In the recent past, LinkedIn revealed its research of the Top 10 ‘Emerging’ and ‘Most Promising Careers’. As we all know, we are in the era of Artificial Intelligence [Ai], Machine Learning [ML] and Distributed Ledger Technologies [DLTs], it did not come to me as a surprise that this time “BlockChain Developers” showed a growth rate of x 33 on the list.
I’m sure this is because tech conglomerates like IBM, Facebook, Consensys, Chainyard, and more are actively looking to hire blockchain developers.
As MNCs are looking into getting into the blockchain hype, the requirement of blockchain jobs is also increasing. Financial Giants like JP Morgan and Chase, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, and more are tapping into the DLT zone which is why blockchain related jobs have tremendously increased. With Bitcoin [BTC] entering its all-time-high of 2019, the demand for blockchain developers has also touched the ATH. The number of full-time blockchain job openings has exceeded 12,000; a growth rate of 400% over the past year has been observed. These things have made me believe that it is undoubtedly the best time to start the journey to become a blockchain developer.
The online and offline programs that train developers and others in blockchain-related skills are in great demand and we all know why. To get started on this decentralized journey you need to know a couple of skills and here I am to help you with it.
Do you need a professional degree or a technical background? Ahh….. Not at all.
Just a generation ago, it was given that a college degree was the best way to maximize the likelihood of securing a high-paying job in the field of your choice. But the world has changed, it has advanced. You don’t need a degree to you learn, you just need the enthusiasm. A degree, is it something everyone needs to have? Yes, if you are an aspiring doctor, lawyer or an architect. But not all jobs require you to show your knowledge on the basis of a piece of paper. But the important part for programmers is that people do see their GitHub profiles. So let’s make sure to fill them up with better repositories.
Here’s a list of things you need to know better than you know your name AKA the areas that you need to become an expect at for developing a blockchain.
There are many data structure’s out there, but before stepping into any of them, as a blockchain enthusiast, you must have the basic understanding of two important trees which deal with blockchain and cryptography combined:
Merkle Tree: The Merkle tree is also called Hash tree in which every leaf node is with the hash of a data block, and every non-leaf node is labeled with the cryptographic hash of the labels of its child nodes.
Patricia Tries: What is Patricia? PATRICIA – Practical Algorithm to Retrieve Information Coded in Alphanumeric. What are tries? Tries are an extremely special and useful data-structure that is based on the prefix of a string. They are used to represent the “Retrieval” of data and thus the name Trie.
Here rises the question whether these two data structures is enough? The answer is not really. You have to know many other data structures like linked list, stack and queue, etc.. But these two are good enough to get you started.
Well, I don’t want to go in-depth in explaining this, so DYOR before moving ahead!
As a blockchain developer, you should have knowledge in both front-end as well as back-end. You should be familiar with API handling, Request handling and Creating UI/UX design in frontend part of the dApp [Decentralized application]. This is necessary because at the beginning stages developers usually don’t get the opportunity to deal with the core of the blockchain. And of course, everyone needs some experience before working on the cores.
The list of skills necessary for web development
- XML based languages
- SQL for DB queries
The above mentioned are the basic web-development skills one needs to have before setting off towards the blockchain trail. As technology keeps evolving, the framework and programming language will also change according to the developer’s community so its extremely important for developers to keep in touch with the latest requirements apart from the mentioned.
[ Fact: Currently, Angular JS is popular among web developers. So feel free to use the advanced tools at your time. But the above-mentioned skills are the basics for everything in web-development. ]
Cryptography is one of the most important subjects in computer science, which covers a lot of topics than any other subject in CS. To go through them completely is a tedious process. So let’s pick some specific topics that will begin our blockchain learning graph.
To start with, you need to have a basic understanding of what is a public key and private key. The importance of hash in cryptography. Caesar cipher, Vigenere cipher, onetime pad, DES, AES, Cryptoanalysis, Diffie-Hellman, and RSA.
In Modern cryptography there are two kinds of cryptosystems:
- Symmetric Cryptography
- Asymmetric Cryptography
Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages, as a blockchain developer, you should be familiar with choosing the right crypto function for the right project.
For eg: Asymmetric cryptography systems use a public key to encrypt a message and a private key to decrypt it. Use of asymmetric systems enhances the security of communication. On the other hand, encrypting files and messages with asymmetric algorithms might not always be practical.
Symmetric key cryptography is much faster and handles better the encryption of big files and databases, which is why it is still widely used.
