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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As a member of the first class, I thought attending Tradecraft and giving up 3 months of a working salary while also paying tuition would be a big risk, not to mention that it was a brand new (and unproven) program at the time.
It was the best decision I made for my career so far. The return on investment has been more than worth it, and this program has accelerated my career at least 2-3 years. I am very happy to be working at my current company now, and I was definitely a much more competitive candidate in the job market after the program.
As a member of the Growth track, I can't speak highly enough of our mentor instructors--Graham Hunter and Will Bunker. Graham's dedication in teaching and challenging us to go beyond and teach ourselves made this educational experience unlike any others I've experienced. Will's career advice and encouragement taught me more about my own motivations to seek fulfillment in my career. Ultimately, it was Graham who made the crucial introduction that led to my current position--all because he told me about a tech meet up after class. Kudos also to the founders Misha Chellam and Russ Klusas who selected an excellent first cohort. I learned as much from my fellow classmates as I did from our instructors and industry mentors.
I would recommend this course for people who know they want to break into or accelerate their tech careers. Opportunities to learn and to network are presented to you, but you do have to be highly motivated and hard-working to take advantage of them to the fullest. It's not a program to hold your hand. Instead, it's a program that will open doors for you and introduce you to people you probably wouldn't meet otherwise. You'll have to work to reap the benefits, but they are well worth it.
About me: I went through Tradecraft (TC) in the fifth cohort's Growth Marketing track. I wrote answers to FAQs from prospective students on my blog, in case this and other reviews aren't comprehensive enough.
About TC: Size/stage depends on you, but Tradecraft prepares you to work at tech companies. Through various mechanisms, some intentional and others not, TC forces students to learn and work both cooperatively and independently, advocate for themselves and their needs, and manage their time and relationships. These are probably the three most valuable skills anyone can master, and they are essential to anyone who works in or hopes to break into tech, especially on the non-technical side of things.
- Internal Network -- Tradecraft students and alumni are fantastic people and a rich group to learn from and lean on professionally.
- External Network -- Tradecraft's founders and instructors are well-connected and happy to leverage their connections for students.
- Mentors -- Mentors might more accurately be called Speakers. They come in for Q&A sessions with current students (and occassionally alums) and have been known to help students professionally.
- Learning Environment -- Students are forced to focus their learning and advocate for themselves when they get stuck. There aren't many, if any, freebies.
- Projects -- Students work with startups to solve problems and gain experience.
- Instructors -- TC instructors are wonderful people and experienced practitioners in their given fields.
- In my time there, Tradecraft's curriculum was basically a compilation of free online resources that we were guided through. I felt like we skimmed the surface in class and needed to devote most of my free time to developing a more limited, selective skillset.
Overall Recommendation: Highly recommended. The softness of the curriculum was disappointing, but the network, projects, and overall exposure have more than paid themselves off. Bottom line, Tradecraft is a great jumping off point for anyone looking to get started in tech.
Tradecraft proved to be one of the best investments in terms of time and money I have ever made. It has all the components of a great teaching environment: well-structured curriculums, experienced teachers, projects to get hands-on experience, and a stellar network of industry experts.
Where Tradecraft differs from the rest is an environment of highly selected peers to challenge your thoughts and make you grow, as a professional and as a person. The environment is optimized to challenge you and give you the tools and mindset to achieve great results in your career.
A professional playground you will hardly forget.
Tradecraft is one of the best decisions I've made, not just for my career, but in life. It's rare that we are afforded the opportunity to focus on our personal and professional development, in parallel, for 12 straight weeks. Tradecraft encourages you to do just that. The program fosters a culture where you are inspired by your peers, instructors, and industry mentors to challenge yourself and grow as much as possible. In the end, you will develop your strengths, grow your network, expand your acumen, and trade expertise with some of the most talented people you'll ever meet. You'll also have an action plan for locking in a role at the company of your dreams. You'll have the skills to proactively assess and target those companies, find your internal champion, navigate the interview process, and negotiate an offer. You'll be able to articulate the value you bring to the table and what you are capable of doing for that organization. They will benefit from your Tradecraft network as well!
