Tradecraft in San Francisco offers full time, 12-week immersive bootcamp programs for smart, motivated people who want to get into tech. Tradecraft offers courses in Sales & Business Development, Growth Marketing, Product Design and Engineering.
The program has been designed by industry-leading experts to ensure that students graduate with the depth and breadth of knowledge to make meaningful contributions from day one at a high-growth startup. Tradecraft students work with a large group of world-class mentors and a small group of inspiring peers. Students gain real work experience during the course of the program by working on projects for Silicon Valley companies.
Tradecraft’s unique approach to training means that graduates will have access to programs and resources until they get a job. Tradecraft offers ongoing mentorship and support to their alumni.
Recent tradecraft Reviews: Rating 4.94
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In PersonFull Time11 Weeks
Start Date Rolling Start Date Cost $14,000 Class size N/A Location San FranciscoThe Business Development & Sales Track at Tradecraft is for individuals who want to learn how to drive startups forward. Members of this track often come in with entrepreneurial aspirations or are focused on joining a startup as an early business hire, where their critical value comes not just from the first customers or revenue that they generate, but also from their ability to accelerate the company toward product/market fit. The track is also well-suited for those who are interested in learning how to build partnerships with other customers, employees, organizations, or investors.
Deposit N/A Tuition Plans Payment plans are available.
Minimum Skill Level N/A Placement Test No Interview No Start Date Rolling Start Date Cost $14,000 Class size N/A Location San FranciscoThe Tradecraft Growth track offers it's members a deep dive into every step of the startup customer engagement funnel from user acquisition to retention to revenue and referral. While in the program, students do projects to explore various channels by working with practicing mentors in the field and participating in project for real startups.
Deposit N/A Tuition Plans Payment plans are available.
Minimum Skill Level N/A Placement Test No Interview No Start Date Rolling Start Date Cost $14,000 Class size N/A Location San FranciscoThe Product Design Track offers individuals with previous experience the opportunity develop and design real products alongside Silicon Valley startups. Curriculum and projects allow students students to build skills like: Customer Development User Research Wireframing Interaction Design User Interface Design Prototyping Content & Copy
Deposit N/A Financing Tuition Plans Payment plans are available.
Minimum Skill Level N/A Placement Test No Interview No
138 reviews sorted by:
- Product Designer- 4/16/2019Y-Dan • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I completed the Tradecraft program almost exactly one year ago to this date, and one year later, I couldn't be happier with my investment. In the months leading up to my applying, I was trying to make the transition to product design on my own by self-studying and self-learning, but wasn't satisfied with the speed at which I was progressing.
There are many reviews that already description about the product design track and what prospective Tradecrafters can expect. I'll focus on a few points where I feel the experience was particularly valuable to me:
- Project experience: Tradecraft gives you access to opportunities to do design work on real projects from different early-stage startups. Client projects were invaluable in allowing me to grow and learn as a designer, and to have as pieces to include in my portfolio
- Career development: I was a recent college graduate, so a lot of the professional world was foreign to me. Tradecraft does an excellent job and walking through strategies to build a professional network, outreach to companies/contacts, interview effectively, and more. Ariane, the Head of Careers, is amazing.
- The people and the environment: The Tradecraft space is just teeming with smart and motivated instructors, students, and graduates that push you, both directly and indirectly, to strive for greatness.
- The instructors: The product design and career development instructors are genuinely experts at what they do. Every single question I had for, they had answers for, and often went above and beyond in providing feedback. They're a huge reason why I had such a great experience.
Overall, a year removed from the program, I can say I'm very happy with where I'm at today. And I don't think I'd be where I'm at today without the Tradecraft experience.
- Great program for building a career in tech- 1/21/2019Curren Kulkarni • Growth Manager @ Eden • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
Tradecraft is a one-of-a-kind program in the tech world and I couldn't be more happy with the decision I made to go through this SF-based career accelerator.
