How to get a Solidity developer job?

There are many ways to get a Solidity job and it might be easier than you think!

You have mastered the basics of Solidity, created your first few useful projects and now want to get your hands on some real-world projects. Getting a Solidity developer job might be easier than you think. There are generally plenty of options to choose from and often times not a lot of candidates. Nevertheless, without any previous job experience you might not know where to start.

What are you looking for?

Define for yourself what you are actually looking for; what are your strengths and where do you want to work? Answering those questions BEFORE starting to search for jobs will help you find the best positions.

What type of job do you want?

You can basically go three ways as a Solidity developer:

  • Solidity
  • Frontend
  • Fullstack


Either you go down the very specialized path of being a pure Solidity developer. This option is great if you really want to focus on that part of the development, either because you are a new developer that only knows Solidity or because you switched from another language and really would like to master Solidity now. Or you can go down the road of a frontend developer, focusing on building web apps and the communication to the smart contracts.

Alternatively, you might want to look for a fullstack position where you do a little bit of everything. This is often the case in smaller startups. The last two options are great if you already have frontend or backend skills that you want to continue using. In general, I would always recommend specialization though. Master one area completely before expanding to other fields.

Tokyo

What kind of company do you want to work for?

Do you want to work for a small startup or large corporation? You will find more responsibility, less job security and a wider range of tasks in the smaller companies. Another thing to consider is that almost all purely crypto-specific companies will be small to medium-size. If you want to work in the crypto team of a large company, many have one these days incl. Facebook, IBM, EY, Deloitte, KPMG, Microsoft and Amazon.

What other skills do you have?

Did you study economics and are now switching to a Solidity career? Don't waste your skills working for a fitness crypto-startup. Go into Defi (decentralized finance). This is just one example of course. Think about what unique skills you have and which area of work might benefit from those. Not only will this be useful for the job itself, but more importantly you will have more motivation working on something you identify with.

Remote vs. Office

Depending on your location you may be forced to work remotely, because there are no local jobs available. The great news is that almost all Solidity developer jobs have a remote option, especially now after Covid-19, but be aware of the pros and cons of a remote job. Working from home takes some initial discipline, but eventually you will find that it's more time efficient. You will be able to look for jobs all around the world, while living anywhere in the world. However, in the long term they can become socially isolating, so make sure you get your social life outside of work.

How to find jobs?

So how do you actually get a new job? There is certainly more than just the one way. These days people get jobs through many avenues. Let's look at the best.

The Classical Method

You can look on job listing websites of course. This standard way is also available for Solidity jobs. Jobs are often posted on:


 There are definitely less options compared to say a regular frontend developer job, but it is possible finding a job this way. In fact, I found my current job on AngelList. You may also want to check out crypto-specific job posting sites. However, they don't have a lot of options (yet). Those include:

The Open-Source Way

Open-Source is big in the crypto scence for obvious reasons. Almost every project has at least some of their code available online. Sometimes active community development is even encouraged and you will find additional help to get you started. But this can also be the door to a new job. In fact, I know several people that actually got a crypto job this way. How do you do it?

Decide on where you would like to work and come up with a strategy. Get on their Github, get familiar with their code and start small. Look in the issues section and start solving the easier bugs. Once you feel confident enough go ahead and build new features or tackle big refactorings. Stay persistent! Sometimes this is all it takes for the company to offer you a full-time job.

Even if they don't ask you themselves, you can be sure that your work won't be unnoticed. In this case once you feel the time is right, send them an email asking if they may have a position available. Chances are, unless they really don't have the financial capacities, you will at least get an interview along with good chances of getting an offer.

The Direct Approach

Is the open-source way too much effort or not possible? You can always go to a project's website and search for job listings directly. Even if you don't find open positions, don't be discouraged. That is how I found one of my previous jobs by simply writing an email to a company that would be a perfect match despite not having any positions open. The downside for this is you need a strong application and the right experience. They probably are not interested in hiring a beginner.

Outside the box

The Personal Referral

My favourite and the possibly best way is to get a personal referral or even have the company ask you directly. You will immediately have a better reputation in the company. Of course this requires some previous work and you might not always have the option. Be sure to do your networking on events, online, conferences and meetups.

freelancer

The Contracting Alternative

Another way once you are experienced is to work on an hourly or per project basis for several other clients. Gitcoin might also be an option to look at when you don't have as much experience yet. There are several websites where you can offer your services or you can market yourself.

Starting your own project!

