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
Recent tradecraft News
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:
- Only Applicants, Students, and Graduates are permitted to leave reviews on Course Report.
- Post clear, valuable, and honest information that will be useful and informative to future coding bootcampers. Think about what your bootcamp excelled at and what might have been better.
- Be nice to others; don't attack others.
- Use good grammar and check your spelling.
- Don't post reviews on behalf of other students or impersonate any person, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity.
- Don't spam or post fake reviews intended to boost or lower ratings.
- Don't post or link to content that is sexually explicit.
- Don't post or link to content that is abusive or hateful or threatens or harasses others.
- Please do not submit duplicate or multiple reviews. These will be deleted. Email moderators to revise a review or click the link in the email you receive when submitting a review.
- Please note that we reserve the right to review and remove commentary that violates our policies.
Click here to log in or sign up and continue.
- Product Designer- 4/16/2019Y-Dan • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I completed the Tradecraft program almost exactly one year ago to this date, and one year later, I couldn't be happier with my investment. In the months leading up to my applying, I was trying to make the transition to product design on my own by self-studying and self-learning, but wasn't satisfied with the speed at which I was progressing.
There are many reviews that already description about the product design track and what prospective Tradecrafters can expect. I'll focus on a few points where I feel the experience was particularly valuable to me:
- Project experience: Tradecraft gives you access to opportunities to do design work on real projects from different early-stage startups. Client projects were invaluable in allowing me to grow and learn as a designer, and to have as pieces to include in my portfolio
- Career development: I was a recent college graduate, so a lot of the professional world was foreign to me. Tradecraft does an excellent job and walking through strategies to build a professional network, outreach to companies/contacts, interview effectively, and more. Ariane, the Head of Careers, is amazing.
- The people and the environment: The Tradecraft space is just teeming with smart and motivated instructors, students, and graduates that push you, both directly and indirectly, to strive for greatness.
- The instructors: The product design and career development instructors are genuinely experts at what they do. Every single question I had for, they had answers for, and often went above and beyond in providing feedback. They're a huge reason why I had such a great experience.
Overall, a year removed from the program, I can say I'm very happy with where I'm at today. And I don't think I'd be where I'm at today without the Tradecraft experience.
- Great program for building a career in tech- 1/22/2019Curren Kulkarni • Growth Manager @ Eden • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
Tradecraft is a one-of-a-kind program in the tech world and I couldn't be more happy with the decision I made to go through this SF-based career accelerator.
After spending 4 years in NYC as a tech/software investor, I decided to leave my awesome career at Goldman Sachs in order to pursue a more exciting and dynamic career in the enterprise software sector. It's not a path that many embark upon, so after doing tons of my own research and conducting interviews with folks all across the tech sector, I decided to move out to the Bay Area and enroll in Tradecraft. It's one of the best decisions I've ever made.
I moved to SF with only a handful of friends and family members out here, and Tradecraft instantly became my home away from home. Not only was the program/curriculum exactly what I was hoping for, but it's an amazing community to be part of. The instructors and students truly embody the "work hard, play hard" culture that I enjoy most -- it was a great way to enter a new city and career at the same time. Some of my best friends in SF are my fellow TC students/instructors, and I am incredibly thankful for getting to be part of this amazing program.
The curriculum is great for those who want to start their own companies, join high-growth startups as early hires, or for anyone interested in testing/building/scaling up businesses that are in some way impacted by the tech sector (i.e. nearly every business). Coming in with a traditional investment analyst skillset from wall street, I was never bored with Tradecraft's extensive curriculum, which covers a wide range of growth topics such as SEO, paid acquisition, social media, cohort analytics, email marketing, B2B sales frameworks, and more! This all comes in handy not only for building and scaling startups (in my current role), but also in the context of being a technology-oriented investor as well.
I'd recommend Tradecraft to anyone who has a desire in commiting themselves to a career in tech, plain and simple. Tradecraft's instructors and career mentors are extraordinarily resourceful and well-connected in the Bay Area and will get you from point A to point B in your career faster than any business school will.
- These people have your back.- 1/22/2019James Stephens • Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
In addition to getting a job and making the transition from graphic to product design, Tradecraft was the catalyst for a great deal of personal change that I'm still benefiting from (and working through.)
The nature of the environment is one where you're surrounded by people questioning things: their future desired role and how to get there, user experience problems, the various degrees of ennui one experiences when transitioning), and in general how to be a better human.
