5 Reasons to Consider Bloc’s Online Coding Bootcamp

by Charles Sipe on December 10, 2014

After researching several options for training to become a web developer, I have found Bloc to be one of the most compelling options. I recently applied to Bloc’s veteran scholarship which is awarding 10 veterans with a full scholarship to attend their online bootcamp. This post outlines some of the positives that stood out for me compared to other options such as an in-person bootcamp or a college certificate program.

bloc-logoOne on One Mentorship

In Bloc you are paired with a single mentor for the entire program which means that the student teacher ratio is 1 to 1 the whole time. This contrasts significantly with colleges or in-person bootcamps where you are in a cohort of 20 or more students. The one on one attention is a tremendous differentiator for Bloc and really helpful for students starting in web development. The mentor meets with the student about 36 times and this time can include helping you get unstuck, pair programming, and answering your questions.

Project-Based Learning

Students complete 4-6 projects during the program which can be showcased in a portfolio. This is excellent if your end goal is to show potential employers what you can do and get a job in the web development field. In web development, employers don’t care about credentials as much as what you can do. The projects seem really impressive like a clone of the music streaming service Rdio.

Flexibility

Bloc really stands out in the flexibility that it provides students which strongly contrasts with in-person bootcamps which tend to be pretty rigid in terms of having to be in the classroom for set hours. This is ideal for people who do not have the option of leaving their full-time job for 2-3 months to attend a bootcamp. Bloc’s online format allows you to schedule meetings when it fits your schedule, which can allow you to continue working full-time if needed. You can also choose the intensity of the program with options of a 12, 18, or 36 week program (the shorter program involves more frequent mentor meetings). Additionally, since you are working 1 on 1 with a mentor, they can customize the program to match with your specific interests, goals, or type of app that you want to build.

Affordability

Compared to an in-person bootcamp, Bloc is less than half the cost at $4,999 ($5,500 if you pay in 6 installments). If you consider the opportunity cost of having to leave your job for 2-3 months for an in-person bootcamp, then Bloc could be a quarter of the cost of an in-person bootcamp.

Job Preparation

Bloc recently added a job preparation phase that takes place after you have successfully completed the mentorship part of the program. The job preparation includes 3 additional meetings to help you craft your resume, portfolio, and practice technical interviews. It seems like this is a great service for people who have the goal of getting hired after the program. Bloc also has an alumni group of former students who can help each other.

There are a few weaknesses I perceive for an online coding bootcamp like Bloc when compared to an in-person bootcamp. As a part-time program it is not immersive like an in-person bootcamp which puts you in an environment where you are around dozens of passionate students like yourself. With an online program you may miss out on building strong relationships with your peers who are going through an intensive and sometimes challenging experience along with you. You can miss out on gaining experience working collaboratively on a team. Additionally, some in-person bootcamps offer a hiring day where dozens of potential employers meet you and many in-person bootcamps have strong relationships with recruiters who they can recommend you to. With these factors in mind I still think that Bloc provides a flexible alternative to in-person bootcamps at a fraction of the cost.

Bloc is already the largest online coding bootcamp and have recently raised a $6 million series A investment to help them continue to expand. This signals that Bloc is here to stay for the long term and will continue to be the leader in online web development training. You can learn a lot more about Bloc’s offering through their webinars on YouTube.

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I’m creating this list of resources I come across while learning front-end development. If you have a suggestion please leave a comment below.

YouTube Development Tutorials

A to Z CSS

DevTips

Helping Develop

Jeffrey Faden

Learn Code Academy

Level Up Tuts

Lynda

PHP Academy

Programmer’s Creed

The New Boston

The Treehouse Show

Tuts+ Code

WordPress

18 Free WordPress Themes Built With Bootstrap WP Tavern

10 Blank/Naked WordPress Themes Perfect for Development Specky Boy

CSS

CSS Tricks

Simpsons in CSS

Can I Use – Check browser compatibility of specific CSS features.

Jottly: A Beginner’s Guide to HTML, CSS, Skeleton and Animate.css Bloc

A to Z CSS

Learn to Code HTML & CSS Shayhowe.com

Rounded Images with CSS Shadows The Programmer’s Library

What’s the Deal With Display: Inline-Block? Design Shack

Javascript

Heatmap.js

Chartist.js

Human Javascript

JavaScript Programming for the Web

How to Learn JavaScript Properly Javascript is Sexy

Javascript Videos The New Boston

Javascript The Right Way

A re-introduction to JavaScript (JS Tutorial) Mozilla

jQuery

JqueryUI

The Basics of Querying the Dom (video) Tuts Premium

jQuery Videos The New Boston

Angular

Shaping up with Angular Code School

Egghead.io

Front-End Development Courses

Front-End Web Developer Nanodegree Udacity – 6-9 month program with support from a coach ($200/month).