Tradecraft was an excellent experience.
For 12 weeks, I got to build a network of talented people, while rapidly developing my abilities as a UX designer. At the end, my reward was a role at a tech company I love to report to every day.
If you go into Tradecraft with a specific goal, Misha, Russ, and the rest of the crew at TC will help you cut through the clutter and stay laser focused on the stuff that matters most. I'd recommend Tradecraft to any self-driven individual who is ready to jumpstart the next phase of their career.
Going to Tradecraft has proved to be one of the best choices I've made career-wise.
I was a copywriter who wanted to pursue something different. At Tradecraft, I developed the skills I needed to get a foot in the door.
Tradecraft rigourously prepares you to work in fast-paced, creative environments. From the rapidly evolving curriculum to instructors who inspire, support and challenge you on the daily, it's an electric experience.
Tradecraft's unstructured design challenges you to excercise a different muscle than traditional schooling. Here, you're responsible for your own goals, prioirities and limits--and defining them is half of the fun.
At Tradecraft, you can do all of the above with a smile, because you're surrounded by interesting, passionate and driven peers. The connections I made at Tradecraft were an essential part of the experience, and I plan to be a part of the Tradecraft community for a long time.
I have written publicly about my experience at Tradecraft (TC) previously on Medium, but thought it would be helpful to include it here, as well.
Here's a snippet from my post entitled The Tradecraft Effect:
TC is not a school in the traditional sense. There are no tests, there are no grades, and you technically aren’t required to do all the assignments. TC is much more than a school. In fact, it’s a movement away from traditional schooling. In school you just need to learn the material that will be on the test in order to pass, which is part of why many people coming out of college have trouble working in early-stage startups. I like to think of TC as more of a people accelerator. They’re looking for people who are intrinsically motivated, are thirsty for more in their careers, and are willing to put their lives on hold to get to where they want to go.
While I may have been able to get to where I’m at without joining TC, it would have taken much longer to assemble a comparable and growing support network of friends and colleagues. The value of TC extends well beyond the awesome job you end up landing after the program is over and makes the $12,000 look like a steal. If you’re on the fence about attending, my advice is to jump all-in and bet on yourself. You won’t regret it.
My contact info is on the Medium post. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.
I had a wonderful time at Tradecraft. When I decided to apply, I really had no idea what I was getting into, and when I decided to enroll, I really didn't know what I was getting into.
One of the things a classmate said to me while I was in the program has stuck with me: "Look, if you do what they say, it works." He was a cohort ahead of me, and at the time, I wasn't sure it was true. It was. The environment and culture at TC is optimized to help you achieve your goals, whether that's to break into tech from the first time, or to hone a specific set of skills in preparation for a stretch role, or whatever else. It's a self-directed program that where you really get out what you put in.
When I talk about Tradecraft, some of my friends tell me it's like I'm talking about the best time in my life, and when I talk to current students in the program, I can see what they are saying. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Fantastic culture, students who make it happen
$12k and 3-months is a lot to give-up to take a course at Tradecraft.
I would recommend Tradecraft over General Assembly in a heartbeat. Doing Tradecraft is cheaper and faster than 2 years of Grad School ( spending $80k+ and 2 years in HCI) to get a job upon graduation.
Are you motivated? Are you interested in changing your career? Are you interested in coding, growth, UX or sales? If so, Tradecraft can help you.
Why it's worth it:
1. Personal Development sessions with Shawn Plunkett
2. Learning UX with Kate Rutter and Laura Klein
3. The people & culture!!
4. Career Development with Misha Chellam and Brett Hunter
5. Inspiring Q&As with mentors (i.e. Ryan Hoover, Noah Kagan, Seth Godin, and Gagan Biyani, ..the list goes on!)
There isn't much on the Tradecraft website, so I recommend doing some digging on your own (read the Medium articles written by Tradecraft students, follow Tradecraft Twitter accounts and etc.)
