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Why I Love Skillcrush

There are a lot of programs out there that teach you to code, and most I tried were too boring, too basic, or too much like a lecture hall class. And then one day I visited the Skillcrush site and it was like falling in love. It was exactly what I wanted and never knew existed until that moment.

Top 3 reasons I had love-at-first-sight feelings for Skillcrush:

  • They weren’t pitching me on what I would learn, they were pitching me on what I would make with my skills.
  • They empower women to pursue careers where women are underrepresented.
  • I was impressed with the content on their blog—the copy was useful and not just promotional.
  • (Bonus bullet point: their locked-content/unauthorized page is a picture of a cat wearing a wig.)

My “Shut Up and Take My Money” Moment

Skillcrush had 3 career tracks (they call them Career Blueprints) I could choose from. I’m a budget savvy person who frets about the smallest of expenses, so I couldn’t make the $399 plunge without knowing how the courses were—I didn’t want to pay for another boring learning experience I’ve had before. So I decided to take their free 10-day boot camp course.

It was amazing. It wasn’t a 60 minute video recording of a lecture hall discussion. It wasn’t a logic game. It wasn’t a virtual console asking me to input commands. Each day had a short, 2-4 minute introductory video to a new topic followed by live examples and in-module, hands-on mini-assignments and a do-it-yourself homework assignment.

Skillcrush course page showing how to float divs.

Here’s an example of a mini-assignment inside the day’s learning module. I edit the code given to float the divs as instructed. After this I was assigned homework to apply float properties to my project site.

Six days into the boot camp, I signed up for their next Web Designer Career Blueprint class and didn’t even care what the price was—I knew this was it. The thing I’ve been waiting for. Shut up and take my money, Adda Brenir!

Fast forward to the present, where I am now 2 1/2 months into my Skillcrush blueprint, with Photoshop, UX, wireframing, HTML, and CSS classes all completed and JavaScript, jQuery, and API classes ahead. And every single second has been amazing. (You can see my work-in-progress class project here.)

7 Things You Need to Know About the Skillcrush Experience

  1. Picture of a cake with Z-layer code labeling each layer.

    Don’t understand the homework assignment? Have a classmate explain it using cake as an example. Delicious.

    The learning format is: 1) to introduce you to a new topic, 2) have you play around with an example of the new topic, and  3) create a version of that topic from scratch using what you just learned.

  2. You can watch your daily online module and complete your homework in less than an hour.
  3. You can work at your own pace—whether that’s with the class, working ahead, or catching up.
  4. Every day you have proof that you learned something, and you complete the homework feeling accomplished, excited, and ready to learn more.
  5. You and your classmates work together to help each other solve tough assignments.
  6. It’s not graded—everyone does their best, and you get out of it as much as you put into it.
  7. The class instructors are available for Google Hangouts and by email to help you with your assignments or to understand broader concepts.

Do you think you’ll love Skillcrush, too?

If any of these bullet points apply to you, then I think you’ll love Skillcrush, too.

  • Your motto is to never stop learning and you want to pick up something useful and new.
  • You want to move into a career that pays better and has better job security.
  • You want to become a freelancer.
  • You want to work remotely.
  • You want to build your own portfolio site to help your job prospects.
  • You want to learn skills that will compliment your job in marketing/journalism/etc.

If you have any questions about my experience taking a Skillcrush course, leave it in the comments below or reach out to me on Twitter. I wrote this blog post out of the sheer awesomeness of the experience I had, and I think there are a lot of other women and men out there who would find it just as useful, fun, and career-enhancing as I do.

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12 Comments

  1. Hi Sarah! I just got the email that today’s the last chance to sign up for the Blueprint classes. Does that mean if I take the free 10 day course that I won’t be eligible to sign up for the class?

    • You can take both the free course and the class—you can take them at the same time if you like! Think of the 10 day boot camp as a sneak peek of the learning module experience.

    • Also, I think they’re opening Skillcrush courses every other month, so if you aren’t ready now, there should be another one in 6-8 weeks I believe.

  2. Hey, thanks for this review – I signed up for the WordPress course starting Tuesday and I started having buyer’s remorse – but you’ve made me feel better. :)

    • You’ll have to come back and tell me how it goes! I just finished the web design course in January, and have my sights on the WordPress Dev blueprint this summer.

  3. This is a fantastic post! I’m trying to decide which blueprint to take first…the WordPress or Web Design. I may try the Design one since I have a bit of experience and want to keep the momentum going! So I know the basics of Photoshop, did you do any advanced work with Photoshop?

    • Deciding which one to take will depend on your HTML and CSS skills. If you can build a static one page site, then go right for the WordPress Dev course! I plan to take the WordPress course later this year.

      As for the Web Designer course, it offers a crash course in Photoshop, so for 2 days you’ll probably be ahead of the rest of the class as they learn their way around Photoshop. But after that, your familiarity with photoshop will really pay off in being able to make great wireframes for clients. I’m jealous-the design part of web design is the hardest part for me!

  4. Hi Sarah-
    So, it’s now months later, and I’m wondering- have you gotten more work as a result
    of doing the Blueprint? I really like her emails and I’m going to do the free Webinar this week. I’m feeling how you did before you clicked “Buy”…

    • I didn’t take this blueprint class to find a new job, so “more work” doesn’t quite apply to me. However, it has been awesome in my day job—at a small company, a marketer who can code and create content is VERY valuable, and I’ve been able to accomplish projects now without waiting for IT, or for the company to hire a freelancer. Also, it really helps for when it comes do raises, since I do above and beyond my title! If you want, I can refer you to some of my classmates who might have an experience/job change that you’re probably looking for.

      PS. I enrolled in the WP Dev course this month—I so definitely got my money’s worth the first time, and I’m hoping to start a WP freelance side hustle.

  5. teri

    As a Legal/Administrative Assistant, I have computer skills, on both a PC and Mac, including Microsoft Office, Adobe and Access. I have signed up for the Web Developer Blueprint. I am nervous I may not understand the course work. Any opinions or advice? In addition, you mentioned to one of the other commenters you knew of some people who had experienced the “new job/career” aspect. I would love to know more about that.

    • Hi Teri! I think you’ll be fine. It goes at a steady pace, and there are lots of opportunities with office hours to get help with any stumbling blocks. Just remember: 1) never give up! 2) google it, because someone else probably had that problem and figured it out and 3) when in doubt, ask a classmate or schedule time with your teacher. Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

  6. Pingback: Skillcrush - hertechability

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