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
The 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.
- Start Date
- Rolling Start Date
- Class size
- San Francisco
- Yes, financing available through Skills Fund.
- Tuition Plans
- Payment plans are available.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
The 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.
- Start Date
- Rolling Start Date
- Class size
- San Francisco
- Yes, financing available through Skills Fund.
- Tuition Plans
- Payment plans are available.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
The 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
- Start Date
- Rolling Start Date
- Class size
- San Francisco
- Yes, financing available through Skills Fund.
- Tuition Plans
- Payment plans are available.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
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- Vital for CAREER TRANSITIONERS- 3/8/2017Stefanie • Product Designer • Student • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
This review focuses specifically on the value I received from Tradecraft as a student who transitioned from a seemingly unrelated job and industry into product design and tech.
TC is awesome, and I could wax on forever about the experience generally, but I want to be useful to the folks like me who sat wringing their hands for months, waffling on whether a non-artsy business strategy person could transition into UX/product design. SPOILER: you definitely can, and TC is a great way to do it.
Here are the things I found most useful in the context of career transition:
1. Client work that is relevant and gets shipped: Employers care about this. Being able to point to a real, functioning product on your portfolio and in interviews makes you more credible, especially when you don't have a design-related job title on your resume.
2. Great curriculum and instructors: Class sizes are small, which means that you can (and should) really take advantage of the expertise of the excellent instructors and staff. This won't be the case with a lot of online and other, larger offline design courses. This type of close instruction was vital to me as a someone who came in knowing very little about design.
3. Strong emphasis on building your network: TC pushes you to meet meaningful milestones in building your network. The mentorship opportunities and the career development curriculum get students out of the studio and into coffee shops, chatting with people in the industry. This is SO IMPORTANT when you're looking for a job, especially if you're coming from a different industry without many tech or design contacts. I've made "networking" (i.e., true relationship building) into a habit that I'll carry with me forever.
4. Community: Transitioning into a new career is hard. Don't get me wrong, for all the good stuff I have to say, I definitely cannot say that it was easy. The community of support that TC provides was there through the good times and the hard ones. They're there to celebrate the wins, to commiserate over the losses, to share ideas and articles, to practice whiteboarding challenges and interviews, and to go on long bike rides. The community is dope. That's valuable no matter what.
- Best career investment I've ever made- 7/15/2019Ivanna • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco
I transitioned from a background in social science research to product design in less than 6 months. I had taught myself design for about a month before Tradecraft, but ultimately turned to bootcamps to speed things up. After extensive research (LOTS of phone calls with alum, combing through coursera reviews like this one, etc.), Tradecraft became the obvious choice. Why?Learning in the Valley Learning design in an area with a strong, talented network of TC alum, job openings, design events and meetups betters your odds of getting hired. Real problem solving = Powerful stories The messy realities of working on client projects is a sizable part of design that's left out in other programs. Employers want to know how you handle real-world situations like tight deadlines, competing stakeholder inputs, and unclear requirements. With your experience at TC, you have a safe space to figure out all this out (and highly experienced mentors to guide you!). The lessons you learn not only color your portfolio, but builds employers' trust that you'll succeed at their company. Career development Transitioning careers is not easy. I had tried on my own with little success, largely because I didn't know how to properly network and apply for jobs. TC offered practical methods for both.
Like others have mentioned, you get what you put in. A hunger to learn is a necessity as nothing is handed to you. Truly though, I can't imagine a better place to have learned design than at Tradecraft, surrounded by some of the smartest, most hard-working staff and peers I've met (and befriended).
- Highly Recommend Product Design Track- 1/22/2019Sruthy Kumar • Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco
I graduated from the Product Design Track in Jul 2017 and found a role as a product designer at an SF-based tech company within 2 months of graduating. That said, I want to be very clear that I do not mean it in a how-to-get-rich-quick kind of way - Tradecraft is NOT a hack to getting the growth/product design role that you want. But for the candidate with the right attitude, willingness to put in the time and effort into the painful task of carving out one's path from scratch in growth/product design, this is THE place to be.
