Blockchain has been on the radar for a few years now. Here we take a look at the skills you need to succeed in the sector.
What does blockchain mean? Well, it is a decentralized, distributed and public digital ledger. It can be used to record transactions and data across many different computers. The record can be shared, but it cannot be changed retroactively without changing all the subsequent blocks and disrupting the consensus mechanism of the network – hence the name “blockchain”.
If you are coming to blockchain as a complete beginner, you need to understand the consensus mechanism. A consensus mechanism is a type of program used in blockchain systems to achieve distributed agreement on the state of the ledger.
Different blockchains use different types of consensus algorithms, such as proof-of-work, proof-of-stake, proof-of-capacity, and proof-of-activity.
However, the first two are the most common. Proof of work is used by some famous crypto networks such as Bitcoin.
That brings us to another key point: if you want to get a foothold in blockchain you should familiarize yourself with where and how it is used.
Why blockchain and for what?
Crypto and decentralized finance is perhaps the most well-known area that uses blockchain technology, but there are other uses as well.
Last year, Trinity College Dublin researcher Dr Hitesh Tewari gave an in-depth interview to SiliconRepublic.com about how the technology’s makeup means it can be used for privacy.
Tewari’s research concerns decentralized privacy-preserving systems, from autonomous vehicle security to next-generation cryptocurrencies.
The blockchain offers a way for people to be in control of their personal data even when operating in a digital world. It is an area that many people are interested in – and it has far-reaching uses in several sectors from health to recreation.
Core technology skills
Now let’s take a look at some of the technical skills you should brush up to make a career in blockchain.
You should get a good grounding in distributed systems and peer-to-peer networks because blockchain is decentralized and not under the control of a single system.
Programming skills like C, Python, Ruby, Golanf and Java are also great games to learn. They are all widely used in blockchain development. This article by Knowledge Hut gives a good overview of the kinds of things blockchain developers are working on.
Cryptography, encryption and security concepts in general are a need to know given blockchain’s focus on data security.
If you’re looking to graduate online in blockchain technology in your downtime, some of these courses can give you a pretty solid introduction to what is an exciting and growing technology.
Udemy’s Guide to the Blockchain Ecosystem course is very short, clocking in at just over one hour in length. It’s easy enough to complete in an afternoon, and it gives you a very basic, clear grounding in what blockchain is.
If you want something more advanced than that, Simplilearn offers a four-month online bootcamp for those with professional aspirations. It is delivered in collaboration with the Indian IT department in Kanpur, so it is accredited. The next litter starts on 14 June.
Last but not least, anyone interested in blockchain should check out the Blockchain Council’s website. It has many resources, as well as live learning pathways and links to online degrees and certifications.
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