• Austin Knight, almost 7 years ago

    As someone who speaks a lot, I couldn't agree with this perspective more. If you're looking to tactically learn how to do something and develop hard skills, there is no substitute for getting your hands dirty and teaching yourself. I'm a self-taught Sr. UX Designer with no college degree, no mentor, and I've never attended a workshop or watched a tutorial online. I've just built things and figured it out along the way.

    Many aspiring UX Designers ask me, "how can I get into UX?" and my answer is always, "if you're asking that question, you're already doing it wrong". No one person is going to be able to tell or teach you something that will launch your career in UX. You have to forge your own career and the best way to do that is to start making things. This is because UX is truly dependent on what you can actually do and the results that you can generate, as opposed to processes or techniques that you've memorized.

    In my opinion, conferences are much better for the "bigger picture" conversations. Things that will challenge the ways that you think about design, introduce you to new technologies (or ways that people are using them), and inspire you to be a better designer. But the hands-on tactical stuff is better kept hands-on, despite the fact that many "tactical" conferences have popped up recently.

    Of course, there are exceptions to this, so if you really want to attend a conference, I would recommend checking out Interaction 17, UIE, Web Summit, Squares, and An Event Apart. There's also a huge event list here.

    4 points
    • Michael WongMichael Wong, almost 7 years ago

      Hey guys, really glad you're all onboard. @Austin hits the nail on the head about conferences are more about inspiration and the 'bigger picture'. Once again, they're always refreshing to go to once in a while!

      But don't prioritise them over everything else :)

      0 points