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How to become a blockchain developer

The working figure of blockchain developer is among the most popular in recent years, but how to become one?

The creation of decentralized applications, the so-called dApps, consists of a series of steps that require a high degree of know-how within the field of computer programming. Most of the main components that form a blockchain are developed using one or more of the main programming languages, such as C, C++, Python or JavaScript.

It is precisely for this reason that wanting to create one’s own idea from scratch, whether it falls within the world of decentralized gaming or the vast DeFi and everything that comes with it, one must have a certain degree of knowledge of computing in general and blockchain technology more specifically.

This simply means that to become a good blockchain developer it is first of all necessary to know how the different types of blockchains behave and what are the main features to exploit within dApps. Each one can perform better in different respects, depending on how it has been thought and designed, such as security, scalability, usability, etc.. 

From this, it is possible to deduce that it is necessary to first evaluate the choice of the blockchain on which to develop a dApp, based both on the characteristics needed and the type of target to reach. An important premise is that the blockchain must be programmable, i.e. it must allow you to “build” new types of applications on it through the use of smart contracts. 

Obviously, in generic terms, in order to reach a larger pool of users, there is the need to interface with the Ethereum blockchain, the one most used among the others for various reasons related to its programmability. In fact, there are currently about 3630 dApps, taking into account the TRON and EOS blockchains, 63.3% of which have been developed on the Ethereum blockchain. 

For this reason, the best thing to do is to have a good knowledge of Solidity, the programming language used to write smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, which is easy to understand, especially if one already has experience with other programming languages.

To do so, it is possible to visit the website of Loom Network, which among the various programming tools also offers a complete course on how to develop a dApp on Ethereum, starting from the basics and teaching how to write smart contracts with Solidity in a simple and effective way. 

The portal is called CryptoZombies and within it, in addition to the basics of Solidity divided into five macro-chapters, it is also possible to find more advanced concepts related to the testing and deploying activities of a smart contract, thus providing key information on how to get a smart contract to interact with a web interface, using the most used library for this purpose, web3.js. Those just mentioned are the lessons that are currently at a more solid and organized stage, since they are the core aspect of this interactive course that also includes an introduction to the Libra and Binance blockchain contents.

Developing a decentralized application is not really a “child’s play”; it is necessary to develop the back-end part written essentially in Solidity, and the front-end part, i.e. the interface that allows users to interact with smart contracts and to invoke the functions contained in them. To do this it is necessary to have a solid experience and familiarity with JavaScript, widely used also in the following phases related to the contract testing and finally to the final upload on the blockchain.

The testing is a fundamental operation because once the smart contract has become part of the network as one of the many nodes, it is immutable like the rest of the transactions and for this reason, can no longer be modified. If, on the other hand, the platform needs to be updated, it will have to be uploaded again on the blockchain as a different smart contract; this step will then have to be translated into a shift of the community towards the new version, which will have to be encouraged to gradually end the use of the previous one, as happened with Maker which announced the final closure of SAI with an executive vote on April 24th.

Once the testing phase has been completed, it will be necessary to move on to the final phase which includes all the operations necessary for the deployment of the contract on the blockchain. 

For these last two phases, it will be necessary to turn to a development environment created specifically for all developers who intend to start creating their dApps. The most complete and most used one is the Truffle Suite, able to put the user in direct connection with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). In addition, the suite also includes Ganache, capable of recreating a local network that is especially useful for testing, and Drizzle, a collection of libraries used for front-end development.

Conversely, for greater dApp interoperability, it is possible to load the contract through the Loom Network platform, which makes it possible to make the application compatible not only with the Ethereum blockchain but also with Binance and TRON. Loom makes all this possible thanks to its blockchain, Basechain, based on a DPoS protocol, specially developed to offer a high degree of interoperability.

Becoming a blockchain developer is certainly not something you do from one day to the next, but it is certainly a good investment for your future as a potential skill to be included in your portfolio. The demand for this type of developer is constantly growing, as is the expansion of the blockchain industry; currently, a Solidity developer can earn an average of $80 to $100 per hour as a freelancer

Eliano Martellucci
Eliano Martellucci
Eliano has a bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Administration and is about to complete his master's studies in Finance at the University of Trento (UNITN). He got hooked on the crypto and blockchain world during the summer of 2017 and has not left it since then. He currently works as editor & SEO specialist at Cryptonomist, writes articles and invests, both in Blue Chip and early stage assets. Furthermore, he is working on his latest thesis project entitled: "A Study on crypto market Sentiment Analysis through Machine Learning algorithms in python."