Blockchain developers are in short supply and hot demand. The work of developing blockchain distributed ledgers for businesses was recently ranked second among the top 20 fastest-growing job skills, and postings for workers with those skills grew more than 200% last year.
Salaries for blockchain developer or “engineer” positions are accordingly high, with median salaries inside the U.S. hovering around $130,000 per year; that compares to general software developers, whose annual median pay is $105,000, based on Matt Sigelman, CEO of job data analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies. In high-tech regions of the U.S. including Silicon Valley, The Big Apple or Boston, Hire Blockchain Developer has a median annual salary of $158,000 – an $18,000 premium over salaries for general software developers.
People with knowledge of specific blockchain iterations, such as Solidity and Hyperledger Composer, have been in even higher demand – and that demand is increasing steadily, said Eric Piscini, a principal in the technology and banking practices at Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Here is the number one thing I actually have in your mind when I awaken in the morning: ‘Where am i going to find more engineers to sign up with they,'” Piscini said via email.
Just under blockchain engineers on the list of the fastest-growing jobs is a related skill: bitcoin cryptocurrency developers. (Blockchain is the technology that underpins bitcoin.) Taking second fiddle simply to robotics specialists, blockchain and bitcoin developers are advertising their services for as much as $200 per hour, based on Upwork, an employment site that focuses on freelance workers.
Where to learn blockchain
Most who choose to add blockchain for their skillset or seek a career as blockchain developers are typically versed in programming languages like Java or Python, Piscini said. But that’s in no way a prerequisite. “More universities are starting curricula and the natural cycle to graduate enough students will produce good volumes inside the ckcxnz few years,” Piscini said. “We collaborate with universities around the world to build up content and hire the best talent.”
Several accredited U.S. universities now offer courses on blockchain, such as MIT, that has offered two courses on cryptocurrency engineering and design, and Stanford University, which has a course called Bitcoin Engineering that teaches developers how to create bitcoin-enabled applications. Additionally, there are specialty schools, like Mountain View, Calif.-based Blockchain University and London-based education startup B9lab, which launched a web-based Certified Ethereum Developer Training course in 2016.
“We’ve been running this as well as other classes for over 2 yrs now and possess trained 1,000 people from over 75 countries,” said Elias Haase, founding father of B9lab.
“Our youngest student was 14, the oldest 76. So we’ve seen a pretty broad variety of developers,” he stated.
Currently, the best and fastest way to become proficient is always to learn by yourself or attend programs organized by blockchain vendors and industry groups, like Consensys, Blockapps, the Ethereum Foundation and Hyperledger.
Beneath the auspices of the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger is really a collaborative cross-industry effort created to advance blockchain technology. Its Hyperledger Fabric and Sawtooth modular frameworks could be foundations for developing distributed ledgers for businesses.
While software developers are generally individuals who sign up for blockchain courses, you don’t have to be a coder to glean business-oriented knowledge of the distributed ledger technology as well as figure out how to create blockchain networks to your company, according to Hyperledger Community Architect Tracy Kuhrt.
Blockchain hyperledger KuhrtHyperledgerHyperledger Community Architect Tracy Kuhrt
For instance, Hyperledger has an introductory course for business people who want to find out about just how the technology can be applied to their environment. The course includes a primer for techies hoping to learn how to begin to build blockchain applications with Hyperledger frameworks.
Developers who want to learn coding may take more specific courses on blockchain modular platforms, like Hyperledger Fabric or Sawtooth. Those seeking a certificate in Hyperledger blockchain technology can change to start online course provider edX; upon completion, they could pay $99 to get a certificate within the technology.
“The courses may be taken by somebody who will not be developer,” Kuhrt said. “It does give a working example for that two projects we have – Hyperledger Fabric and Sawtooth. There are step-by-step instructions…to operate through that. In terms of whether or not it would be challenging for someone who doesn’t have programming experience, I don’t think that’s in which the challenge would be. I think a person who doesn’t spend a lot of time staring at command lines in a computer could have some challenges, however it is intended to help anybody to have up and running and also see what’s possible with blockchain technologies.”
How one developer changed careers
Until this past year, Kuhrt had spent 10 years as a software engineer at PayPal, working her way as much as its strategic architecture team where she was tasked to consider blockchain as being a potential business platform. Kuhrt proceeded to design and implement a proof of concept for any PayPal rewards point program using Hyperledger Fabric, a wide open-source modular blockchain architecture.
“That’s the way i got thinking about Hyperledger. It’s an excellent place to get in on the bottom floor,” said Kuhrt, who a year ago took the job at Hyperledger, the Linux Foundation project started in 2015. “I think this technology is going to make some big changes in the manner organization is done.” Kuhrt is currently in command of connecting outside technologists for the Hyperledger’s various blockchain initiatives, including its free training courses.
Since the courses went online a year ago, 72,925 people have enrolled and two,252 have finished the course work, according to Kuhrt. Not surprisingly, enrollments continue to explode since the adoption of blockchain in a myriad of industries continues to grow Blockchain applications are being applied to healthcare record management, alternative energy certificate trading and offer chain management, and others.