Thinking of kick-starting your freelance web design career?
Alright, it doesn’t matter the reasons that got you here, (but I agree, if you have to listen to one more of Brad-in-accounting’s “tight” 2 minute sets that he’s put together for his always upcoming/never happening open mic night, it was either gonna be him or you!), you’ve decided to strike out on your own and become a freelance web designer, congrats!
Now before we get to work, we just want to make sure that we’re clear on the terminology here when we say freelance. We don’t mean that you shopped your resume around and found work with another small company or start-up…
We’re talking <Peter Parker selling his “pictures of spider-man ;)” to J.Jonah Jameson, for money and if he doesn’t do it again tomorrow, he doesn’t get paid/doesn’t eat > freelance. But we’re not just gonna leave you “hanging” with no help at all; we’ve got 7 great tips that will help propel you into the freelance web designer-verse. Go get’em tiger!
Make Sure It Looks Good: You’ve got your skills and you feel confident. Well, the client may have no idea what they’re looking at, so always make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing (pleasing to the eye) that way even though they have no idea what it is you do, they know it looks great!
Small Jobs/Practice Jobs: Heads up you may work for next to/nothing your first few gigs. It’s fine: think of it as stretching your legs and seeing what you can do. Contact friends, family, or friends of family and local businesses to get these small jobs. You’re really just learning to work with other people/clients and gaining reputation…rep. is huge (we’ll get back to that).
Try Online Markets: If you can’t find local stuff (or you’re tired of it and want to try something a little more challenging and “long distance”, there are websites where you can sell your skills (not for much though, remember you want experience and reputation). Some quick sites that come to mind: “Fiverr”, “upwork”, to start. But google it and you’ll start your journey down the rabbit hole…
Social Presence: This is just becoming a MUST for anyone in almost any field. You know the rules: keep it professional. Let people see what you’ve achieved (ie: certifications) and what you’re capable of (the work you done for others). Again, build that reputation!
Specialize in a Business Sector(OPTIONAL): Not strictly necessary but it does help. Maybe you work designing websites for only coffee shops? There’s lots of them (and more on every street corner, amarite?), but it would be a specialized area to know exactly what every coffee shop needs if they want to seriously compete in the online space. Real estate agent websites are another really good expertise to have, which brings us to our last tip…
Develop Workflows to Cut Down on Time & Maximize Profitability: A mouthful of a final tip but it’s the very zenith of freelancing…to be so damn good/knowledgeable at what you do that you can get it done fast/easily and for muchos bucks!! This is where reputation kicks in. Now that you’re known for doing that thing you do so well, you can finally charge what you’re worth (and then some), and do it in half the time while still making it look tight and outta sight!
You’re money, baby!
Of course, check out the vid for more detailed info for each step, plus a little PSA about keeping your body (almost) as sharp as your mind. Trust us, it’s all fun n’ games until you pull a muscle getting off the couch one day… Enjoy!
What Programming Languages do the Most Popular Websites Use? The results may surprise you!
So, I was on what the kids call wiki-wiki-pedia the other day and I thought I’d look up what programming languages the most popular websites use. I know, most people look for civil war factoids or if their favorite band from their teenage years is still around but I guess I’m just weird like that…
But seriously, check out the vid to put it all into context.
Also, blink and you might miss it: another quick dig at RUBY (mwahaha). Enjoy!
Widely used by some big name organizations like Nasa and Harvard, is a job working with DRUPAL outdated in 2019?
We’ve been asked if DRUPAL is a dinosaur, an aging language that won’t matter in the years to come and if anyone who works in it will be working towards obsolescence (whoa…heavy, huh?).
Well the short answer is “…no…”
The long answer is (thankfully) a little more detailed and availablehere in what I’d like to be the first to describe as a “Sausage” explanation. In that it is both meaty (detailed) and has a hint of spiciness (fun nerd ranting) mixed in…yeah, ya know what never mind, I’m regretting this metaphor already…apologies…
Suffice it to say that it’s better to experience this explanation in it’s entirety, with the relevant senses than to write it out. Plus, there a bonus RUBY dig (mwahaha…). Long story short if this is a first job for you, we all have to start somewhere and work looks good on a resume no matter what (not to mention experience) and you’d be surprised how many languages are still being used today…
Kotlin is a general purpose, open source, statically typed “pragmatic” programming language developed by “Jetbrains” and endorsed by Google. As a light, nimble way to take advantage of the vast Java ecosystem and libraries, without the weight of Java code, spoiler alert…it’s gonna be pretty awesome. Now that being said, should you drop everything (including JAVA) and start learning KOTLIN?
