Recently, I was asked what I thought of a particular “blockchain” training course. I appreciate being asked this question because I am still learning this very thing myself. I also appreciate being asked this question during “the crypto winter”. Time spent advising people who ask when times are tough is highly productive. Such people are clearly one step ahead of others that respond only to what is fashionable at the moment. Learning to parlay your software engineering skills to the world of cryptocurrency development is a sizable investment.
Let’s talk about what we are really talking about; how to profit from building products and services that our future customers will pay us for. Speculating on future demand. The trouble is you don’t know what you don’t know, but there are people who came before you who are willing (and sometimes able) to fill in those gaps so you can start earning. These guys are selling shovels and pickaxes in this gold rush. Statistics and past history tells that about 80% of these people will sell you an inferior product and sadly waste your precious time. So, what can we do knowing this information?
First, do you need these people’s services in the first place? If you are curious enough to investigate their products, you probably have enough curious energy to work through the Bitcoin wiki pages. IMHO, if you get half-way grokked on that information, you’ll know twice as much as those training programs. Call it, “the Kleeschulte rule of blockchain knowledge”. Take notes while working through those pages and focus on questions that are raised during the process. Send those questions to the training program and then Google their responses. I would wager that your queries will yield exact matches that were not authored by the sender of the response. Meaning, they Googled your questions and copy-pasta-ed a response to you.
Second, if the course looks interesting, does it offer a money back guarantee plus a stipend for the time you invested? If it does, please send me the name of the course because that is amazing confidence. I’ll be in the first row on the start date. None of them do this.
Lastly, who is providing this information? Do they have a pedigree in this space? Have they built any software themselves? Take a look at their Github portfolio. What? They don’t have any code on a public repository? Big red flag. A software training program that does not demonstrate their product using a sample of the very product they are selling is doing it wrong. Would you buy something on Amazon without, at least, an image of what you are buying?
Finally, I hope prospective students will challenge themselves with these questions before wasting precious time and money on training programs. Before you commit to someone else’s program, commit to yourself that you have done your homework and this is a good value. You have a 1 in 5 chance that it isn’t.