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 Financing 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 Financing 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:
- Best accelerated program- 3/13/2017Catherine Lagman • Senior Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I was a graphic/visual designer for both marketing and product teams throughout my career. I decided to invest in myself and "level up" by focusing on UX/product design. I researched a lot of programs out here in the Bay Area and heard about TC from a friend. After reading reviews and speaking to the staff, I knew this was the right move for me. As soon as I was accepted to the program, I quit my full-time job and went all in -- I've never looked back since. I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity.
Here are some key points that reflect my time at Tradecraft:
- Curriculum: The curriculum is no joke. The material covered is thorough -- a deep dive into areas of product design that is needed to fully understand the process. It's intense and a lot of work, but necessary in order to be successful and make your time here worthwhile.
- Client Work: I love the idea of gaining experience in what you just learned. At Tradecraft, students are encouraged to be a part of projects that you can use in your portfolio. It's a great way to learn about working with a team and clients throughout the entire design process.
- Community: From track leads and mentors to the students, nothing compares to the amount of support and love from the TC community. My cohort is my second family/tribe. We remain close, even after graduation.
- 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.
- Accelerate your learning and break into tech- 8/28/2019Charles • Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco
A little over a year ago, I was unsatisfied with my job at a company where I had no room to grow. After talking to some alumni they all reaffirmed the positive reviews about Tradecraft. So I decided to take the leap and it was one of the best decisions of my life.
I wanted to surround myself with motivated people because I knew it would accelerate my learning. Moving into the Bay from out of town, I didn’t have a lot of connections. TC quickly became my network and welcomed me into a great community of people who continually motivate and keep each other accountable. “Mentor Talks” are also set up every week with established designers, product managers, growth marketers, and founders who come in to share their insights and help us get a sense of what it’s like to work in Silicon Valley.
Tradecraft is set up to emulate the environment of a real life startup. The instructors cover a wide range of topics, give you practical feedback, and push you to get out of your comfort zone. Getting to work with real companies was invaluable for building my portfolio. It gave me a lot to talk about in my interviews not just in terms of design decisions, but how I manage my workflow and collaborate with others. 2 months after the program, I was able to land a contract position mostly by talking about one of the projects I had worked on during the interview.
Ariane, the head of career development is an awesome coach. She taught us how to pitch our previous experiences into a marketable story, how to negotiate offers, and helped us prep for interviews. One of the biggest differentiators between Tradecraft and other programs was the career support they give even after you’ve landed your first job. Ariane, Russ, Nick, and the rest of the staff invest in you to help find the right company for you whether its your 2nd, 3rd, etc role. They’ve cultivated a large community that lift each other up from Directors of Design who were in the very first cohort to fresh grads jumping into the job market.
Is Tradecraft a guarantee to land a job in tech immediately? Of course not. Like others have said, you'll need a lot of hustle and a bit of luck. The staff won't hold your hand but they will set you up with the resources and knowledge needed to contribute to a team while guiding you to properly network your way to more opportunities. I’m really grateful for this community of ambitious, driven, and talented people who have my back.
- 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.
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.
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).
- Learning in the Valley
- 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!