Insider’s Guide to Bloc’s Online iOS Bootcamp

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Want an immersive program without sacrificing your job? Bloc is the world’s largest online iOS bootcamp, and has helped hundreds of grads launch new careers as developers. In this Insider’s Guide, we’ll introduce you to Bloc’s iOS course director, who will detail Bloc’s syllabus, which includes Swift, Objective-C, the iOS SDK, 2D gaming using SpriteKit, and mobile backend development using Parse. Next, we’ll give you a first-hand account of the Bloc program experience from a recent student and his mentor.  In the Info Session recording, Course Director Aaron Brager goes into great detail about how Bloc’s online bootcamp works, and what exactly you’ll learn in the iOS Course Syllabus Aaron has developed.

How Does an Online iOS Bootcamp Work, Anyway?

As coding bootcamps have sprung up over the past three years, Bloc has emerged as the leading online bootcamp. You’ll get the accountability of a bootcamp as you work one-on-one with a mentor, and a world-class iOS curriculum we wrote from scratch. At the same time, you’ll get the benefits of an online program: you can take Bloc from anywhere, and we can tailor the one-on-one program just for you. Finally, you can enroll in a part-time track, so that you can undertake this program without sacrificing your day job.

We believe in an apprenticeship approach to learning. An apprenticeship differs from a classroom in a few ways. Classrooms treat everyone the same. We’ll teach everyone individually. Classroom teach concepts, we focus on projects. Classrooms give you a certificate, we’ll give you a portfolio. You’ll apprentice one-on-one alongside a master developer to build real apps you can share with the world.

A First-Hand Look At Bloc’s Program

Meet Aaron – iOS Dev Course Director unnamed

Aaron has been developing web and native apps for iOS since iPhone launched in 2007. Prior to Bloc, Aaron was an iOS Developer at Sprout Social. He has also worked at Apple and deck5 Software.

Victor

Meet Victor – A Recent iOS Bootcamp Grad

Prior to enrolling in Bloc, Victor studied Computer Science in Brazil.  Today he’s a iOS developer at mobLee.  Victor’s projects include a custom web browser, Blockstagram, Blocspot, Alcholator, CKL Challenge, and Sapiens Logo Refactory.

Meet Falko – An iOS Mentor With a #1 Ranked iOS AppFalko

In addition to being a Bloc mentor, Falko manages an engineering team at a Silicon Valley healthcare technology startup, and has a long history in the health-tech space.  In addition to his engineering leaderships at startups and larger tech companies in the healthcare space, Falko is also the creator of the all-time top-grossing calorie-tracking app in the Germany iOS app store.

Bloc’s iOS Curriculum

The number one thing that prospective students want to know is what they’ll learn in Bloc’s online iOS Bootcamp. Here are some of the highlights from Bloc’s iOS Syllabus that was created for Bloc by our Course Director Aaron Brager. For complete details, watch the info session recording (below) where Aaron goes over the syllabus in great detail, or request a copy of the syllabus on the iOS bootcamp course page.

  • Set up your developer environment using Xcode 6, Git, and GitHub
  • Intro to Programming using Objective-C – the language used in industry today

  • Intro to Programming using Swift – Apple’s new developer language
  • Learn about Storyboarding, Basic Navigation, and Handling Gestures

  • Build your first app – a replica of Instagram – and learn to work with the Instagram API

  • Learn about Test Driven Development, iTunes Connect, and customizing your app for iPhone Plus, iPad Mini and iPad screen sizes

  • Learn to create a backend for your app using Parse

  • Create a 2D game using SpriteKit and Apple’s Game Center

  • Learn to work with iCloud APIs

  • Learn to Publish your app to the App Store

Mentorship

Mentors are the heart and soul of Bloc. Your mentor acts as:

  •  A coach providing insight into the best way to tackle a problem
  •  An experienced guide pair- programming when you get stuck
  •   A career mentor sharing years of industry insight and experience

Structure and Support

Bloc provides an integrated experience of structure and support. Program coordinators help students stay on track and mentors and course directors monitor an online help center so you can get un-stuck between mentor appointments

Download the Info Session Slides

 

Watch the Info Session Recording

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Insider’s Guide to Bloc’s Frontend Dev Online Bootcamp

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Want to get a bootcamp-like immersive experience without sacrificing your job? Bloc is the world’s largest online bootcamp, and has helped hundreds of grads start companies and switch careers. Whereas an in-person bootcamp is a classroom-based experience that requires being there 40+ hours/week in a city like San Francisco, Bloc’s online bootcamp model allows students to learn online, one-on-one, with a mentor vested in their success. Students come from all walks of life to learn everything from iOS development to UX Design. Get a first-hand account of how Bloc works, and a detailed look at the syllabus.

