Another shocking discovery from the Department of Urban Humanity or “DUH”… Communication skills are a big deal for developers. I know, I know; save yourself the twitter rant but believe it or not it does bare repeating.
Look, we understand, ten or 15 years ago developers were (for lack of a better term), alone in the business world. They were largely left alone to their own devices mostly because businesses didn’t necessarily know or understand what they did…only that they needed their skills if the wanted “an online presence.” And who could developers talk to about their projects, their frustrations and victories? Other developers… So you can see why, historically, some devs might not be in a very “social” mood…
However, unless you’ve been under a rock which was then covered in concrete, lowered into well and then sealed with more concrete, you’d know that “the world went and got itself in a big damn hurry…”(that’s a quote from ‘the shawshank redemption’, which you probably haven’t seen if you were under the aforementioned rock…you should check it out, great film.).
But yeah, devs aren’t the rare birds they once were and neither is their work the stuff of wizardry. Most people/companies know what they want and how to <relatively> get it, or have access to a host of devs who can get it for them… So what’s gonna set you apart? Communication! Your sparkling wit, easy demeanor, and sly and inviting grin as you effortlessly deliver what the client wants and make the necessary changes right in front of them assuring them that not only are you knowledgeable, but so easy to get along with! They’re so lucky they found you and look forward to working with you on all their future projects!
Check out the vid, where we give you personal experiences of these situations and illuminate on the skill on communication. I mean, sure there might be lots of devs who can do what you do…but can they deliver it, like YOU deliver it? Enjoy!
PS- stick around to the end to see footage of the minute before the lich lords attacked and made us their unwilling thralls…
A couple of tips on how to price your freelance web design and development contracts.
Okay, you’ve got your first paying/serious/ for real-sises (technical term) job and after giving you the lowdown on the job, your client asks what the price tag is going to be?
Well, maybe you think to yourself, “I charge ‘X’ amount of money per hour and this looks like a ten hour job, so -” whoa, whoa, whoa, champ! there’s soooo much more to take into account.
First off, Shameless Promo: Check out the link to our freelancer courses that we offer. They’re real and they’re spectacular!
Second, if you’re freelancing you have to factor in all the stuff that goes around the project. ie: phone calls, re-writes/edits/corrections, etc. and those take up your time too and therefore need to be accounted for.
The good news is, you’re worth it, all of it. But, you do need to get into the practice of being able to correctly judge the price of a project.
Some businesses want know the sum total at the end of a job (“Is this going to cost my business 1000.00$? 5000.00$?) and you’re going to have to give them that. Check out the Vid below where we give you a few pointers and for maximum coverage, checkout our link below to our freelancer course.
Sure, you’re gonna learn a lot of stuff the hard way out there in ‘freelancer world’, but if we can save you a few hard knocks with our own experience, isn’t it worth it?
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!
In a word…Yes. Depending of course on the size of the company; massive companies tend to give intense (technical) interviews. “They’ll throw everything at you including the kitchen sink…They have HR departments where they’re ticking off boxes, and there’s a tendency in those circumstances that they’re going to ask you for everything.”
Conversely, smaller businesses “…tend to be more accurate in terms of what the requirements that are stated for the job are, relative to the actual job.” Chances are the ‘iron curtain’ may be pulled back and you’ll even get to talk to the lead developer right away and then you can ask and be asked questions in a little less formal setup…
That being said, there really is no limit to the stuff you could be asked (as we’ll explain in the video), no matter the size of the company. A lot of the testing may not even really be applicable to what you do, for example they may want to test your knowledge of deep algorithms, even of you’re going to be working with a simple/clean code.
All-in-all, it’s not uncommon. In this video we’ll break down some suggestions for making sure you’re not too caught by surprise and even have a little bit of company knowledge to surprise your interviewers with. As we’ve said before know your fundamentals and you’ll always have an idea of what’s going on.
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 🙂
These days, UX and UI are by far the most important aspect of any web app and perhaps, most software written. At least any software that has a visual component.
Let’s get down to it! For those of you on the fence about becoming programmers and are reading this and breathing a little shallow because you have no idea what we’re talking about, “and oh my god, I can’t do this, I don’t know anything…” Breathe, my friend… You are welcome here and all is revealed to those who ask…
UX = User experience. Essentially how a client/customer “experiences” a website. IE: are the articles too bunched up that it hurts the eyes? Are all the buttons the same color? Is the “BUY NOW” button right under the product so you can see it and not have to go looking for it? Etc.
UI = User interface. What the user interacts with to “experience” your product. IE: Touch screens, laptops, phones, etc
I’m not going to lie, these things do overlap sometimes and the blurred lines can make even the most seasoned programmer start muttering curses under their breath, like Yosemite Sam. But instead of separating the two, let’s lean into it. Let’s look at a set of principles that will make all your work in UX (with a dash of UI) streamlined, simple and elegant…
I really recommend watching the video for further explanation because, “there’s a certain set of rules but there’s also a bit of an art to it. …I’m going to teach you some of the rules that I’ve learned over the last few years in terms of designing UX for user interfaces whether it be websites web apps or mobile apps…” …and also I want you to watch the video. Enjoy!
