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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Tradecraft changed my world. I finished TC a few months ago and couldn't have been happier with the experience. I'm now working as a full-time product designer in the Bay Area.
A year ago I was working in a job that wasn't fulfilling and I honestly felt pretty trapped. I had always been interested in fine & digital art, but got a degree in business to play it safe. After working about a year in sales, I knew I wanted to pursue a design career but it felt like such an intimidating field to break into without going to design school. So I quit, tinkered around in the arts without any real direction, and was starting to apply to grad schools.
Then I finally met some people in the TC community. After hearing (honestly pretty similar) stories to my own, I signed up and started two weeks later. A few spark notes:
The TC Mindset
Tradecraft sets you up for success in a way that is different than other bootcamps and traditional school settings. They basically give you a platter of skills and say choose and master the ones that will make you the most valuable doing something you love (emphasis on the latter). All of the instructors and staff want TCers to be successful and will support you as much as they can, but they do it in a way that allows students to tailor the experience to what they are looking for. This means a few things:
- A robust curriculum with the fundamentals to practice and learn skills in any track. But no strict weekly schedule and definitely no grading, just awesome feedback from wicked smart instructors.
- Project focused work with real companies
- The option to do multiple tracks (or to just learn certain subjects). In the startup world skills are what matter, not necessarily job titles. So having knowledge about growth/sales as a designer is useful and vice versa.
- A community: You get the TC community (student, instructors, staff, founders), but you also get to meet super successful mentors that come in and give talks, all past students, and access to a super valuable network in the valley.
Real world projects
TC whisks you off into the real world right away. The bootcamp experience is already really surreal, but TC does an amazing job of incorporating the startup world into your 12 weeks so you finish with hard skills. TC students & instructors connect with companies that need projects done (pro bono) and work on those while using the skills you learn in the curriculum. This not only gets you real world experience & portfolio work, but it makes the transition from you old career to your new career feel more fluid.
Career Development & Job Search Help
You'll get 12 weeks of super valuable career focus, planning, salary, & mental tips/tricks that help you land a job. Arianne, the Career Development Lead, is a master at helping people figure out their goals and planning out actionably how to get you there. A lot of people got jobs during the program and others after. This is where the Silicon Valley network is super valuable. TC founders/staff will extend their network to you which should give you a leg up in the first-job-out-of-a-bootcamp market. This is how I landed my gig!
Definitely, talk to Nick if it's something you're interested in. I highly recommend!
Joining Tradecraft has been probably one of the best decision that I have ever made in my life. I joined the Growth track last September, and from the first day there you could feel how this program was going to be a challenging and intense experience, not only because the quality of the curriculum is top-notch, but also because every day I was surrounded by incredibly smart, self-driven and friendly people.
Is hard to write a description that summarizes my experience there, but in a few words, Tradecraft was a personal and professional growth experience.
I'm a 100% sure that I'm a better and more complete person after the experience I had at Tradecraft.
Tradecraft's product design program was an amazing 3 months that helped me land a full-time role as a product designer. I was in the program from November 2016 - February 2017, and prior to that, I was a customer success manager for a year and a consultant/IT auditor for 4 years.
When I first decided I wanted to be a product designer, I was looking into General Assembly and Tradecraft like you probably are. Both design programs seemed great, but after talking to a friend who graduated from TC, TC sounded more intense, which I thought would better equip me with the skills I need to land a UX/product design role. After going through the TC program and talking to a few people who did the GA program, I'm glad I chose TC.
#1 value - real client projects
As a product designer, you're going to need a few projects in your portfolio to land a job. Personal projects are great, but at Tradecraft, I had the opportunity to work with 5 startups throughout my 3 months on various design projects ranging from app design to landing page design. This experience was invaluable and something I don't think you get at GA. On these projects, I took opportunities to lead and present to our clients, who were primarily co-founders of these startups. Having these projects gave me a lot to talk about in my job interviews. Most of your time at TC will be spent working on client projects.
#2 value - curriculum
The instructors, Zac and Jake, are nice, helpful, and good at what they do. During curriculum, they'll teach you the basics of what you need to know from research to HTML/CSS, but you're going to have to read and learn on your own too. You can also schedule 1:1 time with them.
