Finding a job is not always an easy task unless you’re super talented and have a ton of experience. But even people like that started from scratch. The question is, what did these people have done to get where they are? How did they got into that <insert job you’re interested in>? I don’t think there is a universal answer to this question as each job is different from the others, but I want to share with you how you could go about looking and starting your first job in the Blockchain space.
Blockchain is quickly evolving and gaining more and more traction in media outlets. Most people are talking about cryptocurrencies and recently about NFTs. Unfortunately, the pandemic is taking its toll, and people are looking for changes in their work lives and learning/starting something new. Or maybe someone got very interested in NFTs and got excited about Blockchain tech and professionally wanted to do something with it. There are many reasons why someone wants to know how to get a job in this space, and I want to clarify as many things as possible. I will answer the most common questions regarding that.
Small disclaimer. I’m a technical guy, and I know this market mostly from a technical standpoint and as a software engineer. I don’t have all the answers and know about every possible position, but I will try to do my best to cover as much as I can.
What do I need to know to get the first job in Blockchain?
There are as many answers to this question as they are potential positions in the Blockchain market. All of those answers have one thing in common, though. You need to have good knowledge and understanding of the thing you will be working with, i.e., Blockchain itself. What does it offer? What can you do with it and what you can’t? What blockchain platforms are there, and which one uses for what use case? Even if someone knows about all of this, it’s often good to keep that knowledge fresh and organized.
For the beginner, I can recommend Binance Academy Introduction and later their articles about blockchain. They cover many different topics, but you want to stick with general blockchain knowledge in there.
Another good stop when you have more precise questions is Decrypt’s learn page. It offers nicely formatted explainers that cover the topic quite well and will only leave you hungry for more knowledge.
After you covered all the basics, the next significant step is reading two excellent books from Andreas M. Antonopoulos. He is an important person in the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. He wrote two fine books and shared them for free on GitHub.
- Mastering Bitcoin
- Mastering Ethereum
These two books are for developers, although the first two chapters cover bitcoin/ethereum at a level that is also approachable to non-programmers. Anyone with a basic understanding of technology can read the first two chapters to get a great understanding of bitcoin/ethereum/blockchain.
The author doesn’t bullshit you and covers blockchain tech topics extensively. I highly recommend reading these books.
Knowing all of this, what are the next steps? What positions are there for me? Which platform to start with?
Before I answer this, a quick note. I assume you have some basic knowledge from a specific position e.g., when applying for a Blockchain Engineering job, you know how to code.
- Blockchain Engineer: As a software developer, you have by far the most possibilities for professional growth and opportunities. No matter in which direction you want to go, either as a Full DApp developer, Smart Contract Developer, FrontEnd/BackEnd, Protocol Engineer, etc, I will recommend the same start for any one of you. Ethereum. It is the most popular blockchain platform in terms of its users and active developers. The community is open and friendly (most of the part). So many developers working on this platform have created many excellent tools to help you with Ethereum and develop for it. There’s a ton of tutorials, training videos, and well-written documentation for toolsets and protocols. I would recommend that beginners create a simple ERC20 token to start and control it through web3js/web3py. Apart from the knowledge gain in Mastering Ethereum, I recommend CryptoZombies tutorials. They have a great introduction to writing smart contracts on Ethereum. After that, you can read Solidity documentation for more in-depth knowledge and understanding. There are many tutorials; if any of the ones I recommended doesn’t fit your needs, a simple google query will help you find something.
- Security Engineer: DeFi now has over $60 billion in Total Locked Value (TVL). More than $200 million was lost to hacks and scams in 2020, and that trend is continuing throughout 2021. We need security engineers more than ever to help secure the protocols before hackers. DeFi is becoming more mainstream every day, and hacks are happening every month, stealing millions of dollars. If you know in and out of a particular blockchain platform or a penetration tester, you won’t have problems finding a job.
- DevOps: Similarly to the above, I would recommend Ethereum Platform for a start. Many projects are forking Ethereum code and building their take on Ethereum as projects like this need help building the infrastructure. Apart from Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric is the next place to go. They, too, have great documentation and many well-written examples. This blockchain is mostly targeted at business and enterprise usage. There is a lot of configuration that needs to happen, and I think someone with good DevOps skills or someone starting could find his/her place in a position like that. Linux Foundation even created a training and certification for Hyperledger. You can find it here.
