A Complete Guide on Blockchain Explorer

Overview

A Blockchain explorer is a kind of browser that is used to explore Blockchain similarly as a search engine like Google Chrome which is used to search web pages. All the blockchain users rely on the blockchain explorers to track out all their transactions. These browsers provide much more information rather than just tracking out the operation.

It is also a handy tool for cryptocurrency as it is useful in diagnosing any possible problem that you may face while you are sending or receiving the coin. You can also keep track of the statistical information, for instance, the accounts having most coins present in them.

In this blog, we would be covering different aspects of Blockchain explorer.

So, give your couple of minutes, and you will have plenty of takeaways from this blog.

What is a Blockchain Explorer?

A blockchain explorer is an online blockchain browser that is useful in displaying different contents of Bitcoin transactions and blocks as well as transaction histories.

But, you should keep one thing in mind that you can’t use a block explorer for a particular blockchain if it is not suitable for it.

Why are Block Explorers important?

Blockchain is known as the decentralized technology that enables the immutable and transparent transactions. Until and unless blockchain is interpretable and accessible by the common person, it may not be beneficial at all.

Hence, Block Explorer is used as a user interface where the internet users can easily have access to the back-end occurrences of the blockchain transaction. This is quite beneficial as it enables the system auditability and further eliminates data storing having a considerable transaction volume.

What are the things that can be done with Blockchain Explorer?

There are a lot of benefits of using a block explorer. Some of them have been mentioned below:-

1. Blocks Feed

With Block explorer, mined blocks can be easily explored on Bitcoin Blockchain. It can also provide you with live feeds of the blocks that have been added up recently.

2. Transaction Feed

Block explorers can be used to explore the transaction of any block that has been mined and perhaps attached to Bitcoin blockchain.

3. Transaction History

With the assistance of block explorer, you can quickly look out for the history of a particular Bitcoin address and audit the balance, transactions, etc.

4. Change address & Receiving address

A Bitcoin block explorer can be used in revealing the receiving address as well as the change address of the Bitcoin.

5. Orphaned Blocks

With block explorer, you can quickly look out for the blocks that are orphaned and perhaps the one that is not attached to Bitcoin blockchain.

Which Blockchain Explorer can be most beneficial for you?

There are a lot of blockchain explorers available in the market. But, we have jotted down the explorers that can be beneficial for you.

1. Blockchain.info

Blockchain.info can come quite handy if you want to have a complete market overview. You would easily be able to look out who is trading, mining and how much they are being paid. Besides this, you would also be able to see that current price of bitcoin alongside its value over a period of time.

This site sits comfortably at the number 1 spot in terms of a digital wallet. Currently, it is having more than 15 million wallets present on the site. So, if you are looking for a block explorer than can cover up all dimensions, then look no further than Blockchain.info.

2. Blockexplorer.com

With Blockexplorer.com, you can quickly get a constant flow of transactions across the blockchain platform. So, if you someone who wants to have a real-time view of operations across ledger, then this site is the way to go.

You will quickly come to know about the transactions speeds as well as the bitcoin that is being sent in real time. Using this, you can soon look out for the address as well as search for a particular block.

3. Blockonomics.co

If you are someone who wants information about the bitcoin wallet, transaction, etc., then you can ideally opt for Blockonomics.co. It is quite handy as it will provide you with all the essential numbers that you may need. With this site, you can also easily track multiple transaction ids. All that you would have to do is enter the list and perhaps separate them with space.

This site is particularly useful for someone who wants to get specific information fast rather than getting a detailed report in terms of blockchain.

Final words

Block explorers are extremely useful these days as it can efficiently help you out to have a glance at the money, ledger activity, real-time view or perhaps getting in-depth analysis alongside graphs.

Besides this, it can very well help to track out the market, and you can also efficiently look over all your transactions. It also comes with additional feature such as hosted wallet which offers extra bonuses.

