How to Become a Blockchain Developer: Practical Advice from the Experts

How to Become a Blockchain Developer

We have collected 25 pieces of advice from the experts for those interested in a career in blockchain development. Find out what the professionals have to about the necessary skills, resources, and careers in the blockchain for up-and-coming developers in our ultimate guide. The advice in this guide will also be useful for experienced software developers who want to come into the blockchain industry and for those who are at the start of their own developer career.

Skills and knowledge

1. Try to understand the principles of the blockchain

Brian Schuster, Blockchain Advisor and Entrepreneur

It is important to understand the basics before you dive into the world of blockchain development. Familiarize yourself with the foundations of the blockchain and learn how it works. A good book to start with would be Mastering Bitcoin: Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies by Andreas Antonopoulos.

2. Familiarize yourself with the Ethereum platform

Bilal Jan, a writer at the Lord of Dev blog

Ethereum platform is the most common one for ICOs. To become a successful developer, you need to be experienced with it. The first thing you will need as a programmer to start working with Ethereum is the Ethereum client itself. The most popular ones are Geth and Parity.

3. Spend some time learning Solidity and Truffle

truffle soliditySamrat Roy Chowdhuri, Chief Editor at Indian Technology Blog

Solidity is Ethereum’s special language for smart contracts, and Truffle is a popular Ethereum framework. You should be familiar with both to be successful in blockchain development. Solidity is pretty easy to understand, as it is relatively similar to JavaScript. To get more comfortable with Truffle, you can try this step-by-step guide to learn how to build your first blockchain app with Truffle.

4. Get hands-on experience with Solidity by building a game

Samrat Roy Chowdhuri, Chief Editor at Indian Technology Blog

Follow this nice tutorial from Loom to build a game using Solidity. You will make an army of zombies and then fight a war on the blockchain. All of this will be done with Solidity, so by the end of the tutorial you will become pretty experienced with this language. Isn’t that cool? Also, this tutorial will allow you to see that blockchain and smart contracts are useful not only for payments, but for game development as well. Maybe that will help you think outside the box and come up with your own ideas about blockchain game development.

5. Don’t put too much time and efforts into learning Solidity if you want to develop decentralized apps (DApps), focus on improving your skills in other languages instead


Ray Dollete, Senior Design Technologist at Amazon

The code for smart contracts written in Solidity is only a tiny part of the overall codebase for a DApp. The codebase can be written in any other language like Python, Java, or C++. Solidity can be intuitively understood by any developer from first glance as it’s pretty straightforward. So you don’t need to spend too much time learning it to become a successful DApp developer. Your coding skills in other languages are far more important for that job.

6. Get familiar with platforms other than Ethereum

Kamlesh Kawadkar, Senior Systems Engineer at Infosys

Though Ethereum is probably the most popular platform so far, it would be beneficial to get some experience with other platforms as well. Your best bet would be Hyperledger or Multichain.

7. To build DApps, make yourself comfortable with front-end development and cryptography

Bilal Jan, a writer at the Lord of Dev blog

DApps consist of two parts – a front-end part and a back-end part. Front end development is similar to the development of a website or a mobile app. It can be done in any programming language, including Java and HTML. Back end development is a bit more tricky. It requires a good knowledge of cryptography as the blockchain platform relies on cryptographic functions to identify users. In principle, the back-end part can be also developed in any language, though the most common languages for that would probably be C# and C++.

8. Get a good understanding of data structures

Akash Takyar, CEO at

As a blockchain developer, you will need to be comfortable with different data structures like Stack, Queue, Linked List, Tree, and HashMaps.

blockchain developer

9. Play around with Bitcoin’s source code

Chris Stewart, CEO at SuredBits

Bitcoin is open source, so you can contribute to the project at any stage. Familiarize yourself with the code (note: it’s written in C++) and contribute to it or just play around with it on your own. If you actually end up contributing to Bitcoin, it will give you credentials to work on almost any other project in the blockchain industry.

