Cryptocurrencies have taken the world by storm, leading to the rise of blockchain development. By some estimates, the global blockchain market will accumulate $20 billion in revenue by 2024.
With a high growth potential, the cryptocurrency industry has a massive demand for blockchain developers and specialists. However, blockchain may seem tricky to navigate, especially for those looking to start as new developers.
Now you may be wondering: How can I become a blockchain developer and start my career in the crypto industry? Worry not; once you’re familiar with the basics, blockchain isn’t as tricky to navigate as it seems at first glance.
In this article, we’ll get you started with everything you need to know about blockchain and blockchain development, so you can begin to develop blockchain application technologies in no time.
Whether it’s Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Monero, every cryptocurrency is built upon the foundation of a blockchain.
The blockchain, also known as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), is a digital ledger of transactions that is available online for anyone to access. The blockchain has the following properties:
Unlike traditional financial ledgers, blockchains are immutable; no one can tamper with or alter them. They are also decentralized, meaning no one authority or governing body has sole control over them. Finally, they are transparent; anyone in the world can access the blockchain.
The properties of immutability, decentralization, and transparency are what make the blockchain secure, as you cannot falsify transactions over it.
How Does The Blockchain Work?
Blockchain is a complex technology and may be difficult to grasp without dedicated study. As such, explaining the complete working of the blockchain is beyond the scope of this article.
For our purposes, all you need to know is that the block chain chains together encrypted blocks of data and stores them in a database. Miners add new data blocks once they solve complex mathematical problems which are verified by other miners before being confirmed.
Blockchains generally use a cryptographic encryption algorithm known as SHA-256, which is impossible to reverse-engineer. Doing so would require computing 2256 different possibilities; to say that this is a difficult task would be a huge understatement.
Types Of Blockchain Developers
Before you start to develop blockchain application technologies, you should first know the different types of blockchain developers.
Just like there are front-end and back-end developers, blockchain developers also have two major categories.
The two types of blockchain developers are as follows:
- Blockchain software developers
- Core blockchain developers
Let us briefly go over both to decide which one is the best fit for you.
Blockchain Software Developers
Blockchain software developers are roughly like front-end developers. The blockchain software developer has to design and develop blockchain application solutions known as decentralized applications.
Decentralized applications, or dApps, are applications that utilize and run on distributed networks. A good non-crypto example is BitTorrent, which runs on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.
Core Blockchain Developers
The other type of blockchain developer is core blockchain developers, which handle the ‘back-end’ of things. They build the architecture that blockchain software developers ultimately use to develop dApps.
The architecture developments include the blockchain protocols needed to execute blockchain solutions. As such, core blockchain developers need to pay special attention to the network’s overall functionality, security, and implementation.
Which One Should I Go For?
If you like working on front-end software applications that laypeople will use, you should go for Blockchain software development.
On the other hand, if you have a better theoretical foundation of blockchain and like the back-end of things more, core blockchain development would be the right fit for you.
3 Simple Steps To Become a Blockchain Developer
Now that you know the different kinds of blockchain development, you’re ready to embark on your journey to develop blockchain application solutions. Here’s what you need to do to start out.
Step 1: Start From the Basics
No matter what skill you learn, a solid foundation in the basics of your field is the key ingredient to success. You can learn all the blueprints for blockchain development, but you won’t get very far without understanding the basics of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain.
To start out, you need a basic foundation in computer science, coding, and math. If you’re a new coder, Harvard’s CS50 course is an excellent place to start. The next step is to understand data structures, a fundamental concept in blockchain technology.
While you may not need to know the ins and outs of cryptography, a good working knowledge can prove to be to your advantage, especially if you’re working as a core blockchain developer. Coursera has both beginner and more advanced crypto courses available online.
The blockchain glossary is another good online resource to help you get familiar with essential blockchain terms.
Other than the technical side of things, familiarize yourself with the crypto market. You should know what ICOs are, at the very least.
All of this may seem overwhelming at first, but remember to take things one step at a time. Even the most experienced blockchain developers started not knowing anything!
Step 2: Understand The Tools Needed To Develop Blockchain Application Solutions
Every job has its tool; blockchain development is no exception. So whether you choose core blockchain or blockchain software development, you should be intimately familiar with the tools required for the job.
Other than that, you need to familiarize yourself with both Enterprise blockchain platforms and blockchain as a service. You also need to know about the most popular dApps to stay up-to-date in the industry.
Step 3: Stay Relevant With The Latest Blockchain Trends
Finally, make sure you never stop learning about cryptocurrencies and blockchains and keep expanding your skillset!
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are rapidly growing technology, and as the demand for developers grows, so will the industry itself.
An example is Smart Contracts, which have recently become widespread in blockchain and dApps.
You can stay up to date with the latest developments in blockchain by joining an online community such as Reddit or Stack Exchange. Websites such as Blockgeeks and 101blockchains are also a great place to keep learning.
Note that the steps outlined here are by no means exhaustive; given how complex blockchain development can be, you may end up taking extra steps. So rather than think of this as a be-all-end-all guide, you should instead view it as an essential roadmap to help you get started.
As we enter the age of cryptocurrencies, the demand for blockchain developers will only continue to skyrocket. So if you want to get into a lucrative industry or are looking for a career change, blockchain development is an excellent option to look out for.
Blockchain technology can be tricky to navigate, but you’ll have a much easier time starting as long as you know what to learn. Then, with enough practice, you can start to develop blockchain application solutions in no time!