It\u2019s a good time to be a Blockchain engineer. If you haven\u2019t already become wealthy from investing wisely in Bitcoin, you\u2019ll become wealthy just doing your job. Of course, if you\u2019re hoping to hire a Blockchain developer, well\u2014the news is not so good. As you probably already know, demand for Blockchain developers has simply outpaced supply. There simply are not enough to go around. It makes sense; Blockchain is immensely popular: Don\u2019t forget that oft-cited Juniper Research statistic: Fifty-seven percent of large corporations are either actively considering or in the process of deploying the technology. It\u2019s also new, so not only are there not a lot of trained developers in the marketplace, but schools aren\u2019t minting them fast enough--if at all. University programs for computer science and the like have not yet incorporated Blockchain as part of their curricula, reports Block Discover, a company that analyzes cryptocurrencies, IPOs, and Blockchain startups. The number of Blockchain-related jobs posted in the U.S. in 2017 increased dramatically, according to CoinDesk. Citing data from Indeed.com, it reports that from November 2016 to November 2017, the number of job openings increased by 207 percent. The number posted between November 2015 and November 2017 grew 631 percent. None of this is unexpected. As early as 2016 companies were starting to scale back projects because they didn\u2019t have the skilled workforce, according to Bitcoin Magazine. That was also the case in 2017, when many Blockchain-based startups were forced to put projects on hold because they couldn\u2019t find the talent they needed, Block Discover reports. A July 2017 headline in JaxEnter asks, \u201cThe rise of Blockchain: Are we falling short of competence to unleash the technology?\u201d The answer appears to be \u201cyes, maybe.\u201d Compounding this shortage is the perennial challenge of developer turnover. Retaining developers, regardless of their area, can prove challenging. Stack Overflow\u2019s 2017 developer survey found that 75 percent of developers indicate they are either actively looking for new jobs or \u201copen to new opportunities.\u201d There\u2019s high demand and low supply in a field already famous for its churn rate. That\u2019s a frustrating situation, because without the right talent your Blockchain project will fail to launch. A Nice Payday If you want an experienced, skilled developer, you\u2019ll have to pay for it. Blockchain developers have been earning 25 to 50 percent more than similar full-stack developers will be able to earn without Blockchain experience, according to Block Discover. \u201cIs there a talent bubble? Yes. We haven\u2019t even seen it yet. There is an entirely new way for businesses to interact. It is awesome and, as this takes root, it will be revolutionary,\u201d says Jerry Cuomo, IBM\u2019s vice-president for Blockchain technology, quoted in Coin Telegraph. Keep in mind: This shortage won\u2019t last forever. Supply will begin to meet demand. \u201cRight now, there\u2019s this incredible opportunity where if you know blockchain, you are one in a million,\u201d Anne Connelly, Network Lead at ixo Foundation, tells the MBA@UNC blog. \u201cWhereas in a year or two, everybody\u2019s going to know what it is and how it works.\u201d But until then, you need to find the right Blockchain engineers to manage your project. But, even if you are willing to pay the premium, how do you know you are getting the right talent? Not Just Any Developer Will Do It\u2019s difficult to find the right people, and the precise skills you need will vary according to your company size, existing technology staff, the nature of your Blockchain project, etc. Overall, Fabric, Ripple and Solidity smart contract development will be in the highest demand, TechCrunch reports, citing data from Toptal, a freelance talent marketplace. One thing is certain: You need to be sure whomever you bring on board for blockchain development has the hard skills, the right mindset and the on-the-ground experience you need. Blockchain development requires proficiency in an array of areas, including app development, security, engineering and, of course, a solid understanding of code and programming: back-end and front-end developers, those who understand codebases such as Java, C++, Solidity, Python and, of course, Hyperledger Fabric. But keep in mind that all sorts of variables come into play. For example, if you are planning on creating a Blockchain, you need a blockchain full- stack developer. If you\u2019re just launching a dApp, then you probably want a developer who understands Ethereum\u2019s solidity. \u201cSaying that you are looking for a Blockchain developer is like saying that you are looking for an internet developer,\u201d according to a post on Blockchain Hub. As you are thinking about what skills to look for, it may be useful to hear what candidates are being told. Here\u2019s what Ethan Heilman, co-founder of Commonwealth Crypto, is advising candidates to do: Teach yourself. \u201cBlockchain for smart contract code is not very complicated, but not very many people understand it,\u201d he tells Dice. \u201cBeing able to say you\u2019ve written a solidity contract for the Ethereum Blockchain is a really huge thing.