My thoughtbot Apprentice Designer Journey

Omolola Adedayo

As I wrap up my apprenticeship journey at thoughtbot, I find myself reflecting on the incredible wealth of knowledge and experiences I’ve gained during these transformative months. I want to share this journey to show others what to expect from an apprenticeship at thoughtbot. I had the privilege of working alongside an exceptional team, engaging in all facets of software projects. From project planning to facilitating retrospectives, UX design, interaction design, writing code for my breakable toy, conducting user testing and collaboration, my time at thoughtbot has been a treasure trove of learning opportunities.

My role at thoughtbot extended far beyond the traditional boundaries of a design position. I actively engaged in all stages of project development, from project planning to estimation and execution. This holistic approach provided me with a profound understanding of the entire product development lifecycle.

One standout achievement was improving my ability to ask insightful questions, and since I’m always seeking and getting feedback from my team members, efficient communication emerged as the cornerstone of project success.

Furthermore, my apprenticeship led to notable growth in my group facilitation skills. I successfully conducted project retrospectives with clients, and improved my consulting skills. Open discussions yielded actionable insights and improved the projects I worked on, which was a particularly rewarding milestone. It underscored the importance of facilitation skills in guiding teams toward success.

My visual design expertise also blossomed during my time at thoughtbot, as I collaborated on various features in a project. I became adept at crafting visually appealing and user-centric interfaces by incorporating design principles and user feedback, as well as conducting user testing with customers.

The importance of design systems became evident as I set up a design system for a breakable toy project. This initiative streamlined my design processes, ensuring consistent branding and a more efficient workflow.

Effective collaboration with developers was another vital aspect of my apprenticeship. I learned how to communicate more efficiently, ensuring that my design vision translated accurately into the final product. This collaborative approach resulted in smoother project execution and superior outcomes.

The Bigger Picture

While I’ve highlighted some key achievements, my apprenticeship at thoughtbot was filled with countless other lessons and experiences. It has transformed me into a more well-rounded and effective product designer.

As I look ahead, I carry with me the invaluable insights and skills gained during my apprenticeship. The journey at thoughtbot has been both challenging and immensely rewarding. I’m excited to apply these lessons to future projects, knowing they will continue to shape my career as a product designer.

I extend my deepest gratitude to the thoughtbot team for their unwavering mentorship and support throughout this incredible journey. Here’s to new beginnings and the thrilling challenges that await.