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freelance developer?


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#1 BigDave

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 08:20 PM

Hi, I've just register here, although I have been lurking for a few months.

I've done a bit of web development in the past, only for hobby and family and friends - not paid. PHP, HTML, JS, MySQL. I've been out of the game a few years, moving away from web development into language such as C++, Java, C#, Python. I'm looking to get back into web development. Last time I was doing web development, I was using notepad and hand coding everything. Now we have Joomla, Wordpress and hell of alot of other stuff going on! Is handcrafted code still the way to go? What are everyone else's tools of choice?

My strengths are currently more in the realm of web developer than designer.

How many people here make a living working as a freelance developer, without actually creating the design? How would you market yourself as such?

The design aspect is something I find more difficult, although I would be interested in improving my skills in this area if someone could point me in the direction of some good books or online resources.

Do you designers expect clients to provide logos and images etc, or do you also provide those services as well?

I would like to use my coding skills to go freelance, but if a company is looking for a website, they obviously expect you to design it for them. I'm not exactly sure where to start in learning design.

Any tips would be appreciated.


#2 Renaissance-Design

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:33 AM

Subscribe to design blogs, read tutorials- everything you need is online somewhere, although you have to dig to get at design fundamentals rather than "look at these cool tricks you can do with the tools".

You could always partner up with a designer who doesn't develop.


#3 BlueDreamer

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:02 PM

Now we have Joomla, Wordpress and hell of alot of other stuff going on! Is handcrafted code still the way to go? What are everyone else's tools of choice?

Definitely handcrafted, just because there are a lot of off the shelf systems around you still need to be able to manipulate them to get them to do what you want, and more often than not that will mean digging into code, html, css, javascript.

The actual code editor you use doesn't really matter, it's what you do with it that counts :)

How many people here make a living working as a freelance developer, without actually creating the design? How would you market yourself as such?

A lot more than you might think. Over the last few years roles in the industry have got much more defined than they used to be. Look at any agency and you'll often find a mix of people with various skills, all working together.

For freelancing then specialisation is always good, instead of being a jack of all trades. That way you can attract specific customers and target any marketing towards your specialist area. Saying that some areas are saturated with "specialists", eg the Wordpress community has specialists coming out their ears because it's a popular platform, so getting work in that field is naturally harder because of the competition (unless you can find a specific niche that's not overcrowded).

The design aspect is something I find more difficult, although I would be interested in improving my skills in this area if someone could point me in the direction of some good books or online resources.

As RD suggested there is a ton of information online, like others I always spend a few hours a week reading blogs, tutorials and so on, mainly to keep up to speed with current and new ideas.

Do you designers expect clients to provide logos and images etc, or do you also provide those services as well?

Depends on the client. Some will have 'em, others won't. If you're building a site for someone then it's your job to advise your client for anything that's required/missing, even if that means subcontacting a logo design out.


#4 BigDave

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:37 PM

Thanks for the replies guys. I think I will focus on back-end coding and aim to provide my services to designers who would like to spend their time designing rather than coding.

Hopefully I can find enough people who would like such services.

First things first - I've just realised it has been 8 years since I last done any sort of web development work - looks like a lot has changed. I'm going to have to spend some time getting my skills back up to scratch.

Thanks





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