One of our lead engineers once said that one of the most difficult problems that his team faces is the lack of resources available. With most problems, you face in the world, if you Google it, someone else has had to deal with it too, and has found a way to solve it. Whereas many problems inside and outside of engineering might result in thousands, tens of thousands, or millions of Google results, cutting edge blockchain-related topics tend to yield far less, with even fewer, if any of them being useful.
If you’re a programmer in crypto and blockchain tech, you’re likely trying to solve problems that very few people in the world have attempted to solve. When this is the case, the resources you keep close at hand will make a substantial difference in the amount of time you spend on a problem.
To give you a head start, we asked our own engineers at ShapeShift to name some of the most valuable resources they’ve come to rely upon.
Andreas…Andreas…And More Andreas…
When we asked the first developer we spoke to for resources, we asked, “Other than Andreas’s works, what do you use?” He wrote back, “When it comes to books, I only read Andreas.” So there you have it. To start with, check out Andreas Antonopoulos. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s one of the most influential and well-respected figures in the crypto space.
Andreas is known for his ability to break down the complex ideas found in crypto, and convey them easily, without losing the weight of the information at hand. We’ll touch on his books Mastering Bitcoin and Mastering Ethereum, but you can also check out Andreas’s Internet of Money three-part series, and Mastering the Lightning Network, which is slated for publication in Q4 of 2020.
Mastering Bitcoin was written in 2014, and is Andreas’s attempt to introduce the world to the first mainstream peer-to-peer currency in creation. And though we say “attempt,” few can come close to breaking down the complex world of cryptocurrencies like Andreas. From a broad, non-technical introduction, to breaking down Bitcoin’s technical foundation for developers, Mastering Bitcoin is a great starting point for anyone interested in programming in the crypto space.
Mastering Ethereum is Andreas’s book for the second most popular blockchain and cryptocurrency in the world — Ethereum. Want to learn to program smart contracts, build decentralized applications, and create ERC-20 tokens? These are just a few of the things that Andreas will walk you through as he takes you down the path to mastering Ethereum.
Programming Bitcoin by Jimmy Song
Jimmy Song’s book is catered towards Python developers looking to work with Bitcoin. Song’s book takes you through the components that make up the Bitcoin protocol, and teaches you all that you need to know to build a Bitcoin library.
Jameson Lopp’s Bitcoin Information and Resources
Jameson Lopp is a well-known cypherpunk and the Co-Founder and CTO of CasaHODL. Lopp’s Bitcoin Information and Resources library is extensive, offering documentation on everything from running nodes and mining, to Bitcoin governance and security. Sift through discussion boards, video libraries, and book recommendations for some of the best available resources on Bitcoin.
Github.com Crypto Economics Resource Library
This crypto economics resource library is just as it sounds, an array of topics and resources that fall under the umbrella of crypto economics. It’s a bit of a sprawl, but home to plenty of useful information.
Start Your Research
These are just a few “Getting Started” resources for programmers interested in crypto and blockchain. As the world of blockchain technology continues to develop, we will inevitably see more and more comprehensive resources become available to the growing number of developers fascinated by the crypto space.