IOST Blockchain Developer Report: 2018

In 2018 we saw the dramatic ups and downs of the blockchain industry. Although this year ended up with recession and a bear market, it is interesting to see that blockchain developers jobs ranked first with demand growth of 33 times in 2018, according to LinkedIn’s 2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs Report. Top skills of blockchain developers mentioned in the report are Solidity, blockchain, Ethereum, cryptocurrency and Node.js. Most blockchain developers work in industries of information technology & services, computer software and Internet.

At the start of 2019, IOST launched a survey on blockchain developers in the IOST community. Our questions mainly focused on blockchain developer’s needs and their habits, pain points during blockchain project development, and improvements they expect to see from blockchain projects.

Part 1: Who are IOST Community Developers?

Age Range

IOST has a community of young developers as one third of them are under 25 years old. Another 30 percent takes up by developers who aged between 25 to 35 years old.

Blockchain Experience

Blockchain is still an emerging industry, not only for the general public, but also a new industry for many developers. Many developers started to participate in blockchain less than half a year ago. In our developer community, half of developers have more than 1 year of experience or more in blockchain development.

Developer Job Roles

20% of IOST community developers operate as full-stack developers. Engineers take up 15% of the developer community members. There are also many other roles in our community, such as mobile developers, game or application developers, business analysts, and computer science students.

Previous Industry

IOST community developers mainly work on software, making up almost half of our community. There are also some developers with backgrounds in telecommunications, science and technical services. It is also interesting to notice that the IOST project has attracted a significant amount of students.

IOST puts high importance on university students. During 2018, IOST partnered with top universities like Tsinghua University and held several blockchain workshops to let students better understand blockchain technology and encouraged talented students to participate in blockchain and IOST development.

Size of last Company

Interestingly, the majority of IOST community developers work in SMEs, especially firms with staff fewer than 50 people. This could be explained by the fact that most blockchain projects are SMEs equipped with small teams. Blockchainers in bigger corporates often participate in blockchain development privately, and are just interested in blockchain as their companies are having invested into blockchain research or launched PoC (Proof of Concept) projects.

Part 2: Developer’s Preferences

Programming Languages

It is no surprise to see JavaScript, Golang and Python ranking top three programming languages among IOST community developers. IOST mainnet is initially designed as developer-friendly, we are using JavaScript for smart contracts on IOST for reducing difficulties of development. 73.3% of developers in our community code in JavaScript, while 50% of developers use Python and 20% are Golang programmers. Other mainstream programming languages being used by developers are C++, Ruby, and PHP.

Javascript is easy to develop with and supports many blockchain projects. That is also why IOST chose to use this language for IOST smart contracts.

Golang is becoming increasingly popular during recent years. It has efficient language with high compiling speed. As Golang is featured with secure storage, it is often used for blockchain development. Some projects also used Golang for DApp development and smart contracts.

Python is widely used nowadays which works on different platforms and has a simple syntax similar to the English language. Some developers also use Python for blockchain development. The language is also often used for quantitative cryptocurrency trading.

Top 3 most popular programming platforms among IOST community developers are Windows, macOS and AWS, more than 50% of our developers are using these 3 platforms. Meanwhile iOS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are also being used.

Part 3: Developers And Their Projects

46.3% of IOST community developers start projects quarterly. About one fourth of developers develop their projects annually.

Pain Points Encountered in Development

In the survey, we also asked the developers about pain points they often encounter during blockchain project development.

  1. Lack of support and reliable source of information and references is one the most noticeable pain points a blockchain developer encounters during project development. Deployment of environment when starting a blockchain project is not always smooth enough as the development documents are rarely sufficient.
  2. Time and business issues can also be vital problems during a blockchain development. For developers, catching up with fast-moving business sometimes get involved in price wars which have negative influence on their development experience. For a project, bad financial management often lead to unexpected situations which makes it harder to achieve goals.
  3. Communication and language barriers. Many developers expressed that it is difficult to fully understand the needs before starting a project. Such as how to interface with blockchain and development of bespoke graphical user interfaces. Some developers find it hard to understand the development documents if they are only written in English.
  4. Project management was also mentioned by IOST community developers. Skills of making clear projects structures, planning and implementing everything orderly and based on schedules. Lack of managerial experience can also be a pain point of blockchain developers.

Top Blockchain Information Platform for Developers

Bitcointalk, Medium, Reddit, Github, Steemit and Hackernoon are the most popular platforms for IOST community developers. Other news resource platforms developers would visit for blockchain news and updates include Slack, Discord and Stack Overflow.

What Do You Expect to See in the IOST Developer Community

The IOST tech team is devoted to delivering value to the developer community worldwide through sharing blockchain technologies, becoming blockchain tech evangelists while working with communities on blockchain development. Expectations we received from our communities are:

  1. Keep the growth of the developer community, bring more fresh developers.
  2. Organize more meetups, produce more videos and demos for developers about IOST project and DApp development. Hackathons with rewards are great to keep the community engaged.
  3. Help non-programmers being able to build software and help to create a full API that resembles Adobe software and doesn’t require coding.
  4. Translation of development document to let the content be available to more developers.

IOST tech team will keep improving our works based on the suggestions contributed by our respondents.

We are welcoming blockchain developers to join our developer community and work with us on various blockchain and DApp related project and gain rewards from us! Join IOST developer community on Slack:

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