# 3 value - career development
We had weekly career development sessions learning how to craft our story, write cold emails, approach the job hunt, etc. It's hard to break into a new field on your own, and these weekly sessions motivated me to work hard and network, and taught me not to take the job hunt personally because it is in part a numbers game. Our head of careers, Ariane, helped us think through our career goals, what we want, and how to present ourselves to achieve those goals.
#4 value - the people
I spent a lot of time at TC, so thank god everyone there, including the alumni, are amazing people. There are about 3 active cohorts at a time, so you'll be surrounded by people who are just a motivated and ambitious as you are. I loved it. The people around you motivate you to work hard and do well. The TC staff are great. The alumni are helpful. When you join TC, you're forever a part of a community that will always welcome you.
#5 value - mentor talks
We have multiple mentor talks a week where product managers, designers, marketers, etc. from startups and established tech companies come in for an hour to talk to us and answer our questions. This was a great way to learn about the tech industry, different companies, and how design/product dev is like at other places.
You get a lot of value from Tradecraft. I feel like there's so much more to Tradecraft than what you can learn from their website or reading all the reviews, so definitely reach out to people who've done the program or are currently in the program. Everyone has a different experience. Mine was great!
I was successful. I'd spent a few years accumulating design experience in a dying medium. I didn't notice the decline until it was too late to course correct. I was early 30s.
I explored options. Advertising is surprisingly conservative, ad-school costs a fortune and CDs don't respect it. Anything technical like industrial or arch+viz is too education-obsessed for a late career switch.
Tech was the smartest move. I could prove myself with a few pieces of good work. Companies are starving for talent. Design is respected, growing even! And highly paid. If this environment exists somewhere else for designers, I didn't find it.
I researched every school- including grad programs. I had friends that went to a popular bootcamp in Chicago, another in SF. (Just come to SF, don't make this harder)
Tradecraft won in the end because I saw students succeeding. Nobody seemed to slip through the cracks. Just look at these reviews.
When Nick talks to you for the first time, it's natural to think it's a sales pitch. It's not. I sent my email address and he called me to form a game plan—every other school added me to MailChimp.
So now I'm out. I had a job before graduation, chosen from 2 offers with another on the way. My income immediately jumped more than the tuition costs. Everyone I keep in touch with is working, most of them with ZERO design experience beforehand.
You can do this without paying for school, but if it takes you a couple months longer, you've lost income.
I should note that I was the last to leave every night (and sometimes didn't leave), and the first to get a job. You WILL exit with the right technical skills, portfolio, network, if you do the work they ask. If you can hustle, Tradecraft will work for you.
I had made a few career transitions since graduating college going from marketing to engineering with a couple of other odd jobs sprinkled in between (as it goes with startup life). Tradecraft was hands down the best thing I have done thus far for my growth - both personal and professional. I only wish I had found them sooner. I benefitted equally from the product design curriculum as well as the more general career development that happens every week. I now have the confidence to network and communicate in order to continue progressing my career - something I didn't have before (even though I have been in the working world for 6 years). I actually cringe thinking of the emails I use to send at my attempt at networking. My view on the whole tech industry has rotated for the better. With that being said, you will only get out of Tradecraft what you put in, do not expect this to be a walk in the park with a network waiting for you at the end.
2 of the biggest pros for me from the program were:
My personal goal of the program was to get a job as a Product Designer. Having a portfolio of real projects to speak to and showcase in interviews was what helped me land my first gig after the program. I was able to see myself more as a design contractor as opposed to a student during my time at Tradecraft and that made all the difference.
When you start your job after Tradecraft there will still be so much to learn. It's important to know that Tradecraft will provide the foundation and the tools to get you to that next step however, it will taken more than 3 months to build your skills. The ongoing community that tradecraft offers will be the key to continuing this growth and to helping you shine in your next role even when everything is new. My first week on the job I was assigned two tasks relating to print design that I had never done before (you likely won't learn print design during the program). As the only designer on my team I was left to my own devices to understand how to do this. After stressing for a few days I finally reached out to the alumni network. Within a day I was able to hop on the phone and walk through the tasks with somone. After that conversation I was equipped with the tools I needed to move forward on the assignment in my new job. Never have I been a part of a community that is so willing to be involved, empathetic and supportive. While the job hunt can be competitive for some, everyone in the community is rooting for your success and that alone makes the program worth it.
When I decided to learn UX, I wasn't really sure how to go about it. I researched several places, whether it was online-only or in person, full-time or part-time, and I finally decided to try out Tradecraft after seeing reviews and talking to someone who had already gone through the program. And I'm really glad I did!
