March 20, 2020

Ask a Graduate: Lauralee Flores of Bloc and creator of majorfinder

MEET THE STUDENT

Lauralee, what did you do before attending Bloc?

I was a usability professional and web analyst. I had been teaching myself to code for over a year prior to signing up on Bloc.

Why did you make the switch into programming?

I wanted to create something. I had an idea (majorfinder.com) and I wanted to turn it into a reality.

What's your favorite part about programming?

I really love programming. If I had to choose my favorite thing it would probably be that programming is both creative and logical. I get to engage in both acts as part of programming.

THE RESEARCH

How did you choose and decide on attending Bloc specifically?

I was familiar with other bootcamps and had always wanted to attend them but they either required that I be physically present at their location or the curriculum wasn't challenging enough - I wanted something remote but still challenging.

How did your prepare to start learning at Bloc?

ew going into Bloc that my biggest area of improvement was my ability to code in Ruby - I was familiar enough with the Rails framework but creating custom Ruby code was still challenging. So I practiced Ruby every day.

What surprised you about your learning experience at Bloc?

ially, I was really surprised how much one-on-one time I got with a mentor. It wasn't ever stated explicitly on the material I had read from Bloc and I didn't expect to meet with my mentor three days a week. It was a wonderful surprise!

SURVIVING THE BOOTCAMP EXPERIENCE

What's the best advice you can give to a potential student?

The harder you work the more you will get out of it. So, commit each day to work your hardest and do your best work.

If you could start over the experience, what would you do differently?

I wouldn't change anything. I loved that I had some experience going into Bloc - it allowed me to learn a bunch about more advanced topics without having to worry about getting my development environment set up or any of the other beginning problems a new developer might face.

Share a failure and success story about your experience.

iled daily. Literally. If I wasn't trying something that stretched me I wasn't happy with my progress that day. One week I worked on an API tracking service and reporting tool (almost like a web analytics tool) which is primarily in javascript. I don't have a ton of experience with writing custom javascript so progress was slow and mistakes, frustrations, and failures were high. My mentor met with more than just our three meetings that week, we instant messaged, and emailed which was a huge help to me! When he wasn't available and I ran into a problem I always had the help from someone in the office hours. I always tried to work through the problems myself but when I got completely stuck I had so many people surrounding me and supporting me that I wasn't stopped for long.

What was your favorite project that you worked on?

Hands down, my capstone project. This is really why I chose Bloc - I got to work one-on-one with a mentor on a capstone project of my choosing. I had been working on majorfinder.com for a while and together we created a personality test. I have since expanded it and am about release it on majorfinder.com/personality.

POST GRADUATION

What are you doing now?

Working full time on majorfinder.com.

What inspires you?

I'm very goal oriented. Every day I visualize what it will be like to successfully complete my goal. In as much detail as possible I imagine what it feels like to have completed it. It fills me with a desire to reach that point. So, I guess my inspiration comes from a daily reminder of what I'm working towards. I can't wait to get there!

What do you want to do five years from now?

I'm doing right now. I love it.

Lauralee Flores has been working on websites in a professional setting since 2006. She has a masters degree in applied psychology with an emphasis in human-computer interaction which basically means she understands the psychology behind how to make a website awesome. She is graduate of Bloc's Fullstack Web Development program and creator of Major Finder. You can check out her website or find her on LinkedIn. Read more reviews of Bloc on SwitchUp!

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