What Is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a database that allows digital information storage in different locations. The stored information becomes very difficult to change. Although, the network of computers in the Blockchain updates it from time to time. It also checks the copies of the database often. This is to ensure that the information on these computers doesn’t change.
Blockchain is the driving technology behind digital currencies. It powers Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, and over 1,500 other cryptocurrencies. Apart from its use in digital currencies, people are exploring other uses for the technology. This explains the increasing demand for Blockchain development and developers.
How Does Blockchain Work?
The records on a blockchain joined together to form blocks. They are then added to the chain one at a time.
When a transaction occurs between two people, the record will list its details. This includes a digital signature from both parties.
The network will check the record for accuracy through the nodes. These are the computers that make up the network. They confirm the validity or otherwise of the transaction. This ensures that a blockchain is a database of credible information only.
Once the network accepts records, they are all added to a block. Each of the blocks contains a hash, a unique code. The hash of the preceding block is also stored in the block.
Once the block stores the necessary information, it becomes a part of the Blockchain. The blocks are then connected together in a given order through the hash codes.
What Are The Uses Of Blockchain?
Blockchain is a special database of valid information. So, people are using Blockchain technology for different purposes. Some of the areas of application are:
Blockchain is the technology powering digital currencies. Without it, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other Altcoins wouldn’t exist.
This technology makes medical history available to patients more than ever before. With it, patients can store and control information about their health. Other medical practitioners can have access to it wherever they are.
3. Property Records
Keeping a record of real estate has not been easier than now. Real estate companies and individuals can store their property records on Blockchain. Once the transaction is recorded and stored on the Blockchain, it becomes unchangeable. The process is fast, easy, and more affordable than the conventional method.
Financial institutions are also leveraging the power of Blockchain. They are using it to simplify record-keeping. As a larger and more accurate ledger, keeping records of payments has never been easier.
The Blockchain’s content cannot be altered or manipulated. So, electoral commissions can use the technology to create election results. It can also store voters’ information to ensure its credibility.
Blockchain Development Explained
Blockchain development refers to developing blockchain-based applications. Blockchain technology will cause a massive disruption globally. This includes governance, finance, healthcare, and other sectors. This tech is capable of making processes, businesses and information flow. It does so by making them more secure, transparent, and reliable. Developers can use it to create new business models or find new and more convenient ways of doing things.
Businesses and organizations can use blockchain-based applications to streamline their processes. This should lead to improved productivity.
Blockchain Development Programs
Blockchain developers use a wide range of programs. Some of the best tools for creating disruptive Blockchain-based applications are:
Truffle is a special suite for developing smart contracts. Its developers want to make blockchain development a lot easier with the tool. So, Blockchain developers can build decentralized applications easy and quick. These are applications that don’t depend on any platform to run once they are launched on Ethereum Blockchain.
Developers can use tools such as Chai and Mocha to conduct automated tests through Truffle. The tool also includes support for a library that provides custom deployments. This make new contracts simple. The library also links complex Ethereum applications.
This powerful Blockchain development program has these features:
- An interactive console that makes direct contract communication possible.
- Network Management that is useful for both private and public networks.
- Built-in smart contract deployment, compilation, and linking.
- Binary management.
- Assets reconstructions during development.
- Mocha and Chain for automated contract testing.
- External script runner for executing scripts.
Embark is another program for developing Ethereum decentralized applications. This framework enables developers to develop and deploy such applications with ease.
It can also be used to develop serverless HTML5 applications that are driven by decentralized technologies.
With Embark, you can create new smart contracts with ease in JS code. Once you update the contract, the tool will alter contracts and related Dapps to reflect the change.
Developers can also use Embark to change a smart contract’s location with ease. It redeploys smart contracts when necessary. In the process, it watches for changes and takes necessary action.
React, Angular, and Meteor are some web development languages for interacting with the Embark platform. Gulp and grunt are other alternatives.
A wallet is fundamental to using Ethereum. Developers need a safe place for storing their Ether tokens. Especially when developing new decentralized applications. Mist offers them a secure holding space. It was designed as the official Ethereum wallet by core Ethereum developers.
It is also an important tool for developing smart contracts. These are special applications powered by Blockchain technology. Smart contracts can be used in almost all areas of life. Health, insurance, real estate, and Internet can all be powered by this technology. Mist is a full node wallet. So, a developer must download the full Ethereum blockchain. This is over one terabyte of data.
The cross-platform tool is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux users. The tool can run on either 32- or 64-bit Linux. This is also the same for developers using either the 32- or 64-bit Windows versions.
The software will provide you with valuable information about the Ethereum blockchain. It will also give you info on its numerous uses. This will all occur once you are done with the installation. Next, you can decide to use the main blockchain or the test one. The latter is the ideal option if you want to test out the Ethereum blockchain.
After making your choice, choose a password. Ensure you create a very strong and difficult to break password from the beginning. Once you set it, it cannot be changed, ever again.
Each time you want to send Ether, you must enter the password. That’s the final confirmation. So, don’t forget it. You can have it saved somewhere safe and secure for easy reference.
Developers used this object-oriented programming language to write Ethereum-based applications and smart contracts.
Geth also works with Ethereum Blockchain. Developers use it for inputting commands on Ethereum. It is also used for executing some specific functions on Go.
