What will I not learn in a UX bootcamp? UX Question #96

Watch on YouTube

YouTube player

Listen to the podcast

Read the transcript

Cayson from Houston asks: What will I not learn in a UX bootcamp?

I love that question. Thanks for asking, Cayson. This is UX Question number 96 and I am Ben Judy.

What will I not learn in a UX bootcamp? Well, in episode 6 I talked about bootcamps. Generally you will learn basic UI design, essential UX principals, and a generic UX design process which you will never follow exactly in the real world. And you’ll definitely craft a resume and portfolio that look like everyone else’s.

I don’t mean to belittle these bootcamps. But in just a few months, you’re not going to learn everything.

A bootcamp will not teach you hustle, perseverance, grit, or curiosity. I lead with these things because you really need these to build a career as a UX designer. You must have a desire to hustle, to work long hours, and do whatever a project requires. And your first projects are going to be the worst you ever do. You need grit to push through that and stay curious.

You won’t learn advanced UI design skills or techniques. Don’t think you’ll emerge from three to six months of study as an ‘expert’ at anything, much less something as nuanced and complex as product interface design. At best, you’ll be introduced to the most basic design fundamentals.

You won’t master holistic UX design. As I’ve said before, UX is a multidisciplinary field that encompasses not just digital product design, but also product strategy, user research, information architecture and content strategy, macro and micro interaction design, accessibility—I could go on. You might read about these terms in a bootcamp, but you won’t get to practice them all, let alone master them.

You won’t learn what a design system is, really. The bootcamp might teach you to create a small component library in Figma. But building and supporting a mature, enterprise design system for a product ecosystem at scale is a whole other thing.

You won’t learn how hard it is to get a job in UX. You have to grind and persevere and network to land that first job. It’s always a tough job market for beginners.

I don’t say any of this to discourage you. The good bootcamps do offer a solid curriculum that can help you launch your career in UX design. I’ve seen them work for a lot of people. Just ignore the marketing. It takes years of practice and real experience to become a UX expert. Set realistic expectations of how much you can learn in just a few months. At best, a bootcamp is the first step in a long but fulfilling journey.

Keep asking your questions about UX. Next time, I’ll answer the question: What is a user story?

Referenced in this episode:

Support UX Questions

Visit us on Patreon and check out the great perks at each level of support!

Become a sponsor

You can advertise your products or services—our promote yourself as a UX professional—by sponsoring episodes of UX Questions! See the Sponsor page for details.

Hire Ben Judy

Ben is available for consulting engagements as a workshop facilitator, mentor, design coach, and more! See the Ben page for details.