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August 21, 2014 at 10:10 am #180134
So… after going from editing WordPress sites thinking I was OK at webdesign I had a rude awaking when I tried to build a website from scratch.
The feeling is just over whelming and frustrating of trying to absorb all the things to just make a basic navigation and template.
Question: Has anyone felt this way their first time, and did you feel like giving up?
I understand it takes time to learn and get good at anything… just feel like I’m never going to catch on…August 21, 2014 at 10:34 am #180137
Yes just a basic site with HTML and CSS… I would only use WordPress and just edit CSS until now.August 21, 2014 at 10:55 am #180146
Dude… give it time. If you’re brand new to to web dev, just the concept of having HTML handle the content, CSS handle the styling, and JS handling the functionality can be a little daunting. And you probably haven’t even written any JS from scratch yet! Just give it time and build your skills. It will take about 6 months but if you do it EVERY DAY and never cheat yourself… you’ll get awesome! Read, code, read some more, come here, code some more, drink some coffee, code some more, repeat.
That’s all you can do. It’s like working out. Nobody gets shredded after a week.August 21, 2014 at 11:01 am #180147
@NIX I agree with you… just that at some point I need to make some money for my kids.August 21, 2014 at 11:07 am #180148
Dude… I understand. I totally get it. But… if you were planning on going to school, you had to know that it would take some time. Maybe find something part-time until your skills are built up?
Not at all trying to sound insensitive but you can’t decide you’re going to start learning webdev and make money a week later. It just doesn’t work like that.
Again, I more than understand your situation. But you really only need to wait it out for about six months. At that time… you’ll probably have enough skills to sell a job.August 21, 2014 at 11:12 am #180151
@NIX Sorry, I know I sound like a cry baby lol.
I can bet that in 6mo I will be on here laughing at my threads… guess I have to develop more patience.
Real quick, where do you mainly get your jobs from.. is Elance a good choice?August 21, 2014 at 11:17 am #180152
Real quick, where do you mainly get your jobs from.. is Elance a good choice?
I’m a bit old school. I hustle for my jobs bro. Once word gets out the you build cool shit… it’ll be no problem.
I’ve been in many types of sales and I’m willing to bet that if tomorrow I was in the sewage treatment business… I’d figure out a way to sell that.
I was going to say this on an earlier thread but didn’t. In all honesty, if you want to be a freelancer, i.e. work from home… your sales ability will play a far bigger role that your dev ability. And that’s just the dead honest truth. Working for a company (agency or in-house dev) is different , but I’ve never done that and likely never will.August 21, 2014 at 11:41 am #180156
@NIX Hmmm.. interesting!
Thinking when I get better I going to have to move to a bigger city.. live in a small town right now.
I like the sound of the hustle & grind better then begging for work on Elance.
No offense to Elance or people that use it.. just seems like you’re always competing with some team from India who do the work for way less.August 21, 2014 at 11:50 am #180157
@Erik IMHO, You are correct about the Elance thing. Is Elance bad? No. But I’m no interested in playing “be the lowest bidder” game. I’m more about differentiating myself and charging a luxury price. Have I accomplished all I set out to? No. But it takes an entire career to do that.
I don’t necessarily think you need to live in a bigger city. I currently live in a major city and have actually been toying with the idea of moving to a more rural area. Why? All my clients never really interface with me and I like to hunt.August 21, 2014 at 12:33 pm #180162__Participant
…Is Elance bad? No. But I’m no interested in playing “be the lowest bidder” game.
TBH, in my view, this makes it bad. You should not be competing to be the lowest bidder. Being cheaper because you’re inexperienced and still building your skills is not the same thing as getting jobs by only charging $2.50/hr.
[Sites like] eLance hurt everybody involved: good developers, bad, local, outsourced, even the clients and the industry in general. Only people getting their money’s worth is the broker.August 21, 2014 at 2:32 pm #180171
Yeah I agree with all that was just said.
I don’t really like these sites. The best way to get jobs is more by association. That’s true for anything though.
Sometimes it takes longer to form these relationships… but the payoff is real. A site that is totally custom, complete with webapp(s) and CMS solution could run into $20k+. Plus, a lot of these clients will come back and/or refer you to other people in their industry.
It’s VERY lucrative if done correctly and in a way that leads to true innovation.August 21, 2014 at 2:35 pm #180172
Hell… I talked to a guy who only does work for Fortune 500 accounts. He’s also VERY familiar with a super niche e-commerce system that not many people know and he also specializes in Linux server configuration/dev-ops stuff. He bills at a rate equivalent to $250 per hour.
You’re not getting those jobs from Elance. That takes building a reputation and true networking.August 21, 2014 at 2:55 pm #180174JoshParticipant
Quite a few of my clients came from working with places like elance and after the train wreck that ensued just trying to get a professional site designed, they started looking for a local professional.
What I would probably do in your shoes:
1) Look for opportunities where the involvement for everyone is pretty low risk, like a free website for a charity they can write off to you at some value for the tax advantage or friends or family that might need a super simple thing.
2) Build my own site and try and make it as cool as you can. It’ll likely be a disaster that you’ll redo it like 5 times within the process, but that’s the fun of it and it’ll force you to learn a lot.
3) Go around and look at other sites that you think has neat effects and cool animations. Then try and replicate some of them. Tinkering will send you down a number or rabbit holes and you’ll be forced to look at code, try different things, experiment, etc.
I found this pretty neat setup to build a site called Microsoft WebMatrix 3…
Would like some feedback if anyone has tried it.. or are willing to try it.
It has tons of extensions and pre-made templates.August 21, 2014 at 3:33 pm #180176__Participant
Don’t look for “web development tools” (meaning, things that market themselves that way). You’ll be in a worse spot than when your understanding of the web was limited to WP (after all, at least WP isn’t a microsoft product).
Learn about how HTML/CSS/JS actually works first. Get familiar with code. The “tools” you use won’t make any significant difference if you don’t have a good understanding of what you need to do.
It’s like outfitting a shop with thousands of dollars of equipment before learning anything about woodworking. The tools don’t make you. They might make you better if you know what you’re doing, but if you don’t, they won’t: you’ll probably turn out junk furniture (that is, if you don’t kill yourself in the process). Heck, how do you know if they’re good quality tools? or even the right tools?
Web dev is a little safer (you’re not likely to lose any fingers), but not always more forgiving. People spend a lot of money on software that turns out to be unneeded, or even counter-productive. All you need is a decent text editor (and at least one web browser that is not IE). From there, useful tools will present themselves as you gain the understanding of why they might be useful.
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