After spending 4 years in NYC as a tech/software investor, I decided to leave my awesome career at Goldman Sachs in order to pursue a more exciting and dynamic career in the enterprise software sector. It's not a path that many embark upon, so after doing tons of my own research and conducting interviews with folks all across the tech sector, I decided to move out to the Bay Area and enroll in Tradecraft. It's one of the best decisions I've ever made.
I moved to SF with only a handful of friends and family members out here, and Tradecraft instantly became my home away from home. Not only was the program/curriculum exactly what I was hoping for, but it's an amazing community to be part of. The instructors and students truly embody the "work hard, play hard" culture that I enjoy most -- it was a great way to enter a new city and career at the same time. Some of my best friends in SF are my fellow TC students/instructors, and I am incredibly thankful for getting to be part of this amazing program.
The curriculum is great for those who want to start their own companies, join high-growth startups as early hires, or for anyone interested in testing/building/scaling up businesses that are in some way impacted by the tech sector (i.e. nearly every business). Coming in with a traditional investment analyst skillset from wall street, I was never bored with Tradecraft's extensive curriculum, which covers a wide range of growth topics such as SEO, paid acquisition, social media, cohort analytics, email marketing, B2B sales frameworks, and more! This all comes in handy not only for building and scaling startups (in my current role), but also in the context of being a technology-oriented investor as well.
I'd recommend Tradecraft to anyone who has a desire in commiting themselves to a career in tech, plain and simple. Tradecraft's instructors and career mentors are extraordinarily resourceful and well-connected in the Bay Area and will get you from point A to point B in your career faster than any business school will.
- These people have your back.- 1/21/2019James Stephens • Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
In addition to getting a job and making the transition from graphic to product design, Tradecraft was the catalyst for a great deal of personal change that I'm still benefiting from (and working through.)
The nature of the environment is one where you're surrounded by people questioning things: their future desired role and how to get there, user experience problems, the various degrees of ennui one experiences when transitioning), and in general how to be a better human.
The last point is something I found particularly wonderful. Tradecraft forces you to take a step back and look at things about yourself that you may have not considered before.
- What is your relationship with other people, and why might that have led you to where you are now?
- How can you begin to approach something like "networking" in a way that doesn't make you both want to use a bleach wipe on your brain?
- What are you projecting in interviews and how might that affect how others evalute you?
- How can you understand what other people want, and give it to them in ways that benefit you both?
These are but a few things that I learned about in the program (in addition to all the design stuff :) and it may be totally different for you. The one thing I can guarantee though, is that it'll be impactful for you as a person – for where you are in life. See Christine and Jasmine Rosen's reviews (two of my colleagues) for a better overall analysis, they were always better at this stuff than me.
While we're on the subject of friends/colleagues: the concentrated timespan of the program will help you develop surprisingly strong, genuine friendships during your time there. I've shared a pretty large spectrum of human emotion with peers + the staff. As for the staff, every damn one of them has gone above and beyond for me, at various times and in various ways, and probably in many that I'm not aware of. I want to emphasize that, because I something still look back at it and am baffled at how much everyone gives a shit about you.
Something you'll commonly hear is that you'll get out of Tradecraft what you put in. This is not an easy program, and it isn't designed to be. If you truly dedicate yourself then what everyone else is saying is absolutely true – the rewards are vastly greater than any time, money, and energy you'll put in.
- Learn to be a pro designer- 10/10/2018Jot Dhaliwal • Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
The beauty of Tradecraft is that it simulates an actual startup environment. You are intentionally given more opportunities for impact than you actually have time for. Program instructors, mentors and your colleagues help you determine which opportunities to focus on given your individual career goals.
Before starting the program, learn how to use various design tools as well as the fundamentals of art & design. This way you can get a head start and jump into project work right away which accelerates the portfolio building process. Building a portfolio is your biggest hurdle in securing a role quickly after graduation so take this very seriously.