So, that’s all from our side in the context of Blockchain explorer. So, if you have found this blog informative, then do share it among your family, friends, and relatives. Also, if you have any questions to ask, then do write down in the comment box below.

Everything you need to know about Blockchain Programming

Overview

Blockchain has always got a lot of attention of the tech fanatics all over the globe. The blockchain has great potential to replace and disrupt the traditional systems for transacting assets and data.  So, let’s dive into this blog and look at different aspects in terms of Blockchain Programming.

What is Blockchain?

The Blockchain is a decentralized digital public ledger for the transactions. It is not checked or verified by the government, but it is secure to use as a distributed network of verification of miners using high-performance machines are set up. The blockchain technology is expected to replace the modern business processes effectively with the passage of time.

There are multiple things you must know about the blockchain programming in order to build apps and start working flawlessly on the platform. To get started with, you must know about the types of blockchain programming along with the platform it works on and the language by which you can communicate to the systems.

What are the types of Blockchain programming?

Building a decentralized app or a smart contact (DApp)

In a regular centralized application, the backend code is based on the centralized servers, but it is not the same with Dapp. The backend code of Dapp works on the decentralized peer-to-peer network. Just like the regular app, Dapp has its frontend code in any understandable language and a usual user interface which is meant to make calls to the backend.

Blockchain Architecture Programming

Before releasing the blockchain, the important features which consist of the protocols and architecture must be resolved. The protocols and architecture should be written in the code format. The general coding of the following format uses languages like Java and C that works closer to the machines. For instance, before the launching of the bitcoin blockchain in 2009, the rules which governed the situation were written in C++.

Which are the most reliable Blockchain programming platforms?

Ethereum

Ethereum is considered to be the most popular and widely used platform for blockchain programming. It is an open-sourced platform for blockchain for the development of decentralized apps or Dapp(s). It facilitates smart contacts or scripting run through the nodes of the network. Ethereum not only tracks the transactions, but it also programs them. The smart contacts in ethereum are built using the contact oriented, solidity, high-end programming language.

Hyperledger

Hyperledger is a unique umbrella project for the open source blockchains hosted by Linux Foundation. It provides the required training, events, and tools for the development of the blockchain based digital ledgers. The Hyperledger mainly aims to supply the modular blockchain technology which shall be based on efficient and user-friendly application programming interface (API).

Hyperledger tries to minimize the security risks and makes sure that the parties which are trying to make a transaction are the only part of the transaction process. It offers user-friendly capabilities in terms of blockchain architecture, immutability, the privacy of data, and the sharing of information.

Which languages are used for the blockchain programming?

C++

C++ is the oldest yet the most favored language among the blockchain programming developers. C++ reduces the coding time with the creation of the packages of objects, data, and functions as they can be used and called in any other programs. C++ can flawlessly handle the challenges related to the blockchain programming by its efficient resource management.

C++ gives a fluidic control over the CPU of the user by maximizing the usage of the processing power of the machine. The blockchains have to deal with the various unsecured and untrusted nodes for the communication, so C++ provides an adequate amount of security to the users as well.

C++ is a high-speed platform with the handling of both non-parallel and parallel tasks. It allows the multithreading with the optimization of the single thread performance. It is widely used in the extensive blockchain projects and cryptocurrencies like Ripple, Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Bitcoin cash.

Python

Python is one of the top languages for software development and blockchain programming. Python works on various platforms, for instance, Mac, Windows, Linux, Raspberry and more. It is used to connect the various database systems with the ability to handle large data operations and complex maths. The syntax of the language allows the users to write their programs with less number of lines in comparison to other programming languages. The prototyping is very rapid on the language as it runs on the interpreter system offering a swift approach. Unlike other programming languages which use semicolon or brackets to complete the command, python uses new lines which are easier to implement.

Python is a popular modern language among modern coders. Nearly one or more public tools in the blockchain ecosystem are written in Python.

