Solidity Developer Guide: Education, Salaries, Jobs, and More!
Blockchain technology has emerged as the new frontier of technological innovation in software development. Solidity is a popular programming language among blockchain developers for building blockchain applications. The Solidity Developer Survey 2021 shows a 100% increase in responses from 2020, with 80% of developers using Solidity daily/weekly.
McKinsey’s COVID-19 Digital Transformation & Technology report survey showed that COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of digital technology, with companies taking giant strides towards digital adoption. Consequently, the software development industry has grown steadily with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting 25% job growth from 2021 to 2031, higher than all other occupations.
But, what is Solidity development and what does a Solidity dev do? This comprehensive guide will explain all developers need to know about the blockchain Solidity developer job roles.
What is a Solidity developer?
A Solidity developer is a person who writes computer code in Solidity — an object-oriented, high-level, Turing Complete programming language that empowers programmers to build complex applications with diverse functionalities.
Solidity coders develop automated software called smart contracts that power Ethereum-based decentralized applications (dApps). These smart contracts can also power the backend of all other Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible blockchains such as Optimism, Arbitrum, Polygon, Astar, Avalanche, and more.
What type of work does a Solidity developer do?
Like traditional web2 developers, Solidity devs spend their time writing, testing, auditing, and debugging code. Here are a few specific tasks that Solidity developers routinely complete:
- Develop, test, and deploy smart contracts and dApps on EVM-compatible blockchains
- Debug and audit smart contracts to increase security
- Build new features to improve existing application functionality
- Refactor Solidity code to integrate with new blockchains
- Consult with managers, interdisciplinary teams, and 3rd party contractors
- Brainstorm, workshop, and specify new business ideas
- Design the network architecture and smart contracts for new products
Solidity developers perform work tasks across the entire product development spectrum from writing smart contracts, to specifying new products, and managing production applications.
What kind of companies does a Solidity developer work for?
Although a Solidity blockchain developer can work in a vast range of companies, including roles with in-house web3 teams at web2 companies, Solidity devs can be broadly classified into three main web3 categories: DeFi, Web3, and Infrastructure.
Despite the nascency of the DeFi sector, at the time of writing, the total value locked (TVL) in Ethereum DeFi protocols is $31.28 billion, according to DefiLlama, a DeFi analytics tool.
An Ethereum Solidity developer is responsible for building smart contracts and maintaining DeFi protocols like lending/borrowing platforms and decentralized exchanges.
Web3 is an umbrella term constituting decentralized, user-owned projects like NFT platforms, DAO tooling, Play-to-Earn gaming, and web2 products built on-chain. In Q2 2022, NFTs made $8 billion in trading, and crypto gaming dApps made up 52% of all blockchain activity according to nonfungible.com and dappradar respectively.
A Solidity app developer will typically help build the smart contracts, tokens, and backend components of these web3 tools, games, and NFT platforms.
A Solidity smart contracts developer writes the code to build a virtual infrastructure for dApps. Infra developers build the primary digital environment where digital transactions and exchange of data takes place.
What does a typical day or week look like for a Solidity developer?
While each Solidity programmer has a different working style, a typical day in the life of a Solidity coder looks as follows:
- Working remote (most typical) or in-person
- Checking emails, internal communications (e.g. Slack), and attending video conferences with teammates
- Writing code and reviewing pull requests (PRs) from other team members
- Deploying smart contract code to local developer environments and testnets
- Learning new Solidity best practices and testing new developer tools
A Solidity developer has a lot of freedom to work remote, allocate time for deep work writing code, and learn best practices.
What is the average Solidity developer salary?
Solidity developer roles are one of the highest-paid jobs in the market. According to cryptocurrencyjobs.co, the average base salary for Solidity developers in the US is $127,500, with a low base salary of $80,000 and a high base salary of $180,000. This figure might differ based on location, company, and experience.
The following is a list of location-based salary structures of Solidity developers per year (US Dollars):
- North America - $80K-$180K
- Europe - $80K-$135K
- Asia - $46K-$116K
- Oceania - $85K-$120K
- South America - $49K-$150K
- Africa - $49K-$75K
- Remote - $111K-$200K
What qualifications do a Solidity developer need to be successful?
Developers need to gain Solidity skills and expertise to become successful programmers including solid technical knowledge on Solidity and other web3 programming languages, fundamental programming skills, an awareness of smart contract security best practices, and various soft skills.
To start building with Alchemy’s suite of developer tools, open a free Alchemy developer account.
Basic Technical Skills
Smart contract Solidity programmers require detailed and foundational knowledge of how blockchain technology and smart contracts function. Therefore, an intermediate to advanced understanding of Ethereum token standards (ERC-20, ERC1155, and ERC721), and familiarity with blockchain project development are necessary.
Hackers and scammers are always searching for bugs and vulnerabilities in the code to steal user funds. Thus, Solidity programmers must have specialized knowledge in debugging smart contracts, and learn the basics of improving smart contract security.
Solidity coders need to have good communication skills, the ability to work in a distributed team environment, be attentive to details, and have a willingness to keep learning. While developers will mainly be focused on code, forming meaningful relationships and excelling in collaborative work spaces brings lots of value to a team’s culture.
How to become a Solidity developer?
You can become a Solidity developer by learning Solidity, mastering complimentary web3 developer tools such as IDEs, smart contract standards, and development frameworks, and gaining hands-on experience.
1. Learn Solidity
The first and obvious thing to do is to learn the Solidity programming language. Solidity developers can attend our free Bootcamp at Alchemy University to learn about cryptography, Ethereum, smart contracts, and dApps. Alchemy University offers a hands-on learning experience where Solidity programmers build blockchain protocols after attending masterclasses from experts.
2. Learn Complementary Developer Tools
Rather than building dApps from scratch, Solidity coders can benefit from blockchain development tools like software frameworks and Integrated Development Environments (IDEs). These frameworks and IDEs come with library suites, plugins, and tools for creating, testing, compiling, deploying, and debugging Ethereum applications.
For example, Solidity developers can learn about frameworks like Hardhat, Truffle, and Embark; and IDEs like Remix, EthFiddle, and Ethcode.
3. Build your experience as a Solidity developer
Participation in web3 hackathons demonstrates that Solidity developers have the necessary skills to build products in stressful situations. Therefore, aspiring Solidity programmers are encouraged to attend Web3 hackathons, and add their experiences on resumes or LinkedIn profiles because recruiters consider winning hackathon awards, bounties, or prizes as an extra achievement. You can also contribute to an open-source project to learn and build your experience.
Start Building with Solidity on Alchemy’s Developer Platform
In the next decade, Solidity developer roles will become one of the most sought-after job opportunities in the software engineering and blockchain industries. You can search through different Web3 job boards for Solidity developer positions and start applying.