The desire to become a blockchain developer has increased significantly in recent years. Having a career in crypto is considered a much more respected profession than it was not so long ago. While interest in the field has increased phenomenally, many problems still remain. One of the key issues here is that many new potential developers wishing to enter this space are simply unsure of how to get started, and which programming language to use. This blog post provides a high-level overview guide to assist everyone who wishes to enter the blockchain development space and navigate the right path forward to achieve their goals.
Develop your Own Blockchain Developer Roadmap
The steps every developer takes to achieve their objectives will be vastly diverse and development in blockchain is no different. What do you wish to build? Do you have an understanding of what blockchain is and when it is appropriate to use it? Do you know how to code? If so, which languages? What are your end goals? Keep all of these questions in mind as you forge your own path to becoming a blockchain developer.
How to Learn Blockchain Development?
While tools such as the Lisk SDK aim to make blockchain development as easy as possible, you won’t just be able to snap your fingers to create your own blockchain. The truth is that you will have to have at least some basic understanding of both blockchain and programming concepts. Only then will you be ready to explore blockchain applications development.
Learn Blockchain Basics
With its growing popularity and increasing exposure in the media, the interest in entering the blockchain space has exploded.. While it may seem like a given, it is imperative to have at least a basic understanding of what blockchain is, how it works, its advantages/disadvantages, etc. before you dive into web3 development. If you don’t feel you have this knowledge yet, it is highly recommended to start with the What is Blockchain? article from Lisk.
Learn Programming Basics
It is generally not recommended to learn how to program by starting off with blockchain. In fact, most blockchain development courses have a prerequisite that a basic level of programming knowledge is required, with some expecting a higher skill level. Therefore, if you do not know how to code, it is recommended to start here before expanding to creating a blockchain project.
Consider Blockchain Development Courses
One of the more advantageous ways to learn about web3 development is through blockchain development courses. Many well known and respected companies are now well aware of the increased demand for blockchain, and have responded by offering various services to aid in becoming a blockchain developer. Below is just a sample of the courses, certifications, and web3 tutorials that are offered today.
Unlike many other blockchain applications development tutorials, this one offered by the Web3 Foundation does not require any prior blockchain or programming knowledge. This means it takes you from having zero knowledge of blockchain, to teaching you the basics of blockchain technology, all the way to building your own blockchain. The course is broken down into 20 video lectures that you can watch (and rewatch) at your own pace. Best of all, it is completely free and available on YouTube.
Both Udemy and Coursera are online learning platforms that offer many different courses on a variety of topics. In fact, course offerings for blockchain developers have recently grown in number on both platforms. Some key strengths of both Udemy and Coursera include their accessibility, as well as requiring very little development experience to get started. While the courses themselves vary greatly in length, price, and quality, some of the most recommended courses for blockchain applications development come from these two platforms.
This course does not have any prerequisites, although it is mentioned that some Python experience would be beneficial. The 2-hour course is broken down into two parts. For the first part, you will learn the fundamental blockchain concepts required of anyone considering pursuing a career in blockchain. In the second part, you will actually build your own mini blockchain using the Python programming language.
This learning path provided by Microsoft is an introduction into web3 development on the Ethereum platform. The length of this course is approximately 4 hours, and during this time, you will learn what it takes to create smart contracts, and how to deploy them onto both local and test networks. Basic knowledge of programming concepts is required before beginning.
IBM offers training for virtually any development initiative you can imagine. Recently their offerings for blockchain development courses have grown exponentially. There are now well over 100 blockchain courses offered for blockchain applications development. Completion and accreditation of any of these courses is highly beneficial when added to the resume of someone pursuing a career in blockchain.
This Nanodegree program offered by Udacity is one of the more comprehensive offerings mentioned here. It takes an estimated 4 months to complete when you work an average of 10 hours a week. An understanding of Object-oriented programming is required prior to starting this program.
The program itself is broken into the following 5 stand-alone courses:
- Block Fundamentals - Introduces blockchain fundamentals using Node.js and Leveldb.
- Ethereum Smart Contracts, Tokens and Dapps - Advances your knowledge by utilizing the Ethereum network.
- Block Architecture - Teaches more advanced concepts such as privacy, security, and decentralized file management.
- Dapp with Autonomous Smart Contracts and oracles - Develop a decentralized application (Dapp) with external triggers and payment handling.
- Capstone Project - Utilize all the skills acquired in the previous 4 courses to build a decentralized property listing application.
Blockchain Development Language - Which One Should You Choose?
There are countless programming languages to choose from, all with their own advantages and disadvantages. While it might not be the first step, at some point you will need to decide which one to use for your blockchain application. Below we describe a few popular languages used in blockchain applications development today. We also mention platforms that you can use to develop in that specific language.
C++ for Blockchain Development with EOS
C++ is a popular choice for application development, blockchain, or otherwise. Advantages include primitive control over memory, advanced multi-threading, runtime polymorphism, and many more. Popular blockchains developed in C++ are Bitcoin, Monera, EOS, and Stellar.
Solidity for Blockchain Development with Ethereum
Python for Blockchain Development with STEEM
Python is great for novice programmers as there is minimal syntax to learn. This allows for the fast creation of prototypes. Additionally, as the second most popular programming language in the world today, there are thousands of resources and plugins for any blockchain developer to utilize. Popular blockchains developed in Python are Ethereum, Steem, and NEO.
Golang for Blockchain Development with Hyperledger Fabric
Golang, also known as Go, is another popular programming language for blockchain development. Developed by Google, it has several strengths to consider. For instance, Goroutines allow several processes to be run simultaneously. Both Neo and Hyperledger Fabric were developed with Go.
Rust for Blockchain Development with Solana
Finally, Rust is yet another language often considered for blockchain development. For the last 6 years, it has won the title of “Most Loved Language” from Stack Overflow. Its unique design allows developers to avoid potentially dangerous flaws, while also maintaining performance. Solana, Polkadot, and Hyperledger Sawtooth were all developed using Rust.
How to Start Blockchain Development
Once you have all the fundamentals, you are now ready to look into what it will take to build your own blockchain. However, there are still many challenges and questions ahead, such as defining and planning out your specific project. You can read how to accomplish this in our How to Build a Blockchain blog post.