Blockchain Protocol Job Market Report (Q1/2023)

Continuing with our practice of providing quarterly reports on the status of the blockchain protocol job market, BlockchainJobsEurope now presents you with the second edition of the series, covering the first quarter of 2023. 

Recap of the Report Methodology:

The objective and methodology of the report remains the same which can be found in depth here. However, here’s the short recap: BlockchainJobsEurope researched and analyzed the Blockchain Protocol Job Market for Q1 2023. Our research covered over 420 public job offerings by 40 leading blockchain development firms for the first quarter of 2023. Some of the noted Web3 firms analyzed under the research are; Ethereum Foundation, Parity Technologies, ConsenSys, IOHK, Dfinity, Ava Labs, Polygon, CasperLabs, and Gnosis. The report aims to update the job seekers with the current outlook and trends of the blockchain recruitment segment, as well as shed light on the changes happening within the employment arena. 

This infographic briefly illustrates the findings of the Blockchain Protocol Job Market Report (Q1/2023).

Findings of the Report:

Similar to the previous report, the jobs are bifurcated into the following categories: Technical and Non-Technical. The key Technical Roles covered under this segment are as follows: Full-stack Development, Frontend Development, Backend Development, QA/Testing, DevOps, Solution Architecture, Cloud Engineering, Mobile Engineering, System Engineering, Core/Protocol Development, Data Science, Technical Product Management, and Technical Support, among others. 

While the Non-Technical profiles include the following functions; Marketing, Human Resources, Business Development/Partnerships, Sales, Legal/Compliance, Research and Writing, Business Analytics, Community and Social Media, Developer Relations (DevRel) and Ecosystem Development, Operations, Finance/Investment, (Non-technical) Product Management, and Project Management.

According to our latest research, technical jobs represent 60% of the total hiring needs, which is five percentage points less than technical hiring needs reported in the last quarter. The non-technical jobs account for the remaining 40% of the job market, which is a five percentage points increase from the earlier figure noted in the Q4, 2022 report.

What are the Most In-demand Technical Roles at Blockchain Protocols Firms in early 2023?

[Note: All comparisons are based on the previous quarterly report]

Full-stack (18%) remains the most coveted role for the second consecutive quarter, registering an increase of two percentage points from our previous report (Q4/2022). DevOps and Core/Protocol Development take second place, each representing 11% of the total technical demand. Backend and Frontend roles constitute 10% and 9% of the required roles, respectively. The remaining 41% of the demand for technical roles encompasses other profiles, with priority given to the following: Data Science and Analytics, Quality Assurance / Testing, Technical Project Management, Technical Research, and Cyber Security.

The stand-alone demand for Golang and Rust developers continuously shows an upside, with plenty of high-quality opportunities being offered by top blockchain development firms. Whereas the expertise in TypeScript, Node.js, C++, and Solidity seems to be fetching, more or less, the same number of opportunities as observed in the preceding quarter. Resultantly, all the mentioned programming languages retained their positions in Top Technical Skills in the blockchain sector for the second consecutive quarter. 

Most In-demand Non-technical Profiles at Blockchain Protocols Firms (Q1/2023)

Marketing (22%) retains the top-most place in the list of most sought-after blockchain business roles for the first quarter of 2023 increasing its share by three percentage points compared to the previous quarter.

Developer Relations (DevRel) and Ecosystem development take the second spot, constituting a whopping 21% of total non-technical hiring needs, which is a drastic change from Q4, 2022, where the function took 5th place in this list with a mere 9% representation. Clearly, Marketing and Ecosystem Growth remain the priority for blockchain firms even in a rather slow market. 

The next set of demand is observed in Product Management, Business Development (BizDev) and Sales, and Community Management, with a percentage distribution of 10%, 9%, and 8%, respectively. While BizDev and Community Management make back-to-back appearances in the list of top five required business expertise, Product Management replaces Operations in it. Operations, Accounting, Finance, and Human Resources, among other roles, comprise the remaining 30% of the desired profiles.

Key Trends in the Recruitment of Blockchain Protocol Firms (Q1/2023)

The observations made during the first quarter of the new year have pointed toward significant new trends in the blockchain protocol recruitment space. The most prominent of them are the following:

ZK Technology: The buzz around Zero-Knowledge Proofs has been making noise in the blockchain space for quite a while now. And it’s deservingly so, as the applicability of zero-knowledge proofs to blockchain has the potential to reshape how privacy and security currently operate in the online world (see our previous article on ZK Proofs here). However, there’s still a wide gap between the possible implications and solid functionality that exists today, and protocols are racing to bridge that gap and take the crown of taking this breakthrough technology global. Naturally, the demand for Zero-knowledge Researchers is picking pace like never before. 

Layer-1 Blockchains: Experience with L1 networks, especially Ethereum and its inner workings (e.g., the EVM), is observed to be able to provide a proven edge in the technical blockchain protocol job market – not surprisingly, we encountered the requirement in plenty of job descriptions examined in this research.

Web3 Gaming: While the humongous market size of online gaming is no news to anyone, what’s new is the projected share of Web3 gaming. According to a report released by Polaris Market Research, the global blockchain gaming market size is estimated to reach over USD 1,020 Billion by 2032 from the current valuation of USD 5.41 Billion in 2022. This comes across as no surprise considering the latest crypto bull run was also led by decentralized gaming giants like Decentraland, Axie Infinity, Gala Games, and others. Keeping up this trend, the space is witnessing more and more projects eyeing to grab their fair share of this ever-growing pie. Resultantly, experience with Web3 gaming is in high demand at many blockchain protocol development firms.

Product Marketing: Marketing personnel remains a top priority for the Web3 firms, and so is acquiring personnel with special expertise at the intersection of the marketing and product functions. Not only Web3 Product Marketers can expect healthy opportunities to grow further in the space, but Web2 Product Marketers, willing to make the switch, may also find it to be the right time to proceed. Conclusively, product marketing is definitely one of the most employable non-technical skills in the blockchain protocol space right now. 

Concluding Thoughts

The industry appears to be settling from the grim shakeups of the past year, offering plenty of valuable opportunities to professionals from a wide array of fields. Hopefully, our report will equip you with valuable insights into the blockchain protocol recruitment space, which can further assist you in making the desired progress in this market in the current scheme of things.