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.
About the Hosts:
Sasha Klein- Course Director, Full Stack Web Development
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 – Recent Grad and Rails 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 RailsEngineer at IZEA, a marketplace for social media sponsorships.
According to the Department of Labor, the demand for developers will increase 30% in the next 20 years. The growth in demand for web developers continues to outstrip the number of new computer science graduates entering the workforce. The gap between supply and demand is projected to continue growing, and by some estimates this gap will amount to 1 million more jobs than graduates by 2020. Bloc has been working to fill that gap, and today is the world’s largest online bootcamp. By offering our program online, hundreds of our bootcamp grads have been able to switch careers without sacrificing their day jobs.
Today we’re formalizing a new feature of our online bootcamp. In addition to world-class developer training, starting today Bloc will offer a two-week Job Prep Phase after graduation, where students will work with our Talent Director 1-on-1 to prepare to enter a new field. And we’re not just offering job prep for new Bloc students; we’re also offering it to all our alumni and current students, starting with our Full Stack Web Dev alums.
There are three areas that the Job Prep Phase will cover.
Learn What Employers Look For
- Learn the motivations and key factors that are important to employers.
- How to build a great internet reputation by leveraging Github, Stack Overflow, LinkedIn, Quora and more.
- Create a portfolio and resume that stand out and get you noticed.
The Hiring Process
- What should you expect when searching for developer jobs? We’ve curated the best advice from our network of over 75 professional developers in our mentor community.
- Learn how to effectively communicate and network with employers. We’ll show you how to build bridges to maximize opportunities and create a great professional network.
“The best part of my Bloc experience was designing apps with the guidance of Terry Million and having the chance to add them to my portfolio”
Meet Nina, A UX Design Graduate!
Before Bloc: BA in European Languages (German). Worked as a JR FrontEnd Developer at Webpass.
After Bloc: Recently got a job as an Interaction Designer at Tata Communications.
Prior to Bloc, Nina was taking graphic design courses at City College of San Francisco and thought she needed a more intensive and hands-on course if she wanted to switch to web/UX/UI Design. Her main goal on day one was to read and learn about the design industry from her mentor as much as she could. She committed 3-4 hours a day on the curriculum and completed 4 projects by the end of her apprenticeship.
She tried Codecademy, Code School, Treehouse, and Thinkful but chose Bloc due to the following:
Convenience – I was working a 9-5 job so having the opportunity to learn online and not being required to go to a venue was a very important factor.
Affordability - The program offered high value for its fees and was more affordable than most other similar programs.
Curriculum – I like the systematic, build-on-previous-topics approach provided by the curriculum. I enjoyed the professional, yet casual approach given by my mentor.
In a recent article featured by Astro Awani, Malaysia’s first 24 hour news and information station, Bloc CTO Dave Paola covered how Bloc helps developers and designers accomplish their goals of learning to code through the apprenticeship model.
What Today’s Learners Need From an Online Bootcamp
Paola said that, “professors believe in standing up at the front of a classroom and talking at us. Mentorship is about working alongside a student to build something together.” Yet while that may be fine if one’s goal is self-enrichment, but not if these services position themselves as a path to career change.
He explained that Today learners want programs that will hold them accountable, and programs that they can hold accountable. In a recent study of people who have tried learning to code using Codecademy, 72% said they never finished with a graduation rate. Another example would be traditional education where these for-profit universities have a dropout rate is 78%. Meanwhile the post-graduation unemployment rate has skyrocketed to 8.5% and the average student debt now tops $26K. Whereas Bloc has a graduation rate of 90%.
How A Website Fits Together
One of my favorite metaphors for helping beginners understand the basics of frontend web development is the house metaphor.
HTML: the structure, the wood frame of the house
CSS: the paint, bricks, carpet
AJAX: dynamically updating parts of of the web application without refreshing the entire page. Being able to compose a new email in Gmail without a page refresh.
What is a Framework?
In the context of a house, a framework is a pre-constructed scaffold. It enables developers to quickly grab standardized, reusable code to build a taller, more complex, and highly stable house, using reusable parts and standards.
