The ‘boot camp‘ schools are smart.
We mean… they are business-smart. They know… for a fact… that if you put in 40+ hours of your time doing “prep-work”… you are going to really feel like that was worth something, right? And – MOST people… aren’t going to let that go…
Prep work is mostly psychology
We can’t really call it a scam… but it’s certainly doing more than most people think.
- Can you use computers? Enough to be self-sufficient? (not ask too many questions)
- Can you do things with no help? (cost the school zero resources?)
- Do you complain when things are broken or confusing? (take up our time)
- Can you finish something all the way through (self-control and enough focus to do it alone)
So – you already put in 80+ hours! Not only did you prove that you have a lot of time on your hands… but you ALSO – got caught in a “loss aversion” trap! It feels like you’re already 1/4th of the way there! You can’t stop now…
Even the smartest people get caught up in it.
Once you’ve had the “Sales” call… and the “Coaching session” – and done the “prep course“… and get used to the super special proprietary tools in that prep-course… (the ones that you are now reliant on) you are REALLY likely to pay whatever they ask. And – the money isn’t the problem. We’re not saying they are too expensive. It’s just – is it the right school for you and your goals?
We don’t hate the game
Honestly… people waste so much time contemplating and choosing and researching and considering… that – we are on the side of the salespeople. We think it’s great. People need to be pushed over the edge – and to just get in there and DO IT. But – what they are selling, (so far) (in all of our research) – is bad. We hate things that are unthoughtful. The people deserve better.
Beyond that: there are technical assessments and behavioral interviews. These are designed to check you out and make sure you’re a good fit… but they also have the side effect of making people feel insecure – and it plays into our human desire to be accepted. When the tables are turned – and the school is a gatekeeper – then people start to feel desperate.
We can’t have people in our classes that are volatile, addicts, disruptive, or really – people we don’t think would benefit. You’ve got to draw the line somewhere for the greater goals, but – where do you draw that line? Curious and curiouser.
We’re generally averse to the idea
We may just be bad business people (highly likely). But (secretly) our 6-month program IS the prep-course – for your career. There’s seriously no way to “prep” you for it (besides this page) – without undoing our entire teaching style. Forcing you NOT TO DO THINGS is 3x more important than actually doing them.
(and of course, we have a bunch of big plans for future courses – that will be included in your tuition… (very cool stuff!) but enough about that!)
We teach you the things: and we do it all IN THE COURSE!
- Incompetent? Perfect. Bring it on. You can take the course as many times as you need to.
- Need help? Of course, you do! That’s the point of school!
- Do you complain when things are broken or confusing? Perfect!
- Can you finish something all the way through? If not – we’re going to teach you how!
For our school: If you try and go cram a bunch of “code” – you’ll probably just make it harder on yourself… (and for us!) HOWEVER:
There ARE some things you can do to prepare
Some people have a month or 2 or more before the next available PE session.
It’ll be worth the wait.
Work in progress!
Here’s a list of ‘stuff’ – in the order you should check it out IF you have time before March…..
We’ll fill it up with things as we think of them this week: Then going to make a video about it!!
Check back – and refresh often 🚀
Get EXTRA clear on what this course is about
Read the articles. Watch the videos. Ask us as many questions as you can muster up.
We aren’t mean… but – this shit is serious. We might say a naughty word – and we will push some boundaries.
If you’re really deeply aligned with a particular ideology – then watch out. Make sure you can either set it aside – or that you can handle our irreverence. We’ll probably critique all sorts of projects and designs and you’ll probably see some not-so-conservative websites. Are you ok with that?
Hopefully – we won’t need to add clauses like this in the future – but if you want to be in the class, you can’t be hateful or maniacal.
Slightly racist, insecure, homophobic, cries a lot, confused about pronouns? We can handle that. Ignoring the reality that things get messy doesn’t help.
Only conversations can change minds. Design might just be the thing to set you free. We accept you as a human. You’ll have to be confident that you can accept everyone else that same way.
If you’ve got an addiction or some serious stuff that we don’t know about it, or the mob is after you – we totally get it. Life gets weird… but those things need to be dealt with first – or we can’t guarantee success. Be honest with yourself. We’ll wait for you.
Get clear and present with those ideas before you waste any more of your time here. If you’re good to go – then keep on reading.
Get your finances in order
fuckeda little weird right now.
Make a plan… make a budget… get ready.
If you’ve got a buddy, plan up! Do whatever you can to centralize your energy.
It’s hard! But – try. (there may be a 2k stimulus! Make the most of it)
The LEAST stress possible – is the best, right?
If you don’t have enough money – use this time to try and make some and save some up!
DON’T get COVID! (be vigilant!)
Get a consistant sleep schedule
… even if you have a wild schedule…
Eventually… if you want to work at a “tech company” or anywhere with regular business hours / a local design shop… a remote position (even in another time zone) – you can’t just arbitrarily wake up at 3 pm for no good reason.
(some of you work night-shifts etc… but – you already get the point!)
Clean your house
It’s dirty! (or maybe not!) – but / you know…
Clean the curtains. Wipe the dust off everything. Clean it all! Real good.
[[ insert a ton of really great podcasts ]] ANYTHING This American life – or Radio Lab – or Snap Judgement – for a start.
The more prepared you are / lifestyle-wise – exercise etc… the better your future will be!
