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Frequently Asked Questions

Our Approach

What is your teaching philosophy?

Founded in 2012, Bloc was one of the world’s first bootcamps and the first to be 100% online. Since then we’ve helped thousands of students achieve their goals. We believe in leveraging technology to deliver an immersive outcomes-focused program. Rather than a traditional classroom, we employ a flipped classroom, mastery learning approach where you’ll work with a team of experienced developers invested in your success.

These are the four pillars of our teaching philosophy:

Consistency and Discipline. Our program is long, tough, and challenges you to figure out problems as a professional developer would. As such, Bloc requires consistency and discipline to have a successful outcome.

Built for Outcomes. We have a 97% success rate for job-seeking students in 2016. We designed our programs with input from top engineering firms to produce software developers that can contribute to a team on their first day at the job. Facebook, Apple, IBM and BuzzFeed are among the companies who’ve hired Bloc alumni.

Mutual Accountability. Students hold us accountable for getting the outcome they desire. We hold students accountable for trusting the process, remaining disciplined, completing the assignments and projects, and believing in themselves.

Education, not Edutainment. We focus on what really matters: learning by building. You won’t find an over-reliance on visuals or an abundance of theoretical lessons in our curriculum. Bloc teaches the tangible skills that employers care about, and students learn by applying those skills to real projects. Bloc is fun, but our top priority is a world-class education.

What makes Bloc more effective than other coding bootcamps?

Bloc was founded by two engineering graduates of a top tier computer science program, and they discovered that students learned faster by building real projects working with experienced professionals — not sitting in a classroom. And that’s exactly how they designed Bloc.

We’ve had many years to get feedback from our alumni, mentors, and employers to refine our approach. We’ve helped thousands of students launch new careers and start companies, and you don’t have to take our word for it.

We’ve published over 100 testimonials from happy alumni hired by companies like Salesforce, Autodesk, IBM, BuzzFeed, Lumosity, and Groupon. We didn’t develop our programs in a vacuum either; we had help from amazing mentors who work at prolific technology companies like Apple, Uber, Netflix, Amazon, and Heroku.

Bloc was created as a 100% online program that offers both full-time and part-time options, so students and mentors aren’t bound by location. And Bloc is designed as a holistic, apprenticeship-style program so you’re never constrained by a teacher’s limited attention. If asked, many developers will admit that they learned more from a senior developer on their first job than they did from their classrooms. This is exactly how Bloc works; you're simulating on-the-job learning from day one.

What do you look for in students? What does a successful Bloc student look like?

We’ve written a lot about the idea that learning to code requires a lot of hard work. You can’t learn by osmosis, you have to build. You have to bang your head against problems and work your way out.

So, we look for students who are empowered learners with the following qualities:

  • Driven. Our best students enroll with a clear goal and work to achieve it.
  • Hard-working. Our students who consistently put in the time and work get the most out of Bloc.
  • Ready to learn. You don’t need to have a degree or prior programming experience, but our best students take the initiative to learn on their own, and are ready to commit to a rigorous, challenging program.

How is Bloc’s curriculum created?

Bloc’s curriculum is designed and developed in-house by experienced developers and designers. Led by our Program Directors and our Head of Career Services, the team consistently gathers feedback from our Curriculum Advisory Boards that consist of leading engineering and design hiring managers across the country. They ensure that you’re always the most competitive candidate in the field.

Can I sample the material?

Absolutely. Register for an account and explore on your own, or email a Student Advisor for help at hello@bloc.io.

How deep does your program go? How much of Bloc is in-house curriculum vs. outside resources?

We have developed our own project-based, hand-crafted curriculum designed to get you the outcome you want. We employ a combination of text-based curriculum, supplemental videos, and structured assignments where you apply what you’ve learned.

It’s important to teach you how to fish. You’ll lean less heavily on the Bloc curriculum as you build your projects and begin tackling open ended problems the way a real developer would — by figuring it out on your own, and through pairing with a more experienced developer.

For example, you might work with a product requirements document with user stories, just like you’d receive from a project manager in the real world. One user story might state that your product can overlay locations on a Google Map. In that case, you’ll need to read the public Google Maps documentation just like you would in the real world. This is an important and necessary step in becoming an effective developer.

What is Bloc’s acceptance rate?

