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Ariaa Reeds
Ariaa Reeds

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Become a blockchain developer, here’s what you need

Blockchain is an elusive technology. It is rife with protocols, terminologies that are hard to comprehend. If you’ve just started, this could be overwhelming as well. Consequently, how to become a developer for the technology gives a hard-time too. This post dissects roles and responsibilities of blockchan developers, for developers and tech enthusiasts who aim to get into blockchain development.

Before you get started, here is what you need to know first.

Who are blockchain developers?

Blockchain is a protocols-intensive technology. The useful of the blockchain technology is due to its consensus-driving protocols, which adds security, transparency, and other benefits that benefit a business. Blockchain developers manipulate to optimize consensus protocols, design architecture for blockchain systems, and build decentralized web apps.

The role of blockchain developers is further divided into --

  1. Core Blockchain Development
  2. Blockchain Software Development

Core Blockchain Development

Core blockchain development typically involves working with protocols and optimizing consensus protocols to as per the need of the required applications. As described earlier, consensus – how the network will arrive to a consensus – is the crux of building a blockchain-based application. How other high-level decisions will be made is the responsibility of these developers as well.

In a nutshell, the role of a core blockchain developer involves –

  1. Designing consensus and security protocols
  2. Designing network architecture and supervising the network

Blockchain Software Developers

These are primarily software developers who use the protocols and architecture designed by core blockchain developers to build decentralized apps using blockchain technology like Ethereum. Understanding how various blockchain technologies work and software development is crucial to excel in this role.

This is role is similar to web developers, where developers use web architect to build web applications. Similarly, blockchain developers build decentralized applications (D apps) by implementing protocols, design, and algorithms created by core blockchain developers.

In a nutshell, Blockchain Software Developers, are responsible for-

  1. Building front-end of D-apps
  2. Building and maintaining backend of the D-apps
  3. Develop smart contracts

Skills to become a blockchain developer

So what do you need to know to become a blockchain developer?

Blockchain development requires a blend of technical expertise. As you may imagine, fundamentals of software development are crucial in the mix of skills required to become a good blockchain developer.

  1. Blockchain architecture – Cryptographic hash functions, distributed ledger technology, and cryptography should be at your fingertips. Understanding these terminologies is crucial to get the fundamentals of blockchain clear. Reading Bitcoin Whitepaper serves as a good point to get started and understand these terminologies and their function. Alternately, taking short-term courses and certifications for a blockchain engineer is helpful too.

  2. Data structures – Understanding data structures is important in aspects of development. For blockchain, it is even more important. Blockchain uses several data structures in conjunction with cryptography to build scalable and immutable records. Further, you will use merkle trees, petrecia trees, other data structures frequently while working with blockchain. Blockchain engineers including core developers and software developers are expected to have hands-on knowledge of data structures and algorithms.

  3. Cryptography – SHA256, KECCAK256, and asynchronous cryptography is used to develop digital signatures, which help in identification. Without understanding how these cryptography algorithms work, it is nearly impossible to work effectively on blockchain development.

  4. Web development – Blockchain development uses a plethora of web-based services and APIs. The fundamentals of APIs, user-experience design, request handling, among other concepts is important to blockchain development. Most blockchain developers start as front-end or backend developers.

  5. Smart Contract – Increasingly smart contracts have become an integral part of blockchain. This is because implementing business logic is easier with smart contracts. Therefore, upcoming blockchain technologies are necessarily incorporating smart contract functionalities.

Now that you know what’s needed to be a blockchain developer, go ahead and get started learning.

Top comments (10)

adityamitra profile image
Aditya Mitra

Can you point out some online courses to do blockchain software development?

p0pobeast profile image

There is this course on Udemy on blockchain and I would suggest to get enrolled for insead courses

lazar955 profile image
Lazar Lukic

"asynchronous cryptography", i think you meant to say asymmetric cryptography

lazar955 profile image
Lazar Lukic

"Most blockchain developers start as front-end or backend developers", i mean, this seems written only to make the post longer...
I like that this post is written by someone who is not an actual dev.

lazar955 profile image
Lazar Lukic

Honestly, this is just positive criticism, but there are so many things wrong in this post. But the general idea of this post is ok

sudarshansb143 profile image
sudarshan • Edited


peacefullatom profile image
Yuriy Markov

That's an outstanding article!
But what about hardware requirements?
It would be very nice to understand how well one should be equipped to become a blockchain developer.

mikgross profile image

Hi Yuriy,
In my experience, you do not need anything special except a good laptop. Blockchains can be simulated before starting real life development. I personally develop my contracts on the chain through Google Cloud as my laptop would not be able to sync Ethereum for example.

If you develop a blockchain for a company, you will most likely not need extensive processing power as you would not need too much syncing while deployment.

peacefullatom profile image
Yuriy Markov

Thank you very much for your reply!
Good to know that it is possible to enter the blockchain world with your brains as the most valuable asset!

linhlonglay profile image
Linh Long Lay

I wonder how much front end does a blockchain developer do in real project?
From what I understand, blockchain engineer is more of a backend role, because dealing with the blockchain is already busy enough, so if he also does the frontend I think the role is too big, and this role would be more like a full stack developer

I can't seem to find a good answer on google