How to Find Blockchain Developers: Navigating the Talent Landscape in Web3

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The Web3 ecosystem is expanding unprecedentedly. Companies seeking to implement blockchain solutions often need help finding the right talent to navigate the complexities of decentralized technologies. While there may be a common misconception that blockchain development is a niche field, the reality is that the demand for blockchain developers is widespread across various industries.

With the adoption of blockchain technology in various sectors, such as finance, retail, real estate, logistics, and many more, it’s becoming increasingly important for companies to source top talent in blockchain development. However, finding and hiring the right blockchain developers can be a daunting task. The blockchain industry is still relatively new, and the demand for blockchain talent far outweighs the supply.

Whether you’re a Web3 startup looking for blockchain talent to bring your brilliant idea to life, or a company diving into enterprise blockchain adoption, in this article we’ll explain the best ways to find the right engineering talent for you.

Understanding the Blockchain Developer Landscape

What Are Blockchain Developers?

A blockchain developer is someone who specializes in creating and implementing blockchain solutions. This can range from developing smart contracts for decentralized applications to building the underlying infrastructure that powers blockchain networks.

Below we outline some of the different types of blockchain developers and their respective skill sets:

  • Smart Contract Developers: Smart contract developers are responsible for writing and deploying smart contracts on a blockchain platform. They use programming languages such as Solidity, Vyper, and Rust to create self-executing contracts that can automate various processes, including payments, asset transfers, and more.
  • dApps Developers: dApps developers are responsible for building decentralized applications (dApps) that run on a blockchain platform. They use programming languages such as JavaScript, Python, and Ruby to create user-friendly applications that can interact with the blockchain.
  • On-Chain Developers: On-chain developers specialize in developing blockchain protocols, consensus algorithms, and other on-chain components. They use programming languages such as C++, Python, and Rust to create secure and efficient blockchain networks.
  • Blockchain UX/UI Designers: Blockchain UX/UI designers are responsible for designing user interfaces for blockchain applications. They work closely with dApps developers to create user-friendly and visually appealing interfaces that can interact with the blockchain.
  • Application Developers: Application developers create blockchain applications that can interact with other blockchain networks. They use programming languages such as JavaScript, Python, and Ruby to create decentralized applications that can be deployed on various blockchain platforms.
  • Core/Infrastructure Developers: Core/Infrastructure developers specialize in developing the core components of blockchain platforms, including nodes, APIs, and other infrastructure components. They use programming languages such as Go, Rust, and C++ to create scalable and secure blockchain networks.
  • Metaverse Developers: Metaverse developers are responsible for building decentralized virtual worlds that can run on a blockchain platform. They use programming languages such as C++, Python, and Rust to create immersive and interactive virtual environments that can be accessed by users from anywhere in the world.
  • Web3 Gaming Developers: Web3 gaming developers specialize in creating blockchain-based games that can be played by users from anywhere in the world. They use programming languages such as Solidity, JavaScript, and Python to create games that can interact with the blockchain.

The Skills and Expertise Required in Blockchain Development

Depending on what area of expertise you’re looking for, blockchain developers work with different technologies. Below is an overview of the 5 programming languages used in blockchain development and their associated frameworks:

Solidity

Solidity is the most popular programming language used in blockchain development. It is a contract-oriented, high-level programming language designed to write smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. Solidity is similar to JavaScript and is used to create decentralized applications (dApps), decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and other blockchain-based solutions. Solidity’s popularity stems from its compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which allows developers to write smart contracts that are executed on the Ethereum blockchain.

Rust

Rust is a systems programming language known for its performance, safety, and low-level control. Rust is used to build blockchain infrastructure and protocols, as well as decentralized applications. Rust’s popularity in blockchain development comes from its ability to create fast and secure code that can run on different operating systems.

Vyper

Vyper is a contract-oriented programming language that was specifically designed for Ethereum. It allows developers to create smart contracts that can be executed on the Ethereum blockchain. It was created as an alternative to Solidity which has some known vulnerabilities that can make it difficult to write secure contracts. Vyper contracts are designed to be more predictable and less prone to errors, which makes them less vulnerable to attacks. It is easier to read and understand than Solidity. Vyper code is more straightforward, which makes it easier for developers to review each other’s code and identify potential vulnerabilities.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a popular programming language used in web development, and it is also used in blockchain development. It is used to build dApps on different blockchains, including Ethereum, EOS, and Hyperledger Fabric. JavaScript’s popularity in blockchain development comes from its ease of use and its compatibility with different blockchain platforms. It’s often used with such frameworks as Web3.js and EOS.js.