Your time is short and you want to know what exactly you're getting if you sign up for Tradecraft, so here's a summary of what Tradecraft offers that other product design bootcamps do not. Also I can only speak for the product design track, so keep that in mind:Hands-on Design Projects: Plenty of startups, tech companies big and small, approach Tradecraft looking for a design solution to their problem. Here you have the opportunity to dive into the deep end from Day 1, and work on design projects that could eventually get shipped. Tradecraft is a safe environment for you to take risks and ask questions that you might otherwise think twice to ask in the actual work environment. Stellar Staff: Special shoutout to Zac, Ariane and Nick - 3 of the many staff members who keep this machine well-oiled and relevant. They are up to date on what skills the industry requires, are great resources to tap into and will provide much needed honest feedback where and when required. Trust me when I say, you WANT to surround yourself with people like them especially when you're trying to find your footing in a new field - they've helped so many students through this process and will know how to help you best. Relevant Coursework: You don't know what you don't know - so the course material is geared to help you become more aware of what you need to know, allowing you to spend more time educating yourself rather than fumbling through mounds of articles or books that promise to make you a designer overnight. Focus on the Process: If you're anything like me, you would go into this programme thinking you're going to be awesome at pixel-pushing by the end of it. I would say that Tradecraft focuses on helping you practice and solidify your design process, which is fundamental to creating design worth shipping. If you want to become a better designer, during the programme you will need to put in time and effort into refining your aesthetic sense and find ways to express that. Many of us did daily design challenges and set aside time to help critique each other's work so that we become not just better at design, but also better at giving and receiving design critique. Alumni Network: You would've never met so resourceful, supportive and tightly-knit a community like the Tradecraft Alum. We continue hanging around Slack long after we've graduated, to share the latest and greatest in product design, help and be helped on projects we're all working on. I don't know what school/college you're from, but I'm sure your alumni network doesn't even come close.
Lastly, I cannot reiterate enough the fact that all of the above will be for nothing unless you take the initiative: - to network with the staff, mentors they bring in for talks and your peers, - to set aside time every day to get better at your new field. - to ask questions: this is a safe environment to learn what you need to know.
- So Much More Than Expected- 1/9/2019Paul Michael Armstrong • Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco
Enrolling at Tradecraft was one of the best decisions I ever made. I came to Tradecraft after being laid off from the company I had been at for 11 years – 8 of which I was doing graphic design. The months in the program were difficult and demanding but that's where the magic happens. With the fast paced curriculum learnings, real world projects, and amazing faculty’s support all under my belt, I was able to land a contract at a high-growth startup a few months shortly after wrapping up all projects. I am currently the only designer and I am astonished how the curriculum and project structure prepared me for startup life as a sole designer. I was given learning moments at TC so I could build my resiliency and design thinking to really thrive in tech environments. I love the work I’m doing now and I am surprised at how my time at TC changed me as a person to nurture me into a better designer.
- Product Design- 10/30/2018Shu Jiang • UX Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco
I had an amazing experience with Tradecraft. The program was effective, dynamic, and super hands-on. The staff is brilliant and provides lots of guidance along the journey. If you are looking to learn details on how to use the tools (i.e. Sketch), this might not be your choice. The staff expects you to learn on your own for basic skills, but spend the time teaching many valuable things that you won't be able to learn from the internet (makes a lot of sense to me). The real-world experience of working with silicon valley start-ups was extremely valuable to me. It gave me opportunities to collaborate with the client and team, to work on all phases of product design from research to validation. Also, TC offer career development sessions every week to help you on everything about job hunting. Luckily I was able to land a job almost right after finishing the program. It wouldn't happen without TC. Last, the program is pretty intensive and offers huge amount of resource from technical knowledge, practical experience, to networking. Absolutely highly recommended.
- Help you get grounded- 10/9/2018Wenting • Product Researcher • Applicant • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco
Tradecraft helped me change to the UX field in a fantastic company! If you want to change your career path to product design/research, Tradecraft would be a top choice. 2 resons:
1) Real projects
Real project experience is very important to start a career in the UX field because of competition. At Tradecraft, most projects are real - you will work with real companies to solve real problems. I learned a lot through those projects and those projects became my strong showcases during my job hunting process.