There's really good culture, everyone tries to help each other out if someone doesn't understand something. There's strong support while you're in the program, and especially impressive support after you graduate. And there's amazing resources like the mentors, other students, reading materials, and teachers that give you a process.
I was really surprised by the integrity of the program.
I come from the social science field and was already working in tech and UX, but wasn't learning at the speed I wanted. I felt stuck in my career, and couldn't find the mentorship I was looking for in Argentina.
I was reviewing other similar programs before I founded Tradecraft. The others were very nice until I mentioned I was latin american...
After 3 months of job hustle in the US, I wasn't able to find a job there, but the possibility of analyzing my performance during the job interviews with my mentors, was priceless. It was one of the most frustrating experiences I had, but it didn't feel so bad: I had great coaches helping me to get better from interview to interview.
A year out of college, I moved from Toronto to San Francisco and aimed to transition into tech. I found Tradecraft online, and once I had my initial call with the team it became clear that it was the best option for me. I have a marketing background, but I had been unfulfilled by my work experience thus far and have always had an interest in design. I thought that Tradecraft would be a great opportunity to see if design was a good fit for me.
I joined the program, kept an open mind, and spent a lot of time during my three months at Tradecraft exploring opportunities in the Bay Area, deliberately working to figure out what role I want and what my skills are. In the meantime, I made a ton of great new friends, both in my cohort and in the Tradecraft community overall. I ultimately realized that while I loved product design and UX, my true passion and skill is in content marketing, specifically for fast-growth startups: I wanted to help interesting, mission-driven companies grow by writing and creating great content. Without Tradecraft – its guidance from professionals, a constant stream of interesting mentors, top notch teaching and career training – I wouldn't have gotten to this level of clarity and direction about what I want out of my career and how to get there.
I came out of the program and doubled-down on finding a great content marketing role, and a month out of Tradecraft I landed a job as a marketing specialist with a B2B SaaS startup. It's the perfect role for me, my skills, and experience. I would not have been in this role without Tradecraft.
The leadership team says that Tradecraft is a kitchen, not a restaurant. By that, they mean that it has the tools, resources, and network to help you on your journey, but ultimately you are responsible for your experience there. That couldn't have been more true for me: Tradecraft helped me figure out what I wanted, and then provided practical training and ongoing support to help me get there. It was the most valuable career decision I've ever made.
I found Tradecraft when I was trying to make the career transition to Product Design. After poring through reviews of similar programs, I decided on Tradecraft because of its unique voice and emphasis on growth.
Tradecraft's emphasis on each individual student is what makes it successful. Mentors give 1-1 feedback and help students achieve their goals, whether they're career-oriented or personal goals.
Moreover, being at Tradecraft has provided me with a community of bright, motivated individuals. Coming into Tradecraft every morning, I'm always excited to see everyone. It never feels like work – one of the best parts of Tradecraft is being able to bounce ideas off my friends and work on projects.
Overall, it was a great experience and I'd definitely recommend Tradecraft to anyone who is considering a career change. I can certainly say that the learning environment is unparalleled, and the mentors are top-notch.
Tradecraft was the lifeboat I needed to navigate the incredibly new and intimidating waters of tech. I had come from a healthcare background, forced to leave dental school after being hit with a degenerative nerve condition with my dominant arm. I withdrew from school in July and made my way up to SF in September to join Tradecraft and figure out how to start afresh.
To say that I was neurotic is an understatement. I never expected to have a career transition, and had no clue where to even start. I had extreme anxiety about starting over in a foreign field that I had no experience in.
Thankfully, TC provided the mentorship and the community that I needed to pave a new path. I met up one-on-one with Misha, one of the two cofounders of TC, on a weekly basis. During my first few weeks, I questioned whether or not I made the right decision, going to TC over a coding bootcamp. But Russ and Misha seemed to know me better than I knew myself, and foresaw that I could not be happy or successful if I wasn't in a customer-facing position. I ended up finding a job midway through, leaving TC four weeks early to join a Series-B startup as a customer solutions engineer. I could not have found a better first job in tech, or a better fit, as I am now in an extremely technical, customer-facing role.
