Career In Blockchain – How To Start?

Blockchain industry has seemingly been all about the hype in the past couple of months. But if you are skin-deep in Blockchain, you know that it has the potential the Internet had in the ’90s to be a changemaker in how we trade, communicate and trust. You also know it’s not the case because of the money pouring in, but because of the underlying principles and the technology. And that’s why more and more people are trying to start a career in Blockchain.

Not only is Blockchain shifting the paradigm from centralized client/server architecture to decentralized protocols, but it’s also laying the foundation for new business models and relocation of value. Can you imagine a sustainable web browser that doesn’t track you or share your data and has a built-in adblocker? Brave is doing just that, which makes it a great example of a business model that implements this particular paradigm shift.

Many industries are getting “blockchained”, not just finance through the adoption of DeFisupply chain, healthcare, gaming, digital identity, IoT, etc. The list goes on and on. No wonder there is so much hype around Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies. I hope you can see now that it isn’t just pure hype but the actual technology with real use-cases. In this post, I’ll try to give you a few guidelines on how you can start learning about it and become a part of it.

How to Shift From Web 2.0 to Web 3.0?

Let’s first settle on common terminology. Web2.0 is a term commonly used to describe the Internet as we know it today. It consists of social media sites, blogs, and online communities that allow end-users to interact and collaborate at any time and in real-time. It relies on intermediaries and is dominated by companies that provide services in exchange for your data. Web3.0 introduces the decentralized internet, where third parties have less control over user interaction and value transfers. In essence, Web3.0 provides the foundation for P2P communication, payments, services, and marketplaces. Blockchain technology plays a vital role in shaping the current development of Web3.0. If you want to know more about what is Web3.0 and how we can use it, check out this video

Before writing this blogpost, we conducted research to understand why people decide (or not) to start a career in Blockchain and how they perceive the industry. So far, we could see that most people believe that working in Blockchain requires a skill set that is different from the one necessary for the Web2.0 world.

Yes, there are new concepts and terms, but the underlying technology is built on something that exists for at least 50 years. So, if you have already worked in tech, you should handle it just fine. And the industry offers great opportunities for everyone who joins it now since it’s still in its early days.

Who Is This Text Meant For?

This blog post is meant for everyone that is not yet involved in the Blockchain industry but is considering it and isn’t sure whether starting a career in Blockchain the right choice. Blockchain might be a little overwhelming initially, so we’ll try to help you start with the right resources and show you what types of roles there are in Blockchain companies.

 We would like to gather some more insight into what people think of Blockchain as the industry, so if you have 5 minutes, please make sure to fill out our short survey. It’ll help us write more posts like this one.

Growing Demand for Jobs in Blockchain

The space for innovation in this field is absolutely huge. The new way of thinking gives birth to new products, business models, and ways for people to collaborate and build.

Considering that, the only logical conclusion is there is an increasing demand for people willing to start a career in Blockchain, learn and work on Blockchain projects and build products based on Blockchain.

Also, more and more people have started considering shifting their careers to the Blockchain industry. Still, one question seems to make people second guess their decision – What skills do I need to have, and where do I start learning them?

We have two pieces of news for you. First, if you have already worked in tech, you probably have most of the skills required. And the second one, you need to tweak some things a little bit, just to make sure you understand what Blockchain is all about.

We decided to organize this post into two sections. If you are not already familiar with Blockchain technology, the first section is for you. But in case you know what Blockchain is and how it works, you can feel free to skip it and jump right into a discussion about different opportunities for a career in Blockchain.

Start Learning About Blockchain

Starting a career in Blockchain is like any other industry – you learn the basics, read the news and build on that. It would help if you first started by understanding what Blockchain is and how it works on a conceptual level – this video by Simply Explained is the best one that explains it plain and simple. If you are entirely new to Blockchain, you should start there. Another useful resource is this website.

Next, aside from many different videos, online courses and other resources (such as Binance Academy, Kraken Learn and Coinbase Learn) you can find online, Blockchain Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction in 25 Steps is an excellent resource for understanding the essential elements and inner workings of Blockchain technology on a non-very-technical level.