Joe

Meet Joe – Frontend Web Dev Course Director

Prior to becoming the Course Director for Bloc’s Frontend Development program, Joe was a developer at Lapel and ESM Group.  Joe developed the Frontend curriculum and recruits, trains and manages Frontend Mentors.  In addition to mentoring with Bloc, Joe is hard at work on another startup.

In addition to mentoring with Bloc, Joe is hard at work on another startup.

StephenMeet Stephen

Prior to enrolling in Bloc, Stephen was a Digital Marketer at Redbubble, who had dabbled with Tealeaf Academy.  Today he’s a Bloc student and has completed projects such as Blocjams.

Garrett

Meet Garret

Prior to enrolling in Bloc, Garret was a Marketing Coordinator at 99 Designs.  Today he’s a Bloc student and has completed projects such as Blocjams and Bkind Photography.

Matt

 

Meet Matt

Prior to enrolling in Bloc, Matt was a freelance developer in the healthcare technology.  His areas of expertise are Ruby on Rails, NodeJS, JavaScript, and AngularJS Python.

 

Frontend Development Curriculum – HTML, CSS, JavaScript and AngularJS

Now that you’ve met a few alumni, mentors, and our Course Director, let’s talk about the syllabus for Bloc’s Frontend program. Here are the highlights that we cover:

  • Intro to Object Oriented Programming using JavaScript

  • Intro to Frontend Programming using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript

  • Intermediate CSS, Animations, Intermediate JavaScript and jQuery

  • Working with a JavaScript backend using NodeJS and Express

  • Advanced Frontend Framework: Create a Single Page Application using AngularJS

 

Online Bootcamp – How it Works

  • The Bloc Approach to Teaching and Learning

  • Mentor-led, project-based learning

  • A Deep Dive into the Bloc Syllabus with Sasha

  • Brian’s Bloc Experience & Advice for Beginners Hoping to Switch Careers

 

Mentorship

Mentors are the heart and soul of Bloc. Your mentor acts as:

  •  A coach providing insight into the best way to tackle a problem
  •  An experienced guide pair- programming when you get stuck
  •   A career mentor sharing years of industry insight and experience

Structure and Support

Bloc provides an integrated experience of structure and support. Program coordinators help students stay on track and mentors and course directors monitor an online help center so you can get un-stuck between mentor appointments

Download the Slides

Watch the Info Session Recording

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Every Bloc Bootcamp Now Offers Job Prep

Posted October 14, 2014 & filled under Bootcamps, Job Prep, Jobs

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We are thrilled to announce that starting today, all of Bloc’s online bootcamps now include four weeks of Job Prep, after graduation. At the end of your bootcamp we’ll assess your portfolio of work built during your program and speak with your mentor about you’re readiness for job opportunities. To qualify for job prep, you must demonstrate a high level of proficiency with your course material.

Why do we do this? We believe in outcomes and accountability. If you’re not ready for job prep after graduation, we’ll put you on the right path so that you can take advantage of our job prep program when the you’ve achieved a higher level of proficiency. We’ve structured each bootcamp such that if you stay on track, you will be ready for job opportunities upon graduation.What happens after the Bloc Apprenticeship is over?

After the core program ends, Bloc’s Talent Director will review a graduates work, assessing if they’ve completed the curriculum, completed the requisite number of projects, and received a positive review from their mentor. If so, students will be invited to join the Job Prep Phase, a four week intensive career prep program to help you land your first job as a junior developer. You’ll spend four weeks after graduation working with 1-on-1 with our Talent Director as you prepare to land a job.

The Career Phase curriculum covers:

  • Learn What Employers Look For
  • How to authentically craft your online presence via your portfolio, GitHub, LinkedIn, resume.
  • The Hiring Process
  • What should you expect when recruiting for developer jobs? We’ve collected the best advice from our network of over 100 mentors.
  • Learn how to effectively communicate and network with employers.
  • Technical Interviews
  • Example Questions and Answers
  • A 30-Minute Mock Phone Screen
  • Two In-depth 1-Hour Mock Interviews with Coaching
  • How to handle objections, rejection, and salary negotiation

Are you guaranteeing me a job?

Nope, just world-class training. Unlike some bootcamps who graduate one cohort at a time, and have only graduated a handful of cohorts in their history, we’ve had students graduating every week for nearly three years, which has given us a lot of time to iterate on our approach and curriculum, to ensure you are job-ready. Our Talent Director will work with you to get prepared, and introduce you to recruiters, but there are no guarantees. For examples of alumni who have put in the work and found success, check out our alumni page.

Does Bloc take a percentage of my income when I get a job?

