Sorry Solidity devs... Crypto firms want graduates and generalists
The crypto market has shown signs of resurgence this year, but it's nowhere near the euphoric highs of the recent past. Fintechs are still hiring and still paying well, but the volume of hires is low. Mid-level developers that specialized in crypto technologies and languages while eschewing the basics may have a tough few years ahead, because the sad truth is that not even crypto firms prefer crypto specialists anymore.
Take Crypto HFT firm Wintermute, for example. Post-FTX, Wintermute put out an open call for crypto talent and indications are that, although crypto alumni make up most of the applicants, deep crypto specialization isn't mandatory.
Marina Gurevich, Wintermute COO tells us that "the majority, 70-80% [of applicants] have crypto experience or serious interest" but adds that Wintermute is "looking for people who have all kind of expertise.”
In fact, with crypto firms keen to grow their own talent, having no experience at all can even be an asset. Gurevich says Wintermute likes "to hire very bright graduates and teach them in house. This is still the biggest pool for us."
In a reiteration of Coinbase's recent claim that the brightest young engineers are still keen to work in crypto, Gurevich says Wintermute isn't spoiled for hiring choice. “Our bar is very high; our acceptance rates are very low," she says. Because Wintermute is comparatively small, she adds that the firm doesn't have "deeply specialized roles." Being an all-rounder helps.
This lack of specialization is also why relying on your Solidity knowledge to get a job at Wintermute might be an issue. “It’s easier for a good developer to learn blockchain than for a blockchain only developer to learn everything else," Gurevich says. "So we don’t necessarily look for blockchain solidity type skills.”
The broader job market suggests this sentiment also exists elsewhere. Of the 137 open listings for crypto jobs on eFinancialCareers, just two mention Solidity, and both are at Winklevoss Twin-owned firm Gemini (and even there it is non-essential). Solidity devs can still find a home at early stage experimental firms, but those elusive spots will only go to the best, not the many that tried learning it to get rich quick when it used to pay $500k.
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