As Global Blockchain Technology Market report predicts, blockchain technology will grow at a CAGR of 55.59 percent between 2017 and 2021.
Both global market leaders and new startups take every effort to implement blockchain-powered solutions and take advantage of their transformative potential. The technology provides an effective solution to a range of specific tech problems and offers such tangible benefits as disintermediation, robustness, and transparency. Since the demand for the experts in this field is soaring, we face an acute shortage of blockchain talent. So many US and UK companies address the problem by outsourcing blockchain development to Eastern Europe.
Job postings citing Blockchain as a percentage of all IT jobs advertised.
Source: Blockchain jobs trend
Problem # 1 – The shortage of blockchain specialists
The number of available blockchain specialists is incredibly low compared to other technologies. For instance, on Linkedin, there are 630 Blockchain developers, which is a minuscule number compared to 211,762 results for Java developers.
Blockchain experts are thin on the ground for the technology is new and there are no plug-and-play solutions, especially if your business calls for building a private or a consortium blockchain. What’s more, blockchain technology spans across many areas of application, from peer-to-peer financial transactions and corporate data management to improving government transparency and voting.
Source: Moody’s Investors Service
The scarcity of blockchain specialists has its implication for the global market and individual companies. According to the survey conducted by Synechron and TABB Group, about 40% of firms do not have enough qualified engineers to implement blockchain solutions. The shortage of available talent for blockchain was raised as a critical topic at the DTCC’s Fintech Symposium, held at the Grand Hyatt in New York City on March 1, 2017.
Given the lack of supply, companies are now competing with each other for the blockchain talent, and the competition is fierce. According to indeed.com, there are 424 blockchain job postings. Of those 51 are listed for IBM, 24 for Ethereum startup ConsenSys and 22 – for SAP, one of the world’s largest enterprise software vendors.
Outsourcing blockchain development – Where to find the experts?
To solve the problem, companies often consider outsourcing blockchain development to Eastern Europe as a reliable outsourcing destination with solid IT expertise and extensive talent pool. However, choosing the IT outsourcing country and a specific company to outsource your blockchain development to may be challenging. You can find blockchain expertise in such countries as Ukraine, Bulgaria, Belarus, and Poland.
For instance, Ukraine’s government is actively supporting blockchain initiatives and fosters the development of blockchain community. The country has recently launched a blockchain deal with tech firm Bitfury to increase efficiency and transparency.
There is a wide range of blockchain conferences, events, and hackathons held in Ukraine: Blockchain and Bitcoin conference, Blockchain Conference Kyiv, Blockchain Business Forum, Microsoft Blockchain Intensive, to name but the few. In 2015 five technical universities of Kharkiv, Ukraine, have partnered with Distributed Lab to add blockchain courses to their curriculum.
Such IT companies as Distributed Lab and Ambisafe have teams of Ukrainian developers who implement blockchain solutions. Ukrainian developers have delivered such blockchain-based solutions as INFRA (regulates communication between parties without a common ledger), E-VOX (simplifies the voting process by using smart contracts), GURTOM FOUNDATION (facilitates service exchange), TREE TAG (A traceability system designed for smartphones aiming to help industry and governments remove illegally logged tropical hardwood from the global supply chain). Such Ukrainian companies as N-iX, Romexsoft, and Eleks offer blockchain development expertise.
How to choose blockchain developers?
According to blockchain developers at N-iX, there are 6 key things you should consider while choosing the experts for blockchain development outsourcing:
- Hands-on experience in using the languages like Java, Golang, Rust, Scala, Haskell, Erlang, Python, C, C++, C#. N-iX developers have delivered fintech blockchain solutions using Scala, and it has proven to provide a great toolset for programming distributed systems.
- Experience working with distributed databases. Understanding of various distributed consensus methodologies.
- Understanding of cryptography, including asymmetric, symmetric, hash functions, encryption/signatures (in case of public blockchains).
- Solid knowledge of networking systems (in case of building private and consortium blockchains).
- Solid experience in delivering fintech solutions and fintech software consulting (in case of implementing applications for financial transactions).
- A good understanding of the business layer of a blockchain-powered solution.
How to establish effective cooperation with an outsourcing provider:
- Before addressing an IT outsourcing provider with an idea for a blockchain project, make sure you understand whether blockchain is applicable to your business case and you realize all the pros and cons of using the technology.
- When communicating with an engagement manager, pay attention to how quickly and consistently they respond to your requests, and whether the management hierarchy is transparent enough, and you understand who is responsible for what. That will help you to avoid bottlenecks in your potential cooperation.
- Choose the cooperation model aligned to your business needs. If you want a team of developers built according to your specific requirements and fully dedicated to your project, Dedicated development team model will be a perfect fit for you. Engineer is typically allocated full-time (160 hrs per month) with a long-term assignment duration (1+ year). Both of these factors (full-time involvement and long-term duration of the cooperation) allow minimizing the total monthly cost by avoiding management overheads, bench charges and other additional hidden costs on top of the monthly rate. It is the most frequently used cooperation model at N-iX since it provides our customers with such benefits as cost-efficiency, better scalability and enhanced control over the project on the client’s side. It is especially suitable for long-term and technologically advanced projects, such as blockchain-powered solutions.
Many forward-looking companies attempt to implement blockchain-based solutions. The demand for blockchain developers is very high, and since the technology is relatively new and quite complex, companies experience a lack of available blockchain experts. Many businesses solve the problem outsourcing blockchain development to countries of Eastern Europe which offer solid expertise and an extensive talent pool. When choosing blockchain developers, you should take into account such criteria as hands-on experience in languages such as C, C++, C#, Golang, Erlang, Scala, etc., expertise in distributed programming, networking, cryptography, and solid experience in delivering fintech solutions.