Review of the Consensys Academy: Blockchain Developer Course
What’s this online bootcamp offer? You’ve probably read their marketing:
An end-to-end Ethereum course designed to provide experienced developers with the knowledge and skills needed to become industry-leading Ethereum developers. This online course covers foundational Ethereum concepts and an introduction to smart contract and dApp development.
It’s an accurate description. As a web developer with shallow exposure to Ethereum beyond the whitepaper, it fulfilled my needs. There are many components of Ethereum’s architecture to unpack and underlying technical concepts to understand before you can successfully build a dApp. There’s no programming until about halfway through the course, so if you already have a solid understanding of Ethereum’s internals and purely want to learn smart contract and Web3 development, there are likely better alternatives.
I enrolled in the October 2018 to January 2019 cohort and am now employed as a full-stack software engineer in the Ethereum space. Here’s my take on what Consensys Academy does well, areas to improve, and alternative options to consider. These are purely my opinions to help you form expectations — I didn’t receive compensation from anyone.
Where the Consensys Developer Program Excels
In the internet age of abundant information, content curation is king. All of the information in this course can be found by Googling around. The value is packaging it into digestible modules, whittling down concepts to their core, providing relevant exercises that challenge your understanding, and successively building off each lesson to provide a path towards mastery.
Nowhere is curation more important than within bleeding-edge technology industries like blockchain, where many resources come from Medium posts of unknown authors and best practices are rapidly changing. When researching on your own, don’t be surprised to find outdated tutorials, documentation, and stack overflow answers. Consensys Academy cuts through the cruft…