The UX scene in Denver



In 2013 I moved to Denver from Buenos Aires. At that time, my profession was ‘web designer’. After reading several books and polishing my English, I started exploring the city finding resources to grow my career. Here are some.

Meetups

  • Denver UX. This one is very popular. Full of new folks and people wanting to network. Every once in a while there’s a special event. If not, it’s an opportunity for gathering and exchange business cards.
  • Refresh Denver. What makes Refresh different is that they bring speakers, so you sit and take notes from other professionals who can give you some good insights. There’s a job board, and oftentimes free food!
  • UX Book Club. My favorite. People take turns to talk, everyone’s there to learn, and it’s organized by people with years of experience in the field. Insightful if you want to learn tips and tricks, and how to troubleshoot things that might be happening at your work.
  • Front Range UXPA. A local chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association. They host discussion panels with big names in the industry, and even the attendees and super knowledgeable.
  • Denver Devs. A community focused on helping each other find jobs, solve problems, make friends, and so much more.

Slack channels

  • Denver UXers. More than a thousand professionals are part of this network. From the organizers of the UX Meetup, people share tips and help each other find jobs.
  • Colorado Product. Similar to Denver UXers but targeted for a smaller niche. Conversations can be insightful, especially when it comes to books and events recommendations.
  • AIGA Colorado. Focused on all the practices that are part of Graphic Design, is a good way to stay in touch with the folks who bring the most interesting speakers into town.
  • Denver Devs has also its own Slack channel.

Where to find jobs

  • The Creative Group job board. One of the biggest recruiting companies in Denver will always have something for you. A good option if you’re open to doing some freelance.
  • Denver Egotist. There’s a lot of small and mid-size companies posting their openings here. A great place if you’re trying to break free from corporate.
  • Built in Colorado. The number one place for tech startups to be.
  • Slack. The three places I mentioned above have dedicated channels where people share job opportunities, and then you can follow up with them via direct message. This seems to be a very straightforward option.
  • Deloitte. Another option if you want to do contractor work.
  • Indeed. Not very local, but here’s a link narrowed down to Denver.
  • Denver IT Jobs. A Twitter account very up to date with all the openings out there.

Events (recurring and annual)

  • General Assembly events. Free and informative, with experienced keynote speakers giving an introduction to the contents you can learn at the school. Recommended if you’re really new to UX.
  • Creative Mornings. Breakfast and a short talk one Friday morning a month. Every event is be free of charge and open to anyone.
  • Built in Colorado events. This is more of a board, with postings from events that occur all across town. You can filter them by specialty and content.
  • Develop Denver (annual). Two days of hands-on workshops and talks on design and coding, at which attendees network and learn from professionals within the community.
  • Denver Startup Week (annual). Talks all over town from founders, developers, product managers, designers, marketers, sales teams, and makers.

Where to learn UX

  • General Assembly. Here is where I did my Product Management boot camp and will say that they’re top in the industry. Bonus: they can put you in touch with companies that are looking for hiring.
  • Galvanize. Denver-based, I have friends who took the 6-month course for front end coding and got a job right after. In my opinion, Galvanize has a really good reputation for being thorough and efficient.
  • Turing School of Software & Design. Another option downtown, Turing is a non-profit organization that operates almost entirely on student tuition. They also host great events!
  • CU Boulder’s Master of Fine Arts in Experience Design. Haven’t met anyone with this degree, but if you are willing to seriously deep-dive into interaction and willing to spend a good chunk of money, this program is worth it.
  • Lynda Library (free). Access to the vast array of lynda.com instructional training. Inspires anyone to learn the latest software, creative, and business skills. Sign in with your Denver Public Library card account.

Recruiting agencies

  • The Creative Group. To make the move from startup to corporate, this is the way to go. They follow up on you and make sure you’re the best fit for the task. I was part of TCG and really enjoyed my time there.
  • TEK Systems. The people working here are fantastic. Personable, friendly, and they take the time to understand your needs.
  • Horizontal Integration. Several times they called me from here, but the timing wasn’t right. I follow some of their recruiters on LinkedIn and they’re constantly posting new positions.

Who to follow on Twitter

I created a list with the people that in my experience have the most expertise not only of UX but also of the Denver market and everything that’s going on.