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ChainSkills Blockchain Bootcamp
February 5 - February 7
Blockchain is way bigger than what you think it is
Have you already heard of the blockchain?
You may have some geek friends who can’t seem to shut up about it on social networks. You can’t miss all the headlines about Bitcoin reaching a new all times high, along with a paragraph about the blockchain, “the technology behind Bitcoin”. You probably came across a news report about this “fraud” internet money that nerds use to buy drugs and weapons on the dark web. Or you might have read it has no future because it consumes as much energy as a small country.
But of course, as always, the reality is much more interesting than what most news outlets are reporting. And you probably guessed that if so many people are talking about it, there must be something there. If so, you guessed right.
Behind all the technological lingo about cryptography, distributed databases, mining algorithms and so on, there is a technology that promises to fundamentally change the way we collaborate and govern our organisations and societies thanks to decentralisation. The most important aspect of the Bitcoin revolution is a monetary system that doesn’t require any central bank or government to create currency or secure transfers directly between individuals.
Bitcoin does that by recording monetary transactions into a shared ledger, that says who sent how much to whom at a given date. The blockchain makes it possible to record much more generic transactions in such a shared ledger, like who sold a house to whom, or who created a kilowatt-hour of electricity, or who voted for which decision in a referendum. And it does that with code, as securely as if a trust third party had done it.
How would you like to buy a house without going through a notary? Or sell the electricity you produce with solar panels on your roof to your neighbours without going through your energy operator? Or even vote on local decisions without elected representatives? All those are real potential applications of the blockchain technology.
Of course, removing those intermediaries looks scary, because of legal and security concerns. Can you really trust code and computers as much as you trust your bank, your notary or your government about those things?
That’s why we created this training program: to help everyone understand why the blockchain came to be, what it is, how it works, and ultimately how to leverage it today to rethink the way you do business, whether you have a technical background or not.
What you will learn in this training program?
This 3-day training program will be structured in three one-day phases:
Day #1: Understanding the blockchain
In day #1, we explain in generic terms why the blockchain came to be, how it works, why it is such a breakthrough, and what are its most important concepts.
We go over concepts such as:
- What is the Byzantine Generals Problem?
- How the Bitcoin blockchain solved it in innovative ways?
- What is a Bitcoin transaction and how it can be generified to represent much broader forms of value?
- What are the core principles of a blockchain? How are they implemented in different platforms like Bitcoin and Ethereum? What is a blockchain network instance?
- Who are the main actors in a blockchain ecosystem (miners, users and developers) and what are their respective roles?
- What is a crypto-currency and what roles does it play in a blockchain (hint: much more than getting you rich)?
- What is a consensus algorithm? How does Bitcoin’s mining algorithm work (bird’s eye view)?
- What is a Smart Contract and how this concept can be the basis of the Internet of Value?
- What are typical existing use cases where the blockchain can improve efficiency, scalability and security?
- What are some of the use cases that are made possible by the blockchain, where traditional centralized applications could simply not go?
- What are some of the limitations of the blockchain concept, including some that are intrinsic to the architecture, and some that are going to be overcome by further research and development?
- What is a Token? What is an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)? What is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)? What is Liquid Democracy?
This day’s program is ideal both for:
- Business people and decision makers who have no software development background but simply want to better understand the opportunities and the challenges that the blockchain presents to their business
- and software developers who don’t understand the blockchain yet but would really want to understand the big picture before investing time and energy in learning new programming languages and tools
The content is heavily and visually illustrated, and highly interactive: you will get plenty of opportunities to ask questions and get detailed answers.
As you will see in the pricing section, you can attend only day #1 if you are not a developer.
Day #2: Getting Started with Ethereum and Solidity
In day #2, we focus on how you can leverage all the concepts presented in day #1 by developing a Decentralized Application (DApp) on the Ethereum blockchain.
- Introduction to cryptography: what are the main cryptographic primitives and tools you need to understand when developing on the blockchain?
- What is a DApp? How is it structured? How does it integrate in a user’s environment?
- Installation of your development environment on Linux, MacOS or Windows
- Demonstration of a DApp that we will create and develop together
- Creation of a DApp project using Truffle and Solidity
- Design and development of our first Smart Contract in Solidity
- Unit testing a Smart Contract with Truffle
- Deploying Smart Contracts to a development node (testrpc), a private node, a test network and the main Ethereum network
- Understanding gas, opcodes and the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)
- Sending crypto-currency between accounts and contracts
During this day, we demonstrate the development of a sample DApp, step by step, so that you can follow along and experiment with the tools with our support.
Also, for this day, you need to bring your own laptop to be able to experiment with the sample application we show you.
Day #3: Completing your DApp’s user experience with a frontend
Day #3 is all about getting your hands dirty with your own DApp and developing a frontend to access your smart contracts.
We show you:
- How to create a frontend for a smart contract using the ReactJS framework and the Web3 library
- How to integrate frontend development into the overall development lifecycle
- How to deal with DApp browsers like Mist and MetaMask
And we also accompany you into bootstrapping your own DApp project. We will be here to answer all your questions and work out all the quirks you get into when getting started.
What you will get from this program
At the end of day #1, you will understand what a blockchain is, what opportunities it offers and what challenges it poses to your business. You will be equipped to make better decisions regarding the future of your business or career when it comes to the role the blockchain can play in them. This will also be a unique opportunity to meet other blockchain enthusiasts and developers you might want to collaborate with.
If you go through the whole 3 days:
- You will be able to make a decision on when to use or not to use a blockchain
- You will be able to design and build your own smart contracts
- You will have your first decentralized application bootstrapped
Overall, you will be a full-blown DApp developer.
And you will also get lifetime access to all our training material available online.
Whatever the formula you choose, we will also certify your participation in the training program in the Ethereum blockchain, which will make it easy for future employers to verify that you acquired that new skillset with us.
Of course, breakfasts and lunches are included, as well as free Wifi.
What we will not cover in this program
Here are some topics that we do not cover during this 3-day program:
- We do not talk about development on permissioned “blockchains” like Hyperledger and the likes. We only explain the conceptual differences between those and open blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- This training program doesn’t cover crypto-currency investment and trading strategies
- We do not explain in details how to launch your own ICO. We only explain what are tokens and ICOs are on a conceptual level.
Who are the trainers?
Said started his career in 1992. As an IT Consultant, he was involved in several missions as a developer, Team Leader and Agile coach. As a co-organiser of the Wajug, Said helps in the organisation of talks for IT professionals. He is also a passionate trainer, teaching kids to program games and robotics through the Wajug and Devoxx4Kids initiatives.
Sebastien started his career as a Java software consultant, with a strong focus on productivity. He was a strong advocate of Model-Driven Architecture before discovering Groovy and Grails. Then he also started developing iOS applications, and in 2011, he created his first startup, Kodesk. After learning a lot as an entrepreneur, he co-created the NEST’up startup accelerator program and coached several startups on the Lean Startup tools and techniques.
In 2016, when they started digging into the blockchain, and especially Ethereum, Said and Sebastien couldn’t help but notice that it had incredible potential, but it definitely needed more people to be involved in order to realized its full potential. That’s why they created the ChainSkills initiative, first to share their own learning journey, and then to educate more people, and especially more developers to this new paradigm.
Today, with ChainSkills, Said and Sebastien are training more than 2000 students on Udemy (http://training.chainskills.com), and have already spoken in numerous conferences like Devoxx Belgium 2016 (http://bit.ly/chainskills-devoxx-2016) and 2017 (http://bit.ly/chainskills-devoxx-2017).