Purdue freshman, what should I major in to work at Blockstack one day?


#1

Hello everyone, my name’s Nick and I’m a current freshman at Purdue University. My dream job is to work at Blockstack, and I’m expected to graduate in 2021. This spring, I’m attending a full stack web development boot camp either in Texas or in NYC(not sure yet). The curriculum teaches front end web development first, but then really specializes in Javascript, JQuery, Angular.Js, Node.Js, React, and some SQL to work with databases. I’m going back to school in the summer since I received a partial scholarship for summer classes, and I’m really not sure what to pursue. Assuming I achieve competency in the aforementioned parts of web development, what should I major in? I honestly don’t have the slightest clue what I should do. The only thing Ido know that I don’t want to pursue an engineering degree, since they don’t really cover anything about distributed systems or pretty much anything I could bring to Blockstack(at least that’s what I’ve learned from my upperclassmen friends here). Any help would be greatly appreciated, and I’m really open to studying whatever would help me achieve my dream job.


#2

Computer science. Once you know computer science from first principles, very few things that get hyped in developer circles will ever seem new to you again. For example, one of the CS academics who reviewed the scientific paper on Blockstack had this to say about it:

They implemented a new naming system called Blockstack on bitcoin. To support large data, they only store the hash of user data along with the blockchain, tiny but enough to verify the authentication of user data. Despite a lot of engineering efforts involved, what the novelty/contributions of this work are not clear because the basic idea is not new. The design of blockchain seems quite straight-forward.

(emphasis mine)

I actually agree with this assessment. Coming from an academic CS background myself, I can say with confidence that Blockstack does not introduce any new fundamental science – it was built with algorithms and data structures we the developers already knew from school, and its main contribution to computer science is showing from first-hand experience how to build a blockchain-agnostic application that can survive blockchain failures. This is a comforting thought – because we were able to stand on the shoulders of giants who came before us, it makes me more confident in the soundness of the system’s design. To stretch the metaphor, the process of getting a CS degree is the most straightforward way to climb up to their shoulders.


#3

Thank you so much for this response Jude, I really appreciate it. See you in a few years!


#4

@nickperryusa you can give a hand in any of our open source projects in your spare time. A healthy GitHub profile is always good to have when job hunting.