Blockchain Jobs: Is One Right for You?
The Rise and Rise of Blockchain Jobs
Image Credit: Google Trends
That graph above has been taken from google trends. What it shows is the amount of interest that people have shown towards the keyword “Blockchain Jobs” over the past 5 years. As can be seen, the need and the general interest in this subject has been increasing, and rightfully so. Since this happens to be such a hot topic, this guide will address some of these issues. If you are looking for a blockchain job, or if you have a blockchain company and are looking to hire someone, this guide is for you!
2017: The Rise and Rise of Blockchain Jobs
2017 was the seminal year for blockchain technology. You could even say that that was the year when blockchain technology truly arrived. The numbers don’t lie and some of the numbers are truly staggering.
Indeed.com, one of the biggest job portals in the world, published some interesting statistics regarding the rise of Blockchain jobs. It looks like the number of blockchain jobs increased from December 2016 to December 2017 by a staggering 207%. But that’s not the end of it. According to the stats, this number has increased by, a scarcely believable 631% since November 2015.
Cryptocurrency was such a hot topic in 2017, that 15 of the 18 more popular industry jobs specifically mentioned “cryptocurrency” in the description.
Showing how hot cryptocurrency has become in 2017 after being generally overshadowed by blockchain in 2016, 15 out of the 18 most popular industry jobs specifically mentioned “cryptocurrency” in the description.
Because of this rapid surge of interest, the biggest industries are desperately looking for high-quality talent in a field which, as of now, is extremely limited. In fact, this was pointed out by Vice president of product at Indeed.com, Terence Chiu, when he told CoinDesk:
“While the number of opportunities and searches are still quite small, Indeed data shows that companies are increasingly seeking experts to focus on this new technology – and job seekers have been quick to react.”
Image Credit: Coindesk.
Upwork, which is one of the biggest freelance hubs in the world, curated the list of the top 20 most desired skills in the Q3 of 2017. Turns out that blockchain engineering was the second most desired skill in the market (robotics specialist being first.)
2018: Demand Going Up or Down?
2018 saw the overall market cap for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies go down. It seems that the demand for cryptocurrency jobs is directly related to the market cap as well since those seemed to have gone down as well, according to this article by Quartz.
However, the demand for blockchain jobs is as high as it has ever been. In fact, this can be clearly seen in the graph given by Indeed:
Why Should You Opt for Blockchain Jobs?
We have already established thus far that demand for blockchain jobs is at an all-time high. But that may not be enough to convince you to plot a new career path here. For this, let’s explore some more reasons as to why you should opt for a blockchain job. (The content idea and graphs for this section has been taken from this Angel blog.)
#1 Better Pay
Since this is such a young field and the talent available is pretty limited, the salaries offered throughout both technical and non-technical fields are 10-20% higher than the salaries offered in a normal job.
Plus, it is also worth noting that the profit sharing models in crypto jobs are way better and the incentives a lot higher.
#2 Remote Flexibility
Remote jobs are on the rise and more and more people are quickly shunning the concept of an “office” and opting for location flexibility. This is another area where crypto companies outdo their legacy peers.
Plus, remember that crypto companies are far more likely to give you the “work from home” option and require you to come to work only on specific days.
#3 Employee Liquidity
This is a perk which is limited to token companies. Usually, at a startup, employees receive equity and have to wait for a liquidity event to sell shares and get Fiat currency. This may itself be a very complex process and in many scenarios, grants given by companies are very restrictive which blocks secondary transactions.
In blockchain companies, employees usually get tokens which acts as an equity-like compensation. These tokens, unlike shares, are inherently liquid, even though some of them may still have restrictions on them.
So, now that you know why you should look for a career in the blockchain space, let’s see exactly what you can do.
Career Options In the Blockchain Space
The following chart shows the breakdown of the jobs in this space. Now keep in mind that the chart shows the requirement specified in Angel list, but we feel that it gives a fair breakdown of the requirement in general.
Note: Developers are included in Engineering.
