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  • # October 29, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Hey there! My name is Justin and I am fairly new to the web design world. I’m pretty comfortable with HTML, CSS, Javascript/JQuery; but I think I would like to start designing websites for money. However, I’m only in high school. Do I need more education and/or is it too early for me to be doing this? (And too add to a long list of questions) If It’s time for me to start, how do I begin?

    • Thanks
    # October 29, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    To early… HELL NO. But there’s A LOT you must learn to run viable/sustainable business.

    Starting with this. IMO would be more beneficial than any coding you might learn. Things like client relations play pivotal role in getting business.

    And the most important part. Learn how to say NO.

    how do I begin?

    Take 8×10 printer paper, print “I do web design and development, call me at … ” and place it around your town. When people call explain your situation (I’m new, willing to learn, to collaborate, etc) tell them the truth.

    You do not want to start any relationship with the lie. It will come back to bite you.

    If you don’t get anything, just start developing a small brochure like website for your favorite team or your local high school chess club or whatever… get some work done and use it as portfolio pieces.

    Another option would be to get an internship and learn as much as possible, not just the coding part, but how your boss interacts with clients, ask him/her to take you into client meetings, etc… be interested in any (all) aspects of business.

    Hope that helps.

    -Alen

    NIX
    # October 29, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    I gotta give a big fat +1 to @Alen.

    A lot of what he’s saying is true. When I was young… I thought the biggest aspect of business was the trade itself. If only life were that easy. You will find that you spend most of your time trying to drum up business and satisfy existing clients. The second biggest chunk of time will be spent managing the business.

    That said, I don’t really think you NEED any additional formal education to do this for a living. This is one of the last bastions of true old fashion business. There’s really no licensing or special degree required, just aptitude and experience.

    You have to be REALLY good to make money in this business but I don’t really think there’s anything stopping you. Just put in some work and see what happens.

    # October 30, 2013 at 2:51 am

    Thanks guys! Great Advice!

    # October 30, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    I should also mention this.

    It’s always hard before it’s easy.

    While on this journey, you WILL get frustrated, just remember the quote above and keep riding the roller coaster. We’re all been there.

    And lastly, (or should this be firstly)

    Have fun! :)

    -Alen

    # October 31, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Eh, I kinda disagree with this: “Learn how to say NO.”

    Just because of where he’s at. Taking on every project that comes your way will teach you pretty quick what you do and don’t like to do. Saying no comes with some experience to know a crap project when you see it. But it could be a good teacher to take on even stuff you may be dubious about.

    With that said, don’t do a job that feels like someone is taking advantage of you. Or you feel like you won’t get paid. So turn down anything that feels seedy like that. Just be honest in what you are and charge accordingly. You’ll find plenty of people willing to let you give a shot at stuff.

    NIX
    # October 31, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    @JoshWhite I can see that. To that end, DEFINITELY don’t say no just because you may not know how to do something. Trust me, you’ll learn.

    # November 1, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    For how long have you been doing it? Someone who knows HTML, CSS, Javascript, and jQuery doesn’t sound so new.

    # November 1, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Hello Justine,
    I would hold on just for a wee bit. First you have to prove worthiness of your design skills. Anyone can just learn html, css, javascript, and jQuery (technically design too but you get my point), but to stand out from the thousands others who know those languages you must have good design skills unless your clients are not going to care about the design and prefer functionality over design, which at times does happen, but you don’t use those for your portfolio or maybe you do. Create a few mock ups and show them to friends and family and ask them to critique your work, ask them to be honest with you, depending on their answer you can start or you can continue to polish your design skills.

    Attentively,
    Ricardo C.
    T: @117_ricky
    g+: http://goo.gl/uA1xTy

    # November 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Hi Justin!
    I am only 16 y/o myself and have made 7 ‘real’ websites, some of them for large companies. What I discovered is that to get jobs as a young person, you need contacts. I got to know people through an internship, but you could try asking your parents and friends if they know anyone! Also, when you get work done, call them back after ~3 months to check up on them to see if they are happy and/or if they have any new jobs for you. This way, you will keep them happy and make them recommend you to others, which is crucial!

    Good luck!

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