Want a Tech Career in Blockchain? Equip Yourself With These Skill Sets.

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Bitcoin, the first decentralised cryptocurrency, comes to mind when we think about the crypto space.  Bitcoin continues to take the lead in terms of market capitalisation, user base, and popularity. Over the years, this field has evolved with the introduction and rise of new virtual currencies that continue to impact blockchain technology. Other notable cryptocurrencies include Ethereum, Litecoin, Tether, Ripple XRP, NEO — to name a few.

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The demand for top talent comes in a fast-growing industry. Many entrepreneurs and companies are hopping onto its underlying technology, blockchain, that’s proved to be particularly innovative and practical, and this initiative creates new and emerging jobs.

Technology integration, new knowledge production methods, and the development of new information networks contributed to the competitive changes to startups and technology companies. With crypto going mainstream and steadily gaining recognition as a payment method in approved businesses, banks, accounting firms, legal and financial institutions are actively seeking software developers and engineers with desirable skill sets.

What You Need to Know Before Exploring a Tech Career in Blockchain

It’s true — there’s no shortage of jobs out there for cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiasts. With any career switch, entering a new work environment comes with unprecedented stress and challenges. Before you make the switch, it’s important to learn what you know now (and don’t), read up on available resources, and successfully apply your skills. 

From coding smart contracts to designing user interfaces for apps, software applications, websites, or building decentralised applications (dApps) that communicate with the blockchain, all these come with specific knowledge and skill sets to acquire. 

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Hard Skills to Have in Blockchain

Every job comes with definite skills that are needed to excel on the job. When it comes to blockchain, it’s black and white — you either have it or you don’t. Learn more about the following must-have hard skills in blockchain and discover if you have what it takes in this industry. 

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1. Cryptography

Cryptography helps to secure different transactions happening on a network. The primary applications of cryptography primarily focus on ensuring the security of participants and transactions, safeguards against double-spending, and lack of influence of central authorities on operations. If you’re well-versed in this, you can help businesses complete secure monetary transactions and organisations who prioritise privacy can have their sources submit necessary information via encryption to ensure that information remains secure. Concepts like cryptographic hash functions, consensus, and distributed ledger technology are something you should have hands-on experience with.

2. Data Structures

If you aspire to be a blockchain developer, learning data structures is a must. A block serves as a data structure. When aligned, it provides the right way to organise ,information in the digital space. The blockchain network is made up of data structures, so you need to know this to build networks and implement them. It’s a key component of Computer Science and is widely applied in areas like AI, operating systems, and more. Having a solid foundation on this will give you a headstart in understanding advanced concepts. 

3. Smart Contract Development

Smart contracts are essentially one of the most useful tools in blockchain. We rely on them to automate the transfer of everything from bitcoin, fiat money, or receipts around the world. Due to its transparency, it creates an environment of trust as everything is visible to all participants in the blockchain network. Smart contracts have the potential to change the way business and trade works by empowering quick and secure exchanges, reducing paperwork, and driving cost savings. 

4. Web Application Development

A majority of web applications can be written in JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and HTML5. Thus, prospective web developers should have expertise in the three core programming components. Web application development tests that you should prepare yourself for can include a variety of security, performance, load, stress, accessibility, usability, and quality assurance tests.

Get Started With These Basic Web Development Tools for Blockchain:

5. Blockchain Standards and Eco-systems

It’s exciting to think about the future of blockchain with the number of applications emerging. To build an effective blockchain system, you need to get familiar with blockchain principles and practices and understand how they can be applied within the business environment. When you gain this understanding of the current landscape, you can develop strategies to maximise the benefits of this evolving technology.

Some opportunities include the potential of new forms of business collaboration and cryptocurrencies, cost-effective management of digital identity through the use of public-key cryptography, and the adoption of blockchain technologies that could potentially enable new revenue sources for businesses.

6. Blockchain Programming Languages

The core of every developer is to code. This is not possible without the knowledge and skills of programming languages. Some of the most popular blockchain programming languages include C++, Java, C#, JavaScript, SQL, Go, Python, Ruby, Rholang, and Solidity. It’s also advisable to familiarise yourself with blockchain platforms like R3 Corda, Hyperledger Fabric, DAML Enterprise Ethereum, Hyperledger Indy/Aries. 

Soft Skills to Have in Blockchain

Now that we have the hard skills covered, it’s time for the must-have soft skills. To better increase your chances of landing a tech career in blockchain, it’s critical to have both to differentiate yourself from the masses. Aside from the technical and practical skill sets, you also need emotional and social intelligence in the workplace! There are many kinds of soft skills in the world, but we believe you only need these three factors to stand out:

1. Effective Communication

 Many people have a stereotype whereby developers aren’t good communicators or don’t communicate much at work. Effective communication includes clarity, conciseness, and coherence. It can help you foster a harmonious working relationship and build trust with your co-workers and bosses. More importantly, when you learn how to communicate effectively, you’ll find it much easier to achieve your goals. Good communication can boost team morale and lead to seamless project collaboration. 

2. Listening Is Key

We identified what it takes to be an effective communicator, but this can only happen if we are active listeners. Your ability to listen, respect, and embrace different perspectives will determine whether you can communicate effectively. If you find yourself constantly talking over another person or cutting someone else off when they speak, it’s time to reflect and take a step back. Learn how to be patient with yourself and others. When both parties can understand their expectations and resolve conflicts quickly, this can significantly change the way we work.

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3. Learn to Empathise

It’s easy to sympathise but not empathise. Sympathy is typically defined by feelings of pity for another person. Empathy is probably one of the key skills for career success and a crucial element of leadership and competency. Empathy can be learnt through mindfulness and personal development. It’s so powerful because it enables us to feel and think like the other party and be socially aware of their feelings and needs. It also can be applied to solving problems, managing conflicts, or driving innovation.

What Are Some Top Tech Careers in Blockchain?

Blockchain developer

Do you see yourself solving a company’s tech mission? Do you want to be involved in the full life cycle of blockchain and software development? The job comes with building blockchain-based applications for businesses, developing interactive front-end designs for dApps, and smart contract development.

There are two different types of blockchain developers; core blockchain developers and blockchain software developers. What’s the difference? 

In layman’s terms, core blockchain developers create the foundation of the system. This includes the architecture and security elements. 

Blockchain software developers use the core web architecture built by the core blockchain developers to create apps, specifically the dApps and web varieties.

Blockchain architect

A blockchain architect needs to demonstrate a high level of understanding blockchain fundamentals, including smart contracts and consensus algorithms, and work on innovations. Expertise in frameworks such as Hyperledger Fabric, R3 Corda, Ethereum (Solidity) is also highly sought after. They are responsible for working closely with service engineering and R&D teams to make critical decisions in terms of implementation, operations, and maintenance. 

Blockchain engineer

Blockchain engineers have high skills in assessing, developing, and implementing digital blockchain for providing solutions to technology consulting or data service firms. They can work on setting up company infrastructure to use Ethereum and Bitcoin. Their work does not stop at development. They are also required to analyse a company’s needs and work on existing open source technologies or build a new one. 

Blockchain quality engineer

This position is primarily responsible for ensuring quality in all areas of blockchain development and applications like automation frameworks and tests, manual testing and dashboards. Blockchain quality engineers need to keep up-to-date on the latest happenings and features of Blockchain. They are required to research and provide recommendations on blockchain tools and develop quality assurance (QA) automated test standards.

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