Get a proper work-space / healthy desk area set up
[[ explain the ergonomics… the family life / the ‘space’ – and all that jazz!!! ]]
Also, you 💯% NEED a good computer…
Collect cool visual things you see
Make a folder on your computer – or a real folder – and cut things out when you like them / from magazines – or wherever. Take screenshots of any interesting visual designs or user interfaces.
You can even record your phone’s screen. If you run into an especially great website or app (or it’s really really confusing and terrible) – you can video a little of it – of screen shot it. Save all that stuff – so we can talk about it later.
[[ maybe insert a video about how to take screenshots? ]]
Stop watching crappy TV
Take a break from the masked singer – and commercials and stuff…
If at all possible – switch it out with the resources on this page. (of course, you can blow off some steam and watch a movie… but there’s NO REASON to binge-watch 10 seasons of that show) (unless it’s the office)
IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT: Watch Master Class instead!
- Ron Finley teaches gardening
- This guy is SOOOO cool. Such a great voice.
- Timbaland Teaches Producing and Beatmaking
- You don’t need to care about music at all. This is one of the most positive and fun pieces of television ever created. You’ll probably cry with joy. Timbaland’s smile transcends all
The Social Dilemma, Freakanomics, Helvetica, Rams,
- Ron Finley teaches gardening
Big picture planning!
Now, there’s a proprietary system…
(Derek has taken TONS of classes to research for this one.. and stuff like Seth Godin‘s workshops) – and so PE is WAY more than just coding… and one of the things that both Ivy and Derek are doing right now – is a framework for designing your life. We aren’t going to name it – because we don’t know if that is legal… but the premise is simple – and not that unlike things we’ve worked through before in our lives.
We think you should do it! – and if you send us an email – we’ll give you the outline for how to do it.
Learn to make a few great (and fast) healthy meals
… (Ivy said she’d provide recipes!)
Read a book (or two) on a completely different topic.
It’s not just the reading…
It’s to remember how it feels to sit. How to put all of your focus on 1 thing. How to live outside of your phone + notifications + instant gratification and dopamine –
and just sit.
If you can’t sit and read for 40 minutes without feeling like the sky is falling… then – you know in your heart… there’s a bigger problem. Leave your phone snd your computers and your watches and your earpods and your everything – AT HOME… and go to the park – and READ. Really… we don’t care if you read. Just SIT. Just be alive for a bit – and get a new perspective.
[[ get Missy’s poetry list in here! ]]
Watch a movie — but not just for passive entertainment. Watch a tough one. Have your friend watch it too – and then call them afterward and talk about the plot, the characters, the lighting, the cinematography, the meaning – and the way it made you feel.
[[ Insert bailey’s list of movies ]]
More stuff soon...
Get great wifi
Seriously. You need a solid internet connection. If it cost $20 more – it’s WORTH IT. You’ll waste a lot of valuable time trying to mess around with a bad internet connection. Make it happen. You can get a speed test here.
20 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up at least.
Read: "Don't Make Me Think"
Link to the book. Again – we always suggest physical books – because you can mark in them and highlight them and bla bla…
Watch these talks
- Just Enough Research: Erica Hall: https://vimeo.com/129039134
- The Mom Test: Robert Fitzpatrick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG1Fa-t4AEQ
- Don’t Make Me Think: Steve Krug: https://digital.gov/event/2018/06/14/usability-testing-with-steve-krug/
- How Designers Destroyed the World: Mike Monteiro: https://vimeo.com/122022963
- The Faker You Are, The More Successful You Will Be: Pablo Stanely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEg5ySTUGxE
- The three ways that good design makes you happy: Don Norman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlQEoJaLQRA
- The Elements of User Experience: Jesse James Garrett: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuVWKdxpue0 && https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgTE6QRumwo
Most of these are books – and these are their authors talking about them. We DO think you should read these books… but – the videos will be enough for now – and then we’ll talk about ALL OF THE BOOKS in the class… and then when you’re out there in the field working – you can read them in the context of your job. Don’t try to read everything and cram this stuff now. Just enjoy the introductions.
[[bonus points!!! write about each talk. What did you learn? What did you think about the speaker? Speaking style? How effective was it? What was great! What could have been better?]]
A little more “technical”
but fun intros to what is possible and what we’ll be doing:
- Choose Your Animation Adventure: Val Head: https://vimeo.com/289691242
Read/listen to "The Design of Everyday Things"
DON’T take notes. Just listen to it – or read it. Get your pallet wet. It’s a little ‘formal’ – but really – it’s just
Just take the info like a fun TV show. The details will be much more useful 3 months from now.
You can buy the physical book (which we recommend vs digital so you can write in it) (see this video about “how to read a book“) or you can listen to it… but either way MAKE SURE it’s the revised and new edition.
More stuff coming soon!
Email us – if you are done with everything and…. oh yeah… we WILL give you more. ; )
Mac computer? Do I have to?
Let’s think it through here…. (soon) (and I’ll add a video)
Some notes for now:
- Apple education pricing (usually a bit off the top + a bonus) and they have their own ‘no-interest’ option now!
- Simply Mac is ‘affirm’ associated – and offers super low-interest options (we’ve bought lots of stuff there. Even the chair I’m sitting in! from Herman miller)