The advent of Bitcoin and its underlying tech, Blockchain changed the world, particularly the Banking and Finance sectors. However, with Bitcoin, the scope of development is quite constrained. Then came Ethereum – the world’s first programmable Blockchain. It took the Blockchain game to a whole new level, creating scope for developers around the world to build innovative applications on top of Ethereum. As a result, the craze for Blockchain tech only continued to escalate, thus, making Blockchain skills one of the hottest skills today!
‘Blockchain Developer’ is one of the most popular and emerging jobs now, and hence, it isn’t surprising that an increasing number of youngsters are steering toward it. But the most challenging part comes at the very beginning of the journey –
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How to Become a Blockchain Developer?
In this post, that’s what we’re about to address! We’ll take you through a step by step journey of becoming a Blockchain Developer.
1. Define and establish your goals.
For a beginner, Blockchain is a complicated technology. While Blockchain and cryptocurrencies can bring you a lot of profit, first you must understand what you wish to accomplish with Blockchain tech. So, you must ask yourself the following questions and find answers to them:
• Do you want to work for a Blockchain company, or do you want to be an entrepreneur and create your own Blockchain products/services? • Do you want to disrupt and dysfunctional industries through Blockchain? • Do you wish to transform governance through the decentralization aspect of Blockchain? • Do you want to be a Blockchain Developer who works on Blockchain software or do you want to build applications on top of Blockchain tech?
If you work as a Blockchain Developer for a reputed company, you can earn extremely high salary packages. This is because there is a significant shortage of adequately skilled Blockchain Developers. However, if you are an independent entrepreneur developing Blockchain applications, you can raise a lot of money for your projects via funding. Answering these questions will help you understand what exactly you want out of your Blockchain career.
2. Choose one Blockchain network.
It’s not necessary to master all the Blockchain networks inside-out – you can choose one and specialize in it. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and EOS are the most popular Blockchain networks out there. Bitcoin is undoubtedly the most stable and widely used Blockchain tech for processing valuable transactions, but then it can handle only simple transactions. On the contrary, Ethereum was designed to overcome the limitations of Bitcoin by running ‘smart contracts.’ Smart contracts can run any arbitrary computation, unlike Bitcoin. EOS too can run smart contracts. However, EOS is much more scalable than Ethereum, and unlike Ethereum, it allows for free transactions.
While EOS may look like the best choice, remember that it is more scalable which leads to a centralization of sorts (contrary to the decentralization feature of Blockchain).
Thus, the smart choice here is Ethereuem since it is highly programmable, supports Ethereum tokens, and is backed by an active community of talented developers.
3. Get familiar with Dapps.
After choosing your focus of study (Blockchain network), you should get familiar with Decentralized Apps or Dapps. More than 2,000 applications built on Ethereum (for example, Marketplaces, Decentralized Exchanges, and Gambling Dapps) already exist. So, you can get a headstart there. To explore the different kinds of Dapps, you can check out Dapp list websites like StateOfTheDapps and DappRadar.
Now, it’s time to decide what you want to build. Is it a gaming Dapp or a decentralized exchange or something unique? Once you figure this out, you should figure out how you wish to develop your Dapp. For developing a Dapp, you must learn how:
• The Ethereum protocol works • To write smart contracts in Solidity • To assemble all the pieces in a Dapp
Growing Demand for Software Engineers in Blockchain Technology
4. Get familiar with the different libraries and development tools.
To successfully write smart contracts and develop Dapps, you must learn to use the following development tools:
• Truffle – it is one of the most widely used frameworks for building Ethereum Dapps. Truffle is written in Nodejs and is backed by a strong community. • Web3 – it is a library that can communicate with Ethereum clients like Geth, Parity, etc. The advantage of Web3 is that it can dynamically create abstractions (objects) to represent a smart contract. • Solc – it is the compiler of the Solidity programming language and is written in C++. It comes with its distinct Github repo. • Remix – it is an online IDE for writing Solidity smart contracts. • Ganache – it is a local Ethereum Blockchain for developing Dapps. It allows you to run a command to trigger a local Ethereum node and get ten addresses pre-funded with Ether. • Metamask – it is an Ethereum wallet designed to act as a browser extension. Dapps uses Metamask while requesting a user to sign a transaction and sanction it.
5. Learn Solidity to write smart contracts.
Smart contracts are nothing but small programs that can run autonomously once deployed on the Ethereum network. So, once you implement them, you don’t have to do anything else – the system runs them automatically, thereby giving the admin control to no individual.
Most people resort to learning Solidity with CryptoZombies, a game designed to introduce and teach the fundamentals of Solidity by generating an army of Zombies in a smart contract. While this is an exciting way to learn Solidity, you should also be thorough with the official Solidity Documentation for it is the most comprehensive guide on Solidity. It is updated regularly and will teach you the basics of Solidity, including the primary variable types, the main control structures, and the overall structure of a smart contract.
6. Develop a Dapp.
Once you’ve learned the nitty-gritty of Solidity, it is time to put your theoretical knowledge to test by building a Dapp.
Smart contracts aren’t exactly user-friendly, and hence, the requirement of Dapps. Dapps allow users to interact with them seamlessly. Before building a Dapp, you must understand how it works. Let’s demonstrate this through a game – Cryptokitties, an Ethereum-based game that allows players to buy and trade kitties.
When you visit the Cryptokitties website, you land on the main user-interface – the frontend part looks just like a standard web app, and the backend is deployed on private servers. Then begins the Blockchain layer with Metamask. The players use Metamask to transfer Ether to Cryptokitties. After this comes to the smart contract that stores all the game data. Since the smart contract is deployed on the Ethereum network, it is hosted by multiple machines simultaneously.
This is precisely the design of a Dapp. First, there’s the frontend and backend. Then you have the browser extension (here, Metamask), and then finally, you have the smart contracts. To successfully develop a Dapp, you must ensure that these three layers can communicate with one another seamlessly.
There are various articles, videos, and ebooks that teach you how to build a Dapp from scratch. EatTheBlocks Pro is an excellent resource for tutorials on Ethereuem and Solidity.
The last step – prepare for Blockchain interviews. As you progress through these six steps, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of Blockchain technology, Bitcoin and Ethereum, Solidity, smart contracts, and Dapps. And as a beginner in the field, that’s all you need to get started with – the rest you can learn as Blockchain advances. We hope this helps!
If you are interested to create blockchain applications from scratch, check out upGrad & IIIT-B’s Executive Certification in Blockchain from IIITB.