How to position yourself for a job in blockchain

What is blockchain and why are blockchain developers in such demand?

Blockchain, software that acts as a distributed ledger, is fast becoming the next hot topic within programming and software development. In a recent Computerworld survey, blockchain developers were ranked number 2 in the top 20 fastest-growing jobs, with job postings increasing by more than 200% in the last year alone.

And it isn’t just experienced developers that are in demand either – although many start off in more general developing roles, new entrants to the market are also going straight into learning blockchain – and are demanding salaries in line with the high demand. Particular blockchain iterations such as Solidity and Hyperledger Composer are proving even more desirable.

Is blockchain the future?

One of the fastest growing applications for blockchain technology is its use in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. US blockchain developers specialising in Bitcoin are currently earning up to $200 a day for their skills.

UK universities are also joining the blockchain revolution and are offering new courses as quickly as possible, with the University of Edinburgh recently announcing their new Blockchain Technology Laboratory as part of the University’s School of Informatics.

The UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser said that blockchain technology has the “potential to transform the delivery of public and private services” and confirmed that it plays a part in the government’s digital transformation plan. With blockchain also being used in renewable energy certificate trading, supply chain management, healthcare record management and many more besides, it seems that blockchain development is not just a short-term job opportunity but could be a good long-term career option.

Much investment has already gone into the technology, with major organisations such as IBM having made significant investments to help advance blockchain technology, with even more investment expected over the years to come.

A London training centre, B9lab, has already trained more than 1,000 people in a little over two years in blockchain technology, with course participants coming from around the world and from a range of backgrounds and ages.

With some more introductory blockchain courses on offer, such as the Training Linux Foundation online course in Hyperledger, it is easy to make a start learning about blockchain technology – and you don’t have to be in the industry already to learn. Particular platforms for blockchain such as Hyperledger Fabric or Sawtooth have more specific training for developers available, and many of these training courses are free.

According to Hyperledger, nearly 73,000 people have enrolled onto the available courses since they were launched online last year, and that number is still growing at a rapid rate. With more growth in the use of blockchain technology on the cards, it is certainly worth considering re-training for a career in this new technology.

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