You should also follow Decrypt, Coindesk and Cointelegraph to be updated on the latest news from the Web3.0 and Blockchain world. In case you want to learn about specific Crypto/Blockchain/DeFi projects and concepts, make sure to check out Finematics and Coinbureau.

One other thing, you should research some of the most notable projects in the Blockchain – nothing too deep for now, just a quick overview. In case you don’t know where to start, I have a few recommendations for you:

I know this can seem like a lot of work, but there’s no need to read it all at once. These are just helpful resources to read over time. There are many video explainers on these projects, so that should save you some time.

In case you ever get lost in an abundance of new terminology, Investopedia’s Dictionary and CoinMarketCap’s Glossary are there to help you. 

Or, you know, you can just google it.

What Other Skills Do You Need to Start a Career in Blockchain?

Now, this part is something that should help you expand your knowledge. It will help you become an expert in Blockchain technology in a way that will give you a perspective of how things are built from the technical side of the story. You will know what technology stacks you have to use to create a product that you want.

Since you want to go a little more technical, you should probably read Mastering Bitcoin by Andreas Antonopoulos or Mastering Ethereum he wrote with Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood. Andreas has been covering various Crypto-related topics for quite some time now. I’ll also leave a link to his Youtube channel and Website.

It would be best to take your time and casually read some projects’ whitepapers and docs. I’ll also leave the links here.

Again, this is just something to read in your free time. You shouldn’t get stuck reading endless docs 24/7. However, you’ll need to get familiar with these projects sooner or later. After all – you will be building products on top of them or will have to use some of their features.

As for specific skills you need, it depends on your role, and I will cover that in the next section.

Career Opportunities in Blockchain

You are probably wondering what kind of people a Blockchain company needs. Well, like any other company, it needs many different types of professionals. Let’s go through some of them. Note that salary data is collected from various sources such as Glassdoor, CryptoJobsList, and CryptoCurrencyJobs, etc.

Blockchain Core Developer

ROLE: Blockchain Core Developer builds Blockchain architecture, designs its protocol, consensus mechanism, makes and implements high-level decisions related to the Blockchain network.

SKILLS: You should be familiar and experienced with Blockchain architecture, cryptographic hash functions, consensus mechanisms, algorithms, distributed ledger technology, and various data structures such as Merkle Trees, Patricia Trees, etc. Some of the main languages you’ll be using are Golang, Rust, C++, and Java.

SALARY: Around 30% higher than Software Engineer average salary in comparable Tech companies.

Blockchain Software Developer

ROLE: This one is also called Blockchain dApp (Decentralized Application) Developer. Much like how a regular web developer uses the protocols and design structure set up by a core web architect to build web apps, Blockchain Software Developers build decentralized applications or Dapps using protocols created by Blockchain Core Developers. In simple words – they use existing tools and Blockchain infrastructure to build dApps on top of it. They do this by developing smart contracts and deploying them on the Blockchain.

SKILLS: For this, you’ll need experience with various development tools and languages such as Solidity or Substrate.

SALARY: Around 30% higher than Software Engineer average salary in comparable Tech companies.

Front-End Developer

ROLE: Working as a Front End Developer at a Blockchain company is similar to any other company. The only difference is that you are doing it for a product based on Blockchain (most of the time). You are responsible for building beautiful and functional user interfaces and writing well-tested and reliable code. You are closely working with UX/UI designers to deliver the best experience to the end-user.

SKILLS: You’ll need to have experience with JavaScript (ES6), working with client-side web applications, and React.JS on production-ready applications. You should also have an understanding of Redux and middlewares like Trunk or Saga. Also, it’s always a bonus if you have experience with REST APIs and TypeScript. You’ll also need to understand UX/UI in Crypto so you can easily communicate with Designers.

SALARY: Around 23% higher than Front-End Developer average salary in comparable Tech companies.

Back-End Developer

ROLE: The Back-End Developer role is also similar to any other tech company, but this time it’s in the context of Blockchain as a database. Even though the end-users don’t see it, they communicate with the Blockchain through various APIs and service providers every time they make a transaction. That’s where you come in. You make sure that your app can successfully fetch and deliver data to various service providers or even communicate to the Blockchain directly.

