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.
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!
Hello, Salute and Hola! Let’s talk about languages, specifically programming languages…
I often get a lot of emails and messages (Yeah, I’m kind of a big deal…lol.), and one of the main questions is what is the best programming language for me to start out with, or what would the perfect programming language be?
Short Answer: There’s no such thing. Pick a language and let’s rock n’ roll. If you’ve seen any of my videos, I’ve broached this subject before and I think, “there’s really no number one language. This is a fantasy, an illusion (WILL saves – BOOM; old school DnD reference.) that beginners would be interested in because at the end of the day, the language that’s going to be number one depends on the type of work you’re going to do, depends on where you live, depends on the type of programming you want to do…”.
“First rule of programming: You don’t lose if you learn a language…All the modern languages share a lot of the same fundamentals, qualities and characteristics…”. Think of it like this: you’re 10 yrs. old in your parents basement playing super mario bros. on your nintendo ( please don’t sue, nintendo.). Then your older brother or sister enters and pops in super mario 2! At first, you’re a little trepidatious – different levels, different enemies – but after 3o seconds you’re back in saddle as you realize it’s still the same game – jump, jump, beat the boss, / next level: jump, jump, warpzone, / jump, jump, beat the final boss, finish the game, grab a pizza pocket and a soda, go to your room and air guitar to the RUSH album you stole from your brother’s room <the 80’s were a simpler time, yung’unns>.
Of course we’re going to go into more depth in the video <plus another RUBY zing :)>. But know that’s there’s really no one perfect programming language. Get out there, learn your craft, and you’ll always have the tools you need!
PHP is probably the best web app development language out there today for a bunch of reason technical, and market oriented. But it’s not the only language out there and it doesn’t have a monopoly of good programming.
Comparing Programming Languages
An important lessons that my 20+ years of programming experience has taught me, is that one of the best ways to learn one programming language, is to learn another! By learning different programming languages, you will start to gain deeper insights about your first programming language.
Every so often people ask about building a CMS (content management system) and so, I decided to included a snippet from an email I recently sent. One point I want to make clear; you can build a CMS using any server side programming language (PHP, Ruby, Java etc …) I just recommend PHP because I think that for most people out there, PHP makes sense.
From the email:
Before you can Build a CMS, you need to understand PHP basics … I would recommend either you get some of the basic PHP courses or you get our Complete Programmer package:
I am happy to announce yet another screencast tutorial for all you nerds out there: Build A Content Management System.
OK, not the most exciting title, but still an exciting course for those PHP nerds who want to go from PHP basics and get into building a full-fledged PHP application from scratch.
Learn how to build a content management system that provides a website all the tools needed to allow basic web users to manage the website content with ease. Over 6.5 hours of tutorials over 41 videos!
Here are some details about the video tutorial:
This course is aimed at intermediate level web developers, demonstrating how to build a basic PHP based content management system that uses object oriented programming techniques and implements the MVC pattern.