It was only a short time ago that almost no one had heard of blockchain. Thanks to the enormous gain in popularity of the blockchain-based cryptocurrency Bitcoin, today, blockchain is one of the hottest technologies in the software development world.
A decentralized distributed ledger technology, blockchain has taken the world by storm, and for good reason. It has the power to disrupt traditional business models via its greater transparency, improved security, immutability, and reduced costs.
This is why most government agencies, supply chains, healthcare, and other industries are allready looking to implement blockchain solutions in some form or other in the near future. This will allow them to benefit from the advantages that it offers over current solutions.
Naturally, with so many benefits, companies are rushing to hire blockchain developers as fast as they can to build and implement the next generation of software solutions.
Before we jump into how to find the best blockchain developers, let’s see if we can save you some reading time. DevTeam.Space is a dedicated software development company that allows clients to either outsource its full-time developers and development teams or to outsource their entire project to us so that we can develop their project for them.
If you wish to arrange a free complimentary discovery call to learn more about the services we offer and why the likes of Samsung have chosen to work with us, take 3 minutes (yes, we timed it) to fill in our project specification form and one of our account managers will get in touch to answer any questions that you might have.
Finding Reliable Blockchain Developers for Hire
A problem arises due to the lack of experienced blockchain developers out there. Though this number is growing every month, the issue is that there still remains relatively few talented, highly-motivated, and experienced blockchain developers out there (take it from us, we interview scores eery single month).
As a result, today, the best blockchain developers command some of the highest average salaries in the industry. Skilled developers are always in need when it comes to blockchain. This makes them hard to find.
The second component of the problem is that blockchain technologies are developing so quickly. One example of this is the blockchain-based smart contract, which is growing in complexity and sophistication every day.
With blockchain blocks being immutable once written, any smart contract added to a blockchain will be incredibly difficult to alter. This means that all such code must be flawless.
But don’t let these two points put you off, there are still great blockchain experts out there. You just need to know where to look.
Onboarding Developers vs. Outsourcing Developers vs. Outsourcing Project Development
The first question anyone planning to undertake blockchain development needs to ask themselves is whether to scale their existing in-house team, hire freelancers, or to outsource developers from a specialist blockchain development company.
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Alternatively, if your company does not have the human resources, then should you go the safe route and outsource the entire project to a full-time software development company?
Well, naturally, that decision depends on a number of things including your human and budget resources.
The main difference between hiring freelancers and hiring dedicated outsource company developers is the cost, and more importantly, security.
While costing more, it is far more likely that an outsourcing company will have vetted its blockchain experts and will have ensured their skill levels are cutting-edge through periodical retraining courses (we do).
This is a far better guarantee of quality than taking a coder’s word for it on a freelancer platform, which typically offer client companies no protection for project delays, poorly written code, or even the theft of your intellectual property.
Hiring From Software Development Company Tip:
When hiring a developer from an outsource company or outsourcing your web or app development, always double check to make sure they have full-time vetted developers working for them (some don’t).
Overall, choosing to outsource your entire development process to an outsource company is the safest option, provided that you ensure that they tick all the boxes including protecting your intellectual property rights.
One of the biggest bonuses of this approach is that you won’t have to extensively vet the developer yourself and their work will be covered by the platform (we never release payment to our developers until you sign off on their work). This ensures that your project is in safe hands.
How Can I Find a Blockchain Developer?
With literally thousands of freelancer platforms and software development companies out there, the problem starts with the feeling of being overwhelmed.
However, as we have already pointed out, good blockchain developers are at a premium. Lots will claim they have the talent, but few do. This significantly cuts down the work you have to do.
Let’s start by helping you cut out the biggest source of time-wasting.
Freelancer sites are undoubtedly a great place to find cheap freelancers. They allow project managers to quickly connect to vast pools of developers. Since there is such competition, hourly rates are squeezed to a minimum meaning that it is not hard to find a low-cost developer.
Unfortunately, going this route could end up causing you no end of headaches.
To start with, many take an exorbitant 10 to 20% cut from their freelancers’ pay. This is definitely something freelancers notice when it comes to payday. So, unless you are willing to cover part, if not all of that fee, it is likely that your freelancer will be a little demoralized by this.
Alternatively, you can opt for software development-specific freelance platforms that have the edge over the general skill freelance sites as they are more specifically focused on the software development industry. You are far more likely to find a good blockchain freelancer on such dedicated sites when compared to general-purpose freelancer sites.
However, these sites also have their drawbacks. They offer very little in the way of help with project management or project management tools. Unless you have experience developing blockchain solutions then you should opt for a managed solution.
If you want well-vetted developers or development teams and the tools to manage them, or just want to completely outsource your project development, you will need to engage the services of an experienced software development company.
These companies represent the safest and surest route to project success. They underwrite the work of all their developers so if you are not satisfied then you don’t pay until you are.