I was a part of the first cohort in the user experience track under the tutelage of Kate Rutter and Laura Klein. Tradecraft was just getting established at the time, and there was a lot of good energy in we were all helping each other accelerate our careers. The lessons learned in the ux field and in general networking were invaluable. The real-world experience is what sets Tradecraft apart from other programs - to have actual portfolio pieces with real-world results is important. Misha and Russ run a great program, and Tradecraft is the real deal. It certainly accelerated my career for the better.
Tradecraft provides a wholesome and wonderful experience! In addition to the focus of your choosen cirriculum, there are two courses focused in career and personal development that all run in parallel. I found this to be really valuable in conjunction with the UX design cirriculum, as it helped me to grow as person and designer to be better prepared for the job search. The UX cirriculum was a great way to become familar with the standard principles of UX design, I felt that I got a great foundation and understanding of this practice.
Awesome experience with whip smart people. I was in the very first class at TC and enjoyed what I learned and the people I got to meet, from my classmates, to the instructors, to the amazing mentors collected along the way. Glad I took 12 weeks out of my life to experience Tradecraft!
I worked a few years in tech startups before joining Tradecraft. I thought they were cool. In the past year since exiting the program, I created a company with somebody I had met through Tradecraft, applied to Y Combinator, got in, raised money, and am now hiring. So, yeah...they call that "leveling up." It happens at Tradecraft.
A few words for the wise: Tradecraft is a great place to "find yourself," but those months are precious. I strongly recommend having some very specific goals in place at the outset. Also, do you need a lot of structure? Figure out how to build it yourself.
If you're willing to dive in, find positive ways to push yourself, and can truly open your mind to possibility, you'll find a lot of opportunity in Tradecraft.
I was so lucky to have found Tradecraft. It was exactly what I needed in my life and career at the right time. After 10 years of prior work experience in UX, I felt I needed to expand my skillset and grow. With little background in marketing or analytics, I learnt a tremendous amount in the Growth track, which was both hugely informative and challenging. You could literally watch my knowledge horizon expand.
What I hadn't realized was how much else Tradecraft would give me in addition to that. I learned about startups, equity, applying for jobs, and personal development. And if that wasn't enough, I gained an amazing new family, a network, coaches, and a job. Tradecraft is a really supportive family. I've never clicked with people so easily before as I did with my cohort at Tradecraft. And the instructors continue to have my back, like guardian angels. I couldn't be more grateful.
Tradecraft was by far, one of the best investments I've made in my career. It primed me for a tough job market here in Silicon Valley and helped me outgrow any other experience that I could have gained in a period of 3 months. Yes, it's not cheap, but the founders will do whatever is in their power to help you succeed.
If you're motivated and believe in yourself -- great things can be achieved from here. The salary post-graduation speak for themselves: a few of my friends are now making more than $100K with a job in growth, sales, or design.
I had a very positive experience at Tradecraft.
1. I was in UX track. The UX curriculum allows you to learn the essentials of user research and interaction design through projects. The instructors (Kate Rutter and Laura Klein) are so experienced. You can learn anything UX from them.
2. In addition to the instructors, we also have a personal development coach in house, allowing us to not only grow professionally but also personally.
3. We have tons of top-notch investors and practioners coming in to give talks. Nothing competes with learning from the best.
4. People. The energy is uplifting. Everyone here works hard and is genuinely interested in each others' success.
Attending Tradecraft has been an amazing experience.
I met amazing people, outstanding instructors and had the possibility to learn from the best mentors in the Silicon Valley.
As a student of the Growth track I have to say that Graham Hunter and Will Bunker are simply the best instructors you can ask for. They are very knowledgeable, prepared, have first-hand experience due to their awesome career, and always available to help and give good advice.
The best part of Tradecraft is that I wasn't only studying, but I was also involved in real projects with real startups, so I was able to have a first-hand experience in Growth and marketing.
