by Sandra

Blockchain developers are in short supply and hot demand. The job of developing blockchain distributed ledgers for businesses was recently ranked second amongst the top 20 fastest-growing job skills, and postings for workers with those skills grew more than 200% last year.

Salaries for blockchain developer or “engineer” positions are accordingly high, with median salaries within the U.S. hovering around $130,000 per year; that compares to general software developers, whose annual median pay is $105,000, in accordance with Matt Sigelman, CEO of job data analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies. In high-tech areas of the U.S. such as Silicon Valley, The Big Apple or Boston, Blockchain Developer has a median annual salary of $158,000 – an $18,000 premium over salaries for general software developers.

People with experience with specific blockchain iterations, including Solidity and Hyperledger Composer, will be in even higher demand – and this demand is increasing steadily, said Eric Piscini, a principal in the technology and banking practices at Deloitte Consulting LLP. “This is actually the most important thing I have in mind once i awaken each morning: ‘Where will I find more engineers to sign up for they,'” Piscini said via email.

Solidity is really a blockchain programming language for creating smart contracts (self-executing scripts); Hyperledger Composer is surely an open-source version of blockchain based upon JavaScript; it provides REST API support which allows non-developers and developers to generate business networks. In addition to Hyperledger, Ethereum is definitely the world’s leading blockchain platform and they are both the basis for an array of decentralized applications (Dapps), from smart contracts to cryptocurrencies like Ethereum’s Ether.

Just below blockchain engineers on the list of the quickest-growing jobs is really a related skill: bitcoin cryptocurrency developers. (Blockchain is the technology that underpins bitcoin.) Taking second fiddle only to robotics specialists, blockchain and bitcoin developers are advertising their services for as much as $200 each hour, according to Upwork, an employment site which specializes in freelance workers.

Where you can learn blockchain

Most who decide to add blockchain with their skillset or seek a career as blockchain developers are typically versed in programming languages such as Java or Python, Piscini said. But that’s by no means a prerequisite. “More universities are beginning curricula as well as the natural cycle to graduate enough students will produce good volumes within the ckcxnz several years,” Piscini said. “We collaborate with universities all over the world to build up content and hire the very best talent.”

Several accredited U.S. universities now offer courses on blockchain, such as MIT, which has offered two courses on cryptocurrency engineering and design, and Stanford University, that has a course called Bitcoin Engineering that teaches developers the best way to create bitcoin-enabled applications. Additionally, there are specialty schools, such as Mountain View, Calif.-based Blockchain University and London-based education startup B9lab, which launched an online Certified Ethereum Developer Training course in 2016.

“We’ve been running this and other classes for over two years now and also have trained one thousand people from over 75 countries,” said Elias Haase, founder of B9lab.

By far the most successful students in B9lab’s courses usually have sysadmin experience and have worked with Javascript before, Hasse said, but “with the right amount of focus, we’ve seen people from different backgrounds do rather well.

“Our youngest student was 14, the oldest 76. So we’ve seen a pretty broad number of developers,” he said.

Currently, the easiest and fastest way to become proficient is always to learn all on your own or attend programs organized by blockchain vendors and industry groups, including Consensys, Blockapps, the Ethereum Foundation and Hyperledger.

Under the auspices of the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger is really a collaborative cross-industry effort created to advance blockchain technology. Its Hyperledger Fabric and Sawtooth modular frameworks could be foundations for developing distributed ledgers for businesses.

While software developers tend to be the ones who join blockchain courses, you don’t need to be a coder to glean business-oriented understanding of the distributed ledger technology as well as figure out how to create blockchain networks to your company, in accordance with Hyperledger Community Architect Tracy Kuhrt.

Blockchain hyperledger KuhrtHyperledgerHyperledger Community Architect Tracy Kuhrt

For example, Hyperledger provides an introductory course for business people who want to find out about the way the technology does apply with their environment. The course includes a primer for techies seeking to discover ways to start building blockchain applications with Hyperledger frameworks.

Developers who would like to learn coding will take more specific courses on blockchain modular platforms, including Hyperledger Fabric or Sawtooth. Those seeking a certificate in Hyperledger blockchain technology can change to start online course provider edX; upon completion, they can pay $99 to get a certificate in the technology.

“The courses could be taken by someone who will not be developer,” Kuhrt said. “It will provide a working example for that two projects we have now – Hyperledger Fabric and Sawtooth. You will find step-by-step instructions…to function through that. In terms of whether or not it would be hard for somebody who doesn’t have programming experience, I don’t think that’s where challenge could be. I do believe someone who doesn’t spend lots of time staring at command lines in a computer might have some challenges, but it really is meant to help anybody to get up and running and then see what’s possible with blockchain technologies.”

How one developer changed careers

Until a year ago, Kuhrt had spent a decade being a software engineer at PayPal, working her way as much as its strategic architecture team where she was tasked to look at blockchain being a potential business platform. Kuhrt proceeded to develop and implement a proof of concept to get a PayPal rewards point program using Hyperledger Fabric, a wide open-source modular blockchain architecture.

“That’s the way i got interested in Hyperledger. It’s an excellent place to get in on the bottom floor,” said Kuhrt, who this past year took the work at Hyperledger, the Linux Foundation project started in 2015. “I think this technology will make some big changes in the way organization is done.” Kuhrt has become in charge of connecting outside technologists for the Hyperledger’s various blockchain initiatives, including its free training courses.

Because the courses went online last year, 72,925 individuals have enrolled and two,252 have finished the course work, based on Kuhrt. Not surprisingly, enrollments continue to explode because the adoption of blockchain in a number of industries is growing Blockchain applications are being put on healthcare record management, alternative energy certificate trading and offer chain management, and others.

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