Companies like DevTeam.Space only employ full-time developers who they constantly performance manage and train to use the latest technologies. This allows us to consistently achieve only the highest standards of excellence.
Top Tip: Give all freelancer sites a miss. When it comes to blockchain development, you simply can’t afford to take the chance.
How to find the best Software Development Company
Review sites are a great place to start looking when trying to outsource a blockchain developer or your entire blockchain development project.
The best of these include Clutch.co and Trustpilot.com. On sites such as these, it is possible to search by the number of stars, or if you have a specific company in mind, you can search by its name and read all the feedback and comments given by past clients.
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Shortlist the companies that appeal to you most, then hit their websites and let them know about your project.
Be sure to get answers to all the questions you might have before committing to any development company or hiring any blockchain developer.
Make sure you have answers to the following questions:
- What is their level of experience?
- Do they have example projects you can see?
- What the developer/company will do and when?
- How often will you get performance updates?
- What happens if work is not completed to your satisfaction?
- What management roles/tasks will you need to perform?
- What happens in regards to your ownership rights and security of your intellectual property and idea?
- How the completed code will be stored/transferred to you?
- The situation when it comes to offloading the developer/development company?
- Price estimate.
Skills to Look for When Looking to Hire Blockchain Developers
There is a wide range of different blockchain ‘specialists’ working in the field of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. These include project managers, blockchain engineers, blockchain developers, smart contract developers, etc. It is for this reason that we have created a generalized list of possible skills here.
Given that the range of tasks blockchain developers undertake could be anything from creating a new digital currency, and coding smart contracts in Hyperledger Fabric, to integrating a blockchain feature into a mobile app or creating a DApp, they need robust skills and a deep understanding of the technology of blockchain as a whole.
Here are some of the top skills to look for in a blockchain development specialist:
- Programming languages. When recruiting blockchain developers, it’s essential to look for certain programming language skills. C++ is by far the most popular language in the blockchain industry, which makes it a critical skill for every blockchain developer. However, being pretty mature, this language has some drawbacks, one of which is the fact that it’s not designed to facilitate the coding of smart contracts. Apart from being fluent in C++, your candidates should also be well-versed in the following languages:
- Node.js, which is suitable for backend;
- React or Angular for frontend;
- Simplicity or Solidity for Smart Contracts;
- Golang for console clients and backend.
In other words, what you need is a multifaceted, full-stack developer who’s proficient in the languages currently at the cutting edge of blockchain development.
- A deep understanding of multiple cryptocurrency frameworks. The best option is to find a developer with a good understanding of different blockchain technology applications, crypto-economic protocols, and multiple cryptocurrency frameworks. However, you will need to make sure all your developers have a good understanding of blockchain technology and whatever blockchain network you plan to use. With Ethereum, for example, they should know how to code in Solidity, understand how its smart contracts function, and know the rules of the Ethereum Virtual Machine or EVM, etc.
- Extensive knowledge of decentralized applications. When interviewing your candidates, it’s important to check whether they have previously built decentralized apps, as well as whether they have received cybersecurity training in decentralized apps.
- Expertise in smart contracts. It’s best to go for a certified smart contract developer and make sure that your new hire is capable of creating smart contracts on any blockchain platform using a language such as Solidity.
- An extensive GitHub portfolio featuring different blockchain projects. This is particularly important if you’re not blockchain-savvy, as these portfolios help you establish whether your candidate has the necessary experience and expertise.
The Value of Experience
Experience in blockchain development is a must. For reasons that we have already outlined, the price of failure when it comes to developing a blockchain solution can be high.
In order to evaluate a developer or development company’s experience, you have to do your homework. Begin by reading their testimonials on their website and review sites such as Clutch.co.
You should then check the applications or software that they claim to have built.
If you can find a similar project to your own, playing around with it will not only give you an idea of the level of work that your developer has been involved in but also might give you a few more ideas for your project.
How to Manage Your Blockchain Developer
Software development is often a high-pressure environment. While some companies choose to go the route of slow development (usually small-scale hobby projects), often undertaken by a part-time surfer/part-time developer, most companies want to get their ideas up and running as soon as possible.
The key to managing an unknown developer is good management, and the key to good management is communication.
Before you start collaborating with your developer, walk them through your project, your approach, what you expect of them, and when. Regular update calls are also a must.
This might sound obvious, but you would be amazed just how many employees are out there who have only a limited idea of what is going on with a project or even where it is at.
Such information not only fosters a team spirit but also helps developers to offer valuable insights into project development. Such insights help to prevent avoidable roadblocks and other time and money-consuming problems.
Be sure to show your new developer all the tools that you will use to aid project development. It is important for any project manager to be able to maintain a clear oversight as to where the project is and how each developer is performing.