The entire experience gave a real boost to my career and I came out of the program being way more competitive in the job market: I was able to pivot my career and change industry, even though I had to deal with immigration issues and ask for a VISA sponsor.
I definitely recommend this program for people who are passionate about the tech industry, the startup world and want to pursue a tech career. The value of the program, the mentors, the network and the opportunities that will come after you graduate are totally worth the investment to be part of the Tradecraft family.
Special thanks to the founders Misha Chellam and Russ Klusas, who built an amazing family, brought together smart people, gave us access to exceptional knowledge and are always inspiring and supportive.
I went through the UX immersive. It was everything I wanted and more.
Prior to Tradecraft I was freelancing. I began researching immersive programs because I wanted to level up and accelerate my career. Mostly, I wanted mentorship and to surround myself with like-minded individuals.
After interviewing with a few other immersive programs I began to loose hope. Most of the programs out there felt like for profit colleges that just wanted to take your money. Then one day, through a UX email list, I recieved an email about Tradecraft's immersive program. Skeptical, but curious, I proceeded with the application process. Shortly there after I was contacted by Misha (one of the founders). We spoke on the phone, then met in person. I asked him some difficult questions to which he answered without hesitation.
Immediately after that interview I knew I wanted to be a part of Tradecraft. After a several months of researching I had found what I was looking for.
The people, the instruction, and the opportunity is unparalleled. If you're on the fence, apply. Ask your hard questions. What have you got to lose?
That was the most important 3 months that accelerated my career by few years at least. From being UX + UI freelancer before the programme, I landed as a Product Manager after it.
I am from Lithuania, so Tradecraft was the unique chance to understand and get the feeling of the Silicon Valley. Besides learning the craft of UX, I learnt how to set my goals, how to achieve them, how to network and how to make an impact.
Few months ago I came back to San Francisco. The contacts made during the programme made me feel like at home. It was easy to arrange meetings with Dropbox, Pinterest, Autocad people to learn from them further.
Coming into the program, I had two goals: work on a growth team at a small/medium sized company and to network with growth professionals in the Bay Area. After graduating, I now work on a growth team and have a ton of connections - and most people are only an email or two away.
Attending Tradecraft accelerated my career by 2-3 years. In late 2013, I was just wrapping up my degree in business while working at a startup in Texas. Through a friend, I happened upon a post about Tradecraft, and I immediately applied because it looked like the perfect next step after graduation.
Much to my surprise, I was accepted for the first class, so I packed my bags and moved across the country to San Francisco. Over the next three months, I worked with amazing people, pushed myself to my limits, and luxuriated in learning about marketing.
After graduation, I got an opportunity to work for Adecco at YouTube were I now get to market cutting-edge products at one of the best companies in the world. I really can't speak too highly of Tradecraft, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to go places in their career.
I recently graduated from the growth track, and loved every moment of it. As a recent college graduate, I decided to attend so I would learn skills directly applicable to startups — so I could make an impact on day one in my new role.
I just finished Tradecraft as a member of cohort 5.
Tradecraft is much more than just a skills-based bootcamp. It's a holistic experience that inducts you into the startup community, provides personal and professional mentorship, and positions you to succeed so you can make an impact on day one of your job.
I was offered a job a week before Tradecraft ended as the first product hire for a new startup and feel great about the program and how it's helped me to succeed.
Our latest on tradecraft
When you think of your next tech job, does “Digital Marketer” come to mind? It should; a solid understanding of marketing, combined with analytical and a few tech skills, can lead to a fulfilling, evolving career. By 2021, US companies are expected to spend $129 billion on Digital Marketing investments. With the increase in marketing buys over the last few years, experts have forecasted that digital will eventually account for 50% of total advertising spend. So what is digital marketing, and exactly what skills do you need to be successful? Check out our Guide to Digital Marketing Bootcamps to find which types of jobs and salaries you could land in digital marketing, the skills you need to excel in the field, and the best Digital Marketing Bootcamps today.Continue Reading →
Adam attended Tradecraft’s 12-week growth marketing bootcamp in San Francisco, with a mission to shake up his skills in tech. Although he had a ton of tech experience with A/B testing and experimentation, he realized he couldn’t land the marketing career that he wanted. Read more about his thoughts on learning in a bootcamp classroom, why he used Tradecraft to take hold of his own destiny, and how he was hired in a Paid Acquisition role at Udemy. Plus, Adam gives us a great overview of modern growth marketing!