SKILLS: You should have experience with JavaScript (ES6). Node.js and Express.js should be your weapons of choice in this role, and chances are you will encounter working in IntelliJ. You should understand how cryptocurrencies work and have experience with REST APIs, relational databases (PostgreSQL, MySQL), etc.

SALARY: Around 23% higher than Back-End Developer average salary in comparable Tech companies.

DevOps

ROLE: As a DevOps Engineer, you will be in charge of facilitating seamless delivery of high-quality products and updates to end-users and do it fast. You’ll help coders to do what they do best – coding while ensuring that the right code gets in the right place. You will also deal with infrastructure maintenance, monitoring, process automation, CI/CD, building and delivering software from Github to servers.

SKILLS: It’s usually preferred that you have experience with AWS services – Fargate, API Gateway, EC2, ElastiCache, Lambda, RDS, Auto Scaling, CloudFront, S3, IAM, CloudWatch, CodePipeline, CodeDeploy. Also, platform automation and deployment (Ansible, Docker, Kubernetes) skills are a big bonus for you.

For a Senior-level, Infrastructure as a Code (Terraform), ELK, Grafana, and Bash/Python/NodeJS scripting knowledge is required.

SALARY: Around 18% higher than DevOps average salary in comparable Tech companies.

UX/UI Designer

ROLE: This one is pretty much self-explanatory. Blockchain products are not that different from any other product in terms of the design principles you need to apply. But, there is a catch. Since Blockchain is a somewhat complicated thing for ordinary people, you have to stick to the KISS principle – make it simple but functional and flexible. Also, you will be communicating with developers to get your product to mass adoption.

You should check out apps that already exist on the market, such as Celsius Network or some of the many Crypto wallets. And make sure to check out Whollet – our comprehensive Crypto wallet UI Kit and read about UI Heuristics to get the best out of your design.

SKILLS: You should have experience working in Sketch, Figma, XD or any other design tool. You should also be able to make a prototype and take a product from ideation to launch.

SALARY: Around 25% higher than UX/UI Designer average salary in comparable Tech companies.

Product Manager

ROLE: You will be leading the process of product discovery, which means answering four questions:

  • What problem are you solving?
  • Who are your users?
  • How is your solution better than the alternatives?
  • What value do you bring to the market and the business?

You need to ensure that the roadmap is clearly defined and communicated among all parties. You will also be responsible for mapping out the users to improve the product’s overall quality, both in its core. A good PM brings real value to the market (end-users), aligned with the business (client’s) strategy while empowering the team & ensuring that the processes in place are efficient, scalable, and provide continuous learning.

SKILLS: You will have to be up to date with the industry and know about emerging technologies and projects. Also, you need to be able to wireframe and come up with decentralized business models and bring your product to mass adoption.

SALARY: It’s similar to Product Manager salary in comparable Tech companies.

Mobile Developer

ROLE: You will be making mobile apps for iOS or Android.

SKILLS: You have to be proficient in JavaScript (ES6) and understand Redux, Trunk/Saga, and REST APIs. Native Mobile App development is one way to go. But React Native is also a common framework could be working with.

SALARY: Around 20% higher than Mobile Developer average salary in comparable Tech companies.

QA Engineer

ROLE: As a part of the QA Team, you will be developing testing procedures that address database impacts, software scenarios, regression testing, negative testing, error or bug retests, or usability tests.

SKILLS: You’ll need to be able to design test plans, scenarios, scripts, or procedures, organize user or third-party (beta) testing.  Also, you’ll be documenting test procedures to ensure replicability and compliance with standards and provide feedback and recommendations on software usability and functionality.

SALARY: Around 50% higher than QA Engineer average salary in comparable Tech companies.

Other Related Roles in Blockchain

Now, you might have asked yourself whether there is an opportunity for you to start a career in Blockchain if your role isn’t development-related. Just like the Internet, in the beginning, it was developers. But now that the technology has found new use-cases and the industry is expanding, we need other roles to support this massive growth. I’ll go through some of them and try to briefly explain why they are important.

