The blockchain is a relatively new technology that’s only now beginning to be harnessed for its full potential. For several years, the blockchain has been known as the foundational architecture that makes cryptocurrency like Bitcoin possible. Now, blockchain technology is being used for a variety of applications, including secure transactions and exchanges in healthcare, real estate, finance, and many other industries.
Tomorrow’s technology leaders are beginning to hire blockchain developers now to build the products and services they need to remain competitive. But before you hire a blockchain developer for your own business, there are some important considerations you’ll need to bear in mind.
There’s a Shortage of Blockchain Talent
Many people are trying to hire blockchain developers, but that increased demand, combined with the relative newness of blockchain technology, has resulted in a shortage of talent. It’s hard to find available blockchain developers, and even harder to find ones in your budget. You may need to make some compromises or get competitive to find a developer that fits your needs.
The Blockchain Is Not a Magic Formula for Success
There are many advantages to using the blockchain. It’s completely decentralized, which means there’s no central authority that can preside over it. It tends to be highly secure, as long as it’s developed in the right way. It’s immutable, which means it can’t be changed by outside parties. And it’s both fast and cost-effective, making it a great technological tool for many applications.
However, these aspects are not a guarantee that anything you develop with the blockchain will be a success. You’ll still need to:
- Come up with a good idea. How are you going to use the blockchain in a way that directly benefits your business (or your customers)?
- Come up with a unique idea. Is anyone else using the blockchain this way? If so, is there a way you can make your version of the product unique?
- Develop the blockchain well. Blockchains are highly secure and come with many advantages, but they have to be developed correctly to see these benefits.
- Market and/or integrate the application effectively. After the product is completely developed, you’ll still need to find a way to integrate it into your current system, and/or market the product to your customers.
There Are Multiple Types of Blockchains
The “blockchain” is a generic term, but there are three distinct types of blockchain that you can use:
- Private. Private blockchains operate with a closed system, and can only be used with permission. It’s a great way to secure your internal operations, but it’s not suitable for applications you intend to be used by the public.
- Public. By contrast, a public blockchain can be used in an open system. Anyone can participate and carry out exchanges according to the parameters set by the system.
- Consortium. Though it functions much like a private blockchain, the consortium blockchain is decentralized. It’s highly efficient, but it’s managed by a group instead of a single individual or entity.
You’ll need to choose someone who specializes in one type of blockchain or at least has experience in the type you’re hoping to develop.
Security Is a Must
One of the hallmarks of the blockchain is that it’s a secure technology. If implemented properly, it should be virtually hack-proof. However, there are still a handful of vulnerabilities you’ll need to guard against. For example, blockchains rely on a coordinated system of nodes that work together to verify transactions by consensus. If an attacker somehow manages to get control of 51 percent of the nodes of a system, they can take complete control over that consensus.
Due Diligence Matters
Before you hire an individual, a company, or a team of freelancers to handle your blockchain development project, you need to do your due diligence. Do your research and make sure this is a reputable hire—and one skilled, talented, and experienced enough to develop your technology the way you need.
Pay attention to:
- Past projects. What kinds of projects have they developed in the past? Do they have direct experience with blockchain development?
- Reviews and testimonials. What are other people saying about this developer? Are there reviews and/or testimonials you can consult?
- Existing knowledge and familiarity. If you’re not very familiar with blockchain tech, read up before you interview a candidate. Ask some critical questions about blockchain security and integrity, and see if they know their stuff. You should be able to sniff out inexperienced candidates with relative ease.
Hiring a blockchain developer is going to be challenging, especially if you have a difficult or unusual project in mind. But if you adhere to the right standards, improve your own knowledge, and keep pushing, eventually, you’ll find the right fit.