Tell me your pre-Tradecraft story. What was your career and educational background before you went to Tradecraft?
I’m originally from San Francisco, so I moved back after college because most of the jobs in San Francisco were in Tech- my goal was to get my foot in the door at a company. I worked in technology sales selling advertising space for about a year and a half at a large company. When I decided I wanted to work at a much smaller company, I joined Optimizely, which is an A/B testing platform. They’re now a really successful software company, but I joined when they were really small. I started with sales, which snowballed to getting exposure to a bunch of different departments. I transferred to the Optimizely Amsterdam office to train and hire our customer success management team.
As you can see, I had a good amount of experience in tech, but not in the role that I wanted to pursue. I reached a point where I realized that I like helping customers do A/B testing , but it wasn't necessarily something that I was really passionate about. I most enjoyed A/B testing and user acquisition, so I started to look for jobs, but kept hitting a roadblock where companies needed to see many years of experience before they’d even consider my resume.
Experience is something that tech companies value but will rarely give. After a few months of sending out my resume, I decided to figure out how I could control my own destiny. One of my options was to get that experience from a bootcamp.
Which track did you take at Tradecraft?
I took the Growth Marketing track. I experienced two types of learning at Tradecraft. One is extremely tactical and skill-based. That means you’ll learn how to do an SEO audit of a website, how to run an ad campaign, you will learn about content marketing. This is very topic-based, extremely specific skills - the things you need to know before you can move on to a job in that industry.
The second thing that I learned was much more surprising and less expected: spiritual learning. I looked at myself, thought about what I am actually good at, passionate about, and what I wanted to become good at. These are much deeper, spiritual questions that are so much more tied to your success after the program than learning how to do an SEO audit.
Those are things that I think get lost in a bootcamp. Some bootcamps are just like "We'll teach you how to learn Java, we'll teach you this;" but they don't necessarily bring up things like, "You can know all the languages you want, but you must learn how to interview, how to position yourself, and how to really make sure you're ready for the next step; those are equally important to your success." Aside from in the track, you learn all the things about growth marketing that you could ever want to know from email marketing, SEO, paid acquisition, and A/B testing. You also get this really important piece about answering questions about yourself and what's going to make you successful long term.
You mentioned that you researched a few other bootcamps- why did you choose Tradecraft?
I had found a lot of bootcamps to be factories. They just grew to a point where it's like they're becoming a university and taking away from the core bootcamp experience, which is really one-to-one mentorship and a tight-knit group of people.
At the time I was researching, there weren't a lot of bootcamps that specifically offered Growth Marketing courses. And particularly for a course that's really expensive, I knew that I needed a lot of mentorship and individual attention. That's why going to a small bootcamp like Tradecraft was really important for me.
What really struck me about Tradecraft was the first call that I had with Nick, one of the six staff members. I liked that I got to speak to the people who teach at Tradecraft. Everything they said fit really well with what I believe, particularly how Tradecraft is meant to be a guide in your experience. You really will get out what you put in. It seemed like something I wanted to join, so I took that leap of faith and joined Tradecraft.
What skills were you hoping to get out of Tradecraft when you started?
From Optimizely, I already had a pretty deep understanding of experimentation, which is a huge driving force behind growth. What I was missing was an understanding of marketing. Content marketing, email marketing, and paid acquisition are all skills that you need to actually grow your business and get people to your website. There are many different ways that you can go about doing that marketing.
Tradecraft was really good about honing in on the four or five most high-impact marketing tools that you could learn. Those things included:
- Paid Acquisition, which is a tactic that almost every company in Silicon Valley uses.
