Founded in 2011, and furthered by $8.5M from venture investors, Bloc is located in San Francisco and offers online coding bootcamps and courses “for people who wish to keep their current job, learn how to code, and become a full-time software developer.”
To help prospective students compare coding schools, Bloc’s Programming Bootcamp Comparison page offers an analysis of 12 programs, their goals, time frames, materials, and costs. Bloc’s graphs depict its program as more robust than in-person bootcamps, more economical because a student can complete the curriculum while working and without temporarily relocating, and enabling employment as a junior developer after completion.
“Prior coding experience is not needed to enroll in Bloc”, but there is suggested prep work, provided after enrollment. Bloc states that its mentors help personalize the program based on each student’s level of experience and ability.
Enrolled students make a selection from the Mentors page, ideally connecting with a professional who is a good fit in terms of experience. Each track or course has a specified number of mentor meetings per week, during which they go over questions, discuss topics, and gain general developer and career tips. A switch of mentors is possible with the assistance of the Program Coordinator.
*Jan. 5, 2016 Update, as described by Tony Wan on edSurge: Bloc has acquired DevBridge, a career services company that formerly helped place graduates of five coding bootcamps. DevBridge will now exclusively work with Bloc.
Software Engineering Track
“A robust alternative to a 4-year computer science degree from a leading university.”
Rolling enrollments on any Monday, starting Jan 4, 2016.
Full Stack Web Developer Track
“For anyone looking to launch a career as a Full Stack Web Developer”
Rails Web Development Course
“Teaches you how to build robust, full stack web applications using the Rails framework”
Frontend Web Development Course
“Teaches the fundamentals of frontend programming”
UX & UI Design Course
“Teaches the fundamentals and industry standard tools of design”
Android Developer Course
“Teaches students to build full featured mobile applications”
iOS Developer Course
“Teaches students to build full featured iOS apps”
- Software Engineering Track $24,000
- Full Stack Web Developer Track $9,500
- Rails Web Development Course $4,999
- Frontend Web Development Course $4,999
- UX & UI Design Course $4,999
- Android Developer Course $4,999
- iOS Developer Course $4,999
“Bloc graduates get lifetime access to our coursework, including all updates and improvements so you can stay sharp with a world-class curriculum as your reference.”
Students should contact their Program Coordinator if any circumstances arise that prohibit progress as expected. “In the case of extreme circumstances, you can freeze your apprenticeship temporarily.” Additionally, “If you fail to complete your course within two years of your course Start Date, you will be dropped out of the program and Bloc will issue a pro-rated refund for your unused course time minus a $500 non-refundable fee.” A full refund is available when a student drops out within 7 days of starting a course.
Bloc accepts credit cards, debit cards, wire transfers, checks, and PayPal. Payment plans are available, with an initial payment amount followed by regular installments.
Partial scholarships of $500 toward any Bloc program are awarded to selected applicants who are U.S. veterans, female, or from an ethnic minority group “underrepresented in the software engineering field (African American, Chicano/Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander).”
There is also a Girl Develop It scholarship for the Web Developer Track.
Each program offers different ‘paces’ and has specified next starts dates as listed on each program’s individual web page.
Software Engineering Track
48 Weeks full-time
72 Weeks part-time
Full Stack Web Developer Track
24 Wks Intensive pace, 40 hrs per wk
36 Wks Aggressive pace, 25 hrs per wk
72 Wks Moderate Pace, 15 hrs per wk
Rails Web Development Course, Frontend Web Development Course, UX & UI Design Course, Android Developer Course, and iOS Developer Course
12 Wks 40 hrs per wk 3 Mentor Meetings per wk
18 Wks 30 hrs per wk 2 Mentor Meetings per wk
36 Wks 15 hrs per wk 1 Mentor Meeting per wk
Tate Price‘s June, 2015 post on his website compares his experiences as a student with both Bloc and Firehose, and details why he withdrew from Bloc for Firehose. Included are descriptions of the lesson methods and why his mentorship at Bloc was lacking.
A June 10, 2015 post on njosefbeck.com titled 5 Ways To Be A More Successful Bloc Student outlines good practices for time management, stress relief, and study habits. “Loving every moment’ of the Front-End Web Development course.” Commenters include other Bloc students. Another post on the same website offers links to resources that assist learning with Bloc.
Edwin Elia‘s February 26, 2015 post on his website compares online bootcamps and details his experience with Bloc’s Front-End Web Development program. He states his mentor was “amazing” and helped ensure concepts for getting a job were understood, in addition to practicing pair programming and going over interview questions. With his learning style, he prefers Bloc’s learn-by-discussion apprenticeship system over reading articles then inquiring.
Charles Sipe‘s January 27, 2015 post on his website includes brief weekly synopses of the 32 weeks he spent finishing a 36 week Front-End Development program. His descriptions include some screen shots, links to resources, how he overcame struggles, consulted with his mentor, and his progress. Overall he thinks “it is definitely worth the cost of the program”, though he was awarded a 2014 Veteran full scholarship (no longer available). He notes, “I think that having a mentor and focused curriculum can accelerate the learning process.” Also mentioned are his experiences with other coding courses. His website includes pages to many other resources.
Alex Spencer‘s January 19, 2015 post on his website provides a smart and funny analysis on bootcamps in general, and how to ascertain whether coding and which learning school is best. He did take the Bloc Dev bootcamp and “had a great bootcamp experience and can’t recommend Bloc.io enough.” And about Bloc, “Would recommend and have recommended to friends, family, and my wife.”
Brittany Martin‘s August 8, 2014 post on her website, Pittsburgh via San Francisco, itemizes tips “on how you can leverage a developer bootcamp to jumpstart a technical career”. She graduated from Bloc in February of 2014 and became a Rails Support Engineer. She emphasizes that to have success with any bootcamp, or seeking a coding career, “you need to have a genuine passion in building solutions to solve problems.”
A November 12, 2015 article by Klint Finley on Wired describes Bloc’s “new 48 week online-only code education program that costs a whopping $24,000” and comes with a refund “if you don’t find a job that pays at least $60,000 a year within four months of completing the program.”
An October 9, 2015 article by Drew Sing on The Mary Sue, profiles Bloc graduate Ashton Levier. She was first involved with Girl Develop It, and says “Bloc taught me all aspects of development that I would need if I were to get hired and gave me a personal mentor, which was unbelievably helpful.” She is now a web developer.
Bloc’s Alumni page shows logos of companies that have hired Bloc Alumni, and brief profiles, images, and testimonials from graduates.
Bloc Facebook page short description reads: “Bloc is a mentor-led online bootcamp for aspiring developers.” The mission reads: “We believe that traditional education is broken in many ways. We believe that working with an experienced mentor can dramatically accelerate skill development and help students become developers and designers capable of getting a new job or starting their own company.”
@trybloc Twitter statement reads: “Intensive online coding bootcamp. 1-on-1 mentorship & an industry-vetted curriculum provide a more accessible & effective alternative to an offline bootcamp.”
Bloc Google+ page includes links to some video content from the Bloc YouTube channel, the description of which reads: “structured online apprenticeships for aspiring programmers and designers” Videos include alumni profiles, Info Sessions, and Tech Talks, some of which are found on Bloc’s Tech Talks and Resources page.
Bloc Blog includes posts about alumni, job search resources, Bloc announcements, technical advice, and more. Viewers may subscribe.