This educator guide helps you to:
- Learn about blockchain technology and build blockchain applications
- Learn about Hyperledger, an open source effort to advance blockchain technology hosted by The Linux Foundation
- Find assets, labs, and other resources to use in your classroom
This guide is for educators who want to help students learn about blockchain and inspire them to start building blockchain applications. This guide includes:
- Introductory videos
- Tutorials and corresponding labs
- Hands-on exercises
- Additional resource materials
What is blockchain?
A blockchain is a decentralized network that is used to exchange assets and conduct trusted and immutable transactions. Although blockchain technology was popularized by Bitcoin, it has emerged as a disruptive way to conduct transactions within business networks. Blockchain technology has generated wide interest as enterprises look to transform the way they manage records, move and settle financial assets, and manage their supply chain.
What are some of the developing blockchain careers?
As businesses have looked to start and join blockchain networks, demand for blockchain skills has far exceeded supply. As a result, schools are now including blockchain in their curricula. As the number of related jobs has surged, blockchain has joined cloud, big data, and artificial intelligence as one of the hottest technical frontiers.
Students who are familiar or have a strong interest in the following areas have an excellent skill foundation to work with Blockchain technologies:
- Distributed computing and cryptography skills offer a strong background for understanding and researching blockchain technology.
- A strong understanding of business processes and operations are critical in building and deploying blockchain networks.
The following are some of the careers that are growing with the adoption of blockchain technology.
Blockchain developers should start by taking the Blockchain Essentials course on developerWorks, and then dive deeper into the details using the IBM Blockchain Foundations developer course. Developers should then work with the developer sandbox and experiment with the blockchain application samples in this guide. For a deeper understanding of the technical fundamentals, students can also study the presentations and labs used in the IBM Blockchain workshop. They can also watch the material presented by experts on the IBM Blockchain Youtube channel.
Consultants help businesses to adopt blockchain technology and build the network of organizations using blockchain applications and solutions. Consultants need to understand the principles of blockchain technology, the systems with which they will interact, and the business operations and processes that need to be transferred onto blockchain applications.
Students interested in blockchain consulting should start with the Blockchain Essentials course on developerWorks and then study the blockchain solutions presentation used in the IBM Blockchain workshop. They can also watch the material presented by experts on the IBM Blockchain Youtube channel.
New blockchain networks need to interact with complex, incumbent IT systems in order to receive data, to trigger actions, and to learn about external events. Architects with a strong understanding of enterprise systems are important in enabling blockchain technology to be deployed efficiently and to interact appropriately with data and users on other applications.
Students interested in blockchain architecture should start with the Blockchain Essentials course on developerWorks. Then they should study the blockchain solutions, blockchain composed, and blockchain architected presentations used in the IBM Blockchain workshop. They can also watch the material presented by experts on the IBM Blockchain Youtube channel.
What are some of the things that IBM Blockchain provides?
IBM is a founding and premier member of the Hyperledger consortium. We are building it alongside our Hyperledger partners.
IBM Blockchain is bringing together industry-leading partners to create new business networks and new solutions enabled by blockchain technology.
We bring analytics to your blockchain, enabling you to learn more from your blockchain data through artificial intelligence. We offer industry-specific knowledge from hundreds of client engagements and from building blockchain solutions that form networks across large companies.
IBM Blockchain provides a secure blockchain infrastructure that provides users complete control over participants, roles, and access.
What is Hyperledger?
The goal of IBM Blockchain is to contribute to the open-source blockchain technology being developed by the Hyperledger community and to develop platforms and solutions that help businesses adopt enterprise blockchain technology. The most important concepts to understand are Hyperledger and the two projects to which IBM contributes: Hyperledger Composer and Hyperledger Fabric.
- Hyperledger is an open-source effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration that includes leaders in finance, banking, IoT, supply chain, manufacturing, and technology. Hyperledger is hosted by The Linux Foundation, and it is the fastest-growing project in The Linux Foundation history.
- Hyperledger Fabric is a platform for distributed ledger networks. Built specifically for business environments, Hyperledger Fabric offers important contributions in scalability, security, and modularity. Fabric uses container technology as a platform to host smart contracts written in GoCode.
How do students get started?
- Watch this short video for an introduction to blockchain and how the technology is changing the diamond industry.
- Read the Introduction to distributed ledgers to learn the basics of blockchain technology and use cases in the world of businesses and consumer problems.
- Explore the no-charge Blockchain Explained presentation to spark discussions about the business problems solved by blockchain and blockchain use cases.
- Bookmark the IBM Blockchain Developer Center as a resource for blockchain education, tutorials, and news on developerWorks.
- Engage with the Hyperledger community by exploring Hyperledger project resources, finding events near you, contributing to the code, or chatting directly.
- The Blockchain Essentials course on developerWorks helps students understand blockchain technology and how it can be applied to solve business problems. The course introduces the Hyperledger project, as well as Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Composer, as well as provides hands-on lab exercises demonstrating the transfer of assets across a business network using a blockchain application.
- The IBM Blockchain Foundations developer course expands on the Blockchain Essentials course and provides a detailed overview of the components of blockchain business networks. This course provides direct experience modeling a business network using Hyperledger Composer, followed by an introduction to working with chaincode directly on Hyperledger Fabric using command-line tools.
Hands-on resources for IBM Blockchain
- For developers looking to get started quickly writing blockchain applications, start with the IBM Blockchain Platform for Developers sandbox.
- You can use the open source Hyperledger Composer documentation to start building your business network, and use tools to deploy that network to a working blockchain.
- Start with the Playground Tutorial to learn the basics of modeling a business network. The playground tutorial also includes a directory of sample networks to start with.
- Once you understand the basics using the playground tutorial, explore the rest of the Composer tutorials to start using the full developer environment and deploy your network to an instance Hyperledger Fabric.
- To work directly with the open source Hyperledger Fabric, you can start with the community documentation:
- Start with the Writing Your First Application tutorial to deploy chaincode onto a Fabric instance and use the SDK to query the ledger and transfer assets.
- The Marbles demo is a more complex sample that dives deeper into chaincode and the Hyperledger Fabric SDK.
- The Building Your First Network tutorial takes you through the steps of setting up a new network and demonstrates how to use the different fabric components.
- Other application samples are publicly available from the Hyperledger project.
E-book and infographics
- Blockchain for Dummies: Everything you need to know at no charge about what blockchain is, how it works, and how you can get started building a blockchain network today.
- Blockchain 101 infographic
- Bitcoin & blockchain: What’s the difference?
Learn more: Developers
Learn more: Technology
- Learn about how IBM Research is moving blockchain technology forward and how the IBM Research Zurich lab is developing the cryptography and distributed protocols that underpin Hyperledger Fabric. You can also read a paper by IBM researchers, Blockchain Consensus Protocols in the Wild, for an overview of how distributed consensus protocols are applied in the blockchain space.
- Purchase and read Bitcoin and Blockchain Security about how cryptography is used in blockchain technology.
- Purchase and read Introduction to Reliable and Secure Distributed Programming to learn about the principles of distributed systems.