Yes that's right! This is a possible option for all experience levels, unless of course you don't have a job and need money now. Maybe you already have an idea. Start with something where you don't need a 5-person team and two years development time. That is one of the beautiful things about decentralization and modern web development. Anyone can just start hacking. And at the end of the day, either you win or you learn. Speaking of hacking...

The Glory of Hackathons

Lastly, hackathons are a great way, because they basically combine two previous approaches in one: personal referral + your own project. It's a great networking opportunity, where you will learn along the way and you might end up building something with your team that you want to continue after the hackathon. You may even get additional funding/bounties from sponsoring companies to kickstart further developments. You might be surprised to know how many successful projects actually started out as a hackathon project, e.g., EtherScan just to name one very successful one.

General considerations

  • Focus on the quality of your application instead of quantity. There are not thousands of Solidity jobs out there, you better choose the right ones and give it all you got.
  • Don't send just one application! Otherwise, you might end up in a 'squeeze' situation. Try to avoid having to accept a job, because it's the only offer you got and you need the money straight away. Try to get at least two or three options.
  • If it's your first Solidity job, think about accepting a low salary. Don't undersell especially if you have other developer experiences, but it might be worth it at the beginning just to get more experience. You don't have to keep the job for years.

Good Luck

There you have it. What about the interview? I will cover the interview process in more detail in the future, but definitely make sure to know your stuff. Solidity questions are often about smart contract security and common design patterns. In the end it might be all easier than you think. Finding a job is not only about looking for job listings online. Be creative. What are your favorite ways to find a job?


Markus Waas

Solidity Developer

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  • Devcon 5 - Review

    Impressions from the conference

    I had a lot to catch up on after Devcon. Also things didn't go quite as planned, so please excuse my delayed review! This year's Devcon was certainly stormy with a big typhoon warning already on day 1. Luckily (for us, not the people in Tokyo), it went right past Osaka. Nevertheless, a lot of...

  • Devcon 5 - Information, Events, Links, Telegram

    What you need to know

    Devcon 5 is coming up soon and there are already lots of events available, information about Osaka and more. Here is a short overview: Events Events Calendar Events Google Docs Events Kickback Most events are in all three, but if you really want to see all, you will have to look at all three...

  • Design Pattern Solidity: Off-chain beats on-chain

    Why you should do as much as possible off-chain

    As you might have realized, Ethereum transactions are anything but cheap. In particular, if you are computing complex things or storing a lot of data. That means sometimes we cannot put all logic inside Solidity. Instead, we can utilize off-chain computations to help us. A very simple example...

  • Design Pattern Solidity: Initialize Contract after Deployment

    How to use the Initializable pattern

    There are a few reasons why you might want to initialize a contract after deployment and not directly by passing constructor arguments. But first let's look at an example: contract MyCrowdsale { uint256 rate; function initialize(uint256 _rate) public { rate = _rate; } } What's the advantage over...

  • Consensys Blockchain Jobs Report

    What the current blockchain job market looks like

    Consensys published their blockchain jobs report which you can checkout in their Blockchain Developer Job Kit. The most interesting aspects are Blockchain developer jobs have been growing at a rate of 33x of the previous year according to LinkedIns jobs report Typical salary is about...

  • Provable — Randomness Oracle

    How the Oraclize random number generator works

    One particularly interesting approach by Provable is the usage of a hardware security device, namely the Ledger Nano S. It uses a trusted execution environment to generate random numbers and provides a Provable Connector Contract as interface. How to use the Provable Randomness Oracle? Use the...

  • Solidity Design Patterns: Multiply before Dividing

    Why the correct order matters!

    There has been a lot of progress since the beginning of Ethereum about best practices in Solidity. Unfortunately, I have the feeling that most of the knowledge is within the circle of experienced people and there aren’t that many online resources about it. That is why I would like to start this...

  • Devcon 5 Applications closing in one week

    Devcon 5 Applications closing

    Watch out for the Devcon 5 applications. You only have one week left to apply either as Buidler Student Scholarship Press Devcon is by far the biggest and most impressive Ethereum conference in the world. And it's full of developers! I am especially excited about the cool location this year in...

  • Randomness and the Blockchain

    How to achieve secure randomness for Solidity smart contracts?

    When we talk about randomness and blockchain, these are really two problems: 1. How to generate randomness in smart contracts? 2. How to produce randomness for proof-of-stake (POS) systems? Or more generally, how to produce trusted randomness in public distributed systems? There is some overlap...