So you want a job in blockchain...
Blockchain - the technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies - is the hottest buzzword on the planet right now (aside from Chloe Kim). As we reported last week, established companies are doubling down on the technology, with IBM ($NYSE:IBM) taking a lead role in hiring. Today we take a look at what kind of blockchain jobs are being created, and what skills are in demand.
A lot of these listings read like somebody's boss said, "By the way, what are we doing with Blockchain?"
The #1 listing is, unsurprisingly, the most generic: Blockchain Developer, which pretty much covers just about any sort of coding involving blockchain. The other top five titles are fairly general as well. After the table, we'll take a look at a few specifics.
(Note: Thinknum job listing data is tracked on a daily basis, so these totals represent "job-listing days", rather than individual hires.)
|Job title||# of listings|
|Senior QA Engineer (Blockchain)||262|
|EU Information Security Engineer - Rakuten Blockchain Lab||212|
|Blockchain Business Expert||180|
|Senior Blockchain Developer||178|
|Blockchain Application Developer / Architect||161|
|Manager, Blockchain Solution Architect, Advisory, PI – ITA||141|
|Software Engineer - Graduate and Placement position - Rakuten Blockchain Lab||141|
|Blockchain Software Engineer||137|
|Sr Community Manager and Blockchain Evangelist||135|
|Vice President of Business Development - Blockchain||133|
|Innovation Expert - Blockchain Lead||112|
|Blockchain Tech Lead||106|
|(Junior) Platform Developer for SAP Blockchain Job||105|
|Blockchain Center of Excellence Lead||103|
|Senior Sw engineer - BlockChain||103|
|SW Engineer - BlockChain||103|
|Application Developer - Java - Blockchain - CIB Fixed Income Spread Technology - London - VP||102|
|(Senior) Frontend Developer & UI / UX Designer for Blockchain Team Job||99|
|IT Blockchain Engineer||99|
|Principal Program Manager - Blockchain Applications - Oracle Public Cloud||99|
|Praktikum ab Oktober 2017 im Bereich Digitalisierung & Blockchain in Stuttgart||98|
|Principal Blockchain Software Engineer - Oracle Public Cloud||97|
|New Grad - Research, BlockChain (PhD)||94|
|Staff Software Engineer, Rakuten Blockchain Lab||84|
|Software Engineer, Blockchain Tech Internship, Corp - Summer 2017||83|
|Sr Principal Architect / Developer - Blockchain||80|
|Application Developer - Java - Blockchain - CIB Fixed Income Spread Technology - London - Associate||79|
|CIB Operations (Derivatives Ops) - Blockchain Business Analyst - Bournemouth - Associate||79|
|Intern - Research, Blockchain (PhD)||79|
|JR0035864 - PSD BlockChain Security Development Engineer||79|
|(Senior) Developer - Blockchain Team Job||77|
|Principal Blockchain Application Developer - Oracle Public Cloud||76|
|(Junior) Developer - Blockchain Team Job||75|
|Business Developer - Blockchain Team Job||71|
|DevOps Engineer, Rakuten Blockchain Lab||71|
|Senior Software Engineer, Rakuten Blockchain Lab||71|
|Blockchain and Java Developer||70|
|Global Innovation Blockchain Product Manager||70|
|Global Innovation Blockchain Solution Architect - Manager||70|
|Industry Value Advisor- IoT-Blockchain-AI-Whitepapers-Publications Job||70|
|(Senior) Business Developer - Blockchain Team Job||69|
|Senior Programmer / Developer - Technical Leader – PLATFORM - BlockChain||69|
|Senior Trade Commercial and Risk Underwriter - SCF, TF and Blockchain||68|
|Content Marketer - Blockchain||67|
IBM seems to have a reasonably clear idea of what they're doing, and what they're looking for. In this listing for a Research Scientist at the IBM Center for Blockchain Innovation, for instance, skillset requirements are specific:
You will be joining IBM Research to advance industry transformations using Blockchain technologies working with research colleagues around the world. This effort will involve working actively with clients across different industries such as Finance, Trade, and Commerce to explore how Blockchains can transform as well as create new opportunities. You will help create new digital Blockchain platforms and business networks in support of these key industry transformations. New information models that leverage distributed ledgers, security models that meet industry requirements while maintaining data integrity, confidentiality and privacy, smart contract libraries and templates that support multi-party business processes, cognitive analytics and services to generate breakthrough insights, new scale-ready deployment architectures and infrastructure to enable global business networks are some of the many ways in which you will be able to help transform industries and be part of a unique team of top talent.
