Blockchain developer vs Software developer: key differences

It is no secret that the world of technology is rapidly changing. And with this change, new and exciting careers are emerging. One such career is that of a blockchain developer.

Blockchain developers are in high demand due to the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

But what exactly is a blockchain developer? And what skills do they need? Let's find out.

Blockchain developers are responsible for creating and maintaining the software that powers blockchain networks. 

They must have strong programming skills as well as knowledge of cryptography and peer-to-peer networking. In addition, they must be familiar with various blockchain platforms and protocols.


The average blockchain developer salary is $140,000 per year, which is significantly higher than the average salary for a software developer. 

Also, the demand for blockchain developers continues to grow, so now is a great time to get started in this field!


Table of contents:

What level of education is required to become a blockchain developer? 🎓
What programming languages should you learn as a blockchain developer? 📚
Blockchain developer vs software developer: hard skills comparison
Soft skills & Idioms 🤹 🌍
Blockchain vs Software developer's salaries💲

What level of education is required to become a blockchain developer? 🎓

Degrees in computer science or related fields may qualify you to work as a full-stack developer. Is working as a blockchain developer the same thing?

Well, because web 3.0 is new and in development, there isn’t yet a degree tailored for blockchain developers. This doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t consider applying for a degree. 

Even though they might not be yet recognized as obligatory, some companies may require a related bachelor's degree or further studies in blockchain and web3-related courses. 

However, some companies will accept candidates with only an Associate's degree or even a high school diploma, granted you know how to code and have experience.

To stay up-to-date in this rapidly evolving field, blockchain developers must continuously learn and adapt their skills. You can attend conferences or take online courses to keep up with the latest developments in the industry.

If you want to maximize your chances of being hired for this role, you should consider obtaining a degree that’s specialized in blockchain systems, for example.

As you may be aware, blockchain emerged in tandem with the success of bitcoin. Having a solid knowledge of cryptocurrency is also important in the comparison of blockchain developers vs software developers.

If you have a Master's degree in Economics, Finance, Accounting Sciences, or a related field, you are already on the right track. 

In another article, we provided the best courses that you should take on how to become a blockchain developer.


Practice, practice, and practice some more!

Having a degree is important, but having experience is pretty much mandatory to land your first role as a blockchain developer or software developer. 

At TAIKAI, we provide a hackathon platform for web3 and blockchain developers, where you can put your skills to the test in a real-life environment. We've hosted several web3 hackathons for companies such as ETH Foundation, Harmony, Telos, and many others.

Furthermore, through Bepro Network, we connect developers with companies or anyone looking to build decentralized applications. 

That means you can also participate in bounties and earn crypto in the process.

Here's a piece of advice from IBM Vice President of Blockchain Technologies, Jerry Cuomo:

“Remember that every blockchain application is an application! Meaning, I would say 20% of the actual code you write is blockchain-specific code, but guess what, 80% is all the code you had to write before already”.

What programming languages should you learn as a blockchain developer?

In general, blockchain developers need to be able to understand and work with cryptography, P2P networks, and smart contracts. 

They also need to be familiar with the Ethereum platform and various blockchain platforms and protocols.

It is important for a blockchain developer to have knowledge of multiple languages and be able to adapt to new ones as needed.

Programming smart contracts are vital when comparing blockchain developers vs software developer roles. 

Aside from languages such as C++, Python, and Java, which are also important in Blockchain technology, there are some that should be familiar with as a blockchain developer languages expert:

  • Goland: assists developers in the development of fast blockchain systems and may be the best for creating hyperledger fabric, which means developing modular architecture applications or solutions. It goes for accommodating plug-and-play components like a consensus, privacy, and membership services. 
  • C#: similar to Java and C++ programming languages, C# allows open-source developers to run projects on multiple operating systems (Windows, Mac, Android, Linux) and include Stratis, a Blockchain-as-a-Service provider that assists businesses in developing applications (Dapps) on Blockchain platforms.
  • Solidity: a programming language for creating smart contracts on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
  • Vyper: derived from Python 3, is also used on Ethereum but has different control and security structures.  
  • Simplicity: Designed for smart contracts as well, but on a high-level blockchain development language focused on Bitcoin Script.
  • Rholang: Another great solution for smart contracts with a more functional approach. dApps can be written on the Rholang developer ecosystem. 

Extra tip on languages: yes, JavaScript! 💻

Let’s not forget JavaScript. Aside from being one of the three main technologies from the World Wide Web (www), alongside CSS and HTML, JavaScript can be also used on creative Blockchain applications, once it’s integrated into most systems.