- My best career investment so far- 10/8/2018My Nguyen • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
The most valuable thing I learnt at Tradecraft was a new perspective. A different way to think, to learn, to network.
The bootcamp was not taught in a traditional, textbook-driven, spoon-feeding style. The intructors were not academic professors, but successful practitioners in their fields. Classes did not assign outdated textbooks and were not held as lengthy lectures. And sadly, it would not miraculously figure out one's career :) But apart from what it was not, it gave me everything I was looking for and more whenever I showed up and put in the hard work. I learnt where and how to find resources to supplement for what I didn't know. I learnt how to get the skills I would need in order to be qualified for the job I wanted. I learnt how to strategically meet and network with the right people. I learnt how to negotiate my offer and re-evaluate the offer that did not meet my expectation. And throughout this whole process, Tradecraft staffs always made time to meet me on an one-on-one basis and extended their help and network generously. Their career support was the best I ever had. I had nowhere near the attention, the help, and the personalized network from traditional institutions that I spent a great fortune on.
Apart from all the career-related stuffs, the real treasure lay in having the opportunity to meet people who shared my view of the world. My peers were highly driven, extremely ambitious, and ridiculously talented. We came from a great variety of backgrounds, which opened doors to each other into different industries and network pools right off the bat. As an East Coast transplant, I did not find my community until I became a part of Tradecraft.
If you are an independent learner and hardworking professional who want to crack the code of Silicon Valley, I think you will have a great experience here.
- Learn to get out of your comfort zone- 10/6/2018Kimberly • Product Designer at Scoot • Student • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
If I had to sum up the major things I gained from my time at Tradecraft, it would fall into 3 buckets: 1) The community, 2) getting pushed out of my comfort zone with networking, and 3) access to a physical/virtual space that encourages constant learning throughout your career.
(1) The peers that you start with are one of your biggest assets (but only if you make the effort to invest time and energy into these relationships). I’ve met some amazing people and built friendships and connections with those in my cohort/class and even to this day, we stay in constant touch and share advice, support, and design events with each other. The more you all support each other (either through collaboration, emotional, or mental support) the more you all grow and benefit during your time here.
(2) Networking is scary for some people and for others, it feels contrived. One of the biggest things I gained from my experience at Tradecraft was getting comfortable with reaching out to people completely cold, and a big part of that was reframing what networking meant to me. Everyone approaches it with a different mindset based on their personalities and goals, and while for some it’s about building relationships, for others it can purely be about exchanging knowledge and learning. What really helps is to be surrounded by peers that can empathize with how difficult it is at first, and that in a way makes it easier for you to get out of your comfort zone. Everyone is doing it together.
(3) The skills you gain from Tradecraft are largely based on what you make of the experience there. You have constant access to a virtual community on slack that is always sharing resources related to design/growth/career development/etc, and people ask each other questions and give advice. The physical space also hosts events and bring in speakers nearly every other week or so. You’re always encouraged to come back into the space even after you graduate and take advantage of these learning opportunities. It's a great space that breeds and encourages learning throughout your career, but you gotta take advantage of it.
Tradecraft is by no means a perfect program. Things can feel messy and unstructured, and sometimes it feels like there could be a lot more transparency between staff and students. The lack of structure might be by design and one could argue that working in tech is messy too. People seem to be across the board in how they feel about the structure at Tradecraft. Some have strong expectations of structure and demand it, and some just work around it. I think it’s important to keep yourself in the middle and give feedback where you see room for improvement, but also understand that Tradecraft in a way a startup too and you sometimes just have to work with what you have. Push for improvement, but do your best to manage your frustrations and be constructive with your feedback.
Having graduated from the program about 5 months ago, I will say this. I’m *really* glad I went with Tradecraft instead of the other competing alternatives. I got to practice skills in design yes, but I wouldn’t trade the friendships/connections I made and getting pushed out of my comfort zone for anything.
