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Guide: How to hire the best Web3 developer?

7 minutes

How to choose a Blockchain/Web3 Development? The most important rule is to come prepared.

1. Understand what your project needs

2. Know who you are looking for

3. Understand pay rate

4. Know where to look

These four steps will increase your chances of landing the most suitable developer for your needs. Not all developers have the right experience and skills to create proper and secure blockchain solutions. So, it is essential to maximize your chances of finding the best blockchain developer for your project.

5 questions to ask yourself to understand what you need

  1. What does my Web3 project seek to achieve?
  2. Why do I need a blockchain developer?
  3. Do I know anything about blockchain development?
  4. How much oversight do I want? 
  5. What is my budget?

Answering these questions will give you a better understanding of what to look for in potential candidates. For example, if your project is all about building a new blockchain protocol, you would need to hire a core blockchain developer. If your current need is to build an off-chain component for a decentralized app (dApp) for let’s say crypto swapping, you would need a blockchain application developer. Alternatively, If you want to build something requiring a smart contract, i.e. DeFi, Metaverse, or NFT, you would need a smart contract engineer. Let’s review each type.

Types of Web3 Developers

Core blockchain developer

Who are they? Core blockchain developers develop and maintain the architecture of blockchain systems. They design protocols, develop security patterns, and supervise the network. 

Essential requirements for core a blockchain developer. The developer must understand blockchain technology, blockchain primitives, data structures, smart contracts, cryptography, interoperability, and blockchain architecture. They must have excellent knowledge of several programming languages: one or two back-end programming languages such as Java, Python, Go, and Solidity, and at least one front-end language like JavaScript.

List of qualifications for Core Blockchain Developers

  • Proficiency in one or more modern programming languages (e.g. Javascript/ Go / Python)
  • Experience in designing and building distributed systems and networks
  • Strong familiarity with cryptography
  • Strong knowledge of public blockchains
  • Understanding of complex data structures and algorithms

Blockchain Application Developers

Who are they? Blockchain software developers build applications in existing blockchains. They handle front-end and back-end development and maintenance. Most suitable for developing applications in DeFi, Exchange (CEX/DEX), Metaverse & NFT, GameFi & Play-to-earn, and Cross-Chain Bridge.

Essential requirements for a blockchain application developer. They work with numerous languages and operating systems. Blockchain application developers must know how to work on the backend of the software development process and how to make apps decentralized and distributed. Hiring app developers with fieldwork experience with languages such as C++ or Java.

List of core qualifications for Blockchain Application Developers

  • Experience in building complex on-chain interactions and systems (e.g., multi-contract calls, oracles, DeFi protocol functionality)
  • Proficiency in one or more modern programming languages
  • Experience with one or more front-development frameworks (e.g., React, Angular)
  • Experience with cloud infrastructure services (e.g., Amazon, Google, Microsoft)
  • Distributed computing experiences (e.g., Kafka, RabbitMQ, etc)
  • Knowledge of using Docker and Vagrant

Smart Contract Engineers

Who are they? Blockchain developers are responsible for developing or updating smart contracts and ensuring smooth flow and security. Most suitable for developing smart contracts in DEX, DeFi, Metaverse & NFT, GameFi & Play-to-earn, and Cross-Chain Bridge.

Essential requirements for core a smart contract engineer. They must know how to write, review, and maintain smart contract code written in one or more programming languages such as Solidity, Rust, Python, Haskel, etc.

List of core qualifications for Smart Contract Engineers

  • Experience in developing smart contracts on EVN or non-EVM blockchains
  • Deep experience in Solidity, or other programming languages for smart contracts
  • Experience in at least one non-smart contract language for testing and integration (e.g., JavaScript, Rust, Java)
  • Experience in building complex on-chain interactions and systems (e.g., multi-contract calls, oracles, DeFi protocol functionality)

All types of Web3 developers should have a good understanding of encryption and security, as one of the strongest points of blockchain is increased system security. Finding a developer who can both build and protect is both challenging and expensive. After all, they must have a proven track record of implementing secure hash algorithms, encryption, and decryption techniques, public and private key concepts, and identifying rapidly changing vulnerabilities. For all matters related to security, we recommend that Web3 projects request external expertise from trusted auditors like Hacken.

Where to find Blockchain Developers

Community platforms: Stack Overflow Talent, GitHub Jobs, LinkedIn

Crypto platforms: Crypto jobs list, Cryptocurrency Jobs, Blocktribe

Remote-focused platforms: ARC, Toptal, We Work Remotely

General job platforms: Hired, Indeed, Glassdoor

Understand which kind of work relationship is more suitable for your needs, whether to hire full-time employees or outsource to external staff. There are different platforms for that. Moreover, you can outsource all your development needs to outsource companies, including Webisoft, Peiko, or Labrys.

Full-Time Staff vs Project-Based

Project-based option offers lower costs but less control over the quality of developers and less comprehensive interaction. The project-based option usually involves hiring a team of blockchain developers from third-party companies to complete your project. The method is less expensive as you do not have to house your development team, but you also lose control over operational processes.

Hire Locally vs Remote Staff

You can take the traditional route and find blockchain developers on the local market. You can post your job description on job search websites such as Indeed or Hired. On the other hand, the best way to find skilled developers is to search for specialists in communities and on professional websites. Hiring locally is the most direct method but in most cases, it can be expensive based on blockchain developer salaries in your local market. 

Hiring full-time staff may be quite expensive due to recruiting and onboarding costs and the entire hiring process may take longer than desired. Using this option also means that you have to provide other human resource benefits such as medical benefits, sick leave, paid vacation, etc.

Freelance Developers

Another option involves hiring a freelance developer via platforms such as Upwork, Toptal, ARC, etc. This is a less expensive method due to active developer competition in the freelancer market, but it can be very risky for the company. The quality of work you can get is at stake since freelancer skills can be highly variable and freelancer communication skills and work performance are usually inconsistent.

Blockchain Developer Salary

Freelance RateJuniorMid-LevelSenior
United States$73$73,419$102,029$143,047

Due to talent scarcity, the demand for blockchain developers is abnormally high. Developer rates are quite expensive. On average, hiring a blockchain developer in Europe and US can cost you between $70,000 and $140,000+ as per Indeed.com. The cost of labor is significantly lower in less developed countries, but the quality of professionals may vary too.

In the US, companies spend an average of $130,000 annually for experienced blockchain developers. In Europe, the average base salary per year ranges between $45,000 and $80,000. Employers in Australia are willing to pay between $90,000 and $120,000 annually. 

On the freelance market, average blockchain developer rates vary from 50 to 80$ per hour. Senior Web3 devs may cost up to 120$ per hour.

Recruitment Strategy 

With all the above information, finding a blockchain developer will not be so difficult. Here are some questions you can ask blockchain developers during the interview process in order to grasp their understanding of DLT. 

  • What is the Web3/blockchain/blockchain layer? How does blockchain work?
  • Blockchains that you worked with?
  • Define blockchain primitives, blocks, and a Merkle tree.
  • What do we mean by consensus algorithms?

The right blockchain developer should be aware of the basic trends in the blockchain industry, relevant protocols, vital programming languages, and software development, including the currently used tools. However, your main focus should be on their proven experience in working with Web3 projects. The perfect candidate for your organization should have at least 2-3 years of coding experience.

Blockchain development is rapidly growing in popularity, as more companies are willing to build their digital solutions with help of blockchain technology. However, finding experienced blockchain development specialists is a real challenge.

The process is cumbersome, but it’s worth the trouble. A fitting blockchain developer will help your project meet its key objectives and will pay off all the expenses with their contribution.

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