I have finished the Skillcrush Web Designer Blueprint a few months ago and have decided to give you all my review. I am doing this review on my own, I did not receive any compensation or discount to take the course or review it.
For those that have already done some HTML/CSS, as I’ve said, you will breeze through most of the html/css portion of the course, but I took this blueprint mostly for the capstone type class so I can gain confidence and advice on how to pitch myself to a client and get started with freelance. I found this last capstone style course extremely valuable. It walks you though making a proposal, meeting a client, invoicing, what to do if you have a problem, etc.
I see a lot of reviews online about it not being enough to really do anything and that you can get the content online for free. Yes, this is true and nothing in this blueprint is new or earth shattering, but this is not the point. I think the point of the blueprint is for you to get your feet wet and learn the very basics in an online class setting.
I needed structure and the daily lessons and postings on the class forum (mightybell) did that for me. When I was using Codecademy I felt it was not progressing toward anything and I felt I was just “playing” and not really learning since I was just recreating what I was told. Skillcrush does this as well, but at the end of the HTML/CSS portion you start to create your own website so you can really let your creative juices flow instead of just regurgitating instructions and matching the example site that is given. During the daily lessons you also can create little bits of code on your own, using the theory and coding you’ve learned and I think this cements what you’ve learned a lot more than just “follow these code instructions and make your code look like the example.” Using your own examples makes you really think about what you’re doing vs a “cut and paste” mentality.
I’ve also seen complaints on mightybell. In my opinion, mightybell is one of the best things about the courses because it allows you to talk with instructors and other classmates so you can post your work and get feedback. My class is very active on mightybell so I am thankful for that, however, Skillcrush isn’t at fault if you happen to have classmates that are not very active on mightybell so I would not dock Skillcrush for that if that is what you have experienced.
I also had issues with not receiving emails at the beginning of class. I did receive responses from my instructor and the staff promptly. Yes it was frustrating and it took a few days but they did get it all fixed for me and I had no further issues. I am happy with the response time of the staff and instructor so far.
Another thing I’ve seen that I wanted to address is the issue of having to Google things in order to solve an issue or get a grasp on a concept. I have had to do this too since it’s been a while since I’ve used Codecademy. I do not think that is a complaint about the class to have to use Google to solve issues because doing that is preparing you for the real working world as a freelance or junior web designer. There will not always been someone to ask or to help you so learning now how to search for answers and learn on your own is an extremely critical skill to have when working in tech. It is better to be in a course like Skillcrush and learn to find answers on your own as well as bounce ideas off colleagues (classmates) now rather than be in your first position in web design or have your fist client and be lost.
Over all, would I take another Skillcrush course? YES I would and I plan to do just that. I have enjoyed the whole experience of having a class type structure along with classmates to give feedback to and get feedback from and I have learned things that I did not know before.
Skillcrush won’t teach you everything you need to know and the creator, Adda, has said this. I haven’t learned a ton that I did not know about HTML/CSS, but I’ve gained value from the UI/UX lessons that I haven’t experienced before and having the master class videos with tips and how-tos on how to get started in web design have been valuable. I think I gained some of the most valuable info with just the sections on re-doing your resume and how to get prepared for your first client.
Will this Web Designer Blueprint get you a job?
Ahhh, on its own, no I don’t think so. Some have been very fortunate though to get a good freelance gig or junior job from just this one blueprint. Yet, I think you need to take the skills that you’ve gained and practice more and gain exp on creating web pages and sites from scratch. This blueprint is supposed to let you leave it with a portfolio but I’m not sure if it will be substantial enough to get hired somewhere.
The pages you will be making after you’ve went though the HTML/CSS portion are going to be very basic so don’t expect to make flashy sites right off the bat. I would just tell everyone thinking of it and reading reviews to know what you are getting. Do not expect to be able to create fancy websites with interactive portions and drop down menus because that is way to advanced. This class is truly for the beginner and if you really have no experience in any type of HTML/CSS or coding before it may require some Googling to wrap your head around it at first and I think that is ok.
Use this blueprint to guide you through the learning, not as a be all end all…it’s a stepping stone. I am hoping I will be able to get at least some freelance work with what I’ve gained and learned, I have not tried yet.* The class has given me confidence to start small and to remember that no one knows everything and everyone has to start somewhere.
* I did end up getting a freelance project customizing a free tumblr theme to the user’s style with the skills I learned just in this blueprint. Tumblr has their own code to work with but it is very similar to html and the CSS used in the web design blueprint allowed me to figure it all out and customize it just how she wanted it!