• Sam SolomonSam Solomon, over 10 years ago

    This is a great discussion question, and I think it deserves a few more up votes.

    I stumbled into the design world a few steps at a time.

    I studied public relations in college, but worked as an editor for the university newspaper. Often I was in charge of paginating the news section. I grew sick of staying late in the office, so I went out and bought a copy of the Creative Suite from the campus store (If you are still a student and don't own the CS suite go do that it will save you close to a grand). I discovered a few Photoshop tutorials, and started designing graphics for my stories.

    A year later I started a coupon business, FRUGGL, while taking classes. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and made about every mistake you can starting a business. But I spent time putting together graphics for our blog and Facebook page.

    After graduation I did contracting work for a few companies. One of them was drchrono, a YC healthcare startup. I filled in a few cracks here and there. They needed sales people, but also needed someone to start their growth team. (Running my business, I learned how to start and track PPC campaigns).

    My favorite part of working at drchrono was building and testing landing pages, so as my contract was winding down I looked at other options, and discovered The Starter League. For those that don't know, TSL was the original "Hacker School." It made news last fall when 37signals invested in the program. I joined the Rails for Designers class.

    I led design and front-end development for our final project Mountain Metrics, an analytics platform for Tumblr. While I have a pretty limited portfolio, that project has helped me land a few freelance jobs, and got me a few interviews.

    I've only been designing for a few months, but absolutely love it. I don't think I could have made the jump to design as quickly without The Starter League. But, I don't think a formal design education is necessary, or should be.

    Also, if you are interested in hiring a rookie designer let me know :)

    0 points