Bootcamps are a totally unique experience. From the fast-paced learning environment to the intense hands-on approach, the the tools you’ll need to succeed at a code bootcamp can be very different from those needed at a traditional college.
Will, Co-Founder and Program Director of DESIGNATION, offers his insights on how to get the most out of a design-focused bootcamp. Whether you choose to attend DESIGNATION or any of the other design programs out there, here are the top five skills we’ve observed that will help you get the most out of the experience.
First Things First: You Will Get Out What You Put In
With most bootcamps, the work is going to be fast-paced and focused on skill based results. While many programs will be genuinely committed and invested in your success, it is your hard work, dedication, passion and commitment that will be your best assets. The harder you work, the more you will learn, and the faster you will succeed. At the end of the day it will be your dedication to the program that will determine your success.
The path from A to B is seldom straight, and as a designer you will tackle problems unique to the ever-evolving commercial landscape. Knowing how to leverage the tool-set specific to each project is the heart of what it means to be a designer. Plus, challenges provoke creativity. At Designation, a phrase we sometimes use is, “If this process was straightforward, we wouldn’t be designers, we’d be engineers.”
We’re Stronger Together Than Alone
Design is a hugely collaborative process. So at DESIGNATION, all of our in-person projects are collaborative and team-based. That’s because groups of people, through division of labor and task management, are more productive together than alone. We facilitate a variety of collaboration workshops throughout the program because it’s a skill that’s so crucial to success in a design environment.
Time Management is Key
The projects that look best in your portfolio have ambitious scopes requiring careful time management. Given enough time, anyone can find a design solution. But doing so under pressure, within a defined time frame is what separates the professional from the amateur.
It’s important to find a course that will not only help you build your design skills, but also coach you in understanding the scope of a project.
At DESIGNATION, all programs have assigned project managers for each team to oversee and manage each project’s scope. Developing good time management strategies will help you succeed both during your bootcamp and throughout your career.
That’s the phrase every DESIGNATION designer hears dozens of times throughout the program. That’s because in design, there are seldom clear-cut answers. Only through iteration is it possible to produce professional-caliber work.
The true value of a bootcamp is in their ability to train you in a specific skillset in a condensed time frame. By equipping you with the opportunities and projects to build a professional portfolio, they enable you to take the next step in your career.
And while we don’t consider DESIGNATION to be a bootcamp, we still feel we offer the most comprehensive and successful design training experience in the world, as demonstrated by our 94% hiring success rate.
Wherever you go, make sure to keep your eyes on the prize (a new job). Find a bootcamp that will give you the skills you need, and leverage a few of these tips and you’re sure to succeed.