The last point is something I found particularly wonderful. Tradecraft forces you to take a step back and look at things about yourself that you may have not considered before.
- What is your relationship with other people, and why might that have led you to where you are now?
- How can you begin to approach something like "networking" in a way that doesn't make you both want to use a bleach wipe on your brain?
- What are you projecting in interviews and how might that affect how others evalute you?
- How can you understand what other people want, and give it to them in ways that benefit you both?
These are but a few things that I learned about in the program (in addition to all the design stuff :) and it may be totally different for you. The one thing I can guarantee though, is that it'll be impactful for you as a person – for where you are in life. See Christine and Jasmine Rosen's reviews (two of my colleagues) for a better overall analysis, they were always better at this stuff than me.
While we're on the subject of friends/colleagues: the concentrated timespan of the program will help you develop surprisingly strong, genuine friendships during your time there. I've shared a pretty large spectrum of human emotion with peers + the staff. As for the staff, every damn one of them has gone above and beyond for me, at various times and in various ways, and probably in many that I'm not aware of. I want to emphasize that, because I something still look back at it and am baffled at how much everyone gives a shit about you.
Something you'll commonly hear is that you'll get out of Tradecraft what you put in. This is not an easy program, and it isn't designed to be. If you truly dedicate yourself then what everyone else is saying is absolutely true – the rewards are vastly greater than any time, money, and energy you'll put in.
- Learn to be a pro designer- 10/10/2018Jot Dhaliwal • Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
The beauty of Tradecraft is that it simulates an actual startup environment. You are intentionally given more opportunities for impact than you actually have time for. Program instructors, mentors and your colleagues help you determine which opportunities to focus on given your individual career goals.
Before starting the program, learn how to use various design tools as well as the fundamentals of art & design. This way you can get a head start and jump into project work right away which accelerates the portfolio building process. Building a portfolio is your biggest hurdle in securing a role quickly after graduation so take this very seriously.
- My best career investment so far- 10/8/2018My Nguyen • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
The most valuable thing I learnt at Tradecraft was a new perspective. A different way to think, to learn, to network.
The bootcamp was not taught in a traditional, textbook-driven, spoon-feeding style. The intructors were not academic professors, but successful practitioners in their fields. Classes did not assign outdated textbooks and were not held as lengthy lectures. And sadly, it would not miraculously figure out one's career :) But apart from what it was not, it gave me everything I was looking for and more whenever I showed up and put in the hard work. I learnt where and how to find resources to supplement for what I didn't know. I learnt how to get the skills I would need in order to be qualified for the job I wanted. I learnt how to strategically meet and network with the right people. I learnt how to negotiate my offer and re-evaluate the offer that did not meet my expectation. And throughout this whole process, Tradecraft staffs always made time to meet me on an one-on-one basis and extended their help and network generously. Their career support was the best I ever had. I had nowhere near the attention, the help, and the personalized network from traditional institutions that I spent a great fortune on.
Apart from all the career-related stuffs, the real treasure lay in having the opportunity to meet people who shared my view of the world. My peers were highly driven, extremely ambitious, and ridiculously talented. We came from a great variety of backgrounds, which opened doors to each other into different industries and network pools right off the bat. As an East Coast transplant, I did not find my community until I became a part of Tradecraft.
If you are an independent learner and hardworking professional who want to crack the code of Silicon Valley, I think you will have a great experience here.
- Learn to get out of your comfort zone- 10/6/2018Kimberly • Product Designer at Scoot • Student • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
If I had to sum up the major things I gained from my time at Tradecraft, it would fall into 3 buckets: 1) The community, 2) getting pushed out of my comfort zone with networking, and 3) access to a physical/virtual space that encourages constant learning throughout your career.
(1) The peers that you start with are one of your biggest assets (but only if you make the effort to invest time and energy into these relationships). I’ve met some amazing people and built friendships and connections with those in my cohort/class and even to this day, we stay in constant touch and share advice, support, and design events with each other. The more you all support each other (either through collaboration, emotional, or mental support) the more you all grow and benefit during your time here.