A Framework takes the features that are common in most web applications and builds them for you. It allows for customization to make it unique to what you are doing, and helps to standardize ways of thinking about the code, thereby making it more accessible for a team to collaborate.
“Bloc helped me achieve my goals by getting me moving in the right direction. The best part of my apprenticeship was the motivation and one-on-one relationship with my mentor, Ben.”
Meet Chris Elwood, A Bloc Full Stack Web Development Grad
Before Bloc: Actor
After Bloc: Aspiring Junior Web Developer
Chris has been a professional actor since he was 18 in Los Angeles, where he now lives with his wife and baby. During his Bloc apprenticeship, he held a full-time and part-time job while still keeping up with his mentor appointments and Bloc material. He put a minimum of 5 hours a day into coding and was able to completely finish 2 applications (Bloccit & Capstone Project) and mostly finished the other 3. His goal was to make it an app that would be useful for the company he works for currently and his capstone project was something that he did starting mid-way through with Ben’s help. (more…)
Frontend vs Backend Web Development
When searching for web development jobs and you’ll find a wide variety of requirements. Languages, frameworks, methodologies may differ, but there are two aspects of web development that will be common for all jobs: frontend and backend. Some jobs may may require full-stack skills, but full-stack is merely a combination of frontend and backend. This purpose of this article is to explain Frontend vs Backend Web Development from a professional point of view.
The frontend of an application is distinctly human. It’s what the user sees, touches and experiences. In this respect, empathy is a required characteristic of a good frontend developer. The frontend of an application is less about code and more about how a user will interpret the interface into an experience. That experience can be the difference between a billion-dollar company and complete collapse. If you were a MySpace user in 2004, you were probably content with the experience. But once you started to use Facebook, you almost certainly had a better experience. You realized that you could socialize with a simpler design, no flashing banner ads, easy-to-find friends, etc. Facebook and MySpace had a lot of differences under the hood as well (backend), but at least part of Facebook’s triumph can be attributed to a better frontend and user experience.
Since the scholarship fund’s creation six months ago, New Relic has awarded over $40,000 in diversity scholarships and helped over 75 women, veterans, and under-represented minorities become web developers, mobile developers, and UX Designers.
Why Diversity Is Important
In May, Google released the demographic makeup of the company, exhibiting the devastatingly low numbers of non-Caucasian, male employees. Yahoo, Facebook, and Linkedin then followed suit, pledging to do more to promote diversity.
Out of these four, LinkedIn had the highest percentage of non-Caucasian employees, with 60% of those being Asian. A whopping 85% of Facbook employees are male, with similar numbers at LinkedIn, Google, and Yahoo. These numbers are baffling, considering that the American workforce itself is 47% female, 16% Hispanic, 12% black and 12% Asian, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“A few months ago, I knew no Ruby/RoR whatsoever, and here I am today, makin’ apps. Bloc rocks.”
Meet Alissa Likavec, A Full Stack Development Grad.
She’s been a front-end web developer for three years, and she enrolled in Bloc’s full stack development program to build her back-end coding skills. She works for an automobile software company, which makes software for car dealerships helping them keep track of their customer data. Alissa also co-founded the Tampa chapter of Women who Code. Her current role was general front-end stuff, and their application is in asp.net (so C sharp too). She has always wanted to get into ruby on rails, and liked that Bloc’s full stack course is so heavy in it. A lot of companies work in this, and she feels it’s a really helpful to have this knowledge.
She looks forward to bringing the best of both worlds to her projects and clients as a full-stack web developer. Currently looking for positions that will help leverage these new skills.
Done with Codecademy? Ready to build something real? Although Git started out as a way to track versions and collaborate on code with other developers, it has now become much more than that. GitHub is an online repository of code that is committed using Git, and has become a platform for developers all over the world to collaborate on open source projects. Hiring managers look at GitHub profiles to check out a prospective hire’s past projects. As a result, GitHub has become a de facto portfolio in the world of software.
Beginner’s Guide to Git and GitHub
In this TechTalk, we’ll give you a crash course in Git:
- What is version control and why should you care?
- Why Git is the industry standard, and why you should be using it
- What’s the difference between Git and GitHub?
- The basics of Git: branches, merging, and collaboration
- Publishing to Heroku
- Advanced features of Git