C++

C++ is a high-performance programming language used in blockchain development. It is used to build cryptocurrency wallets, blockchain infrastructure, and protocols. C++’s popularity in blockchain development comes from its speed and efficiency.

Go

Go is a programming language developed by Google that is gaining popularity in blockchain development. It is known for its simplicity, efficiency, and concurrency. Go is used to build blockchain infrastructure, protocols, and dApps.

How to Source Blockchain Developer Candidates

LinkedIn: Finding and Engaging with Blockchain Professionals, Exploring Specialized Groups and Job postings

First and foremost while looking for developers, recruiters resort to LinkedIn. The first and obvious step in finding blockchain developers on LinkedIn is to use the search function. LinkedIn’s search function allows you to search for professionals by keyword, company, job title, location, and more. Start by searching for keywords related to blockchain development, such as (“Blockchain Developer” OR “Web3 Developer” OR “Smart Contract Developer”) AND (Rust OR Solidity OR Vyper).  

An alternative way to finding blockchain developers is to look for companies that employ them. Research companies that work on similar solutions to what you’re working on first. Then you may simply go on each company’s LinkedIn profile, open “people” and filter employees by locations, skills, and what they do (e.g. “engineering”). 

LinkedIn groups are a great way to engage with professionals in your industry. There are many blockchain groups on LinkedIn that you can join to connect with blockchain developers. By joining these groups, you can post job openings (sometimes, double-check each group’s rules), ask questions, learn, and engage with members of the group. Some popular blockchain groups on LinkedIn include Blockchain Professionals & Developers, Payments; Fintech, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, MPOS, Mobile Banking and Web3, Blockchain, Crypto Jobs & Careers.

When reaching out to potential candidates, make sure to personalize your message and explain why you are interested in their profile. You can also engage with blockchain developers by commenting on their posts, sharing their content, and liking their updates. Web3 is all about community, so you need to engage with it actively.

GitHub: Identifying Active Developers through Their Public Repositories and Contributions

Not all blockchain developers are active on Linkedin, but they are most likely using Github more often. GitHub is a platform that hosts millions of public repositories and provides insight into a developer’s contributions to open-source projects. By using a few simple search operators (qualifiers), you can quickly sift through the vast collection of repositories and identify active and talented developers.

Here are some examples of qualifiers that can be used on GitHub:

1. “language:[language]”: This qualifier allows you to search for repositories that are written in a specific programming language. For example, searching for “language:Solidity” will show you all the repositories written in the Solidity programming language. 

While looking through repositories, keep in mind the difference between “forks” (copies of someone else’s repositories) and “commits” (individual changes to a file). Good active contributors should have lots of commits (filter them as sources).

Ensure that you also click on users, while running this search to get the most out of it. It’ll show you profiles of people that have Solidity mentioned elsewhere in their profile, for example in their profile’s description. You can filter users by best match, most / fewest followers, most / least recently joined, and most / fewest repositories.

Don’t forget to play with locations if you need to find developers in a specific area. The same location can be written in multiple ways which makes sourcing a bit trickier. Some people have both the name of the country and the city; some people have either the name of the country or the city; some people have only the name of the city. Try all options, all spellings, in all languages applicable to your search. 

2. “stars:[number]”: This qualifier allows you to search for repositories based on the number of stars they have. A repository with more stars indicates that it is popular and well-regarded among the GitHub community. For example, searching for “stars:>100” will show you all the repositories with more than 100 stars.

3. “created:[date]”: This qualifier allows you to search for repositories created after a specific date. For example, searching for “created:>2024-01-01” will show you all the repositories created after January 1st, 2024.

4. “pushed:[date]”: This qualifier allows you to search for repositories that have been updated after a specific date. For example, searching for “pushed:>2024-01-01” will show you all the repositories that have been updated after January 1st, 2024.

Using these qualifiers, companies can identify active developers who are actively contributing to the blockchain community. Additionally, GitHub provides insight into a developer’s contributions to open-source projects, which can be a valuable indicator of their skill level and expertise.