Geth has three interfaces. They are:
- Json-Rpc Server
- Command and subcommand options
- An interactive console.
Developers can perform an array of functions on Geth. This includes:
- Transferring tokens from one address to another.
- Mining to get Ether tokens.
- Ability to go through the block’s history.
- Smart contract creation.
Mac, Linux, and Windows platforms support Geth. After launching it, you can connect to an existing blockchain. You can also create another one from scratch.
First, a developer has to start running Geth. Then, the tool will download the Ethereum Blockchain immediately. This process could take a long time, sometimes up to several days. So, you should store the data on an external disc.
How To Become A Blockchain Developer
The Blockchain industry is a fast growing one. There is an increasing demand for more developers to explore the potentials hidden in the technology.
Are you are interested in becoming a Blockchain developer? If so, there are certain things you need to consider to make the journey a smooth one.
Here are some tips that will give you a head start in the field of Blockchain development:
1. Know how Blockchain Works
As a Blockchain developer, it is imperative that you understand how the technology works. This makes building a system with it easier. It is also important to understand potential problems that may undermine the system.
Do you want a better understanding of how Blockchain works? Study a wide range of ICOs and the Blockchain powering them. Each system has its unique attributes. As you study the different Blockchain technologies, you’ll be better equipped to build within the ecosystem.
2. Understand Cryptography
You can’t separate Blockchain from Cryptography, they go hand in hand. You can’t develop a functional Blockchain if you have zero knowledge of cryptography. Understanding cryptography will make it easier to build your own unique currency or program on the Blockchain.
Cryptography also determines how your system works, and how businesses deploy it. So, when developing a Blockchain program, make it efficient, simple, and effective. Keep this in mind when incorporating cryptography into your system.
3. Stay Up-to-Date about New Development
Blockchain is a new technology. As such, it keeps developing and evolving. The rate at which it evolves also makes it quite unpredictable. Developers need to stay updated to learn about new developments in the industry.
Here’s A Step-By-Step Plan To Becoming A Credible Blockchain Developer:
1. Define Your Goals
To have a prominent career in Blockchain development, it is important to set and define your goals from the outset. This is where a lot of developers miss it, they jump in without any real goals and end up messing up. What is your motivation? What real life problems are you looking to solve? These are some of the questions you need to ask before going into the world of Blockchain development.
2. Pick a Blockchain of Your Choice
You don’t have to know all the existing Blockchains before you become a developer. Ethereum and Bitcoin Blockchains are the most popular. You can study them and pick one.
Ethereum is designed for writing smart contracts and decentralized applications. This is why many developers prefer it to other Blockchains.
3. Learn about current Ethereum’s Decentralized Applications
The Ethereum blockchain has several decentralized applications. Learn more about the ones that interest you. Currently, there are over 2,000 applications on Ethereum Blockchain. The figure continues to grow as developers create more apps daily. Visit DappRadar or StateOfTheDapp for a complete list of the existing applications. Pick some of these apps and study them. You could find unique ideas about what solutions to build on the Blockchain network.
4. Study Ethereum
Pay close attention to the Ethereum Blockchain. It is the foundation for Dapps and smart contracts. Understanding the basics of the Ethereum Blockchain will make your journey as a developer easier and faster.
Read the Ethereum white paper, written by Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum. It is a great place to start. To understand Blockchain better, read Gavin Wood’s Ethereum Yellow Paper too.
5. Study the Existing Development Programs and Libraries
You can’t develop Dapps and smart contracts without some important programs. On top of this list are Metamask, Solidity, Truffle and many more. Learn as much as you can about these programs.
6. Learn Solidity and Smart Contract
Developers use smart contracts to build decentralized applications. They use Solidity to write smart contracts. So, to develop any of these applications, you must know Solidity.
You can start with CryptoZombies. This game will help you learn the basics of Solidity. It will teach you how to use smart contracts to create zombies. This is a good starting point for prospective Blockchain developers.
Solidity Documentation is another piece you should consider reading. It has comprehensive information about Solidity. Developers update it from time to time. This is to ensure readers have access to up-to-date information.
7. Build your Own Decentralized Application
This is where you can use everything you’ve learned so far. If you are familiar with Ethereum Blockchain and smart contract, you can build a Dapp of your own.
Here are some ideas on how to put your knowledge to work:
- Ethereum Dapps in Motion
- EatTheBlocks Pro
- Ivan On Tech Academy
Once you have created one or two Dapps, you can go ahead and apply for a job as a Blockchain developer.
8. Apply for Jobs
You can visit job boards and apply for available blockchain openings.
Submit your application on the following job boards:
- Cointelegraph Jobs.
You can also search through relevant online communities for Blockchain-related offers.
9. Let the Community Help You
As a newbie developer, you may come across some challenges, don’t get deterred. There are tons of online communities with developers that can help you when you’re stuck. Examples of such include: Reddit, GitHub, IEEE, and Medium. Join these communities. Read old threads, post your questions, and get interactive.
Blockchain is positioned to transform the world through decentralized applications and smart contracts. The industry as a whole is still in its infancy stage, and evolving. Soon, corporations and countries will start building relevant applications on Blockchain. This will be to provide real world solutions in an efficient way.