My Flatiron Bootcamp Experience
When I first figured out I was interested in product design, I researched the field and spoke with product designers at my current company in order to get advice. Through my research, I noticed the product designers who had similar backgrounds to me, all took courses at a coding/technical Bootcamp.
My first choice was the Lambda School for UX/UI design. I proceeded to apply and was ecstatic when I got in! Unfortunately, a few weeks before starting, the program got canceled due to reasons unknown. I felt crushed and defeated in the moment. I felt stuck in my current job with no room to grow. I let a week go by as I vented to family and close friends. In the midst of it all, I remembered that a recruiter had reached out to me from the Flatiron School, months ago. I did further research on the Flatiron School and spoke to one of their admissions coaches, and from this point, I knew that I had nothing to lose.
I learned that the Flatiron School had a part-time program that integrated with my full-time workload seamlessly. I also learned that Flatiron had a money-back guarantee if you did not get a job in the field that you study. And a bonus was that all of the classes were online and recorded. From here, I was sold.
The course extended over about 10 months that were broken down into 5 phases. The first phase focused heavily on understanding the basics of UX/UI. After the first phase, you have to choose a path that you want to dedicate most of your studies. I choose UI being that I have previous experience as a graphic designer and found user interaction quite intriguing.
The next 2 phases ramped you up to gain the skills needed to become a product designer. The class was small with about 8 students at most. We learned the best industry and design practices for product designers. We also learned advanced skills in Sketch, Figma, Principle, and others.
In the last two phases, learning was more of a hands-off approach. Phase 4 was designing a product for an actual client which was really fun! I got to work with 2 other designers to build the most viable product for a real-life company. I would say this is when I learned the most. We didn't have any mandatory classes, rather we had meetings with clients and teachers.
The last but most important phase was building our portfolio. Even though we were so close to the finish line, we still had to push through and build a portfolio that ultimately lands us a job. Most of the work in this phase was done on our own time. We just had to schedule times to speak with our teacher about the updates we are making and changes that needed to be made.
Overall, my experience with the Flatiron School has been a great one. I would not know what I know today about product design without them. Also, my career trajectory has done a complete 360 as well. I am now heading closer in the direction of being a product designer than I could have ever done on my own!
Unfortunately, this program has shut down due to COVID. If you are interested in a career in product design, one that I can recommend is the full-time UX Design Immersive course at General Assembly. The only downside is that this course is full-time. If you work full-time like me, I would look at other technical schools that have similar qualities to my experience!