From Self-Taught to In-Demand: Our Journey to Mastering Blockchain and Creating AKB

AstraKode
7 min readMar 21, 2023

Introduction

Blockchain technology is changing the world, and it’s no secret that blockchain developers are in high demand. As blockchain developers, we are excited to share our expertise and experiences with you. The blockchain market, currently valued at $4.9 billion, is expected to reach $67.4 billion by 2026, creating a high demand for blockchain professionals. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or just curious about this innovative technology, you’re in the right place. You can learn from our experience and get started on your own journey. And our step-by-step guide can help you start your journey toward becoming a blockchain developer with our experience.

The Changing Nature of Work and Importance of Specialization

As the job market continues to evolve, it’s crucial for workers to stay ahead of the game by constantly adapting and specializing. Companies are now looking for individuals with specific skill sets, the ability to work efficiently in a team environment, and excellent soft skills.

As blockchain technology takes over different industries and gains more popularity, the demand for experienced blockchain developers is rapidly increasing. With a strong commitment to constant learning and specialization, becoming a blockchain developer can offer great payoffs. It’s an exciting journey that can lead to a lucrative career in a rapidly growing field.

We’ve discussed the potential benefits of a career in blockchain development. Let’s now share our personal experiences on our journey. But no, we didn’t decide to become blockchain developers because of the attractive numbers, even though they are very appealing.

Our Experience

While the story we are about to tell may not be a fairy tale, it provides a real and concrete account of our experience as a group of friends and colleagues who share a passion for new technologies. The group, consisting of Fabiano, Lucio, Damiano, and Cristian, works in a start-up founded by the first three, whose core business is providing digital services to support companies through an assisted development platform. Our journey towards becoming blockchain developers was not easy, but we hope that by sharing our experience, we can provide insight for anyone looking to enter this field.

Discovering Blockchain’s Potential

Our interest in blockchain, our understanding of the benefits of using the technology, and the related ever-growing trend (but, let’s face it, also the desire to put our work routine on hold for a few days) led us to attend the Malta Blockchain Summit in 2018. The event only reinforced the positive expectations we already had of the blockchain technology, laying the foundations for the idea that would later revolutionize the company’s entire value proposition: to somehow integrate blockchain into the services we offered.

Overcoming Obstacles

However, there were obstacles to overcome. The first was the fact that there were no professionals specialized in the blockchain field. All four of us are developers, but we did not have specific knowledge of blockchain. The second was the cost of hiring a blockchain developer. As we’ve seen in the introduction, the salary for such a figure is high, and as a start-up, this was certainly a problem. And that was when we decided to learn more about the blockchain technology through a self-taught approach, focusing on Hyperledger Fabric as a blockchain infrastructure. Why Fabric? Well, it was 2018 and at the time it was the most popular of all the private blockchains. Moreover, it was (and still is) open source, so you don’t need to buy any license to use it, and you can consult a whole range of resources to do training, including guides, documents, and tutorials. Finally, it is also reliable, since it is a project initiated by the Linux Foundation to which IBM contributes.

The “Boost” Project (SYSTEMA S.r.l.)

As we know, the best things always happen by chance, and it was by chance that in early 2019, thanks to word of mouth, a company providing IT consultancy services approached us. The need was to increase the level of protection of the large amount of information that the company had to manage on a daily basis, through the integration of a blockchain network. The challenge was certainly daunting given the company’s immature knowledge of the blockchain technology, but there was no better opportunity to specialize in this area. So, after offering a low price, given the team’s limited experience, the “Boost” project began.

The first step to ensure its success was to undertake a thorough and very accurate study of the official documentation of Hyperledger Fabric, assimilating the essential elements (structure of a network, channels, certificate authority, peers, smart contracts, etc.). It was challenging, not so much due to the complexity of the concepts, but because of their volume. Luckily, there are now many more sources to consult to learn these concepts, if you want to dig deeper into the components of the Hyperladger Fabric, visit our AstraKode Wiki.

It was a bit like driving a car for the first time. The feeling was that of being flooded by a wave of information, too much to assimilate all at once. It took several months to get a clear idea of the concepts and to proceed to the next step: applying the acquired knowledge in practice. If we want to associate our story with the path a person can take to become a blockchain developer, this was certainly the most difficult and problematic step. It is true that Hyperledger provides a large number of samples, but putting them into practice is a different story.

Let us share an anecdote with you. After several attempts, we successfully configured a network that included multiple organizations. To test its functionality, we made a seemingly simple change by renaming a couple of organizations. However, to our dismay, the entire network crashed. The frustration was palpable, but thanks to the generosity of experts like Horea Porutiu, an IBM developer who shares his knowledge through free tutorials, we were able to recover. His step-by-step videos enabled us to configure the network for Boost, and you can read more about this specific use case in a dedicated article.

Topology of a Private Blockchain Network Created on AstraKode Blockchain

The following months were spent perfecting the work, as well as the knowledge and skills acquired previously. After about six months, the project was successfully completed. It was our first blockchain project we put our fingerprint on, and it was a huge success

It was a very demanding challenge, but without difficulty, there is nothing worthwhile. And it was this hard work that inspired a simple thought. Why not make the whole process of learning blockchain development simpler, faster, and easier for everyone?

AstraKode Blockchain (AKB) creation

The result was AstraKode Blockchain (AKB), a completely free assisted blockchain development platform. Designed to facilitate anyone, from university students to professional developers, who need to build their own blockchain solution or even simply practice to better understand the workings of the blockchain technology.

AstraKode Blockchain, the Blockchain Game-Changer!

We designed AstraKode Blockchain (AKB) as a low-code platform that simplifies the whole process of creating and configuring blockchain networks and smart contracts using an intuitive visual development environment.

Aside from being completely free of charge, AKB offers several other benefits that make it an excellent tool for enhancing blockchain education. Firstly, the platform has an integrated community that provides support and assistance whenever you need it. Additionally, the platform features an automatic validation system that promptly notifies you of any errors, ensuring that you learn from your mistakes and develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Overall, these features make this platform an ideal choice for anyone looking to make a significant contribution to their blockchain education.

Conclusion

As our story comes to the end, we want to remind you that becoming a blockchain developer is no easy feat, but don’t let that discourage you! With dedication and determination, you can master this exciting technology. But we also recognize that the journey can be intimidating, which is why we created AstraKode Blockchain (AKB). AKB is a friendly, low-code platform that makes it easy and accessible for anyone to learn about and build their own blockchain solutions.

We believe in the power of blockchain technology to transform the way we interact with the world around us, and we want to make sure that everyone can be a part of that transformation. So if you’re curious about blockchain and want to explore this exciting field, we encourage you to give AKB a try. Join us on our mission to create a more secure and decentralized future for all!

If you’re looking for more guidance on how to become a blockchain developer, be sure to check out our article “How to become a blockchain developer: a step-by-step guide”

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AstraKode

AstraKode helps you revolutionize the way you leverage enterprise blockchian technology through low-code. Sign-up to AKB for free: https://bit.ly/44nBbUm