4. Programmers are more interested in proofs
Proving the code to be correct has always been a passion for the most mathematically minded developers, but most programmers avoid the hassle when the stakes are lower. When money is involved and active hackers have more incentive, though, building up a logical argument for the software’s correctness is more attractive.
Programmers are relearning the lessons pushed by the theorem-loving mathy types in the hopes of squeezing the errors from their code.
5. Traditional languages are fading
Many C programmers love to claim that their language can do anything. They’re right, and so are the lovers of other languages. You can implement blockchain algorithms in pretty much any language. Serious blockchain developers, though, are choosing newer languages with more emphasis on correctness, driving the path of innovation toward more accurate and trustworthy code.
As the blockchain-based algorithms find more and more uses outside of cryptocurrencies and digital contracts, they’ll bring the interest in these newer languages with them, as well as the spirit of bug-averse coding.
6. Syntax is less important
The differences are largely syntactic and, at times, it seems as though they exist largely because some people don’t like using their pinkie finger to type a semicolon. (More sophisticated preprocessing options, such as TypeScript, do add more practical features, such as type safety.)
Blockchain programmers are often less focused on the syntactic sugar coating of a language, and are more open about understanding how the code is converted to the instructions eventually executed by the blockchain virtual machine (VM).
They have to be. The conversion from high-level code to VM instructions is a big place where errors and omissions can creep into the software. Worries about attackers and security are forcing developers to spend more time thinking about how the code actually executes, and less time fussing about aesthetic issues such as counting tabs and spaces.
7. Programmers are embracing digital signatures
Encryption is not uncommon on the web. You’re probably reading this text in a browser that received an encrypted copy through the HTTPS protocol.
But digital signatures offer an entirely different layer of security that links a transaction to someone who holds the private key. The approach isn’t perfect because the private key might be stolen or lost, but the algorithms provide some assurance that a particular person was responsible.
These digital signatures are common in some code platforms and have been for some time, especially in the distribution of software on mobile phones. Blockchain encourages regular developers to think about adding some digital assurance and keeping a secure log of everything that changes.