Why software developers should learn about blockchain techBlathnaid O’Deaon April 20, 2022 at 14:00 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic


The software development industry has seen “a growth of opportunities” in blockchain, said Noam Cohen, developer relations engineer at The Interchain Foundation (ICF).

Blockchain technology is becoming “more prevalent every year,” according to Cohen. He believes it is “poised to revolutionise the way the digital world handles data and does business.”

He also stressed that blockchain is “far more than just a vessel for cryptocurrencies and has become too big of a movement to overlook.” He pointed out that the blockchain technology has been deployed across industries from healthcare to supply chain.

“As the popularity of cryptocurrencies grows, so does their acceptance by the mainstream public. Blockchain is demonstrating a level of versatility that has made many sectors of business and government take notice… Consequently, the software development industry has seen an increasing growth of opportunities in this niche.”

“A growing contingent of the tech industry’s best and brightest are quitting Google, Meta, Amazon and other technology behemoths for what they say is a once-in-a-generation opportunity with crypto. Community optimism, greenfield tech opportunities, and the allure of career momentum are attracting top talent,” said Cohen.

To blockchain sceptics, Cohen had this to say: “Software developers looking to future proof their careers, should consider upskilling for the huge market potential and implications of the technology. Many see the historical parallels to how the personal computer and the internet were once ridiculed, only to upend the status quo.”

Cohen and his colleagues at The ICF are launching a new free training programme aimed at developers who want to get to grips with the fast-growing Cosmos blockchain ecosystem. He spoke to SiliconRepublic.com about the course and why it is important for software developers to learn about blockchain.

The ICF is a Swiss non-profit that funds, stewards and promotes the Cosmos blockchain ecosystem, which is one of the largest behind major player Ethereum.  The new course will be delivered via The Interchain Developer Academy. It will teach software developers how to navigate the Cosmos tech stack and provide them with the skills they need to gain access to employers operating in the system.

There is a total of 150 places available for the first course intake starting May 12, with The ICF hoping to support up to 450 developers this year overall. The non-profit will fund places for 5,000 developers over the next three years as part of its efforts to produce a readymade, skilled workforce.

Participants will receive mentorship and support from experts, who will answer their queries and guide them through the programme. According to Cohen, The ICF is seeking English speaking candidates who have at least three years of coding experience with object-oriented languages.

“Applicants should be serious developers who are passionate about playing a meaningful role in the Cosmos community, invested in furthering their careers and driven to responsibly shape a new technological paradigm that is open-source, interoperable and community-owned,” he added.

Participants will get an introduction to blockchain via self-paced training. This is expected to take 60 hours over six weeks with the training to take place entirely online. The programme includes an introduction to blockchains and cryptography, the Cosmos SDK, Tendermint consensus algorithm and inter-blockchain communication.

All alumni who pass the final exam will be awarded a certificate of completion. Cohen said the tutors at the Interchain Developer Academy and their colleagues at The ICF were “committed to connecting alumni to job opportunities” in the Cosmos ecosystem post-graduation.

When SiliconRepublic.com asked Cohen about the potential of Cosmos and why it might be worth learning the fundamentals of that system specifically, he explained that the network has more than 260 apps and services already, with more to come. These include Binance Chain, Terra and Crypto.org. It has more than over $148bn of digital assets under management.

There is also a skills shortage in the blockchain development industry given the recent surge in demand for skills in the area. Crypto-related job postings in the US surged to 395pc between 2020 and 2021.

“We’re seeing demand for blockchain and open-source developers growing faster than ever,” said Cohen. “When you consider that less than 1,000 full-time developers are responsible for $100bn in value linked to blockchains built with the Cosmos stack, you really start to see the pressure the industry is coming under for talent.”

“We’re proud to be launching the Interchain Developer Academy as a resource to help address the blockchain demand gap and tap into global talent capable of not only filling that demand but taking the industry forward.

“This programme focuses on hands-on coding and practice to get participants ready to code with Cosmos as soon as they pass the training programme. The introduction of the Interchain Developer Academy will allow people to come together to build the next generation of the internet regardless of geography or other constraints,” he added.

The Cosmos network consists of independent interconnected blockchains built using developer-friendly, modular application components and connected with the inter-blockchain communication protocol.

With Cosmos, developers can choose to build entirely autonomous application-specific blockchains that can easily interconnect. “The flexibility of Cosmos has enormous implications for blockchain technology and means the demand for Cosmos developers is skyrocketing,” Cohen said.

“Before the Cosmos network, blockchains were siloed and unable to communicate with each other. They were hard to build and not able to handle the enormous amount of transactions that the one-chain many-dApps/decentralised apps design has encouraged.”

Developers interested in applying for the Interchain Developer Academy can register at academy.cosmos.network.

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