2) A long-term Relationship with Tradecraft
Career transition can be a process taking from months to 1 year. My relationship with TC continues after my graduation. In other words, you can keep getting career development support and keep doing real projects there after you graduate. This can be very cheerful for 3 reasons: you have constant accesses to keep getting more experience; an easy access to career consulting services; you can keep building your network while you are job-hunting.
- Great Investment - Growth Marketing- 10/7/2018Kevin • Operations Lead • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco
My reason for considering an accelerator school was this: I was living in San Francisco, three years removed from being in the military, and working at a job I felt placed a ceiling on my growth. Projecting outwards, I realized there was a likelihood that job mobility would be an issue if I didn't expand my network and skill-base. It was an unfortunate, but true, realization that a military background rarely fits into tech-based Bay Area job descriptions. I needed a quick way to overcome that obstacle and demonstrate I belonged.
When I signed up, my focus was strictly on skill-building. In my head, I'd walk out a master of all things data analysis & growth marketing. That's a naive expectation, since no one person or school can speed you up that fast on multiple topics in 3 months & send you out in the world at an advanced level. But what ends up happening are three things:
1. You get exposure to a business lexicon (terms, concepts, practical examples, etc..) that prepares you to be a reliable voice in any business conversation. No more worrying about having buzzwords sail over your head. You may not be an expert, but you'll be able to hang. That's half the battle in my opinion.
2. You build a network. If I stayed at my previous job, I'd have a very narrow group of folks I could reach out to for advice, referrals, and recommendations. You enter a community willing to help push you along as you move up in your career.
3. You learn the art of selling yourself. Tradecraft helps you identify your strengths and build out a compelling story from there to help with job interviews. They build your confidence and give you blueprints on how to reveal yourself to potential employers. Interview cycles often range from 4-5 interviews and include difficult homework assignments. This is an important edge Tradecraft provides that shouldn't be overlooked.
A month after graduation, I was able to land a job with a well-known ride-sharing company. I used my network to get my resume to the recruiter. I used my interview prep as I went through 3 interviews + 1 panel. And during my homework assignment, I used 4 growth marketing cirriculum topics to build a presentation (all topics which I hadn't been familiar with 12 weeks prior). Tradecraft was an incredible advantage for someone in my position, and I'm doubtful I would have reached a similar outcome without having gone through their program.
- Guidance toward career fulfillment- 10/2/2018Taso Kasaris • Strategic Partnerships Manager • Graduate • Course: Business Development & Sales • Campus: San Francisco
After a decade in financial sevices, I made the tough decision to pivot towards a career in technology. I was always interested in innovation, and the most fun I had in my career was through builidng teams or establishing new initiatives. As I began interviewing, I realized the pivot was deeper than I had realized. I had a lot to learn about how tech companies are orgnanized, how they they operate, what language they speak, and about what roles best fit my goals.
Tradecraft gave me 2 things I needed to make this transition: 1. thoughtful and introspective career coaching. 2. hard skills training.
Tradecraft's talent team dedicates both classroom and one-on-one time to help you identify the roles and verticals that make sense for this stage of your career. You are challenged to reflect deeply on possions you've held -- what you loved, what you dreaded, what you achieved, what mistakes you learned from. My time there helped me better idenitfy not only the role I wanted next, it also helped me clarify my north star: the professional and personal goals to strive for this year, next year, and beyond.
The growth marketing track gave me invaluable training in branding and messaging, data analytics, and project managment. The business development track improved my presentation skills and provided a framework to craft and evaluate business models, value propositions, and strategic solutions for customer and enterprise clients. Both tracks allow you to lead and participate in strategy consulting projects for early stage companies -- further refining your skills and expanding your network beyond tradecraft.
Lastly, all this is possible at Tradecraft becasue it's operated by a team that cares about people. The managment team and personnel invest time in each individual, allowing them to help you craft an experience that is uniquely yours. I learned a lot from Tradecraft's curriculum and consulting work, but I learned so much from the smart, experienced, and thoughtful team they have in place.
Their efforts did not end upon completion of the program. They worked hard to guide me through my job search and sent me leads throughout the vast Tradecraft network they have built -- and in turn sent me the lead that became the job I'm currently in. I'm at a company today whose culture I fit in perfectly with, working within a role that challenges and excites me every day. I have Tradecraft to thank for guiding me here.
