Blockchain technology is changing the way we live. Almost everybody knows about Bitcoin although many know nothing about the technology that powers it. Blockchain technology makes cryptocurrencies special, and owing to the rising popularity of these digital currencies, several developers want to learn blockchain coding.
Finding free or paid courses is not a difficult task for programmers determined to learn about blockchain coding. You can go in for a free course if you are a beginner. If you are interested in upskilling, a paid course with a certificate is ideal.
Know the Basics
Before signing up for a course, you need to know certain basic things about blockchain coding.
Cryptocurrencies are based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) and the most popular variant of this technology is blockchain. A blockchain developer is a programmer who writes blockchain codes.
Today, owing to the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies, many people want to learn blockchain coding. Fortunately for aspiring blockchain developers, blockchain is an open-source code, which is freely available online.
A blockchain refers to a virtual database, in which you can store information. This information is stored in the form of blocks, resembling Excel spreadsheets. However, the difference between an Excel spreadsheet and a blockchain is huge.
Here are some interesting features of a blockchain:
- Blockchain technology is decentralized, which indicates that it does not have any centre. Blocks are stored in several computers referred to as nodes.
- The technology is also referred to as “peer-to-peer” as it involves no third party such as Facebook or Google.
- This means that blockchain technology isn’t under the control of a single person, government, company, or entity. The users of this technology as well as blockchain developers deal directly with one another instead of going through third parties.
- Anybody can access the data on a blockchain. Interestingly, nobody can modify or use it without everybody coming to know about it.
- Before introducing new data to the blockchain, over half the nodes involved in the blockchain have to confirm that the data is valid. This makes it impossible for any hacker to take advantage of the system.
- Once you add data to the blockchain, you cannot remove or modify it in any way. The information is safe, secure, encrypted, and almost impossible to hack.
- Decentralized applications (dApps) are based on blockchain technology. Blockchain platforms like EOS, Ethereum, and NEO are designed in such a way that you can create a variety of dApps on them.
- The anonymous creator of Bitcoin wanted to challenge centralized banking, but blockchain platforms like Ethereum and NEO, which were developed later, want programmers to create dApps to replace centralized apps like Uber, Twitter, Facebook, Google, and the rest.
- If you learn blockchain coding, you may create a great dApp and contribute to the movement to create a 100% decentralized Internet.
Popular Blockchain Development Platforms
Once you have understood the basics, you have to decide which blockchain platform you would like to work on.
Ethereum – Established in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin, this platform was meant for the use of dApp developers. You need to know a programming language to build a dApp on Ethereum or any other blockchain platform for that matter.
If you want to work on the Ethereum platform, you have to first master Solidity, the programming language for Ethereum. This means that even if you are an experienced programmer with a well-established career, you have to learn a new programming language before you can start writing blockchain codes.
Ethereum has links with major companies like Samsung and MasterCard. Its focus is on encouraging programmers to develop blockchain technology. It is also home to the biggest community of dApp builders on the Internet.
NEO – Initially known as Antshares, NEO was created by Erik Zhang and Da Hongfei in 2014. The platform was rechristened NEO in 2017. The focus of NEO is to provide a platform for digital businesses. Strictly regulated in China, it works in collaboration with the Chinese government.
You don’t need to learn a different language to create dApps on this platform. You can do so using a variety of programming languages including Java and C#. So, if you are an experienced programmer who doesn’t want to learn any new language, you can use your existing knowledge of programming languages to create dApps on the NEO platform.
As it is faster than Ethereum, it is excellent for dApps that have to process several transactions per second.
Hyperledger – A project that involves several open-source blockchain codes, Hyperledger serves to develop blockchain technology. It provides blockchain programmers the required training and tools and also organizes events to support blockchain technology.
It also aims to create a modular blockchain technology that contains an application programming interface (API) that is easy to use. It is a secure platform that does not permit access to anybody except the transacting parties. Therefore, it has all the features of the blockchain architecture including immutability, data sharing, and privacy.
Here in brief are the steps you need to immediately take if you are serious about learning blockchain coding:
- Master the basics of blockchain technology and various cryptocurrencies. You can do so by interacting on Bitcoin forums, watching YouTube vlogs on cryptocurrencies, and reading the latest blockchain news on platforms like CoinDesk.
- Start using cryptocurrencies. To do so, you have to visit a crypto exchange and buy some bitcoins in exchange for fiat cash. If you are new to this, we suggest CoinBase. Just buy enough to plunge into the world of cryptocurrencies and learn everything about them.
- Try CryptoZombies or Space Doggos to learn the basics of blockchain coding. Both are gamified Solidity courses for beginners, which make them a great place to learn as much about blockchain programming as possible. The Ethereum platform becomes less formidable because it is turned into a game.
- Sign up for free courses online.
- When you know the basics of blockchain programming and want to become a master, take advanced paid courses like the ones at Udacity and Udemy. If you already know the basics of Solidity, we suggest the Solidity course at BitDegree.
Our Final Words
The demand for blockchain programmers in the job market is not high at present. But the right time to learn blockchain programming is now as the knowledge will be of great use to you in the future.