The most valuable things I gained from TC was the mentorship from Russ, Misha and Thomas, and the community from my fellow cohort members. I was constantly supported and encouraged by my fellow TCers, who were smart, driven and proactive, and came from all different backgrounds. Everyone truly wanted to see everyone else succeed, and was always willing to help me out in any way-reading my resume, connecting me to people they knew over LinkedIn, or just keeping me grounded. I definitely owe the successful launch of my career in tech to my TC mentors and fellow students.
I happened upon Tradecraft at a pivotal time in my life. Only a year or so earlier, I had decided to leave my job as an attorney to forge a new career in tech startup arena, with a focus on social enterprise. I spent the subsequent year juggling contract work as I tried to learn more about sales and business development, mostly making it up as I went along. My soft skills could only get me so far. When a potential gig fell through at the 11th hour, I was left wondering, "now what?" It was roughly in that moment that a colleague mentioned her previous experience learning Product Design at a program called Tradecraft. She noted that they also focused on Sales/BD. Two days later I was on a phone interview with the program director, to learn more. Four days after, I was signed up for the upcoming cohort.
I knew I was ready for a deep dive; to double-down on my career in a big way, which justified agreeing to Tradecraft's relatively demanding commitment in time and money. I wasn't promised a job after, instead I was subtley assured I'd be guided in the most constructive ways possible, to meet my professional goals and build an invaluable network. They delivered. I was continuously challenged in class and on projects. I was introduced to incredible peers and mentors and within the first month I had already met my future employer.
Fast forward 1 week after my program ended and I'm happily settled in a new job at an early stage startup working in strategic partnerships, and it feels like an absolute perfect fit for me at this juncture. How quickly and unexpected this occured may seem like one big coincidence, but this is a common theme among other Tradecrafters I've met. Chances are, if you are reading this, you are probably ready for this. Good luck!
I joined TC in May, 2016 after 10 years as a designer for multiple tech companies in the Los Angeles area. I was wanting to transition to the Bay Area and revive my UX, UI, and visual design skills and thought TC would be a great way to do that. Lucky for me TC delivered so much more.
The freshening up of my design skills, revisiting concepts I understood well, and also becoming acquainted with the latest processes and trends was worth the money on its own. But where TC excelled was at helping me understand the unique culture and needs of Silicon Valley, teaching me how to build my network and the importance of it, and in helping me find a job.
Four months out of TC and I'm in the midst of transitioning to head of design from senior product designer at a post-product market fit startup while I manage my own company of contractors designing groundbreaking interfaces for the military!
In summary, it's the best money I've ever spent and I now have an incredible network here in the Bay.
I joined the TC community at the end of my junior year in Summer 2016. Second best decision I have made so far next to adopting my puppy from a high kill shelter #baostergram
If you are a recent college grad, or are in college, and looking for a way to invest in your education to efficiently level up in growth marketing, TC is the best choice:
>>Growth marketing is hard to break into if you are trying to "learn" it on your own, you need opportunities to do real work for real clients in order to be taken seriously in interviews. TC gives you the resources you need to successfully help real clients and provides opportunities to work with real clients. If you tried to comb through all the info online, it's just difficult to sift through what's irrelevant. The learning materials, which are constantly being updated and curated for the growth track at TC, is so useful and applicable to real life jobs.
>> Growth marketing can't really be "studied" through theory-heavy classes. Almost all of it is keeping up with industry practices, which change so fast. It is also about quick-thinking and creative problem solving that requires real world experience (bullet #1). If you have the chance, take classes in college for marketing and business analytics, learn as much as you can. But let's say you are coming from another major, like I was, these classes are always impacted or closed off to business majors. I've also found that reading up on fundamentals of marketing probably provides me the same information I would've gotten from those classes. Another problem with those college classes (I've audited two), is that they can't keep up with industry practices fast enough. I am working through this reading list right now for more traditional marketing fundamentals, it's pretty great!
>>The most important part about TC is the people. To me, my cohort of 13 is like family. We will always care for and support each other. I don't want to disappoint them, we hold each other accountable to high standards. Other than the incredible formal mentors in SF's startup scene that you meet during the 12 weeks, the other community members and staff who you see at the office every day are also your mentors.
Advice if you join the community : work harder than you play, it's 12 weeks, make the most of it!
I was a sales rep at a startup for my first job and was looking for a way to break through into the growth marketing scene. I've heard great things about Tradecraft before but I wanted to speak to Thomas and Nick, who assured me that these 12 weeks would be more valuable than anything that I've done for my career. And they were right!
