12 Mar 2019
Until recently, Hong Kong had been left behind in matters of technology and innovation. Other Asian cities including Singapore and Shenzhen surged ahead. However, in recent years the Hong Kong Government has tried to push the technology sector forward and the results are evident.
In fact, the number of tech startups in Hong Kong increased by almost 24% in just one year between 2015 to 2016. Unicorns like BitMEX, GoGoVan, and Klook have inspired many tech entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses.
As the tech scene in Hong Kong continues to thrive, it is becoming home to startups that are experimenting with cutting-edge technologies. Blockchain technology is one such major technology trend that has found a welcoming home in Hong Kong.
Blockchain technology works on the principle of a distributed ledger. All transactions are recorded in a decentralized manner in the blockchain which makes them transparent and tamper-proof. As a result, blockchain technology can transform the nature of transactions in a number of industries including finance, telecom, real estate, and supply chain.
A blockchain developer is simply a software engineer who specializes in blockchain technology. A full-stack developer who is well versed in Python or C++ can become a blockchain developer with specialized training. If you are a fresher, you need to start by learning the basics of computer programming first.
Across the world today, the demand for blockchain developers is at an all-time high. In fact, “blockchain developer” topped Linkedin’s list of emerging jobs in 2018. According to a survey by Paysa, blockchain developers are among the highest paid developers in any professional field.
In a survey by Breaker, Hong Kong was listed as one of the top 10 blockchain cities in the world. Hong Kong is now home to a number of blockchain jobs, startups, Venture Capitalists, and even global blockchain investors. Organizations like the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Blockchain society are important initiatives that promote blockchain in the city. Given the demand for blockchain in the city, it’s a great time to start a career in blockchain technology in Hong Kong.
While the scope of a career in blockchain is fantastic, you need to have certain skills to become a good blockchain developer. A degree in computer science can surely help but it is not mandatory at all. In fact, many of the best blockchain developers are actually college dropouts. As long as you are ready to work on building the technical skills needed to become a blockchain developer, you will get there.
To become a blockchain developer, Python and C++ are the two languages that are key. You need to master at least one of them thoroughly to become a good blockchain developer.
In terms of writing smart contracts, which run on the blockchain, learning Solidity is essential. For example Ethereum, one of the most popular blockchains, uses Solidity as the language of choice.
You need to have a basic understanding of data structures like Queues, Stack, Tree, LinkedList, and Hedera HashMaps. It’s also important for a blockchain developer to have an understanding of different architectures like MVC, MVVM, Microservices, and Document-View Architecture. This understanding helps you figure out the differences between conventional architecture and the decentralized architecture on which blockchain is based.
Most blockchain projects are built on an open-source blockchain platform, usually either Hyperledger or Ethereum. It’s important to understand how these platforms operate to be able to work on blockchain projects.
Other important skills that are useful to have included web development skills like Node.js, HTML, and CSS. MongoDB, and knowledge of networking and security.
Blockchain technology is still very nascent. As a result, there are very few University degrees or courses, especially in Hong Kong that can help you acquire the technical skills needed to become a blockchain developer.
If you want to become a blockchain developer, you will be in one of these two positions. Either you are already a software engineer and have a fair bit of programming knowledge. Or you are a complete fresher and are looking to start from scratch and become a blockchain developer.
If you’re a fresher and don’t have any knowledge about computer programming, you will need to start from scratch. A great way to do this would be by attending a full-time or part-time course on the fundamentals of computer programming. You can go to Xccelerate’s full-time immersive software engineering course. If you’re looking for a part-time option, you can do either their Coding for Absolute Beginners or Python Fundamentals course.
There are a number of blockchain developer jobs in Hong Kong and lots of pioneering blockchain startups that are breaking new ground with their blockchain projects.
Blockchain finance careers are in vogue right now. In fact, the Government has recently tried to encourage more blockchain developers to relocate to Hong Kong because finance companies are expecting a major skills shortage. Many of the blockchain companies in finance are currently startups. These include crypto trading platforms like BitMEX, Gatecoin, and ANXPRO as well as payment firms including OK Link and BitSpark. So if you’re looking for a blockchain startup career, fintech is the sector to be in.
The scope of a career in blockchain is massive. Blockchain technology is being used to solve many cutting-edge problems in technology all over the world. From tech giants like IBM and Microsoft to finance stalwarts like Mastercard, everyone is experimenting with blockchain.
Since the technology is still very nascent, most companies are still in the implementation stage when it comes to their blockchain projects. This means you will be able to get in at the very cusp of innovation if you become a blockchain developer today. As these projects scale up, blockchain will become one of the most commonly used technologies. There will be larger teams working on companies forefront projects. You can even lead teams and become a blockchain architect as you gather more experience.
Blockchain technology is one of the most cutting-edge technologies across the world today. Given the niche and nascent nature of this technology, there is a huge demand-supply gap when it comes to blockchain developers. This is true all over the world but especially in Hong Kong. Most Hong Kong-based startups are looking abroad to hire blockchain developers.
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