(2) Networking is scary for some people and for others, it feels contrived. One of the biggest things I gained from my experience at Tradecraft was getting comfortable with reaching out to people completely cold, and a big part of that was reframing what networking meant to me. Everyone approaches it with a different mindset based on their personalities and goals, and while for some it’s about building relationships, for others it can purely be about exchanging knowledge and learning. What really helps is to be surrounded by peers that can empathize with how difficult it is at first, and that in a way makes it easier for you to get out of your comfort zone. Everyone is doing it together.
(3) The skills you gain from Tradecraft are largely based on what you make of the experience there. You have constant access to a virtual community on slack that is always sharing resources related to design/growth/career development/etc, and people ask each other questions and give advice. The physical space also hosts events and bring in speakers nearly every other week or so. You’re always encouraged to come back into the space even after you graduate and take advantage of these learning opportunities. It's a great space that breeds and encourages learning throughout your career, but you gotta take advantage of it.
Tradecraft is by no means a perfect program. Things can feel messy and unstructured, and sometimes it feels like there could be a lot more transparency between staff and students. The lack of structure might be by design and one could argue that working in tech is messy too. People seem to be across the board in how they feel about the structure at Tradecraft. Some have strong expectations of structure and demand it, and some just work around it. I think it’s important to keep yourself in the middle and give feedback where you see room for improvement, but also understand that Tradecraft in a way a startup too and you sometimes just have to work with what you have. Push for improvement, but do your best to manage your frustrations and be constructive with your feedback.
Having graduated from the program about 5 months ago, I will say this. I’m *really* glad I went with Tradecraft instead of the other competing alternatives. I got to practice skills in design yes, but I wouldn’t trade the friendships/connections I made and getting pushed out of my comfort zone for anything.
- Learn by doing with a great support system- 8/12/2018Judy • Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I completed Tradecraft back in April and was able to find work within my first month out of the program. Prior to it, I was working in the field of architecture for over five years. I came to it through recommendations from colleagues who similarly felt dissatisfied with the profession. I was deciding between a few different options but what makes Tradecraft stand apart from the rest are its learning-by-doing framework and supportive network of highly motivated and intelligent people.
Could I have made the career transition by myself? Yes, but it most likely would have taken substantially longer with many more obstacles. The Product Design program at Tradecraft was my 'north star' for this transitional phase, helping me filter through the sea of resources and tools – good and bad – out there and spend precious time focusing on building the skills and experiences that really matter. Unlike a traditional top-down academic environment, both peers and instructors are present to hold you accountable for your work, and vice-versa. That is the definition of a real community.
With Tradecraft, it doesn't end right when you land your first gig – in fact, that's just the beginning. The skills and mentality I gained in my three months there are continually used in my work today. I feel supported to seek advice from the community when needed, as well as attend guest lectures that keep me up to speed outside of everyday work. There is also a great sense of relief to know that if I ever feel dissatisfied with any position in the future that I have somewhere to go.
Design is a messy process of trial and error, but if you're willing to put in the work and open to learning from both successes and failures, then entering the startup world through Tradecraft will prove to be one of the best investments of your life.
- Make your career transition with a community- 7/23/2018Audrey • Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedInAs someone who had transitioned into design (from operations) at a small startup, I was looking for a place to accelerate my learning. Tradecraft provided this not only through great mentorship from their Design Leads, Zac and Jake, but also through a supportive and open community of designers (current and alum).As others have mentioned, the client projects and job interview prep at TC are critical parts of getting a job in product design. The support continues past graduation—since my job search process was longer than most (and this was not for lack of offers), the guidance through this months-long period was amazing. The weekly meetings for design alums provided structure and helped me remove the inevitable roadblocks, whether personal or external. Since I was new to the rigorous interview process for designers, it was helpful for me to practice whiteboard challenges with peers and review outreach emails with the Head of Careers, Ariane. I couldn’t have gotten through it without the incredible support of Ariane and my friends at TC!
- Jasmine Rosen • User Experience Designer at Education.com • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I’ve researched (and even tried) other Product Design programs, but Tradecraft provides the ABSOLUTE BEST experience for the following reasons:
1. Cutting Edge Curriculum: As UX lead at Education, I’ve interviewed many candidates, read through many portfolios, and observed many whiteboard challenges. I can honestly say that Tradecraft prepares you with the tools to really stand out. Thanks to the amazing instructors that are real thought leaders in the design community, TC students know current tools and trends and that many people in the industry never heard of.