- Got My Design Job- 9/28/2018Andrew • Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco
With these types of programs, I'm very results-driven. Bootcamps are here to help you find a job, and Tradecraft succeeds in this area for the vast majority of its members. Tradecraft makes it clear from the outset that the program is self-driven, and you get out what you put in. The resources are there, but you need to take advantage of them in your own way that works for your own, unique background. This is the program for self-motivated learners, and not for those who crave structure.
The best part of Tradecraft is the people you meet. The network is there to support you even after your job search, and can be an asset for the rest of your career. People say that the tech world is smaller than you think, and this is even more true for the design world. Cohorts get really close throughout the experience, and we all still keep in touch. Overall, I really enjoyed my Tradecraft experience.
- Build your own career path at TC- 8/9/2018Caitlan • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco
The first thing you learn in TC is that it is a kitchen and not a restaurant. Before any mentor can help you, you need to have a clear goal of what you are trying to achieve. The program is then shaped by your goals and ambition. I echo what others say in their review: make sure you figure out what you want to get out of it first before you dive in. This way, you can better tailor your experience.
Besides the curriculum, the mentors and the network are the most valuable assets of the program! They provide great advice and guidance whenever possible. Don't be afraid to send that cold email or attend this networking event by yourself. It will help you get to where you want to be!
- A critical step on my career path- 8/1/2018Gabe • Product Manager • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco
One year ago, I was unsatisfied with my career, and I knew I had to make a change. I was working in marketing and wanted to make the switch to product. More specifically, I wanted to work in product at a behavioral health startup. After thinking through my options, I decided that studying product design would be a step in the right direction. I chose Tradecraft because of its reputation (it was recommended to me by an expert in the digital health space), my interactions with its alumni (several were happy to hop on a call with me), and its location (the Bay Area has a large number of behavioral health startups).
On my final day at Tradecraft, just three months after I relocated to SF from NYC, I was offered a product management role at a behavioral health startup, where I am working now -- and loving it.
The greatest value Tradecraft provided me was a structure to do the things I knew I should do. I spent three months as part of a group of motivated people who were taking similar risks to reinvent themselves. Being in that environment gave me the momentum and social context to work hard and take action. It also gave me a platform for networking and outreach, which was the most important factor in getting my current role.
A key differentiating factor in Tradecraft is its incorporation of client projects and the ability for students to source these projects for themselves. When I first arrived in SF, I reached out to a variety of behavioral health startups, and one of them agreed to work with me as part of a client project. This enabled me to work directly with the startup, gaining a deep understanding of their product and customers. When a product management role became available, I was a logical candidate, having already proven myself over several months. Many other Tradecraft alumni have had similar experiences. The Tradecraft Alumni network is also a strong differentiating factor. Almost without exception, Alumni were happy to grab coffee or hop on a phone call to give me advice and mentorship, and many Tradecraft alumni have found full-time jobs from these relationships.
The one area that could be improved is the curriculum. I expected to walk away after three months with a more rigorous set of hard skills. What I did learn, I likely could have learned on my own. It may be unreasonable to expect to gain a significant level of hard skills after such a short time, but I think Tradecraft could definitely improve the level of organization and intensity in this area. That said, I did leave with foundational awareness of the various areas of product design (conscious incompetence) and the ability to learn more after the program was over.
All in all, Tradecraft was an important stepping stone in what has been a very positive and fulfilling career transition. I would highly recommend that anyone considering a transition into product design or management consider Tradecraft. However, it is important to have reasonable expectations and know that your success is very much impacted by your own initiative, effort, and as is often the case, a little bit of luck.
- Career changers- this program is for you!- 5/23/2018Haomin • Product Designer • Campus: San Francisco
Tradecraft was a game changer for me. I had wanted to switch careers into Product Design for some time, but never found the momentum or the guidance learning on my own.Through the program, I was able to gain: design instructors who put together a comprehensive design course projects with early stage startups to build my portfolio career guidance on each step of the interview phase, from coffee meetings to interview prep. and most importantly, the network of people. From our design events with seasoned designers to the new design students in our program, you will find a close knit community. What struck me the most about Tradecraft was the continued support after my 3 months in the program. The instructors have office hours set aside for alumni should they need design help in their current jobs. The staff checks in to make sure everything is going well. The students in my cohort and I have developed a friendship beyond the program itself. If you are looking to change or further your career in design with a group of people invested in your success (while having a good time), then choose Tradecraft!