And also SHA256 and KECCAK256 are used in blockchain aside from asynchronous cryptography for generating digital signatures. Without understanding how these work, it is impossible to become a blockchain developer
Smart Contract Development on Blockchain
Smart contracts, also known as crypto contract’s, is a protocol that helps to cut down the service of the middleman. If you ask some of your crypto friends who invented smart contract, they would usually think it was Vitalik Buterin’s (Founder of Ethereum) creation. In reality, it was first proposed by Nick Szabo; Vitalik was the first to implement smart contracts on the blockchain.
Blockchain applications today use smart contracts extensively, and its the right time to gets your hands dirty on blockchain and smart contract development.
Let’s see as a developer what we are going to deal with in Smart Contracts:-
- Smart Contract Architecture
- Smart Contracts and Token Development
- Smart Contract Audits
- Smart Contract Optimization
- Smart Contract Design and Development
- Build Decentralized Applications
Its a must to know these programming language’s to build smart contracts
Solidity: Solidity is a programming language that is intended for writing smart contracts for Ethereum-based blockchains.
Simplicity: Simplicity is a higher-level programming language that allows you to write more human-readable smart contracts.
Vyper: Vyper is a contact-oriented, pythonic programming language that targets the Ethereum Virtual machine (EVM). Recently ‘viper’ changed its name to Vyper. So don’t get confused while searching for this language both are same.
Chaincode: Chain code is the programming language written in GO and java, it initializes and manages ledger state through transactions submitted by applications.
Hence, developers striving to get into the blockchain filed should definitely learn about smart contract development. And it’s important play in cutting out the middle man and third-parties.
As a developer excellent understanding of how blockchain works, knowledge about blocks and what kind of data can be fitted inside the block is a must. It is necessary for a developer to understand blockchain architecture completely, as it will help to thrive with the new ideas, instead of always making a crypto on a block.
The blockchain serves many other purposes than ICO’s and IEO’s. Any number of data types like docs, music, etc. can be stored and secured in a decentralized manner. Which is really helpful for big organization and governments.
Here I am not going to recommend any programming languages. But the clear understanding of below mentioned things are a must:-
- Nodes within the P2P network
- Properties of block & genesis block
- Transactions within the ledger
- The Validation process – mining
- The “consensus” within a blockchain architecture
- Consensus Mechanism
Along with this, I personally recommend to read a lot of ‘White papers’, break it down layer by layer, understand them clearly. That will teach you many things including how to actually market your product.
The Roadmap to Start a Blockchain Developer Journey:
This Roadmap is suitable for Programmers (experience in at least one programming language), Developers, Software engineers and people looking for domain switch to the blockchain space.
The below-mentioned courses are taught by experts in the industries and all courses are highly rated among the student’s community. And I am personally following this roadmap
Let’s break the time period into weeks, assuming that you have 8hrs dedicated time per day.
- Learning Platform: Learn Code Online
- Time duration: 2 weeks
- Cost: Free
Algorithm and Data Structure:
- Learning Platform: Udumey
- Time duration: 6 weeks
- Cost: Rs 700/-
- Learning Platform: Udumey
- Time duration: 4 weeks
- Cost: Rs 900/-
Etherum and Solidity:
- Learning Platform: Udumey
- Time duration: 4 weeks
- Cost: Rs 700/-
Advanced Blockchain Bootcamps:
- Learning Platform:Udacity,Udumey,Edureka,Simplilearn,IBM
- Time duration: 9 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8weeks, 6 weeks
- Cost: Rs 22,299/- (monthly), Rs 700/-, Rs 15996 /-, Rs 20999, Free.
The above-mentioned courses will allow you to call yourself a blockchain developer professionally. But the skill’s that companies are looking for keeps differing depending on the company’s vision and the current projects that they are working on.
Here’s some bonus blockchain related course suggestions from my side for your patience to read this whole article.
‘Free’ Course links related to Blockchain:
Absolutely you don’t have to pay anything for the below course’s but ‘enroll’ into them before the offer expires.
- CryptoCurrency Trading Bots
- CryptoCurrency Investment Fundamentals Buy, Sell & Store
- Blockchain For Healthcare
- Etherum Development: Your First Smart Contract
- Code Your Own Cryptocurrency on Ethereum (ERC-20 Token)
- Blockchain Technology and Innovation for Beginners
- Build and Deploy your first Decentralized app with Etherem
- Mixin Network dapp Development
- Introduction to CryptoCurrency and Blockchain
Disclaimer: The cost mentioned is the offer price in today’s date. It may or may not differ in the future. And this article is not sponsored by those learning platforms. The Course’s are distinguished purely based on ratings and teacher’s experience.
Make sure that you tick all the boxes on our list and you are ready to showcase your talent to the world. Happy Learning!