2. Real Experience: Tradecraft is set up so that you are working on real client projects right away. Look on any product designer description and the requirements will be filled from any TC project. You will learn amazing process, agile, dealing with difficult clients, and working in diverse teams. It’s set up just like a startup agency experience, but here the stakes are lower and so can you fail here, instead of in the real world.
3. Genuine help that never expires: The Tradecraft network is huge, powerful, and filtered for quality people. TC people are driven, talented, yet humble students who understand exactly what it’s like to struggle in your first role or land your first job after a career switch. Many alumni referred me to jobs, connected me with others in their network, and take time to help you proofread an article or critique a design. Tradecrafters just get it. It’s rare to find such a great network fully saturated of awesome people. Also, the career development person (and really everyone in the TC family) will help you at every stage of your career; getting your first job, struggling through your first job, negotiating your salary, and looking for your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th role. #FamilyFoLyf
- Christine • Product Manager • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I turned to Tradecraft to cultivate better professional opportunities for myself. I was already working professionally as a product manager, but feared that I would be pigeon-holed in the vertical I was in. Recruiters from that same vertical kept reaching out to me, but I wasn’t getting any leads for the top tier startups and tech companies I aimed for.
What TC helped me do:
Build a network, learn the hows and whys of networking in granular detail, way beyond just going to a bunch of meetups like I’d been doing for years
Cultivate the network I already had and help me get over mental roadblocks holding me back from reaching out to my existing network
Clarify what I wanted to get out of my career and what I hoped to gain from it, especially at this mid-level stage
Take on projects to identify my own professional strengths and weaknesses while working with teams of talented, motivated people
Get better at the skills I wanted to improve upon
What TC offers:
Cohorts of interesting, talented people who want more out of their careers- this alone was great in order for me to transition out of burnout, especially because you get to know them on a more consistent basis beyond jumping from weekend hackathon to weekend hackathon
Opportunities to connect with industry professionals who host intimate talks on campus, a great alternative to competing with mobs of people at 300-person meetups
Career coaching for the duration of your program and beyond; sooooo much more effective strategically than the career coach I had for a few sessions. Peers will also give you great feedback on your strengths that a standalone career coach might not have insights on
Yes, like everyone said- Tradecraft will not put in the work for you. I’ve considered other product design programs where the students churn out a templated portfolio and are spoon-fed the exact format to fill out, and this is NOT the place for half-baked templates. (I also checked their LinkedIn profiles and didn’t see them getting hired after graduating from their programs either…) You will grow as a designer and gravitate towards the work that YOU want to do, not get a rubber stamped outcome that’s the exact same as all of the other students.
I went through this program and attended weekly check-ins after I graduated, landing a role at a rapidly-growing tech company a few months after. The skills I gained in whiteboarding challenges and product design had a direct impact on my ability to get this role, where I use a blend of UX and product management skills for my daily responsibilities.
Less than 6 months after deciding to make a career switch, I began working as a product designer at a startup. I couldn't have made the switch so quickly without Tradecraft.
At TC, you get out of it what you put into it. If you want a structured program with lectures and projects to keep your learning on-track, TC is not for you. If you want to set your own path and have access to amazing design mentors and colleagues, TC is for you.
During my three months (plus an extra two weeks to finish out my last projects), I was able to build out a portfolio with four real client projects, get valuable design feedback, and create a practical strategy for the job hunt. Most importantly, I got to work with other highly-motivated people who challenged me to work harder and aim higher.
You can make the switch to product design without Tradecraft, but it will take longer and you won't have access to the active network of TCers who are quick to offer advice and referrals. You might not have a job directly out of TC (or even 6 months later), but TC will accelerate your career timeline.
- Product design is more important than ever- 5/25/2018Andrew • Head of Product • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
If you're interested in working for -- or even starting -- a startup, product design is an invaluable skill. I had previously invested significant time and resources into a side-project-turned-startup. It was fun and I learned a lot, but I ultimately realized I still had a lot to learn and needed to accelerate that process.
I looked at product development/design programs. I was extremely underwhelmed by some of the more well-known options (I was an industry analyst in my previous life, and I did plenty of research). I went to information sessions, read reviews (like those here), and talked to some of the instructors and "admissions" folks.
The product design instructors at Tradecraft are not only extremely competent, but they are great (and full-time) teachers. Sometimes you get one but not the other. Some programs bring in industry experts, but who don't regularly teach. They are inconsistent and you have no idea what you'll get. Tradecraft product designers also work on real-world projects, which doesn't happen at most other programs.
