Design for The Web is
A 9-month mentorship program
For people who want to become confident web developers and designers.
Just starting out? Already in the industry? Want to pivot?
Save yourself years of unnecessary struggle, bad habits, opportunity cost - and have a ton of fun learning with us instead.
Watch the intro video above - and then go ahead and apply and meet the instructors.
Frequently asked questions
What will I learn?
DFTW teaches a full range of skills to research, plan, design, prototype, test, build, research, plan, design, prototype, test, and build sites and applications for The Web. (See what we did there…)
This is totally different than a bootcamp. Apply now - or keep reading to learn more.
How does the course work?
DFTW is a 9-month program with daily accountability meetings, lessons, lectures, videos, challenges, team projects, and office hours. The program requires 2-3 hours of focused time each day. Six days a week, you’ll receive a new lesson. Each lesson has a set of challenges for you to complete and clear ways to determine success. You’ll work in our shared communication space and have the ability to share and video chat etc.
DFTW is not a “follow along and copy the teacher” course. You’ll be given the tools (tool by tool/day by day) and then you will decide what projects to design and build based on your interests. Between the challenges, projects, and real client work: from day 1 – you are building a compelling portfolio.
Even if you have a full-time job, we can work with your schedule. Apply now - or keep reading to learn more.
Who is this class for?
- Would you like to learn the world’s most powerful language? (visual design)
- Would you like to learn to wield the world’s most powerful communications platform? (the web)
- Are you undecided about college or your career path?
- Have you had a hard time learning code or finding your path in the field?
- Do you want to learn to “code” but are unsure where to start?
- Do want to change the world and fight evil with the power of design?
- Are you a visual designer or project manager who wants to add to your skillset?
- Do you currently work in another role in the industry and want to pivot?
- Do you want a job in one of the fastest-growing, highest-paying occupations Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics?
Does this sound like you? Apply now - or keep reading to learn more.
What type of job can I get?
After you complete DFTW you will be well suited for one (or many) of the following roles: developer, visual designer, product designer, project manager, UX designer, research, strategy, UI designer, and quite a few others.
Throughout the process, you will build an impressive portfolio that proves your value and highlights your unique skillset. The course is so hands-on that you couldn’t complete it without becoming educated well above the current average competency. You will be in excellent shape to enter the field in a way that suits you. When you’re done, there’s an optional 9-month apprenticeship to further build your portfolio and we’ll personally help you with the job application process. We are also working on an exciting team-up with a great placement team.
We’re not going to lie to you like the other schools. It’s up to you. There are no guarantees.
What job do you want? We want to hear all about it. Apply now - or keep reading to learn more.
How do you select students?
Students are accepted based on personality and enthusiasm. If you’re a jerk, or you’re boring, It’s not in our best interest for you to become a designer: because WE will have to use the things you design.
Design is about communication and creative ways of reaching goals. That takes a certain type of attitude.
Are you curious? Do you like trying new things - and solving problems? Apply now - or keep reading to learn more.
Commitment and cost
DFTW is a personal experience. We are not just showing you some code and letting you follow along – and then pushing you out the door. While this course is “part-time” in a sense, it’s imperative that everyone on the team shows up – and does the work. Your heart and focus are essential to the success of the group as a whole. If you aren’t dedicated this is not the right course for you!
You need to have AT LEAST 2-3 hours a day + 6 days a week + for 9 months. And depending on your learning style, you might need more time than that.
We no longer work with Income Share Agreements.
Tuition is ~ten thousand dollars.
$2,500 upfront + your choice of payment plan timeline.
We're looking for people to help save the world. Apply now - or keep reading to learn more.
How our brains work
“Programming is hard!” Or so we sometimes think… but it’s modeled after our simple thought processes. You already think like a computer – and that’s really helpful to understand early on.
Work life balance
It doesn’t matter if you are the best programmer in the world if you burn out. To maintain a sustainable work-life balance and be an effective designer, you’ll need to manage your schedule and build healthy habits.
