Paving the way for the future through research
Blockchain has to be one of the cleverest digital inventions of the early 21st century. Created by an individual or a group that goes by the codename Satoshi Nakamoto, it was initially put up in the late 2000s for the digital currency called Bitcoin.
Its goal was to distribute digital information over the Internet without being copied. Now, there has been a significant rise in blockchain projects as companies and individuals begin looking for ways to share information in a secure and convenient way.
Blockchain: A Brief Explanation
Blockchain has become a popular buzzword during the latter half of 2010s. Since it hasn’t been fully utilized in a mainstream manner just yet, understandably, even those who may have heard of it can get confused about how it really works.
Most people associate blockchain with cryptocurrency or Bitcoin, and the keyword that’s usually used to define it in a general sense is “decentralized”. While that sounds abstract, fortunately, blockchain is a bit simpler than how its standard definitions make it seem.
At its core, you can think of blockchain as its name illustrates—a chain of various blocks. However, in this context, “blocks” refer to unique digital information, while “the chain” is a public database where the information is stored.
With the way big chunks of data are used and needed by various entities nowadays, blockchain seems to be a timely solution to properly accommodate and distribute it.
Examples Of Blockchain Application Beyond Bitcoin
Generally, companies that have begun using blockchain rely on it to help them determine the limits and potentials of their plans. It also gives them an idea regarding the socioeconomic impact that their solutions may have on people, organizations, and communities over the long term.
It’s also used in scientific research, the way that Artifacts.ai does. Because continuous research is necessary to provide humanity with better solutions, it makes sense to give scientists a way to distribute and retrieve important information in the easiest way possible. Blockchain seems to have given them an answer to that. And, since cross-disciplinary blockchain application is still in its early stages, with more research, people will be able to use it in various fields in the future.
What Are The Responsibilities Of A Blockchain Researcher?
Blockchain technology has so much potential beyond cryptocurrency. Hence, blockchain researchers have started to become in demand, helping figure out how this technology can be maximized.
Blockchain researchers are primarily responsible for the following:
- Analysing the needs and priorities of the entity that will use the blockchain platform
- Designing, developing, maintaining, and supporting the said platform
- Using their critical thinking skills to suggest changes and determine opportunities for further innovation
- Evaluating applications and software
- Integrating the latest suggestions to update the current systems
Understandably, blockchain research may seem intimidating, especially for those who don’t have much experience with programming. However, with consistency and practice, you’ll soon be able to get the blockchain career that you’re aspiring for.
How Can You Become A Blockchain Researcher Yourself?
If you’re among the many blockchain enthusiasts who would like to switch careers and try their luck in the blockchain industry, you may be holding back because of uncertainty. After all, blockchain doesn’t currently have any sort of formal education to build your knowledge on.
Fortunately, you don’t need to enroll in another degree or pay for expensive seminars to tread this career path. If you want to continue learning about blockchain, applying as a researcher is one of the best decisions you can ever make professionally.
Are you ready to go deeper into blockchain and become a reliable researcher? Here are 10 tips that can help you fulfill your blockchain career goals:
- Go Back To The Basics
Learning about the fundamentals of blockchain technology is an essential step for anyone who wishes to go in-depth with it, whether for hobby purposes or for career-related ones. It’s impossible to have a clear picture of blockchain’s technicalities if you don’t have a solid grasp of its basic principles.
In order to properly understand how blockchain works, you can start by studying its history, smart contracts, current applications, and possible use cases. By getting yourself familiar with blockchain jargon, you’re making yourself more receptive to more complex blockchain concepts.
- Enroll In A Blockchain Certification Course
It was earlier mentioned that you don’t need to enrol in a university program or attend a seminar in order to become a blockchain researcher. Some people will be able to get by with self-study, especially if they’re fortunate enough to find the right types of resources.
However, if you think you’ll be better off understanding blockchain concepts with the help of an experienced instructor, enrolling in a blockchain certification course can do wonders. Aside from providing you with knowledge about the basics, it also helps you learn about different blockchain platforms. This will allow you to learn about and visualize the whole blockchain architecture, and how information moves through the database. While it’s true that you can learn a lot about blockchain on the Internet, some information may be misleading.
A blockchain course ensures that you have the right theoretical knowledge, the kind that can prove useful when it’s time to apply it in practice.
- Expose Yourself To Various Blockchain Platforms
As blockchain technology continuously evolves, more blockchain platforms will also become available for public use. Hence, if you want to be a successful blockchain researcher, you’ll need to become familiar with various platforms and understand how they work.
This is incredibly important whether you plan to pursue a non-technical or a technical job position. Depending on its primary purpose, each type of blockchain will work differently from the others. Thus, it’s useful for you to know how to recognize these subtle nuances so you can effectively provide solutions for its users.