The great thing about TC is that it feels more like a community and less like a boot camp. Sales/BD, Product Design, and Growth tracks work together everyday to accomplish real tasks and deliverables for startups. There is nothing better than to get hands-on experience for work that you'll be doing shortly after the program.
Although I had no prior growth experience prior to TC, it didn't matter. Thomas and everyone at Tradecraft took time out of their day to make sure that we were engaged and challenging ourselves. I've met some great people at TC. I still keep in touch with people from my cohort and it's always great to bounce ideas off of them especially since we're all in the same field.
I would strongly recommend everyone who is looking into getting into breaking into the tech scene to give Tradecraft a shot, it's definitely changed my life and can changes yours as well.
Tradecraft is an outstanding apprenticeship for those looking to transform their careers. I had been circling a career in product design in the few years since I had graduated from university, however, a dedicated role in the field had always eluded me. Despite working for an exciting company in the tech industry, I felt uninspired in my day-to-day life and any progress in my career seemed tangential to where I really wanted to go. Wanting to regain control of my career and its trajectory, I researched my options, and ultimately decided to take a calculated risk: I left my job to study product design at Tradecraft. And this was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
There are a couple things that really make Tradecraft (TC) stand out:
1) Client Projects: Although the lectures and curriculum are excellent and cover a wide range of topics such as visual design, typography, prototyping, and lean design, I feel I learned the most from working on client projects. These projects with start ups in the Silicon Valley are a trial by fire, and give students the opportunity to collaborate as a team and apply what they’ve learned to real work that will (likely) ship. This hands on experience not only helps students build out their portfolios, but is also a critical step in the journey to becoming a full-fledged designer.
2) The people: The instructors and staff at TC are wonderful – it’s rare to find a group of people as talented, experienced, supportive, and fun to be around. You will also be able to learn much from your fellow students, who come from diverse backgrounds, share in the goal of entering a new field, and will one day become your colleagues. One of the most valuable things to come out of my time at TC is the community of friends and mentors I found there. I would not be the designer I am today without them.
3) Personal Growth: TC pushes you to be introspective and develop a better understanding of what you truly want to do and where you want to go in your career. One of the great strengths of the apprenticeship is that it also teaches you to be more strategic and methodical in how you go about pursuing your goals.
There are a couple caveats. Attending TC does not (nor should it) guarantee that you will successfully make the transition into your desired field. However, it will give you every opportunity and tool to be successful in this pursuit. You will get the most out of the experience if you are self-directed, respectful and open-minded, resilient under hardship, and committed to the work. Ultimately, the only one who can make your desired career change a reality is you.
Upon graduating from TC, I interviewed for a few months before accepting a role as a UX/UI Product Designer. I love what I do now and have never before felt this fulfilled or excited about my work. TC was a force multiplier and if you feel you are up to the journey, I would highly recommend taking it.
Tradecraft offers an amazing opportunity to make a career transition that builds off of your current experience (no matter how different it may seem at first!).
It's a guided program, but success comes down to putting in the time to each yourself. The curriculum gives a curated assortment of the best resources out there covering all of the topics of product design. It's up to you to decide what you want to focus on.
The students are diverse with an incredibly variety in backgrounds and are all very driven. This is critical because you work together to the deliver the client work.
This is also what set Tradecraft apart-you do real product design work for real clients. This is done in teams and ultimately becomes your portfolio to get a position after the program is over.
The instructors are top notch. They are intelligent and driven, but will not tell you what to do. Rather, they help you ask yourself the questions that will get you to your own answer.
The only thing I would have done differently was to get on client work sooner and work with the instructors to get the team to do more iterations of our design solutions.
I hope my story resonates with some of you. I felt locked into Big 4 accounting, every year that passed my skills were laser focused on building an aptitude around one particular code section. While my colleagues were fawning over reaching the next level (Sr. Associate, Manager, Sr. Manager, etc.) I was thinking to myself, how did I get into this mess of living in the world of measuring success through chargable hours. My creativity which my college friends and family loved about me dwindled and I felt if I didn't change something drastically, there would be no turning back.
Something did change - at age 30, I decided to change my career. I was a bit naive and abruptly left my job. A year later, I wasn’t any closer to landing a Growth/Marketing role. I didn’t have the network or the knowledge to successfully land a role. I endlessly interviewed - it is painful to even remember the amount of rejection and time I spent on proposals to try and cater to highly competitive SV companies.
