For all the expanding growth in the Bitcoin industry over the past few years – in users, transactions, companies, open-source projects, press coverage, cultural references, and of course, the price – there remains an apparent defect that’s both – prominent and unable to fill.
In simple terms, there aren’t sufficient developers.
There are number of reasons for the talent insufficiency, major cause among them is the unappeasable demand.
Almost every company that works with Bitcoin cannot recruit at least the barely sufficient number of developers they require. These companies have substantial revenue and customer growth and would love to widen horizons as early as possible, but the main restriction is that they can’t find sufficient qualified manpower to develop. Many who had local-only approach have put aside those regulations and now allow full-time outside Bitcoin developers. One leading company president considers finding a local Blockchain expert is similar to finding a unicorn these days.
Another causative factor is the price hike. While the appreciation has been fine for all who kept on during the bear market, it’s bad for a lot of Bitcoin companies as they understand that many developers just don’t have to work due to the advantages on their Bitcoin holdings. Many developers prefer starting their own companies, partner with open-source projects or focus on investing without working for someone else. In a way, Bitcoin companies fall prey to their own success.
The talent insufficiency in the ecosystem is becoming worse that many companies are providing huge bonuses to find developers and yet can’t meet the requirement. Most would like to recruit 15 to 20 developers if they can, but they simply don’t get sufficient qualified manpower.
Another causative factor is the increased amount of precision required to program Blockchain applications. Mishandling a website may take a site down for a few minutes, but mishandling a Bitcoin transaction may cause loss of money, which needs a lot more accuracy. The precision needed from developers is rare.
The industry is not frozen up. There are a number of strategies to fill this developer lack. Best among them is Dev++, which is spearheaded by the Bitcoin Edge Initiative, a nonprofit program focused on narrowing this gap. This year at Scaling Bitcoin, apart from well-respected convention, Dev++ will coach up to 100 developers to become more accustomed to Blockchain concepts. Bitcoin Edge aspires to largely fund this in-person 2-day coaching with financial support from many of the very Bitcoin companies that have the lack of developers.