HTML5, CSS3, & Responsive Design for Web Development University of Washington – 9 month program with 3 courses that are in person or online (~$1k per course).

Udemy

The Lodge

Learnable

Code School

Codecademy

Thinkful

TutsPlus

Skillshare

Skillcrush

Harvard CS50

Udacity Web Development

Learning to Code: Lessons from Building a Rails App with Treehouse The Art of Ass-Kicking

Thinkful FEWD Course Review

Coding & Cloning: 3 Months with Thinkful Jeya.me

Git

Git – The Simple Guide

Yet Another Newb Guide to Git

Bootstrap

Less Like Bootstrap – 5 Ways To Customize Your Designs Jetstrap

Coding Bootcamps

Code Fellows: Ruby on Rails Bootcamp Review Billy Shih

Getting Hired

What do I need to know to become a Jr. Front End Developer? Reddit

Front-End Web Developers: What You’ll Make and Where You’ll Make It Udacity

Life after Code Fellows: Landing your first job Code Fellows

Preparing For A Front-End Job Interview Smashing Magazine

Why Can’t We Find Front End developers? Jose Aguinaga

Tools

CodePen

Miscellaneous

The Ultimate List of UX Design and Development Resources Code Fellows

Useful Links for Front-End Web Development Code Fellows

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30 Awesome Quotes for Living a Great Life

by Charles Sipe on March 9, 2014

“It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him.” ― John Steinbeck
“You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar
“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” -Dale Carnegie
“We don’t beat the reaper by living longer, but by living well, and living fully — for the reaper will come for all of us. The question is: what do we do between the time we’re born and the time he shows up.” – Randy Pausch
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
“Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?” ”That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the cat. “I don’t much care where…” Said Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the cat. – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
“I not only use all the dreams that I have, but all that I can borrow.” – Woodrow Wilson
“Only those who are asleep make no mistakes.” – Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA
“There is nothing that the busy man is less busy with then living; there is nothing harder to learn.” – Seneca
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” – Mohandas Gandhi
“There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain
“By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work 12 hours a day.” – Robert Frost
“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” – Mark Twain
“Many a false step was made by standing still.” – Fortune cookie
“There is no difference between a pessimist who says, ‘oh, it’s hopeless, so don’t bother doing anything,’ and an optimist who says, ‘don’t bother doing anything, it’s going to turn out fine anyway.’ Either way, nothing happens.” – Yvon Choinard, founder of Patagonia
People are rewarded in public for what they practice for years in private. ~ Anthony Robbins
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein
“Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.” – John Wooden
“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” – William Ernest Henley
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” – Zig Ziglar
“Follow your dreams, or you’ll spend the rest of your life working for someone else who did.” -Anonymous
“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
“Action is the real measure of intelligence.” – Napolean Hill
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” -Helen Keller
“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” – Earl Nightingale
“Most people go through life quietly and safely tip-toeing to an early grave.” -Les Brown
“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Listen to 35 Tim Ferriss Interviews in One Place

by Charles Sipe on June 7, 2013

tim-ferrissI’m a fan of Tim Ferriss’ writing and advice for getting the most out of life. He provides great content on life hacking, entrepreneurship, and gaining new skills. Here is a curated this list of every Tim Ferriss audio interview I could find online which equates to over 12 hours of content. Enjoy!

Firefox doesn’t support MP3 with the HTML5 audio player so you will have to follow the links to listen to the interviews or switch to Chrome 6+, IE 9+, or Safari 5+. The audio should load when you click play.