10. Learn about distributed ledger protocols

Giovanni Casinelli, the founder and owner of a blockchain jobs site CryptoJobs

A deep understanding of distributed ledger protocols is among the most desired skills for blockchain developers. So learn about it if you want to get a job in the industry. If you are not sure where to start, you can consult the learning resources list curated by CryptoJobs.

11. Build your own blockchain application

Andrew Cordivari, Full Stack Developer

After acquiring the relevant skills, try to build your own application to get hands-on experience with blockchain development. The application should showcase your understanding of the blockchain. It can be something like a decentralized voting system, and Ethereum has a pretty useful guide on building such an app.

Where to find relevant resources for learning

12. Learn about Ethereum via Lynda, GitHub, and YouTube videos


Below you will find a comprehensive list of resources for learning Ethereum compiled by Xanesghost, an active contributor to blockchain-related threads on Reddit.

Outside the Ethereum ecosystem:

  1. Lynda. Programming Fundamentals
  2. Lynda. JavaScript Essential Training
  3. Lynda. Foundational Data Structures
  4. Lynda. Discrete Mathematics
  5. Lynda. Git Essential Training
  6. Lynda. Refactoring Code
  7. Introduction to Cryptography
  8. Introduction to Game Theory
  9. Crypto Technologies Online Course

Inside the Ethereum ecosystem:

  1. Introduction to Ethereum and Smart Contracts
  2. Blockchain / Smart Contract 101
  3. Introduction to Smart Contracts
  4. Ethereum Wiki. Solidity Features
  5. Official Solidity Documentation
  6. Learn Solidity in Y Minutes
  7. Andreas Olofsson’s Solidity Tutorials
  8. Andreas Olofsson’s Solidity Workshop
  9. Ethereum, Gas, Fuel & Fees
  10. Ethereum-Mist Walkthrough
  11. Design Principles for Dapp Developers
  12. Programming Modularity, Extensibility, & Security
  13. Managing Contract System Complexity
  14. Intro to DApp Frameworks
  15. Official Truffle Documentation
  16. Tim Coulter’s Truffle videos
  17. Ethereum.StackExchange
  18. ÐApp Development Playlist
  19. Making DApps with JavaScript
  20. Dapps for Beginners tutorials
  21. Hitchhiker’s Guide to DApp development
  22. Building Serverless Applications w/ Mist
  23. Smart Contract Development w/ Solidity, 1
  24. Smart Contract Development w/ Solidity, 2
  25. Developing Ethereum DApps w/ Truffle & MetaMask
  26. Web3 Development Plans
  27. Smart Contract Best Practices
  28. Guide on Ethereum Smart Contract Security
  29. Writing (more) Robust Smart Contracts

13. Look out for relevant MOOCs on Coursera, Stanford platform, Udemy, and EdX

Wilson, Freelance Web Developer

You can start with a Stanford’s course on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, or with the Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies course from Princeton offered on Coursera. More relevant courses on the blockchain and cryptocurrencies will likely be launched in the coming months, so look out for them  on EdX, Udemy, and Coursera.

How to get make money as a blockchain developer

money blockchain developer

14. Check your options

Aaron Adams, CEO at Information Technology

It is possible to find a job in the blockchain industry in specialized startups or big tech firms. So don’t forget to check out all opportunities before deciding where exactly you want to work. The most common options: startups, tech firms, banks, private sector firms, government services, professional services firms (e.g. consulting companies).

15. Search for the jobs on specialized blockchain jobs aggregators

Jonas Jacobs, Co-founder at BlockchainJobz

As the blockchain industry is booming, specialized job sites that aggregate vacancies in the blockchain emerge. One of them is BlockchainJobz, which currently has more than 1,000 open positions advertised.

16. Get some experience and relevant certificates

Satheesh Kumar, Founder at Kratos Innovation Labs

It will certainly be easier for you to land a job in the blockchain if you have relevant experience. Try contributing to open-source projects for starters. If you have 3-5 years of experience in web development, it would be worthwhile to get some blockchain-related certifications to increase your chances of finding a job in the industry. You can get certified in Hyperledger Platform, for instance. The main prerequisite for that would be having a solid knowledge of Java or C++.

