Certified by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

First Blockchain Certification!

CIO Certified Blockchain Professional certification completed!

When I got started on this “Blockchain journey” I was not looking for certifications. I know the usual arguments in favour and against certifications, from the “don’t mean anything” to “it shows commitment”. The truth of the matter is that I like going to classrooms, learning from live instructors and meeting like-minded people. I don’t mind if a certification comes out of it.

The other argument is financial: certifications cost money and there are so many Meetups out there that cost nothing. That is true, there are many Meetups out there that cost nothing. But (here comes the “but”) a lot of those are short, disorganized and crowded. Great in spirit but lacking substance. To be fair I should clarify my previous statements by saying that I have also found excellent Meetups that are well run and organized, but not a lot of those are Blockchain related.

Why is it so? Because of the hype, of course. My home town is overrun by Blockchain Meetups, and with every possible Blockchain related topic. People are feeling the need to share with like-minded people, and Meetups offer a way to do that with minimal overhead (and organization). This is exactly how Ethereum got started according to the legend: as a bitcoin Meetup.

But I digress…

So while I was busy attending Meetups I heard about a certification being offered. Given the hype I was skeptical about certification money grabs, but I took a look at what TransformationWorx  was offering,  and yes, I found it a bit costly as it is coming from my pocket.  I also noticed they were offering something that I was not able to find anywhere else: Business Case analysis for Enterprise Blockchain.

I will stop right here and try to predict what you are thinking… probably something along the lines of “Enterprise Blockchains! What sort of heresy is that!”, at which point you will sic the Bitcoin Inquisition upon me.  That probably means you are a bitcoin maximalist who watched one too many Antonopoulos videos. Or you just have decentralization fervor (I should write about that).

So yes, dear potential bitcoin maximalist, I was curious about Enterprise business cases! I burned couple of vacation days, registered and attended.

And what did I learned for my money?

  • Blockchain can be thought of as the distributed database with consensus
  • Blockchain allows to share facts with others
  • Transaction immutability matters for transaction finality
  • Having multiple participants is a must
  • Transaction transparency between peers is a fine thing
  • Smart contracts are good for parametric transactions
  • There are some business cases that align neatly the immutability, shared facts and multiple participants (i.e Supply Chain).
  • There are some truly awful use cases that don’t make any sense (i.e Enterprise Cryptocurrency)

 

The most important part of the course (according to me)  was on the second day, and which covers the methodology for separating the wheat from the chaff. If Blockchain technology is a key, then the business case must have the exact keyhole shape: immutability, multiple parties, transparency, finality, etc.

I also learned that there are analysis tools consultants like to put out: Pestle, SWOT, Lean Canvas, and Decision Trees. Not being a consultant, I was fascinated when those were used in the context of Blockchain. Some of the people around me were giddy with excitement.

To end this story: I attended the course, did the exam, and wrote a Capstone project about a business case I made up (Blockchain and Travel Insurance). Some time lapsed, and then I was informed I was the proud holder of the CIO Certified Blockchain Professional certification. It came in a nice frame, gold seal and everything. Now I just have to find a place to hang it so I can contemplate… never mind.

Ah! Forgot to mention this: the certification is annotated in Ethereum. It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Update: added the following reading material on hype, decentralization and maximalism

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