Luke Parker: Stanford University Could Bridge Skills Gap with Much-Needed Developers’ MOOC


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Luke Parker, a journalist at Bravenewcoin has written an excellent piece on Stanford and Princeton Universities making the move towards Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to train the next generation of Bitcoin and Blockchain developers.

Taken together, there simply isn’t enough skill available to go around our growing industry, as you can easily witness for yourself at any Bitcoin job fair. Thankfully, in order to fill this shortage of skills, several university-level classes are popping up to train the next generation of Bitcoin developers.

Some courses are only held in person, while many more are available online as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), including some very prestigious offerings from Stanford and Princeton Universities.

The first fully online course for Bitcoin professionals was offered through premier MOOC provider, Coursera, last September. The course was from professors at Princeton, and designed to give relative beginners a full, working understanding of Bitcoin. At the time of its launch, it was the most popular online course available, according to MOOC news and rating site Class Central. While there have been no ivy league MOOCs since, one for Bitcoin developers may be in the works.

Stanford University already offers a classroom Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies course for developers, CS251, consisting of a three-unit class and an optional one-unit hands-on lab with bitcoin applications, referred to as CS251p. The one-unit lab component of CS251 was initially offered in September 2015. The newer Bitcoin lab component, CS251p, is offered again this year, from January 4 to March 11. Aptly renamed “Bitcoin Engineering,” the course has a hackathon feel and new materials have been added.

To fill the demand for a MOOC Stanford is considering the option of a free course later this year, if there is sufficient interest. Anyone can sign up and declare their interest, with no commitments, using only an email address. This would certainly help fill the industry skill void, allowing many people all over the world who can’t physically attend the school to enter the job marketplace.

Taken together with the many other Bitcoin MOOCs listed at sites like Udemy and the Khan academy, many of which are completely free classes, there is very little reason for anyone to blame a lack of education or training when hoping to land a job within the world of Bitcoin.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder, Publisher and Editor in Chief of industry leading online publication, Blockchain News and co-founder and director at Blockchain Partners in London/Amsterdam/NYC. Kastelein is also an advisor with a number Blockchain startups doing ICOs including where hs is interim CMO,, Inchain, Chronobank, eGaas and others. He is regarded as one of the top journalists by the Blockchain and fintech communities – as is evident by his entry in the Top 150 Fintech journalists online and in the top 10 of the Blockchain Top 100 List.

As a prominent keynote presenter, he has spoken on Blockchain at events in Gdansk, Amsterdam, Minsk, Dubai, Antwerp, Eindhoven, Bucharest, Nairobi, Tel Aviv, Manchester, Brussels, Barcelona etc, where he helped spread the cause for Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and, consequently, has built a notable network in the scene.

He’s also a director of a Dutch foundation called The Hackitarians and has run innovation events in London, San Francisco, Berlin, Amsterdam and other cities around the world on topics such Blockchain, Health, Energy, Internet of Things, AI etc.

In 2013, the European Commission appointed him as an expert for overseeing financing for emerging startups as a part of the European Commission’s 90 billion euro Horizon 2020 project, created in Brussels to promote innovation as a driving force of job creation and business ventures across Europe. He has also worked as an external expert for Innovate UK since 2012, judging startups for the UK government.

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