Otherwise, figuring out the right solutions can be difficult. Remember, conceptual knowledge is vital when you’re trying to come up with potential solutions that will eventually be presented to your clients. Some of the blockchain platforms that you should look into include Ethereum, Hyperledger, Quorum, and Corda.
- Develop Your Cross-Disciplinary Competencies
Being equipped with programming knowledge may give you an edge, but having the right analytical and soft skills can be the one thing that would really make you shine. After all, you’ll need to think in systems in order to make blockchain applications work.
For instance, if you have developed the ability to work gracefully under pressure, and if you can communicate your ideas with colleagues and clients in a clear and concise manner, then you’ll have a high chance of thriving in the blockchain industry.
This is also a good time for you to enhance your agility, design thinking, DevOps, market research, and management skills. If you combine all of these with your blockchain knowledge, then you’ll have an easier time performing your job as a researcher.
- Study Cryptography
Cryptography is one segment of blockchain technology that focuses on keeping private data secure from third-party applications and software. Since people’s assets are quickly moving online, cryptography becomes an essential component in keeping data protected.
Hence, if your research projects involve confidential information, knowing about cryptography is a huge plus. This is especially helpful if you’re working with systems that are home to huge amounts of data.
You probably already know how hackers pose a huge threat to data these days. That’s why systems developers, together with blockchain researchers, are working extra hard to come up with impenetrable security measures.
- Learn About Distributed Computing
Like any other industry, blockchain also has its set of trends. One of those trends is called the distributed computing theory. Nowadays, however, it’s no longer just a hypothetical concept.
Blockchain professionals are now beginning to work on its applications in the real world. It’s now being used as a solution for security and reliability in tech systems.
To illustrate, distributed computing works by creating a distributed system wherein each of its parts can be found on different computers within a network. These computers, then, communicate by forming an interactive platform where messages can be transferred.
Admittedly, distributed computing is still in its infancy. As a blockchain researcher, it’s part of your job to discover how to improve it and expand its applications.
- Go In-Depth About Distributed And Decentralized Ledgers
Blockchain is just one of the many types of distributed ledgers. While blockchain seems to be the most popular one, it still has a lot of room for improvement. Hence, it’s a great idea to learn about other distribution and decentralized platforms so you can think of ways to enhance blockchain.
You don’t necessarily have to be a total expert when dealing with other ledgers. Although this added knowledge is more useful for someone who’s planning to become a blockchain developer, it can also be a huge plus for an aspiring researcher.
The more you understand how blockchain and similar systems work, the more opportunities you’ll have to present appropriate solutions for the platform you’re working on.
- Keep Things Simple
With all the jargon that’s associated with blockchain, it can be complicated and overwhelming to deal with. However, like any other form of technology, the goal is to have an end-product that is user-friendly enough even to those who are just looking at it on a surface-level.
Thus, if you’re going to propose solutions, make sure that these don’t involve a lot of complexities. Their features should be just enough so that people won’t end up confused. As a researcher, you need to ensure that these solutions will play out the right way.
- Get In Touch With Blockchain Communities
In order to stay in-the-know, researchers need to keep in touch with people who are in the same field. This is what blockchain communities are for. Of course, not all of you will come from the same background, so communities are excellent sources of new ideas and solutions.
Additionally, since formal education about blockchain is still limited, the best place for you to learn more about the field is from other people who are working to move the technology forward.
It’s a great chance for you to network with others who are in the same niche, and collaborate with those from other disciplines. This can open your doors to blockchain projects that can kickstart your blockchain career.
- Update Your Knowledge Constantly
Forging your own blockchain career path takes a lot of effort, especially since you’ll have to rely mostly on yourself alone to learn about its most important concepts.
There are no schools nor world-renowned mentors to turn to when it comes to becoming a blockchain researcher. You’ll have to rely on your research and networking skills to keep up with the times.
Since blockchain is a technological brainchild, it will most likely evolve at a faster rate than other industries. That’s why you always have to keep your knowledge and skills updated if you wish to prove your reliability, especially if your goal is to have better systems.
Blockchain Technology And The Future Of Research
Because more and more people who are willing to share information now have Internet access, this provides blockchain technology with more ideas for utilization. Hence, blockchain researchers are needed more than ever so that they can help individuals who would like to collaborate.
People will want to keep on working together in the future to make further discoveries, and to create useful technologies around those discoveries. To make the exchange of information quicker and faster, a reliable information-sharing platform must be put in place.
With blockchain being one of the ways to make communication among professionals more convenient, it’s up to blockchain researchers to find out how they can create platforms that would serve a particular niche in the best way possible.
If you’re highly interested in blockchain as a concept and as a means of distributing valuable information, developing your blockchain competency can help you land a job that can make it better for future users.
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