Old Guy New Trick

An old guys journey to learn how to code.

First Week At Bloc

Author: John on March 15, 2014

About two weeks ago I was trying to decide which on-line web developer education solution I would enroll in.  The decision was not easy.  Along with the weekly time requirements, roughly 25 hours per week, the financial cost is nothing to shrug off.  In the end I choose Bloc (http://www.bloc.io)

My training at Bloc started this past Monday, March 10th.  The Bloc course runs about 12 weeks, broken down into four segments:

    1.  Environment Setup / Programming with Ruby
    2.  Rails Foundation
    3.  Features/Testing/Javascript
    4.  Project Challenges

I've just finished item 1 - Environment Setup / Programming with Ruby.  When I read the description of this section my first thought was, "this should be easy."  I have been exploring Ruby and Rails for almost a year.  I've installed RVM on several computers, worked with GitHub and Heroku, as well as several introductory tutorials.

And many of sub-sections in this first track were a nice and quick completion for me.  But, through each sub-section, I did learn something new.  For example, while working on setting up an app on Heroku, I learned how to add support for New Relic.  I've seen ads and mention of New Relic a lot while learning Rails but never took a look at it.  Now I've had a nice gentle introduction.

There are 20 sub-section to Environment Setup / Programming with Ruby.  I felt good and confident as I traversed through them one by one.  I was slowed down briefly in sub-section 14 - Arrays.  One of the exercises there introduced me to new code and techniques I had not yet experienced.  I love learning new stuff!

As I rounded out this section, I found myself staring at my nemesis - Blocks.  I don't know why, but I seem to have a mental block when it comes to Blocks (as well as Procs and Lambdas.)  This section took me a bit and I had to reach out for help.

In the Bloc program, each student has a mentor.  We have around 3 calls a week with our mentors.  When I got stuck it was after I had last talked with my mentor.  Not a problem - Bloc also has a staffed on-line chat room.  I popped in to the chat room and asked a question.  One of the staff there gave me a nudge.  After about 30 minutes I was still stuck.  I had gotten further, but still hadn't solved the problem.  Another question/discussion in the chat room and it became clear.  I was able to complete the lesson.  Happy Dance!

I look forward to my next call with my mentor (tomorrow) and starting my next section - Rails Foundation.  As I progress through each section I'll return here to provide updates.

Learn Something New Every Day

Last Edited by: John on December 30, 2015