Regardless of which program you choose, I'd advise you figure out what you want to get out of it in advance. You can't learn everything about a topic in three months, but the better you can articulate some ideal outcomes for yourself, the better off you'll be. Tradecraft provides an ideal environment -- with great education, community, and support -- to accomplish whatever it is you want.
Note: "job assistance" as a starred category seems a little misleading, at least to me. Some programs have leads from companies and help place people directly. That is not the case at TC. They help you figure out what you want long-term, then what short-term steps you probably want to take to get there, and finally how to head in that direction. It's as helpful as the effort you put into it, but it's not like a job-matching program.
- Growth- 5/22/2018Mia • Marketing • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
- Why TC?- 5/17/2018Lisa • Product Manager • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I was in your shoes once. Fueled by an unsatisfying job, I researched and agonized over the "right" program to shell out a small fortune and risk a career and industry change into design and tech. I get it.
I chose TC because it was in SF (go where the opportunity is), small class size (my cohort was 7), precieved selectiveness (filter out non-motivated folks), comprehensive curriculum and real client work. But I graduated with a different understanding of why TC was the best choice so I'm going to give a run down of what I found most valuable in the curriculum, instructors, projects, networks and finish with some words of advice.
Curriculum: It's an intense amount of material to learn and practice in such a short time so ramping up on the basic technical skills before is key (eg Sketch). Once at the program you'll learn the approaches and frameworks in the design thinking process that is in my opinion the core of great product designers.
Instructors: Nick and Misha give great foundational courses in introducing nontech folks like myself into the SV culture and mindset. Zac, lead design instructor is one of the best teachers I've had while Ariane, the head of careers, is there for you every step of the way (she helped me prep for an interview at a last minutes notice). Thomas, the growth instructor is also excellent.
Projects: You'll be involved in several and they are a hit or miss depending on the group dynamic, client, and scope of work but at the same time that's reflective of real life. The value here is understanding through the experience your strengths/weaknesses, which part of design process you actually enjoy (research, UX, hifi?), and what type of role you are best suited for (lead, sublead, member?) etc...
Network: Aside from instructors, hands down the most valuable and greatest resource. I cold emailed and drank countless coffees talking to 20+ alumni. Folks from the earliest TC days were happy to chat and dispel their wisdom and there's a sense of community and support I can't see any comparable program having. I 100% would not have the role I have now without the network.
1. TC is a kitchen. You can shape the program to fit you. You want to part time intern and part time TC? Go for it. You hate sitting in lectures and just want to network your way to a job? It's been done. You interested in both growth and design? Or design and BD? You can. Just be aware of the tradeoffs and whether this approach is going to get you what you want. I realized for eg I wanted to be a PM and not a designer so I focused on parts of the curriculum relevant and sat out on others.
2. If you're obsessed with a product, company, person, industry, problem, TC is the perfect place to work on a project you either start yourself or bring in. You'll have the support of instructors, peers and low downside if you fail. I can't emphasize enough the importance of owning your projects and work.
So yea, stop reading and apply already. This is a commitment and an investment in your potential future self that's worth it.
- I’ve made many bad decisions but...- 3/14/2018Tiffany • Product Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
Joining Tradecraft was the best decision I ever made for myself. I graduated TC in September 2017 and landed a job as a product designer a couple months later. I am 100% sure I could not have done it without the help and support of TC. What sets Tradecraft apart from other programs is the real world experience gained from working with startups in the Bay Area and the amazing community which includes staff, students and mentors. Even after graduation, the staff is still available to help you through your first, second, third job etc. in your new career. Unlike other programs, TC really values fostering a sense of community, even after graduation.
As many other reviewers have mentioned, you really get what you put into it. TC provides the environment and tools to help you succeed but it’s up to you to do as little or as much as you want with it. The real learning curve starts in your new job but TC gave me the foundations to build upon. I am an extremely shy and introverted person but with the help and guidance of TC, I learned to send cold emails, ask strangers out for coffee, and became comfortable with design interviews; things I never thought I was capable of doing. If you told me a year ago I’d become a design consultant at the company I’m now at, I would have laughed (and then cried) in your face. TC literally changed my life.