How computers work
Although this isn’t a Computer Science class, you’ll need a clear sense of how computers work – because they are the internet – and our primary tool.
You don’t need to go to UX school to learn User Experience. You are a user! Learn how to think about your experience.
Interact with the computer through the command line, Graphical User Interfaces, browsers, and learn about the OS and file system.
Test out ideas and prototypes with real users. Learn to spot common pitfalls and build interfaces that are enjoyable and intuitive based on real-world evidence.
Effectively leverage your computer
You’ve probably used a computer for a long time already – and you might think you’re an expert. Learn to optimize your workflows and save your time for what matters most.
It’s impossible to tell if a design is successful without a goal. Learn to leave the ego out of the process and guide yourself and the team with clear goal-driven decision-making.
Learn tools like Google Drive to stay organized and collaborate on ideas in real-time. No more emailing zip files and chasing down outdated PDF’s. Save your time for what matters.
Research and strategy
Just the right amount of research – can save you hundreds of hours or even millions of dollars. Fight the urge to start building and learn how to set the stage for successful projects.
Organize content and craft clear messages and stories. Learn how the browsers use this information for cataloging and how visual design plays its role.
How The Web works
It’s taken for granted. “The Internet,” right? You use it. But – how clearly understanding what is happening will open up that black box and save you from years of blurry mental models.
Hypertext Markup Language
It’s HTML! The primary tool for building web pages. Learn the what and how and why by revisiting its history. Build your first websites like it’s 1999!
Expressive and accessible markup
HTML has gone through many changes. It’s the best it’s ever been – and you can write wonderful markup to appease the computers and ensure everyone access to your site’s content.
Typography for a fluid context
Explore typography for print and how word processing and visual design programs describe text. Tell your story with class, and confront a world with no fixed paper size.
Cascading Style Sheets
Uncover the secret styles your browser is giving your HTML page. Learn the magic of the Cascade and how to bring your sites to life with CSS.
SEO and how sites are crawled
Dig into how your HTML is read by browsers and search engines. Learn how to write optimized pages from the start – instead of hiring an “SEO” person to come in and fix it later.
Rich metadata for sharing
You know those images and links and titles that show up when you share a site on social media or even in a text message? Take full advantage of rich sharing assets to stand out above the rest.
Responsive layout techniques
CSS was never meant for layout. It’s a hot-bed of frustration – but that time is over! We now have new tools like flexbox and grid that allow us supreme control over the fluid world of the web browser.
Get out there and test those prototypes. There’s no need to “guess” if it’s working. The users will tell you if you ask. Make it a core part of your design process even if you just ask your mom.
Documenting your process
Being able to talk about your thought process, goals, and the evidence that helped you make decisions is more than any given programming language. It’s also what will get you hired.
Project management and leadership
Get acquainted with tools like Trello and set up timelines to mark progress. Learn how to manage people and their expectations – while supporting your team instead of hounding them.
Version control and staging
Use Git to manage your code and work on collaborative teams. Learn how to ‘stage’ websites and build things locally and ship to the live site after sign-off.
Understanding tech stacks
Check back in with HTTPS and learn how the most common server software generates and delivers your website to the end-user. The less ‘stuff’ the better!
Dynamic data and databases
At some point, you’ll grow out of the core HTML features – and you’ll want to take the next step. Learn how user-generated data-driven sites work – and how pages are built from data in a database.
Take everything we learn and add it to your personal website. Learn about DNS, domain names, and hosting. Start building out your portfolio from our daily challenges.
Building authority with a blog
Build your own custom theme with the world’s most popular CMS. Learn all about CRUD and how to build out complex Content Management Systems for your clients.
Libraries and frameworks
A ‘library’ is just a collection of pre-written code you can use. A framework is a set of conventions and structures. Cut through the hype and learn how to choose your tools with confidence.
Finding your role on the team
We don’t think everyone should be striving to be a “full-stack” developer. It’s not that black and white. We’re here to help you find your passion and where you can provide the most value.