 Javascript

Java is one of the most renowned languages in the field of software development. Javascript is widely used to make interactive web pages. Javascript and its framework and libraries are the drivers of the development of the modern web. Few instances of the framework and libraries include Node, Angular, jQuery, and React.

The Javascript is very synchronous and efficient when it comes to handling the blockchain operations. It is very object-oriented and prototype-based language which even supports functional programming. Javascript can even work efficiently with the simultaneous increase in the number of users of blockchain and can handle the corresponding communication between various blockchain nodes. However, javascript fails at using the maximum power of processing power of the computer like C++.

Solidity

Solidity is the domain-specific, high-level, object-oriented language resembling javascript. It is mainly designed for the creation of the decentralized applications or Dapps on the Ethereum platform. The language is statistically typed and even supports libraries, complex user-defined types, and inheritance. It is commonly used to develop the Ethereum smart contacts. Solidity is easy to learn and implement language whereas it has limited usage.

GO

GO is a modern domain language developed by Google. Go is statistically typed with similar syntax as C language. It is the mixture of the positive aspects of various languages such as user-friendliness of Javascript and Python with the security and performance of C.

Go allows the flexibility to the users which provide ease in blockchain programming. The compilation timing of the language is comparatively fast, and it also provides the ability of the garbage collection as well.

Conclusion

Blockchain technology is targeted to bring evolution in every industry and sector. It is gradually changing the traditional methods of decentralized transactions. The blockchain programming can be hectic at the first go, but it will be easier when you master the favored language of your choice.

20 Hot Blockchain Startups that are looking to hire!

Are you passionate about working in the field of cutting-edge technologies that promise to redefine how financial markets would function in the future and how contracts will be executed!

Do you envision a new tech world where instead of a few tech giants owning private data, the data owners have an ultimate say on who, when and how one can use their private information? Do you dream about the power of having decentralized yet secure databases that are available for access to anyone, but with proper authorization?

If all of this sounds exciting, you will find yourself most welcome to explore the many hot Blockchain Startups operating in different pockets of the mainland of the bay area, including but not limited to New York, Boston, and Dallas among other major US cities.

While the concept of Blockchain had been in existence within academic circles for a few decades, it became prominent in tech mainstream around 2009 when Satoshi Nakamoto used it for defining Bitcoin, world’s first cryptocurrency. Based on the principle where the last block in a chain contains a hash of the previous block, a secure chain is created.  Any activities such as a change to a block within the chain system would result in an invalid chain. The blocks themselves can contain any form of data such as ledger transactions, medical history records, private data, etc. Blockchain technology is redefining data mining and management in more ways than one, and the Blockchain industry is in need of new talent. This article aims to shed light on career openings in the Blockchain sector. Read further to know more.

So what Blockchain Startups are hiring?

Here, we present a list of hot Blockchain Companies and Startups that are churning out some cool applications using Blockchain Technologies for the benefit of different industries and sectors.

In order to get a coveted job as a Blockchain Developer, you ought to have a sound knowledge of data structures, and crypto technologies. It is normative for Startups to be comfortable with hiring a candidate based on a loose fit, as long as you can demonstrate a will to pick up additional skills that are needed for your job.

Alternatively, if you happen to an experienced Blockchain developer on the quest for your next exciting gig, many of these startups would also be willing to bring you on as an architect, or a co-founder CTO, with exciting perks and equity. Cannot get better than that, can it?

1. Ethereum Classic Labs (ETC Labs)

Based in San Francisco, California, Ethereum Classic Labs is a company that works towards research and development in the field of Blockchain and related domains. Presently, ETC Labs Core team is aiming to expand its employee base in the USA and, for that purpose, is looking for Blockchain developers who can work at the protocol level.

The company’s vision is to develop technologies and software which could truly enhance the Blockchain industry. The aim is to formulate ways in which the fullest potential of an immutable public Blockchain may be realized by the users.