The BEST part about TC is the people you’ll meet. It’s amazing to be surrounded by people in the same boat as you, with similar interests and all trying to achieve similar goals. When you go through the highs and lows of learning a new skill and job searching together, it’s hard not to become close. I’ve learned so much from my peers and remain close with them. I took a job in my home state but still go back to SF every few weeks to visit the friends I met in the program.
- Thomas • Growth Marketing Lead • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
As I write this review, I am more than 6,000 miles away from home. In July 2017 I moved to San Francisco to go through Tradecraft and get a job in a Silicon Valley startup. I had the chance to chat with two people who people made the same move I was making and had achieved the goal I was after. All I knew, was that I was going to have to work harder than ever to make it a reality. Nothing more.
At Tradecraft, nothing is handed to you, it is all earned. In these 12 weeks, you do not only learn (in my case) Growth Marketing, but you learn to navigate through startup culture, you learn about yourself, and you find out what you are made of.
- Expect to go through a well-rounded Growth curriculum that will allow you to to take on that role upon completion of the program.
- Expect to put yourself in uncomfortable positions, that will make you question what you are doing, constantly.
- Expect to surround yourself with amazing people that want you to succeed and accomplish your goals.
I left Tradecraft with incredible connections, friendships, and mentors. I was given the tools that I needed to put myself in a position to win as the first Growth hire in a Series A startup.
Remember, at Tradecraft, nothing is handed to you. You get what you give. If you show that you are willing to work, that you are open to being advised, coached, and mentored, you will be putting yourself in a great position. You will have the support you need to go through these 12 weeks, as well as the support you need post Tradecraft. You’ll join an incredible community that will stand behind you when you most need it.
- Finally found my place- 3/1/2018Kevin • Design Technologist • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I went to two onsite bootcamps and one online bootcamp until I ended up at Tradecraft.
After attending all of them, I was still wandering around lost and unsure of my future. Although my time at these other camps were valuable and contributed to where I'm at today, it was Tradecraft that truly sealed the deal.
Tradecraft provided me the tools, the knowledge, the people, and opportunities that I couldn't have got anywhere else. I think the most helpful thing that boosted my resume and portfolio is the real world experience that I got from clients partnered with Tradecraft. Being in SF and working to solve problems that various startups were facing gave me unparalleled work experience that I could not have gotten anywhere else.
- One of the best decisions I've made!- 1/8/2018Aashay • Growth Manager • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I moved to the Bay Area in mid-2016 to work on a startup idea but about 6 months in, I decided not to pursue it. This experience taught me a couple of key things: 1) Coming from a non-tech background, I needed to build some hard skills which I lacked and 2) I needed to build a better network and support system being new to San Francisco.
Around the same time, I heard about Tradecraft through a friend who had just graduated from the program. With his recommendation, I decided to take the leap and applied for the Growth track. After completing the program and taking some time to reflect, I've got to say that Tradecraft has exceeded my expectations.
Overall, the experience was incredible. I've made some amazing connections and met people that I can truly call friends. There's something about being thrown in the deep-end for 12 weeks to figure out what your goals are, what you should aim for etc that teaches you a lot about yourself.
As far as curriculum goes, you get a well-rounded understanding of growth and the various aspects you need to be aware of. It's also an opportunity to think about which parts of growth and marketing you find interesting that you may want to specialize in. However, the most valuable part of the curriculum was working on real projects with real startups. This is a great way not only to put your skills to practical use, but also building your leadership skills by working on and leading teams. I also ended up doing the BD & Sales track, although to me the most valuable parts of this track were what I would called Startups 101. The name of the track, in that sense, is a bit misleading and is much more than just BD and sales.
Thomas is a fun, engaging instructor and most importantly, he was always available to help clarify something you might have trouble with or push you to make the most of your potential. For BD & Sales, Misha made the classes super interesting with the readings he assigned beforehand, all of which are valuable and useful far beyond the 12 weeks of the program. He also recommends several frameworks that he's found useful in his own experience as a founder, which unlocks your ability to think about BD, sales and startups in a more structured way.
In terms of job assistance, Ariane puts things into perspective right from week 1 and its clear that you need to start thinking about jobs well before the end of the 12 weeks. She also helps you hone your story, be aware of your weaknesses and offers the opportunity to practice interviews with her so you are well prepared when the time comes. I was also lucky enough to meet my future employer at a mentor talk hosted at Tradecraft, another invaluable part of the program (which you get to attend even after the 12 weeks are complete).
