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General Discussion

finding jobs

I noticed that a lot of job sites require a lot of professional experience! How exactly does acquire said experience though? Does one just practice making fake websites? What are some pathways to get into the biz?

8 Answers

Juliet! That's a great question! I would suggest putting together a professional portfolio, viewable by employers utilizing your (design/programming/development) skills. Furthermore, you can network in web forums that cater to the branch of development interests you. Also be sure try out the biz/dev track in the tracks section of treehouse. I hope this helps!

Sven Lenaerts
Sven Lenaerts
4,644 Points

Juliet, try some personal projects such as designing your own portfolio & blog. A way you could get experience is by building Tumblr & Wordpress themes and selling those on online marketplaces. Also, keep an eye out on what's going on around you. Participating in design contests is a great way to network and get initial experiences, all while making chance on awards!

Look for professional opportunities. A local business might be in the need of a website, or you might have a cool project in mind. Getting that initial experience might be hard, but it's definitely not impossible. We all started somewhere, go for it!

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

Just build a site, anything and put it out there. Even if nobody sees it or uses it, you can show perspective clients or employers that you can take an idea and deliver a working live site.

If you know anyone with a business, offer them a free site just so you can get that first one done.

You've not mentioned if you're more of a coder or designer. If you're more of a coder, it may be worthwhile getting someone who can design to help you out. Collaborate with a designer in a similar position. Stick a thread up on the Forum asking for a designer looking for experience.

From there, work hard, keep building, keep learning and start ringing people who need websites or applying for jobs.

Steve Linn
Steve Linn
11,841 Points

Find a non-profit that you are passionate about and help them remodel or built a site or blog. Have a relative or friend that has a side business? I started out by building my friends photography site.

Just make sure you get something out of it- a referral, recommendations or link the site up on your social side. Don't be afraid to take credit in the footer of the site for your work. My point is….just make sure you get something out of building a site. Your time is worth money, even when you are starting out!

Another way is to build a platform, plug-in or widget or a business category you know well. For example, I built a plugin of river fishing conditions for local fishing stores. I've sold 30 of them and have built 2 other plugins since.

Aaron Walton
Aaron Walton
3,557 Points

Don't think of your portfolio sites as "fake sites". FInd some meaningful work to do - whether that's work in your own area of interest, or as mentioned above, volunteer to do some work for a non-profit.

What about if I'm going more into the web design front and less about the backend development part. Are there ways to build a site for a friend or someone in business when you only know the front end aspects of web? Or should one just suck it up and learn both?

Steve Linn
Steve Linn
11,841 Points

You don't need to know both in my opinion, especially if you are going to specialize in front end design work. You can build a really nice site for a non-profit or small business with HTML, CSS, JS.

What about android and ios development, but only the design side. Do the lessons on this site cover only the development of the apps, or do they also go over designing for small devices.