17. Contribute to open source projects and get paid for it

Georgios Konstantopoulos, Researcher and Writer at Loom Network

The Gitcoin project aims to push open source forward by attaching bounties in Ether for solving GitHub issues. All you have to do is solve a problem on GitHub, and if the bounty submitter approves it, you will be paid in Ether via smart contract.

blockchain developer

18. Create your own startup or cryptocurrency

Georgios Konstantopoulos, Researcher and Writer at Loom Network

OpenZeppelin allows the launching Ethereum tokens with just a few lines of code. So even inexperienced developers can do it! But to raise money through an ICO, your startup should have some value.

19. Build a DApp and monetize it

monetize dappGeorgios Konstantopoulos, Researcher and Writer at Loom Network

DApps are expected to see tremendous growth in the coming years, similar to the mobile apps with the spread of smartphones. You can start building DApps and monetize from them right now, as the CryptoKitties example has demonstrated. You can track the value of transactions in DApps at DappRadar. Keep in mind that developers typically get around 2-5% of each transaction, and if your DApp is as successful like CryptoKitties, your profits will be huge.

You can choose one of the following ways to effectively monetize your DApp:

  • Make a crowdsale and launch a token
  • Take a percentage of transaction fees
  • Charge an amount for premium functionality
  • Introduce a paid subscription or membership option
  • Sell advertisements
  • Take donations

Other important things needed to become a successful blockchain developer

20. Get some background in economics

Haseeb Qureshi, Engineer at

To be a truly successful blockchain developer, excellent programming skills might be not enough. To fully grasp the fundamentals of the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, you should also be knowledgeable in the foundations of game theory and such terms as micro- and macroeconomics, as well as supply and demand, opportunity costs, auction theory, monetary policies, velocity of money, inflation, and deflation.

21. Remember that networking is important

Brian Schuster, Blockchain Advisor and Entrepreneur

Networking is important for landing new jobs and for exchanging ideas with the people from the similar field. It can help you improve your development skills and advance your career. Search for blockchain meetups near you and attend them. If that is not possible, at least try to network with other people online. You can connect with fellow blockchain developers through Reddit, Slack, or Gitter.

22. Don’t forget about the usual soft skills

Rikus Nieuwoudt, Founder at

Though blockchain industry jobs require many specific technical skills and knowledge, common soft skills are still important for the employers in this sphere. Most likely, their importance will only increase when the supply of blockchain talent grows in the future. So don’t forget that in order to be a successful blockchain developer you need to be good with time management, working in teams, and prioritizing tasks.

23. Get some feedback on your applications from more experienced devs

Andrew Cordivari, Full Stack Developer

After you start developing your own projects, it will be useful to get relevant feedback on them from more experienced developers. For instance, you can post your projects on GitHub and ask for feedback in the relevant threads on Reddit.

24. Give yourself enough time to learn

blockchain developerBrian Schuster, Blockchain Advisor and Entrepreneur

It might sound counterintuitive as you might think that if you spend too much time learning, you will miss out on the opportunities that rapidly emerge in the blockchain industry. But you won’t! Much like the Internet in the early 1990s, the blockchain is in its initial stage of development. And though there are many companies in the industry already, more projects are yet to come. It’s better to spend some time to get an in-depth understanding of the blockchain now to be able to become successful in the industry in the future when it becomes more developed.

25. Follow relevant media sources

Haseeb Qureshi, Engineer at

If you are not a trader, you probably don’t need to follow the day-by-day developments in the industry. Still, it is necessary to stay up to date with major breakthroughs in the blockchain and listen to what experienced experts have to say from time to time. Consider subscribing to blockchain and cryptocurrency-related podcasts such as Software Engineering Daily Blockchain Interviews, Epicenter, and Unchained. If you are interested in relevant Youtube channels, subscribe to Ethereum Foundation, Blockchain at Berkeley, and Decypher Media.

And of course, don’t forget to follow Howtotoken for the ultimate cryptocurrency and blockchain guides!