This Week in Bloc Dev Bootcamp

Without going into a long love letter to Bloc, I will keep you all up to date weekly at what I am learning in this incredible journey to becoming a Full Stack Front End Developer, or what I like to call, a Coding Generalist. The TRUE Renaissance woman of code.

via Junkee


As I started this lustful affair with learning to code in 2012-13, I knew it wasn’t going to be enough just to learn some scripting languages and then start applying to roles. I also knew I could only go so far on my own with the many available free tools. A new free tool that was not available when I started this is Free Code Camp, I suggest checking it out right now!

With that said, the Bloc dev boot camp came at the right time and I jumped in like I was skydiving and afraid of heights, I didn’t care how scared I was, or even if I could do it, there was no try, just do. Since that day, I have progressed leaps and bounds in a little over one month, while investing in a future I can’t wait to see, that will include a yacht.

Here is what I learned this week at Bloc:

  • Programming is fixing Apps, not working on Apps that have no issues.
via the-gaggle

An epiphany I came by this week was really getting validation that I am finally grown up enough to know that I love this shit! A few months ago, I thought coding was sitting in front of a text editor and writing methods, loops and blocks of beautiful looking code, and I was about 3% correct.  What I learned this week, and what made my 21 year veteran of programming mentor super stoked, was that I told him I absolutely love getting error messages and then figuring out how to fix them. When you get the green test pass message in TDD or your App is rendering properly because you took the time to read the error message and fix it, it feels much like completing an entire New York Times crossword puzzle without cheating, and anyone who knows me knows I love crossword puzzles yet, I have never completed a NYT Sunday puzzle, ever. It is a hard reality for a lot of new programmers to swallow that fixing things, or more accurately, debugging, is the bulk of what they will be doing on the job. For most of this week, I was working on fixing error messages I was getting for my app in both the TDD environment, and the actual App not rendering properly. I did this by carefully reading error messages, they will literally guide you to the file, line number and problem if you know how to decipher them,  Which leads me to the next valuable lesson I learnt this week-

  • Slow the F^%&#K down


22 GIFs Of Things Made Brilliant By Slow Motion
via Buzzfeed

Everything looks better in slow-mo, walking, falling down, wind in your hair. I come from a background in Admin and Operations, where everything was on a ‘do it now , do it fast and don’t mess up’ basis. My job was a day to day struggle of being fast, efficient and perfect. This does not exist in the real world and that is why I was so unhappy. I could get the fast and efficient part correctly but the perfect was never going to happen. I think this is why I have no desire to be a ninja programmer in the Big Tech world, but rather a ninja programmer in the world of making a difference and creating new technologies world. When I realised this, the ability to slow down, which was not inherent in me, was super hard to grasp. Now, when I say slow down I don’t mean lazy, what I mean is, take the time to read the error messages thoroughly. Take each error message and break it down and logically figure out what is wrong. Understand the urgency to debug is in what your users see not in the testing environment and lastly, perfect is futile.

  • Do not get discouraged when something doesn’t make sense. It will make tons of sense when you screw it up and then fix it. #TRUST

This lesson made me laugh and laugh and laugh. For those of you following me on this journey you know I have gone from 0-160 in about 6 weeks. Even before you start the Bloc program, they have you do some checkpoints in Codecademy so that you won’t struggle in what they call the “Foundations” (the first week of the program). When I first met with my mentor, he actually said to me, “don’t worry, with your background, you’ll speed right through the 20+ checkpoints of the foundations of Ruby.” I was like, huh? I have never even seen Ruby syntax, and though I know Javascript and Python, I’m not sure it’s the same thing. With that said, I did speed through the foundations but only because I trusted the process of this incredible boot camp. I didn’t get hung up on the fact that I was copying and pasting Ruby code at the beginning, because I simply trusted that Bloc knew what they were doing. Let me be clear- I am still not writing Rspec and Ruby from scratch BUT, I am able to logically see where tests have been written previously, copy and paste those and then tweak them to test the features I’m implementing in my App. I get the feeling this is how it’s normally done. How did I learn all of this in a week? Well, I screwed up alot, and then I fixed my screw ups. I didn’t do this quickly, yet…(one screw up took 12 hours to fix), but I basically did a cross word puzzle to completion, in ink and only had a few liquid paper moments.


I hope this post was helpful, and stay tuned here as I will post what I have learned at Bloc weekly, so you too can make a decision on whether or not it is time for YOU to invest in yourself and get to a bootcamp.

Peace and happy coding!


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