Their ideal candidate should have a sound knowledge of Rust, Golang, Solidity, virtual machines, C+ and the likes. You are expected to have a knack for solving complex issues with regard to the Blockchain, Ethereum platforms, as well as, smart contracts. You would also be required to contribute to undertakings which deal with the scalability and the interoperability between ETH, which is a virtual machine and ETC, which is a platform that enables the building of Apps.

2. Hoard

Hoard is a blockchain consulting company which has developed a blockchain based mobile wallet which, according to the company’s landing page, can be used for both “cash and cryptocurrency”. Apart from sending and receiving cryptocurrency, the application also allows users to trade in cryptos. Based in Charlotte, Hoard is in the process of hiring blockchain developers with skills in cryptography, Ethereum, and Solidity based on a sound grasp of Cryptocurrency.

3. Blockchains, LLC

Although they refer to the work they do as a movement, this is a blockchain startup which is brimming with the promise of turning into one of the most influential blockchain companies in the near future.

Presently, they are in search of an experienced blockchain developer in the city of Sparks, in Nevada. The ideal candidate must have the ability to think out of the box when it comes to coding and must hold a Bachelor’s degree in the Computer sciences. Moreover, the prospective candidate is expected to have five years of experience in development and significant preexposure to high volume codebases and open-source projects. Obviously, he/she should have in-depth knowledge of blockchain, cryptography, P2P networks, and the likes.

4. Sara Technologies

Next on this list of blockchain companies is Sara Technologies, a blockchain startup based in the United States. They are on the manhunt for experienced solidity developers who can work on Ethereum platforms and have substantial knowledge with regard to smart contracts.

Moreover, they demand the candidate’s adequate exposure to DevOps tools and other blockchain testing tools like Embark, Truffle and so on.

As an employee, you would be required to work with a team of developers who are responsible for the development of apps which can be used by their client organizations. Apart from the responsibilities of the development, at times, you might be required to train clients or other internal teams with regard to blockchain elements of various kinds.

5. Bodhi Foundation

On a hiring spree in San Mateo, USA, Bodhi Foundation is among the fast-growing blockchain startups, that has already acquired an international customer base. Since their inception in 2017, they have become one of few blockchain companies which have been in the news for positive reasons, by raising $10 million prior to their ICO launch.

To strengthen their base, they are looking for backend engineers who have a minimum of 2 years of experience in this field. The candidate must have a sound knowledge of the nuances of the blockchain technology. He/she should also be well versed in computer languages like node.js, python and so on. Additionally, the experience of working with NoSQL database is a prerequisite.

6. Axoni

Axoni is a blockchain startup which focuses on the development of blockchain solutions specifically for the finance industry. Having worked with many of the world’s most reputed financial firms; they are now expanding their team with a blockchain research scientist to join their New York office.

As a prerequisite, the candidate must be a Ph.D. degree holder in the computer sciences or any of the related fields thereof and would be required to conduct extensive research in the fields of data models, scalability, security, and reliability among other areas. You must also have strong knowledge of the theories of cryptocurrency, alongside those of databases and distributed systems among others.

7. Nutanix

The rapid growth of this blockchain startup has been something for other blockchain companies to watch out for. Presently, they are in need of a blockchain engineer in San Jose, who would oversee the development process of various APIs. In doing so, the candidate would be responsible for building libraries to enable the interactions within a variety of blockchains.

The candidate must have more than five years of experience and adequate knowledge with regard to the various languages and aspects related to blockchain developing and implementation.

8. Expa

The primary function of this blockchain startup from San Francisco is to help entrepreneurs in getting a startup off the ground. They are presently looking for Blockchain Technical Leads who would have the tenacity and the capacity to transform the crypto world.

If selected, the candidate would be required to lead a team working towards the holistic development of the blockchain community. He/she must have more than ten years of experience in the field of development. He/she must have a strong hold over C, C++, Haskell, IPFS and so on. The candidate must also be adept at dealing with distributed databases, voluminous transactions, and networking protocols.