PS – As always, stick around after the chat for a soothing ride that ends up…in a cemetery!!! I know, right?!
…Fair warning: this may get a little depressing but it’s worth it; promise…
Chances are at one point or another you’ve felt the itch. That feeling of wanting a change of [job] scenery, maybe even a new career path. Some of us grab opportunity by the horns and just make that switch, others make a more calculated move that usually involves taking some courses, making some phone calls and waiting for the right time to jump and land on the “terra-firma” of a new career.
Much to the utter amazement of the last group of us who unfortunately feel like there’s no chance; maybe we feel like we’re under-educated, maybe our present job has sucked all the motivation out of us or maybe we’re just scared to fail and fall behind on payments (mortgage,bills,etc.).
I’d imagine the issue becomes especially worse when you’re looking into technology jobs, like a software developer. Our insecurities about our own skill and ability to learn can be almost crippling. We may even ask ourselves what are real benefits of investing myself in this field? Not to mention the time/energy commitment and how much money are we really going to make?
Short (and admittedly somewhat vague) answer: lots of things. But right after job satisfaction, let’s face it: it’s money. How much will do I stand to make? Check out this video and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised…
Also, if you’re wondering how stable a software development job is, check out this page.
The good news is, the more time you invest in learning new skills and competencies, the more money you can charge knowing that you are fully worth that amount <the more you learn, the more you earn>. So get out there and absorb all the knowledge you can. It may take time, it may take more energy than you thought, but it’s worth it and so are you!
These days we have many options when it comes to building websites, but which is the best way to build in 2018?
Let’s talk websites and the building thereof… So, you’re a small business owner or an aspiring website creator? Maybe you’re just interested in what goes into building a website. Well, there are many options and each has their PROs & CONs:
HTML & CSS The traditional way to do web design coding, these would be the two “languages” you’d have to learn and they can (theoretically) build any type of website. “There is literally no limitations, in terms of what you could build if you got into the nuts & bolts: the basics of building a website.” However, the downside is that you’re going to have to learn it; that is to say time investment, theory, practice; all the stuff that goes into learning a skill. But that being said, you know how to program!
Web Design Programs These can range from programs where you have to know a little bit of code (Dreamweaver, Brackets, etc.) to content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, down to easy site builders like WIX, for example. All are very different approaches (which we will touch on in the video) and vary in the amount of control you will likely have…
The key word here is control. As we go from straight up coding down the line, we lose flexibility and versatility; it goes from creating the very thing you see in your mind’s eye, to “what you see is what you get” on the building sites. And of course, that’s fine too. There’s nothing wrong or lazy with building a “wham-bam” website if that’s what fills your needs, but check out our video and you might get an idea of how to better fill those needs. And check out the links at the bottom if you’re curious about the aforementioned web design languages. Mastering the code of website creation does have it’s perks…
Do Web Developers need to Promise Web Sales for Clients?
So you’ve got a client; maybe they’re your first, so you really want to do a good job and WOW them. Maybe they’re not but you’re a professional and always putting your best foot forward. But these clients are asking/demanding something that you’ve never really had to deal with before. They want you to prove the efficacy of your work. They want a tangible return on investment. Maybe you want this job so bad that you decide offer a guarantee that few others in your field can offer…
Can you/should you offer web sales?
Short answer: No. Why would you? That’s not really your job. General rule of thumb: “If you have to convince a business that a website is good for their business, then you probably should move on to another business.” “It’s like convincing a business that having a telephone is going to be good for business, so that the client can call them”. In short it a little crazy, bordering on unreasonable and not you responsibility.
On The Other Hand…
If you’re positive you can deliver on this promise (maybe you’ve even negotiated a tidy 25% of the sales generated from the website on top of your fee), then provided things go smoothly, Cha-Ching! But, would you be about to watch this video if you were 100% sure things were going to go smoothly? All sorts of problems can arise from you not being an expert in the client’s; not knowing what drives sales or their model, to your client booting you and you having no recourse, just to name a few…
We’re gonna look at some of the challenges facing web sales for clients and throw a few tips and strategies your way. And just in case you’re feeling a little anxious by all of this, stick around to the end of the vid where we’ve got a nice little view and a moment of serenity to keep things in perspective. For some of you already in the middle of a bad client web sales drama, take a breather.
Applies to web design and just about any type of programming too!
A HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL!!
Let’s start off with a scary premise… You’re starting a project or maybe you’re knee deep in the middle of one and you just feel stuck, or trapped. You’ve become mired in details and trying to be a programming hero, and you feel like you’re going in all directions at once! You need a better way to manage your workflow, young padawan…
In this video we lay out 5 steps to speed up your workflow whether a web designer or a programmer you be! Without too many spoilers, I’ll give you a little taste of what I’m talking about with tip number 4: Get the UI in front of the client ASAP. You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t…) how many programmers and designers want to have this almost completed, work of DiVincian (yes that’s a word now) art to show the client. Nope, “You can mock all this up in HTML and you get the feedback from your client as quickly as possible.” Wouldn’t it suck to build something up and then have to change “…core behavior in your application because the client didn’t quite know what they wanted until they saw it?” Check out this video and free up some more time, money, and sanity for yourself.