online bootcamp review

// pulled my review from Course Report

In May 2015, I enrolled in Bloc’s Mobile Developer Career Track* so that I could learn how to make mobile games, specifically for Android. My track consisted of Android first then Rails Web Development.

I enrolled in Bloc because of their mentorship, online availability, and they were the only bootcamp offering Android at the time. I had researched other bootcamps, but they did not meet my criteria.

Android: 12 weeks, mentor: Michael Lustig
In hindsight, I should have taken 36 weeks for this course. 3 mentor meetings a week is nice if you’re not working (I wasn’t), but I did not get much out of my later meetings as I was able to cover most of my questions and challenges in 1 meeting.

Michael is a great mentor. I liked his teaching style. He explained concepts and ideas succinctly so that I could understand. I liked that he was willing to exceed the 30 minute mark for mentor meetings if I was struggling or if he needed extra time explaining things. He regularly replied to my messages and rescheduled with me as needed. We still keep in touch.

As I mentioned above, my driving factor to take Android was so I could learn how to make mobile games. Bloc did have a project that walked you through making games for Android, but it was outdated. For my capstone project, I learned enough Unity to make a game called Color Words. It is a color matching game that is easy to learn, and challenging to master. Currently, I’m diving deeper into Unity in my spare time to improve my game development skills.

Rails: 36 weeks, mentor: Jess Rodriguez

Originally, my track consisted of a mobile/mobile component, however, through some solid advice from Stan I was able to switch from iOS to Rails.

The best part about taking the slow path is that you have time to absorb the material and you don’t have to rush.

If you like patient people, pick Jess as your Rails mentor. He enjoys teaching and seeing his students succeed. He’ll encourage you and suggest outside resources to reinforce concepts and explore new ones. Additionally, if you feel 30 minutes is not enough for a mentor meeting, he usually goes over the limit. I highly recommend him.

The Rails course is great. I liked that videos are included in almost every checkpoint because I like seeing things done before I try them. There is constant reinforcement from project to project and you’ll learn relevant concepts to make you marketable.

Since enrolling and completing Bloc, many other bootcamps have adopted mentorship and have added online offerings. I can’t stress enough that it is important to find the right bootcamp for you if you decide to go this route. I found Bloc in early to mid-2014, but kept doing research until early 2015 to find something comparable to what they offered. I didn’t find anything to sway me from Bloc, but that’s probably because I made up mind about committing to this bootcamp.

*This Track was discontinued by Bloc. Ask me about it if you’re curious.

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