9. Thirsty Sprout

This is a blockchain startup based in Seattle which works for the development of smart contracts with the solidity platform and others. They are presently hiring an addition to their team of developers.

If selected, you would be working directly under the company’s Head of Technology, along with other project managers and developers. You must have experience of working in the field of computer engineering for at least five to ten years. Furthermore, 1-2 years of specific experience in the blockchain industry is also required.

10. Huobi

The next entry in this ‘blockchain companies list is, in fact, one of the largest digital asset exchange platforms in the world. They are on a hiring quest to expand their software team in Sunnyvale and are hiring engineers for the express purpose.

Making use of high-end blockchain technologies, you would be required to develop apps and other tools. You are expected to have a working experience of 3+ years in the field of software development. Alongside which, you must have a strong knowledge of the computer languages, blockchain platforms and a degree in computers or mathematics.

11. CoinFund

With its headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, CoinFund is an investment firm dealing in crypto-assets, founded in 2015. They are advancing the blockchain ecosystem by tactically capitalizing in on the decentralized stack and key financial infrastructure, a set of functions furthered by their extensive blockchain technology expertise.

12 Patientory, Inc

Patientory, Inc is a company with a reputation for excellence in health tech acceleration having an information management tool and social engagement platform for the express purpose of allowing people to manage and store their health data. Additionally, it helps people connect to other people having similar health issues and health concerns. Patientory intends to use the power of blockchain to create a secure repository of all health information and records of a patient wherein only the patient has the ultimate say on who has access to that information.

13. Tendermint

Tendermint is a San Francisco based blockchain startup aiming to build the foundation for decentralized internet protocols based on the vision to create a better, more secure and free internet for the future. Check out the latest blockchain jobs at https://tendermint.com/careers

14 MoGVL

A Seattle based Blockchain startup, MoGVL wants to simplify and secure the distribution of royalty-based payments for music and other licensed work. It aims to use Blockchain for automated royalty distribution, and maintenance of a tamper-proof ledger of transactions. MoGVL is looking to hire a full-stack developer with experience in Blockchain and the right attitude to work in an exciting startup.

15 Spotping

Believe in giving the users absolute control of their private data while harnessing the same data to see relevant ads? Then look no further than Spotping, which is offering a CTO / Full-Stack Developer gig for an experienced Blockchain Developer. Spotping aims to develop privacy and consumer-centric location-based ads platform. It’s based in Dallas, so not only do you get to run the show in this Blockchain heavy startup, but also enjoy the good ‘ol southern hospitality.

16 Remote.com

Believe in remote jobs? Then here is your chance to help out this startup with your blockchain skills.  Remote.com connects over 2 million professionals worldwide who prefer remote jobs more than anything else. Remote.com is currently looking to hire a senior blockchain engineer. Remote.com is based in San Francisco but is absolutely okay with you being remote.

17 GlobalEdge.io

Would you like to harness your Blockchain skills for the benefit of the airline and travel industry? GlobalEdge.io is a blockchain startup developing a platform that will enable a single source of truth for every travel ticket accessible to every participating stakeholder in the global travel industry, including single identity management for all global travel. GlobalEdge is hiring for a hyper ledger architect/co-founder, based in New York or Atlanta but okay with being remote.

18 Seedess

Seedes is a Miami based blockchain startup that is developing a serverless, decentralized video streaming network. Seedes is hoping to hire an experienced Blockchain architect as their CTO with additional experiences in Web RTC and BitTorrent.

19 RealBlocks

RealBlocks is a blockchain platform focussed on real estate that leverages blockchain technologies for enabling seamless fundraising and investments. Based in New York, RealBlocks is on the lookout for a senior engineer who has a full stack of skills including experience in encryption technologies, blockchain, design patterns, and smart contracts.