- Content Marketing, which is now one of the most popular ways that marketers are getting traffic to their website.
- Email, which means understanding messaging and segmentation.
- Optimizing the user journey
Did you consider getting a degree in Growth Marketing? Or getting an MBA?
It's not that it wasn’t an option for me to go back to college; it’s not an option period. There are no universities teaching relevant digital marketing strategies that companies are using here in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. This knowledge is not being circulated through traditional universities; that’s why tech conferences, meetups, and blog posts are so important.
That’s accompanied by the fact that a degree would take a really long time and be incredibly expensive.
I did think about an MBA, but I already have a lot of experience in technology, so I didn't need an MBA on my resume. That's not what was preventing me from getting a job. What was preventing me from getting a job was skills-based learning, and knowing the skills that I actually needed to perform that role. That's why I went with Tradecraft, because I would learn tangible skills and work with real companies while I was there. I was able to go back into the world with these new skills, coupled with my experience, in order to be competitive in the job market.
How did you justify the cost of Tradecraft?
When I started doing my analysis, I thought, "How much money and energy have I spent investing in myself?" When you look at it from that perspective, investing $14,000 into your own mind and skillset is a really easy sell to make internally. It's really about pulling that money out of the bank and back into me. Fortunately, I was in a position to do that. There were people at Tradecraft from a lot of different backgrounds with a ton of different financial situations, and I know that it was able to work for everyone.
What was the rest of your cohort like at Tradecraft? Was it diverse?
The people in my class were arguably my favorite part of Tradecraft. From a gender perspective, we’re around 40% female and 60% male. There were people from a lot of different backgrounds, racially and in their experience. Our class wasn’t just techy people or recent grads. The average person in our class was a few years out of college, with some work experience, looking to pivot their career.
What was the learning experience like at Tradecraft? Tell us about a typical day!
Tradecraft is a three-month program, with the first and last two weeks focused on career development. During the first two weeks, you’re trying to answer questions like what kind of job we want, what kind of environment and culture we would be successful in, and what location we want to work in. These bigger questions are typically answered when interviewing, which is the wrong time to answer them!
After career development, you enter what's called Curriculum. Each week you're learning a different topic. For example, the first week will be an SEO week, and you will have a series of lectures on SEO, then you will have a project to do for that topic. If it is SEO week, you'll have to do an SEO audit by the end of the week on a company of your choice and submit that back to the instructor for review. It's very different than a conventional class with 3-6 months of classes, a mid-term and a final. Tradecraft gives a bit of lecture to give you the groundwork, but then a lot of the learning is done by getting into the weeds and getting your hands dirty. You'll continue for 11 more weeks with that same cadence on different topics.
During the last two weeks, you go back into career development, but this time it's much more tactical. You've learned these skills, you've answered these bigger questions, and now it's time to look at your resume and get introduced to these companies that you said you've been interested in for the last 11 weeks. Tradecraft wants to build that framework for you, so that when you hit launch, the end of the program, you'll have all the pieces you need to be able to go out and “execute,” which means finding the right job for you. That's the end goal.
Did you have enough support from instructors?
Each cohort varies in size and makeup. There were about eight students and one instructor.
What type of hours were you putting in at Tradecraft?
We had a daily stand up at 9am and I would get home at between 6pm and 7pm. Depending on the day or the workload, it could vary. I actually reached out to companies to help them with their business, which could mean writing a new drip campaign to send to new users or could mean designing a paid acquisition strategy for them. Those two things will have a much different time investment.
It’s all about perspective. There are some stories on Course Report about other bootcamps as a whole that say "Be prepared to say goodbye to your friends and be under a rock for three months." I really didn't find that to be the case at all. When I was spending a lot of time at Tradecraft, I was investing in myself and taking the time to do it the right way and not take a shortcut. One thing I can definitely say is whatever time I did spend at Tradecraft, was well spent.
