The blockchain industry is growing rapidly and at the same time, there are jobs available in blockchain.
Whether you are a programmer or with a background in front-end, iOS, Android or even non-technical how Marketing, there is no doubt that blockchain offers you an opportunity.
But why the huge public interest in blockchain lately?
Since the creation of the Ethereum protocol in 2015, and its virtual currency Ether came to compete with bitcoin, the technology behind it, the blockchain, has been gaining interest. Presented as a real revolution in the field of development, it is still in its infancy. Although it is difficult to estimate its potential, it seems destined to play a major role in the future.
Developed by the programmer Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum blockchain allows the creation of decentralized applications across several extremely varied domains. This technology is mainly known today for its use as a cryptocurrency, the second largest in the world. However, many other applications are already envisaged.
The current situation of blockchain
If we can consider that the birth of the blockchain goes back to the creation of bitcoin in 2008, it only started to be massively used with the emergence of Ethereum. Its capitalization has increased considerably in a few years to exceed 15 billion euros at present. Now the blockchain is going beyond digital currency and other applications are being explored.
Companies and governments alike are looking to understand the true potential of blockchain. Blockchain technology could be the basic architecture for tomorrow’s applications, making it a major issue in many industries. Its main drawback is its complexity, which makes it accessible to few developers yet.
Ether is gradually going beyond the insiders to be known by the public. The crypto currency is increasingly traded and has spawned numerous publications in recent years. It is used as a means of payment in some establishments as well as in various artistic events (notably during the AYM exhibition).
Based on peer-to-peer and blockchain, there are now 796 virtual currencies in circulation, although most of them are only used marginally. Websites like Showroomprive and Expedia accept bitcoin, and some neighborhoods in France and abroad are home to businesses that recognize both bitcoin and ether.
The Ethereum blockchain differs from bitcoin in the concept of “smart contracts,” which can trigger a wide variety of applications, including between connected objects. The possibilities seem endless for developers who manage to master the subtleties of this emerging technology. All sectors, from marketing to energy, are concerned by these opportunities.
One of the problems with the blockchain is that it is still not well known by the public. Ether, like all crypto currencies, remains highly volatile as well. The decentralized applications available today can be slow and contain bugs that are difficult to fix. Despite these flaws, this technology is considered the great innovation of today and could become widespread in the future.
New job opportunities in blockchain
In view of the importance that blockchain technology could take in the next few years, developers specializing in the field will become extremely sought after. In 2016, there was a tenfold increase in blockchain job postings on the job search engine. In 2017, the offers are expected to prove to be even more numerous.
The most represented sectors are telecommunications, banking, and insurance, followed by consulting and industry. With 157 job offers recorded compared to only 15 in 2015, we can see how far the blockchain has come in the space of a year. The evolution curve has been on a steady rise throughout 2016 and is expected to remain so.
So, what’s in blockchain for developers?
For developers, blockchain is a database technology that is both complex and rich in possibilities. Still very young, it needs to be better mastered and matured to give its full potential. Because of its advantages (the blockchain is secure, impossible to falsify and destroy, and freely available), it is today an El Dorado for developers.
We will see here where this technology is at on a global scale, how it constitutes a great opportunity in terms of technical jobs for developers, but also what are its main advantages and how to take advantage of it. Finally, we look at the future of blockchain, considering how this innovative technology might evolve over the next few years.
Blockchain developers have become a rare commodity and are already in demand on the job market. This trend is likely to grow in the coming months and years. Start-ups wishing to create decentralized applications via the blockchain are the first job generators in this field. Many opportunities are already available in the sector.
Companies are also looking for specialists to be among the first to take advantage of this technology. Telecommunications companies are the most interested. Groups like Atos, Orange or Safran are looking for new blockchain developers. Banking and insurance companies are not left out, as blockchain offers real guarantees in terms of security.
In addition to the latter companies (Natixis, Banque de France, Société Générale, etc.), consulting firms are also looking to make their mark. In particular, the Deloitte Group hired several specialized developers on permanent contracts during 2016. These hires demonstrate the interest in many industries for blockchain technology.
The offers listed show that the profiles sought are those of engineers with a command of English and several computer languages (C++, Java, Python). They mainly concern R&D missions as well as market and feasibility studies. For developers, this is a brand-new sector in full expansion, offering opportunities that have increased significantly in recent months.
The future for blockchain developers
Rich in multiple applications, the blockchain is, according to general opinion, the essential technology of the years to come. For developers, it seems to be a particularly promising field of work, as evidenced by the increase in job offers posted in this area. Revolutionary from a technical point of view, the blockchain has however a still uncertain future.
It is not possible to know right now how this technology and the virtual currencies based on it will evolve. It is a complex technology that requires high-level skills, even for experienced developers. Decentralized applications still suffer from a certain slowness and the development costs can be significant.
This suggests that blockchain is not a mature technology yet. For companies, it is an attractive bet, but not a guarantee. Many companies will undoubtedly seek to recruit specialists in the field for their research and development sector. Blockchain-based start-ups will probably have a harder time breaking through.
Blockchain is most notable for the many areas in which it can be used. A wide variety of decentralized applications have already emerged: UjoMusic for copyright distribution, Transactive Grid for buying and selling energy credits, Filecoin for renting storage space, Initial Coin Offering for fundraising, and so on.
The smart contracts at the heart of this technology are now essential for developers to master. These autonomous, self-executing programs are full of potential applications in both the private and public sectors. Banks could use them to avoid fraud risks, while governments could use them to organize tax collection, for example.
The Ethereum protocol certainly needs to improve to reach a wider audience. The technology is still too unintuitive for users and raises questions about security. Despite this, the dramatic increase in specialized job offers in this sector shows that it is being closely watched by both the private and public sectors.
Blockchain represents a particularly interesting opportunity for engineers and developers. The prospect of creating decentralized applications of a new kind is today the spearhead of many start-ups. Finally, given the revolutionary nature of this technology, it is likely that unsuspected projects using blockchain will emerge in the coming years, offering new employment opportunities.
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