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Why software developers should learn about blockchain tech

20 Apr 2022

Noam Cohen of the Interchain Foundation explains why software developers should learn the blockchain basics to ‘future-proof’ their careers.

The software development space has seen “a growth of opportunities” with blockchain, according to Noam Cohen, developer relations engineer at the Interchain Foundation (ICF).

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

Future Human

He stressed that blockchain is “far more than just a vessel for cryptocurrencies and has become too big of a movement to overlook”, with applications 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.”

Upskilling opportunity

ICF is a Swiss nonprofit that funds, stewards and promotes the Cosmos blockchain ecosystem, which is a decentralised network of independent, scalable and interoperable blockchains.

Cohen and his colleagues at the ICF are launching a new free training programme aimed at developers who want to get to grips with Cosmos as opportunities grow in the evolving blockchain space.

“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.

“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.”

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 work for companies operating in the system.

There are 150 places available for the first course intake starting 12 May, with ICF hoping to support up to 450 developers this year overall. The nonprofit will fund places for 5,000 developers over the next three years as part of its efforts to produce a skilled workforce and address skills gaps in the blockchain space.

Participants will receive mentorship and support from experts, who will answer their queries and guide them through the programme. 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,” Cohen 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.

Participants who pass the final exam will be awarded a certificate of completion. Cohen said ICF is also “committed to connecting alumni to job opportunities” in the Cosmos ecosystem.

Addressing the blockchain demand gap

When SiliconRepublic.com asked Cohen why it might be worth learning the fundamentals of Cosmos, 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.

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

“We’re seeing demand for blockchain and open-source developers growing faster than ever,” said Cohen. “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. “The flexibility of Cosmos has enormous implications for blockchain technology and means the demand for Cosmos developers is skyrocketing,” Cohen said.

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

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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