No, we don’t take any of your income. And we don’t take any placement fees if you get a job through one of our introductions.

How long will it take me to find a job?

This varies from student to student. It can take anywhere from one week to six months post-graduation. While the Bloc Career Services team is dedicated to assisting you in your job search, it is ultimately up to you to find and land a junior development position.

 

For more information on our iOS, AndroidFrontend Web Development,  Full Stack Web Development, and UX Design bootcamps check the course pages.

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Practicing Technical Writing within a Bootcamp

irish-hands“Writing is a tool that enables people in every discipline to wrestle with facts and ideas. It’s a physical activity, unlike reading. Writing requires us to operate some kind of mechanism — pencil, pen, typewriter, word processor — for getting our thoughts on paper. It compels us by the repeated effort of language to go after those thoughts and to organize them and present them clearly.”

- William Zinsser, Writing to Learn

At Bloc, we feel strongly that the best way to learn is to teach. Teaching’s power to educate the educator is significant, and we believe it owes little to the classroom, audience, or interpersonal interactions. Teaching is a valuable learning tool because it depends on actively digesting, rewording, and simplifying material.

Great teachers deconstruct and simplify their subject before they step in front of a class. But teaching is just one way to accomplish this conceptual reorganization. At Bloc, we feel writing is an equally effective alternative. Technical writing about new information is a way to teach yourself.

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San Francisco Swift Workshop with Girl Develop It

Bloc's Online Bootcamp Hosted a iOS Swift Workshop in San Francisco with Girl Develop It

We were thrilled to host members of Girl Develop It alongside folks from Bloc’s bootcamp community here at Bloc’s offices in San Francisco. In this workshop a few folks from Bloc taught a brief workshop on how to get started developing your own iOS app. Below are some pictures from the event. Thanks so much to GDI for their support. This was our first San Francisco Swift workshop, and we hope to do them periodically in the future.

Swift Workshop Overview

  • Intro to Swift- Stan began by covering a the basics of the Swift programming language. Next, Stan compared and contrasted Swift with Objective-C.
  • How an App Fits Together- It’s important to understand how an app fits together. Stan walked attendees through Swiftris, setting up the iOS Developer Environment with Xcode, using Spritekit for 2D gaming, and the basics of game logic using Swift.
  • Breakout- For 60 minutes the attendees work through e-book in pairs to get a feel of Swift on their own, while Bloc instructors moved around the office helping others.

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Frontend Grad Scores Position at a Fortune 500

“Compared to other courses I’ve taken – the difference throughout was that you could actually ask someone their opinion.”

Meet Aaron, a Frontend Grad

Before Bloc:

“I started to realize that I was missing out on potential exciting opportunities because I lacked one major skill-set that most people are looking for in frontend developers… JavaScript. I tried different options including Lynda, Codecademy, and Codeschool. While I felt that Codeschool was the best of those options it still didn’t feel like I could put a lot of what I learned into practice. Thus, I’ve turned to Bloc and quit my job to purely focus on learning everything I can about JS, jQuery, and AngularJS.”

Aaron began his career in tech back in 2000, doing mostly marketing-related work. Since then his interests have dictated the growth of his skills in the direction of frontend development, leading him to Bloc, and ultimately to a new start for his career at a Fortune 500 company.

After Bloc: In the last month of his apprenticeship, Aaron was hired by Starbucks as a new member of their internal learning and development team in Seattle. As part of a team tasked with recreating their training materials, Aaron is already putting his new skills to use, doing jQuery “bravely,” and making a point of keeping up on Angular and the rest of the skills he’s learned.

Aaron’s Advice

“Everyone at Bloc is really helpful and knowledgeable, and I appreciated all the extra reaching out they do so I could provide feedback.”

How was learning with a mentor?

“Compared to other courses I’ve taken – the difference throughout was that you could actually ask someone their opinion. John [Aaron’s mentor] has a long career doing frontend development, and so of course you can do things hundreds of different ways in Javascript and get the same result, but he would suggest the best. You could tell he’s taught people before. [He] was good at making sure his code was functional and clean.”

Aaron also really expressed enjoyment of the project portion, which provided him the opportunity to talk more with his mentor about how to do something the right way, using best practices.

What would you say to a new student starting or just considering Bloc?

“Looking back on it, I should have done more of those extra assignments in the checkpoints along the way. Don’t speed through stuff, but really take the time you need. And while you can, of course go back after graduating, it’s so much better when a mentor is there. And definitely ask questions and use your mentor.”

According to Aaron, Lynda, Codecademy, and Code School are all great ways of learning, if you can come up with projects. Bloc makes it simple by given you the project’s foundation and scope, so you can learn through a tried and true method.

Was Bloc worth it?