100%. We believe that education should be accessible to everyone. Our program is online so we don’t have the physical space constraints of an on-premises university or traditional bootcamp and allows us to teach differently.

What’s the difference between Bloc’s Programs?

Our Track programs are built to get you a job as a developer or designer, and are backed by a Tuition Reimbursement Guarantee.

  • Web Developer Track — A self-paced, online bootcamp that allows you to optimize our industry-vetted curriculum through Personalized Paths: choose either fullstack JavaScript (React + Server-side JavaScript with Express and Node.js) or opt to focus on Ruby on Rails, depending on your desired job market. Learn computer science fundamentals to ensure you understand vital concepts like data structures and algorithms. Experience expert instruction & guidance, accountability & structure, and community through our 360 Support program. If you don’t land a job in web development, we’ll refund your tuition.

  • Designer Track — At 24 weeks full-time, the Designer Track is twice as long as the typical design bootcamp and is a holistic program that covers the entire design process arc. The Designer Track combines the research, testing and visual design components of UX/UI with the frontend development skills needed to build and deploy your projects. If you don’t land a job in design, we’ll refund your tuition.

Need help deciding which option is the best for you? Contact one of our Student Advisors for guidance.

Tuition

How does the Web Developer Track’s Tuition Reimbursement Guarantee work? Will my tuition be reimbursed if I don’t land a developer job?

Yes, if you do not land a job as a developer within 180 days of program completion, we’ll completely refund your tuition. We believe in mutual accountability. You hold us accountable to help you get a job, and we’ll hold you accountable for doing the work.

Here’s what we’re guaranteeing:

  • You’ll get a paying job in the web development industry
  • Within 180 days of graduating
  • This may include full-time, contract-to-hire, contractor, and internship positions

But it’s all about mutual accountability. So here’s what you’ll need to do to be eligible:

  • You must complete each phase of the program in full with mentor approval.
  • You must have completed all career prep checkpoints, completed your Bloc student profile and made your profile public.
  • You must reply to requests from the Career Services team within 72 hours.
  • You must apply to at least 10 development jobs per week and submit weekly job search logs to the Career Services team.
  • 3 of the 10 weekly job applications must be sent through networking (personal connection, professional connection, or cold outreach).
  • You must track all correspondence related to your job search and be able to furnish details upon reimbursement request relating to employer, position, date of submission, and application materials.
  • You must be a fluent English writer and speaker.
  • You must be eligible to work in the metropolitan area(s) and country you choose for the 18 months after your graduation.
  • You must be willing to accept a job in the web developer field if offered. If you decline a role in the software development field, you are no longer eligible for the guarantee.
  • If you live in a rural area, it is difficult for Bloc to guarantee you a job. So you must live in one of these top 23 major North American metro areas encompassing over 100 cities: Metro Atlanta, Greater Austin, Greater Boston, Chicago Metropolitan Area, Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Las Vegas Valley, Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, Miami Metropolitan Area, New York Metropolitan Area, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle Metropolitan Area, Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan Area, Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Delaware Valley (Philadelphia), Minneapolis-Saint Paul, San Diego County, Metro Phoenix, Metro Vancouver, Metro Detroit, Raleigh-Cary ‘Triangle’ and Greater Houston.
  • If you do not live in one of these areas, you have two options:
    • Enroll anyway and waive the tuition reimbursement guarantee.
    • Focus your job search on any two metro areas on this list, and we guarantee you'll get a job creating software in one of these two cities. You must be willing to relocate to one of these cities at your own expense upon graduation.
  • Graduate must explicitly request their reimbursement within one calendar month after the job search is complete. Failure to provide timely notice will void the guarantee.

How does the Designer Track’s Tuition Reimbursement Guarantee work? Will my tuition be reimbursed if I don’t land a designer job?

Yes, if you do not land a job as a designer, we’ll completely refund your tuition. We believe in mutual accountability. You hold us accountable to help you get a job, and we’ll hold you accountable for doing the work.

