Blockchain developers are in short supply and hot demand. The task of developing blockchain distributed ledgers for businesses was recently ranked second amongst the top 20 fastest-growing job skills, and postings for workers with those skills grew a lot more than 200% a year ago.
Salaries for blockchain developer or “engineer” positions are accordingly high, with median salaries within the U.S. hovering around $130,000 annually; that comes even close to general software developers, whose annual median pay is $105,000, according to Matt Sigelman, CEO of job data analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies. In high-tech areas of the U.S. such as Silicon Valley, New York City or Boston, Hire Blockchain Developer features a median annual salary of $158,000 – an $18,000 premium over salaries for general software developers.
People who have knowledge of specific blockchain iterations, including Solidity and Hyperledger Composer, will be 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. “This is the number one thing We have in your mind once i awaken each day: ‘Where can i find more engineers to join the team,'” Piscini said via email.
Just under blockchain engineers on the listing of the quickest-growing jobs is actually a related skill: bitcoin cryptocurrency developers. (Blockchain is definitely the technology that underpins bitcoin.) Taking second fiddle only to robotics specialists, blockchain and bitcoin developers are advertising their services for as much as $200 hourly, based on Upwork, an employment site that specializes in freelance workers.
Where to learn blockchain
Most who choose to add blockchain with their skillset or seek a profession as blockchain developers are generally versed in programming languages like Java or Python, Piscini said. But that’s by no means a prerequisite. “More universities are starting curricula as well as 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 produce content and hire the very best talent.”
Several accredited U.S. universities now offer courses on blockchain, including MIT, that has offered two courses on cryptocurrency engineering and design, and Stanford University, that has a course called Bitcoin Engineering that teaches developers how you can create bitcoin-enabled applications. There are also specialty schools, like Mountain View, Calif.-based Blockchain University and London-based education startup B9lab, which launched a web-based Certified Ethereum Developer Training curriculum in 2016.
“We’ve been running this and other courses of instruction 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 quite a broad selection of developers,” he explained.
Currently, the simplest and fastest way to become proficient is to learn on your own or attend programs organized by blockchain vendors and industry groups, such as Consensys, Blockapps, the Ethereum Foundation and Hyperledger.
Under the auspices in the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger is actually 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 usually individuals who join blockchain courses, you don’t have to be a coder to glean business-oriented expertise in the distributed ledger technology or perhaps learn how to create blockchain networks to your company, based on Hyperledger Community Architect Tracy Kuhrt.
Blockchain hyperledger KuhrtHyperledgerHyperledger Community Architect Tracy Kuhrt
For instance, Hyperledger has an introductory course for business people who only desire to understand how the technology can be applied for their environment. The course includes a primer for techies looking to learn how to begin to build blockchain applications with Hyperledger frameworks.
Developers who would like to learn coding can take more specific courses on blockchain modular platforms, including Hyperledger Fabric or Sawtooth. Those seeking a certificate in Hyperledger blockchain technology can turn to open up online course provider edX; upon completion, they are able to pay $99 to get a certificate in the technology.
“The courses may be taken by somebody who is not really developer,” Kuhrt said. “It does provide a working example for the two projects we have – Hyperledger Fabric and Sawtooth. You can find step-by-step instructions…to function through that. In terms of whether or not it would be challenging for somebody who doesn’t have programming experience, I don’t think that’s where the challenge will be. I do believe someone who doesn’t spend lots of time looking at command lines in a computer could have some challenges, but it really is meant to help anybody to have up and running and be able to see what’s possible with blockchain technologies.”
How one developer changed careers
Until a year ago, Kuhrt had spent a decade as a software engineer at PayPal, working her way approximately its strategic architecture team where she was tasked to look at blockchain as a potential business platform. Kuhrt went on to develop and implement a proof of concept for any PayPal rewards point program using Hyperledger Fabric, a wide open-source modular blockchain architecture.
“That’s how I got thinking about Hyperledger. It’s a fantastic 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 do believe this technology will make some big changes in how company is done.” Kuhrt has become in command of connecting outside technologists towards the Hyperledger’s various blockchain initiatives, including its free courses.
Because the courses went online last year, 72,925 people have enrolled and two,252 have finished the course work, according to Kuhrt. Unsurprisingly, enrollments carry on and explode as the adoption of blockchain in a number of industries is growing Blockchain applications are applied to healthcare record management, alternative energy certificate trading and offer chain management, amongst others.