WebDevBreak.com Full Stack Developer Shares Career Advice

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With 15 years of experience in Full Stack Web Development working as a developer at AOL, BSkyB, and others, Eliot is one of Bloc’s most experienced mentors. Eliot is also very involved in the Ruby on Rails community, where he contributes to open source projects and is the founder of WebDevBreak.com – a screencast series for experienced developers. We asked Eliot to share some advice for beginners learning to code, and here’s what he had to say.


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Jiff Inc’s Director of Engineering Shares Career Advice for Developers

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Falko Buttler is currently Director of Engineering at Jiff Inc., a digital healthcare startup in Palo Alto, CA. He has 12 years of software development experience across web and mobile development, and is the founder of CaloryGuard – the top-grossing calorie-tracking app in the German iOS app store.

In addition to his full time role at Jiff, Falko spends a few hours each week mentoring students with Bloc’s iOS developer bootcamp. We recently sat down with Falko and asked him to share his career advice.

About Falko

Falko started programming in BASIC at age 12 and drove his friends crazy with his “annoying tone generator.” He later studied Computer Science and landed his first software engineering role while still in school.

After a few years of consulting, he started developing medical imaging software to better diagnose breast and liver cancer in 2005. In 2008, he was given the opportunity to move from Germany to Wisconsin, and took a lead developer role to create better lung cancer detection software.

In 2012, he took a chance and moved to Silicon Valley. Falko joined a health startup that develops health and fitness iPhone apps to help people improve their health. He quickly became the lead developer and leads a team of world-class engineers to reinvent healthcare.

Falko has always had a passion to share his experience in programming. As a mentor at Bloc he has been able to share his knowledge with students in the iOS development course


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Threadless.com UX Designer Shares Career Advice

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 1.52.37 PMToday, Billy Carlson is Director of User Experience and Mobile Product at Threadless, an online community where thousands of artists submit t-shirt designs and millions of users vote and buy popular designs. On the side, Billy shares his wisdom from nine years of industry experience by mentoring Bloc students in User Experience Design. We recently interviewed Billy and asked him to share his advice for up-and-coming designers.


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Bloc Apprentice Launches SpareTime and Do

During his Bloc apprenticeship, Łukasz Kowalski was promoted from UX Designer to Project Manager, and then again to iOS Developer at his firm. Along with these exciting promotions, Łukasz has been working on several of his own app projects, including Do and SpareTime.

“Do” has publicly shared task lists: You can add a task for you and for your friends. Adding friends is as simple as in the “YO” app. You can also remind your friend about a task by sending them a notification: “Joe reminds you about ‘xxx ‘”. When you add tasks for your friends he or she also gets a notification: “You have new task ‘xxx ‘”. By swiping you can check who’s assigned to a task, or you can mark task as done.

SpareTime’s goal is to connect you with your friends easily and simply, without using Facebook and utilizing the contacts already in your smartphone. You can check out SpareTime right here.

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Bloc Student Entrepreneur Builds MobileWRX

“Just one year after attending the BLOC program I have been able to build a fully integrated e-commerce website.”

Check out Robert’s new business at www.mobilewrx.com!

Before Bloc

“I have spent the past ten years in software sales but [am now] looking to move to the development side. I obtained a diploma in Java about 10 years ago but never really did anything with it. Hoping to change direction after completing this course!”

After Bloc

Robert came to Bloc looking to make a change, and he certainly did. We’re super excited for his new app launch, and thrilled to have been able to support Robert’s entrepreneurial endeavors.

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Announcing Bloc’s Series A to Expand Online Developer Bootcamps

Learn to code with Bloc's online developer bootcamp

We’re excited today to announce our $6M Series A round led by Shasta Ventures. It’s been an incredible journey since we started this company in 2011, and I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the path we traveled to get here.

I met my cofounder Dave Paola at UIUC where we both studied computer science, but programming was never more than school work to me until I took a part-time job at a local startup called merge.fm. With the founders as my mentors, I learned about craftsmanship in software development. And within the culture of developers and designers, there was a profound idea that would eventually manifest itself in Bloc.


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Bloc Course Directors Share Their Favorite 10 Pre-Bootcamp Tutorials

Bootcamps are designed to prepare you for a new job as a developer, but admission into many bootcamps, and success during their programs, can depend heavily on how much you’ve learned before applying. With many code schools and dev bootcamps like Hack Reactor and Flatiron School boasting acceptance rates as low as 3%, learning on your own has become crucial to gaining admission. For students who want to start learning on their own, but aren’t sure how to get started, we asked a few of our Course Directors (who manage our online developer and design bootcamp programs), to review the admissions criteria and pre-work required at a sampling of bootcamps, and pick the 10 best tutorials to prepare you.

This list has been divided up based on what program you’re looking at, Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, or iOS. Each tutorial has been carefully critiqued by the directors here at Bloc. We understand that no tutorial is perfect, which is why the directors have provided honest assessments.

If you are still on the fence about enrolling in a bootcamp, this list will help you too! These tutorials will give you a taste of what programming is like and allow you to work at your own pace.


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Software Development & Design Scholarship for Veterans


Here at Bloc we understand that unemployment rates for military veterans are at an all time high, which is why we are launching a developer bootcamp program for veterans. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Bloc would like to help by providing U.S. veterans the tools and resources needed to launch successful careers in tech. That’s why we have created the Bloc Veterans Program, which will award ten active and/or retired U.S. military personnel a $5,000 scholarship toward any of Bloc’s five online developer and design bootcamps. The scholarship is funded collaboratively by Bloc and its mentors, who have volunteered to donate their time to training veterans.

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Entrepreneur and New Relic Scholar Becomes Bloc’s First iOS Grad

“It’s all about how much you put into it. No matter what it is.”


Meet Kervins Valcourt, an iOS Grad

Before Bloc:

kervins2After graduating with a degree in mathematics and applied computer science, Kervins knew he needed additional skills to make his goals as an entrepreneur come true. His goals when he started were to gain the skills to land a developer job, and to get started building his app.

After Bloc:

Having completed his apprenticeship, Kervins now splits his time between interviewing and working on new projects and ideas. He was excited to finish the curriculum a week and a half early, and was able to use the extra time with his mentor to get advice and support on another project.


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