To further refine your search, you can also search for specific keywords related to blockchain development. For example, searching for “Ethereum” or “Smart Contracts” will show you repositories that are specifically related to those topics.

X (Twitter): Networking with Blockchain Professionals, Following Industry Influencers, and Sharing Job Opportunities

Web3 community is very active on the X app, so if LinkedIn and Github didn’t bring the desired results, you might try your luck searching on this social media app previously known as Twitter. Especially if you’re looking for active community leaders.

X allows you to use their internal advanced search which gives you a lot of options for filtering:

Our tip is to also look through lists, and curated selections of X’s accounts united by specific topics. Look through people who curate and people who follow these lists. It’ll allow you to find people who are relevant but might not have needed keywords mentioned on their profile.

Discord and Slack: Exploring Specialized Servers and Channels Focused on Blockchain Development for Passive Candidate Sourcing

Discord and Slack are two popular platforms that are widely used by the blockchain community. They provide a space for developers to share their knowledge, collaborate on projects, and network with other like-minded individuals. 

To get started with passive candidate sourcing on these platforms, you’ll need to do some research to identify the right servers and communities. Look for communities that are focused on blockchain development or that have a specific focus on the type of project you’re working on (or similar to what you’re working on).

Once you’ve identified the right communities, you can start engaging with members by asking questions, sharing resources, and contributing to discussions. Be sure to introduce yourself and your company in a non-invasive way, and avoid coming across as too pushy or salesy.

As you build relationships with members of these communities, you can start to identify individuals who have the skills and experience you’re looking for. You can reach out to these individuals directly to gauge their interest in working with your company, or you can simply keep them on your radar for future opportunities.

Some examples of popular Discord servers you might want to join include CryptoDevs, Rust, Rust Programming Language Community, and Solidity-Dev.

Telegram: Joining Blockchain-Related Groups and Communities to Connect with Developers

Telegram is a messaging app that allows users to create and join groups on a wide range of topics, including blockchain. By joining relevant blockchain groups on Telegram, recruiters can connect with talented developers.

There are numerous blockchain-related groups on Telegram, ranging from general discussions to more technical groups focused on a specific blockchain or development language. Some examples of popular blockchain groups on Telegram include Solidity Development, Rust-Lang, and Blockchain Headhunter

dApps: Identifying Developers Who Are Active Users of Decentralized Applications as Potential Candidates

Decentralized applications, or dApps, are applications that run on a decentralized network, such as blockchain. These applications are gaining popularity and are becoming an integral part of the blockchain ecosystem. 

One example of a social dApp is Mastodon, a decentralized social network that is built on the ActivityPub protocol. Mastodon is an open-source project that enables users to interact with each other without relying on a central authority. It has a feature that allows users to add their skills to their profiles. This feature enables recruiters to search for developers who have listed blockchain development as one of their skills. 

Networking: Participation in Forums, Conferences, and Developer Meetups

Conferences and events are the perfect place to meet and network with blockchain developers. These events offer a unique opportunity to connect with developers, learn about the latest trends and technologies, and build relationships with industry leaders. Attending these events can also help you stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the fast-changing blockchain industry.

First of all, explore Meetups in your area (or the area that you target for sourcing). If you can’t attend an event in person, you can look through the list of attendees and try to find them on other platforms to connect with. 

If you’re ready for some traveling, here are some of the popular Web3 and blockchain development events that you should consider attending:

Conclusion

In conclusion, finding and hiring the right blockchain developers is essential for the success of any blockchain project. 

As the talent landscape in Web3 continues to evolve, companies must be prepared to adapt their talent acquisition strategies and stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and platforms. As new blockchain platforms and protocols emerge, the required skill set for developers may change. This may involve investing in ongoing training and development for existing developers, as well as actively seeking out new talent from emerging markets and communities. 

The decentralized nature of blockchain projects means that developers may be located all over the world. Companies should also be open to remote work and flexible schedules to accommodate the needs of decentralized development teams.

Sourcing for blockchain developers is a challenging task. However, with the right approach and mindset, it’s also an exciting opportunity. By leveraging various channels and platforms, you can find the right talent and make your blockchain project a success.

Article by:
Senior Tech Talent Sourcer at Matchr
Senior Tech Talent Sourcer at Matchr
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