According to the report of San Francisco Chronicle, a wave of students from prestigious universities such as UC Berkeley have started to apply to cryptocurrency and blockchain companies. Experts expect new talents from colleges to make up for the lack of developers in the blockchain sector.
Lack of Talent
Previously, a study conducted by Ivey Business School professor JP Vergne revealed that the price trend of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum correlates with developer activity in the space. If more developments are made to a certain blockchain, the value of the cryptocurrency based on that blockchain is likely to increase in the short-term.
Over the past 12 months, the developer activity of cryptocurrencies and tokens have increased drastically, primarily due to a surge in interest and demand for blockchain technology from investors and the entrance of talents from the traditional technology and finance sectors to the cryptocurrency industry.
However, blockchain projects and even open-source development teams have struggled to find talented and experienced developers to create code within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. As a rapidly moving market with many billions of dollars being added to the valuation of market on a daily basis, it is evident that incentive is a non-issue. Rather, it is the level of coding experience and knowledge to deal with decentralized systems that is limiting the ability of organizations to recruit talent into the blockchain space.
Jimmy Song, a well-respected bitcoin developer and the principal architect of Paxos, explained:
“Just about every company that deals with bitcoin cannot recruit anywhere near the number of developers they need. These companies have considerable revenue and customer growth and would love to expand as soon as possible, but the main constraint is that they can’t find enough qualified people to develop. Many who had local-only policies have relaxed those requirements and now allow full-time remote bitcoin developers.”
For companies to hire full-time experienced developers and executives, they are required to go out of their way to provide extra incentive and benefits to lure talent from traditional sectors into the blockchain industry. As Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong emphasized, often, the best talents are not seeking for work because they are already happy where they are.
“Top performers in most industries aren’t looking for work. They are enjoying success where they are right now, or have a number of options available to them. Seek them out,” Armstrong said.
14 to 1
Shiva Kintali, a former Princeton lecturer, told the San Francisco Chronicle that college students may be able to enter the blockchain sector if they can acquire undergraduate degrees in computer science. As of current, the ratio of blockchain jobs to suitable talent is 14 to 1, so Kintali noted that the blockchain industry should be considered as a major opportunity for students studying computer science.
But, there exists a clear reason as to why the ratio still remains 14 to 1 and that is because blockchain companies are trying to recruit developers that are capable of building decentralized applications and protocols which is a skill that is completely different from conventional coding and development.
Rustie Lin, a member of a 90-person Blockchain at Berkeley club, said that the number of applicants for blockchain openings is increasing at a rapid rate.
“We had 800 applicants for 200 slots. Now we’re creating an online course so everyone can take it.” “When I joined the club, blockchain was still a niche. Then over the past couple of months, it blew up. Everywhere I go, people are talking about it.”