How to hire a Blockchain Developer?

With the explosion of blockchain-based applications, crowdfunding, and initial coin offering (ICOs), the demand for blockchain developers is off the charts.
If your company wants to get ahead of the innovation curve with blockchain, you should look out for the blockchain developers who have the right blockchain skills.

Recruiting these sought-after developers seems to be an incredibly challenging task for both established corporations and start-ups.
Whether you are looking to hire a blockchain developer for your development firm or finding a blockchain development company; read this article to learn a few tips that will help you to find the right blockchain talent.

Author’s Bio

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Akash Takyar

CEO LeewayHertz

Akash has built over 100+ digital platforms used by millions of consumers. Akash is a core member and ambassador of Hedera Hashgraph and Hyperledger. Akash has invented a reverse geocoding algorithm used by Uber and Twitter. Akash is a technical architect and has been a consultant to McKinsey, 3M, Simens and Hershey’s. Akash holds a masters degree in computer applications.

What all you should consider while hiring a blockchain developer on a payroll basis?

1. Know if a blockchain developer has an understanding of basic programming concepts or not

When it comes to hiring a blockchain developer, there is a need to ensure if an individual understands the concept of programming languages like C, C++, Python, Javascript, Node JS, Solidity, Java, and Go. A talented block chain developer should also understand the following concepts-

  • OOPS
    OOPS stands for Object-Oriented Programming Structure, organized around the concept of objects. The objects are arranged into classes, enabling individual objects to be grouped.
    Since any object can be modified without affecting other objects in the program, developers can quickly update the programs written in object-oriented languages.
  • Syntax
    A developer should know the syntax for basic programming languages. In programming, syntax means the rules which specify the combined sequence of symbols used to create a structured program for a specific functionality of a software.
    Make sure that the developer understands the basic syntax such as for loops, while loops, conditional statements, logical operators, arithmetic operators, relational operators and more.
  • Multi-Threading
    Multi-Threading is the ability of a CPU in a multi-core processor to run multiple threads or processes concurrently. So, a developer should understand the implementation of multi-threading in different types of applications.
  • Socket Programming
    Socket Programming is a way to connect two nodes on a network to interact with each other. A client program creates a socket object to connect it to the server. When the connection is made, the server also creates a socket on the end of its communication.
    A blockchain developer should also have a deep knowledge about the socket programming.

2. Know if a developer understands the concept of encryption and security

Since the blockchain focuses on implementing encryption standards to transfer the data securely, you need to ensure if a developer understands the following encryption concepts or not.

  • Secure Hashing Algorithm (SHA)
    A Secure Hashing Algorithm is a set of algorithms, designed to overcome the cyber-security challenges and keep the data secure.
    The algorithm transforms the data with a hash function, and it consists of modular additions, compression functions and bitwise operations.
    The first version of SHA, i.e., SHA-0 was developed in the year 1993. Its successor, SHA-1 features 16-bit hashing, while SHA-2 contains a set of two functions with 512-bit and 256-bit technologies.
    Since blockchain implements encryption standards, make sure that a block chain developer has a thorough understanding of encryption concepts.
  • Encryption and Decryption
    Encryption is the process of transforming the plain text into random unreadable text, known as ciphertext. Decryption, on the other hand, is the process of converting the ciphertext back to plain text.
  • Private Key and Public Key
    The public and private key pair comprise two unique cryptographic keys used for encrypting or decrypting the data. Everyone can access the public key while the private key is confidential and made available only to its respective owner.
    Since the key pair is mathematically related, the data encrypted with a public key can only be decrypted with its corresponding private key or vice versa.

3. If a blockchain developer understands data structures or not

Whether you want to hire blockchain developer or a full stack developer, it is essential that a person should understand the concepts of the data structure which is key to software development.  Knowledge of following data structures is must for a blockchain developer –

  •  Linked List
    Similar to the array, a linked list is a linear data structure but its elements are connected to each other via pointers.
    Every element in the list comprises of two items, i.e., the data and the reference to the next node in the list.
  • Hash Table
    Hash Table is a data structure that implements an associative array data type, which can map keys to its respective values. Using a hash function, a hash table can compute an index into an array of slots, from which the required value can be easily found.
  • Acyclic Graph
    An acyclic graph is a graph without cycles and is said to be bipartite. It is also defined as a path without repeated vertices, excluding ending and starting vertices.

4. Ensure whether a developer understands the basic and important concepts of the blockchain

Since you are looking to hire blockchain developers, it is vital that they must understand the basic blockchain concepts including-

  • Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)
    A distributed ledger technology allows the digital data to be shared, synchronized and replicated across multiple nodes, rather than keeping it at a single location. A developer should understand how DLT works and how it is implemented in different types of the blockchain.
  • Immutability
    Immutability means something that can never be changed. Once the data is written to a blockchain, no one can alter it again. If someone wants to update the information, a new event is added to the chain, but the info saved previously can never be changed or removed.
  • Consensus
    Since there is no central authority involved in the blockchain to make decisions related to the addition of new blocks, it uses the consensus mechanism.
    The consensus is a group decision-making process in which all group members make a mutual decision in the best interest of the whole network.
    For example, if someone needs to update the information in the blockchain, every node in the network would come to a consensus whether the data to be updated is valid or not. After the consensus is reached, a new block can be added to the chain.
  • Crypto Tokens
    Crypto Tokens represent a specific utility or asset which resides on top of the blockchain. From commodities to cryptocurrencies, or loyalty points, tokens are tradeable and fungible assets.
    Since creating crypto tokens is an easier task, a blockchain developer should understand how to create a token.
  • Smart Contracts
    Smart Contracts contain the business logic which allows everyone to exchange property, shares, money, or anything of value seamlessly and transparently without involving intermediaries.
    Solidity language is used for writing the smart contracts for different platforms like Ethereum, Hyperledger.
  • DApps
    DApps stand for Decentralized applications which are executed on Peer to Peer network of computers instead of a single computer.
  • Sharding
    Sharding is primarily used in databases to bring more efficiency. A shard is a horizontal part of the database which is stored in an isolated server instance to spread the load.
    In case of the blockchain, sharding is implemented to only store a part of the data, not entire information in every node.
  • Public Blockchain
    Public blockchain allows anyone to store and exchange the information, meaning anyone can make legal changes or write a new block to the chain.
    For example, anyone can use Bitcoin’s cryptographic keys; anyone can join the network and become a miner to run the network. Other examples include Ethereum, Lightning networks.
  • Permissioned Blockchain
    Permissioned blockchain allows everyone to read the available records but enables specific participants to mine or verify the transactions. Examples include Hyperledger Fabric, R3 Corda, and Hyperledger Sawtooth.

