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 more than 200% a year ago.
Salaries for blockchain developer or “engineer” positions are accordingly high, with median salaries in the U.S. hovering around $130,000 per year; 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. like Silicon Valley, New York or Boston, Blockchain Developer includes a median annual salary of $158,000 – an $18,000 premium over salaries for general software developers.
People who have experience with specific blockchain iterations, including Solidity and Hyperledger Composer, have been in even higher demand – and this 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 under consideration after i awaken each morning: ‘Where am i going to find more engineers to join they,'” Piscini said via email.
Just beneath blockchain engineers on the set of the quickest-growing jobs is a related skill: bitcoin cryptocurrency developers. (Blockchain will be the technology that underpins bitcoin.) Taking second fiddle simply to robotics specialists, blockchain and bitcoin developers are advertising their services for around $200 each hour, in accordance with Upwork, an employment site that specializes in freelance workers.
Where you should learn blockchain
Most who choose to add blockchain with their skillset or seek an occupation as blockchain developers are typically versed in programming languages such as Java or Python, Piscini said. But that’s by no means a prerequisite. “More universities are starting curricula and also the natural cycle to graduate enough students will produce good volumes inside the ckcxnz several years,” Piscini said. “We collaborate with universities around the world to produce content and hire the most effective talent.”
Several accredited U.S. universities now offer courses on blockchain, including MIT, which includes offered two courses on cryptocurrency engineering and design, and Stanford University, which has a course called Bitcoin Engineering that teaches developers how you can create bitcoin-enabled applications. In addition there are specialty schools, like Mountain View, Calif.-based Blockchain University and London-based education startup B9lab, which launched an online Certified Ethereum Developer Training program in 2016.
“We’ve been running this and other courses of instruction for over two years now and have trained 1,000 people from over 75 countries,” said Elias Haase, founder of B9lab.
“Our youngest student was 14, the oldest 76. So we’ve seen a fairly broad selection of developers,” he said.
Currently, the simplest and fastest way to become proficient is always to learn on your own or attend programs organized by blockchain vendors and industry groups, including Consensys, Blockapps, the Ethereum Foundation and Hyperledger.
Under the auspices of the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger is actually a collaborative cross-industry effort developed to advance blockchain technology. Its Hyperledger Fabric and Sawtooth modular frameworks can be foundations for developing distributed ledgers for businesses.
While software developers are generally the ones who join blockchain courses, you don’t have to be a coder to glean business-oriented understanding of the distributed ledger technology or perhaps learn how to create blockchain networks for your company, according to Hyperledger Community Architect Tracy Kuhrt.
Blockchain hyperledger KuhrtHyperledgerHyperledger Community Architect Tracy Kuhrt
For instance, Hyperledger provides an introductory course for business people who simply want to find out about how the technology does apply for their environment. The course includes a primer for techies hoping to discover ways to start building blockchain applications with Hyperledger frameworks.
Developers who would like to learn coding may take more specific courses on blockchain modular platforms, including Hyperledger Fabric or Sawtooth. Those seeking a certificate in Hyperledger blockchain technology can make to open up online course provider edX; upon completion, they can pay $99 for a certificate in the technology.
“The courses may be taken by someone who is not developer,” Kuhrt said. “It does offer a working example for your two projects we now have – Hyperledger Fabric and Sawtooth. You can find step-by-step instructions…to function through that. In terms of if it would be difficult for somebody that doesn’t have programming experience, I don’t think that’s in which the challenge could be. I think somebody who doesn’t spend a lot of time staring at command lines in a computer may have some challenges, however it is meant to help anybody to get up and running and then see what’s possible with blockchain technologies.”
How one developer changed careers
Until last year, Kuhrt had spent ten years being a software engineer at PayPal, working her way as much as its strategic architecture team where she was tasked to consider blockchain as a potential business platform. Kuhrt continued to design and implement a proof of concept for any PayPal rewards point program using Hyperledger Fabric, an open-source modular blockchain architecture.
“That’s the way i got interested in Hyperledger. It’s a great place to go into on the bottom floor,” said Kuhrt, who last year took the job at Hyperledger, the Linux Foundation project were only available in 2015. “I believe this technology will make some big changes in how organization is done.” Kuhrt is now in charge of connecting outside technologists to the Hyperledger’s various blockchain initiatives, including its free training programs.
Because the courses went online this past year, 72,925 folks have enrolled and two,252 have finished the course work, based on Kuhrt. Not surprisingly, enrollments continue to explode as the adoption of blockchain in a multitude of industries keeps growing Blockchain applications are now being put on healthcare record management, renewable power certificate trading and offer chain management, and others.