How to Hire the Perfect Blockchain Developer: A Comprehensive Guide
Jun 23, 2023
2022 was a tumultuous year for the crypto world, to say the least. However, despite the reversal in fortunes, the demand for blockchain engineering and development positions remains high, with DevSkiller reporting an eye-watering 552% increase in job market demand for blockchain programming skills.
This is a remarkable finding in light of asset prices taking a massive hit and austerity measures being implemented across the industry.
Established and experienced blockchain developers are worth their weight in gold (or crypto), and finding the right blockchain developer for your project can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack, despite the abundance of blockchain-related jobs flooding the market.
The success of organizations in employing blockchain and web3 solutions suited to their goals is dependent on employing knowledgeable developers with the requisite professional experience and background in blockchain technology.
That said, how can you ensure that you hire the right talent? We've created this guide to help you gain a better understanding of the process of finding, identifying, assessing, onboarding, and hiring blockchain developers in 2023.
Identifying the Skills Required for a Blockchain Developer
The technical skills for blockchain development are quite different from those required by garden-variety software development and web development jobs.
Therefore, the first step to learn how to hire a blockchain developer is to identify the soft and technical skills that blockchain programmers and blockchain engineers need to have – and evaluate them accordingly.
Skilled developers should have a formidable background in the disciplines of computer networking, cryptography, ample knowledge knowing at least one specific type of blockchain (and its respective programming language).
Let's take a look at some of the most salient skills that every organization needs to drill down when hiring a blockchain developer.
Technical Expertise and Programming Languages
Blockchain developers are responsible for building, implementing, and supporting distributed ledger technologies. Within an organizational context, blockchain developers analyze requirements, develop technical specifications, and building blockchain infrastructure based on a particular protocol, besides building and launching blockchain-based networks.
Therefore, all candidates should have a solid grasp of the blockchain platforms they will be expected to build on.
Having technical expertise in the realm of web2 development is huge advantage for web devs who wish to upskill as blockchain software developers. Some of the best remote blockchain developers have, in fact, had backgrounds in mobile app development and traditional web development.
Knowledge of Blockchain Platforms and Tools
Another crucial aspect of how to hire a blockchain developer is that prospective employers need to know a candidate's knowledge of cryptography (SHA-256, Elliptic Curve, and ECDSA), data structures, networking protocols, distributed ledger technologies, blockchain protocols, blockchain analytics tools (Chainalysis comes to mind), consensus mechanisms, and of course, the respective blockchain protocol's programming language as we have earlier mentioned.
For instance, if an organization's blockchain project is being built on Ethereum (or any Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible blockchain platform), then their prospective hire should have the requisite knowledge and fluency in Solidity and building Solidity smart contracts...and the portfolio to prove it.
Employers need to ask to provide examples of previous work and inquire about how their development process looks like. This will help separate the wheat from the chaff and distinguish high performers from the pretenders. Every prospective employer needs to lay out their expectations clearly on their blockchain developer job description to find blockchain developers worth their salt (more on this later).
Soft Skills and Communication Abilities
Technical expertise, fluency in programming languages, and previous experience aren't the be-all and end-all companies looking to hire blockchain developers.
Soft skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, adaptability, and analytical skills are just as crucial to success within an organization. You can have a rockstar blockchain developer in your hands, but it means jack squat if they lack the complex interpersonal, communication, and teamwork it needs to drive a blockchain project specification to success.
Blockchain developers need to be able to analyze business needs and scenarios and likewise implement creative solutions to those ends with impeccable precision and attention to detail – one slip on a smart contract could make or break a project.
Moreover, since blockchain development is a team effort requiring effective teamwork with colleagues and stakeholders to achieve the desired result, communication skills are indispensable. After all, blockchain engineers and developers need to be able to communicate the jargon and technical mumbo-jumbo to C-level audiences, business representatives, and other developers alike. That requires nuance and subtlety that is often overlooked – but is nevertheless a necessity.
Finding the Right Blockchain Developer
Now that we've got the fundamentals down pat, it's time to learn where to actually find and hire blockchain developers suitable fo your project.
That said, regardless of whether you're hiring freelance blockchain developers, contracting a consulting company, or trying to grow your in-house blockchain development capability, here are several ways you can jumpstart your search.
Let Proof Of Learn Help
An excellent option for acquiring top-tier web3 developers is hire through Proof of Learn, as we operate Meacrafters platform.
This platform not only equips developers with the necessary skills for web3 development but also offers proof of learn certificates as tangible evidence of their expertise.
