July 26, 2012

Student Spotlight: Joanne Daudier

![Joanne Daudier](http://cl.ly/image/0e2C0s2s0M3A/joanne_daudier.png)

Joanne was in the last Bloc cohort. By day, Joanne works in Marketing at Splashtop. By night, Joanne taught herself to code with help from Bloc. Joanne learned Ruby and Rails fundamentals and implemented a feature that allows you to post to your FoodRubix food journal through email.

Joanne was in the last Bloc cohort. By day, Joanne worked in marketing at [SplashTop](http://www.splashtop.com/home), by night, Joanne taught herself to code with help from Bloc. Joanne learned Ruby and Rails fundamentals, as well as implemented a feature that allows you to post to your FoodRubix food journal through email.

####What's your background?

In high school I really liked art. Ever since I was little I drew a lot. When I got to college I had to decide between art school and business school. Having Asian parents, I was not encouraged to go to art school, but looking back I should have went to art school.

I entered UCSD as a Psychology major and shadowed someone who said she met a lot of crazy people on her job. I didn't really want to do that, so I changed my major to Economics. That was kind of a useless major for me. I didn't use much of it other than the general stuff like writing.

The good thing was that I did two internships in Marketing in college, which allowed me to get my foot in the door to a Marketing job after college.

####How did you get started with FoodRubix?

Well it started in March of this year.

When I was young, I could pretty much eat any junk and it didn't really matter. But it matters more as you get older.

I had been wanting to lose 10 pounds.  The final trigger was that I had a vacation coming up in Orlando in 21 days where I knew I’d be in the water. I was fed up, so I decided I would take pictures of all the food I ate and post them to Facebook.

I labeled my pictures by day, like Day 1 of 21, Day 2 of 21, and so on. I had such a good experience with it that I just decided to keep doing it.

####Knowing that people were watching helped you be more conscious?

Yeah, I mean, if I was eating French fries I would think to myself "What are people going to say?"

I found that it helped me to actually admit to my friends that I'm trying to lose weight. I have a friend that "likes" every meal that I eat, I don't know why. I'm sure some people have blocked me from their news feed.

####So at some point, this transitioned from a cool thing you were doing to something you wanted to build?

Yeah, I was journaling through Facebook but I wanted to track more than that. Calories weren't that important to me but I wanted to track carbs.

I wanted to see patterns. I could see it visually on Facebook but I wanted to see the data.

####So what did you do? Did you try to build it yourself first?

I didn't try to build it myself because I didn't know where to  start.

It was really hard to find a developer. The mentality in my head was that it would take me too long to figure it out myself, so I figured if I hired someone it could be built while I learned at the same time.

I went through a lot of different sites. Co-founder dating sites, freelance sites. I eventually found him on [Geek List](http://geekli.st/).

####Any false starts before you found him?

Yeah I reached out to this company called [Startup Giraffe](http://startupgiraffe.com/). They are in New York. Their whole business is that they work with entrepreneurs to build their ideas.

I ended up not going that route. That would've been a 40-50k investment, so looking back it was a good thing I didn't spend all my money out there. I would've been in debt. They also take a cut, 6% equity or something like that. I almost put all that money down. I'm not sure what I was thinking.

####Hey, you were crazy about your idea. That's awesome.

Yeah, but looking back, that was a lot of money.

####So you hired a developer, but you must've been still trying to learn to code?

I started going to a lot of meetups like RailsBridge, and I went to a front end HTML / CSS meet up at Twilio. There I met a girl who was going to do [DevBootcamp](http://www.devbootcamp.com/), and she told me about Bloc.

####What was it like doing Bloc in addition to your full-time job?

Oh it was very hard. I was always very optimistic, thinking I'll wake up early and read for 3 hours, or finish work and read for 3 hours. But I would end up feeling sleepy as I read, so I had to break it up. It was very difficult.

I feel like having the Bloc team behind me was helpful for me in pushing myself. Now that I'm off Bloc, it's been 2 days and I haven't done any reading. I want to keep the momentum. But it's definitely harder when you're not in the class. Having self motivation to do the work is harder.

####What were your favorite things about the Bloc course?

I liked coming to the Bloc office and hanging out. I also liked liked getting on the chat room with other Bloc students. It was helpful when I got stuck and I could ask people for help.

The whole experience was interesting because I haven't been around programmers very much, the developers at my job are overseas. So it was pretty cool to see what that experience was like.

And it was just fun. It was fun when Matt (another Bloc student) was around, because we were about the same level, it was fun to work together. It definitely made it less painful, just like your website says.

####What were your least favorite things about Bloc?

I was really confused by the two Ruby books that we received early on. They were just words on paper to me. Now I'm watching screencasts by a guy named [Schneems](http://schneems.com/) and they make a lot more sense to me.

I also wish the course was longer. I want to learn more.

####How have you improved since taking Bloc?

I have a good general knowledge of everything. Now I want to get more in depth.

####Is there anything you'd like to tell future Bloc students?

I think this course is very helpful for people that are disciplined, especially if you have a full-time job. If any future students have questions and want to talk to a live person, they can Skype me at joanne.daudier. And if you’re trying to lose weight and want to be an alpha tester to a very rough FoodRubix prototype, let me know (@jdaudier).

*Joanne is looking for alpha testers of her app, FoodRubix, at www.foodrubix.com*

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