Content management systems
You may have heard of ‘front-end’ and ‘back-end,’ but what about the front of the back-end? Learn about building the interface that non-programmers will use to fill out site content.
Visual design concepts
We have major respect for great visual design, but it isn’t magic. It takes practice like everything else. We’ll give you the tricks to keep it fun and effective.
Navigating group critiques
It takes empathy and respect to communicate with your team members. Staying on track and focusing on the goal can help guide you through messy feelings and personal styles. Evidence is queen.
Page speed and performance
Keep your sites lean and mean by understanding the bottlenecks and how pages are delivered and rendered. Learn to weigh the cost of common and unfortunate design decisions.
Client-side scripting and rendering
User interface and animation
Create fun and interactive experiences. Although we believe that content comes first, there’s no reason why it can’t also make you say “Whoa! that’s so cool!”
Working with clients
Whether you plan on getting a job at an established company/agency or you want to work freelance, you’ll need to understand how to work with stakeholders, explain your decisions, and build trust.
Selling your work
As a designer, it’s also your duty to sell your design to the client. You’ll need to explain the value of your decisions and instill confidence in your design.
Pricing your work
It’s easy to feel ‘new’ or ‘inexperienced’ and for that to reflect in your pricing, but the value you bring to the project is what really counts. Start out on the right foot with conviction in your worth.
How to be a Ninja
We won’t be teaching you how to be a ‘rock-star’ or a ‘Ninja.’ While ninjas historically excelled in stealth, and rock stars are known for their musical talents, our emphasis is on the art of designing things.
As fun as programming is, it’s just a tool – and the outcome is what we’re excited about. You can’t “win” programming. We won’t be creating a culture for ‘bros’ – unless you’re talking about Mario.
No bad habits allowed. Your team will cross-reference everything – and together, we’ll decide what that means. We’ll be fighting the urge to connect to random rituals and OCD feelings.
Android and iOS
We prefer Progressive Web Applications over proprietary tools where possible, and it wouldn’t make sense to teach Java and Swift in the same course. But everything we learn will directly apply to those things as well.
We will be going super in-depth with CSS and during that time you’ll create your own CSS ‘framework.’ We’ll explain the design decisions behind Bootstrap and Tailwind – and then you’ll be able to decide for yourself.
Bitcoin and blockchain
Yeah. We’re not teaching that. But you can learn to build a really great website for your blockchain company!
During the course, we’ll certainly be talking about the impact of AI and how to leverage all the new tools in your workflow. You can build your own world-destroying robots after the course if you want.
Enterprise level applications
Online classes and tutorials make it seem like one person can build out their ultra-complex web application all by themselves. You can’t. No one goes to school to learn to build “Buildings” all by themselves, right?
There are plenty of ways to market things and cross-promote. We’ll teach some of that – but these ugly ads tracking us around the internet have got to go. We’re not going to be adding to the trash heap.
We work hard to keep everything universal and connected to the core concepts, but if you want to learn Computer Science, you’ll need to take some additional steps. We can help you – when it’s time.
Classic video game development
As cool as this is, we’re not going to be doing anything like this in the core curriculum. We will have lots of game-like interaction opportunities though.
Advanced JS frameworks
Advanced visual design
Get a personal look into the processes of 10 different visual designers. Learn about other mediums and how our branding and message carries over into product design and packaging in real life.
Advanced API design
As you’ll learn, most web applications are making requests for data and then using that data to build out the front-end. But what about when things get much more interesting and complex?
Real time applications
We’re having fun with this real-time web game version of Codenames. We want to dig into more collaborative games and sharing ideas. Maybe Node, maybe Go. We’ll see.
Progressive web applications
We’ll be learning about PWA’s in the core curriculum, but we’d love to dig deeper into this and get some hard-core applications built outside of the walled gardens.
You tell us!
Your experience will help shape where we go next.
Did you just read that whole page?
There are more than 50 little paragraphs up there! If you did – then you are serious about this stuff. Let’s talk about it.