Here's what we're guaranteeing:

  • You'll get a paying design-related job (design jobs include, but are not limited to: UX designer, UX researcher, UI designer, product designer, product manager, etc.)
  • Within 180 days of graduating
  • This may include full-time, contract-to-hire, contractor, and internship positions

Here's what we're going to hold you accountable for:

  • Students must complete each phase of the program in full with mentor approval. Each project will be reviewed on a set guideline and students will be required to complete project revisions per Lead Mentor direction before being allowed to begin new projects.
  • Students who fall more than 10% behind pace will be moved to the slowest pacing option of one mentor session per week until caught up.
  • A student who falls more than 20% behind pace at any time is no longer eligible for tuition reimbursement, even if he/she catches up later.
  • To qualify for tuition reimbursement, a student must complete at least 100% of the required curriculum (students can complete greater than 100% if they complete more projects than are required).

Other requirements:

  • You must have completed all career prep checkpoints, completed your Bloc student profile, and made your profile public.
  • When getting help from our Career Services team, you need to be responsive and reply to requests within 72 hours.
  • You must apply to at least 10 design-related jobs per week and submit weekly job search logs to the Career Services team.
  • 3 of the 10 weekly job applications must be sent through networking (personal connection, personal connection, or cold outreach).
  • We're going to require you to track all the employers and positions you apply to, as well as dates, email correspondence, and application materials related to your job search. You'll need to provide all of this to the Career Services team so they can help you as much as possible.
  • You must be eligible to work in one of the metropolitan area(s) listed below during the 18 months after your graduation.
  • You must be willing to accept a job in a design-related field (UX, UI, Product).
  • If you live in a rural area, it's difficult for Bloc to guarantee you a job. So you must live in one of these top 23 major North American metro areas encompassing over 100 cities: Metro Atlanta, Greater Austin, Greater Boston, Chicago Metropolitan Area, Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Las Vegas Valley, Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, Miami Metropolitan Area, New York Metropolitan Area, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle Metropolitan Area, Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan Area, Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Delaware Valley (Philadelphia), Minneapolis-Saint Paul, San Diego County, Metro Phoenix, Metro Vancouver, Metro Detroit, Raleigh-Cary ‘Triangle’ and Greater Houston.
  • If you don't live in one of these areas, you have two options:
    • Enroll anyway and waive the tuition reimbursement guarantee.
    • Focus your job search on any two metro areas on this list, and we guarantee you'll get a design-related job in one of these two cities. You must be willing to relocate to one of these cities at your own expense upon graduation.
  • You must explicitly request your reimbursement within one calendar month after the job search is complete. Failure to provide timely notice will void the guarantee.
  • You must be a fluent English writer and speaker, and at least 18 years old.

Please note, the tuition reimbursement guarantee only covers the base rate of your Bloc program ($9,800 or $8,500) and not any additional financing costs incurred from our financing partners.

Do you offer tuition payment plan options?

Yes. We offer a range of payment plan options for all of our programs. Please visit the payment plan sections of our Program websites to learn more about your options: https://www.bloc.io/web-developer-track and https://www.bloc.io/designer-track.

Do you offer any scholarships?

Yes. We believe in promoting diversity in technology. We have three diversity scholarship programs:

  • Close the Gap Scholarship Fund - $1 Million fund for self-identifying women aspiring to be developers and designers. Applicable only to the Web Developer Track and the Designer Track.
  • New Relic Diversity Scholarship - $500 partial scholarship for women, veterans, and minorities underrepresented in tech. Applicable to all Bloc programs.
  • Veterans Scholarship - $500 partial scholarship for all US Military Veterans. Applicable only to the Web Developer Track and the Designer Track.

Can my employer pay for Bloc?

Yes! About 20% of Bloc students have an employer sponsoring their tuition. Check with your employer on their policy, then speak with one of our Student Advisors for documentation on our program, an invoice, and a certificate of completion for your employer when you complete the program.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept all credit and debit cards, PayPal, and wire transfers. If you plan to pay via PayPal or wire, you must pay in full upfront.

Can I downgrade my account if I am unable to continue?

Bloc does not support downgrading from any of our programs. If you have worked up to a certain amount in your roadmap and are unable to continue or want to switch to a shorter program, you will need to withdraw and enroll again.

What's your refund policy?

For information concerning our withdrawals, please visit our Withdrawal FAQ page.

Am I eligible for a tax refund for my education with Bloc?

No. This currently only applies to traditional universities.

Getting Started

When can I start?

Unlike university and bootcamp programs that have a limited number of start dates each year, you can start Bloc at any time. Cohorts start every Monday, and you can enroll two weeks before your desired start date.

