160307 – 160313 — Total classroom hours: 14
The first week of Bloc is under my belt and I’m feeling pretty good about it. My mentor is engaging, enthusiastic, and timely to both answer my questions/comments and approve my submitted assignments. The infrastructure of the learning platform seems well thought out. The main homepage is referred to as the ‘Roadmap’ where it is easy to see progress and what still needs to be accomplished to reach the goals for the week (which is determined by the pace chosen at the beginning of the program).
The curriculum is setup as such: text-based explanation of the subject, code assignments to confirm understanding of the subject, then video ‘answers’ to the code assignments. Within the explanation of the subjects, as well as the assignments, there are often links to help explain things in more detail. They also encourage Googling any questions you might have during the process. To some this may seem like laziness on the part of Bloc, but every programmer I’ve ever spoken to has told me that Google is always the second tab open on their browser and that knowing how to search for answers is just as important a skill as knowing proper syntax.
I was able to surpass my weekly goal of 5 checkpoints, primarily because I have been doing a lot of prep work before starting the program with Bloc. The first 5 checkpoints were things I have learned before, and I was able to cruise through them pretty quickly. Then things started picking up and I was finding it pleasantly challenging. I was submitting assignments nightly, and my mentor typically had them approved and commented upon before noon the next day.
My goal with this program is to push as hard as I can, and not take a break until there’s a good stopping point in the curriculum, which is what I accomplished this week. I made it through checkpoint 11 (Ruby: Advanced Classes) which seemed to me to be about as far as I wanted to go before discussing my process with my mentor. I’m not simply blazing through assignments, just to check them off the list. I work a problem until I feel that I fully understand it, and at this point I’ve compiled enough questions that I feel it would be best to take a break until I can run all of them by my mentor.
I feel great about my progress so far, and as long as the meeting on Monday evening goes well, I’ll have some good momentum going into Week02.