By hiring from Proof of Learn, you can be confident in the proficiency of your new team members, as these individuals have undergone rigorous training and demonstrated their understanding of the latest web3 technologies.
Furthermore, these developers are well-versed in decentralized systems, ensuring they can easily adapt and contribute to your project's success.
In short, choosing a web3 developer from Proof of Learn guarantees a high level of competence, technical knowledge, and commitment to excellence in the ever-evolving world of blockchain technology.
Hit the Job Boards and Online Platforms
Job boards and online freelance platforms are one of the best resources to find blockchain developers. For instance, freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Guru, and Toptal are among the most popular platforms offering massive pools of global blockchain developer talent.
Don't count out LinkedIn, GlassDoor and Indeed.com out of your search – they remain fantastic platforms on which to attract, prospect, find, hire, and onboard blockchain developers, with significantly greater traffic. GitHub Jobs is another job board that gets a lot of traffic for blockchain developer roles within the crypto industry.
Dedicated online job platforms and job aggregators for blockchain and web3 development roles are also great places to find and attract remote and local full-time or freelance talent working within the crypto industry.
For instance, crypto job boards such as Crypto.jobs, Cryptojobslist.com, BeinCrypto, and Web3 Jobs, offer job ads dedicated completely to blockchain-related roles. They accept both free and paid/sponsored job postings for organizations looking to hire on-site and remote freelance or full-time blockchain developers, management roles, and non-tech positions within the space.
Blockchain Communities and Networking Events
Despite what you might have heard, blockchain-focused communities, hackathons, and networking events are still a thing in 2023 – and they remain excellent places to find blockchain developers.
Developer communities on Discord, Reddit, and GitHub are hotbeds for blockchain enthusiasts, engineers, and developers to connect with like-minded individuals.
GitHub also doubles as a portfolio site for employers to determine the capability of a blockchain developer. Meanwhile, while there's no doubt that some of the best blockchain developers have been found in the dankest corners of Discord servers. Don't count these out.
Networking events, such as CoinDesk's Consensus, the Ethereum-focused Devcon, the World Blockchain Summit, and one of the longest-running and largest "#buidlathons" in the world, ETHDenver, are excellent events for developers, investors, C-level executives, industry professionals and enthusiasts worldwide to network, learn, and collaborate.
Online events such as hackathons are a great way to observe potential blockchain development candidates in action, and identify prospects who are a cut above the rest.
Referrals and Recommendations
One of the simplest yet most effective ways to hire blockchain developers is through referrals and recommendations from people who have had positive experiences with blockchain developers they have worked with in the past – and essentially vet for a particular project by their peers in the industry.
Referrals and recommendations allow potential employers to gain a better sense of a candidate's experience, technical skills, work ethic, and intangibles. In fact, referrals and recommendations may very well just be more reliable than the usual job searching hoops employers put together to find blockchain developers. Moreover, they help shorten the turnaround time in recruiting and onboarding talent, since the candidate has already been vetted by trusted colleagues and/or familiarized with the organization's culture and values.
Assessing Potential Blockchain Developer Candidates
Blockchain developers don't just grow on trees – it's increasingly hard to find truly great blockchain developers worth investing in.
Blockchain and software development are in themselves an art and science, and it takes an excellent developer to identify a good one. The trouble is, skills vary depending on the developer – and employers' mileage may vary.
Since tech talent is often an organization's biggest operating expense, it's of paramount importance to assess potential blockchain developer candidates before bringing them in, part-time or full-time notwithstanding.
Reviewing Portfolios and Previous Work
The best way to assess potential candidates is to examine their portfolios. Portfolios often serve as the starting point to determine what kind of work a developer puts out for the whole world to see.
Blockchain development portfolios may consist of pet projects, contributions on open-source projects, GitHub code commits, blogs, Medium posts, or activity on blockchain developer communities on Reddit, Discord, and StackOverflow, just to name a few.
Sometimes, if a professional wants to work within crypto/web3, they might need more than just a traditional CV or resumé to land a job. Employers will want candidates to show their background and skills in using blockchain technology such as digital currencies, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), experience with using decentralized applications, and knowledge of blockchain protocols.
That's why employers are looking at candidates' on-chain resumes, which serve as proof positive of their real-life participation, activity, and experience within the blockchain industry – or "skin in the game," so to speak. If a decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol was hiring for a blockchain developer, then it would be good to check out a prospective candidate's on-chain resume interacting with DeFi apps.