There are three important dates:

  • Enroll Date - Enroll in the program and make your initial payment.
  • Orientation - Our orientation process is as follows: As soon as you enroll in the program, we want you to attempt your first technical quiz and gain access to our slack community after passing it. You will then be responsible for completing a second quiz and completing an orientation call with our student success team, who will be a resource for you as you move through the program. After completing those steps, you will select your first mentor one week before your program begins.

  • Start Date - This is when the program starts, and it will be your first week of mentor appointments.

Is there any required prework?

There is no assigned prework for any of our programs but there are two technical preparedness quizzes that you must pass before you start your program.

Who are these Student Advisors you keep talking about?

Bloc’s Student Advisors help you find the right program for you. They are usually Bloc alumni and they can introduce you to mentors and other alumni, give you a tour of the curriculum, and answer any questions you may have about Bloc.

Will I work with the same mentor throughout the program?

You’ll work with multiple mentors throughout the program for each phase of the program. You’ll also be constantly surrounded with other mentors between live teaching sessions, real-time chat sessions, and our online community.

What kind of hardware is required?

Generally our students and mentors prefer Macs. However, you can take Bloc using a Mac, Windows, or Linux machine.

Do I need to purchase any software or tools?

No! Everything you need is included with your tuition or available for free.

What is the time commitment?

We designed Bloc as a structured, immersive program that still fits into your life. That means you can enroll in Bloc without relocating or quitting your job.

If you can’t make a regular, dedicated commitment, Bloc might not be the best fit for you. There is no set pace for the Web Developer Track so that you have the most flexibility when it comes to time and payments for your education. Here are the paces the average student takes to complete the program:

  • Study 20 hours/week for 8 months
  • Study 40 hours/week for 4 months
  • Study 40+ hours/week for 3 months

Designer Track does have set paces you must adhere to in order to remain eligible for your Tuition Reimbursement Guarantee. See the following table for the required time commitment:

Intense Moderate Steady
24 Weeks, 40 Hours/Week 36 Weeks, 25-30 Hours/Week 72 Weeks, 12-15 Hours/Week


For Designer Track, can I switch my pace after enrolling?

We do allow for pace switching after you start your program. This is an easy discussion you’ll need to have with the Student Success team to make sure the change is within your best interest, but there is no extra cost to changing your pace if it is approved.

Can I switch programs after enrolling?

Each program is designed to help you achieve a different outcome. That means that we work with you from day one to help you achieve a particular goal. As a result, we don’t allow students to switch from one to the other. You'll need to drop your current program and enroll in a new one from the beginning. If you’re interested in learning more about another program, visit our program pages: Web Developer Track or Designer Track.

What happens after I enroll?

After you enroll, you'll go through orientation. During your orientation, you’ll learn about expectations for your program, tell Bloc about your goals, and complete any required prework. A week prior to your start date, you'll set your schedule with your mentor.

On your start date, we unlock access to the curriculum. You complete the first few checkpoints before your first mentor appointment, where you'll discuss your goals with your mentor and review your work.

Can I get in contact with other students?

Yes! We have an active community of students and alumni. You can join the community after you enroll during orientation week.

What if I fall sick or can't keep up?

This is a big commitment, and we expect you to put in the necessary hours. If you’re in Designer Track and your required weekly workload feels too overwhelming, talk with Student Success about slowing your pace.

If life happens — a serious illness, an unexpected life change — you have the option to freeze your program in one-week increments for a total of 2 weeks for Web Developer Track and 4 weeks for Designer Track. We’ll save your progress and when you return you’ll pick-up where you left off. We do not offer extended freezing so make sure to save this option for only when it's necessary.

If you fail to complete your program within two years of your program start date, you will be dropped out of the program without eligibility for a refund.

May I freeze during the holiday season?

During the holiday season (December 1 - January 10), you may freeze a maximum of one additional week. If you celebrate religious holidays outside of these dates, please discuss these with Student Success. These holiday freezes will not count towards your freeze maximum.

Do I get access to the Bloc curriculum after I graduate?

Yes. Bloc graduates get lifetime access to their program curriculum, including all updates and improvements, so you can stay sharp with a world-class curriculum as a reference.

360 Support

How will I learn?