- Jumpstart Experience- 5/21/2018Nan • Growth Marketing Manager • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco
I discovered Tradecraft (TC) completely out of the blue while listening to a podcast about entrepreneurship. When people say timing is everything, I believe it, especially through this experience.
At that time I was closing an e-commerce company I had started. I was looking for my next move and considering a multitude of options. In the midst of that, I found out about TC. I wasn't sure what to expect and was initially attracted to it because of the network it could provide me as a newbie in SF. My first meeting was with Misha. I told him that I was looking to get into a startup, but wasn't sure how. I had a very non-traditional background and a lot of "startup" skills, but mastery in none. I didn't even know what half the job titles meant or if I qualified for them. He suggested I do the Growth Marketing and Business Development tracks. And so I did.
I would say my experience at TC was a rollercoaster both personally and professionally. The curriculum is good for people who have no background in growth. I came from delegating tasks to actually understanding what the people I hired to do were doing, and it was a LOT! I constantly felt like there was something more I should know, learn, and try. The projects are what you and your team make of them. I jumped on as many as I could, even if it was just to observe. Because of that, my projects touched everything we learned in curriculum. Business development is a great track for anyone, especially those interested in entrepreneurship because it teaches you what makes a successful startup, how to understand your customers and the process of building a company based on value. Of course, it also touches on a number of purely sales-focused skills.
On a personal level, let's just say that TC will test you as a person as much as it will test your skills, so be ready for it! In the end, everything will turn out how you want it to no matter how much you think it won't.
And I can't forget to mention the awesome TC tribe! I came to TC for a network and a job at a great startup, and I got both through the friends and connections I made. This community could help me with pretty much anything in my life. I made life-long friends, had inspiring conversations, got intro'd to great people, and helped people in ways I never thought I could or would. So, if you're considering coming to TC, my advice is to figure out what you want from it, take steps to make it happen and it will.
- Do it for you!- 5/18/2018tea • UX Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco
It happens more often than you think, and at any stage of life: dissatisfaction with the status quo. Sometimes you arrive at this point knowing what's caused it, ready to seek change. Sometimes you might not be so lucky, leaving behind a litany of choices the have defined your windy road. But that's okay, that's what Tradecraft is here for.
Tradecraft is the place you stop by on your journey down the beaten path that gives you a chance to really take a good look at yourself and your goals to find out what the best next direction for you is. It's a stop for travelers, not a destination. It is as much a journey about getting to know yourself and your north star as it is about growing a new set of skills to get you where you want to go.
At the center of that is your own responsibility and choices, you take them and you make them. Wherever you're trying to go, whatever you're trying to do, Tradecraft is the place where you'll find home, family, direction, and certainty in the face of ambiguity. All you need is to equip your willpower and make the decision to open the door.
Narrative description aside, I've made tons of friends here even as a huge introvert. The network is amazing, the instructors always push you with a gentle but stern hand, and the work experience is invaluable. The cost of the program is almost more for you to really make the decision to commit, and it's worth it compared to alternatives when looking at cost efficiency and time.
Misha and instructors can be an amazing advocate for you, and Ariane (head of careers) will be your bastion. I continue to keep in touch, and will for a very long time as the strength of the network grows and takes over the world, one amazing mind at a time.
Best way to get the most out of this experience: challenge your limits, come with a goal in mind (but stay adaptive), bring that sheer willpower that thirsts for more, and make it count. It's up to you to bring it.
- Best design experience you can get- 5/17/2018Eric • Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco
TC has nonetheless been one of the best decisions I've made for myself in my career. I came from a tech background but wanted to transition to design but had no portfolio pieces to show for to make a career change. TC will be great fit if you want to get hands on experience on working with startups and working on real problems. The design instructors Zac and Jake are top notch and gave me such invaluable feedback throughout my time there. You'll make amazing friends and be part of a wonderful community / support system even after you graduate and are on the job hunt.