Ultimately, I went in looking to gain valuable, hard skills, and build a network I trusted and left with much, much more!
FINAL NOTE: If you are looking for a program that lays it all out on a platter, Tradecraft is probably not for you. But if you are willing to roll up your sleeves, put in the work, and enjoy the grind, then Tradecraft is the perfect ecosystem to make you thrive and prepare for startup life.
- Marjan Soleimanieh • Director of Product Marketing • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
As cheesy as my headline is, that is how I feel about Tradecraft. I came into the program already having startup experience but I wanted to get to the next level fast. I had been working in operations/logistics and "sexy" SV companies but I wanted to ideally start my own company. I signed up for the growth track and on day one told Misha I had an idea for a company I had been playing with. He pushed me to pursue it immediately and the rest became history.
My entire TC cohort and many of the people around became engrossed in helping me make this dream a reality. People I never knew before volunteered hours to help me build a website, landing pages, and proper content. Ariane, Misha, Russ, and Nick spent countless hours giving me feedback and giving me the support I needed when I wanted to give up.
I made it a goal to network aggressively and met 2-3 people a week through the TC network. This helped tremendously as these people have become my family here in SF and my sounding boards. After a month of graduating, I honestly decided I didn't want to pursue the startup idea but I had multiple job offers lined up. It's not that TC put them on my lap, they just gave me the tools and support to make it happen.
If you're stuck on the money part, let it go. You'll make the money back two fold.
- It teaches you to think like a startup- 6/13/2017Casper • Head of Product & Growth • Graduate • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I finished the program about two months ago now. I enrolled in the growth marketing program and took some product design classes. Here is my background:
After I left my job as a product marketing manager at a game company, I had to leave the country because of my visa situation. I was debating whether to leave right away or spent all my savings on enrolling in a bootcamp program. I was looking at Tradecraft versus Hack Reactor. I know everyone wants to be a coder now, I was no different. However, I know I couldn't see myself coding, so I chose to broaden my skill and get to be part of this community.
My overall experience has been amazing. I've met new friends in the program who have various background, but now want to break into tech startup. Everyone is so talented, and they work hard to achieve their goals, but one thing that stood out is we never forget to think about how we could help others along the way. Throughout this amazing network, I also got to know a few alumni who are now my mentors.
In terms of curriculum, I didn't gain much out of the growth marketing because I already have some experience with it. But Thomas (growth lead) was a wonderful resource for you to dive deeper into the area that you're interested in. I learned a lot more from product design program because it is something challenging that I had to push myself to go through. Zac and Jake (design leads) are very helpful.
Because my goal wasn't to stay in Silicon Valley right after graduation, I didn't benefit much from the job search process. However, this is not to mention that I got to know the co-founders of the company that I'm working at right now in Indonesia through Misha (co-founder of Tradecraft).
Throughout the program, you have to push yourself. It is just like a startup. It's not much structure. You get what you put in. Good luck!
- Don't call it a bootcamp- 5/6/2017Keenan • Graduate • Course: Growth • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I finished the Tradecraft growth track about 6 weeks ago. I'm in my mid-twenties and have had a few jobs that I fell into mostly by chance through social connections. They weren't bad jobs or companies, and had I been more proactive and intentional about pursuing career goals, I probably could have found great success at those companies.
But I wasn't, and I didn't -- I was frustrated with my work and didn't really understand why. All I knew was I needed a change.
After leaving my previous role and making (and breaking) several new life plans, including living abroad and applying to MBA programs, I stumbled upon this exact webpage and read reviews about Tradecraft.
On one hand, I wondered why anyone would pay such a high price for a three month program when there were online programs with roughly equivalent curricula for a fraction of the cost or none at all. On the other, I was struck by the almost universally perfect reviews -- the online programs couldn't match that.
Anyone considering grad school along with Tradecraft will realize that the price is roughly equivalent, but with far less commitment and time between investment and realized benefit. My fear with an MBA was finding out 2 years and $200k later that it was the wrong move. The fact is, if you want to make an investment in your career, it will cost you significant time and money. In that sense, Tradecraft is like a condensed version of grad school.