Blockchain Developers are easily the most in-demand niche in the space. They are the ones who get paid the highest and depending on where they are working, they may get staggering levels of salary. E.g.in Silicon Valley, US, a blockchain developer can get an annual wage of $158k. When you compare that with the fact that a senior hardware developer in NVidia gets an annual salary of $135k, it is pretty impressive.
However, that’s not the end of it.
In Switzerland, blockchain developers get paid 120k-180k USD annually but in a stark contrast, developers in Great Britain get paid 50-90k annually.
But that’s for salaried folks. What about freelance developers? According to this article by Kirill Shilov, freelance consultants can get paid from $50 – $100 per hour.
So, what do you have to do to become a blockchain developer? First, of, you need to know what smart contracts are, and since Ethereum is the hottest smart contract platform out there, you must learn how to code in solidity.
What are Smart Contracts?
Smart contracts are automated contracts. They are self-executing with specific instructions written on its code which get executed when certain conditions are made.
You can learn more about smart contracts in our in-depth guide here.
Smart contracts are a series of instructions, written using the programming language “solidity”, which works on the basis of the IFTTT logic aka the IF-THIS-THEN-THAT logic. Basically, if the first set of instructions are done then execute the next function and after that the next and keep on repeating until you reach the end of the contract.
The best way to understand that is by imagining a vending machine. Each and every step that you take acts like a trigger for the next step to execute itself. It is kinda like the domino effect. So, let’s examine the steps that you will take while interacting with the vending machine:
Step 1: You give the vending machine some money.
Step 2: You punch in the button corresponding to the item that you want.
Step 3: The item comes out and you collect it.
Now look at all those steps and think about it. Will any of the steps work if the previous one wasn’t executed? Each and every one of those steps is directly related to the previous step. There is one more factor to think about, and it is an integral part of smart contracts. You see, in your entire interaction with the vending machine, you (the requestor) were solely working with the machine (the provider). There were absolutely no third parties involved.
So, now how would this transaction have looked like if it happened in the Ethereum network?
Suppose you just bought something from a vending machine in the Ethereum network, how will the steps look like then?
Step 1: You give the vending machine some money and this gets recorded by all the nodes in the Ethereum network and the transaction gets updated in the ledger.
Step 2: You punch in the button corresponding to the item that you want and record of that gets updated in the Ethereum network and ledger.
Step 3: The item comes out and you collect it and this gets recorded by all the nodes and the ledger.
Every transaction that you go through the smart contracts will get recorded and updated by the network. What this does is that it keeps everyone involved with the contract accountable for their actions. It takes away human malice by making every action taken visible to the entire network
What is Solidity?
For anyone who wants to learn how to create smart contracts, Solidity is an absolute must. We already have a detailed guide on it which you can read here. However, here we are going to give you a basic overview. Solidity was developed by Gavin Wood, Christian Reitwiessner, Alex Beregszaszi, Yoichi Hirai and several former Ethereum core contributors to enable writing smart contracts on blockchain platforms such as Ethereum.
NOTE: Ethereum is planning to eventually move on from Solidity to Viper.
So, before we continue, let’s check out a basic Solidity contract example. (Codes taken from github).
Let’s run a simple while loop in solidity:
So, let’s analyse the code. For ease of understanding we have have divided the code into 3 sections.
Section 1: Assigning Values
In the first step we are filling up an array called “integers” which takes in 10 8-bit unsigned integers. The way we are doing it is via a while loop. Let’s look at what is happening inside the while loop.
Remember, we have already assigned a value of “0” to the integer x. The while loop goes from 0 to integers.length. Integers.length is a function which returns the max capacity of the array. So, if we decided that an array will have 10 integers, arrayname.length will return a value of 10. In the loop above, the value of x goes from 0 – 9 (<10) and assigns the value of itself to the integers array as well. So, at the end of the loop, integers will have the following value:
Section 2: Adding the array content
Inside the getSum() function we are going to add up the contents of the array itself. The way is going to do it is by repeating the same while loop as above and using the variable “sum” to add the contents of the array.
Section 3: Killing the contract
This function kills the contract and sends the remaining funds in the contract back to the contract creator.