- Analyst- 3/1/2018Seb • Analyst • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco
I was looking for a place to learn skills and I found community
Tradecraft is not for everyone. If you want to just show up for a few hours a day, learn a functional skill and leave - then stop reading.
If you want to grow as a person, as a professional and find yourself amongst a community of wonderful people, then this can be an incredible place for you.
I found that this helped me understand my potential, helped me focus my learning on the relevant skills and gave me a context to create some of my closest relationships.
- Tradecraft revealed my true potential- 1/11/2018Joseph Serino • Student • Campus: San Francisco
After completing this course I stop squandering my potential and started to really understand and accept my abilities. To be honest, the course was quite an uncomfortable and difficult experience and that’s exactly why I recommend it - because those are the situations we learn the most from. It’s been a year since I completed the course and the value I recieved continues to reveal itself.
- The reason I am where I am now!- 11/2/2017Katie • Interaction (UX) Designer • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco
Even just a year ago, before I went through Tradecraft, I never would've imagined myself to be in the role I am now! It definitely wasn't easy, but I owe a huge part of the help to Tradecraft and the network I've built there.
Having gone through the program, I know that each one of these reviews you see here are genuine and spoken with the best intention to inform you of each TC alum's personal journey and experience.
I knew what I wanted to get out of Tradecraft when I applied, which I think is the most helpful mindset to have going in. I wasn't as interested in the hard skills, firmly believing I could learn them myself by practicing and from online resources. I came into TC wanting to work on "real" projects with startups. And I got what I wanted. But what I got that I didn't know that I wanted was the self-motivated mentality that TC really instills in you. I felt like an entirely different person while going through the program: goal-driven, inquisitive, motivated to constantly go above and beyond, and, most importantly, confident in myself. This was thanks to my instructors, my peers (whom I can now call my lifelong friends), and the atmosphere TC creates.
Don't expect Tradecraft to bring the job to you. Expect to grow into an individual with skills to leverage your network and resources to accomplish what you set your mind to.
- TC give you the tools, YOU bring the hustle- 10/24/2017Agnes • UI/UX Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco
I first got introduced to the field of UX when I was working as a product manager, and I quickly realized that I really enjoyed the creative thinking and problem-solving aspects of the design process. After several months of taking online courses and reading articles and books in my spare time, it became clear to me that trying to learn UX on the side was not ideal, both in terms of learning different concepts/tools as well as practical application. This led me to start looking into different UX and product design programs.
I knew that I wanted a full-time, in-person program where I could be in an environment amongst peers with the same passion for design, so that I could learn from them as well as be challenged by them. I also wanted opportunities to work on real projects for real companies/products, so that I could be confident about the work that I put on my portfolio. After debating between several different programs and doing extensive online research, I decided that I needed to talk directly with people who had completed the different programs. I got in touch with people who had graduated from GA, Designation, and Tradecraft - after hearing honest feedback about each person's experience, it helped me get a sense of the pros and cons of each program. I ultimately decided on Tradecraft - not only did it check off my boxes of being a local, full-time, in-person program with real projects, the TC graduates I spoke with also had a great experience with the program.
Tradecraft is not a guarantee for a job, it's a way to streamline and accelerate your education. On top of the design curriculum and projects focused on design work, we also had career workshops to learn how to break down our previous experience to build our "story", as well as learn practical skills in networking and job hunting. Additionally, we had many mentor talks where designers, product managers, marketers, and other talented people working in established tech startups would come in to talk about their experiences and the work they were currently doing. By being fully immersed in the work and the community, you'll be able to quickly learn new tools and skills that will help you build a portfolio and prepare you for the job hunting/interviewing process for a designer role. Once you start the program, be ready to hustle! Tradecraft will provide you with SO many resources, but it's on you to manage your time wisely and put in the work to make yourself successful.
- Successful Pivot from Design to Marketing- 10/17/2017Paige • Digital Marketing • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco
I was a graphic designer at a major corporation for 3.5 years and felt stuck doing the exact same routine every day. I knew I needed to make a career change and go back to Marketing, but I had zero experience in it since graduating from college. Once there were rumors of my team being laid off, I started searching for marketing bootcamps or evening MBA programs.