#127 Tim Ferriss on Smart Drugs, Performance, and Biohacking The Bulletproof Executive

Tim Ferriss: The 4-Hour Chef, Meditation, and Eating Crickets The Fat Burning Man

Tim Ferriss Has His Own Questions Turned Against Him! Eventual Millionaire

Exclusive Interview: Leo Talks with Tim Ferriss of 4-Hour Workweek The Power of Less

The simple path to becoming a highly-paid expert (new podcast with Tim Ferriss) Social Triggers

Rapidly Learn Any Skill (Including Cooking): An Interview with Tim Ferriss about “The 4-Hour Chef” Man vs. Debt

SPI 051 : Tim Ferriss on Promotion from Scratch, Accelerated Learning, Experiments Gone Wrong, Publishing and More Smart Passive Income

Gape Into The Void Podcast, Episode 8 With Tim Ferriss Gaping Void

Tim Ferriss on How to Reinvent Yourself with Blog Marketing Copyblogger

Nerdist Podcast: Tim Ferriss Nerdist

SPOS #333 – Learn To Do Anything With Tim Ferriss Six Pixels of Separation

TNM 125: Tim Ferriss – How to Be Kickass Fast The New Man Podcast

Tim Ferriss on the New 4-Hour Workweek Duct Tape Marketing

The 4-Hour Entrepreneurial Body Duct Tape Marketing

Ep30 – Tim Ferriss The Bryan Callen Show

95: Tim Ferriss Of The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, And The 4-Hour Chef Entrepreneur on Fire

How to Become World-class at Anything: An Interview with Tim Ferriss Jeff Goins Writer

Tim Ferriss – Episode 159 Robb Wolf

Tim Ferriss Interview on The 4-Hour Chef Sources of Insight

The LLVLC Show (Episode 468): Tim Ferriss Promotes His Slow-Carb Approach From ‘The 4-Hour Body’ Living La-Vida Low Carb

Tim Ferriss on Meta Learning and Living the Good Life School of Greatness

JRE #320 – Tim Ferriss Joe Rogan Experience

JRE #137 Tim Ferriss Joe Rogan Experience

4-Hour Book Launch Advice from Tim Ferriss Firepole Marketing

Episode #178: Tim Ferriss, FourHourChef.com (FourHourWorkWeek.com) Pickup Podcast

My Interview With Bad Ass Mother F***** Tim Ferriss Dannyroddy.com

How to Become World Class in 6 Months with Tim Ferriss Blogcast FM

Episode 013: The One With Tim Ferriss I Love Marketing

Tim Ferriss – Podcast Episode #189 Site Visibility

The 4-Hour Workweek – A Podcast Interview with Tim Ferriss About.com

Interview With Tim Ferriss of The 4-Hour Workweek Entrepreneur’s Journey

Tim Ferriss Talks About His Latest Book “The 4-Hour Chef”, How To Learn Anything In Half The Time And Why He Went To Sniper School Entrepreneur’s Journey

A conversation with Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Chef Anthill Online

079 – Tim Ferriss on how to learn ANYTHING, fast! The Kickass Life

How to Make Yourself Superhuman & Super Productive Internet Lifestyle

Photo credit: Sean O’Shaughnessy

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26 Interesting Articles and Resources on Happiness

by Charles Sipe on October 25, 2012

In recent decades there has been a significant increase in the research on positive psychology or happiness which has resulted in interesting findings that can help individuals make decisions to increase their happiness. Here are some of the interesting articles and resources I have come across and my top takeaways.

Happiness may bring you more money, study says LA Times
-Happier teens were more likely to go to college and get promoted.
-Very happy teens earned 10% higher than average.

The Myths of Happiness Barry Schwartz, Salon
-Happier people live longer and do better work.
-Experiences do a lot more for our happiness than possessions.
-People focus too much on the goal and not on the journey.

Is happiness the secret of success? by Shawn Achor CNN
-Happiness raises sales 37% and productivity by 31%.
-Write 3 new things you are grateful for each day.

5 Reliable Findings from Happiness Research Psych Central
-People who give money away appear to be happier.
-You control about half of your happiness (the other half is genetic).

Why Are Some Cities Happier Than Others? The Atlantic
-There are 3 major decisions in life that affect happiness: where to live, what to do, and with whom to do it.

Ten simple steps to boost your happiness Scouting
-Breaking a sweat can be as effective as antidepressants at fighting depression.
-Happy people live longer and earn more money.

Five habits for creating long-term happiness Fast Company
-Meditate regularly.
-Set aside time each day for a laugh.

Scientific Proof That Happiness Is a Choice Next Avenue
-Happiness from exercise comes from the repeated patterns of believing your behavior matters.
-People who start exercising start eating healthier.

But Will It Make You Happy? New York Times
-Spending money on experiences produces longer lasting satisfaction.
-Money up to a certain point makes people happier because it helps them meet certain needs.
-Hedonic adaptation describes how we quickly adapt to changes.

Don’t Indulge. Be Happy. New York Times
-Survey data shows higher income resulted in better moods, but the impact tapered off after $75,000.
-How we spend our money is more important that how much we make.

