The UX/UI Boot Camp Brought This Learner Clarity, Community, and the Ultimate Career Change
Jamil Mawani was an accomplished technician for AT&T. Rain or shine, his job brought him outdoors to install copper lines, cables, and more. But after two and a half years of working long hours, including night and weekend shifts, he was ready for a change.
“I’d always been interested in website design,” said Jamil. “I just didn’t know how I could find a job in the industry.” Eager to pursue his passion, he started exploring educational options — and discovered Georgia Tech UX/UI Boot Camp.
It was just what he’d been waiting for. “I knew this opportunity would provide the support I needed to follow through with my career change,” said Jamil. With his sights set on the future, he left his job and enrolled in the boot camp.
Here’s what happened next.
How was the boot camp community?
My instructor, Holly, was awesome. She challenged us to think deeply, which really helped throughout the entire course. My fellow learners and I were very adamant about soaking up as much as we could — any time we did group work, our creativity came out. Everyone wanted to go above and beyond and not just do the bare minimum. I attribute that mentality to my instructor.
Did you experience a learning curve?
There was definitely a learning curve since I’d never used creative products like Adobe before. I’d built simple websites in the past, but hadn’t studied what colors go together, how to design different elements, or how to make sites more user-friendly. Those were all new to me.
What projects did you work on in the boot camp?
For my first project, I created a travel app. That got my creative juices flowing — and it showed my instructor where my baseline was at so she could identify areas for improvement. One of my favorite group projects was a student information system app meant for kindergarten through eighth graders. We worked on the design as a team, and I played a leadership role in doing research and compiling deliverables. Leadership comes naturally to me since I went to school for business management. I really enjoyed that experience.
What’s one important soft skill you gained in the classroom?
Teamwork was a big one. During group projects, you have to bounce ideas off classmates and work well as a team to be successful. UX/UI isn’t a one-person job; it’s all about teamwork and communication. You need to do your part while relying on others to do theirs and then collaborate. The reward is bringing everything together at the end.
What was your favorite part of the boot camp?
My favorite part was meeting all of my classmates and developing friendships with them. Even since the boot camp ended, we’ve done a good job of staying in touch and bouncing ideas off each other. We’re still able to support one other, even though we’re not physically together anymore.
What have you been up to since completing the program?
I’m a web developer for a urology company, and I’m really enjoying it so far. I build websites for the company’s telehealth service, which was launched during the COVID-19 outbreak. My coworkers are great people — they’re very knowledgeable and always striving to be their best, which makes me want to be my best. I’ve become a better worker and person because of them.
Which skills have transferred from the classroom to your current job?
All of them! Designing in a way that captures your audience’s attention and keeps them engaged, working with Google Analytics, tracking user engagement, using heat maps, and making sites appealing and welcoming to users. We learned all of that in the boot camp.
Do you have any advice for people considering the boot camp?
Go out on a limb and do it. It’ll be well worth it in the end. You’ll meet a lot of new people and learn great skills that a lot of companies need. If you’re having second thoughts, put them aside. That’s what I did, and it was definitely worth it.