I had previously worked with General Assembly, so I thought their Digital Marketing course was the obvious choice. However, once I checked out their reviews on Coursereport, I discovered Tradecraft and decided to apply to TC for 3 reasons:
Mentor & Alumni Network
My first week at Tradecraft, I attended a mentor talk with the Head of Product at Medium, Sam Duboff. I was impressed by the questions asked and fielded by Nick DeWilde (the host) as well as fellow Tradecraft students. Every mentor talk was a great success when it came to networking, whether it was with the speaker themselves or other Tradecraft alumni. Many Tradecrafters found mentors or even jobs after meeting a speaker!
Since Tradecraft has been around for more than 2 years, there are about 550+ alumni, and they're all willing to help. Whether it be a question about a marketing project or advice for the job search, you can easily find a TC alum ready to ping or grab coffee with!
Projects with Real Companies
The part-time consultant work was the biggest reason why I chose Tradecraft after General Assembly. I had experience in marketing strategy as a graphic designer but didn't have any real-world experience as a marketer, therefore I didn't have the background for even an entry-level marketing position. Our instructor, Thomas, would bring in early-stage tech startups who needed marketing assistance, whether it be a product launch, a landing page teardown, or a complete marketing revamp.
In my 3 months at Tradecraft, I worked with 4 companies, varying from mobile apps, a network for contractors/freelancers, insurance, and AI. I would not have been able to achieve this by myself. I probably could've learned the skills through Udemy or Coursera, but the opportunity to take what I learned in the classroom and apply it to actual clients was something I couldn't pass up.
Growth Marketing Curriculum
Thomas is the Growth Marketing instructor and is insanely good at what he does. With his assigned course reading and homework assignments, I was able to get a jumpstart on all the necessary skills to be a successful growth marketer. While applying for jobs, I was surprised at how much I had learned in such a short amount of time, and how confident I was in my skills. Albeit, not sure why I'm surprised, Thomas makes sure that all his students succeed and is willing to go the extra mile if you struggle with the material or want to go a step further in a particular skill/technology. I will say that you get out of his course what you put in it.
Conclusion = Best decision I could've made!
From the very first day of Tradecraft, I knew I'd made the right decision. It's fast-paced, the energy is palpable, as if Misha and Nick had replicated the startup environment within their school. I got a job offer on my very last day at Tradecraft at a startup going out for Series A, and I definitely owe it to Tradecraft!!
- Life Accelerator, break into start up- 10/1/2017Julia Hartwig • Growth Marketing Lead • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco
Tradecraft was one of the most transformational experiences of my life.
First some facts:I moved to San Francisco the day before beginning TC Within 2 weeks of graduating, I had a job as a Growth Marketing Lead at a startup
I have always been lost with my career goals. I never really understood how to effectively apply for the jobs I wanted, or what skill set those jobs needed. Over the course of three months, Tradecraft introduced me the world of startups, taught me everything I could ever need to nail an interview, honed my marketing skills, taught me how to plan for the future, and most importantly taught me how to focus on my own goals.
Success in life is never guaranteed, but TC taught me how to work smarter and dream bigger. The difference between tradecraft and other programs is the community is incredible, with connections all over the startup world. The people I met at Tradecraft are incredible: motivated and intelligent.
If you have any hesitation about coming, don't! Thomas, Misha, Russ, Ariane, Nick are incredible.
- Stop wading knee-deep and jump in- 9/25/2017Mel Smith • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco
If you’re reading this, you may be at work daydreaming about what you might do next, or maybe it’s midnight and you’re researching other accelerated design programs.
I was there. I was working in tech for 2 years in support. I started taking classes part-time at UC Berkeley for UX Design to test the waters. Part-time really wasn’t enough for me to feel that I could make a career transition. I personally needed and wanted to dedicate 100% of my time to design and discovered Tradecraft through a friend. I have zero regrets, learned so much in three months, built a great network of individuals inside and outside of Tradecraft, and accepted a product design position in SF within a week of graduating.