But, the emphasis of Tradecraft is very different from a typical grad school or any other three month bootcamp. The curriculum checks a box to ensure that you know enough to get the job you want (hence the lower rating). Tradecraft's real thesis is that you'll get where you want to be if you:
1) Define clear career goals for years down the road, then reverse engineer it to find out what you should work on today and tomorrow to achieve that.
2) Cultivate a network and provide value to that network - those people will help you get to your next opportunity on the road to achieving your long term goals.
3) Practice at full speed with real client projects as you learn these subjects.
That sounds simple and intuitive and can even be accomplished without a structured program, but is more easily said than done. Tradecraft greases the rails for you to build on those ideas (*note: it's still on you to do the work - there's not a lot of hand-holding here) with instructors to answer questions and discuss concepts, career coaching to encourage and guide you, and a network of hundreds of current students and grads to meet, collaborate with, and keep one another accountable.
Coming from out of state, that was crucial in my decision to enroll in Tradecraft and ultimately stay in the Bay Area. The people I've met through the program are some of my best friends (and my primary social group out here), and everyone I've met has been likeminded and ambitious in pursuing their career goals, which helps enormously in staying on track. Tradecrafters are often found at the office working late into the night, but keep the social atmosphere welcoming and fun -- you might find these same people at Temple nightclub on Friday night.
And now, after job searching for several weeks, with the majority of my promising job leads coming from the TC network, I am working in growth marketing at an awesome company with several other TC alumni.
I might have found my way to this position and mentality after wandering on my own for a while longer, but I doubt I could have done so in just three months in a new city without the guidance of Tradecraft. In a couple more months, my newfound (doubled) income will pay off my tuition debt. But, Tradecraft's valuable network, mentors, and other resources will continue to be available to me into perpetuity, as long as I make the effort to be available and valuable to them as well.
If that kind of network and experience sounds helpful to your career, I strongly encourage you to apply and have a conversation with Nick about Tradecraft.
- Moving from Sales into Design- 5/3/2017Jon • Designer • Graduate • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I had been researching programs to help me get into design as a full-time career. Previously, I was working in sales at tech startup in SF but I couldn’t see myself doing it long term. I heard about Tradecraft at a Design Details Meetup. It winded up being the best professional decision I’ve made since moving to the bar area. Here’s why I had a great experience:
My projects at Tradecraft were activities I could actually use in my portfolio. I had the opportunity to work on real problems with engineers and founders. I learned how to manage a team of designers. All of this was critical for landing a job post-TC.
Having played around with a few online curriculums, I determined that I wanted a full-time, immersive program to help make this career move a reality. At Tradecraft, there was enough traditional class work to have an understanding of my craft, but there were also tons of supplemental materials for a deeper dive on certain topics.
The small cohort sizes helped me build a relationship with multiple members of the Tradecraft team. They really helped me understand what I can do to provide value and feel good about my career and my story. In addition to the staff, I was surrounded by a bunch of really smart driven people both in my cohort, and in the cohorts before and after my time there. I still lean on the community for feedback and support.
I hope you got something out of this review, but as I look to the other reviews on this site, I feel like I’m echoing a lot of what was already said. In closing, if you are seriously considering Tradecraft, I hope you are willing to invest the time and energy into getting the most out of this program. Do as much work as you can ahead of time. Just like anything in life, you get out of it what you put into it. With Tradecraft, there’s no limit to the value you can extract if you’re willing to do the work!
- New grad trying to break into tech- 4/23/2017Rhea • Product Designer • Student • Course: Product Design • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
By the end of my senior year of college I knew that I wanted to be designing experiences for users. I was intrigued by the tech scene in the Bay Area and wanted to be part of the innovation that was happening there daily. While graduating with a liberal arts degree gave me all the desirable “soft skills”, what I lacked was the marketable “hard skills” that would land me a junior level design role. I signed up for Tradecraft after doing a bit of research but still not really knowing what I was signing up for.
It was a dive into the deep end. I was a new grad, with work experience that extended no further than random summer internships and on-campus tutoring jobs, looking to take on a highly technical role at a startup. Tradecraft was the transformative experience I needed: not only did I become a stronger designer, I was able to confidently talk about my design skills and understand myself as an employee and coworker on a deeper level.
Tradecraft gives you the tools, resources, and mentorship to excel. I now have the most amazing mentors, friends, and support network. Just a short two months after graduating from Tradecraft I found myself on a three person design team at a startup doing way more than I ever could have dreamed of right out of college.
- 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.