When asked about what was the inspiration and motivation behind creating solidity, Dr. Gavin Woods said this:
“It [Solidity] was meant to be a sophisticated tool for developing contracts that could ultimately give both developers and users good information on what the code did. To help this along, I devised NatSpec, a contract-friendly documentation format, and made that a first-class citizen in Solidity. I also proposed a formal proofing language subset (not yet implemented) in order to maximise the kinds of correctness guarantees that could be made.
I introduced events as a first class citizen into the Solidity language in order to provide a nice abstraction for LOGs similar in form to function calls. Inspiration for that came from the Qt meta-object system’s “signals”.
One later feature that Christian R. and I figured out together was function modifiers; that allows attributes placed as part of a function signature to make some modifications to the apparent function body. Being a very declarative means of expression, it’s an idiom that falls nicely into the contract-oriented programming space.”
The following is an example of a Blockchain Developer’s CV:
Image Credit: Hackernoon
Not all the positions in the blockchain space, however, need technical expertise. Let’s look at some of the non-technical positions in the blockchain space:
The three most in-demand non-technical jobs are:
Now, these jobs are not that unique to blockchain companies, plenty of startups have these similar positions. But, as Angel.co puts it, hiring managers in this space are looking for something more. Specifically:
#1 Eagerness to learn
The main thing with this space is that it is constantly evolving. If you want to get into this space, then you will need to be constantly evolving.
As Mernit from Smartshare puts it, “Being comfortable with ambiguity is important, they need to be able to figure things out without instructions. We need candidates who take the risk to figure it out on their own.”
#2 Knowledge of the Blockchain Technology
Since they are getting into the blockchain space, they must have the basic knowledge of blockchain technology. People involved in business and marketing must have enough knowledge to troubleshoot problems and speak confidently about the technology.
If you are involved in any form of customer support, then you need to know how the technology works.
Elizabeth from Lightning Labs eloquently puts, “We expect people to have prior knowledge, but the good news is there are many resources out there for people to get started learning on their own. We don’t care if you have a degree. We care about your ability to learn and execute.”
Companies Offering Blockchain Jobs
According to Wikipedia, “The International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911 as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) and was renamed “International Business Machines” in 1924.”
Let’s look at some of the blockchain posts available in IBM.
#1 Sr. Consultant Blockchain Developer
IBM Global Business Services (GBS) is hiring strong Senior Consultant Developers who develop technical solutions to solve clients’ problems in various industries on one or more of the Blockchain Technology platforms, such as Hyperledger, Ethereum, and Ripple.
- Keeping abreast of new technologies in Blockchain evolving space
- Conceptualize and develop relevant use cases for client engagements: proof-of
- -concepts (POC), proof-of-value (POV), and production deployments
- Interact with the client and team to build solutions
Salary: $60k-$80k Annually.
#2 Blockchain Software Engineer
IBM wants a blockchain software engineer who can, “solve business problems with systems and integrations.”
- Collaborate well with a small development team of highly engaged team members.
- Work with individuals across a variety of business teams and processes.
- Quickly learn how to design and implement optimized blockchain applications.
- Develop Smart Contracts in Golang and integration functionality in node.js.
- Practice Test Driven Development to rapidly deploy relevant functionality.
- A minimum of 2 plus years experience in cloud application development using Node.js, web applications, REST services
- A minimum of 2 plus years experience in Agile methodology
- Exposure to DevOps tools, such as Jenkins, TravisCI, and Selenium
- Demonstrated experience in problem-solving and stakeholder communication.
Salary: $68k – $106k Annually.
Accenture is a global management consulting and professional services firm that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services. They also happen to have the most Blockchain job openings in the world according to Forbes.
So, what is the need for the blockchain technology in Accenture? They are focused on creating private blockchains that only their clients, business partners and customers can utilize. The three areas that they are seeing the most demand are:
- Financial Services.
- Supply Chain.
The main roles that they are hiring for are the software developer, technical architect, and business strategist. But that still doesn’t explain why they need to utilize the blockchain. Turns out that it is about trust.
