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A new role on the block – Blockchain Reliability Engineer

A specific area of reliability knowledge is to predict and assess software development errors. With the new raise of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, blockchain technologies and the internet of money, to ensure reliability in mission critical software is a must if this technology strives for a wider adoption.

Blockchain code is going to get more complex over time
Blockchain code is going to get more complex over time

The raise of of several cryptocurrencies and the value attach to them, seems to encourage a culture of first come first serve. If we add to this that many of the attacks can be attributed to flaws in the code, is possible to end in a scenario where software quality can not be ensured. And this, in the Internet of money, can lead to very negative consequences, such as the MtGox attack or The DAO case.

New professional Role

We have seen in the past, like in the new role of Data Scientist, that a recognized profession entails specialized skill development and continuing professional education as claim by IEEE Computer Society. This might not be different of the new sector of cryptocurrency.

IBM expressed in the past that, there is a need for continuous testing techniques to ensure blockchain software quality .

The internet of money

For all of that, a new area of specialization should arise, the Blockchain Reliability Engineer, or maybe like Andreas Antonopoulos will advocate, the Cryptocurrency Reliability Engineer. I see this specialization align with the idea that Trustware (the combination of trusted Hardware Software) is necessary to advanced in this mission critical industry.

Trustware = [Hardware   Software] * Trust

A similar scale (or maybe the same one) like the Technology Readiness level by NASA will be needed to asses the maturity of a specific technology in the cryptocurrency space, before adding it to mission critical applications, like the transfer of value. Or at least, this should be useful to estimate the risk of certain code bases.

NASA Technology Readiness Level
NASA Technology Readiness Level

Others also advocate for new roles such as, the intermediary between business focused contractors with low technology expertise and IT professionals. It is unsure that this is the role of the Blockchain Reliability Engineer, but certainly it can be a complementary role in the same team.

Recycling professionals

The Reliability transmission of knowledge is declining and the pool of professional shrinking. I would suggest that part of the quality (and reliability) engineers should be focusing more on the new emerging technologies, like Bitcoin, if they want to stay relevant.

Do you think reliability professionals should recycle to accommodate this type of new technologies?
The techniques used in traditional quality engineering apply to programming code? And if so, to blockchain code? Or are we in front of two total different areas of expertise?