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.

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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.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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