\u201d Along those lines, if your organization has the basic coding and engineering talent in place, you may want to train for Blockchain expertise. It\u2019s Not Magic: Grow Your Own Blockchain development isn\u2019t some esoteric skill set, inherently more difficult than other types of development. As Shidan Gouran, an angel investor with several Blockchain startups, told Bitcoin Magazine, \u201cYou don\u2019t have to be a cryptography wizard to understand how to develop a Blockchain; you just have to know how to use cryptographic protocols. That\u2019s something that people have been doing forever.\u201d To that end, many companies are hiring hire software engineers without much direct Blockchain experience, Dice reports. And think about it: You want to build capabilities within your company and avoid long-term external dependencies that can hurt efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Whether the problem is bandwidth, expertise or something else, you eventually need to get your in-house team up to speed. That\u2019s why it makes sense to train some of your current developers. Venture Beat points to the \u201cenormous opportunity for organizations to build up the skill sets within their companies.\u201d And that\u2019s just what larger organizations are doing. For example, IBM, among others, has built its own training center. Hatch Crypto, an Austin-based engineering incubator, launched a free Blockchain education program. The three-month training program is for current engineers and developers to learn the skills required to be blockchain-ready. Hatch recoups its investment when it places its students. And although Blockchain may not be part of the curriculum in many programs, JaxEnter reports that several universities around the world are collaborating with private companies to develop Blockchain-related courses. Culture and Collaboration Matters Having the right people with the right skills is only part of the solution. Maintaining a consistent team over time creates less waste and more efficiency. It allows your project to move forward at a steady pace. You need more than warm bodies that can code. You need trust and collaboration. That\u2019s because Blockchain ecosystems require coordinated multi-organizational chains of data. \u201cWithout confidence in the ability of everyone on the blockchain to develop and deliver reliable software, there could be a reluctance to use a Blockchain ecosystem,\u201d explains Adrian Daniels of Chef Software. The implication? Blockchain development can\u2019t be a solo gig. That\u2019s why organizations, including IBM, are embracing and advocating a DevOps approach. DevOps and Blockchain Were Made for Each Other Although many Blockchain developers work alone, the technology is really not cut out for the solo engineer. That\u2019s why DevOps, with its focus on cross-departmental integration and automation, is playing an increasingly important role in Blockchain development. As the name suggests \u2014 and as you already know \u2014 DevOps is a linguistic and operational mash up of \u201cdevelopment\u201d and \u201coperations.\u201d Like \u201cagile\u201d and \u201clean\u201d \u2014 both of which it somewhat resembles \u2014 it\u2019s a philosophy. Amazon has one of the most helpful definitions for the uninitiated: \u201cDevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization\u2019s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes. This speed enables organizations to better serve their customers and compete more effectively in the market.\u201d So, why is it so important to Blockchain? \u201cThe efficiency, quality and consistency that the adoption of DevOps provides is exactly what is required for traditional organizations looking to embrace leading-edge technology such as Blockchain,\u201d Andy Cureton, a DevOps consultant, explained in a recent ECS Digital blog post. Blockchain projects often have manual testing and deployment techniques. But Blockchain requires participation from members across an organization. A DevOps approach streamlines the process and ensures trust by all stakeholders. One example of a DevOps is pair programming. Two developers work from a single workstation. One writes the code, the other reviews it as it\u2019s entered. IBM identified several benefits, including: \thigher-quality code because of real-time review; \tbetter-designed solutions through shared collaboration; \tbetter distribution of knowledge of the code across the team; \tfaster delivery as solutions are found more quickly to challenging problems; and \tconsistent coding practices through collaboration. \u201cEven before pair programming had a name, it was common to find programmers working in this manner, as programming lends itself to challenging problems that are often best solved by two people working together,\u201d according to an IBM primer on the approach. A recent IBM blockchain webinar discusses pair programming and how to use Hyperledger Composer to model business use cases by employing a shared language. Clearly, this is more focused on process and culture than on solo programming, and the goal is to build high-quality, resilient applications. The DevOps predates Blockchain, but as Daniels put it, \u201cBlockchain and DevOps were made for each other.\u201d DevOps emerged in response to a need to increase organizational agility, accelerate business transformation and speed response time, according to EY, the parent company of Ernst & Young. \u201cOrganizations are adopting DevOps to accelerate overall software development lifecycles (SDLC), integrate agile development, continuous change management and rapid deployment. These delivery cycles need to be executed over a shorter period of time \u2014 sometimes as quickly as a few hours, according to EY.