As David Treat, managing director and co-head of Accenture’s global blockchain practice puts it, historically, organizations have rarely trusted one company to become a central data repository, “either because of the proprietary value of their data or due to a lack of trust in others.” With blockchains, multiple parties maintain a replica of recorded transactions that can’t be changed.
Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and services.
Let’s look at the two top positions that Microsoft wishes to fulfill.
#1 Blockchain Principal Program Manager
Microsoft wants to hire a Blockchain principal program manager. According to them, “This person will develop a deep understanding of how customers use distributed ledger technologies as well as compute, storage, database, and networking services in Azure to architect their applications.”
The qualifications that this person needs are:
- BS or Master’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field
- MBA preferred but not required
- 10+ years of software development or program management experience
- 6+ years of experience designing and operating services
- Demonstrated customer focus and end-to-end thinking across teams and experiences
- Highly effective communication and collaboration across teams
- Track record of high-quality, self-directed, timely execution, and attention to detail
- Technical expertise and ability to communicate, work & build trust with technical teams
Salary: $91k – $131k annually.
#2 Blockchain SI Partner Development Manager
The Systems Integrator team (SI) in Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner (OCP) organization, is seeking a senior business development manager to manage its recruiting and execution activities with top Global System Integrator (GSI), Advisory, and niche Blockchain partners, in addition to defining the through SI partner strategy for sales into Enterprise accounts.
Key Success Criteria
- Successful development of partner solutions and engagements for Blockchain on Azure workloads
- Successful development and support of deals with Global SI partners and other top Blockchain partners
- Securing a commitment from top SI partners that support Microsoft’s goal to gain share in the marketplace
- Achieving targeted results of wins/deployments through partners
- Evolution of Business Architect, Engineering, and Sales collaboration and investment in
- Blockchain on Azure SI partners selling into the Enterprise Knowledge, Skills and Experience
A strong candidate should possess:
- Strong business development and/ or enterprise sales experience
- Experience in negotiating investments with partners and BGs
- Strong understanding of Systems Integrator partners
- Strong understanding of Microsoft’s Blockchain on Azure strategy
- Demonstrable understanding of the Blockchain landscape, and ability to drive technical discussions with partners
- Experience landing programs and strategies on a global basis
- Experience engaging with senior executives and strong communication skills
- Exceptional problem solving and strategic thinking skills
- Proven competency to collaborate across organizations, deal with ambiguity and drive impact without direct authority.
Salary: $109k – $172k
Visa Inc. is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Foster City, California, United States. They are actively seeking blockchain experts to add to their team. It is hoped that using the blockchain system will clean up international banking.
Qualifications required for the job (taken from Smart Recruiter):
- Experience in Trade Finance, Equities, Payments Processing, Wholesale Credit
- Blockchain technical expertise that is hands-on, platforms
- Cloud architecture and scalable solutions including orchestration & containers
- Must have a BS in Computer Science
- Must have 2+ years of experience with distributed software development.
- Must have hands on experience with all aspects of software development: data, server side, UI, and open source software.
- Must have experience with Linux, Open source, C++ or Java, client-server apps
- Demonstrated passion for Fintech innovation, open source (OSS) software contributions, blockchain, cryptography, and data-science
- Passion for Test-driven development and continuous learning
- Enjoyment of the wild startup rodeo. Yee Haw!
- No Fear of the edge of startup engineering
- Total Industry experience must be 6-8 years.
Main responsibilities of the job are:
- Lead several unique Blockchain initiatives.
- Direct client and business exposure
- Write code
- Work on blockchain POCs.
- Monitor blockchain technologies.
- Maintain firm’s relationship with the Hyperledger initiative.
Crypto Companies Offering Blockchain Jobs
We have seen a list of legacy companies who are offering blockchain jobs, but now let’s look at some of the crypto companies.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of crypto job postings. In fact, according to Angel.co, the number of listings by crypto companies have nearly doubled in 6 months.
What is the kind of talent that these companies are looking for?