At Bloc, we teach with a flipped classroom model: you learn, complete assignments, and tackle challenges on your own, consulting a mentor for help getting unstuck and discussing broad concepts. Mentors are available 12-14 hours every day to chat in real-time.

You’ll be able to sign up for and attend live teaching sessions that will be offered on a variety of topics taught by professional developers.

What if I get stuck?

When you get stuck throughout the week, you can message a mentor any time via chat. They’ll be available 12-14 hours every day to chat in real-time. If you need extra help on a topic, you can arrange a video call or wait to bring it up during your weekly mentor session.

What are my weekly mentor sessions for?

During your weekly video call appointments, you'll dive deep into tricky concepts, seek professional advice on your career, or discuss your progress.

In return, your mentor will push you in ways that a typical online curriculum can't. When you complete assignments, your mentor will review your code and critique your approach, giving you detailed feedback and advice. During appointments, your mentor will work with you to develop good habits and pair program with you on tricky problems.

Your mentor is like a Personal Trainer: they know when to push you, when to let you work through your problem, and when to help get you unstuck. Above all, they’re committed to your success.

How do I choose my mentor?

During your orientation week — a week before your start date — you’ll have the option to choose your mentor. Each mentor has a profile consisting of a brief introduction, their professional background, their characteristics (timezone, what operating systems they support, what languages they speak), and their appointment schedule. Select a mentor that fits with your study schedule and your goals. If you have a specific or unusual goal with Bloc, contact a Student Advisor to find a mentor that fits your needs before your program start date.

What if I want to switch mentors?

No problem. If your mentor is not a good fit, let Student Success know and we'll make it happen.

Career Support & Outcomes

Bloc Career Services is a holistic collection of curriculum and services reserved for our Web Developer Track and Designer Track students living in the United States and specific Canadian metropolitan locations. Career support is only effective when it’s integrated throughout the program rather than haphazardly tacked onto the end. Bloc Career Services prepares our students for the technical recruiting process and provides the non-technical skills needed to conduct an effective job search.

Career Services includes:

  • Technical mastery evaluations to ensure job readiness
  • Portfolio review to ensure your skills are well-represented to hiring companies
  • Resume and cover letter review
  • Job search planning consultation with your mentor to ensure you’re targeting the right roles
  • Mock interviews (assessments) to prepare you for your first technical interview
  • Negotiation guidance
  • The ability to view past jobs filled by Bloc graduates in order to learn about what types of roles and companies our students are filling and working for
  • Addition to Bloc’s Job-Seeking Student Directory that’s shared with recruiters and employers
  • Professional networking opportunities with Bloc students, mentors, and alumni

Career Services does NOT include:

  • Someone to conduct your job search for you
  • Employers lined up waiting for you to graduate
  • Introductions to employers
  • An easy job search without a lot of hard work from you

Career Services is not offered to students in our Fundamentals courses. Students seriously considering a career switch into development or design should consider the following Bloc programs: * Web Developer Track * Designer Track

Technical Readiness

Throughout the Web Developer Track, Bloc will test your technical knowledge through a series of quizzes and long form assessments. Quizzes help you and your mentor identify gaps in your technical skills that require additional attention, and assessments are a cumulative review of the concepts covered in the quizzes. Assessments are similar to technical interviews, and you must pass to move to the next phase of the program. You’ll be given up to three opportunities to take each assessment.

Non-Technical Skill Building

Starting in Week 1 and continuing throughout the program, you’ll learn how to map out what segment of the industry you’re most passionate about pursuing, which technologies you’ll focus on to give you a competitive edge in a crowded candidate pool, and how to build your professional network effectively to create more opportunities. By the time you’re ready to start your job hunt, you’ll have a portfolio showcasing 8-10 projects, an updated resume, polished LinkedIn and GitHub profiles, and mock interviews under your belt.

What is your policy regarding accommodating students with disabilities?

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other related US laws, Bloc will make concerted efforts to accommodate students with special requirements by making reasonable adjustments where appropriate. Each circumstance will be considered on an individual basis according to the means, limits, and experience of Bloc and take special requests under consideration. Students requesting special accommodations are asked to do so in writing following admission to Bloc and at least 30 days prior to the date accommodations will be needed. Documentation must be from a professional who is qualified in the testing and diagnosis of the disability. Please email help@bloc.io to discuss the requested accommodation with the Head of Student Success and/or Program Director before your program start date.