While the part-time surfer/part-time developer might not like this idea, most serious developers see it as increadilbly beneficial as such information allows the manager to keep all the developers in the place they should be. If other developers are forced to wait because a task has not been completed by another member of the team, well, this can cause immense frustration to say the least.
Be sure to ask your development company about the tools that they use to manage their projects and whether they will be available to you should you engage one of their developers or dev teams.
At DevTeam.Space, for example, we assign an account manager to monitor all of our developers’ performance and to ensure that our clients have everything they need. This includes weekly and monthly progress reports that keep them up to date with all aspects of the project development.
Time Zone Overlaps
When hiring any remote developer, we strongly advise that you ensure a 4 hour + overlap in regards to their working hours. This can be either in the morning or evening and will be enough time to ensure that you can maintain a healthy level of communication as well as sufficient time to overcome any problem or roadblock.
Interview tips for hiring blockchain developers
We suggest the following for you when you hire blockchain software developers:
A. Specify the type of blockchain development project in the blockchain developer job description
Make an early decision about your project scope. What do you want to offer? Do you want to launch a public blockchain-based app or an enterprise blockchain app? Do you need only web app development, or do you need mobile app development too?
Specify the requirements clearly in the job ad. Otherwise, you might receive applications from too many blockchain developers. Many of them might not have the skills that you need. E.g., if you want to offer a Hyperledger Fabric blockchain app, then software developers with Ethereum development skills will not help.
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By specifying the requirements clearly, you can get applications from the right people. You can then focus more on interviewing the software engineers.
B. Check the knowledge of software development tools when hiring Ethereum developers
Do you plan to hire Ethereum blockchain software developers? Evaluate their knowledge of tools like Truffle, MetaMask, Web3.js, etc. Hire a blockchain developer with in-depth knowledge of these tools.
This evaluation can be hard if you interview remote blockchain developers. It can be harder if you look for freelance blockchain developers.
This is another reason why you should hire blockchain engineers from a dedicated software development company like DevTeam.Space. Such companies assess their developers diligently. Here you will find qualified blockchain programmers.
C. Look for enterprise blockchain developers that are up-to-date with technological advancements
Do you plan to offer an enterprise blockchain app? You need a blockchain development team that’s up-to-date with technological advancements.
Blockchain development can be complex. Enterprise blockchain development is harder. Providers of enterprise blockchain platforms are trying to make it easier. They are developing new and useful frameworks and tools all the time. Senior blockchain developers should keep themselves well aware of these developments.
You should assess their knowledge in this regard. This assessment is hard when hiring freelance blockchain developers. Freelance blockchain developers show a project portfolio. You will likely find it hard to assess their real contribution to those projects though (we can’t count the number of developers who we have caught in interview falsely claiming to have build something that our past client check has later revealed to be untrue).
Companies like DevTeam.Space do the “heavy lifting” for you upfront. Hire qualified blockchain programmers from such companies.
Top Tip: If you don’t have the expertise then find someone who does. We have found one of the best ways to identify the best developers is to ask probing follow up questions to their answers. This puts them in the ‘hot seat’ and allows you to see what they are really made of.
If you need help with this then get in touch.
Sample interview questions when hiring blockchain developers
When you try to find blockchain developers, ask questions that assess their hands-on knowledge. A few examples are as follows:
A. What are the common smart contract vulnerabilities?
Answer: The most common smart contract vulnerabilities are as follows:
- Indirect execution of unknown code;
- Incorrect calculation of the output token amount;
- Interface issues;
- Dependency on the order of execution;
- Time component-related errors;
- Errors due to using the blockhash function;
- Exception handling-related errors.
B. Which Ethereum standard should you use when developing a non-fungible token?
Answer: You should use the ERC-721 standard to create an NFT (non-fungible token). This Ethereum standard helps you to create cryptographic tokens that are unique and indivisible. You need to code Ethereum smart contracts that follow the ERC-721 standard to create NFTs.
C. How do you create a blockchain application using Node.js?
Answer: Take the following steps:
- Choose a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform like Amazon Managed Blockchain or Azure Blockchain Workbench.
- Install the Hyperledger Fabric framework.
- Use the Hyperledger Fabric Client (HFC) SDK for Node.js.
- Create, test, and deploy the blockchain application by following the instructions offered by the BaaS platform of your choice.
Check out our blockchain interview questions for more examples.
Submit a Project With Zero Risk
Finding talented and well-versed blockchain developers for hire is a challenging task, especially if you’re not an expert in the field.
Blockchain is a real challenge to businesses wishing to create new solutions using the technology. While these are definitely hurdles to overcome, with the aid of experienced blockchain developers they need not be very big ones.
If you wish to find out more about the expert blockchain developers that we offer then simply fill out a DevTeam.Space product specification form and one of our dedicated account managers will get in touch to arrange a complimentary discovery call to answer any questions that you might have.