“I think it was definitely worth it. I look forward to chugging along and going back in to review some of the checkpoints.”

Aaron also appreciated how flexible we were, especially around his move, mid-apprenticeship, and that we’re covering the concepts within the course itself rather than sending students to other sites.

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Using Stack Overflow Like a Pro

Developers and designers of all skill levels spend time on Stack Overflow. If you have a technical question – simple, complex, or anywhere in between – you can ask it on Stack Overflow. If you Google an error message from some code you’ve written, a link to a Stack Overflow page will often be one of the top search results.

Why You Should Learn Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow has a large and vibrant community which is eager to help, making it one of the fastest ways to get quality answers to technical questions. Asking and answering questions on Stack Overflow has many derivative benefits as well. Stack Overflow is a canonical, public site that almost everyone in the software world knows about. Having an active presence on it — answering or asking questions — reflects well on you as a developer or designer.

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Insider’s Guide to Bloc’s Web Dev Online Bootcamp

Info Session Full Stack Web Dev

Want an immersive program without sacrificing your job? Bloc is the world’s largest online bootcamp, and has helped hundreds of grads start companies and switch careers. Students come from all walks of life to learn everything from iOS development to learn full stack web development. Get a first-hand account of how Bloc works, and a detailed look at the syllabus.

Meet Sasha – Full Stack Web Dev Course Director

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Prior to becoming the Course Director for Bloc’s Web Development program, Sasha was a developer at Bloc. Prior to that he was a Bloc student, which makes him uniquely qualified to speak about his course experience as well as the experience he has crafted for other students. Prior to Bloc, Sasha was an Academic Ambassador at Dipont Education.

 

Brian-Douglas circle

Meet Brian – Financial Analyst turned Engineer

Prior to enrolling in Bloc, Brian was an Accountant studying for his MBA, who had dabbled with Codecademy and Code School. Today he’s a Rails Engineer at IZEA, a marketplace for social media sponsorships.

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Graphic Designer Adds Web Development to His Skillset

“Overall Bloc was a great experience.”

Meet Fernando, a Full Stack Grad

fernandoBefore Bloc:

“For the past three years I have worked as a Web Developer, and prior to that as a Graphic Designer for a littler over 10 years. As a developer I love the endless possibilities and challenging nature of the work. As a designer I enjoy taking someone’s vision and transforming it into a visually effective means of communication.”

Fernando had tried learning Ruby on Rails previously via a variety of online tutorials, but he found it to be such a complex language that you really need a guiding hand in your learning process.

After Bloc: For his full stack capstone project, Fernando build a web app for home inspectors to create and deliver their reports to clients in an dynamic and engaging format. Before beginning the project, he worked with his mentor on scoping and creating a workflow, something he felt was very valuable to have learned. You can check out many of Fernando’s completed projects via his personal site: http://www.soriafernando.com/.

Fernando’s Advice

How was learning with a mentor?

Like many students, Fernando was feeling the crunch at the end of his apprenticeship, but was able to finish all his app projects. In his mind, the best part of the Bloc experience was working with John, his mentor. John constantly made him feel more competent and confident, responding quickly and thoroughly to questions and really maximizing their face to face time.

What would you say to a new apprentice, or a student considering Bloc?

Fernando’s primary advice is to come into Bloc with some level of preparation already completed. Look at an online tutorial, understand the general terminology, and the buckle down and get ready to learn.

Was Bloc worth it?

“Absolutely. I think it was a tremendous help and I made some apps that I’m really proud of.”

Fernando felt it was particularly helpful having Sasha [our program director] and the other tutors available during office hours were really helpful. As he explains it, all the aspects of the Bloc experience came together to provide a supportive platform for someone new who is just getting started.

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Career Advice for iOS Bootcamp Grads

Career Advice for Bootcamp Grads

Bloc is the world’s largest online bootcamp, with over 75 professional developers in our network of mentors. We recently sat down with one of our most experienced iOS mentors, Phil Wright, to get his take on how to get your first developer job.

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Meet Phil

After six years of successful business, Touchopia’s client list includes Nickelodeon, Military.com, Cricut, and Skullcandy. Phil Recently started Swift Developer Weekly, which is a newsletter about Apple’s new programming language.Before joining Bloc, Phil worked for eBay and Overstock.com. Inspired by the launch of the App Store in July of 2008, Phil left his developer job to start Touchopia. His goal was to build a company that specialized in iOS app development.

 

Advice for iOS Beginners

What advice would you give to someone who is learning to code and wants to become a professional developer?
Learn as much as you can to become productive in the language of your choice. Don’t forget to learn the basic skills of logic and problem solving. They are fundamental to any programming language and will help you think like a programmer.

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