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General Discussion

How to get your first job in web design / development

Since learning the various front-end web (and some back-end) development skills as taught by Treehouse, I feel like I have developed enough to lend my services to a company. My problem is that I have no idea how to approach anyone in regard to getting a job. This is probably a terrible strategy but, I have emailed various companies locally but to no avail. If you have any advice for me or know of anyone who is hiring drop me a line.

Thx,

4 Answers

Chris L
Chris L
8,619 Points

This is anecdotal, but hopefully still of some use. I asked friends and family that I knew had even remote attachments and connections with the software/web field to ask around if anyone needed a website developed. My first job designing and developing a website (which was, in my opinion, atrocious) ended up being for a friend of a friend of my dad, and I charged next to nothing. He, however, loved the work and so I politely asked that he pass along my info to anyone interested (all the while honing my design and coding skills). That job eventually (~3 months later) led to another job, then another.

Also, you might consider joining local developer/designer networks/meetup groups, as well as a simple Google search for freelance opportunities.

Another possibility, depending on your schedule, would be to develop a deeper portfolio by contacting non-profit organizations in need of web design/dev help. This is a great strategy to continue to develop your portfolio while also doing something good for the community.

If you're trying to do freelance, it's a numbers game. If you're interested in working for an already established company, I would recommend having a solid portfolio that showcases your best work.

Hope this helps!

Luke Schoen
Luke Schoen
3,317 Points

I would recommend that you visit meetup.com and attend face-to-face networking events to be seen in your local developer community, as developer opportunities are often spoken about. The fastest way to get experience in my opinion is to attend startup community pitch events that are often held in the shared office spaces of startup business incubators and accelerators. They often advertise opportunities for developers to join them on internships to satisfy their immediate needs.

Short-List:

1- Develop your linkedIN profile! Update it frequently (as you either learn new projects or complete projects)

2- Meetups/Meetups/Meetups... Focus on the developer ones for skills, but attend the business ones to find your work... those are the guys with the money who can pay/need you.

3- Craigslist (you said "In The Door Gig", Not "DREAM GIG"), 2 months ago, after I was 2 weeks deep into TeamTreeHouse, I got my first gig developing HTML/CSS/Javascript page for an online dating site... this was my first "professional" coding gig (despite developing Techwarriorz.com from scratch).

Because I did the Craigslist game for a very modest payment, I had a really cool door open up for me... on Monday, I'm getting flown out by a company for a week to do some PHP/Angular.JS development, if it works out, I'll get a full-time offer... fingers crossed.

Shake hands, toss out business cards, let it be known you are a developer, and people will treat you accordingly :)

Emil Wallgren
Emil Wallgren
11,737 Points

For me it was the same thing as Chris :-) Taken lessons via Treehouse since January. I study Business Administration/Marketing at LTU in Sweden so it took me some time to learn HTML/CSS/JAVASCRIPT since I had to focus on the rest of my schoolwork. But one day in April some classmates of mine wondered it I could change some of the design for their tictail-store. I did and they were happy. Some time after that, one of the classmates had a friend who knew a friend who needed a website for his business. I have just recently helped him (as my first paid job) and is currently helping another friend out with his (paid).

A great tip that I've found helpful is giving websites away at first in exchange for services! Take this example:

A person I met at a party (who owns a record-studio in Gothenburg) needed a wordpress-website. I will help him set this up/design it and in exchange record some songs professionally for free. This way I'll get to do something I've wanted for a long time and he'll get a website for free. If I do a good job, maybe he'll pass this through and I'll get some more paid jobs!

Have a wonderful day!

/Emil