General Assembly (GA) stands as a beacon for individuals seeking to pivot or enhance their careers in the tech-driven sectors. As a premier educational platform offering courses in diverse areas like Data Analytics, Software Engineering, and User Experience Design, GA's commitment to delivering top-notch, industry-relevant education is unwavering. I had the distinct opportunity to lead a transformative initiative: the redesign of GA's UX bootcamp curriculum in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA).
While the bootcamp was renowned, feedback and industry trends indicated the need for:
- A more cohesive curriculum that better mirrored real-world UX challenges.
- Enhanced focus on team collaboration and client-centric project execution.
- Preparing students for diverse roles in the burgeoning UX discipline across various industries.
Research & Ideation:
Our approach was data-driven and community-focused. We began with:
- Alumni interviews to understand post-bootcamp career trajectories and areas for curriculum enhancement.
- Discussions with industry leaders, especially from FANG companies, startups, and Fortune 500s, to grasp evolving UX needs.
- Foundational Mastery: Introduced modules emphasizing UX's core principles, ensuring a solid base for students.
- Real Client Projects: Integrated real-world client projects, giving students firsthand experience of the entire UX process - from research to final design.
- Collaborative Learning: Fostered team-based project execution, reflecting the collaborative nature of real-world UX roles.
- Diverse Role Preparation: Expanded modules to cover various UX roles, from research to UI design, preparing students for diverse career paths.
Implementation & Teaching:
The revamped curriculum was rolled out for the full-time immersive program in DTLA. Over the course of several months:
- Hundreds of students underwent intensive training, benefiting from the redesigned curriculum's holistic approach.
- Emphasis on hands-on projects ensured students graduated with robust portfolios showcasing their skills.
- Regular feedback loops were established, with students providing insights on the curriculum, leading to iterative improvements.
Outcomes & Impact:
Post-redesign, the impact was palpable:
- Diverse Career Placements: Graduates found roles across FANG companies, innovative startups, and Fortune 500s, testifying to the curriculum's industry relevance.
- Broader UX Roles: Alumni ventured into various UX disciplines, from user research to interaction design, showcasing the program's comprehensive nature.
- Alumni Success Stories: Many alumni rapidly ascended in their careers, further cementing GA DTLA's reputation as a premier UX education hub.
This transformative journey with General Assembly underscores the power of relevant, hands-on education in shaping the next generation of UX professionals. By closely aligning curriculum with industry needs and emphasizing real-world practice, GA DTLA's UX bootcamp stands as a gold standard in UX education, propelling students into successful, impactful careers across the tech landscape.
"Sharif's creative energy, technical insight, and leadership have been an outstanding addition to General Assembly's UX Design Course. Since joining as the Lead Instructor in Los Angeles, he's helped us grow the program - updating and introducing new lectures and tools pulled directly from industry experience. Sharif communicates with clarity and is always willing to take on a challenge. He has inspired and motivated his students and colleagues with his enthusiasm and passion for accessibility and human-centered design. He has a great way of dealing with problems and conflicts with compassion, calm and respect. Sharif cares deeply about his team and work — making him a strong UX advocate and design leader."
John Madigan, VP, North America Operations at General Assembly