Not necessarily. As we’ve said before stick to your fundamentals/basics, remember: “Newb programmers will think in terms of languages, -OMG, my career is based on THIS language- The reality of the situation is advanced developers will move from language to language, from framework to framework, depending on the requirements of the job at hand, depending on where the work is.”
So what’s the big deal about KOTLIN? Well it’s more about what KOTLIN represents… it’s a lighter/faster version of JAVA, it’s pretty versatile in terms of what it can be used for (including android apps), and to put that into perspective, “lighter languages tend to win out over other heavier, more verbose languages”. With computers getting more and more powerful and faster and faster, the preferential choice is given to languages that are quick, adaptable and versatile, and KOTLIN checks all these boxes.
Click here for some hardcore mountain-driving scenery, which will turn into city driving, but not before we give RUBY the slightest little dig…mwahaha.
Blah, blah, blah, should you learn THIS in whatever year we’re in?
Yadda, yadda, yadda, stick to simple, clean code…
Who am I? Apparently, that’s all I sound like to some people; I just keep repeating the same tings over and over again and you’ve heard it already… (also, is it weird that I just did an impression of myself or it it META…?)
Well, good, sounds like I got through, which in this day and age of background noise and feedback is no small feat…
But seriously, I’m glad you guys are listening and while I may sound like I’m repeating myself, I do strive to put variations to the theme to make it a applicable in the here and now. The landscape does change and evolve and we try to keep up with it. Also, I do it for the newbies too. People who come across this channel or one of my videos may not necessarily be interested on my ideas on a topic a year ago when they have a burning question about the here and now, ya know?
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, A: thanks for tuning in often enough where you can see a pattern emerging or a theme, and B: whether you’re new to this or not, I will always try to bring you the best mash-up of what I know, what I’ve experienced and what it is now.
C# is probably Microsoft’s flagship language … is it worth learning 2019?
Well, is it worth learning? “If you want to interact with the Microsoft(MS) stack: …building web-based apps that are going to be interfacing with back-end MS technologies…AND you learn C# if you want to get into game programming with UNITY as an example”
Based around JAVA, this modern language was built by MS to function like JAVA but with some “robust” differences… But enough about that, let’s talk jobs!
There are lot of job opportunities working on .Net architecture (ie: web apps), mostly with big corporations…however most of them will require certification in C#. The good news, if you try it out and decide that C# is not for you, you haven’t wasted your time at all, because “all these modern languages(C#, JAVA, Dart, ,etc.) are based on the same principles [more or less]”. If you’ve learned C#, it’s like 80% transferable, “…you cannot lose when you learn a programming language…”
Check out the VLOG for a more in depth explanation, some wisdom about the game developer experience and a little heart2heart…awww. Enjoy!
I think you really need to watch the vlog to put this into proper context…
We received an email that pointed out an interesting idiosyncrasy when it comes to learning programming languages. Long story short, it was pointed out that while python was a great language to learn, there are not many jobs (outside of AI) that actually use python today, thus making it harder to enter the job market. With so many other languages being used for other purposes, for example, games: C++/C# for games, and for native app development there’s swift/java/kotlin, to name a few, it doesn’t seem to be worthwhile to learn python if you want to get right into work…
Okay, now before we go any further, I strongly urge you to watch the video for context, I don’t want to start a nerd war; there are far better uses of our time…
That being said, for the most part, “there’s a lot of truth to that. Python is the go-to language in AI/machine learning and it’s the second [or] tertiary language…in many other areas.” The email goes on to conclude that “learning webstack is the best way to getting employed quickly.” I can’t argue with that, but where does that leave us with python?