On any given day at Tradecraft, there are 10 or 15 different things that you can do. You can go to a marketing meetup and network, go to a speech that they're hosting internally, work on a project, go to class, etc. You have to actually prioritize what you want to learn and be efficient with your time. I think your time commitment depends on where you're at and your maturity as a professional.
Did you have a favorite project or assignment that you worked on during Tradecraft?
I brought in Kiva, which is a micro-lending site for developing countries. In the initial meeting, they described their business and some of the challenges that they were facing. Then together as a team, we gave a proposal of what we wanted to do for them and executed on that plan. My team worked specifically on an advertising and influencer marketing strategy for their new business, Kiva Zip, which is micro-lending in the US. We crushed the goals that they wanted and it was considered a really, really great success.
About three weeks ago, Kiva announced that they had launched Kiva Zip out of Beta, and we saw that the groundwork that we laid really enhanced the business.
Were all the students in your class working on the same projects with nonprofits?
No, the projects were across a wide spectrum- from comic book apps to e-commerce shops. It depended on what the Tradecraft student was really interested in learning. For me, I was really interested in doing user acquisition paid ads, and really liked Kiva as well. I just married those two, and it made sense for me. You can also sign up to help other projects, so you won't just get exposure to your own projects.
Okay, what are you up to now Adam?
I'm a Senior Marketing Associate, Paid Acquisition at Udemy, which is an online learning platform. I'm doing paid acquisition, which is very much what I was learning. I'm also using the A/B testing skills from my last career, which I pieced together with my new skills to create a new role. That was my game plan from the start.
Did you find your job at Udemy through Tradecraft?
I graduated Tradecraft and a week later was signing my final offer. Then a week or two after that, I'm sitting down in my chair at Udemy. I ultimately found Tradecraft extremely valuable because I got introduced to Udemy through my Tradecraft instructor.
What is your day-to-day like as a Marketing Associate in Paid Acquisition?
For the first three months, I was working in a pretty standard growth marketing paid acquisition role: I had a budget and channels and I had to acquire users. Due to my experience at Optimizely with optimization, Udemy asked me to step up and do A/B testing on the site. My role has shifted in the last few weeks to working a lot with product engineering and design to build A/B tests for experiments to run on the Website.
The growth team is about 30 people. Now that I'm in this optimization role, I've shifted to where I'm actually working with two engineers, a designer and reporting to the Director of Product.
What has been the biggest challenge in your career change so far?
A bootcamp like Tradecraft is great at getting you from 0 to 1 really quickly. But like any job or any profession, you don't end at 1. You have to jump from 1 to 100; you’ll learn new terms, platforms, knowledge of your business and of your market. There is a steep learning curve in order to be a positive member of my company and drive a lot of value to Udemy.
Tradecraft really protects you against this, but I have friends who participated in other coding bootcamps who didn’t learn that there are no shortcuts. You're not going to become a full web developer in 12 weeks. There's just too much material and too many hours required. Tradecraft positions their offer by saying, “We will get you into the door and in a chair at a company, but you control your own destiny, and it's up to you to drive that ship with help from us along the way."
What advice do you have for someone who is thinking about going to a bootcamp to change their career?
Like I said, a bootcamp is not a shortcut. It's going to be a lot of work, and it's going to be very challenging both personally and professionally. Then, once you get a job, it is only just beginning.
I used Tradecraft really tactically in my career. I had a certain exposure to tech, a certain type of experience, and I needed Tradecraft to slightly pave the way, acquire new skills, and accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.
Be really thoughtful about signing up for a bootcamp because you will only get what you put into the program. If it's not something that you really believe in and are driven to, you won't get to the finish line. I think what's really dangerous about bootcamps is that people join them without knowing their career endgame. It’s super important to make that investment with your eyes wide open and being really honest with yourself.
Tradecraft does a really brilliant job of weeding unqualified people out in the application process, but some of the other bootcamps seem to be trying to get as many people in the door as possible. Tradecraft is trying to aim for quality over quantity, and that's massively important.