With virtually every tech blog and media outlet talking about the blockchain, it seems inevitable that you will need to learn skills related to the field at some point. And it’s a good assumption to have.
However, the question for many of you is where and how does this training start, and what does it involve? After all, the increase in demand for skilled blockchain professionals has only hit its feverish pace over the last few years.
Well, the good news is that blockchain training isn’t an abstract, difficult-to-understand concept. We’re here to break down what it entails and how it can benefit you, the aspiring blockchain professional.
Understanding the Blockchain & Its Basic Concepts
Like any new subject, the beginning of a blockchain training course begins with the basics, what it is, how it works. This, of course, begins with some of the topics you’re already familiar with such as how blockchain technology supports cryptocurrencies, and some textbook examinations of concepts including decentralization and consensus.
It starts to pick up and breaks off into more detailed concepts around how specific blockchains – i.e., for specific cryptocurrencies or non-cryptocurrency based ones operate. In addition to this, there are discussions and lessons on how blockchain and ledgers intertwine with existing solutions and systems – i.e. financial, healthcare, supply chain, etc.
The course then gets more hands-on, and the theory behind the technology takes a back seat as you start examining case studies and strategic uses of blockchain and ledgers. This analytic work and review will help you see how companies (and even individuals) can use blockchain applications practically. At this point, blockchain will no longer seem like an abstract concept, but rather, a tangible asset that can address common technical and business issues.
A Fork In The Curriculum
The materials mentioned in the last section will be taught to people on either side of the technical or business management side of things. However, as things progress, the curriculum for blockchain architects and developers will take a separate path from the one that aspiring business managers will find themselves on.
And of course, there are separate courses dedicated to those on either side, some of which would require certain backgrounds (especially technical ones).
For those on the technical side, blockchain architecture-focused courses hammer down concepts such as process flows, blockchain platforms, programming languages/frameworks and interfaces with enterprise systems.
For those on the business side, a progression in the curriculum would focus more on how blockchain platforms apply to specific industries and how implementing them affects strategic business models (i.e. SWOT, journey mapping, etc.).
What Good Blockchain Training Involves
The best courses offer a distinct combination of content and a differentiated learning experience for the participants.
From a content perspective, all courses will introduce what blockchain is, how it works, several case studies of use, different types of blockchains, cryptocurrencies and tokens as well as application to enterprise and for consumer applications. Some will vary in the degree of technical vs. business focus.
So what makes a course distinct in terms of content – two words: “so what?” Good courses cover the “so what.” What is the impact of blockchain to my business, processes, partners, application, application interfaces and use, data and how it is managed, policies that need to be adhered to such as GDPR or HIPAA for instance in case of privacy or AML/KYC, regulatory compliance such as securities regulation, governance, business models, and of course the technology implementation.
The “so what” goes further than just laying out what blockchain is and how it works and marketing case studies. It addresses how you can implement a blockchain solution in light of real world constraints. As an example, ask if the course answer the following:
What is the impact of blockchian on my existing business practices, partners, processes, business models, governance models, product/solution offer, and customer engagement, etc?
Can the solution scale provide the privacy, security, transaction finality, etc. for the use case I am attempting to achieve?
As an example, if your industry is regulated such as healthcare, insurance, finance, the relevant questions may include - how do I implement a healthcare solution such as one for patient records - that deals with sensitive patient data - in light of HIPAA privacy policies?
How do I implement a blockchain application with client data in light of GDPR where someone has the “right to be forgotten?”
How do I design and architect a solution so that only that which needs to be on a blockchain is there and anything else is kept off-chain?
How do I implement a blockchain solution for data that is constantly changing in light of the fact blockchain is an immutable ledger? Do I implement this with blockchain? How do I determine if blockchain is even the right solution for what I am attempting to do?