Blockchain developer vs software developer: hard skills comparison 📝

The skills required for blockchain development are very similar to those for software development. However, there are some key differences. 

In general, blockchain developers need to be able to understand and work with cryptography, P2P networks, and smart contracts. They also need to be familiar with the Ethereum platform and various blockchain platforms and protocols.

We conducted research on the open blockchain developer positions, both for startups and big tech.

The following are the basic requirements that recruiters look for in a blockchain developer job versus a software developer job:


Blockchain developer job
Software developer job
Coding languages such as Javascript, Python, Java, C++, Scala, blockchain programming Java, Solidity, Simplicity, CX, VyperCoding languages such as Asp.net, Javascript, Python, Java, C++, Scala
Experience with SQL, NoSQL, golang, chain code, web3.js, Geth, Corda, AWS, Bluemix, Azure, StellarExperience with SQL, NoSQL, AWS, Bluemix, Azure, Stellar
More than one or two years of coding in node.jsNode.js experience
Backend software engineering experience or full-stackFrontend or backend software engineering experience or even fullstack
Developing highly reliable, scalable products and servicesDeveloping highly reliable, scalable products and services
Being able to build DappsAbility on developing Apps
Certifications in blockchain technologies and, preferably, a bachelor's degreeDegree in software development or related areas
Blockchain coding sample or portfolioPortfolio

 

Github importance ✓

Many recruiters request Github, probably the world's largest platform for developers to collaborate. It's similar to a social media platform for tech projects.

The platform that hosts codes as a repository is now in the magnifying glass of recruiters, who will examine aspects of your profile such as popular repositories and contributions.

So, if you’re looking for jobs (or freelance work) either as a blockchain or a software developer, keep in mind that your popular repository demonstrates something positive about it.

Soft skills you should master

In addition to the hard skills required for blockchain development, it is also important to have strong soft skills.

These include communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills. In order to be successful in this field, it is also important to be familiar with the idioms and slang used in the blockchain community. 

This is a very comprehensive glossary that you might want to bookmark for future reference.


Problem-solving and creativity 🧐

Notice to detail is key for any software developer, but especially if you want to become a blockchain developer. 

A large part of a software developer's job is solving issues and finding bugs, so it's essential that you're good at problem-solving. Here's a tip:

“I think that fidelity in ‘this is what I’ve learned’ versus, for example, other blockchains that use lesser-known languages and environments. I would say these tend to be more error-prone for a developer who is not familiar with such a language because bugs are more likely to occur in environments that you’re less familiar with”, says Jerry Cuomo.

This term signifies that writing and applying code requires both advanced analytical skills and creativity.


Be Agile! 🏃

You've probably used Agile methods before.

Requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing teams. There are also short sprints to complete, which are useful for relocating efforts if something needs to change.

When the Agile Manifesto was first published in the early 2000s, it demonstrated to developers the importance of being able to respond to changes. 

Priority, flexibility, and ongoing prototyping are all part of it.


Blockchain vs Software developer's salaries💲

A software developer earns between $ 75,000 to about $ 100,000 per year, in the USA. Meanwhile, the average blockchain developer's salary is $145,000.

Entry-level positions start at $121,875 and experienced blockchain developers make up to $185,250 - according to Talent.com.

This salary can vary depending on the company, the location, and the level of experience of the developer. There is currently a high demand for blockchain developers, leading to the potential for higher salaries. 

Overall, it can be a very profitable and secure career choice to become a blockchain developer.


To sum it up ✏️

The journey to becoming a blockchain developer is tough but totally achievable! If you have the right mindset, work ethic, and desire to always learn more, now is the time! 

With plenty of opportunities available and salaries on the rise, there has never been a better time to get started.

Here's a recap of the main differences between blockchain and software developers:

  • A blockchain developer is required to have knowledge of cryptography and peer-to-peer networking in addition to software development skills.
  • The average salary for a blockchain developer is higher than the average salary for a software developer.
  • Blockchain developers must continuously learn and adapt their skills to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry.
  • In order to be a blockchain developer, one must be familiar with multiple programming languages.
  • Blockchain developers need to have strong soft skills, including communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills. They should also be familiar with the idioms and slang used in the blockchain community.
  • Overall, becoming a blockchain developer can be a profitable and secure career choice.

At TAIKAI, we can help on your journey to becoming a Blockchain Developer ⚡

Start by creating your TAIKAI account, choose your first hackathon and keep an eye out for our partners' hiring challenges to finally land your dream job.

Your journey starts today. 

Join our 50,000-member community taking the dev world by storm!


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