How Can I Start a Career in Blockchain Technology?

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Abhishek Singh, Program Director at Blockchain Semantics answers the question on Quora: How Can I Start a Career in Blockchain Technology?

The question, “Will I be able to learn Blockchain technology” has been directed towards us thousands of times. This is the biggest dilemma that most of the students, young and experienced professionals face these days. Blog posts and articles from different companies and writers going at length talking about its complexity is not helping the cause either. It is scaring away some potential great Blockchain developers and thought leaders. Yes, it is complex and we do agree. But, are you not equipped enough to giving it a shot? Absolutely no.

The way we look at it, there is four possible path of learning Blockchain.

  1. Blockchain Generalist- you understand the basic concepts and are capable enough to discuss its use-cases and applications in your ecosystem
  2. Smart Contract Developer- you understand what a Smart Contract is and how to code on it
  3. Blockchain Developer- you understand the concepts of nodes and consensus and can build a bridge between UI and Smart Contracts
  4. Blockchain Expert- you understand how the code of a Blockchain like Bitcoin, Ethereum network works and can code your own Blockchain network defining its rules and protocols

The world has enough opportunities for each of the above four roles. Each four requires a different skill set.

If you do not have a technical background and you do not wish to learn to code, Blockchain Generalist is the role that you should be aiming at. If you are a Supply Chain Manager, or an Equity Trader or a Financial Advisor, Blockchain Generalist is the role for you. It will help you take a decision whether you should utilize the benefits of Blockchain in your current system and processes. You will not have to rely on the opinion of your friends or colleagues. You yourself would be able to tell how Blockchain will improve your supply chain process, how will it secure your financial transactions.

A Smart Contract Developer, we like to think of it as a parallel to a UI developer of the current software development ecosystem. Smart Contract is quite similar to Javascript. Just the way a UI developer need not know much about the server side code, a Smart Contract developer need not know much about the actual mining, nodes, transaction logic, and implementations. If you already are a UI developer or have an appetite for learning UI stack, Smart Contract Developer is the role that you should be aiming at.

Think of a Blockchain Developer as a full stack developer of the current software system. If you are good at server side programming and have good analytical skills, Blockchain Developer is the role for you. Here, you would understand the end to end system of a Blockchain application. You would know how to set up nodes, how to submit a Blockchain transaction and how to trigger Smart Contract functions from a web page. Being a Blockchain Developer calls for a bit more effort and understanding as compared to a Smart Contract Developer.

Blockchain Experts are the Architects of the current software development system. If you are an Architect, then being a Blockchain Expert should be the next big thing for you. Here, you would have to understand how does the code of different Blockchain networks behave. You would also be able to write your own network, designing its rules and protocols as per the need of your company/team. This role calls for a deep understanding of programming, Blockchain, and cryptography. It also calls for a lot of grit and analytical skills.

Our two Weis, do not be afraid of Blockchain. It is meant for everybody. Just pick a relevant role.

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