Let’s start off with one of the biggest exchanges in the world, Coinbase. Let’s check some roles and jobs that they have available.
#1 Business Analytics Associate
Responsibilities of the Business Analytics Associates are:
- Develop predictive models to forecast key metrics
- Reporting and Monitoring: Design, create and automate reports and dashboards to track key business metrics for executive team and board.
- End-to-end Deep Dive Analytics: Deep dive into an area, find insights and understand the root cause of an observed trend, and translate the insights into actionable recommendations.
Qualifications required for this job:
- BA / BS degree or equivalent practical experience
- 3+ years hands-on experience in data analytics and database design using SQL
- Experience with Looker, Tableau or other visualization tools.
#2 Corporate Development Associate
- Assess market and competitive dynamics to shape company strategy
- Partner with cross-functional executives to implement highest priority strategic initiatives
- Build relationships with industry players, startups, and investors to be at the forefront of new developments
- Execute mergers and acquisitions end-to-end, including sourcing opportunities, conducting financial analyses, structuring and negotiating transactions, and integrating targets
- Participate in growing the Corporate Development function by recruiting and developing new team members.
Qualifications for the job:
- 2+ years experience at top-tier company in corporate development, management consulting, or private equity.
- Strong analytical, problem solving, and communication skills.
- BA/BS degree.
According to their website, “CoinDesk is the leading digital media, events and information services company for the crypto asset and blockchain technology community. Its mandate is to inform, educate and connect the global community as the authoritative daily news provider dedicated to chronicling the space.”
Let’s see the jobs they have available.
#1 Senior Meeting Planner
- The planner will present and propose ideas and recommend appropriate vendors based on M&E needs and budget.
- Research facilities and vendors, including convention centers, hotels, restaurants, audiovisual companies as requested. Draft and distribute RFPs as needed. Make recommendations based on M&E needs and budget.
- Select appropriate vendors for each meeting and negotiate contracts for convention centers, hotels, restaurants, ground transportation and audiovisual.
- Build and maintain good working relationships with meeting suppliers: hotels, restaurants, audiovisual and other meeting-related vendors.
- Arrange for temporary personnel at assigned meetings when necessary. Instruct them as to their duties and supervise their performance.
- Verify the accuracy of all meeting-related invoices and forward to VP for review.
- Responsible for monthly accruals and re-accruals for each assigned project.
- Assist VP in the preparation of budget expenses for the new fiscal year budget as it relates to expenses for all pertinent site costs.
Qualifications of the job:
- Bachelor’s degree;
- Three to five years meeting planning or hotel experience;
- Proven experience as an events planner for medium to large scale meetings & conferences of up to 10,000 attendees;
- Ability to deal with senior level executives;
- Ability to travel (20%);
- Keeps abreast of new industry trends.
- Partner with department leadership on business development opportunities,
- Attend industry events and meetings on behalf of CoinDesk.
- Provides specialized consultation in specific areas of event marketing including webinar services, sponsorship/tradeshow activation
- Strong ability to negotiate contract terms/conditions;
- Knowledge of Event Technology products and services
- Knowledge of contract management and legalities
- Analysis and deep reporting for news pieces published on our website.
- Attending and reporting at events, conferences and other industry meetings.
- Building relationships with and interviewing relevant influencers and companies.
- Editing articles and research reports.
- Sourcing news stories from the international blockchain community.
- Supporting 24-hour coverage of the bitcoin and blockchain industry.
- Deep knowledge of platforms: past experience producing content for the web (blogging, SlideShare, Facebook, Twitter).
- Education: Bachelor’s degree required.
- Experience: 2-3 years as a journalist or professional writer, preferably with end-market experience in the technology and/or finance sectors, proficiency with bitcoin, blockchain technology, and distributed ledgers, and previous employment in online/digital media.
- Flexibility and curiosity: We have a lean, mean team that often needs to work collaboratively to accomplish greater goals.
- Willingness to work in a fast-moving environment.
So, there you have it. This guide should give you a good place to start if you are trying to get into this space! We wish you all the best in your venturesBlockchain Jobs: Is One Right for You?