20 ArtBot

Finally, if you love both YouTube and Spotify, you have a hybrid in the form of ArtBot. ArtBot aims to create a decentralized video and audio sharing platform that duly rewards the creators and consumers, as well as advertisers. ArtBot is currently hiring a Blockchain developer to help achieve its vision for a platform that provides better rewards to the artists than what is possible today with the centralized delivery mechanism which is in the grasp of a handful of players.

In conclusion, one hopes that you have made it thus far into this Blockchain recruitments bulletin and can acknowledge the fact that the possibilities of Blockchain in so many diverse industries and sectors are truly exciting. While the Blockchain movement initiated within the financial sector, blockchain today makes for a great career option across many different industries and sectors. Do check out these startups to learn more about what they do and how you can join them to make an impact as a blockchain developer!

Here are the Top 5 best places to learn Blockchain

After every few years, there comes a technology that revolutionizes everything- First, it was the camera, then computer, then smartphone, so on… So, what now?

Well, I truly believe that it’s the Blockchain that is going to be the next big thing and will change everything around us.

Banking, healthcare, education, politics- you just name it! Believe it or not! But Blockchain is a kind of technology that has the potential to disrupt every industry in coming time. And now is the time to learn everything about it.

Today, we will tell you where you can learn about Blockchain. There are many online courses, universities, and training centers that provide interactive Blockchain tutorials and training and we have gathered a list of top 5 best places to learn Blockchain.

So without wasting any minute, let’s get started:

1. Byte academy

If you are looking for blockchain technology tutorial, then look no further than Byte academy. It’s a 12-week program and the students can easily access the course online. Furthermore, the students would be able to build their own blockchain and perhaps create their own cryptocurrency in a hassle free-way.

The course covers the entire keys and addresses, blockchain platforms, assets and tokenization, smart contracts and development, cryptocurrency, decentralized applications, regulatory environment, etc. to name a few.

The best part about this academy is the fact that the students can easily get to experience hackathons, workshops, conferences, networking and a lot more.

2. B9 Lab

B9 lab teaches top-notch bitcoin blockchain tutorial. B9 lab program consists of 12 weeks and the students can access it on a part-time or full-time basis through the online medium. Additionally, it teaches Ethereum, Blockchain, Hyperledger fabric and much more variety of courses.

It also aims to provide different kinds of blockchain technologies and it doesn’t favor a particular technology stack such that the students get a well-rounded and balanced educational experience.

The only criteria of this academy is that the students need to have at least one year of hands-on experience as a developer before applying for this particular course. The best part about this academy is that the students get personalized support for professional growth as industry -experienced instructors provide active tutoring to the students.

3. Acadgild

Acadgild provides best in class blockchain training to the students from all geographic location. The course spans over 12 weeks and the students can have access to it through the online medium.

Acadgild’s Academy teaches the students about the solidity codes, EVM architecture, writing smart contracts through Ethereum, Truffle, Spark solidity to name a few.

The best part about this academy is that it helps the students a lot in their career preparation by conducting a series of resume building and mock interviews.

4.    Accelerate

Accelerate blockchain course guides the students about the fundamental of Blockchain and Ethereum. Besides this, it also teaches the students about the security concerns in solidity smart contracts and different ways through which decentralized applications can be developed which includes front end interfaces such that interaction with smart contracts can be easily done.

The Accelerate program offers practical hands-on experience such that the students are job ready. Also, it is one of the best blockchain interactive tutorials for the students. The duration of the course is 4 weeks and students can do it on a part-time basis.

5. The DEN

The DEN course curriculum has been designed and developed alongside CEO’s, CTO’s, and other hiring leads with the aim of providing job-ready students. The entire course covers building real solutions and developing products in the decentralized environment.

The best thing about the DEN course is the fact that the students can have easy access to the alumni network, portfolio feedbacks, weekly coding sessions which help them to grow professionally. The duration of the entire course is 6 weeks and the students can do it on a part-time basis.

