Bloc, a new educational startup, makes it easy for you to start writing in Ruby. It allows anyone to build and deploy web applications in their browser with zero setup, showing results instantly. This is great for many reasons, but speaking from personal experience, getting started with Ruby can be an absolute, jaw-dropping nightmare for beginners.

But what makes Bloc different from the likes of Codecademy? It’s simple: Codecademy uses JavaScript as its foundation for beginning programmers, while Bloc throws you right into Ruby. Bloc also starts you off on full blown projects, like learning how to build a URL shortener. Staying language specific should make the product useful for anyone with particular goals, and Bloc has plans to add additional courses revolving around other topics such as Javascript and APIs.

Bloc’s goal, to reduce worldwide unemployment through large-scale education, is becoming more feasible as they continue to grow. The company has already seen 7,000 lessons completed in two weeks, with 3,000 applications deployed to the web. Many new courses should be arriving soon, as well.

Screen Shot 2011 12 14 at 2.58.15 PM 520x410 Trouble learning Ruby? Bloc teaches you how to code

The rise in education startups like Bloc paints a new picture of CS education. Humanizing the learning process for beginning programmers is essential to bringing more talent aboard the tech train, and simplifying (not dumbing down) the process opens up a whole new world for young, creative thinkers. Other startups, like Squad, a collaborative code editor, and CoderDojo, a not-for-profit organization that teaches kids how to code, continue to move forward with this noble goal.

How many of you wish tools like these were around when you started getting into programming?