Debriefing Prototyping in Code Bootcamp – July 2011

5 Aug

A few weeks ago, 20 Intrepid UX Bootcampers and 3 wise trainers came together for the inaugural UX Bootcamp – Prototyping in Code. We were all looking to improve our HTML and CSS skills to see whether we’d be able to make use of code in place of diagramming tools like Omnigraffle and Visio for making wireframes.

The Bootcamp started with an intensive introduction to HTML and CSS for the half dozen or so people who were starting either from scratch or whose HTML skills dated back to times before CSS existed. We spent a full day with Anna Debenham  getting our heads around the basics of HTML and CSS.

The following two days (Friday and Saturday) were spent picking up new skills and applying them to project work. We learned how to make divs and sections and to float them (and, thankfully, the joy of 960.gs on the Saturday meaning much less floating!), we learned to make and style our menus, to define and apply colour and type settings. We made forms and even played around with a little JQuery. We learned how to make drop shadows and round corners – and that we should probably do a Visual Design bootcamp next! We also had some time to talk amongst ourselves about the benefits and possible uses of our new found skills.

As the bootcamp wrapped up, some of us were excited about our future of prototyping in code while others were more pleased to have a better understanding of how code works and respect for the people who wrangle it on a daily basis.

The best feedback comes from the bootcampers themselves – this is what they had to say:

A great way to get started on the coding trail or ignite an extinguished flame that may have once burned. I’ve been on course’s where I feel I’ve gained very little but loved UXbootcamp, real sense of achievement from doing this.
- Rob Sterry, UX Consultant, Aviva

UX Bootcamp provided a distraction-free environment for experimentation and learning together with like-minded people. The expert trainers were always around and happy to help, no matter how trivial or complicated my questions were.
- Alexander Baxevanis, Senior UX consultant, Webcredible

UX Bootcamp was an excellent opportunity for UXers/designers in a number of different roles and companies, to come together and learn valuable skills that they would otherwise not have the time (and access to experts) to do so. The instructors were highly knowledgeable and approachable, and the course was structured in such a way that it allowed for us to achieve a lot in a small amount of time.
- Jamie Brooker, Co-Founder, We Are Human

Possibly the most enjoyable course I’ve been on. If it’s the sort of thing you’re into, then it’s a great chance to meet like minded folks and really get your hands dirty.
- Lucy Spence, LOVEFiLM

I really enjoyed UX Bootcamp. The instructors were excellent and the material we covered was top notch. I would definitely be up for attending another one in the near future and I highly recommend it. Excellent group of people to learn with also. Cheers to all those involved.
- Daniel Beere, Digital Media Design Student

Getting to learn the nuances of code from experienced professionals was much more effective than learning from some online tutorial. Of course, meeting and socializing with other UX professionals makes it even better.
Brian Pagán, User Experience Consultant; User Intelligence Amsterdam

In the weeks since Prototyping in Code Bootcamp there is some evidence to show that at least some of the bootcampers are still using and developing their skills, and there is talk of future meet ups to get together for some quality prototyping in code time.

We’re hoping to run another Prototyping in Code Bootcamp in October. If you’re interested in attending, add your name to this list and we’ll make sure you’re the first to know.

Photo by  Alan Colville.

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