No! Our curriculum is designed for beginners. The majority of our students are career switching adults, so you will not be the only person in the classroom without previous experience. We highly recommend that you explore free resources and/or do some informational interviews to prepare yourself for the program, but we welcome students with a variety of professional, educational, and personal backgrounds.
We also highly recommend candidates do this learning and research prior to applying. This may help to inform your understanding and preparedness for the application and interview!
Recommended Learning Resources
USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN
Contemporary Podcasts to pique your curiosity
- 99% Invisible: Discussions about the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world
- Mixed-Methods: Learn about the different approaches to research and how to implement them in practice
- UX Podcast: A variety of topics related to business, technology, and people – the key components of a UX practice!
- The UX Intern: The host asks beginner kinds of questions to notable design leaders. (No longer maintained, but still a good place to start and identify recognized practitioners to further investigate)
Ways to meet the local UX community
- UXPA MN: A local chapter of the national organization, with monthly events on Thursday evenings (A student membership is 100% recommended!)
- Hexagon UX: An inclusive space for womxn and non-binary practitioner
Email newsletters with value
- Inside Design blog: Contributions from the team at Invisionapp (a common prototyping tool)
- Alertbox: Email newsletter with timely topics, research results, and learning opportunities from Nielsen-Norman Group
Foundational books to read
- The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald Norman
- Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights, by Steve Portigal
- Don't Make Me Think, by Steve Krug
FULL STACK SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
- (1 hour) Khan Academy's Internet 101 tutorial.
- Learn the Command Line (parts one and two). Building a basic understanding of command line is important for later topics like Git, software module installations, and web servers.
- (2 hours) Level up Tuts' free How to Make Your First Website. This will reinforce HTML and CSS from your resume challenge, share several new tricks, and introduce the concepts of web hosting and FTP (file transfer protocol, i.e., a common way of uploading files on the web).