Latest Bristol & SW tech news, updates and training dates for your diary.

The evolution and demand for UX Designers.

With the rapid advancement of digital technologies and the subsequent impact on how businesses ‘interface’ with customers; the understanding, evolution and application of User Experience Design (UXD) within organisations now truly informs their future success.

We have seen the rapid rise of successful companies that are design-led.  Good design processes now form a fundamental part of business strategy and decision making – placing human interaction at the heart of their business model.

Every touchpoint of a brand and connected customer experience is now designed as part of a holistic strategy.


As digital interaction becomes an increasing part of our daily interactions – businesses fully appreciate that seamless digital interaction is complex to deliver. However when done right – the whole brand experience rises to another level  – from the ‘Visceral’ to ‘Behavioural’ and ultimately to the ‘Reflective.’ [Ref: Don Norman’s Norman’s Three Levels of Design.]

Good UXD in the real world

1) The customer no longer has to scan for ages to find the donate button on a charity’s page.

2) The calls to a customer care line are reduced dramatically because the consumer finds the answer easily on the website.

3) Shopping cart value soars because the website effortlessly shows the shopper items that complement their purchase.

Your competitor is only one click away!

UX is emerging out of the ‘visual design’ world and establishing itself as fundamental strategic design process within any business interface or transaction. We are finally evolving from aesthetic design to a human centred approach to the design of the company ‘experience’. As they say – your competitor is only one click away. So it is vital to deliver a frictionless experience from beginning to end.

“Design used to be the seasoning you’d sprinkle on for taste; now it’s the flour you need at the start of the recipe.” — John Maeda, Designer and Technologist

Demand for UX Designers

With this new imperative to seamlessly satisfy ‘users’ – businesses are now eagerly recruiting talent to help research, prototype and design interactive services that bridge the gap between people and technology – this is the role of the UX Designer.

UX Design Courses

As a result of the increase in demand for UX Designers, we provide two unique courses:

Our 10 week part-time User Experience Design course – has been developed by industry experts to help anyone looking to up-skill and explore moving into the ever increasing number of roles in UX Design.

The programme’s industry informed curriculum will teach how to approach problems creatively in order to design the next generation of great apps, websites and digital products and gain a deeper understanding of the methods, tools and processes of working as a UX Designer.

This course is aimed at people looking to expand their knowledge of UX Design methodologies, tools and processes providing you with a complete applicable UX ‘toolkit’ with commercial experience of working with a real life client on a live project.

Our next cohort for this in September 2019 is fully booked, however, we will be scheduling a new cohort shortly for 2020. To find out more and register your interest here and also see what our students have to say.

We also run a shorter 2 day UX fundamentals workshop – which will give you or your team a short but intense intro to the fundamentals of best UX practice, user research and testing; interface design & brand.

This programme provides introductory knowledge for a holistic approach to UX best practice and is best suited to graphic or digital product designers or small teams who are looking to develop their current skill-sets in designing for digital services.

You can find out more and book one of the remaining places here.

Who we train

We can help anyone to accelerate their career in Tech.  To date we have trained: Career changers, Researchers, Marketers, Graphic/Interface Designers, Project and Account Managers and Entrepreneurs to develop their portfolio of UX Design skills.

Visit our website or contact us at for a chat about taking your next step.

Why a Coding Bootcamp in Bristol?

How, and why, we started Develop Me is something we talk about often with prospective students and people interested in our business, but it’s never been put down in black and white. So for the record, here it is. 

Develop Me has a founding team of three – 

Prior to starting the company we all worked in the digital, tech and creative industries in various guises. Oli was a long time Developer and Tech Director, Al owned and managed Creative and Digital agencies, and I worked in Tech Recruitment (bad rep I know, but I did things the right way). 

I met Oli in 2012 when helping him to make a move in his career into a new Tech Director role at an advertising agency. We hit it off, became friends and over time I helped him to build his team at that agency. Finding and hiring Developers at that time was becoming increasingly difficult, the growing skills gap was having a noticeable impact – and recruitment had become a game of moving the same pool of people from one company to another. Something needed to be done and it seemed obvious to me that this needed to be tackled from the ground up. 

All great ideas start in the pub

Oli and I were at the pub talking about the issues facing the industry from a recruitment perspective. I’d stumbled across the Coding Bootcamp model that was gaining traction in the US and said to Oli: “This is an interesting model, would be great if something like this existed over here.”

His response… “We could do that.”

A few months later, we caught wind of someone else (unbeknownst to us, our future partner Al) making tracks down the same path. On many occasions we seemed to be meeting with the same people, often on the same day, talking about the same idea of setting up a Coding Bootcamp in Bristol. Eventually, our paths crossed with Al – a twitter message, led to a meeting and an almost identical business plan for a Coding Bootcamp.

