A Few Resources to Get Started

Over the past few weeks, we have been reading and watching a lot of material about the blockchain and some of its variants (including the Bitcoin blockchain of course). The goal is not only to understand how it works technically, which will be necessary in order to understand how we can use it, but also to understand where it comes from, how it was created.

And we wanted to share with you some of the best resources we have found so far.

First things first. What are Bitcoin and the blockchain?  The first presentation is a great introduction that illustrates how Bitcoin and the blockchain are changing the rules of our world.

The second one is a presentation from Vinay Gupta, explaining in very clear terms how the blockchain came to be, from an historical standpoint, and how it fits in the timeline of data storage mechanisms. We love this talk because it doesn’t focus too much on the economic side of things but it sees the blockchain as a software paradigm, and a development platform, and that’s what we are really interested in as well, even though the currency part of it cannot be separated.

Vinay Gupta at Michel Bauwens & the Promise of the Blockchain from FIBER on Vimeo.

The third resource is also a video, a presentation by Andreas Antonopoulos, the author of Mastering Bitcoin, one of the THE reference books on how to develop on top of the Bitcoin blockchain apparently (we bought the book, didn’t read it yet). What we really love about this guy is that he is deeply invested in the Bitcoin blockchain, and yet he remains very curious and open-minded about all the evolutions of the blockchain technology. And as we are progressing in that space, we can see that a lot of people who have invested (or speculated) a lot on Bitcoin don’t really like the idea of being challenged by new tools and techniques about their core beliefs and assumptions. In that context, this talk and all of Andreas’ contributions are quite refreshing.

The last resource we wanted to mention in this blog post is a MOOC that I (Sebastien) have started following. It’s not free, it costs 830£ (by the way, given recent events, if you pay in euros or dollars, 830£ will be cheaper than usual), but so far, 2 weeks in, I must say that I’m pretty happy with the quality of the content.

I was kind of frustrated by the Ethereum tutorial, which seems pretty outdated and lacks a lot of details to get going. But the b9lab academy content is very practical and gives plenty of pointers to learn more around the main content. So far, it’s exactly what I was looking for. And one cool thing about this MOOC is that it will end with a certification that will be written to the Ethereum blockchain so that attendees can prove they followed through this course.

We will keep sharing some of the most interesting resources we find, both in English and French, about those topics, so if you have some resources to recommend yourself, feel free to leave a comment on this post.

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Sébastien Arbogast
Développeur passionné et indépendant, entrepreneur dans l’âme et apprenti visionnaire, je suis toujours à l’affût de ces technologies qui vont bouleverser le monde et nos sociétés. Consultant depuis plus de 12 ans, je me suis récemment lancé à la conquête de la blockchain, je donne des conférences et des formations sur le sujet (notamment en ligne sur Udemy). A côté de ça je suis curieux de plein de choses: la conquête spatiale, la moto, la musique électronique, les hippocampes albinos ambidextres… plein de choses.

5 thoughts on “A Few Resources to Get Started

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  1. Dear Sebastien,

    I recently subscribed to your Udemy Course and really liked it.
    Can say it without any doubt that it is one of the best courses on Solidity that one follow on the Internet today.

    In this post you have praised courses from B9lab Academy.
    Along with Solidity I wish to gain knowledge about IBM Hyperledger as well and B9lab Academy has recently launched a course for that too (last date to enroll is 30 November 2017).

    I need your advise if B9lab Academy courses are really worthy enough given their high price and will this certification help me show my prowess in Blockchain area to companies looking for Blockchain programmers.

    I have more than 10 years of programming experience (mainly in Mainframes technologies) and now want to switch career to Blockchain for better career prospects and also because I really love the concept and interesting functional applications of technologies in this area.

    Anxiously waiting for your reply.

    Best Regards

    1. Hello Tanmay, unfortunately, since this post, my opinion on B9Lab has evolved in the wrong direction. I haven’t looked at their Hyperledger because I’m not interested in Hyperledger at all (cf. this other post), but I can say that I was really disappointed by the substance of their Solidity course. I didn’t like the fact that it was all real time: what’s the point of an online training that you have to wait for new lectures to be released, or that you have to keep track of in real time otherwise you miss the certification exam? That’s exactly one of the reasons why we created our course on Udemy. Even though it doesn’t offer the same kind of on-chain certification, it is much more adapted to an online context. When you add to that the fact that their content was really messy and full of “go read the doc”, I would definitely not recommend their Solidity course. As for Hyperledger, well, I know that’s what most employers are all excited about right now, but… well, you can just read my post about it. Be aware that Hyperledger is actually an umbrella for a lot of different (and completely incompatible) technologies, including Fabric (the IBM thingy) and a few others. If you want to leverage what you learned with us with Solidity, you can also have a look at the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance’s Quorum. Yuk! That’s it, I feel dirty now that I recommended some pretended “blockchain” tech. 🙂

  2. Dear Sebastien,

    Thanks a lot for your feedback.
    I totally agree with you in regards to significance of pedagogy followed in an online course. Now, I have dropped off the idea to join B9Lab Academy Course and will stick to Solidity programming only.

    I have almost completed your Udemy Course.
    By the way, do you have any plans to create new course (I would love to join that 🙂 ).

    After completing your course, I feel pretty much confident and wish to increase my proficiency level to from a Beginner to Intermediate/trained level.
    Can you kindly suggest few resources that I can follow in this regard.

    My goal is to make some dapps for enterprise level (finance, insurance domains as I have their functional experience) and for community/social service.


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