Final verdict

Blockchain is quite a demanding career and it has a great scope in the years to come. So, above is the list of the top 5 places where the students can easily learn about the blockchain technology. Students should definitely look at the academy mentioned above and further enroll in this academy to improve their skills sets in terms of blockchain technology such that they are job ready.

If you have any queries or if you know any better medium for blockchain learning, then do let us know in the comment box below.

What I look for when hiring User Experience Designers

By: Daan Lindhout

A very common question I get from job applicants and people trying to get into the User Experience Design field is “what do you look for when hiring User Experience Designers”. Here are the things I look for in no particular order:

Passion for design of any type. I look for designers who live and breathe design, not just at work, but also at home. Some of the best designers I have worked with can literally not stop designing things when they go home. They spend their free time building things with their kids, crafting furniture, 3d printing, creating fine art, designing t-shirts and logo’s for fun, etc.

Enthusiasm about technology. I look for designers who are enthusiastic about the potential of technology and how it can change people’s lives. Designers who are curious and excited about all things technology and are constantly dreaming up future products and services that will take advantage of it. For example: a good designer will be able to on-the-spot give you great examples of experiences in everyday life they would like to redesign by using technology.

Complex web application design experience. Most UX Designers will end up working on complex systems and applications at some point. I am looking for the skills and aptitude to deal with complexity. For example: Interfaces in which users have to deal with a large amount of objects and need to filters, sort, and search to find what they are looking for. Or complex task-flows with a wide variety of user personas that need to be taken into account. Or many different states of the same UI based on circumstances (success, failure, user type, first time use, routine use, etc.).

Data visualization experience. Most products and services have some type of data visualization these days. I always look for at least one sample in a portfolio showing data visualization skills or aptitude. For example: a dashboard, an infographic or map design.

Great reviews on LinkedIn from reputable people. If a designer has no reviews at all I get worried. If they have only reviews from peers from different disciplines, I am still a bit worried. If they have a number of great reviews from managers or executives as well as peers, across disciplines, that’s someone I want to take a closer look at. With “great reviews” I don’t mean the standard “got the work done, was a pleasure to work with” type of reviews. Those don’t have as much meaning and are the results of colleagues being nice after having been asked to write a review rather than un-prompted truly positive reviews. I am looking for reviews that say “The best designer I have worked with” or “Changed the way our team and company looks at product planning and design” or “Was instrumental in…“.

A great portfolio site. The portfolio site by itself is a very good representation of the skills of a designer, obviously because they designed the site and the content, but also because they often had to set it up/implement it as well. It shows not only the range of design skills (from information architecture to interaction design and visual/graphic design) it also show aptitude toward technology (either by picking a great portfolio site creation tool or by doing some front-end development). I am disappointed if all there is a Dribble site, a .pdf or if the site is an obvious template from one of the common portfolio site providers. I also look for everything featured on the portfolio site to be absolutely stellar design or process according to the seniority level of the designer and how long ago the design was created. I would rather see a few projects that are really high quality than many that are mediocre. A portfolio killer is putting everything you have ever done on there instead of only the highest quality work you are truly proud of. If I see even just one project with questionable design choices (for example: bad typography or choice of margins) I start questioning the general judgement of the designer. If you are a recent grad your strongest selling point is your education and enthusiasm, not your wealth of experience, so don’t worry about only having a few projects on there. If you have many years of experience, don’t leave out those projects that were great in their day but that are now hopelessly outdated. Instead, put them on there and just mention from what year they are. Most hiring managers will be able to put a design in perspective of the time period it was created in.

Interest in people. If you are not deeply interested in people in general, their behavior, motivations and history, you won’t be a very good designer. It’s all about making things for people and you have to be very good at, and interested in, empathizing with them. UX Designers also have to work very closely with other disciplines who sometimes have different goals and motivations so from a collaboration perspective being interested in people and being able to empathize with them is also very important. If a Designer isn’t talking about users and colleagues or asking questions about culture and people during the interview loop, I get very worried.