Being Filthy Rich Doesn’t Buy Happiness, But Raises Do Wired
-A steadily growing income can increase happiness.
-The ability to purchase things we desire makes a difference.

The New Science of Happiness Time
-Once your basic needs are met, additional income does little to improve your life satisfaction.

Pursuing Happiness: What Works and Why (video)
-Circumstances don’t predict happiness very strongly.
-You need to change what you do not what you have.

There’s More to Life Than Being Happy The Atlantic
-Nearly a quarter of Americans do not have a strong sense of what makes their lives meaningful (or are nuetral).

Is Money the Secret to Happiness? Psychology Today
-Much of the pleasure of acquiring things is in getting them.
-We tend to overestimate the impact of higher income.
-One of the most common regrets is not spending more time with children when they were young.

The Pursuit of Happiness Psychology Today
-Some people are born with a more positive outlook.
-Things are never as bad or good as we expect them to be.

With Age Comes Happiness Time
-Both happiness and depression can increase with age.
-A tough economic time period can affect the well being of an entire generation.

Too much happiness can make you unhappy, studies show Washington Post
-Ed Diener found those who reported the highest life satisfaction later reported lower income and dropped out of school earlier.
-Studies show that sad people are attentive to detail and externally orientated.

Does Having Children Make You Happier (audio) NPR
-Things that people think make them happy often don’t.
-Parents are slightly happier than non-parents.
-Parenting appears to increase happiness more with men than women.

What You Need To Be Happy by Professor Ed Diener (video) Baylor University
-Having work that you love is important for long-term happiness.
-Active leisure is a key to happiness like going hiking.
-People who live in a concrete jungle are not as happy.
-Air pollution lowers life satisfaction.

Can Money Buy Happiness (video) AsapScience
-People who win the lottery often report becoming very unhappy, partly due to ruined social relationships.
-People who spend money on others feel happier.
-Giving gifts to others is positively correlated with happiness.

Happiness Inc. New York Times
-Unhappy people compare a lot and care about the results.

Using Money to Buy Happiness Scientific American
-Simply having more money doesn’t guarantee happiness.
-The greatest increase in happiness is often in the weeks leading up to a vacation, which shows the power of anticipation.

Commuting The Frontal Cortex
-People consistently underestimate the pain of a long commute
-Frey and Stutzer estimate that a person with a one-hour commute has to earn 40 percent more money to be as satisfied with life as someone who walks to the office.

Does Smiling Make You Happy? How Stuff Works
-Studies consistently show that smiling causes happy feelings but there isn’t a definitive explanation.

Shawn Achor: “Before Happiness” (video) Talks at Google
-Positivity or negativity are contagious.

Creative Commons photo by Mark Sebastian

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“The Great Diet Coke Delivery” Continued

by Charles Sipe on January 4, 2012

After delivering Diet Coke to Ian Lurie of Portent Interactive on December 7th in what has been called “The Great Diet Coke Delivery”, a lot of cool things have happened.

Ian Lurie wrote about the story on Conversation Marketing: How Social Media Works

I wrote an article about the experience and submitted it to SEOMoz’s YouMoz blog and unexpectedly it was promoted to the main SEOMoz blog: How I Got The Attention of One of the Top SEO Bloggers With Diet Coke

Ian followed up with a great article in response to a commenter and discussed why being nice is a good marketing tactic: Being Nice Isn’t a Marketing Tactic. Or Is It?

A marketing agency in Brazil also wrote an article telling the story in Portuguese.

Jon Cooper from Point Blank SEO mentioned the story in his post Link Building Strategies – The Complete List

Ed Fry referenced the “awesome Diet Coke story” in his Moz article, Building Awesome Relationships For Links, Likes, and Love.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive and I was even contacted by a director of marketing in the medical field who offered me great feedback on my company website. The comments on SEOMoz were really supportive and I’ve been able to meet some great new people in the SEO community.

Finally, as I noted in an update to my SEOMoz post, Diet Coke sent me an interesting note via Twitter:

I finally received the package from Diet Coke today: A week’s supply of Diet Coke and a nice note.

diet coke

The note says:

Hi Charles,

We loved what you did for our fan @portentint on Twitter. In fact, we loved it so much that we wanted to follow your example of social media savvy and give you a Diet Coke surprise of your very own.

Please feel free to enjoy it yourself, or use it to surprise other extraordinary Twitter fans in need of Diet Coke.

Thanks again and stay extraordinary.

Yours,

Diet Coke

Thanks Diet Coke!

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