We all know that blockchain is a disruptive trend in the software development industry. It creates plenty of new opportunities for entrepreneurial individuals seeking their small fortunes. Let’s assume that you want to jump and launch your own project, that seems to be with close affinity to your current occupation in the real estate industry. Sounds great - but what next? Well, it seems that you’ll need blockchain developers to help you materialize your product in several months. Sounds easy? You can believe us or not - but finding a world-class blockchain development vendor might be the hardest task to accomplish here.
This article is written to help you avoid costly mistakes by providing some basic information about the blockchain software development market and basic criteria you should consider in your shortlisting strategy.
Blockchain software industry outlook
The blockchain industry is in its “infancy stage”. It has major issues like scalability, standardization, integration with legacy systems, or negative PR image. One might think - that the problems above will create a hedge for a startup like yours due to early-stage small institutional interests. Well - this is actually a myth. The “Big money'' is already here investing in or creating own projects. According to the latest CBInsights study, the annual funding to blockchain companies has more than doubled in 2020 compared to 2017 and will reach nearly $16B by 2023. This creates a rapid demand for blockchain developers inside the industry - the demand that the market can’t fulfill in a short term. We think that this trend will continue in the next few years. This is why we warn you that finding an experienced and dedicated blockchain software development team might be the hardest task.
Blockchain freelancers vs professional software vendor
Before jumping into criteria, research, and shortlisting we would like to answer this basic question. Freelancers can be used inside your team to support the project. There is some kind of misconception in the market that you can perform everything with a random, temporary workforce. We can’t subscribe to this theory. There is no way to create a real Product Development Team from scratch and make it actually work without significant blockchain market experience. If your project has the correct funding - you should avoid the biggest IT risk and work with professional companies that can help you make your product successful.
Basic shortlisting criteria
Look for blockchain developers that have years of experience with the technology and many completed projects to show off. Don’t believe in miracles. Solid portfolio, case studies, customer references are the only things you should look for.
2) Skills potential and quality of work
The goal is to find the best skills for the best price. There are some important and objective ranks worldwide that can help you focus on certain geographical locations.
Eg: SkillValue company presents an annual ranking of top developers by country. It is not a surprise that as many as 5 countries from Eastern Europe made it into the top 10. These are Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic. In these countries, the rates are still lower than, for example, in the United States, UK, France, or Germany, and they are known for having well-qualified IT professionals.
3) 360-degree approach
Opt for a company that delivers complete, comprehensive, end-to-end custom software products. In other words, you need to have partners that will help you with product strategy, product development, and future iterations. It is also beneficial if your partner has expertise in web, mobile, cloud applications.
4) Dedicated and comprehensive Product Development Team
This is what makes the difference and fastens all the product launches. Your blockchain vendor team should contain multidisciplinary professionals focused only on your product. This empowers the product vision, creates better understanding, and helps to bring MVP in less than 3 months.
Please try to avoid cheap companies promising everything. Every IT project is a risk. You must pay a premium to achieve good quality. Successful Programmers might cost a lot - but they are definitely worth it.
5) Business-oriented approach
A true product development partner should be business-oriented and hungry to achieve success with every product they create. But this is not always the case. There are many software development vendors that are focused only on large, long-lasting, high-margin projects. They will be interested in making the project the biggest they can.
True partners will offer you a different, more agile approach to save your time and resources. They will prepare an MVP version of your product and test it on the market to find out from real users which way to develop it.
For blockchain-based products, a business-oriented partner will advise you to use ready-to-use blockchain solutions instead of developing them from scratch. For example, at Pragmatic Coders, we use the open-source code of Ethereum or Binance Smart Chain. This approach saves time and delivers business value to you as quickly as possible.
6) Partner pricing model
Focusing on fixed price model won’t bring anything good. Professional developers are not cheap and they also have many alternatives. The most popular and fair model is actually the hourly rate. It gives both parties flexibility to make shifts and plan resources based on current needs.
Where to find good blockchain developers?
This is the final part. Assuming that you might have a limited budget you must find quality for a good price - which is not an easy thing to do in IT. There are some key, important sources that are worth considering before posting your project on any marketplace or starting massive RFQs.
First of all, you should look for first-hand referrals from people you know. Let’s assume that your close friend just launched their own project with blockchain XYZ company. This might be the biggest opportunity for you here. You already know they can deliver, That’s 50% of the success in the IT industry.
We often hear about successful launches of software products on popular platforms. In most cases, these projects are deployed by professional software development companies rather than internal teams (especially in startups). It is no shame to reach out to project founders, CTOs or Project Managers and ask them to actually get some information, opinions. You can also paste some keywords regarding those projects in the Google browser. Many software companies nowadays are shilling their latest accomplishments. This option might be expensive - but it secures the delivery.
This option is time-consuming and sometimes frustrating. You’ll also need to have some basic knowledge (like the shortlisting criteria we have provided in the prior paragraph).
- First, we would recommend looking for vendors with a good, worldwide reputation on business directories like Clutch. You have a chance to find a lot of information about potential, future partners. It is a good place to research and shortlist several of them.
- After that, we recommend checking some reviews in Google search results. Trustworthy companies should have at least several reviews from clients.
- Next, you might want to check company employees' and founders' profiles on LinkedIn. There is a lot of information there about company activity, projects and connections.