My Tradecraft experience was more valuable than my highly ranked graduate program at UT Austin. The classes were rigorous and the self introspection was intense. At times I felt overloaded but I knew this was the right path. Our highly experienced and patient growth instructor understood how to ramp students up to the ever changing world of growth marketing. On top of curriculum, students worked together on real projects for brand name startups. I was privileged to lead a data heavy paid acquisition project with Udemy and presented my findings to a board room filled with their growth team.
My experiences with Tradecraft led to many rich conversations with companies which wouldn’t respond to a LinkedIn or Angel.co resume drop. The leads and network Tradecraft offers is unparalleled. TC is very tactical by nature and understands how to stand out in this talent flooded market.
Within a few months after graduation, I landed my dream role as a product marketing manager owning all marketing initiatives for a particular product line. I am work with designers, developers and closely with the CEO on a day to day basis. The work environment is highly collaborative and I feel empowered to make all decisions around design of my product. I couldn’t have dreamt any of this would’ve been possible.
If anyone in the financial services space thinking of a transition - I highly recommend looking into what Tradecraft can do. Please feel free to look me up on LinkedIn to reach out to me directly.
I can't think of good enough words to describe what Tradecraft was for my career/life. Coming from very far away (Chile), you read about tech & growth but don't really understand how things are done in the Bay Area. Tradecraft was the gap between those two worlds.
I joined with an interesting background. Being a founder twice (including a Snapchat - Latin American competitor that grew to 80,000+ DAU), I had experienced the pains of growing a company. Growth isn't luck. It's a mindset. And even though I had some previous experience optimizing viral loops, Tradecraft gave me the solid foundations to become a growth marketer.
I met amazing people during the 3-month program. Humble, fast learners. Always looking for new ways to add value to the community. Most of them now working at top startups in the Bay Area.
Tradecraft is for people that want to learn, are curious and motivated. If you expect the world to do everything for you, then this is not the place for you. If you work hard, you'ill get 10x back.
The instructors are incredibly smart and have experience in startups and growing companies. They help you accelerate your learning curve by giving you the right material and walking you through the different growth channels.
I'm currently working in a hyper-growth company. Couldn't be happier. I will be forever grateful for everything they did for me and the Chilean Mafia.
I moved to the Bay Area from Singapore to do Tradecraft. I literally knew no one when I stepped into America. Tradecraft gave me a strong network of alumni and community to tap into for job connections, networking, advice, mentorship etc. As the program grows, this network only gets bigger and stronger.
I also knew nothing about the tech or startup industry, and Tradecraft taught me everything I needed to know to succeed. Tradecraft is not your run of the mill education program. It's a mindset. The way I approached problems and life in general changed after just 3 months. I learnt about adding value, being a resource to others and being a good member of the community. And these are the kind of skills that no one talks about, but are immensely important in being successful in Silicon Valley.
On top of that, the work you do at Tradecraft is real client work, the kind you would be doing if you were a freelancer. No student projects here. Expect to work very hard, make tons of mistakes, learn quickly and repeat. Zac and Jake, the design instructors are always available for advice. But don't expect them to hold your hand and spoon feed you material. A large part of the Tradecraft experience is self-motivated learning. What you learn and how fast you learn are all in your hands.
I currently work as a designer full-time in San Francisco, which was not something that would have been possible without Tradecraft. If you are motivated and want to enter the tech scene, I would strongly advise that you go through the program.
I did the sales track and I learned more in 3 months at TC than I did in my 4 years at college. New to SF, it felt like I had expanded my network by 100+ people - wich lead me to negotiate and sign a job offer the day I graduated. They give you the resources to be successful.
Tradecraft is an excellent institution for anyone looking to change careers and work at startups. Misha, Nick and Ariane all provided valuable advice and developed a structured coursework and job search plan for me during my time at Tradecraft. Alongside, I was impressed by the quality of students at Tradecraft. Many students come from various professional backgrounds, and are able to provide valuable inputs during projects and discussions. Overall, I would high recommend anyone who is looking to change careers, and move to the San Francisco Bay region to apply for Tradeacaft. You would develop an excellent network and learn new skills that will prove to be a great resource when searching for jobs.