Technical Interviews and Coding Tests
Next up, the interviews. The interview process is a critical step to assess whether a particular blockchain developer is suitable for a position. This is an ideal time for employers to gain a better understanding of how a developer works, what their soft skills are, and how well they handle pressure. It's also a key test in determining a candidate's communication skills.
Technical interviews are important to gauge a candidate's depth of understanding of blockchain technology and their experience in developing and implementing said technologies on particular blockchain protocols, as well as their knowledge of consensus algorithms and cryptography, which are definite advantages that every blockchain developer should at least have some fundamental knowledge of – if not the willingness to learn. Ask them to explain the basic concepts of distributed ledger technologies and knowledge of protocols and platforms.
Coding tests, on the other hand, are a way to test the practical knowledge of blockchain development candidates. They enable employers to get a sneak peek at a candidate's ability to work with code within the context of their organization and demonstrate their expertise first-hand.
Evaluating Problem-solving and Critical-thinking Skills
One of the best ways candidates can set themselves apart from the rest of the pack is by demonstrating their problem-solving and critical thinking skills, making them highly sought-out blockchain developers in the market.
After all, interviews and portfolios will only tell you half the story – it's how they approach problems and solve them creatively with their resources on hand is what matters. Developer assessment tests are a great way to achieve this.
Make such tests as real as possible, featuring tasks that they will be expected to be able to complete in the role they wish to have. Let them use tools that they would theoretically be working with as part of their remit s blockchain developers. Drill down on the exact skills your organization will need rather than testing for just anything that might not fit the skills the position requires anyway. Consider how they use data to approach problems and inform their decision-making while using blockchain technology to solve them.
Tips for Onboarding and Retaining Your Blockchain Developer
It's hard enough as it is to find blockchain developers worth their salt in the competitive marketplace. Therefore, it's just as critical to retain blockchain developers and keep them happy. Here are several ways organizations can retain their best blockchain programmers over the long run.
Providing a Clear and Comprehensive Job Description
Finding the most suitable programmers requires a good understanding of what the position and the organization is exactly looking for. Employers ought to build a candidate profile and a comprehensive job description clearly outlining the requirements, responsibilities, and expectations of the position that they are seeking to fill, including the necessary skills and competencies, in order to attract the right blockchain talent.
Moreover, a good job description will help employers guide training programs for their blockchain developer hires, gauge performance, and play a major role in assisting with job retention and satisfaction over the long run. Moreover, a good job description will outline the employer's mission and vision, which will help attract blockchain developers that are aligned with an organization's values.
It must be noted that job responsibilities change over time, and tend to evolve as the company and the role itself matures. It's important, therefore, to update job descriptions on a regular basis as necessary.
Offering Competitive Compensation and Benefits
Blockchain developer salaries are extremely competitive. Web3.career reports that full-time and freelance blockchain developers can command annual salaries ranging from $50,000 to maximum of $250,000 depending on location, expertise, and experience.
Therefore, organizations need to offer competitive compensation and benefits in order to attract the best blockchain technology professionals out in the market today.
Organizations also need to remember that it's not always all about the money – it also has as much to do with intangible benefits such as health insurance, flexible work arrangements, continuing education, and opportunities for professional advancement, to name just a few. It's never a bad idea to include additional perks.
Fostering a Collaborative and Supportive Work Environment
Lastly, a collaborative, communicative work environment will go a long way in securing the long-term commitment of blockchain talent. Organizations need to establish channels of communication and implement regular meetings and brainstorming sessions regardless of where they choose to or happen to be working.
These activities encourage team members to work and solve problems together, and come to a consensus on solutions as a group. This will break apart any silos that might form as a result of teams working in diffuse locations, and foster a helpful, open atmosphere that benefits from each other's experiences and contribute their skills to the best of their abilities.
Virtual team-building events promote team cohesion and increase rapport among remote blockchain developers working in different locations. Even simple events such as trivia nights, game shows, or virtual talks and conference all greatly contribute to team engagement.
Conclusion: Building Your Ideal Blockchain Development Team
It takes more than just a well-written curriculum vitae to hire a blockchain developer in the competitive environment the industry finds itself in. To build your ideal blockchain development team, you need to be 100% sure about how well your prospective blockchain developer candidate fits the context of your organization, and their ability to contribute right away before you onboard them.
Examine your candidates' on-chain resumé, Stack Overflow, and GitHub contributions, as well as any pet projects or open-source contributions they might have. If you wish to observe your candidates' real-world blockchain development skills, implement simple tests or live blockchain programming exercises as part of your hiring process.
Or, just contact us get experienced and vetted developers for your project.