Breaking into the blockchain space

This is an ongoing journal of my journey into breaking into the blockchain space. My goals are to keep this honest, brief and to the point.

What do I mean by breaking into the blockchain space?

Breaking into the space means being able to secure blockchain-related work: 

  • architecting blockchain solutions
  • writing smart contracts
  • integrating web projects using web3 technologies.

Why do I want to break into the blockchain space?

  • There is a lot of money to be made. Blockchain engineers are in short supply, and demand for this kind of work is only increasing.
  • The new space attracts innovative projects, so there’s opportunity to work on interesting projects with interesting people.
  • Since the space is so fresh, there are many opportunities for building new tech products here. Working on real life projects is a good idea to learn about the gaps in the market.

Why am I writing this?

  • I like to write, but haven’t been inspired to in a while
  • The beginning of this journey was overwhelming (a lot of information, often out of date since the industry moves so fast), so writing this could be useful for some readers
  • I like trying out little projects, so I wanted to give myself the opportunity to see if I enjoyed writing about my journey. If I don’t, I’ll stop.

Where am I starting from?

I’ve been working in software development for a while, here’s a rundown of my experience that is relevant and useful to breaking into blockchain:

  • I’m an experienced software engineer (10+ years), who’s been specialising in Laravel/VueJS for the last 5+ years.
  • I’m a proponent of Test Driven Development
  • I’ve created a number of digital MVPs for myself (https://mindbeat.app, https://whichbeach.com.mt) and for others
  • I’m good at architecting technical solutions, and breaking them down into smaller parts in order to execute the development
  • I have been in charge of product management (from a technical standpoint)
  • I have grown and managed a tech team
  • I have experience as a lead developer, and head of tech
  • I have experience in leadership positions
  • I am a member of the Toptal network – relevant because I’ll be using it to find blockchain work (referral link: https://www.toptal.com/B7VK2z/worlds-top-talent)

When it comes to blockchain…

  • I was interested in Crypto and blockchain a few years back, and toyed around with some crypto investments, and learnt a lot about the technology and some of the problems it promised to solve
  • I was a founding member of the (now defunct and largely useless) Malta Blockchain Association
  • I have taken part in some blockchain related panels as a panel member and host
  • I lost interest for the last few years as I focused my attention on my startup, that I have since left

Recently I landed some contract work where I helped launch an online casino in the Metaverse. This required me to integrate the platform with some smart contracts that were custom developed for this project. My interest in blockchain has since been reignited, and I set myself the goal to break into the space myself.

What goals have I set for myself?

  • Learn as much as I can about the space (hard to measure, but necessary to set more tangible goals in the future)
  • Learn how to developer smart contracts in Solidity
  • Build up a portfolio of small projects to “learn by doing” and to be able to use the experience (and reputation) to build up to bigger and better ones

What is my current strategy?

  • Acquire the “Blockchain” Specialisation on Toptal so that I can start to find blockchain work easily
  • Read up on Solidity development, and follow tutorials online
  • Find my first jobs shipping real world smart contracts!

I’m actively working on this, and will write a follow up soon!