“Python is a great language, it’s a language that glues everything together. If you’re working in large organizations, you might find the need for python. …A lot of schools teach with python now…because it is an easier language to teach people how to program with. …It’s accessible…Productivity of the language, in terms of how long it takes you to write things is a huge factor today, when you’re looking at programming languages…” But if you’re out to get employed right away then maybe webstack is the best thing for you. However, if you find yourself struggling and maybe you’ve had problems with other languages, python could be a great way to connect the missing pieces and streamline it all. The job opportunities will be less, not zero but less, unless you have a relevant university degree. Full transparency, yes, I do offer Python course but they teach foundations, modules, programming, etc. “…it’s just a vehicle to teach certain programming concepts and mechanisms.” I feel like the best way explain this is to watch the vlog, it really puts the things I’m saying here into perspective. Plus, at the end of the vlog, I look outside only to find February hasn’t left yet…jeez, get a clue, man! Enjoy!
Alright, I think we’ve stewed with the idea of DIS long enough…
We touched on it lightly last post but let’s talk about some tangible solutions to get passed it.
A sort of “life after getting DIS’d” – that’s right STILL not tired of it! I’m gonna milk it as much as I can… DIS is the hill I’m going to die on… 🙂
Of course, the vlog will go into a lot more detail, and I recommend you watch it but I’m just going to give you a little TL:DW if you’re on the move…
As we stated previously , there is no unicorn (know it all) developer, know your basics and then pick up the rest on a need to know basis and having a good resource pool will help a lot. Now let’s add to that: diving into projects and writing easy to understand code will help: it’ll get the project done quickly and efficiently. Clean, simple, and easy to understand code IS professional and professionals get paid. Also, Specializing in a niche (of programming) that makes you money (ex: machine learning code, e-commerce for small businesses, etc.). Again, check out the vlog for a little more detail and stick around in ’til the end for “Montreal in February” or “a -23 meditation”. Keep warm and enjoy!
So, you’ve been a developer for maybe two or three years? You’ve got some gigs and you’ve gotten paid and now you’re starting to work with the big fish… You’re maybe even working alongside other developers with 5-8 years of experience and suddenly you feel a kick in the pit of your gut… “WTF am I doing here?”
“I’m wayyyy in over my head, everyone knows what’s going on; they get their work done faster, they know which languages to use for any given situation. I don’t belong here.”
Ya just got DIS’d, son!
Yup, developer imposter syndrome…’d.
Now for some of you I may be spot on and for others, you either have felt this way and gotten past it <bravo>, or you haven’t crossed this particularly crappy bridge yet. And though I know it’s hard to come to any universal agreement on the internet, I think even in the back of our mind we can understand, sympathetically, “You can never ignore the emotional aspects of anything you do in life; especially career.”
Everyone Gets DIS’d, Bro:
(yes, I’m enjoying the hell outta this acronym)
But seriously, as unpleasant and humbling as these feelings are, they are completely normal. Everyone has felt these feels; even outside of the development field (it’s just called plain “Imposter Syndrome”, I know IS = boring acronym, but you should look it up). Ironically, feeling like we don’t belong (an Imposter), is something that everyone feels at one time or another. And perversely, it’s kind of a milestone; it means you’re “moving up in the ranks” and coming into your own by being around other more experienced programmers/devs who you should be taking the opportunity to learn from, or if you’re a little more solitary in your work, branching out finding a community you can learn from and feel supported in.
Alright I Got DIS’d, Now What? (Still not tired of it, mwahaha.)
Guess what? “There is no unicorn developer”, that is to say there’s no one that know every language, has been in every situation and knows everything. If there was, clients would just hire him/her and there would never be a need for anymore programmers or devs. Check out this vlog: if for no other reason than to see me freezing my butt off in the cold as we switch from a tight “man on a mission” shot to FPS mode and then the car for some “real talk”… It’s a fun way to talk about what can be a pretty frustrating subject. Me? I’m gonna sit here and think of how I can work this acronym into a sentence where I DIS your mom! OOOOOOHHHHH, snap!
WordPress, is the most popular CMS in the world … and for good reason.
Spoiler Alert: Yes, WordPress did approach us to do this.
Also, SPOILER ALERT: we don’t know how to use spoiler alerts…
It’s not selling out or corporate schilling because we actually believe in and love this product, and are happy to tell you guys about it. It works for us and we hope it works for you, if you need something like this; plain and simple. Yes there are other platforms comparable to WordPress and if you are happy with them, more power to you. But if, you’re curious about it, we think you’ll find what you’re looking for, whether it be style or function.
We could list all the amazing functions and plug-ins right here but it’s easier to just watch the vlog.
That way you can see my awesome sweater-jacket too 🙂