Aaron Grosch1,630 Points
Freelance/Remote Work -- Can one get a career going in this field without being in a big tech city?
Just wondering if it's a pipe-dream to think of landing a Freelance/Remote Work job after completing things here on tree house and working on personal projects or if I should just look elsewhere for career prospects....
I know of people that have done it using sites like odesk/elance/freelancer... the trick is getting started. A portfolio will help you attract clients, but the first few may be low-paying work until you get reputation points on the site.
I live about 100 miles from a big city and have had a few jobs where they offered to let me work from home after the first few days, so there are "real" companies that are open to telecommuting too, but may need to have some kind of reassurance that you can work on your own first.
And don't neglect your local market. Small towns don't always have many good web developers, so you may have some potential clients nearby as well.
I got started with web design with nothing but self-taught html and one sample website (in 2000). Later I added a degree from an online school while I worked for a big company in a VERY remote area (Dugway, UT). Now I'm using Treehouse to update my skills because I took some time off to raise my son - and things change SO fast!!
Initially, I was supposed to complete this temp job on location and arranged to stay with a friend in the city to do it - but then they gave me the option of working from home. So I got lucky. But if you want to work from home, I would state that in the letter of application (maybe not your resume) and let them know how willing/able you were to come in for a few days or if you could participate in meetings via Skype, etc.
You might also think about how to market to those small companies in your area. They are missing out on opportunities to stay in business by not being online. You might find a couple of success stories about companies that found new business by being online and how they did it, make up a nice brochure and mail it out to your local companies. If they see the opportunity they might be more interested in your help.