- Learn by doing with a great support system- 8/12/2018Judy • Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I completed Tradecraft back in April and was able to find work within my first month out of the program. Prior to it, I was working in the field of architecture for over five years. I came to it through recommendations from colleagues who similarly felt dissatisfied with the profession. I was deciding between a few different options but what makes Tradecraft stand apart from the rest are its learning-by-doing framework and supportive network of highly motivated and intelligent people.
Could I have made the career transition by myself? Yes, but it most likely would have taken substantially longer with many more obstacles. The Product Design program at Tradecraft was my 'north star' for this transitional phase, helping me filter through the sea of resources and tools – good and bad – out there and spend precious time focusing on building the skills and experiences that really matter. Unlike a traditional top-down academic environment, both peers and instructors are present to hold you accountable for your work, and vice-versa. That is the definition of a real community.
With Tradecraft, it doesn't end right when you land your first gig – in fact, that's just the beginning. The skills and mentality I gained in my three months there are continually used in my work today. I feel supported to seek advice from the community when needed, as well as attend guest lectures that keep me up to speed outside of everyday work. There is also a great sense of relief to know that if I ever feel dissatisfied with any position in the future that I have somewhere to go.
Design is a messy process of trial and error, but if you're willing to put in the work and open to learning from both successes and failures, then entering the startup world through Tradecraft will prove to be one of the best investments of your life.
- Make your career transition with a community- 7/23/2018Audrey • Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedInAs someone who had transitioned into design (from operations) at a small startup, I was looking for a place to accelerate my learning. Tradecraft provided this not only through great mentorship from their Design Leads, Zac and Jake, but also through a supportive and open community of designers (current and alum).As others have mentioned, the client projects and job interview prep at TC are critical parts of getting a job in product design. The support continues past graduation—since my job search process was longer than most (and this was not for lack of offers), the guidance through this months-long period was amazing. The weekly meetings for design alums provided structure and helped me remove the inevitable roadblocks, whether personal or external. Since I was new to the rigorous interview process for designers, it was helpful for me to practice whiteboard challenges with peers and review outreach emails with the Head of Careers, Ariane. I couldn’t have gotten through it without the incredible support of Ariane and my friends at TC!
- Jasmine Rosen • User Experience Designer at Education.com • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I’ve researched (and even tried) other Product Design programs, but Tradecraft provides the ABSOLUTE BEST experience for the following reasons:
1. Cutting Edge Curriculum: As UX lead at Education, I’ve interviewed many candidates, read through many portfolios, and observed many whiteboard challenges. I can honestly say that Tradecraft prepares you with the tools to really stand out. Thanks to the amazing instructors that are real thought leaders in the design community, TC students know current tools and trends and that many people in the industry never heard of.
2. Real Experience: Tradecraft is set up so that you are working on real client projects right away. Look on any product designer description and the requirements will be filled from any TC project. You will learn amazing process, agile, dealing with difficult clients, and working in diverse teams. It’s set up just like a startup agency experience, but here the stakes are lower and so can you fail here, instead of in the real world.
3. Genuine help that never expires: The Tradecraft network is huge, powerful, and filtered for quality people. TC people are driven, talented, yet humble students who understand exactly what it’s like to struggle in your first role or land your first job after a career switch. Many alumni referred me to jobs, connected me with others in their network, and take time to help you proofread an article or critique a design. Tradecrafters just get it. It’s rare to find such a great network fully saturated of awesome people. Also, the career development person (and really everyone in the TC family) will help you at every stage of your career; getting your first job, struggling through your first job, negotiating your salary, and looking for your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th role. #FamilyFoLyf
- Christine • Product Manager • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I turned to Tradecraft to cultivate better professional opportunities for myself. I was already working professionally as a product manager, but feared that I would be pigeon-holed in the vertical I was in. Recruiters from that same vertical kept reaching out to me, but I wasn’t getting any leads for the top tier startups and tech companies I aimed for.