  • Marketers and Sales – In order to grow, we need to find a perfect product/market fit, understand users and clients, communicate with them, market and sell our products.
  • Lawyers – Think of them as Blockchain Legal Consultants. Blockchain industry is very young, either heavily regulated or not regulated at all. You can imagine how hard it is to navigate through such uncertainty. That’s why Blockchain companies need Legal Consultants with a good understanding of international law, intellectual property, privacy regulations, etc.
  •  Finance – These could be either Financial Advisors, Accountants, etc. Since Blockchain is disrupting the traditional financial world, the industry needs people with extensive knowledge of finance to create a stable environment and standardize processes like STOs, token listings, funding, etc.
  • Business Development – As I already mentioned, Blockchain is disrupting industries. Numerous new use-cases are emerging every day and companies need to keep up. Biz Devs need to find new business models, revenue streams and markets that businesses can utilize in order to grow.
  • Human Resources – The industry is growing, the companies are expanding. We have the first IPO on the horizon. This all means that more and more people are getting in on the train. Businesses will need open HR departments in order to scale and deal with a massive influx of newcomers. Employer branding, talent acquisition, training and development, compensation – you name it, it’s on the list. 

Where to a Start Career in Blockchain?

As I already mentioned, Blockchain technology is making an impact on a lot of industries. That means a wide range of companies is looking for people who know a thing or two about Blockchain. So you can imagine that the opportunities for a career in Blockchain are endless. With this kind of knowledge, you will be able to work at:

  • Blockchain infrastructure development companies – Companies and foundations that build L1 protocols that enable other companies to build on top of them. Such organizations are Ethereum Foundation, ConsenSys, Parity Technologies, etc.
  • Startups – Small companies working on products based on Blockchain. They have been around since the invention of Blockchain.
  • Consulting Companies – Whether they are selling their products or helping businesses tap into Blockchain, they will need experts to facilitate that.
  • Big Tech – These are the companies that have the most to lose if left behind the Blockchain revolution. That’s why we can see them working on various blockchain projects in the last couple of years.
  • Financial Sector – This one is self-explanatory. It’s a must for them.

You can look at various websites with an increasing demand for Blockchain professionals with more than competitive salaries and other benefits. Just to name a few of those websites – Glassdoor, CryptoCurrencyJobs, CryptoJobs, Upwork, Crypto Careers, etc. Another option is to apply for bounties and hackathons at Gitcoin.

If you want to dive deep into blockchain development and all related disciplines, Udemy, Coursera and Code Academy are great places to start learning.

Start Your Career in Blockchain at MVP Workshop

Make sure to check out our Web3.0 tech incubator 3327 where we research, prototype and validate various ideas and experiment with Web3.0 technologies. Not only you will be able to experiment with cutting-edge Web3.0 tech, but it’s also a great place to learn, network and meet some of the best people in Web3.0.

We also have open positions listed on our careers page if you are interested in working on some of the industry’s top projects.

Perks of a Career in Blockchain

Since Blockchain is a technology without borders, you can work from every corner of the world and create products for the mass market. Also, because there are (still) a few people who understand Blockchain, companies are trying their best to attract talent.

I don’t want to speak on someone else’s behalf, but we at MVP Workshop have a number of perks and benefits for our employees, such as:

  • Flexible Work Hours
  • No Limit Paid Vacation
  • On the Job Training
  • Library and Knowledge Sharing on Blockchain related topics
  • Distributed-First Policy

We know that it might be challenging to start something new, especially something as complicated as Blockchain. And we try to do our best to facilitate that transition from Web2.0 to Web3.0. Both for our employees and the whole world.

Conclusion

Now that you know what it takes to start a career in Blockchain ask yourself once again do you really want it. If the answer is yes – congratulations, you are going to witness something extraordinary. You can start developing those skills I mentioned, and if you think you are ready right now, well, what are you waiting for? Our careers page is the right place for you to start your career. 

We promise you many cool projects and a great team with some of the most brilliant minds in the industry!

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