It’s hard to scan tech headlines or go to an IT conference these days without encountering some mention of blockchain. And while blockchain may well be over-hyped in some ways, it’s likely that blockchain technology is here to stay in one form or another. If you have yet to familiarize yourself with the intricacies of blockchain technology, it’s time to start by taking advantage of the resources listed below for learning about blockchain.
To be clear, we’ll focus in this article on identifying useful learning resources that will teach you how blockchain-based software of all types works from a technical perspective. If you’re looking to learn about the economics of bitcoin and cryptofinance, this article is not for you. But if you want to understand things like how to write smart contracts or how to design a consensus protocol, the blockchain learning resources listed below are an excellent place to start.
Blockchain MOOC Online Courses
For starters, consider Massively Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, which focus on blockchain technology.
In this vein, edX offers a “Blockchain and Cryptography” course run by the Linux Foundation. The course, which is free, includes hands-on experience with blockchain frameworks created by the open source Hyperledger project.
Similarly, Coursera offers a four-course series focused on blockchain technology created by the State University of New York at Buffalo. The first course in the series deals with an introduction to blockchain technology in general, and subsequent courses dive into specific technical topics, like smart contracts and Dapps.
ConsenSys, a company that operates on the blockchain space, sponsors ConsenSys Academy, which provides blockchain courses (including in-person as well as online courses) and learning resources.
The Academy focuses on material related to the blockchain technologies that ConsenSys supports, especially those within the Ethereum ecosystem. As such, the Academy is a great place to learn about Ethereum and decentralized applications (dapps) that run on the Ethereum blockchain, although it may not be as useful for studying other blockchain frameworks.
Blockchain Programming Books
If you have autodidact tendencies, you might prefer to learn about blockchain by reading some books. The following titles are good places to start to learn about blockchain programming and other technical topics:
- Chris Dannen’s Introducing Ethereum and Solidity: Foundations of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Programming for Beginners
- Siraj Raval’s Decentralized Applications: Harnessing Bitcoin's Blockchain Technology
- Mayukh Mukhopadhyay’s Ethereum Smart Contract Development: Build Blockchain-based Decentralized Applications Using Solidity
- Charles Jensen’s Blockchain: Programming, Ethereum, and Cryptocurrency Guide
These are by no means the only useful titles for learning about blockchain programming, but we think they’re a good place to start.
Blockchain Learning Videos
If you want to teach yourself about blockchain but aren’t much of a reader, perhaps you’d rather watch videos from the following Youtube channels and videos.
In that case, I recommend the YouTube channel Blockchain Engineer. This channel includes about as many videos on non-technical, finance-related blockchain topics as it does on programming, but you’ll find some valuable technical instructional material here, as well.
Blockchain Engineer is one of the only places to find free online videos about blockchain programming; most other content on YouTube and similar sites that deals with blockchain approaches it from an ideological or economic perspective.
In-Person Blockchain Seminar
If you learn best in a traditional classroom setting, you may want to check out “Programming Blockchain.” The seminar promises to teach “the ins and outs of blockchain development” in two days. It’s an intense, in-person opportunity to learn about blockchain programming.
Unlike the other blockchain learning resources on this list, this blockchain course comes with a steep price tag: The base cost is $4,000 (payable in bitcoin, of course).
No matter how you prefer to learn, there’s a resource suited to your needs for learning about blockchain. If you haven’t yet added blockchain skills to your technical resumé, there has never been a better time to start.