5. A developer should know about the development tools required for building blockchain-based applications

A blockchain developer should have the basic understanding of following development tools:

  • Composer- An open-source tool to build blockchain applications.
  • Explorer- A tool to create a user-friendly web application.
  • Remix- An open-source tool to write solidity contracts straight from the browser.
  • Metamask- To transfer cryptocurrencies from one wallet address to another wallet.
  • Etherscan- To check different smart contracts, and all transactions, taking place on the Ethereum network.
  • Mist- Acts as an interface for the transaction through the wallet.
  • Caliper- A tool to measure the performance of a particular blockchain implementation.
  • Bitcoin BlockExplorer- A tool to offer detailed information about Bitcoin addresses, transactions, and blocks.

6. Where to find blockchain developers

Once you understand what you are looking for, you need to know where to find the right blockchain developer. Since blockchain is in its infancy stage, make sure you don’t just rely on LinkedIn or other job portals to find the skillful developers.

The right way to hire block chain developer is to find them sharing knowledge or information about blockchain on public forums like Reddit and Glitter. You may also find blockchain developers discussing ideas at hackathons or other start-up events, both online and offline.

What should Enterprises consider while looking out for an Enterprise with a team of blockchain developers to build a blockchain-based solution

1. How long they have been in business

While searching for an enterprise, it is crucial to look at the years of experience the company has in building digital platforms. Ensure for how long they have been in a competitive market (When was the domain registered, when the company was founded, etc.).
Do not forget to ask what all achievements and awards they have received for their exceptional work in this field. You should also look for any patents or licensed product they have launched and the quality of their products.

2. Brands they have worked with

A company’s portfolio is an indicator of how well the company has done in the past, how big their clients were and what products did the company build for the clients.
One major factor is to check if the company offers maintenance services for the platforms they built in the past. If the company still maintains the past products, then the company might have done a great job while creating the product.

Ask if they have only worked with the start-up companies or Fortune 500 companies as well. If they have ever built a product for Fortune 500 companies, you can make a quick and informed decision.

3. Ask about the team

When you look out for a blockchain development company, make sure to ask what is the company strength and in what all domain do they work. Company size represents how well the company is doing and how many projects they can complete in the given time frame.
Companies who have experts in different domains have the ability to work over the different technology stacks.

Ensure to ask where is the team located and how do they interact with each other if they can work in different time zones. It would help you to know if they will be able to function or work according to your timezone or not.

If the developers are not available in the same time zone, how will you contact them or who will be the point of contact in such cases?

While getting brief information about the team, you need to know who are the leaders and do they have any technical experience or not.
Visit their LinkedIn profile or other professional networks to know their work experience as well as the customer’s experience to recognize their potential.

4. Ask about the Development Process

Since there are a wide range of development techniques available, you need to make sure what development process is followed by the developers. Make sure that a company should go through the following phases of development:

If a company talks about the development techniques like agile, scrum, or extreme programming, then you are most likely dealing with a development company which works on the latest technologies.

5. What kind of tools do they use to manage projects

Apart from the development process, you should also know about the tools used by the company to manage the projects. There are plenty of project management tools available which can be used to monitor the progress of projects.
Reputed Software Development Companies usually make use of enterprise-grade project management tools like Confluence, JIRA, Slack, or Pivotal Tracker to track the progress of projects as well as developers or other team members.

6. Ensure if they have an in-house team of developers or they hire off-shore developers

To compete with price pressure, software development companies sometimes have to stick to off-shore development. If they hire off-shore developers for the entire development process, there could be the possibilities of quality concerns.

7. If they have potential to build a blockchain-based solution or not

The company needs to have experience on many technology stacks as you are looking out for a blockchain development company to build a blockchain-based platform. Make sure that the company has worked on the following technology stacks-

8. Portfolio on Blockchain

Though many companies have started working on blockchain a few years back, you need to understand if the company has a portfolio on the blockchain.
Have they ever worked on a public blockchain or a permissioned blockchain? A portfolio on blockchain is a must if you are looking for a blockchain developer.

9. Are they an end-to-end service providers?

Do not forget to confirm if the company is an end-to-end service provider or not. From product consultation to design, development, deployment, maintenance, support and growth hack services, a company should offer you the best-in-class development services.

Before you look out for the blockchain developer, you should first become an expert in the technology. Visit forums where great blockchain developers discuss the technology trends. The factors discussed above in the article would help you in making the right decision and hire a right developer.

LeewayHertz has created a skilled workforce which is capable of building blockchain-based applications. If you are looking out for a blockchain development company, reach out to our team of experts with your requirements.

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