Blockchain Development: A Complete Walkthrough for Beginners [Updated 2022]
Technology is getting advanced with each passing day. Our daily life is incomplete and seems impossible without technology. We interact with many devices throughout the day, generating several GBs of data being stored on centralized servers of tech giants. This data can be hacked, changed, and misused by anyone if they get authorized or unauthorized access to these servers. This is where the Blockchain become handy. This article will discuss blockchain technology, blockchain development, and the path that leads you towards it. Stay tuned, and keep learning.
What is Blockchain?
As its name depicts, Blockchain is a chain of digital records with a time-stamp on each, linked together through cryptography. It has revolutionized how the world handles data and does business. Blockchain offers a level of security as nobody can temper the blocks in a chain. It was initially created to support Bitcoin, but due to the versatility and security that it offers, it has been adopted by many business and government sectors.
Benefits of Blockchain:
Blockchain technology has the following benefits:
- Decentralization: The most significant yet crucial benefit of Blockchain is the decentralization of data. In a blockchain, all the nodes in a network have a copy of data, and no data is stored on a centralized server. This way, even if the hackers break into the network and change information in one node, the other nodes have the original data.
- Transparency: Another crucial feature of Blockchain is its ability to simultaneously make the data accessible for each member.
- Trust: Whenever there is an intrusion, all the nodes vote for the blocks they think are authentic. This way, any attack on the network is impossible, and due to this feature, many organizations worldwide are moving to Blockchain.
- Security: As stated earlier, in Blockchain, it is difficult for intruders to attack and change any information as all of it is secured through cryptography.
Now that we know what Blockchain is, let's explore blockchain development.
Blockchain development refers to creating blockchains for different applications using different blockchain technologies. It has been an emerging field in recent years and has loads of scope in the job market. Lots of people are pursuing a career in Blockchain development.
Blockchain Development Process:
Blockchain development is a four-step process:
Step 1: Identifying the Problem and Goal:
At this step, you need to identify the problem and state it. Make a list of requirements that your blockchain system needs to address. During the process of problem identification, you should make sure you really need to implement a blockchain. After realizing that your business needs Blockchain, choosing the right Blockchain platform is the next step.
Step 2: Choosing the Best-suited Blockchain Platform:
To create a Blockchain application without starting from scratch, you will need a blockchain platform. Many blockchain platforms are used for different purposes. Here are some platforms you can choose from based on functionality:
- Hyperledger Fabric: An open-source blockchain platform best suited for enterprise level applications. The Hyperledger fabric supports the distributed ledger solutions on permissioned networks. All the participants in such a network have authorized identities. It can enhance the resilience of Blockchain architecture and make it more flexible. It also supports smart contracts calling it Chaincode. If you plan to build a Blockchain-based solution for your enterprise that would not be public, Hyperledger Fabric would be best.
- Hyperledger Sawtooth: Hyperledger Sawtooth is quite similar to Hyperledger fabric, except that it uses Proof of Elapsed Time, a consensus algorithm. In the proof of elapsed time strategy, all the participants will have to wait for a specified amount of time. The participant who first completes the waiting time becomes the leader of the new block.
- Ethereum: An open-source, public, and general programming platform that features the functionality of smart contracts. It uses the Proof of Work algorithm to make it difficult for attackers to attack the Blockchain.
Choosing the right blockchain platform is crucial, as the success and failure of a project depend upon the platform you use.
Step 3: Blockchain Ideation:
Now that you have identified the problem and chosen the platform, it is time to brainstorm and find the solution. In this step, you should formulate, and identify the use cases, decide the components to be added to on-chain and off-chain entities, choose between a permissioned or permissionless network and choose a programming language, external databases, and servers for the application.
Step 4: Develop a Proof of Concept:
In this step, you need to demonstrate the rationality of your Blockchain. You can do it either through theoretical build-up or using a prototype.
- Theoretical Build-up: To make the end-users understand the viability and productivity of a product, every project has some theoretical cases. To create Proof of Concept via theoretical build-up, create project proposals explaining different aspects of the project and product.
- Prototype: A prototype is a dummy of the product that you are working on. It can be a mockup, sketches, information architecture, and the tested product. When all the stakeholders have approved the prototypes and theoretical build-up, you can start developing the Blockchain by designing the user interface for each software component.
A person responsible for developing blockchains is called a blockchain developer. Blockchain developers can be categorized in the following types:
- Core Blockchain Developers: The core blockchain developers are responsible for handling security conventions, making high-level decisions such as designing the blockchain and consensus protocol, and deciding the Blockchain architecture.
- Blockchain Software Developers: Blockchain software developers (also known as decentralized application developers), simply develop blockchain applications. They are not different from the typical software developers except that they create decentralized applications (DAPPS).
Responsibilities of Blockchain Developers:
Besides the specific responsibilities of core blockchain developers and blockchain software developers, there are some general responsibilities, which are as follows:
- Designing the protocols
- Designing the network architecture
- Backend development according to the protocols
- Front-end designing based on client's requirements
- Developing the smart contracts
How to Become a Blockchain Developer?
If you have decided to make Blockchain development your profession, be ready to dive into the streams of new and unique challenges and problems. To become a blockchain developer, you need consistency and determination, as it is a bit hard to be one. When you decide to become a blockchain developer, there could be two scenarios:
- You are an absolute beginner with zero programming knowledge
- You are an experienced programmer but new to the world of Blockchain
In each case, you will have to take different paths to become a Blockchain developer:
1. For Beginners:
If you are new to programming, this section is for you! Here is a step by step guide for you that leads you to Blockchain development:
- Learn Blockchain Basics: You need to start your journey by learning what Blockchain is, why it is needed and how it works. You should understand the story behind its development. Learn about Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, Blockchain technologies, and other basics, stay active in different Blockchain forums and join Blockchian developers' groups on Social Media and other platforms. Doing this will make it easy for you to understand the complexities of Blockchain.
- Learn about Blockchain Development: A blockchain developer is actually responsible for creating blockchain applications using smart contracts. To develop smart contracts, you need to learn the Solidity Code. CryptoZombies and Space Doggos are the two best courses to learn Solidity.
- Take Blockchain Development Courses: After learning all the relevant skills that are required to become a blockchain developer, the last thing you need to do is take the blockchain development courses to master the core skill. Over the Internet, there are hundreds of courses available on different platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, Pluralsight, etc. Take multiple courses to enhance your skills. Once you have learned everything, start applying for blockchain developer positions.
2. For Experienced Programmers:
If you have been working in a company for quite a while now and the company is willing to pay for your upskilling to become a blockchain developer, you can avail that offer. Or, if you want to upskill yourself independently, you can just take some Blockchain development courses to get started.
In this article, we have covered different aspects of Blockchain development. Blockchain development is an excellent choice to be successful in today's world. Blockchain is an emerging technology with the best security adopted by businesses and government bodies for secure and decentralized data handling. It has a great future ahead. Thank you for reading the article. We hope you found it helpful and enjoyed it!