...The Research Scientist position requires a PhD in Computer Science or Electrical Engineering or Other engineering background with research record and commitment in one or more of the following areas – distributed systems and applications, cloud computing, performance modeling and analysis with focus on scalability, cryptography and trusted computing —and preferably knowledge in any of the industry domains such as finance, trade, supply chain management and commerce.
We invite junior research scientists from universities as well as senior research scientists with industry experience.
On the other hand, a lot of these listings read like somebody's boss said, "By the way, what are we doing with Blockchain?" And they swallowed hard, thought fast, and said, "Oh, we're hiring a team right now to jump all over that!"
Consider this listing from Invesco ($NYSE:IVZ), a publicly traded asset management firm handling $830 billion:
Do your thoughts and passions reside at the intersection of technology, financial services, and innovation? Invesco is a global asset management firm whose sole purpose is to help people get more out of life through a superior investment experience. We’re seeking a Blockchain Developer to join our Disruptive Technology team who can envision the next great technological innovations in the asset management world. Someone who wants to work on cutting edge Financial Technologies (aka FinTech) that will ultimately yield significant benefits for Invesco. Spearhead innovation leveraging the latest tools and technologies to introduce leading edge products and services to market, as well as foster new ways of working.
Key Responsibilities / Duties:
- Play, Explore, Hack, Break things, and Fix them so that they’re better and more useful...
And then, there are the hyper-specific, hyper-directed listings. For example, some of the folks who brought you Netscape and Mozilla are working on a new browser, Brave ($BRAVESOFTWARE), and are planning on using blockchain to run what they're calling a Basic Attention Token. "It is a utility token based on the Ethereum technology that can also be used as a unit of account between advertisers, publishers, and users in a new, blockchain-based digital advertising and services platform."
So they're looking for engineers with experience in blockchain, particularly Etherium:
The primary task is the development of an open decentralized blockchain-based ads ecosystem, involving user contributions, attention rewards, and publisher contributions over several phases. The first phase will include transition of our existing Bitcoin based proof-of-concept, so familiarity with Bitcoin is a plus.
The ideal candidate will have previously worked with distributed applications, have extensive familiarity with Ethereum and related blockchain technologies including smart contracts (especially ERC-20 tokens), sidechains, and state channels. They must be well versed in the current best practices surrounding smart contract development and be able to rigorously test and verify contract code.
One of the key things about blockchain: It allows global transactions to take place without a trusted intermediary. It's therefore not too surprising that a lot of the companies that currently act as trusted intermediaries - banking houses like Goldman Sachs and consulting firms like Ernst & Young ($EY) - are getting into blockchain in a big way (more on this later).
EY's advertisement for a Manager, Blockchain Solution Architect reads more like a wishlist:
The responsibility of the Solution Architect/Technical Leader is to turn requirements for Blockchain-based products into architected solutions to enable high-value offerings in one or more of our Service Lines...
...Blockchain technology is a complex emerging capability that is far from mature. Above and beyond any of the “essential” skills for this job, you must have a love of learning and experimentation with new technologies and a passion for learning by doing and leading by example. If you consider yourself an open source enthusiast, a hobbyist in development or a best in class Solution Architect with a desire to gain knowledge in an emerging market, please apply.
...Ideally, you’ll also have
Past work experience in blockchain technology, encryption, or distributed peer-to-peer systems.
Knowledge of numerous well-documented patterns and techniques for filling in the intentional gaps left in the Blockchain development approach (example: numerous Burn-down techniques, numerous Retrospective formats, handling bugs, etc.)
Blockchain experience is not a requirement; a self-starter, a passionate enthusiast for advanced technology, and a self-taught developer or programmer, who can work in an environment and embrace on the job learning of Blockchain is needed
Excitement for and passion around disruption, technological change, and, ideally, Blockchain technology