Kicking the Block: Becoming a Blockchain Engineer — Part 1
The Newbie Introduction
Blockchain and the Web3 ecosystem is in constant evolution nowadays. Years ago it was easy to grasp the concepts around Bitcoin and start growing from there. Today there are hundreds of different blockchains (First Layer, Second Layer, Optimist Rollups, ZK-SNARKs, Parachains) and it’s getting difficult to understand all of it.
However it is still possible to do it! In this series of articles I will explain how I managed to become a Blockchain Engineer in a year and be able to earn an income from it.
This first part, The Newbie Introduction, focuses on the initial knowledge and tools you need to acquire in order to initiate your path. Following installments will expand on this topics giving you more information, tools and suggestions for you to try.
From the myriad of Blockchains out there, Ethereum is the de-facto Blockchain if you want to start your career path. They invented the Ethereum Virtual Machine which is effectively the software that runs all the logic happening inside Ethereum. And most of all the other Blockchains have been born as EVM-compatible, which tells you how important Ethereum is. Learn what it is and how it works, and you will start with a great foundation to build upon.
You can read an introduction to Ethereum in their website: https://ethereum.org/en/developers/docs/intro-to-ethereum/
These are the building block of Ethereum. They are basically pieces of code that live in the Blockchain and that can be used to enforce an agreement between several parties. The particularity of these contracts is that they are executed using the consensus mechanism of Ethereum, meaning that their code is enforced by everybody participating in the Blockchain. Plenty of the most important protocols in the Blockchain using Smart Contracts have published their source code, meaning that they are not only enforced by the chain, but also audited by the users. This makes Smart Contracts ideal for managing critical assets like, for example, money.
There is more information about Smart Contracts here: https://ethereum.org/en/developers/docs/smart-contracts/
Once you get to know what Smart Contracts are, you should choose in which language you want to write them. There are several options out there to choose from: Rust, Vyper, YUL, Solidity. In my experience, Solidity is the most accessible and the one that is gaining more traction right now. I’d recommend learning it and then you can jump into the other ones if you want. There aren’t many resources right now to learn Solidity from scratch, but there are few that are quite good.
Eat The Blocks
This YouTube channel has a wealth of information. There are plenty of Solidity tutorials that can help you learn the language. This playlist should get you started: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbbtODcOYIoE0D6fschNU4rqtGFRpk3ea
Julian has also started his own Blockchain Engineer academy that you can find in https://eattheblocks.com. This one is paid but it can also get you started.
Smart Contracts Programmer
Another great place to check is this YouTube channel that also has a great playlist to introduce you to the world of Smart Contracts: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLO5VPQH6OWdULDcret0S0EYQ7YcKzrigz
It also has advanced videos for when you start getting bored of the basic concepts!
Finally, have a look to the Solidity Language official documentation where you will find a thorough description of the language. It is not the ideal resource to learn the language, but it is the best reference for when you have doubts about technicalities.
You can find it here: https://docs.soliditylang.org/en/latest/
Last but not least, the programming environment is very important. It is basically the code editor plus the compiler that will allow you to writw, validate, compile and deploy your contracts. For newcomers the easiest to use is RemixIDE, a browser-based Ethereum contracts development environment. It has everything you need to start your Blokchain Engineering career.
Their own documentation is good to understand how to use it: https://remix-ide.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ and the two YouTube channels mentioned above make extensive use of it, so you can see how it works.
Enough for now!
Now you can get your Blockchain Engineer career kick-started and become the creator of the next Uniswap, OpenSea or who knows what!
In the next part we will get deeper into Smart Contracts development:
- Setting up a local programming environment with a software stack that will help us step up our level
- Learning about some useful libraries that will increase our productivity and our smart contracts security
- Playing some programming games to dig deeper into our Solidity knowledge
Please check out soon for the second part and, if you liked this one, show some love by Clapping below as much as you want, or leave a comment to tell me how you are doing!
And remember: Keep it Smart and keep it Safe!
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