# Learning Goals

As a final preparation before we dive into technical details, we'll describe our learning strategy and goals. At a high level, our goal for readers is to understand both the overall structure and particular elements of Eth2. The remainder of this text attempts to be complete in its description of Eth2. Such completeness often demands a reasonable level of pedantry, sometimes to the extreme of a software specification. However, we try to provide readers with flexible content pathways when heavy detail is not of particular interest. In general, readers will find that this strategy corresponds to a tendency to construct a "black box" version of a concept before picking at its innards.

Our separation of component effect and implementation is reflected at an even higher level. We follow in the precedent of previous chapters and construct a theoretical basis for Eth2 before any software-level details. This format is important -- it's much more likely that theory influence practice than vice-versa. Many implementation specifics can only be understood as an attempt to satisfy some theoretical requirement. We additionally hope that this structure will help to separate theory from practice, thereby exposing alternative ways in which some theoretical property can be realized.

Just as with Eth1, we construct Eth2 first through its consensus mechanism, then its application layer, and finally its low-level client details. This strategy largely follows both the manner in which Eth2 has been designed and the various development phases of the platform's planned release. Eth2 may be extensive, but it is far from dull. Every layer to the system, down even to the networking level, introduces new and interesting ideas and techniques. In combination with our flexible content structure, we hope that this fact will keep content fresh no matter the level of technical detail.

More concretely, the following chapters largely reflect the "key concepts" described not too long ago. We kick off with a deep dive into Eth2's Proof-of-Stake protocol and the beacon chain that maintains this protocol. This is followed by a shift to the application layer. Shard chains are brought to life by Ewasm and execution environments. The latter two are themselves animated by a series of examples of functional Eth2 applications. We then finally transition into low-level details of topics, like Eth2's networking protocol and light-client designs. After our more technical content, we provide readers with the tools necessary to become more familiar with and contribute to the Eth2 ecosystem.

Readers are encouraged to approach this text at their own pace. The scale of Eth2 can seem daunting when viewed in its entirety. We have attempted to deliberately structure content as to allow for reading in chunks of variable length. As previously explained, we give explicit options for readers with respect to the level of detail they wish to explore a subject. Readers should feel comfortable approaching a subject at a higher level when given the option to do so. Even so, we clearly identify topics that are crucial and therefore not to be skipped. Those less familiar with Eth2 should most likely approach all content in chronological order. Any reader, however, always has the option to bypass topics with which they already feel sufficiently acquainted.