Interaction Design Foundation’s Bootcamp — UPDATED with FAQ

Roberto Sorrentino
Dec 2, 2019 · 4 min read

I want to share my first impressions on the Interaction Design Foundation’s Bootcamp. I’ve made a couple of courses with them and when their boot camp come out, immediately catch up my attention for these factors:

  • price 800$ (edit: now is 990$) if you are an IDF member, is ridiculous, you may think even too low;
  • 5hrs mentorship support, plus written feedback;
  • chance to work on something real, in faqs they stated they have partnered with non-profit organizations to provide a real project to students (edit: not anymore, you’ve to find by yourself if you want to work on something real)

After an onboarding quiz, they have shared some possible candidates as my mentor. Here I started to be puzzled. I’m 45 years old and would like to come back to UX after five years working as Team Leader on ICT Security. I’m not very interested in visual design stuff more on user experience, service design, and user research. With all this information shared I don’t think it’s a good idea to propose me:

  • A guy that finished study two years ago. Even if he is a superlative UXer, there are things that he can’t understand, like where I am, simply because he has just finished studying.
  • Two Italians, both with seven years of experience. That’s better, but one is a visual designer, something that I’m not interested in, while the other doesn’t show UX techniques like personas, customer journey map that I need to improve. Plus, they are Italians, and I want to speak in English.
  • Someone that says to be a professional and the link provided by IDF is her Instagram profile. Wow, you cannot be serious. Here I thought that I was going to ask for my money back.
  • In the end, I choose a guy with 15 years of experience, not Italian, and after our first video call, I’m more confident that it can works. He suggested working on Figma, as I need a tool more powerful and diffused than Balsamiq to work on a real project and do some research with users. Plus, I’ll focus on one of the design briefs that they have shared to add more projects to my portfolio.

Last but not least. Now IDF has canceled in the Bootcamp page reference to the partnership with non-profit organizations to work on a real project. Still, this was one of the motivations for me to choose their Bootcamp. When I asked a clarification, the answer was that they are working to define partnerships but without providing a solution to my request. But one of my urgencies was to work on something real, used by people. So my focus for my next case study will be on… stay tuned! (edit: I end up with a case study on Trenitalia, the primary train operator in Italy).

IDF Bootcamp’s FAQ

I’ve received many requests on Linkedin from people that have asked: What do you think about IDF’s Bootcamp? Should I take it? So, here some questions that may be helpful.

  • Do you think it was worth it?
    In my case, the Bootcamp was useful because of where I’m (20y of experience in It and digital projects, I’ve worked on UX projects 6ys ago) and where I want to go (a digital agency) and what I missed (an excellent portfolio)
  • Did you get enough support for your questions?
    There’s something that you’ve to be super-careful, choose the right mentor. I needed someone experienced, and I was firm on this aspect with IDF.
  • Did you work on at least one real project?
    That’s only thanks to Bruno Saez, my mentor. He has suggested working on something real. I’ve designed two projects: the first from their case studies, but the second one, the train app, was the most useful and is based on something that exists.
  • Did they help you find a job? Or you ended up doing it your own?
    Not directly. I think that’s helpful because you train yourself in the right mindset. Now, I have a collaboration with Applause as a UX Researcher, just a first step for me.
  • Do companies value their certificate?
    Someone recognizes them but call it marketing too: that’s what they like to say to others. As well to have Don Norman face on their home.
  • IDF vs. other boot camps
    I don’t know other boot camp programs directly, but I guess they teach more theory. To the opposite, IDF doesn’t explain anything about how to approach UX, and they only deliver you a lot of pdf to read.
    For more information on this issue, check out in the Ux Mastery community a thread about boot camps. There, Julia De Bari, mentor for IDF and many other boot camps, gives a lot of suggestions.
    https://community.uxmastery.com/t/ux-boot-camps-bloc-vs-designlab-vs-springboard-vs-careerfoundry/6434

Do you like it? I was hoping you could help me in my journey and give me a ton of applause!

If you’re interested to know me more,

please, reach me on Linkedin.

Roberto Sorrentino, Ux Designer

My portfolio to show how I work and the values I believe in.