Blockchain talent skills in high demand - skill building resources

The Business Of Crypto | Top Picks

It’s not only Solidity developers, blockchain tech needs specialists in information architecture, marketing and design as well.


 

The common knowledge is that Solidity developers are the most hunted among blockchain talents and therefore everyone should learn to write smart contracts. In reality, decent developers who already have a track of records get recruited and trained to adapt for blockchain development.

Good news is non-tech skills are very much needed too. Not everyone is ready to join blockchain startup when the mainstream consensus is still unsure about the usefulness of the technology, but once that happens it will be too late to gain competitive advantage easily.

The domain of highly tech-focused people is new technology developments and disruptions, but they are typically not the ones to present it, market it and explain it to their potential customers.

Below are three interesting skill areas to watch, especially if the skill gap between what you already know is not too wide.


Information Architecture

  • Definition: Information architecture is about helping people understand what they are looking at and find what they’re looking for.
  • Your Traits: Able to grasp complex abstract concepts and explain them in a clear and presentable way. The rule here is like with good design - it should make the user curious to learn more. It’s a rare set of traits, a combination of bright technical understanding and strong communication skills, but it can be learned.
  • Closest Match: Writers (especially technical), UX and UI designers, Sysadmins and developers who designed standalone solutions.

Information Architecture (IA) is only a few years old as a standalone professional field.

The job of an information architect used to be done parts by technical writers, parts by developers and parts by designers but with the amount of information that any modern digital organization has to handle, those times are over.

There is now an The Information Architecture Institute and an open access peer-reviewed journal, the best industry events are IA Summit and Euro IA.

Studying Information Architecture:

If you’re looking for the 101, start with resources that are closest to your professional background:

The advantage of information architecture is that the skillset does not depend on the success of blockchain or crypto.

Ever since the internet started being used for business, there has been an overall need to make data both searchable to reuse them easily and presentable to engage the clients and customers in a way that will make them want to learn more.

While the essentials of the daily tasks are basically automation, there is still need for a person to maintain that automated system and create concepts to derive structures from which does not work well if it is based on surface information rather than on insight.


Social Media Strategy / Communications

  • Definition: Strategic way of how an organization uses social media to achieve its business aims.
  • Your Traits: Able to engage an audience in a way that will re-inforce their impression of the company. It’s a balance of not dumbing it down but not being daunting either.
  • Closest Match: People who can amuse cryptotwitter while also having mature opinions about more complex blockchain problems such as scaling and decentralization.

Studying Social Media Strategy:

There is a massive amount of guides written by social media gurus. Working with social media for a company requires a more strategic and political skillset than affiliate marketing or paid ICO shilling though. Look up articles form trusted resources such as McKinsey or Ogilvy & Mather who focus on the fundamentals and then get hands-on experience focusing on a specific target community or audience. You will need to present your Twitter or other audience during your job search anyway.

The biggest problem with social media strategy positions is not that one is tied to the blockchain industry, but that one depends on a particular organization. A social media person is at the forefront, they are the ones who get the hate when someone else in the company makes a bad decision or even commits a fraud.

The social media guy is the person everyone knows and treats as a gateway to the inner workings of an organization while this person does not actually have any power to help, make changes or execute decisions. It needs some political skills not to get eaten alive by the crowd once your company gets hit by a negative incident.


Research

  • Definition: Drawing conclusions from systematic investigation and so working to support actions that align with company’s business objectives.
  • Your Traits: Able to draw conclusions from data, even if the information is incomplete, and presenting it in a clear and structured way. You should be able to understand concepts well, it’s valuable to have a knack for business because the aim of your work will need to align with business strategies and goals of your organization.
  • Closest Match: Academics, Students, Writers, Analysts.

Studying Research:

Nowadays you can still easily start as a junior researcher in blockchain tech companies where you will work under a more experienced senior person. To start on the senior position you will need a track of academic publishing or research work.

If you are looking around to start, do that by reading. While academic publications from Springer and such are typically only accessible for free from university internet networks, many researchers link copies of manuscripts from their staff profiles to have them readily available at conferences and events.

If you have a research field you are interested in, you can proceed by looking up relevant people and searching the internet for their PDF files. Some works in medicine are freely accessible from US National Library of Medicine (an example from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) but there is an enormous amount of work to find online in every field from biology to music.

A lot gets mentioned in high-quality Reddits like r/philosophy. There are also self-publishing platforms where access to articles is free after sign-up, such as academia.edu.

Start with looking at the format, whether it works, whether you can follow the thought easily, then try to find if there are any logical weak spots. With some practice you should become quickly able to tell a well-written research paper from a poorly written one.

Influential people such as Daniel Kahneman or Wired’s former editor Chris Anderson have been calling the death of theory for years now, forecasting everything will be automated via big data, but don’t jump to conclusions prematurely.

 

 


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Published July 05, 2018 by Chris A.
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