Blockchain technology has proven to be one of the most disruptive innovations made available to humankind in the last decade. Bitcoin introduced us to the tech and through its success, spawned an entire industry worth a trillion dollars today.
However, blockchain is more than just a vessel for cryptocurrencies. The tech can be applied to various industries including healthcare, supply chain, retail, insurances, real estate, and many more.
This versatility has made blockchain experts very sought after in the IT industry. The demand for this type of professional has been consistently rising in the past few years, with blockchain expert jobs being some of the best paid in the industry.
But of course, to land a good blockchain job, you will need to first study and get a certification. This article will introduce you to the basics of what to expect from a blockchain expert job and provide a practical guide on how to become one yourself.
What is blockchain?
To understand why blockchain experts are so coveted in the IT industry, we need to explain some of the basics of the tech behind their expertise.
Blockchain is a distributed, decentralized ledger that records every transaction on its network. A natural evolution that was introduced to the blockchain ecosystem was the implementation of smart contracts. These self-executing protocols enhance the blockchain by allowing the exchange of anything of value, not just digital money.
What does a blockchain expert do?
Blockchain experts are people that have a perfect understanding of how blockchains function, master one or several programming languages, and know how to integrate software solutions to different industries.
The main roles of a blockchain developer are:
- Design blockchain protocols.
- Deploy the network architecture.
- Develop decentralized applications using smart contracts.
- Develop front-end solutions for blockchain solutions
In addition to having a developer background, blockchain experts need to have a good understanding of how business processes function in different industries. Blockchain technology is a solution-oriented niche, so being able to program will not cover the needs of becoming an expert in the field.
Then, what should you do to become a blockchain expert? Let’s try to answer this question with a practical approach.
Learn the ropes
Before you jump into it, make sure you are interested in the tech in the first place. Read about blockchain, learn about its pros and cons, and whether you think you have the mindset to actively participate in this technological revolution.
Blockchain developers need to often think outside of the box to come out with innovative and never-before-seen solutions to century-old problems. Usually, creative and analytical minds find themselves at home in the blockchain industry.
Furthermore, they need to be able to work in a team and use collective knowledge to be successful. Asking for help and knowing how to use the distributed blockchain knowledge is a must.
You need to understand distributed ledgers, why they exist, and their use cases. This will involve reading hundreds of different whitepapers and yellow papers, so make sure you are up to the task.
Finally, if you want to become a blockchain expert you should already have good knowledge of various programming languages. Different blockchains use different languages, so learning new ones should be compulsory.
Your journey should look like this:
- Learn about blockchain and its applications
Your first step would be to learn about blockchain tech, its implications, advantages and drawbacks, and the different consensus systems available. Learn about bitcoin and ethereum and how this apparently simple technology has become so important for humanity.
- Familiarize yourself with the Ethereum platform
If you have to start somewhere, you should begin with the Ethereum platform, which introduced us to smart contracts and decentralized applications.
It is undeniably the most popular platform for developing dApps. While you are at it, spend some time mastering the Solidity programming language, which is proper to Ethereum’s smart contracts.
- Choose a certification course
The final step before you become a blockchain expert or developer is to follow a course and get certified in the field. This will open some doors in the industry and help you land your first job. Some of the best blockchain certification courses include:
- Coursera – which introduces its students to blockchain for business, government, or society solutions. One great thing about this course is that no coding experience is required to take it.
- Hyperledger and Linux foundation – offers a full catalog of different blockchain courses, ranging from basic to highly specific lectures.
- Become a Blockchain developer on Udacity – this course will teach you how to create your own blockchain, explore the Ethereum blockchain, and learn Solidity to program dApps.
For anyone fascinated by this technology, blockchain offers an excellent opportunity to make a successful career out of it. There’s an incredible demand for blockchain experts, which will only grow as time goes by. If you think that you’ve got what it takes, there are hundreds of resources and certifications online that can help you become one.