As enterprise interest in blockchain applications increases, companies are becoming frustrated to learn that there is a limited number of skilled people with experience in this field. Are you ready to step up and meet the demand by becoming a blockchain developer?
In our series of articles on this technology, DevPro Journal has provided you with some background, “Blockchain 101,” and some inspiration, “30 Blockchain Apps Waiting for a Willing ISV.” In this third part of our series, we are providing you with resources that will be valuable as you take your first steps toward becoming a blockchain developer.
Step 1: Read
Blockchain technology is just emerging, especially when it comes to applications beyond Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. But before you decide it’s so new that you need to invent the wheel, take a look at the resources that are available and read about the work that’s already been done. William Mougayar of Startup Management maintains The Ultimate List of Bitcoin and Blockchain White Papers where you will find information on protocols and decentralized apps and middlelayers as well as white papers on the technology’s impact and best practices. His list ends with books on the topic—and bookstores are flooded with related titles. Check reviews to find the most worthwhile reads.
Step 2: Learn
Courses and certifications are available that can give you a solid foundation on your way to becoming a blockchain developer. For example, follow these links to two course descriptions:
- The Linux Foundation offers Blockchain for Business—An Introduction to Hyperledger Technologies
- IBM offers Blockchain certification: IBM Blockchain Foundation for Developers
A word of caution: As we searched for courses in blockchain technology, it quickly became evident that a variety of different types of organizations are jumping onto the blockchain bandwagon with courses and certifications that they offer at a wide range of price points. Be careful how you invest your money and your time. Resources such as Coursera and digitaldefynd can help you narrow your search to the best available courses from credible organizations.
Step 3: Do
A there is a lot to be said for learning by doing, and blockchain technology is no exception. You can read and study, but there is no substitute for the experience of actually building a blockchain.
- The IBM Blockchain Platform Starter Plan allows you to develop in a local environment to build your skills. The toolkit uses open source Hyperledger tools that enable you to code, test and deploy on the IBM cloud.
- Microsoft helps you get started with Blockchain as a Service with Microsoft Azure DevTest Labs. There you can select from blockchain artifacts to create your own blockchain labs.
Also take a look at Medium’s From “What is Blockchain?” to building a blockchain in less than an hour and Blockgeeks’ How to Become a Blockchain Developer: Crash Course! Articles such as these will walk you through building your first blockchain.
Step 4: Grow
Networking and learning from other developers is always a great strategy, and there are a number of events and conferences focused on helping you in your journey to becoming a blockchain developer. The Bizzabo Blog maintains this calendar of blockchain events throughout the U.S. and around the world. Meeting other people who are aspiring to become blockchain developers—as well as people with experience in the field—can help you find answers, anticipate new challenges, and understand the direction that industry is heading with the technology. Not to mention, connections are valuable as you advance your business.
Blockchain technology has potential in virtually every industry, and the demand for blockchain developers is high now and will only grow. The playing field is relatively level at the moment—most developers are learning. Will you apply your skills and knowledge to become one of them?