A great presenter and storyteller. You can’t be a great UX Designer without being a great presenter and storyteller. Getting your idea across and inspiring others to follow it is crucial. Beyond just being able to give a great presentation, you have to be able to read an audience or person and change your message as appropriate on the fly. If a candidate shows up for an interview loop and starts with a rehearsed portfolio presentation during which they barely interact with the audience, it’s an immediate show stopper for me. BTW: I think any interview loop (for designers, engineers, testers, sales, etc.) should start with a “portfolio” presentation. The days of the lone employees doing brilliant things in isolation are over (or were never there).

A strong internalized design process. I look for designers who deeply understand which design process is appropriate for any particular design problem. Specifically, designers who understand what steps can be skipped, combined or shortened based on what is most appropriate for the problem at hand. Sometimes you need to go through the full design process several times to make sure you get it right, sometimes you only need a few steps over the course of 5 minutes.

A small but present ego and the ability to cause (some) trouble. I believe that great design ideas can come from anywhere and that designers should always be open to external ideas and help the good ones come to life. In the end you are trying to make the whole organization come up with great ideas and translate them into great products that improve people’s lives. See: It’s a design democracy. Trust your elected officials. A big ego stands in the way of taking ideas from others and making them great. But, I don’t want to hire designers who just follow existing ideas and patterns either… I want designers to be able to challenge the status quo, show a bit of ego, and cause some trouble when appropriate. For example: if you ask Engineers what they think about working with a UX Designer and all they say is that the Designer is really easy to work with, I get a bit worried. There should be some tension between Designers and Engineers where the designer is trying to push the envelope of what is possible in the current product or with the current technology and the Engineer is thinking about implementation effort/costs. If there is no tension the UX Designer is probably compromising too quickly and not standing up for their ideas enough.

Transparency about what they contributed to a design or idea. I have frequently encountered cases where designers made it look like something was their idea or design on their portfolio site, but when you dug deeper it became clear they were working with a larger team and only part of the design was theirs. Since I believe great ideas can come from anywhere, I actually like to hear about how a designer took an idea from someone else and developed it further. That means they can collaborate and set their ego aside and recognize a good idea for what it is, not where it came from. I do look for some original ideas in a portfolio or during an interview loop, but it’s always good to show some things that you collaborated on with others.

A great trajectory and solid tenure. I look for designers who have clearly progressed in their career and have had solid tenure at the majority of their past jobs. With solid tenure I don’t mean a decade, I mean 3 years at most jobs. Most designers reach their full potential towards the end of the second year on a job and by the end of the third year they have had enough time to design and lead truly impactful things through implementation. It’s ok to have a shorter stint in the mix as long as it’s not the trend and there was a great reason for leaving. It’s very hard to judge a company by its cover when you decide to take on a new job.

Depth and breadth (or the potential to get there). The strongest designers can design anything for anybody. They can adapt to any market, user type, UX pattern, visual design language, etc. They don’t care if they are designing things for consumers or enterprise customers as long as they can have a big impact on the life of their users. They can do information architecture, interaction design, visual design, research, prototyping, etc. It’s very rare to find someone who can do all of this, so showing aptitude to learn new things is the next best thing. I look for designers who experiment with the latest design tools, dabble in front-end development, who are passionate about the latest (unbelievable) logo redesign of an established brand, who can argue for several hours over the best way to dismiss filters on a dashboard.

Relentlessly and contagiously positive. Great designers by nature dream big and don’t set artificial limitations or boundaries for themselves or others. They are inherently positive and enthusiastic about people, life and the potential of days to come. It’s hard work to see your designs all the way through from conception, through iteration and implementation to routine use by thousands or millions of people. If you start with a negative point of view you are never going to get there.