The programming language that will get you a $500,000 job in crypto

Should you learn Solidity, the object-oriented programming language used to code smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain? If you’re a developer at an investment bank, hedge fund, or trading firm and want to change careers, the answer seems to be yes.

“People who combine Solidity coding with market making experience get multiple job offers,” says Matthew Healy, recruiter at Selby Jennings in New York. “Multiple job offers” means five to seven per person, he specifies. They’re also the subject of a wage escalation: “These guys earn between $300,000 and $500,000 a head.”

Healy places Solidity developers at crypto market makers, decentralized exchanges, and hedge funds. He says the demand for Solidity coders has exploded, but the supply for Solidity coders has not. “There are very few people who know about Solidity and a lot of people ask for it,” he says. The most sought-after candidates are either Solidity developers with experience in Silicon Valley or developers who can code in Solidity and have experience in an e-commerce environment. “Having a quantitative finance pedigree helps,” says Healy (you probably won’t make $500,000 if you’ve never worked in finance or tech and learned Solidity in your bedroom, though you could still get hired) .

As we reported last month, it’s not just crypto-native firms and crypto-curious hedge funds hiring Solidity developers: Banks are also busy recruiting from the region. Goldman Sachs, for example, was looking for Solidity coders to work on a digital asset team within Marquee, the user interface for its institutional clients.

Solidity is an object-oriented language based on C++, Python, and JavaScript that uses braces to create statement blocks. It’s supposedly possible to learn it within 30 days (assuming you don’t have a job at the same time), but Healy says it’s more common for his candidates to invest their weekends and paid time off in their Solidity skills: “I see a lot of candidates learning Solidity at their own pace or participating in boot camps,” he says. Computer science students are also learning Solidity on the side; Healy says colleges like Georgia Tech are a known place to hunt for crypto talent, alongside big names like MIT.

FAANG firms have a reputation for paying well, but Healy says crypto market-making firms will often pay even better. “We place people who are up 50% to 100%,” he says.

Many also work remotely: “I have placed people who travel to Spain.”

Photo by Nenad Novaković on Unsplash

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