Do I have to have tech experience to be successful at Prime?

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

Contemporary Podcasts to pique your curiosity

Podcasts are an incredibly efficient and fun way to dive into the field. Here are some recommended by alumni and local UXers!
  • 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 (No longer maintained, but still a good place to start and identify recognized practitioners to further investigate)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

Beginners are always welcome within local community learning events! Consider attending events that address UX, design, coding, psychology/behavior, and anything else in the ‘humans and technology’ categories! Challenge yourself to meet one new person and learn one new thing about them at each event you attend!
Local groups that host regular events:
  • 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
Where to find additional events:

Email newsletters with value

Foundational books to read

The following usability and user research books (available at most libraries) are well-known in the field and will provide you with a great foundation in the philosophy and mechanics of the practice:



Technical Foundations

  • (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).
JavaScript Foundations
Learning JavaScript is like learning a foreign language. Your goal in these foundational tutorials is to simply familiarize yourself with basic "grammar" and get used to the process of typing out small amounts of code. It can be a lot of new things all at once, so give yourself plenty of time and patience and remember you will not need to memorize content. Don't get down on yourself for having to look things up and refer to examples; that's how everyone begins their learning journey!
  • (10 hrs) Complete Codecademy's Introduction to JavaScript track. If you get stuck on any exercises, read the comments below for solutions to keep progressing through the tutorial. It's all about building familiarity with concepts at this stage.
  • (10+ hrs) FreeCodeCamp's Basic JavaScript Introduction. Now that you've had an opportunity to see basic coding concepts once, take another review in a site that introduces JavaScript in a slightly different way. You'll pick up additional understanding and reinforcement on this new language!
Taking Code Writing Skills Further
  • (many hours) Edabit code challenges. Only tackle the "Easiest" JavaScript problems. Writing code gets more complicated, fast, just like writing in a foreign language. Look up concepts and syntax as you work through your code, that's doing it right! Finally, give yourself credit for your practice; upload your solutions to a GitHub repository called "JavaScript Practice".