“Go is on track to be the go-to language for blockchain”
Upwork has recently released its Q2 2018 Skills Index and it seems that blockchain continues to lead the way. What does this say about this technology’s journey toward mainstream acceptance? Is demand outpacing the supply of talent? We talked to Rich Pearson, SVP at Upwork, about blockchain’s popularity, its next milestones and the go-to languages for this technology.
Now’s the time to apply for blockchain jobs
JAXenter: Blockchain is the No.1 fastest-growing skill for freelancers for the second consecutive quarter, according to Upwork’s Q2 2018 Skills index. What does this say about blockchain’s journey toward mainstream acceptance?
Rich Pearson: Upwork collects skills data in real-time so we are oftentimes able to identify trends before they hit the mainstream labor market. Typically when a skill sees consistent growth on our site, mainstream acceptance follows. In addition to the growing demand we’re seeing, there are new use cases almost daily from Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Amazon, who are pursuing blockchain for enterprise development rather than being solely focused on ICOs or cryptocurrency. Many of these companies are coming to Upwork to fill these positions and accelerate their use of Blockchain.
JAXenter: Why should developers consider applying for blockchain jobs?
As it becomes more widely adopted, the race to capitalize on the blockchain intellectual property will continue.
Rich Pearson: Blockchain’s consistent growth on Upwork is a clear indication that there is high demand for skilled blockchain developers. Businesses need experts who understand their current infrastructure and know how to devise either a custom blockchain solution or use a long-established blockchain protocol.
Given how quickly blockchain is growing, demand is outpacing the supply of talent, which means freelance specialists can command higher rates. In particular, freelancers – who are nearly twice as likely as traditional employees to be proactive about skill-related education – understand the opportunity in front of them.
JAXenter: How can one become a blockchain developer?
Rich Pearson: The best way to become a blockchain developer is to pursue blockchain education and certification through online course providers like Coursera and Udacity. Fifty-five percent of freelancers participated in skill-related education in the last six months (versus only 30 percent of non-freelancers), and eLearning is one of the key ways to stay up-to-date with new and emerging skills.
JAXenter: Is blockchain becoming the new normal in the business environment?
Rich Pearson: There are new use cases for blockchain almost daily from Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Amazon, who are pursuing blockchain for enterprise development rather than being solely focused on ICOs or cryptocurrency. As more companies provide proof on concept for a variety of different blockchain protocols, blockchain will become more mainstream.
JAXenter: What milestones do you think blockchain will achieve this year?
Rich Pearson: At its current growth rate, we believe that blockchain development will be one of the largest sub-categories on Upwork by the end of 2018. Blockchain technology is still in its proof of concept stage but as it becomes more widely adopted, the race to capitalize on the blockchain intellectual property will continue.
JAXenter: Go has been included in Top 10. Should we expect this programming language to become the go-to language for creating blockchains?
Rich Pearson: This is a tough call; Go is one of many programming languages that can be used to develop a blockchain, and we’re still in the early innings of blockchain’s use. That said, what we’ve seen so far indicates that it is on track to be the go-to language for blockchain, similarly to how Python and R are go-to languages for data science.