Takeaways on why Tradecraft is worth it:Client Work: Tradecraft partners with small startups where Tradecraft members get real work experience going through a full design process from research to mock up to shipped designs in 4-8 weeks Mentorship: Zac and Jake are badass designers and wonderful instructors. The alumni network is strong and so are each TC members’ mentor network in the Bay Area Community!: Although TC is advertised as a 3-month program, it’s really for life. I imagine I’ll always be in contact with some of the individuals I’ve become friends with in the program, and am constantly meeting new alumni and mentors through TC.
Boiled down, TC is not going to get you a job; *you* are going to get you a job! The folks at TC are well aware that every individual who is accepted into the program is capable of securing a job on their own. However, it’s through an ecosystem of rockstar mentors, knowledge about career development and tech, exposure to real client work, and spending days and nights with a group of driven individuals who are as motivated as you to get it done that you will reach new levels of growth for yourself and discover opportunities that you weren’t aware of before going through the program.
You got this - good luck!
- One of the best decisions you can make- 7/28/2017Jonathan Lane • Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco
I can't speak highly enough about this program. I first learned about Tradecraft from Course Report. Based on all of the great reviews I decided to apply. So I'm happy to come back to Course report and confirm that Tradecraft truly is that good.
A few things to keep in mind...they are selective and if you don't have an impressive portfolio they will give you a challenge to see if you're a good fit for the program. In that way, they are different than some other programs like General Assembly. So prepare to work for it. The great thing about it is that the people you meet and work with in the program are legit.
My background was a little different than most. Coming from a lot of startup experience, I wasn't looking to switch carriers as much as refine my process and work with a variety of great companies. The program was great for this.
I couldn't have asked for better teachers. I learned a ton from Zac and Jake on the design side. They are super patient, insightful and awesome people. Also, Misha on the sales side...he makes you teach the classes, and it really was the best way to learn. Although I didn't take marketing from Thomas, I did sit in on his financial talk and rapped with him about marketing, investing, etc on the side and good lord these are all some top level thinkers.
Nick, Arianne, Kris and Russ are all super supportive and helpful. I am SO grateful!
Getting a chance to work on projects with a team made up of peers was challenging but in the best ways. You will really get a taste for working quickly, collaboratively, pulling late nights and weekends, attempting to churn out your best work. But the amount of work you take on is really up to you...so this may not have been true for everyone. I probably took on too many projects but I enjoyed it.
The mentors they bring in are also excellent. So I highly recommend attending the talks even if it's not in the area of expertise that you're in.
I've been working full-time ever since as a contractor for several startups and now for one of the biggest, most innovative companies in the valley. In large part thanks to TC. I feel like I'm part of the Tradecraft family now and plan on continuing to build on these new-found mentorships and friendships. I hope I can help others going through the program like many of peeps helped me. So yeah, I say, do it already!!
- Sales to Growth Career Transition- 7/6/2017Chris Brophy • User Acquisition Coordinator • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco
Can't say enough great things about the Tradecraft program and community. After 3 years in B2B SaaS sales, I knew I was ready for something new. I had very little hands-on growth experience as a sales rep, but I had sold to software to marketers so I could "talk the talk" when it came to growth. Tradecraft's curriculum, hands-on growth projects, and career development sessions helped me to not only "walk the walk", but prepared me to land my first two paid contract gigs as a marketer -- currently I'm on a month into a contract-to-hire gig and things are going great!
If you are serious about a career transition and you're willing to work hard and become comfortable with being uncomfortable, then there's no reason why you shouldn't invest in yourself and your career.
- Watershed Moment X 1000- 6/15/2017N.Ali • Dir. Community Retention • Graduate • Campus: San Francisco
My experience with TC was pretty unique. I am a single mom and had just gotten laid off from a job I had had for almost four years, I was at the tail end of a long and nasty divorce and was feeling generally SPENT. I scraped enough $$ from family and through the generosity of TC was able to attend the 12 week bootcamp. It was the most expensive investment I have ever made in myself and hands-down the most beneficial. TC not only gave me the curriculum I needed to gain an understanding of the foundation of growth marketing, but it also provided a steadfast professional community, a group of mentors that believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself and a fully immersive experience of what it feels like to be fully supported in your goals - I was able to build a new self because of the love and support that TC provided during those twelve weeks. I can’t recommend it enough.