A coding course leading to a job in tech

It made perfect sense to join forces – Oli had the technical expertise and could develop and deliver the curriculum, Al had business experience and a keen interest in progressive and innovative business models, and I had insight into what the industry needed and could line-up job opportunities for our bootcamp graduates. 

We very nearly didn’t make it, encouraging people to part with the best part of £8,000 on an unproven programme is, unsurprisingly, difficult. However, we were confident we could teach people everything they needed to know to land a job as a Junior Developer in 12 weeks. It took a lot of faith from that first cohort to make the leap and invest in both their, and our, future. We ended up running that first cohort short on students and making a financial loss, however, the decision to go ahead rather than jack it all in, has thankfully proved to be an excellent one.

5 years later – thriving Bristol Coding Bootcamp!

So here we are 5 years after that night in the pub with 13 runs of our Coding Bootcamp complete, tons of happy graduates transitioned into tech, an employment rate of 98%, and a growing network of hiring partners that keep coming back to us for more Developers.

We’ve expanded our offerings and now run a 10 week part time UX course, 6 Week part time Front End Course and a 2 day UX course and have many more plans in the pipeline.

Learning about teaching people to code

We have learnt a lot; about ourselves, about each other, about teaching people to code, about business, about risk, about people, about the importance of collaboration, about complacency and about never standing still.

When we started out we were the first Coding Bootcamp in the South West and only the second in the UK. There are a few more around these days, some right on our doorstep. We haven’t stopped moving since the day it all started and can’t see a time when we will. This industry progresses so quickly – we embrace that pace of change and relish the opportunity we have been given to help people looking to accelerate their careers in tech and help companies to keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with technology. 

Our door is always open

If you’re interested in hearing more about what we do and whether we’re the right fit for you, sign up to join us for a free taster session for one of our courses, or get in touch to arrange a chat. 

4 places available on our P/T Courses thanks to our amazing Opportunity Fund

We are really keen to ensure that all talented individuals are given an equal opportunity to pursue a career in Tech. To facilitate this we have made available two places on our part-time Front End Course and 2 places on our part time User Experience Course at a reduced rate thanks to our Opportunity Fund.

The course is delivered in a flexible schedule to fit around job and child care restrictions.

These subsidised places are being offered to two groups which are heavily under-represented in tech: Women and those who identify as black, Asian and minority ethnic.

The four places on our current scheme has been made possible through our hiring partners Swoop Patagonia and Goram and Vincent who have kindly contributed to this Opportunity Fund, after hiring some graduates from our flagship Coding Bootcamp.

Opportunity Fund for Front End Development and UX Design

The Develop Me ‘Opportunity Fund’ is specifically designed for students who are otherwise unable to afford to pay full price for training. With the UK’s digital sector creating jobs twice as fast as the wider economy, developing digital skills has never been more important. We hope to address the lack of diversity in the tech industry and actively support students who are underrepresented in the tech community, including, but not limited to gender, race, ethnicity, educational background or employment history.

“As the digital revolution increasingly touches every aspect of our lives, the UK needs a technology workforce that reflects the full diversity of the people who use that technology.”

If you are interested in applying for these subsidised places please email and outline a bit about your background, current situation and why you would like to attend the course – we look forward to hearing from you.

Deadlines for applications:

— 15th August 2019.

Develop Me offer a comprehensive full-time 12-week coding bootcamp (the 5-star rated Coding Fellowship), a 10-week part-time User Experience Design, a 2 day UX Fundamentals Course & a 6-week part-time Front-End Web Development course.

As we conduct more and more of our daily personal and business lives online, it’s never been more critical for digital services to create seamless interactions and user experiences that are both intuitive and effective.

As a result, businesses are recruiting talent to help design interactive services that bridge the gap between people and technology – this is the role of the UX Designer.

In direct response to this demand we’ve created the User Experience (UX) Design Bootcamp – a part-time 10 week, project driven, intensive course developed and delivered by industry experts.

This new course – aimed at beginners with no previous design or technical experience – will teach all the skills required to research, define, design and develop digital services and products – based upon user-centred design principles.

The first Bristol intake starts in September 2018 – applications are open now – please apply here.

If you would like to find out more about the application process please contact us.

We’re really excited to announce that we’re offering three subsidised places on our newly launched 6-week part-time front-end web development course to mothers returning to work. Thanks to our Opportunity Fund, supported by local tech firms, we are offering one fully-funded place on the course, as well as two places at the vastly reduced rate of £500.

Our Opportunity Fund aims to address the lack of diversity in the tech industry and enable access to sought-after digital skills to those who may otherwise struggle owing to family commitments or financial limitations. This current scheme has been made possible through contributions from 3 Bristol tech companies – Microserve, True Digital and Proctor + Stevenson.

Delivered in a flexible schedule that can fit around a 9 – 5 job or child care restrictions, the part-time course teaches the fundamentals of front-end web development in evening and weekend sessions over six weeks. It targets complete beginners and those wanting to up-skill for an increasingly digital workplace.

