As blockchain innovation continues its steady rise worldwide, there’s talk of a shortage of qualified developers. With demand for specialized talent exceeding supply, many startups are having to temper the progress of projects otherwise primed for a rapid launch.  

William Mougayar, author of the book The Business Blockchain says his mid-2016 estimates show only “5,000 developers dedicated to writing software for cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, or blockchain in general.” He goes on to say that“perhaps another 20,000 had dabbled with the technology, or have written front end applications that connect with the blockchain.”

He notes that there are around nine million Java specialists and 18.5 million software developers in the world. His book documents why this is good news, namely, that the Blockchain meshes well with languages and scripts — like Java, Javascript, C++, Node.js, Python, Golang, and Haskell — that are already in popular use

Nako Mbelle, Founder and CEO of the Toronto-based Fintech Recruiters, finds herself at the epicenter of the blockchain talent attraction recruitment wars. Python developer shortages are particularly acute, she says.  And Haskell, Scala, Golang, and Python are other developer niche areas that are in high demand. “These functional programming skills seem to be all the rage these days,” says Mbelle.

The Lisk Case Example

Headquartered in Berlin, the blockchain application platform Lisk’s platform facilitates the deployment, distribution, and monetization of blockchain applications, each running within their own sidechains. Founded in early 2016, Lisk completed an Initial Coin Offering in May and attracted approximately 14,000 BTC, now worth over $8 million USD.

The company recently announced the appointment of Joel Fernández as Chief Operating Officer. This announcement was made concurrently with a broader request for developers to join the project, with opportunities available for both front and back-end talent.


Max Kordek

Says Max Kordek CEO and Co-Founder of Lisk: “YES! There is definitely a shortage of blockchain developers, especially in the Node.js and JavaScript areas. We are always on the lookout for great talent so we can continue building our exceptional team, and in turn, fulfilling all the significant milestones outlined in our development roadmap.”

Kordek notes that this the shortage of developers was a big motivator for why Lisk was started, given that its blockchain framework enables JavaScript developers to get easy access to the underlying technologies. “We strongly believe that our framework will change the market, and developers should take advantage of this opportunity to gain experience in this field.”

Lisk is currently rolling out a multi-layered strategy in order to attract and hire the best talent.  They are working with a recruitment agency with strong connections in the field across Europe. Jobs are also posted on the Lisk website and on myriad online recruitment sites.

On top of all of this, Lisk representatives will be attending as many development meetups as possible to connect with the local community and reach developers directly.

Kordek says that ultimately attracting new developers involves delivering on a compelling value-proposition that is appealing to potential candidates

“Working as a developer at Lisk is both an enjoyable but also a challenging position. Not only do our new developers gain invaluable startup experience in a rapidly growing field, they have the opportunity to become pioneers in an area that shows promise for changing the world as we perceive it today.”