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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Do this before you Bloc

So after I announced my recent employment as a Rails dev, I have been getting a lot of people reaching out to me about and my thoughts on it. I do want to share a video I made the Saturday before my last official day of Bloc. I also want to recommend my mentor Adam if you choose to go with Bloc. I do believe he is always booked up but if you you look now he is available, sign up with him right away if you have already decided to go through the program.

In my latest inquiry email I recommended something that I have not done before, which a simple Todo app. Back in November I completed the OneMonthRails tutorial in two long weekends, which helped me create I then thought I was pretty much king of the world and took on the challenge to create a Todo app. The idea was create the functionality that sent a text when the one task completed. I attempted it using some scaffolding and failed, I then attempted to go through this Turtorial and still failed. If you need proof check out my abandoned repo OmegaPhone, I actually forgot all about this but now want to take on the challenge of completing this app soon.

My challenge: 
Prior to signing up for Bloc, Tealeaf, etc... Try to create your own Todo app, if that is not possible, Try to go through this Tutorial step by step. If you are able to get through it without getting stuck on errors and actually complete it, you might be a good candidate for a self guided program like Tealeaf. Tealeaf offers a version of office hours(24/7 helpline) but does not have a mentor assigned to you. If you are like I was, struggling through figuring out errors and need that extra guidance, Bloc would be a great program for you.

*Bloc is a great program and I found having a mentor a huge motivator with my learning. My biggest concern with learning programming was not being consistent and eventually giving up. Going through the Bloc program helped me stay consistent, especially because of the price tag associated with it. I also was able to try more challenging things in Rails, because I knew I had a mentor to fall back on and ask questions. Try out this challenge this weekend and let me know how it goes, even if you are not planning on going through a online bootcamp.

I am partial to Bloc, for obvious reason, and found the program to be a great source for adding actual completed projects to my resume(github). With that being said Tealeaf is also a great program, and having a helpline is also good too. Bloc also has something similar which I used heavily on the weekends, but what I found having a specific mentor made it easier to understand the problems. Each time I used Bloc's office hours, I had to explain my app/problem every time, which was fine and helped me really understand my issue, but in some cases I just waited the few hours till my mentor was online again rather re-teach. Having a specific mentor was a great luxury, which considering the time spent it was less than the price of AirPair. If you really hammer down with Bloc you could have 5-6 new apps in your github ready to show in interviews, that are unique from what everyone else is showing.

Also when deciding which program to go through, try to think about what your goals are in learning web development. I had the goal of getting a job, but my main goal was to make my app Chuych. I do know from the interviews I had, most companies like seeing that you worked on a project outside of tutorials. It shows you have a passion to learn and the app I made with the help of my mentor was the app I created with the help of my mentor.

Thanks for reading

Not sure if you saw this, but I did make a video on my last weekend of Bloc

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