My first week at Ironhack closed with a typical German dinner. Regardless my love for schnitzel and my powerlessness in front of all the gluten it contains, the highlight of the night was definitely the company(ah 2pm, a good time to be cheesy). What all of this has to do with a sharpie? Well, the way Muri got so emotional when it stressed out the importance of a sharpie for a designer reminds me trying to explain why pineapple is an aberration on a pizza (Italians out there, back me up on this).
Kidding aside, let me tell you why my first week was stressfully awesome. I won’t point out how awkward “the first day” is for anybody. It’s full of “what if they don’t like me?” and “is it just me or my hair look like a monkey fur this morning?”. But hey, you play it cool, always. Or try, at least. And eventually find out it doesn’t matter where are you from or how you look like, what matters is that as a ux designer you don’t lose your friggin’ sharpie. Full of ifs and buts I walked into that classroom and just a week later I came out feeling I know these people since forever. And it’s not because you spend so much time sharing the same room, but because you spend 8 hours a day listening, questioning, researching, arguing, eating, yawning, questioning again, sketching, playing, and most importantly TALKING. My mom knows she gave birth to one of the chattiest people alive, yet even for me all this talks resulted almost excruciating at some point for a general lack of saliva. But it’s a necessary process, after all how do you expect to learn something if you don’t ask about it? And for one week it looked like we’ve been empathising so much with users but in fact we’ve been empathising mostly with ourselves, our fears, our different skills, our potential.
I’m not here to list the single units we’ve learned about UX design this week (you can check those in detail on the Ironhack website), I’m here writing because there are things this week gave me more than knowing how to carry out a ux interview. I’m talking about the confidence of taking crucial decisions, to confront yourself with new challenges and people who are not like-minded. I’m talking about the strength of arguing and disagreeing, which for me is a tough job since it makes me feel uncomfortable not to be on the same page with people, or most importantly with your team. I’m talking about this enriching feeling of learning not only from your teacher, but from anybody in the room. I’m talking about the courage it takes to step once again out of your comfort zone and the accomplishing feeling that comes with it when you see you gain so much from it.
Ok enough with the cheesy, (this empathising thing took over me a bit too much, huh?) I’ll go for a very german bullet list next time, versprochen! Enjoy Berlin’s good weather, I’ll go look for post-its at Modulor, because a sharpie is everything, but if you don’t have paper you’ll end up writing on your hands like I do, which is shameful at 26 years old.