What TC helped me do:
Build a network, learn the hows and whys of networking in granular detail, way beyond just going to a bunch of meetups like I’d been doing for years
Cultivate the network I already had and help me get over mental roadblocks holding me back from reaching out to my existing network
Clarify what I wanted to get out of my career and what I hoped to gain from it, especially at this mid-level stage
Take on projects to identify my own professional strengths and weaknesses while working with teams of talented, motivated people
Get better at the skills I wanted to improve upon
What TC offers:
Cohorts of interesting, talented people who want more out of their careers- this alone was great in order for me to transition out of burnout, especially because you get to know them on a more consistent basis beyond jumping from weekend hackathon to weekend hackathon
Opportunities to connect with industry professionals who host intimate talks on campus, a great alternative to competing with mobs of people at 300-person meetups
Career coaching for the duration of your program and beyond; sooooo much more effective strategically than the career coach I had for a few sessions. Peers will also give you great feedback on your strengths that a standalone career coach might not have insights on
Yes, like everyone said- Tradecraft will not put in the work for you. I’ve considered other product design programs where the students churn out a templated portfolio and are spoon-fed the exact format to fill out, and this is NOT the place for half-baked templates. (I also checked their LinkedIn profiles and didn’t see them getting hired after graduating from their programs either…) You will grow as a designer and gravitate towards the work that YOU want to do, not get a rubber stamped outcome that’s the exact same as all of the other students.
I went through this program and attended weekly check-ins after I graduated, landing a role at a rapidly-growing tech company a few months after. The skills I gained in whiteboarding challenges and product design had a direct impact on my ability to get this role, where I use a blend of UX and product management skills for my daily responsibilities.
Less than 6 months after deciding to make a career switch, I began working as a product designer at a startup. I couldn't have made the switch so quickly without Tradecraft.
At TC, you get out of it what you put into it. If you want a structured program with lectures and projects to keep your learning on-track, TC is not for you. If you want to set your own path and have access to amazing design mentors and colleagues, TC is for you.
During my three months (plus an extra two weeks to finish out my last projects), I was able to build out a portfolio with four real client projects, get valuable design feedback, and create a practical strategy for the job hunt. Most importantly, I got to work with other highly-motivated people who challenged me to work harder and aim higher.
You can make the switch to product design without Tradecraft, but it will take longer and you won't have access to the active network of TCers who are quick to offer advice and referrals. You might not have a job directly out of TC (or even 6 months later), but TC will accelerate your career timeline.
- Product design is more important than ever- 5/25/2018Andrew • Head of Product • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
If you're interested in working for -- or even starting -- a startup, product design is an invaluable skill. I had previously invested significant time and resources into a side-project-turned-startup. It was fun and I learned a lot, but I ultimately realized I still had a lot to learn and needed to accelerate that process.
I looked at product development/design programs. I was extremely underwhelmed by some of the more well-known options (I was an industry analyst in my previous life, and I did plenty of research). I went to information sessions, read reviews (like those here), and talked to some of the instructors and "admissions" folks.
The product design instructors at Tradecraft are not only extremely competent, but they are great (and full-time) teachers. Sometimes you get one but not the other. Some programs bring in industry experts, but who don't regularly teach. They are inconsistent and you have no idea what you'll get. Tradecraft product designers also work on real-world projects, which doesn't happen at most other programs.
Regardless of which program you choose, I'd advise you figure out what you want to get out of it in advance. You can't learn everything about a topic in three months, but the better you can articulate some ideal outcomes for yourself, the better off you'll be. Tradecraft provides an ideal environment -- with great education, community, and support -- to accomplish whatever it is you want.
Note: "job assistance" as a starred category seems a little misleading, at least to me. Some programs have leads from companies and help place people directly. That is not the case at TC. They help you figure out what you want long-term, then what short-term steps you probably want to take to get there, and finally how to head in that direction. It's as helpful as the effort you put into it, but it's not like a job-matching program.