- Project Manager: My journey with Blockchain started with working as a Project Manager on a bitcoin-related project. For many nontechnical people, it is an attractive gateway into a Blockchain Space. Any Blockchain project sooner than later will need an outstanding PM to handle the developers, goals and keep everything in line. For someone with management skills, it shouldn’t be much of a problem getting such a job; you need to know what is happening in the blockchain ecosystem and DeFi space.
- UI/UX: Many blockchain applications have problems with user interface and experience. Onboarding users are that are not familiar with crypto is challenging. With the riser of different NFTs and NFTs marketplaces, sound design and user experience are vital. Not only for that but also for many DApps. If you know how some design changes in current applications would improve user experience and understand the DeFi and Blockchain ecosystem, there would be work for you in this space.
- Sales/Marketing: Every product needs to be sold and marketed. I think now there is a considerable emphasis in space on good marketing, and you can see that. If you have experience in this area and you know how to engage people in a good marketing campaign, work will be there for you, especially now. But beware of projects that want to scam people. You don’t want to be associated with them.
- Others: For those who don’t have the necessary skills for the positions above, there are few options. You can start writing your own blog/YouTube/podcast and talk and teach about blockchain. You can create content for other media outlets. When life goes back to normal and meet-ups again, you can think of making your meet-up and gather people to talk about Blockchain and help them find jobs. These are just some thoughts I have. There are probably many other takes on this.
There are a lot of different options. As with everything, you need time and effort put into learning and putting into work to accomplish something.
Should I specialize in one Blockchain platform, or should I know more than one solution?
I will answer this question based on my example. I started my job with blockchain from Bitcoin. I was excited with the tech, and I started digging deep into it. I read Mastering Bitcoin, leading a team at work to create a tool that works on Bitcoin’s data. I learned a lot during that process, and the knowledge I got from all of this helped me tremendously when I worked with the Ethereum platform and smart contracts (my current specialization). After some time, I had a chance to create a PoC for one client using Hyperledger Fabric, and again, my prior knowledge of Bitcoin and Ethereum helped me a lot. You can notice a specific pattern here 😉.
As with everything, especially in IT, you need to start with something, get strong fundamentals, and build upon the following skills. Blockchain is the same in this regard. It’s worth starting with one blockchain platform and knows it well, but it’s also essential to look around and have a broader view on the matter. Having a perspective from few blockchain platforms helps you become a better problem solver, and solving problems is the main domain of IT.
Where to look for jobs in the Blockchain space? What are the services you used?
Thanks to pandemic (I know how horrible this sounds but stick with me!), remote work got a lot of traction and is more accessible than ever. You can start working for a country on the other side of the globe, and it wasn’t easier than now to do so. I’ve been working remotely for nearly four years, which opens so much more opportunities for you than being a compound to a single city/country. I will discuss the pros and cons of remote work in another article.
I’m going to share all the websites I used during my job searching sprees across my career. Some of the websites will require creating a profile, but most of them offer a possibility to send a CV so you won’t have to type multiple times the same information repeatedly.
- LinkedIn: This one isn’t a surprise, I hope. Many companies and recruiters are here, and a lot of professionals are also here. Having a profile on LinkedIn is no-brainer as it allows you to connect with other professionals without any problems.
Their search capabilities are strong. What I tend to do is search the phrase “Blockchain” and select remote as a location. You can also search by specific sites if you live nearby or the time difference isn’t a problem. Even such positions didn’t mark they can hire someone remotely; you can always write to a recruiter and ask. I got a positive response many times when doing this. There’s no harm in asking if you do it, of course, politely.
- angel.co: Job aggregator for start-ups but not restricted only to them. They have a good amount of offers and a variety of firms.
- https://cryptocurrencyjobs.co : nice and easy website that have a lot of offers.
- https://cryptojobslist.com : nice and accessible website, but it’s worth checking when job offer was posted as they tend to have ancient offers.
- https://crypto.jobs : Very similar to the two previous ones but have the same problems as cryptojoblist and some offers can be old.
- https://blocktribe.com : Same as above
- https://www.crypto-careers.com : Same as above
- Google: When all other solutions fail, google is your friend.
- You can also do something that I did. When you find some project you are very interested in, go to their website and check the career or contact subpage. Many times companies don’t post on other platforms, but they are still looking for talent.
I hope I shed some light on finding a job in Blockchain space, and some of you can find a job in this space. That would be awesome as the new frontier of computing and technology is happening in front of us, and if quicker you get in, the better!
Woah…this was a lengthy article. Only 97 days left to complete the challenge. Fingers crossed 🤞