Ethereum ecosystem. It’s stable, easy to learn, and secure.

  • Erlang — This new, highly-scalable language helps build peer-to-peer blockchain networks. Developers used Erlang to code WhatsApp, and its real-world use cases include blockchain, FinTech, and the internet of things.

  • Simplicity — This reliable programming language reduces the low-level understanding of cryptocurrencies, like the Bitcoin Script.

  • PHP — This relatively simple programming language is easy to learn and install. No modifications are allowed, but it is almost usable with any OS. PHP is suitable for smart contracts but not so good with large databases.

2. Software development languages

Below are the most common programming languages that don’t singularly relate to the blockchain but that blockchain developers should still know. Aim to know at least 2-3 of the following languages:

  • C++ — This popular programming language is helpful for cryptocurrency development, hardware capability optimization, run-time morphology, function overstretching, and multithreading. It’s fast and powerful, but it is machine-dependent.

  • C# — Microsoft’s “C Sharp” programming language is one of the most widely used languages in the world. It’s slower than C++ and other languages, but its rich library and robust capabilities have made it the backbone of blockchain technologies like NEO.

  • Java — This popular language allows you to develop applications and programs across various systems. Java is similar to C++ but with fewer complexities. It’s portable and easy to clean memory.

  • HTML, JavaScript & CSS — These 3 programming languages are the core of web development. Simply put, HTML is the content, JS refers to behavior, and CSS is how everything looks. Web development skills are helpful to blockchain developers because stakeholders will often ask developers to create decentralized applications (dapps) or smart contracts that you can interface through a website or mobile application which uses HTML, JS, and CSS.

  • Python — Python’s simple syntax makes it a common choice for new coders. This multifaceted language can write code for a whole program or quickly track errors. Python is a multiplatform that can handle big data, but it may be too simple for complex blockchain solutions.

  • SQL — Structured Query Language (SQL) is a relatively new programming language that powers relational database engines. This secure language makes the hybrid blockchain platform Aergo possible.

3. Blockchain knowledge

You need to understand how the basics of blockchain works:

  • Smart contract development

  • Decentralized finance

  • Cryptography and crypto-economics

  • Architecture and protocols of blockchain, algorithms and wallets

  • Potential future uses in various industries

4. Soft Skills

People don’t want to work with intelligent people who are also mean and disrespectful. Here are the top 4 soft skills needed for a blockchain developer:

  • Open, honest, healthy communication

  • Flexibility in the face of problems or changes

  • Lots of self-motivation

  • Strong sense of curiosity

Read Next: The Challenges of Building a Fintech Super App

7 Responsibilities of a Blockchain Developer

Below are typical responsibilities you can expect when you take a job as a blockchain developer:

  • Research, design, and test blockchain protocols

  • Create and monitor blockchain-based smart contracts

  • Analyze and organize complex data

  • Design network architecture for centralizing or decentralizing data

  • Construct full-stack, front-end, or back-end developments according to client needs

  • Come up with innovative blockchain solutions for challenging problems

  • Maintain open communication with the broader world of blockchain developers, keeping your ears peeled for new ideas and solutions in this ever-changing field

How To Get Started

If you don’t know basic software development languages :

  • Seek higher education or certification for software engineering/development.

  • Familiarize yourself with the most common development languages, such as Java or C++.

  • Understand digital asset creation, storage, and retrieval.

  • Learn to create and analyze data structures, such as trees, arrays, or linked lists.

  • Know about cryptography and how data is generally secured on and off the blockchain.

  • Start building your portfolio as soon as possible.

  • Get experience with cloud platforms, distributed computing, and networking concepts (like TCP/IP or DNS).

If you’re already a software developer :

  • Learn Solidity, then another blockchain programming language like Erlang.

  • Familiarize yourself with blockchain consensus protocols, hash functions, and distributed ledger technology.

  • Get to know Bitcoin, Hyperledger Fabric, and Ethereum blockchain architecture.

  • Research potential commercial uses for the blockchain, from data efficiency to supply chain to cryptographic security.

  • Don’t stress out about learning new things; most of a blockchain developer’s job looks like an average software developer’s job.

Digital blockchain courses and boot camps help software developers or beginners achieve the required skills. You can find some online tutorials for a low cost, but don’t fall for scams from “instructors” with no hands-on experience. Look for accredited developer courses or instructors.

Do you need a degree to be a blockchain developer? No, many blockchain developers learned their trade outside the classroom, and many employers are looking for experience more than a degree. 

To give you a competitive edge in landing your dream job, though, you should get a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a reputable certification.

2 Types of Blockchain Developers

Currently, there are 2 main types of blockchain developers:

  • Blockchain Software Developers use the core architecture built by core developers to create decentralized software, web3 apps, smart contracts, and more. Blockchain software developers are more common than core developers, but the required skill set is smaller.

  • Core Blockchain Developers design the architecture and security of blockchain systems. They establish the complex foundation that software developers build upon. Core development jobs are less common than blockchain software developers, but the number of blockchain skills required and the salaries are higher.

Benefits of Being a Blockchain Developer

Not sure if you want to become a developer in blockchain? Check out these benefits of being a blockchain developer:

  • Job security: When you learn niche skills for an in-demand job, you’re likely to keep that job. There are more blockchain development jobs than blockchain developers, and that balance won’t change for a few years at least.

  • Salary potential: Because there are so few blockchain developers, yet it’s a high-demand job, your salary potential is higher than other similar jobs. It’s simple supply and demand. Salary ranges from $100K to $150K, typically $125K for average blockchain developers.

  • Career options: Blockchain developers can work across a diverse array of sectors, including finance, healthcare, information technology, and so much more. This benefit gives you the freedom and flexibility to try different fields depending on your interests.

  • Innovation & excitement: This technology is in its early stages, and new, innovative blockchain applications are being developed and implemented all the time. It can be exciting to work in a cutting-edge field that appears to be the way of the future.

Developers: FinTech Needs You.

Finance tech is a growing field, and they need more software developers, specifically those knowledgeable on blockchain frameworks, DeFi, or web3.

If you have exceptional development skills, sign up to be a freelancer with MVP Match. We match highly-qualified freelancers with exciting blockchain projects and FinTech opportunities — at big businesses and startups.

Related Readings: Sustainability in Fintech Companies

About the Author

Kate manages content marketing for talent acquisition at MVP Match. Her job? Attracting the best and brightest tech talent into our community where they are matched with rewarding roles they deserve. She's a copywriter at heart, and has spent over 10 years in marketing for tech, healthcare, and consulting firms. An avid traveler and workation pro, Kate both embraces and advocates for a future where everyone is empowered to define work on their terms.