Are Developers Buying into All the Blockchain Hype?

Do developers believe that blockchain has a future? Or is the technology yet another case of overhype, the current obsession over cryptocurrencies aside?

Stack Overflow recently posed that question to nearly 700 software developers. Some 38.56 percent said that blockchain was “all hype,” while 61.44 percent said that it was a “game changer.” Moreover, only 23.53 percent of developers said they’d worked with blockchain in the past, versus the 76.47 percent who hadn’t touched the technology in a professional context.

Among those who haven’t developed with blockchain, some 61.85 percent of them want to, while 38.15 percent said they had no interest. Another interesting thing to note: Whenever the price of Bitcoin hits a milestone, the number of blockchain-related questions developers ask on Stack Overflow also rises:

That echoes another long-term trend: Interest in blockchain-related jobs roughly fluctuating with the price of Bitcoin. As far back as three years ago, spikes in Bitcoin prices led to a jump in blockchain-related jobs on Dice. According to Burning Glass, the percentage of technology jobs that ask for blockchain skills remains pretty low—but could increase substantially over the next decade.

Blockchain isn’t just cryptocurrency, of course (although the two are tightly linked in the public’s mind). Companies large and small are examining the technology’s uses in everything from “smart contracting” to cybersecurity. If you’re interested in learning more, experts advise exploring online courses such as Udacity and Coursera, as well as specific sites such as Bitcoin.org

According to Burning Glass, jobs that involve blockchain have a median salary of $97,000, with six-figure compensation easily unlockable with just a few years of experience. In addition, virtually all the jobs that currently ask for blockchain skills request a bachelor’s degree, which means you don’t have to earn ultra-advanced degrees in order to land that job interview—you just need to demonstrate that you actually have the skills.