It was only a few years 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 areas 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.
If we bear all this in mind, it’s only logical that government agencies, supply chains, healthcare, and other industries will be 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 the next generation of software solutions.
The problem begins with the lack of experienced blockchain developers out there. Though this number is growing every month, the Bitcoin boom caught the industry off guard somewhat as it started a huge gold rush for blockchain programmers.
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 lots of available blockchain experts out there. You just need to know where to look.
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.
Alternatively, if your company does not have the human resources, then should you go the safe route and outsource 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.
This is a far better guarantee for quality than taking a coder’s word for it on a freelancer platform, which typically offers client companies no protection for project delays, poorly written code, or even the theft of your intellectual property.
When hiring a developer from an outsource company or outsourcing your web or app development, always make sure they have full-time vetted developers working for them.
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.
With literally thousands of freelancer platforms and software development companies out there, the problem can seem more one of being overwhelmed rather than not being able to find anywhere to connect to blockchain professionals.
However, as we have already pointed out, good blockchain developers are at a premium. Lots will claim they have the experience, but few do.
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 20% cut from their freelancers. 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 platforms that have the edge 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 dev teams and the tools to manage them, or just want to completely outsource your project development, you will need to hire 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 need to pay. Some of these companies also only employ full-time developers who they performance manage and train to use the latest technologies.
Review sites are a great place to start looking when trying to outsource your blockchain development.
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.
Shortlist the companies that appeal to you most, then hit their websites and let them know about your project.
For DevTeam.Space, simply submit a project specification and one of our dedicated account managers will get back to you to answer any questions that you might have.
Be sure to get answers to all the questions you might have before committing to any development company or hiring any blockchain developer.
Be sure to 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?
- 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
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.
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. In essence, your ideal blockchain development candidate should be a blockchain aficionado who has also dabbled in crypto mining and trading. Keep in mind that prior to 2017, the vast majority of blockchain developers were doing it out of passion and not for money. 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.
- A background in UX design. Creating a superb blockchain project is one thing, making it user-friendly and intuitive is something completely different. That’s why it is a great idea to hire someone who is experienced both in blockchain technology and user experience design. In a nutshell, you will need to make sure all your developers have a good understanding of blockchain technology and in whatever blockchain network and technologies that you plan to use.
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.
Software development is often a high-pressure environment. While some companies choose to go the route of slow development, 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.
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, 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 any 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.
We suggest the following for you when you hire blockchain software developers:
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.
By specifying the requirements clearly, you can get applications from the right people. You can then focus more on interviewing the software engineers.
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 hybrid software development company like DevTeam.Space. Such companies assess their developers diligently. You have better chances of finding qualified blockchain programmers.
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 several useful frameworks and tools for that. 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 find it hard to assess their real contribution to those projects though.
Companies like DevTeam.Space do the “heavy lifting” for you upfront. Hire qualified blockchain programmers from such companies.
When you try to find blockchain developers, ask questions that assess their hands-on knowledge. A few examples are as follows:
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.
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.
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.
You are welcome to contact us by filling out a DevTeam.Space product specification form to ask about our field expert blockchain developers. You only need to fill out the form and one of our dedicated account managers will get back to you to answer any questions you might have.