With the UK’s digital sector creating jobs twice as fast as the wider economy, developing digital skills has never been more important.

On completion of the course, students will be able to build and host websites that work seamlessly across multiple devices, making it ideally suited to everyone from entrepreneurs to marketers, return-to-workers to career-changers. The development of technical skills can also enable students to work more flexibly, ideal for parents who struggle to balance childcare with a rigid 9 to 5 role.

It is arguably mothers more than any other group who suffer from a lack of confidence when returning to work after taking time out to raise a family. This course will not only provide the digital skills to make them invaluable to many industries, but could also offer the chance to work more flexibly. Whether they’ve been out of the work place for six months or six years, this course will help future proof their CVs for an evolving jobs market.

Anyone interested in applying for these subsidised places should email us at and tell us a bit about their background, current situation and why they want to attend the course.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 13th September with decisions being made on Thursday 14th September.

For anyone interested in finding out more about the programme there is an open evening on Tuesday 12th September – details and registration can be found at the following eventbrite page –


I studied Jewellery Design at University and went on to work for a jewellery company in London as their website manager. This involved uploading photos, producing newsletters, helping redesign their eCommerce website and going through a branding change.

Why are you attending the Coding Fellowship?

2 years ago I decided I wanted to change career and started running my own jewellery business. I wanted to learn to code to add more strings to my bow to help my business.

When I worked for the jewellery company our website was built by Meanbee. From my experience of working with them I thought their job sounded really interesting. I’m looking forward to being on the other side of the fence soon!

What role are you looking for after the Coding Fellowship?

I want to work within the Bristol tech scene, and the Coding Fellowship is a great route into that.

I like the creative aspect of web development, and would be very happy working for a company on in-house projects, or working for an agency in a client-facing role.

What was your coding experience before the Coding Fellowship?

I had used Codecademy’s online resources a little, mostly just learning some HTML and CSS is as far as I’d got.

How have you found the Fellowship so far?

Really good! Learning is always satisfying, especially when you’re studying something that a few weeks ago seemed like gobbledegook: incomprehensible, impenetrable & possibly, actually, maybe just magic?

Now I get to revel in being on the opposite side of that equation – I’m really relishing the feeling of ultimate power you get when something starts working correctly!

All the other members of the cohort are sound as a pound, as are the tutors. The workspace is brilliant (especially the pingpong table ) & I’m now completely addicted to caffeine, which I feel can only be a good thing.

What have you enjoyed most?

The jQuery week – what had been a dreadful fuzz of confusion and syntax errors the week before with JavaScript, seemed to gradually clear over that week.

What have you found hardest?

JavaScript – without a shadow of a doubt. It was my first introduction to true programming (other than the preparation tutorial on Codecademy) & I actually had a bit of a brain meltdown on Tuesday. However, Mark – our tutor – was very patient & clear, & eventually it started to make sense.


Interested in becoming a web developer?

Attend a Coding Fellowship Introduction Evening taster workshop.

Download the Coding Fellowship information pack.

Sign up for updates about the course, students and employers.

It started with a car crash and ended with a baby

The first web developer bootcamp to run in Bristol has now finished, and, by all measures, was a great success!

3 of the 4 students were offered paid work placements by Bristol tech companies, with the fourth on maternity leave before starting a work placement later in the year.

The feedback from the companies they are working with has been extremely positive.



The Coding Fellowship combines 12 weeks of intensive teaching, covering the fundamentals of web development, with a paid industry work placement and help to secure employment as a web developer upon graduation.

The course – run at the Paintworks, the heart of Bristol’s creative and tech quarter – is developed and delivered by industry experts, with a heavy focus on project work, using industry tools and practices, and hands-on learning.

It takes students from beginners all the way through to being employable junior web developers, while building a portfolio of work.

We catch up with two of the students on the spring cohort to find out how they are pursuing a new career in coding.

Read our Q&A with Simon & Kasia: (more…)


Training space

The Spring Cohort of the Coding Fellowship began on May 9th, based down at Bristol’s Paintworks the fellowship is the South West’s first coding bootcamp. The programme includes a 12 week intensive taught element – teaching the fundamentals of web development – a paid industry work placement and help finding employment as a web developer upon graduation.

The Bristol and Bath region has recently been recognised as the largest regional digital hub in the UK and with predictions that the digital industries will grow faster than any other in the coming decade, it’s a great time to be learning to code and joining the thriving tech sector. You can read more about this in the recent Tech Nation Report.


Last week we were lucky enough to be invited to a meet, greet and showcase event at the Bristol Games Hub. The directors of the Games Hub – Ben Trewhella (Opposable Games) Debbie & Tom Rawlings (Auroch Digital) – had organised a visit from The Observer. The aim of the day was to introduce them to some of the exciting things happening in the Bristol tech & games scene. We found ourselves in the company of a number of really interesting tech start-ups, indie game developers and VR specialists.