Tradecraft transformed my career and professional network. Through Tradecraft, I developed new, highly relevant business development and growth marketing skills that enabled me to jumpstart my career and break into tech after +10 years of contract marketing work. I learned more about entrepreneurship, technology, the startup community, and how to add value and drive business growth than I ever thought possible. I also received excellent career counseling. Thanks to Tradecraft, I landed a great new job with a fast growing B2B software company that would have been otherwise out of reach.
When I got my MBA, I was taught business theories through textbooks and out-of-date case studies by professors focused on academics and research. At Tradecraft, my instructors were startup founders and industry practitioners who gave us opportunities to apply what we learned to real world startup projects. The value of this practical hands-on training is incredible. The Tradecraft founders, curriculum, track instructors, peer group, career advice, and professional network will blow you away. Attending Tradecraft was the best decision I could have made as a mid-career professional eager to pivot into tech.
I came into the Bay Area fresh out of college without knowing a thing about tech or the startup scene. Tradecraft was a direct portal to a highly talented group of like-minded individuals - all oriented around the idea of lifelong learning. Everyone in the program is pushing themselves to be the best that they can be by building a highly leverageable set of skills. I left Tradecraft with a job at a highly reputable tech company with an astounding sales organization. The hardest part of the graduation process and getting a job is that when you do, you won't want to leave your Tradecraft family behind.
I recommend this program to anyone who is motivated by learning and self-improvement and wants the opportunity to work alongside a group of peers, who all come from vastly different backgrounds, but each exhibit astounding self-determination and the desire to be the best they can be.
Before deciding to come to Tradecraft, I looked into many programs. In comparison to others, I was very impressed with TC graduates, students’ portfolios, and both their hard and soft skills. Their graduates seemed to be well-rounded not only in the tracks they pursued, but had a good general understanding of all aspects of what it takes to build a product.
I never regretted my decision to join Tradecraft. I learned a lot there and made some amazing friends.
The advice I woud give thinking back on my experience at Tradecraft:
One should come with a ‘growth mindset’, be open-minded, learn from everyone, and be ready to work hard. How successful you are will depend only on you. No one will hold your hand and tell you what to do. Tradecraft has all the resources and amazingly smart and experienced people to help guide you, but you need to be the one who takes the initiative. Whatever motivation you have to move forward, use that to learn as much you can and continue challenging yourself throughout the program.
Use the time at Tradecraft as an opportunity to take on challenges that you never thought you were be capable of doing. Consider it your ‘practice round’, as you won’t have those chances in real life. Try leading a project. Even if you decide later on that product management or leadership role is not for you, you will still learn a great deal about team management, client communication, and understanding the goals and challenges of the managers you will work with in the future.
TLDR: The tech scene is huge right now (clearly) and everyone's looking to get in - and fast. I believe Tradecraft is the fastest way for landing a UX/Product Design role in tech, especially if you have little to no prior experience and or are new to the startup scene (which was me). It's super challenging, but I'm positive the connections you can make will last and ultimately end up getting you your first role out of Tradecraft
I lived in LA for years and had prior marketing experience at a large corporation. I eventually got the opportunity to design some e-commerce sites at my company and eventually decided to take the plundge, quit my job, travel, and pursue UX/Product Design. A buddy of mine who had been doing UX for a few years said he heard good things about Tradecraft and after doing all the research google provided - I just went all in and luckily got in. I knew almost nothing about the startup world but was anxious to learn.
-The people and the relationship you'll garner. Yeah, you'll learn everything you'll need to land a design role at a startup or design company (that's where I decided to go) but the friends you make and mentorship you'll gain is what makes Tradecraft the best in my clearly biased eyes.
-Mentors at Tradecraft will cut the bs and teach you the best way to network and target the best companies that fit you and your goals.
-You'll actually do real work with real companies and startups in Silicon Valley which not only helps you network and gain experience, you'll have a rock solid design process and portfolio when you're ready to look for a job.
- Costs money (although I'm positive it will accelerate your career). They offer financing, which I did.
- The curriculum can take a backseat since you'll be super busy with client work and networking. This is, of course, up to you and how you manage your time.
In the end:
I highly recommend Tradecraft (obviously) and will always have fond memories of my time there as I move through my life and career. So many good memories of laughing, joking, and working my a** off with my fellow Tradecrafters (GO TC18!!!!!)
I landed a Product Design role at a design agency after graduating.